« VorigeDoorgaan »
And over fields, where scatter'd hamlets rose,
In barren, folitary pomp repofe ;
Have we not feed at pleasure's lordly call,
The smiling long-frequented village fall ?
Beheld the duteous fon, the fire decay'd,
The modest matron, and the blushing maid,
Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy train ;
To traverse climes beyond the western main ;
Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around,
And Niagara (tuns with thund'ring found ?
E'en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim Atrays
Thro' tangled forests, and thro' dang'rous ways;
Where beals with man divided empire claim,
And the brown Indian marks with murd'rous aim ;
There, while above the giddy tempeft Alies,
And all around distressful yells arise,
The pensive exile, bending with his wo,
To stop too fearful, and too faint to go,
Casts a long look where England's glories shine,
And bids his bofom fympathise with mine.
Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centres in the mind !
Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose,
To seek a good each government bestows ?
In every government, though terrors reign,
Though tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain,
How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure !
Still to ourselves in every place confign'd,
Our own felicity we make or find :
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy ; .
The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel,
Luke's iron crown, and Damiens' bed of steel,
To men remote from pow'r but rarely known,
Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our own.
The vanity of human wishes. Let obfervation, with extenfive view, Survey mankind from China to Peru ; Remark, each anxious toil, each eager Arife, And watch the busy scenes of crowded life:
Then say how hope and fear, defire and hate,
O’erspread with inares the clouded maze of fate,
Where wav'ring man, betray'd by vent'rous pride,
To tread the dreary paths without a guide,
As treach'rous phantoms in the milt delude,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good.
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice :
How nations fink by darling schemes opprelt,
Wheu vengeance liftens to the fool's request.
Fate wings with every wilh th' afflictive dart,
Each gift of nature, and each grace of art ;
With fatal heat impetuous courage glows,
With fatal sweetness elocution Aows;
Impeachment stops the speaker's powerful breath,
And restless fire precipitates on death.
But, fcarce obferv'd, the knowing and the bold
Fall in the gen'ral massacre of gold ;
Wide wasting pelt! that rages unconfin'd,
with crimes the records of mankind !
For gold his fword the hireling ruffian draws,
For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws !
Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys ;
The dangers gather as the treasures rise.
Let hilt'ry tell, where rival kings command,
And dubious title shakes the madden'd land,
When tâtotes glean the refuse of the sword,
How much more safe the vassal than the lord.
Low sculks the hind beneath the rage of power,
And leaves the wealthy traitor in the Tower.
Untouch'd his cottage, and his flambers found,
Though confiscation's vultures hover round.
The needy traveller, serene and gay,
Walks the wild heath, and sings his toil away.
Does envy seize thee? crush th upbraiding joy,
Increase his riches, and his peace destroy.
Now fears in dire viciffitude invade;
The rust’ling brake alarms, and quivering fhade :
Nor light nor darkness brings his pain relief,
One shows the plunder, and one hides the thief.
Yet still one general cry the skies affails,
And gain and grandeur load the tainted gales :
Few know the toiling Itatesman's fear or care,
Th’infidious rival, and the gaping heir,
Once more, Democritus, arise on earth,
With cheerful wisdom and instructive mirth ;
See motley life in modern trappings dreit,
And feed with varied fools th' eternal jest :
Thou who couldīt laugh where want enchain'd caprice,
Toil crush'd conceit, and man was of a piece ;
Where wealth uulov'd without a mourner died ;
And scarce a sycophant was fed by pride ;
Where ne'er was known the form of mock debate,
Or seen a new made mayor's unwieldy ftate;
Where change of favourites made no change of laws,
And senates heard before they judg'd a cause :
How would it thou snake at Britain's modifh tribe,
Dart the quick taunt, and edge the piercing gibe !
Attentive, truth and nature to descry,
And pierce each scene with philofophic eye.
To thee were folemn toys or empty show,
The robes of pleasure and the veils of wo:
All aid the farce, and all thy mirth maintain,
Whose joys are causeless, or whose griefs are vain,
Such was the scorn that fill'd the fage's mind,
Renew'd at every glance on human kind :
How just that fcorn ere yet thy voice declare,
Search every state, and canvass every prayer.
Unnumber'd suppliants crowd preferment's gate,
Athirst for wealth, and burning to be great ;
Delusive fortune hears th' inceffant call;
They mount, they shine, evaporate, and fall.
