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Between the upright shafts of whose tall elms Is Nature's dictate. Strange! there should be
Conveys a distant country into mine,
And throws Italian light on English walls:
But imitative strokes can do no more
Than please the eye-sweet Nature's every sense, Her beauty, her fertility. She dreads
The air salubrious of her lofty hills,
The cheering fragrance of her dewy vales
And music of her woods—no works of man
May rival these, these all bespeak a power,
Peculiar, and exclusively her own.
Beneath the open sky she spreads the feast; All feel the freshening impulse, and are cleansed
'Tis free to all'tis every day renewed; By restless undulation; e'en the oak Thrives by the rude concussion of the storm:
Who scorns it starves deservedly at home.
He does not scorn it, who, imprisoned long
In some unwholesome dungeon, and a prey
To sallow sickness, which the vapours, dauk
And clammy, of his dark abode have bred,
Escapes at last to liberty and light: More fixed below, the more disturbed above.
His cheek recovers soon its healthful hue; The law, by which all creatures else are bound,
His eye relumines its extinguished fires; Binds man, the lord of all. Himself derives
He walks, he leaps, he runs-is winged with joy,
And riots in the sweets of every breeze.
He does not scorn it, who has long endured
A fever's agonies, and fed on drugs.
Nor yet the mariner, his blood inflamed
With acrid salts: his very heart athirst,
To gaze at Nature in her green array,
Upon the ship's tall side he stands, possessed Reproach their owner with that love of rest,
With visions prompted by intense desire: To which he forfeits e'en the rest he loves.
Fair fields appear below, such as he left
Far distant, such as he would die to find Not such the alert and active. Measure life
He seeks them headlong, and is seen no more. By its true worth, the comfort it affords,
The spleen is seldom felt where Flora reigns, And theirs alone seems worthy of the name.
The lowering eye, the petulance, the frown, Good health, and, its associate in the most,
And sullen sadness, that o'ershadle, distort,
And mar the face of beauty, when no cause
For such immeasurable wo appears,
Sweet smiles, and bloom less transient than her
own. A sparkling eye beneath a wrinkled front
It is the constant revolution, stale The veteran shows, and gracing a gray beard With youthful smiles, descends toward the grave That palls and satiates, and makes languid life
And tasteless, of the same repeated joys, Sprightly and old almost without decay.
A pedler's pack, that bows the bearer down. Like a coy maiden, Ease, when courted most, Health suffers, and the spirits ebb, the heart Farthest retires-an idol, at whose shrine Recoils from its own choice-at the full feast Who oftenesi sacrifice are favoured least. Is famished-finds no music in the song, The love of Nature, and the scenes she draws No smartness in the jest; and wonders why.
Yet thousands still desire to journey on, And dangerous to the touch, has yet its bloom,
And fungous fruits of earth, regales the sense Her mingled suits and sequences; and sits, With luxury of unexpected sweets. Spectatress both and spectacle, a sad
There often wanders one, whom better days And silent cipher, while her proxy plays Saw better clad, in cloak of satin trimmed Others are dragged into the crowded room With lace, and hat with splendid riband bound. Between supporters; and, once seated, sit, A servant maid was she, and fell in love Through downright inability to rise,
With one who left her, went to sea, and died. Till the stout bearers lift the corpse again. Her fancy followed him through foaming waves These speak a loud memento. Yet e'en these To distant shores; and she would sit and weep Themselves love life, and cling to it, as he, At what a sailor suffers; fancy too, That overhangs a torrent, to a twig.
Delusive most where warmest wishes are, They love it, and yet loath it; fear to die, Would oft anticipate his glad return, Yet scorn the purposes for which they live. And dream of transports she was not to know. Then wherefore not renounce them? No—the She heard the doleful tidings of his death, dread,
And never smiled again! and now she roams The slavish dread of solitude, that breeds The dreary waste; there spends the livelong day, Reflection and remorse, the fear of shame, And there, unless when charity forbids, And their inveterate habits, all forbid.
