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Between the upright shafts of whose tall elms | Is Nature's dictate. Strange! there should be We may discern the thresher at his task.

found Thump after thump resounds the constant flail, Who, self-imprisoned in their proud saloons, That seems to swing uncertain, and yet falls Renounce the odours of the open field Full on the destined ear. Wide flies the chaff, For the unscented fictions of the loom: The rustling straw sends up a frequent mist Who, satisfied with only pencilled scenes, Of atoms, sparkling in the noonday beam. Prefer to the performance of a God Come hither, ye that press your beds of down, Th'inferior wonders of an artist's hand! And sleep not; see him sweating o'er his bread Lovely indeed the mimic works of Art; Before he eats it. 'Tis the primal curse,

But Nature's works far lovelier. I admire, But softened into mercy; and made the pledge None more admires, the painter's magic skill, Of cheerful days, and nights without a groan.

Who shows me that which I shall never see, By ceaseless action all that is subsists.

Conveys a distant country into mine, Constant rotation of th' unwearied whcel,

And throws Italian light on English walls: That nature rides upon, maintains her health,

But imitative strokes can do no more Her beauty, her fertility. She dreads

Than please the eye-sweet Nature's every sense,

The air salubrious of her lofty hills,
An instant's pause, and lives but while she moves.
Its own revolvency upholds the world.

The cheering fragrance of her dewy vales

And music of her woods—no works of man
Winds from all quarters agitate the air,
And fit the limpid element for use,

May rival these, these all bespeak a power
Else noxious; oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams,

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 He seems indeed indignant, and to feel

In some unwholesome dungeon, and a prey Th' impression of the blast with proud disdain,

To sallow sickness, which the vapours, dauk Frowning, as if in his unconscious arm He held the thunder: but the monarch owes

And clammy, of his dark abode have bred, His firm stability to what he scorns,

Escapes at last to liberty and light: More fixed below, the more disturbed above.

His check recovers soon its healthful hue; The law, by which all creatures else are bound,

His eye relumines its extinguished tires; Binds man, the lord of all. Himself derives

He walks, he leaps, he runs—is winged with joy, Yo mean advantage from a kindred cause,

And riots in the sweets of every brecze. From strenuous toil his hours of sweetest ease.

He does not scorn it, who has long endured The sedentary stretch their lazy length

A fever's agonies, and fed on drugs. When Custom bids, but no refreshment find,

Nor yet the mariner, his blood inflamed

With acrid salts: his very heart athirst,
For none they need: the languid eye, the cheek

To gaze at Nature in her green array,
Deserted of its bloom, the flaccid, shrunk,
And withered muscle, and the vapid soul,

Upon the ship’s tall side he stands, possessed

With visions prompted by intense desire :
Reproach their owner with that love of rest,
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, And theirs alone seems worthy of the name.

The spleen is seldom felt where Flora reigns,

The lowering eye, the petulance, the frown, Good health, and, its associate in the most,

And sullen sadness, that o'ershade, distort, Good temper; spirits prompt to undertake,

And mar the face of beauty, when no cause And not soon spent, though in an arduous task;

For such immeasurable wo appears, The powers of fancy and strong thought are theirs;

These Flora banishes, and gives the fair E'en age itself seems privileged in them

Sweet smiles, and bloom less transient than her With clear exemption from its own defects. 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 choico-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.

Own.

