Whence from fuch lands each pleasing science


That firft excites defire, and then fupplies; Unknown to them, when fenfual pleasures cloy,

To fill the languid pause with finer joy; Unknown thofe powers that raise the foul to

and vibrate through the

Their level life is but a fmould'ring fire, Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by ftrong


Catch every nerve, frame.

defire ;

Unfit for raptures, or if raptures cheer
On fome high festival of once a year,
In wild excefs the vulgar breast takes fire,
Till, buried in debauch, the bliss expire.

But not their joys alone thus coarfely flow: Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low;

For, as refinement ftops, from fire to fon,
Unalter'd, unimprov'd the manners run,
And love's and friendship's finely pointed
Fall blunted from each indurated heart.


Some fterner virtues o'er the mountain's


May fit, like falcons cow'ring on the neft;
But all the gentler morals, fuch as play
Through life's more cultur'd walks, and
charm the way,

These far difpers'd, on timorous pinions fly,
To fport and flutter in a kinder fky.

To kinder fkies, where gentler manners

I turn; and France difplays her bright domain.

Gay sprightly land of mirth and focial ease, Pleas'd with thyself, whom all the world can please,

How often have I led thy fportive choir,
With tunelefs pipe, befide the murmuring
Loire ?

Where fhading elms along the margin grew,
And freshen'd from the wave the zephyr

And haply, tho' my harfh tough faultering ftill,

But mock' all tune, and marr'd the dancer's fkill;


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Yet would the village praise my wonderous


And dance, forgetful of the noon-tide hour. Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days Have led their children through the mirthful maze,

[ocr errors]

And the gay grandfire, fkill'd in geftic lore, Has frifk'd beneath the burden of threefcore.

So bleft a life these thoughtless realms difplay,

Thus idly bufy rolls their world away : Theirs are thofe arts that mind to mind endear,

For honour forms the focial temper here.
Honour, that praise which real merit gains,
Or even imaginary worth obtains,
Here paffes current; paid from hand to hand,
It shifts in fplendid traffic round the land :
From courts, to camps, to cottages it strays,
And all are taught an avarice of praise :
They please, are pleas'd, they give to get

Till, feeming bleft, they grow to what they feem.


But while this fofter art their blifs fupplies, It gives their follies also room to rife ; For praise too dearly lov'd, or warmly fought,

Enfeebles all internal ftrength of thought. And the weak foul, within itself unbleft, Leans for all pleasure on another's breast. Hence oftentation here, with tawdry art, Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart;

Here vanity affumes her pert grimace, And trims her robes of frize with copper lace';

Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer, To boast one fplendid banquet once a year; The mind ftill turns where shifting paffion draws,

Nor weighs the folid worth of felf-applaufe. To men of other minds my fancy flies, Embofom'd in the deep where Holland


Methinks her patient fons before me ftand, Where the broad ocean leans against the

land, VOL. I.



[ocr errors]

And, fedulous to ftop the coming tide,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride.
Onward methinks, and diligently flow,
The firm connected bulwark feems to grow:
Spreads its long arms amidst the watery roar,
Scoops out an empire, and ufurps the shore,
While the pent ocean, rifing o'er the pile,
Sees an amphibious world beneath him

The flow canal, the yellow bloffom'd vale,
The willow-tufted bank, the gliding fail,
The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,
A new creation refcu'd from his reign,
Thus while around the wave fubjected

Impels the native to repeated toil,
Industrious habits in each bofom reign,
And industry begets a love of gain.

Hence all the good from opulence that

With all thofe ills fuperfluous treasure brings, Are here difplay'd. Their much-lov'd wealth imparts

Convenience, plenty, elegance and arts;


« VorigeDoorgaan »