The livelong night. A tattered apron hides, Whom call we gay? That honour has been long Worn as a cloak, and hardly hides a gown The boast of mere pretenders to the name. More tattered still; and both but ill conceal The innocent are gay, the lark is gay,
A bosom heaved with never-ceasing sighs. That dries his feathers, saturate with dew, She begs an idle pin of all she meets, Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams And hoards them in her sleeve; but needful food, Of dayspring overshoot his humble nest. Tho' pressed with hunger oft, or comelier clothes, The peasant too, a witness of his song,
Tho'pinched with cold asks never.—Kate iscrazed. Himself a songster, is as gay as he.
I see a column of slow-rising smoke But save me from the gayety of those,
O’ertop the lofty wood that skirts the wild. Whose headachs nail them to a noonday bed; A vagabond and useless tribe there eat And save me too from theirs, whose haggard eyes Their miserable meal. A kettle slung Flash desperation and betray their pangs Between two poles upon a stick transverse, For property stripped off by cruel chance; Receives the morsel-flesh obscene of dog, From gayety, that fills the bones with pain, Or vermin, or at best of cock purloined The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with wo. From his accustomed perch. Hard faring race!
The earth was made so various, that the mind They pick their fuel out of every hedge, Of desultory man, studious of change,
Which, kindled with dry leaves, just saves unAnd pleased with novelty, might be indulged. quenched Prospects, however lovely, may be seen
The spark of life. The sportive wind blows wide Till half their beauties fade; the weary sight, Their fluttering rags, and shows a tawny skin, Too well acquainted with their smiles, slides off The vellum of the pedigree they claim. Fastidious, seeking less familiar scenes.
Great skill have they in palmistry, and more Then snug enclosures in the sheltered vale, To conjure clean away the gold they touch, Where frequent hedges intercept the eye, Conveying worthless dross into its place; Delight us; happy to renounce awhile,
Loud when they beg, dumb only when they steal. Not senseless of its charms, what still we love, Strange! that a creature rational, and cast That such short absense may endear it more. In human mould, should brutalize by choice Then forests, or the savage rock, may please, His nature; and though capable of arts, That hides the seamew in his hollow clefts By which the world might profit, and himself, Above the reach of man. His hoary head, Self-banished from society, prefer Conspicuous many a league, the mariner Such squallid sloth to honourable toil! Bound homeward, and in hope already there, Yet even these, though feigning sickness, oft Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist, They swathe the forehead, drag the limping limb, A girdle of half-withered shrubs he shows, And vex their flesh with artificial sores, And at his feet the baffled billows die.
Can change their whine into a mirthful note, The common, overgrown with fern, and rough When safe occasion offers; and with dance, With prickly gorse, that, shapeless and deformed, And music of the bladder and the bag,
Beguile their woes, and make the woods resound. And homestall thatched with leaves. But hast Such health and gayety of heart enjoy
thou found The houseless rovers of the sylvan world; Their former charms? And having seen our state, And, breathing wholesome air, and wandering Our palaces, our ladies, and our pomp inuch,
Of equipage, our gardens, and our sports, Need other physic none to heal th' effects And heard our music; are thy simple friends, Of loathsome diet, penury and cold.
Thy simple fare, and all thy plain delights, Blest he, though undistinguished from the crowd As dear to thee as once ? And have thy joys By wealth or dignity, who dwells secure,
Lost nothing by comparison with ours? Where man, by nature fierce, has laid aside
Rude as thou art, (for we returned thee rude His fierceness, having learnt, though slow to learn,
And ignorant, except of outward show) The manners and the arts of civil life.
I can not think thee yet so dull of heart His wants indeed are many; but supply
And spiritless, as never to regret
Sweets tasted here, and left as soon as known. Is obvious, placed within the easy reach
Methinks see thee straying on the beach,
And asking of the surge that bathes thy foot,
If ever it has washed our distant shore.
I see thee weep, and thine are honest tears,
A patriot’s for his country: thou art sad (Ife'er she springs spontaneous) in remote And barbarous climes, where violence prevails,
At thought of her forlorn and abject state, And strength is lord of all; but gentle, kind,
From which no power of thine can raise her up.
Thus Fancy paints thee, and, though apt to err, By culture tamed, by liberty refreshed, And all her fruits by radiant truth matured.
