« AnteriorContinuar »
Secure his little kingdom. Nor can those The guardian public; every face they sce,
As in familiar life, the villain's fate
At this arrives, I the devoted race
“ But, ah, too little known to modern times ! And drain'd by wants to nature all unknown, Be not the noblest passion past unsung ; A wandering, tasteless, gaily wretched train, That ray peculiar from unbounded love Though rich, are beggars, and though noble, slaves. Effus'd, which kindles the heroic soul : “ Lo! damn'd to wealth, at what a gross ex. Devotion to the public. Glorious fame! pense
Celestial ardour! in what unknown worlds, They purchase disappointment, pain, and shame, Profusely scatter'd through the blue immense, Instead of hearty hospitable cheer.
Hast thou been blessing myriads, since in Rome, See! how the hall with brutal riot flows;
Old virtuous Rome, so many deathless names While in the foaming flood, fermenting, steep'd, From thee their lustre drew? since, taught by thee, The country maddens into party-rage.
Their poverty put splendour to the blush, Mark! those disgraceful piles of wood and stone; Pain grew luxurious, and ev'n death delight? Those parks and gardens, where, his haunts be- | 0, wilt thou ne'er, in thy long period, look, trimm'd,
With blaze direct, on this my last retreat ? And Nature by presumptuous art oppress'd, “ 'Tis not enough, from self right understood The woodland genius mourns. See! the full board Reflected, that thy rays inflame the heart : That streams disgust, and bowls that give no joy : Though Virtue not disdains appeals to self, No truth invited there, to feed the mind;
Dreads not the trial : all her joys are true, Nor wit, the wine rejoicing reason quaffs.
Nor is there any real joy save hers. Hark! how the dome with insolence resounds, Far less the tepid, the declaiming race, With those retain'd by vanity to scare
Foes to corruption, to its wages friends, Repose and friends. To tyrant fashion mark Or those whoin private passions for awhile, The costly worship paid, to the broad gaze
Beneath my standard list, can they suffice Of fools. From still delusive day to day,
To raise and fix the glory of my reign ? Led an eternal round of lying hope,
“ An active flood of universal love See ! self-abandon'd, how they roam adrift, Must swell the breast. First, in effusion wide, Dash'd o'er the town, a miserable wreck!
The restless spirit roves creation round,
Of bliss allies : then, more collected still,
It urges human-kind :
: a passion grown, They mirthful sit, or prove the comic true.
At last, the central parent-public calls But, chief, behold! around the rattling board, Its utmost effort forth, awakes each sense, The civil robbers rang'd; and ev'n the fair, The comely, grand, and tender. Without this, The tender fair, each sweetness laid aside,
This aweful pant, shook from sublimer powers As fierce for plunder as all-Jicens'd troops
Than those of self, this beaven-infus'd deligkt, In some sack'd city. Thus dissolv'd their wealth, This moral gravitation, rushing prone Without one generous luxury dissolv'd,
To press the public good, my system soon, Or quarter'd on it many a needless want,
Traverse, to several selfish centres drawn, At the throng'd levee bends the venal tribe : Will reel to ruin : while for ever shut With fair but faithless smiles each varnish'd o'er, Stand the bright portals of desponding Fame. Each smooth as those that mutually deceive,
“ From sordid self shoot up no shining deeds,
Life tedious grows, an idly-bustling round,
The poor historic page; till kindly comes
To live was glory then ! and charm'd mankind And other Cæsars rose. Determin'd, hold
Through the deep periods of devolving time, Your independence : for, that once destroy'd, Those, raptur'd, copy! these, astonishid, read. Unfounded, freedom is a morning dream,
“ True, a corrupted state, with every vice That flits aërial from the spreading eye.
And every meanness foul, this passion damps " Forbid it, Heaven! that ever I need urge Who can, unshock’d, behold the cruel eye? Integrity in office on my sons !
The pale inveigling smile? the ruffian front ?
The wretch abandon'd to relentless self,
Powers not of God, assiduous to corrupt?
The poor and weak, at distance from redress ? * Employ'd) might make the smiling public rear
Leaves starv'd each work of dignity and use.
