« VorigeDoorgaan »
Good heav'n! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day That call'd them from their native walks away; When the poor exiles, every pleasure past, Hung round the bow'rs, and fondly look'd their last, And took a long farewell, and will’d, in vain, For seats like these beyond the western main; And, shudd'ring still to face the distant deep, Return'd and wept, and still return’d to weep! The good old fire, the first prepar'd to go To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe; But for himself, in conscious virtue brave, He only with'd for worlds beyond the grave: His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears, The fond companion of his helpless years, Silent went next, neglectful of her charms, And left a lover's for her father's arms : With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes, And blest the cot where every pleasure rose; And kiss’d her thoughtless babes with many a tear, And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear; Whilft her fond husband strove to lend relief In all the filent manliness of grief.
O luxury! thou curst by heaven's decree, How ill exchang’d are things like these for thee! How do thy potions, with insidious joy, Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy! Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown, Boast of a florid vigour not their own; At every draught more large and large they grow, A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe; Till, fapp'd their strength, and every part unsound, Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round!
Even now the devastation is begun, And half the business of destruction done; Even now, methinks, as pond'ring here I stand, I see the rural virtues leave the land: Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the fail That idly waiting flaps with every gale Downward they move, a melancholy band, Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand; Contented toil, and hospitable care, And kind connubial tenderness, are there; And piety, with wishes plac'd above, And steady loyalty, and faithful love.
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid, Still first to fly where sensual joys invade; Unfit, in these degenerate times of shame, To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame; Dear, charming nymph, neglected and decry'd, My shame in crowds, my solitary pride; Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe, That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so; Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel, Thou nurse of every virtue-fare thee well! Farewell! and, oh, where'er thy voice be try'd, On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's fide; Whether where equinoctial fervors glow, Or winter wraps the polar world in snowStill let thy voice, prevailing over time, Redress the rigours of th’inclement clime; Aid flighted truth; with thy persuasive strain, Teach erring man to spurn the rage Teach him that states, of native strength posseft, Though very poor, may still be very blest;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
" But now the sounds of population fail66 No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale“ No busy steps the grass-grown foot-way tread, " But all the bloomy flush of life is fled; * All but yon widow'd, solitary thing, “ That feebly bends beside the plashy spring; “ She, wretched matron, forc’d, in age, for bread, “ To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread, “ To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn, " To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn; “She only left of all the harmless train, * The sad historian of the pensive plain.”
DES. VIL. P.454
Turn, gentle Hermit of the dale,
“ And guide my lonely way, “ To where yon taper cheers the vale
“ With hospitable ray ; “ For here forlorn and lost I tread,
“ With fainting steps and now, " Where wilds, immeasurably spread,
« Seem length’ning as I go.” “ Forbear, my son," the Hermit cries,
“ To tempe the dang’rous gloom; “ For yonder phantom only flies
“ To lure thee to thy doom. " Here to the houseless child of want,
“ My door is open still; « And though my portion is but fcant,
“ I give it with good will. « Then turn to-night, and freely share
“ Whate'er my cell bestows“ My rushy couch and frugal fare,
“ My blessing and repose.