Yet thousands still desire to journey on,

And dangerous to the touch, has yet its bloom, Though halt, and weary of the path they tread. And decks itself with ornaments of gold, The paralytic, who can hold her cards, Yields no unpleasing ramble; there the turf But can not play them, borrows a friend's hand Smells fresh, and, rich in odoriferous herbs To deal and shuffle, to divide and sort

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 deathdread,

And never siniled 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 is crazed. 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 una And 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 crcature 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,

ough 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

And spiritless, as never to regret His wants indeed are many; but supply

Sweets tasted here, and left as soon as known. Is obvious, placed within the easy reach

Methinks I see thee straying on the beach,
Of temperate wishes and industrious hands.
Here virtue thrives as in her proper soil;

And asking of the surge that bathes thy foot,

If ever it has washed our distant shore. Not rude and surly, and beset with thorns,

I see thee weep, and thine are honest tears, And terrible to sight, as when she springs

A patriot's for his country: thou art sad (Ife'er she springs spontaneous) in remote

At thought of her forlorn and abject state, And barbarous climes, where violence prevails,

From which no power of thine can raise her up. And strength is lord of all; but gentle, kind,

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.

She tells me too, that duly every morn War and the chase engross the savage whole;

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

For sight of ship from England. Every speck The chase for sustenance, precarious trust!

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 cve, 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; Towards 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, These therefore I can pity, placed remote

And gain devoted cities. Thither flow, From all that science traces, art invents,

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
Thy cocoas and bananas, palms and yams,

Of warm encouragement, and in the eye
Of public note, they reach their perfect size.

Such London is, by taste and wealth proclaimed • Omai.

The fairest capital of all the world,

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,
All her reflected features. Bacon there

That, through profane and infidel contempt
Gives more than female beauty to a stone, Of holy writ, she has presumed tannul
And Chatham's eloquence to marble lips. And abrogate, as roundly as she may,
Nor does the chisel occupy alone

The total ordinance and will of God;
The powers of sculpture, but the style as much, Advancing Fashion to the post of Truth,
Each province of her art her equal care. And centring all authority in modes
With nice incision of her guided steel

And customs of her own, till sabbath rites She ploughs a brazen field, and clothes a soil Have dwindled into unrespected forms, So sterile with what charms soe'er she will, And knees and hassocks are well-nigh divorced. The richest scenery and the loveliest forms. God made the country, and man made the town. Where finds Philosophy her eagle eye,

What wonder then that health and virtue, gifts With which she gazes at yon burning disk That can alone make sweet the bitter draught Undazzled, and detects and counts his spots? That life holds out to all, should most abound In London. Where her implements exact, And least be threatened in the fields and groves ? With which she calculates, computes, and scans, Possess ye therefore, ye who, borne about All distance, motion, magnitude, and now In chariots and sedans, know no fatigue Measures an atom, and now girds a world ? But that of idleness, and taste no scenes In London. Where has commerce such a mart, But such as art contrives, possess ye still So rich, so thronged, so drained, and so supplied, Your element; there only can ye shine; As London opulent, enlarged, and still There only minds like yours can do no harm. Increasing London ? Babylon of old

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.

The Task.

BOOK II.

THE TIME-PIECE.

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 enumeraled. --Sicilian Earthquakes.- Man rendered obnoxious to the calamities by sin. -God the agent in them. The philosophy that stop at secondary causes repraved. ---Our own late mis carriages accounted for.---Satirical notice taken of our trips to Fontainbleau.--But the pulpit, not satire, the proper engine of reformation. The Reverend Advertiser of engraved sermong. ---Petit-maître parson. The food preacher.–Picture of a theatrical clerical coxcomb. Story-tellers and justers 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 carth is filled. And pillars of our planet seem to fail,
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart, And Nature* with a dim and sickly eye
It does not feel for man; the natural bond To wait the close of all ? But grant her end
Of brotherhood is severed as the flax,

More distant, and that prophecy demands
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.

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 smites the earth T enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause Or heals makes it languish or rejoice. Dooms and devotes him as his lawtul 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 clevation 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 carth, 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
Benevolence, and peace, and mutual aid, The tumult and the overthrow, the pangs
Between the nations in a world, that seems And agonies of human and of brute
To toll the death bell of its own decease, Multitudes, fugitive on every side,
And by the voice of all its elements

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? Toan enorinous 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, invaules 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 † August 18, 1753

during the whole summer of 1783.

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