Perhaps errs little, when she paints thee thus. War and the chase engross the savage whole;
She tells me too, that duly every morn
Thou climbest the mountain top, with eager eye War followed for revenge, or to supplant The envied tenants of some happier spot:
Exploring far and wide the watery waste The chase for sustenance, precarious trust!
For sight of ship from England. Every speck
Seen in the dim horizon turns thee pale His hard condition with severe constraint
With conflict of contending hopes and fears. Binds all his faculties, forbids all growth
But comes at last the dull and dusky eve, Of wisdom, proves a school, in which he learns
And sends thee to thy cabin, well prepared Sly circumvention, unrelenting hate,
To dream all night of what the day denied. Mean self-attachment, and scarce aught beside.
Alas! expect it not. We found no bait Thus fare the shivering natives of the north,
To tempt us in thy country. Doing good, And thus the rangers of the western world,
Disinterested good, is not our trade. Where it advances far into the deep,
We travel far, 'tis true, but not for nought; Cowards the antarctic. E'en the favoured isles
And must be bribed to compass earth again So lately found, although the constant sun
By other hopes and richer fruits than yours. Cheer all their seasons with a grateful smile,
But though true worth and virtue in the mild Can boast but little virtue; and inert
And genial soil of cultivated life Through plenty, lose in morals what they gain
Thrive most, and may perhaps thrive only there, In manners— victims of luxurious ease.
Yet not in cities oft: in proud, and gay,
And gain devoted cities. Thither flow,
As to a common and most noisome sewer, Or inspiration teaches; and enclosed
The dregs and feculence of every land. In boundless oceans, never to be passed
In cities foul example on most minds By navigators uninformed as they,
Begets its likeness. Rank abundance breeds, Or ploughed perhaps by British bark again:
In gross and pampered cities, sloth, and lust, But far beyond the rest, and with most cause,
And wantonness, and gluttonous excess. Thee, gentle savage!" whom no love of thee
In cities vice is hidden with most ease, Or thine, but curiosity perhaps,
Or seen with least reproach; and virtue, taught Or else vainglory, prompted us to draw
By frequent lapse, can hope no triumph there Forth from thy native bowers to show thee here
Beyond th' achievements of successful flight. With what superior skill we can abuse
I do confess them nurseries of the arts, The gifts of Providence, and squander life.
In which they flourish most; where, in the beams The dream is past; and thou hast found again
Of warm encouragement, and in the eye
Of public note, they reach their perfect size.
By riot and incontinence the worst.
Into his overgorged and bloated purse There, touched by Reynolds, a dull blank becomes The wealth of Indian provinces, escapes. A lucid mirror, in which Nature sees
Nor is it well, nor can it come to good,
That, through profane and infidel contempt
The total ordinance and will of God;
And customs of her own, till sabbath rites
Our groves were planted to console at noon Not more the glory of the earth than she, The pensive wanderer in their shades. At eve A more accomplished world's chief glory now. The moonbeam, sliding softly in between
She has her praise. Now mark a spot or two, The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wish, That so much beauty would do well to purge; Birds warbling all the music. We can spare And show this queen of cities, that so fair The splendour of your lamps; they but eclipse May yet be foul; so witty, yet not wise. Our softer satellite. Your songs confound It is not seemly, nor of good report,
Our more harmonious notes; the thrush departs That she is slack in discipline; more prompt Scared, and the offended nightingale is mute. T'avenge than to prevent the breach of law There is a public mischief in your mirth; That she is rigid in denouncing death
It plagues your country. Folly such as yours, On petty robbers, and indulges life
Graced with a sword, and worthier of a fan, And liberty, and oft times honour too,
Has made, what enemies could ne'er have done, To peculators of the public gold:
Our arch of empire, steadfast but for you, That thieves at home must hang; but he, that puts, 'A mutilated structure, soon to fall.