“ I paint the worst. But should these times By deeds, a horrour to mankind, prepar'd,
arrive, As were the dregs of Romulus of old ?
If any nobler passion yet remain, Who these indeed can undetesting see !
Let all my sons all parties fling aside, But who unpitying ? To the generous eye.
Despise their nonsense, and together join ; Distress is virtue! and, though self-betray'd, Let worth and virtue, scorning low despair, A people struggling with their fate must rouse Exerted full, from every quiver shine, The hero's throb. Nor can a land, at once, Commix'd in heighten'd blaze. Light flash'd ti Be lost to virtue quite. How glorious then !
light, Fit luxury for gods ! to save the good,
Moral, or intellectual, more intense Protect the feeble, dash bold vice aside,
By giving glows. As on pure Winter's eve, Depress the wicked, and restore the frail.
Gradual, the stars effulge; fainter, at first, Posterity, besides, the young are pure,
They, straggling, rise ; but when the radiant host, And sons may tinge their father's cheek with shame. In thick profusion pour’d, shine out immense, “ Should then the times arrive (which Heaven Each casting vivid influence on each, avert!)
From pole to pole a glittering deluge plays, That Britons bend unnerv'd, not by the force And worlds above rejoice, and men below. Of arms, more generous, and more manly, quell'd, “ But why to Britons this superfluous strain ? But by corruption's soul-dejecting arts,
Good-nature, honest truth ev'n somewhat blunt, Arts impudent! and gross! by their own gold, Of crooked baseness an indignant scorn, In part bestow'd, to bribe them to give all.
A zeal unyielding in their country's cause, With party raging, or immers’d in sloth,
And ready bounty, wont to dwell with them Should they Britannia's well-fought laurels yield Nor only wont - Wide o'er the land diffus’d, To slily-conquering Gaul; ev'n from her brow In many a blest retirement still they dwell. Let her own naval oak be basely torn,
“ To softer prospect turn we now the view, By such as tremble at the stiffening gale,
To laurel'd science, arts, and public works, And nerveless sink while others sing rejoic'd. That lend my finish'd fabric comely pride, Or (darker prospect ! scarce one gleam behind Grandeur, and grace. Of sullen genius he ! Disclosing) should the broad corruptive plague Curs'd by the Muses! by the Graces loath'd ! Breathe from the city to the farthest hut,
Who deems beneath the public's high regard That sits serene within the forest shade;
These last enlivening touches of my reign. The fever'd people fire, inflame their wants, However puff d with power, and gorg'd with wealth, And their luxurious thirst, so gathering rage, A nation be ; let trade enormous rise, That, were a buyer found, they stand prepar'd Let East and South their mingled treasure pour, To sell their birthright for a cooling draught. Till, swell’d impetuous, the corrupting flood Should shameless pens for plain corruption plead; Burst o'er the city, and devour the land: The hir'd assassins of the commonweal !
Yet these neglected, these recording arts, Deem'd the declaiming rant of Greece and Rome, Wealth rots, a nuisance; and, oblivious sunk, Should public virtue grow the public scoff,
That nation must another Carthage lie. Till private, failing, staggers through the land : If not by them, on monumental brass, Till round the city loose mechanic want,
On sculptur'd marble, on the deathless page, Dire-prowling nightly, makes the cheerful haunts Imprest, renown had left no trace behind : Of men more hideous than Numidian wilds, In vain, to future times, the sage had thought, Nor from its fury sleeps the vale in peace ; The legislator plann'd, the hero found And murders, horrours, perjuries abound:
A beauteous death, the patriot toil'd in vain. Nay, till to lowest deeds the highest stoop ;
Th' awarders they of Fame's immortal wreath, The rich, like starving wretches, thirst for gold; They rouse ambition, they the mind exalt, And those, on whom the vernal showers of Heaven Give great ideas, lovely forms infuse, All-bounteous fall, and that prime lot bestow, Delight the general eye, and, drest by them, A power to live to Nature and themselves,
The moral Venus glows with double charms, In sick attendance wear their anxious days,
“ Science, my close associate, still attends With fortune, joyless, and with honours, mean. Where'er I go. Sometimes, in simple guise, Meantime, perhaps, profusion flows around, She walks the furrow with the consul swain, The waste of war, without the works of peace ; Whispering unletter'd wisdom to the heart, No mark of millions, in the gulph absorpt
Direct; or, sometimes, in the pompous robe Of uncreating vice, none but the rage
Of fancy drest, she charms Athenian wits, Of rous'd corruption still demanding more.