On every stage the foes of peace attend,
Hate dogs their flight, and infult mocks their end.
Love ends with hope the finking statesman's door,
Pours in the morning worshipper no more ;
For growing names the weekly scribbler lies,
To growing wealth the dedicator fies;
From ev'ry room defcends the painted face,
That hung the bright palladium of the place ;
And, smok'd in kitchens, or in auctions fold,
To better features yields the frame of gold;
For now no'more we trace in ev'ry line
Heroic worth, benevolence divine :
The form distorted justifies the fall,
And detestation rids th' indignant wall.
But will not Britain hear the last appeal,
Sign her foes' doom, or guard her fav'rites' zeal?
Thro’ freedom's fons no more remonftrance rings,
Degrading nobles, and controlling kings';
Our fupple tribes fuppress their patriot throats,
And ask no questions but the price of votes ;
With weekly libels and feptennial ale,
Their wish is full to riot and to rail.
In full-blown dignity, fee Wolfey stand,
Law in his voice, and fortune in his hand :
To him the church, the realm, their pow'rs consign,
Through him the rays of regal bounty shine ;
Turn'd by his nod the stream of honour flows,
His smile alone fecurity bestows;
Still to new heights his restless wishes tow'r:
Claim leads to claim, and pow'r advances pow'r ;
Till conquest unresifted ceas'd to pleafe,
And rights submitted left him none to seize.
At length his sovereign frowns--the train of state
Mark the keen glance, and watch the fign to hate.
Where'er he turns he meets a stranger's eye,
His fuppliants scorn him, and his followers fly :
Now drops at once the pride of awful ftate,
The golden canopy, the glittring plate,
The regal palace, the luxurious board,
The liv'ried army, and the menial lord.
age, with cares, with maladies opprelt,
He seeks the refuge of monastic relt.
Grief aids disease, remember'd folly Atings,
And his last fighs reproach the faith of kings.
Speak thou, whose thoughts at humble peace repine,
Shall Wolfey's wealth, with Wolfey's end be thine ?
Or liv't thou now, with fafer pride content,
The wifelt justice on the banks of Trent ?
For why did Wolfey, near the steeps of fate,
On weak foundations raise th' enormous weight?
Why but to fink beneath misfortune's blow,
With louder ruin to the gulfs below?
What gave great Villiers to th' affaffin's knife,
And fix's disease on Harley's closing life?
What murder'd Wentworth, and what exil'd Hyde,
By kings protected, and to kings ally'd ?
What but their wish, indulg'd in courts to shine,
And power too great to keep, or to refign?
When first the college rolls receive his name,
The young enthusiast quits his case for fame į
Refiftless burns the fever of renown,
Caught from the strong contagion of the gown;
O'er Bodley's dome his future labours spread,
And Bacon's mansion trembles o'er his head.
Are these thy views ? proceed, illustrious youth,
And virtue guard thee to the throne of truth !
Yet should thy soul indulge the gen'rous heat,
Till captive science yields her last retreat ;
Should reason guide thee with her brightest ray,
And pour on milty doubt refiltless day ;
Should no false kindness lure to loose delight,
Nor praise relax, nor difficulty fright:
Should tempting novelty thy cell refrain,
And floth effufe her opiate fumes in vain ;
Should beauty blunt on fops her fatal dart,
Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd heart;
Should no disease thy torpid veins invade,
Nor melancholy's phantoms haunt thy fhade ;
Yet bope not life from grief or danger free,
Nor think the doom of man revers'd for thee :
Deign on the pafling world to turn thine eyes,
And pause a while from learning, to be wise ;
There mark what ills the scholar's life affail,
Toil, envy, want, the pation, and the jail.
See nations flowly wife, and meanly just,
To buried merit raise the tardy bust,
If dreams yet flatter, once again attend,
Hear Lydiat's life, and Galileo's end.
Nor deem, when learning her last prize bestows,
The glitt'ring eminence exempt from foes ;
See, when the vulgar 'scapes, despis'd or aw'd,
Rebellion's vengeful talons seize on Laud.
From meaner minds, though smaller fines content,
The plunder'd palace, or sequefter'd rent ;
Mark'd out by dang'rons parts he ineets the shock,
And fatal learning leads him to the block :
Around his tomb let art and genius weep,
But hear his death, ye blockheads, hear and sleep.
The vanity of human wifbes continued.
The festal blazes, the triumphal show,
The ravish'd standard, and the captive foe,