ARGUMENT. Reflections suggested by the conclusion of the former book. Peace among the nations recommended, on the ground of their common fellowship in sorrow.-- Prodigies enumerated. —Sicilian Earthquakes.—Man rendered obnoxious to these calamities by sin.-God the agent in them. The philosophy that stops at secondary causes reproved. -Our owo late mis carriages accounted for.—Satirical notice taken of our trips to Fontainbleau.--But ihe pulpit, not satire, the proper engine of reformation. — The Reverend Advertiser of engraved
sermons. ---Petit-maitre parson --The good preacher. - Picture of a theatrical clerical coxcomb.—Story-tellers and jesters in the pulpit reproved. -- Apostrophe to popular applause. -- Retailers of ancient philosophy expostulated with. -Sum of the whole matter. ---Effects of sacerdotal mismanagement on the laity.Their folly and extravagance. --The mischiefs of profusion. — Profusion itself, with all its consequent
evils, ascribed, as to its principal cause, to the want of discipline in the universities.
O for a lodge in some vast wilderness, Of unsuccessful or successful war, Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Might never reach me more. My ear is pained, Where rumour of oppression and deceit, My soul is sick with every day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is filled. And pillars of our planet seem to fail,
More distant, and that prophecy demands
A longer respite, unaccomplished yet ; He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Still they are frowning signals, and bespeak Not coloured like his own; and having power Displeasure in his breast, who sinites the earth T' enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause Or heals it, makes it languish or rejoice. Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey. And ’tis but seemly, that, where all deserve Lands intersected by a narrow frith
And stand exposed by common peccancy, Abhor each other. Mountains interposed To what no few have felt, there should be peace, Make enemies of nations, who had else
And brethren in calamity should love. Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Alas for Sicily! rude fragments now Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys; Lie scattered, where the shapely column stood. And, worse than all, and most to be deplored Her palaces are dust. In all her streets As human nature's broadest, foulest blot, The voice of singing and the sprightly chord Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat Are silent. Revelry, and dance, and show, With stripes, that mercy with a bleeding heart Suffer a syncope and a solemn pause; Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast. While God performs upon the trembling stage Then what is man? And what man, seeing this, Of his own works his dreadful part alone. And having human feelings, does not blush, How does the earth receive him ?-with what signs And hang his head, to think himself a man? Of gratulation and delight her king ? I would not have a slave to till my ground, Pours she not all her choicest fruits abroad, To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
Her sweetest flowers, her aromatic gums, And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth Disclosing Paradise where'er he treads? That sinews bought and sold have ever earned. She quakes at his approach. Her hollow womb, No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's Conceiving thunders, through a thousand deeps Just estimation prized above all price,
And fiery caverns, roars beneath his foot. I had much rather be myself the slave,
The hills move lightly, and the mountains smoke, And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him. For he has touched them. From the extremest We have no slaves at home-then why abroad? point And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave Of elevation down into the abyss That parts us, are emancipate and loosed. His wrath is busy, and his frown is felt. Slaves can not breathe in England: if their lungs The rocks fall headlong, and the valleys rise, Receive our air, that moment they are free; The rivers die into offensive pools, They touch our country, and their shackles fall. And charged with putrid verdure, breathe a gross That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud And mortal nuisance into all the air. And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then, What solid was, by transformation strange, And let it circulate through every vain
Grows fluid; and the fixed and rooted earth, Of all your empire; that, where Briton's power, Tormented into billows, heaves and swells, Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too. Or with vortiginous and hideous whirl
Sure there is need of social intercourse, Sucks down its prey insatiable. Immense
The tumult and the overthrow, the pangs
And fugitive in vain. The sylvan scene To preach the general doom.* When were the Migrates uplifted : and, with all its soil winds
Alighting in far distant fields, finds out Let slip with such a warrant to destroy ? A new possessor, and survives the change. When did the waves so haughtily d'erleap Ocean has caught the frenzy, and, upwrought Their ancient barriers, deluging the dry? To an enormous and o'erbearing height. Fires from beneath, and meteorst from above, Not by a mighty wind, but by that voice, Portentous, unexampled, unexplained,
Which winds and waves obey, invades the shore Have kindled beacons in the skies; and th' old Resistless. Never such a sudden flood, And crazy earth has had her shaking fits Upridged so high, and sent on such a charge, More frequent, and foregone her usual rest. Possessed an inland scene. Where now the throng, Is it a time to wrangle, when the props
That pressed the beach, and, hasty to depart, Alluding to the calamities in Jamaica.
Alluding to the fog, that covered both Europe and Asia 1 August 18, 1783
during the whole summer of 1783.