And a whole sapient city round her burns. That very portion, which (by faithful skill
Then o'er her brow Minerva's terrours nod;
With Xenophon, sometimes, in dire extremes, • Lord Molesworth, in his account of Denmark, She breathes deliberate soul, and makes retreat t says : -“ It is observed, that in limited monarchies Unequall'd glory; with the Theban sage, and commonwealths, a neighbourhood to the seat of Epaminondas, first and best of men ! the government is advantageous to the subjects; while the distant provinces are less thriving, and + The famous retreat of the Ten Thousand was more liable to oppression."
chiefly conducted by Xenophon.
Sometimes slie bids the deep-embattled host, The flood-compelling arch; the long canal..
Through mountains piercing, and uniting scas; March to sure conquest — never gain'd before !* The dome resounding sweet with infant joy t; Nor on the treacherous seas of giddy state
From famine sav'd, or cruel-handed shame, Unskilful she : when the triumphant tide
And that where valour counts his noble scars; Of high-swoln empire wears one boundless smile, The land where social pleasure loves to dwell, And the gale tempts to new pursuits of fame, Of the fierce demon, Gothic duel, freed; Sometimes, with Scipio, she collects her sail, The robber from his farthest forest chas'd; And seeks the blissful shore of rural ease,
The turbid city clear’d, and, by degrees,
And science, by despotic bounty bless'd,
At distance flourish'd from my parent-eye, And saves awhile from Cæsar sinking Rome. Restoring ancient taste, how Boileau rose, Such the kind power, whose piercing eye dissolves | How the big Roman soul shook, in Corneille, Each mental fetter, and sets reason free;
The trembling stage. In elegant Racine, For me inspiring an enlighten’d zeal,
How the more powerful, though more humble voice The more tenacious as the more convinc'd Of nature-painting Greece, resistless, breath'd How happy freemen, and how wretched slaves, The whole awaken'd heart. How Moliere's scene To Britons not unknown, to Britons full
Chastis’d and regular, with well-judg'd wit, The goddess spreads her stores, the secret soul Not scatter'd wild, and native humour, grac'd, That quickens trade, the breath unseen that wafts Was life itself. To public honours rais'd, To them the treasures of a balanc'd world.
How learning in warm seminaries spread t; But finer arts (save what the Muse has sung And, more for glory than the small reward, In daring fight, above all modern wing)
How emulation strove. How their pure tongue Neglected droop the head ; and public works, Almost obtain'd what was deny'd their arms Broke by corruption into private gain,
From Rome, awhile, how Painting, courted long, Not ornament, disgrace; not serve, destroy. With Poussin came: ancient design, that lifts
“ Shall Britons, by their own joint wisdom rul'a A fairer front, and looks another soul. Beneath one royal head, whose vital power
How the kind art S, that, of unvalued price, Connects, enlivens, and exerts the whole;
The fam'd and only picture, easy, gives, In finer arts, and public works, shall they
Refin'd her touch, and, through the shadow'd piece, To Gallia yield ? yield to a land that bends, All the live spirit of the painter pour'd. Deprest, and broke, beneath the will of one ? Coyest of arts, how Sculpture northward deign'd Of one who, should th' unkingly thirst of gold, A look, and bade her Girardon arise. Of tyrant passions, or ambition, prompt,
How lavish grandeur blaz'd; the barren waste, Calls locust armies o'er the blasted land :
Astonish’d, saw the sudden palace swell, Drains from its thirsty bounds the springs of wealth, | And fountains spout amid its arid shades. His own insatiate reservoir to fill :
For leagues, bright vistas opening to the view, To the lone desert patriot merit frowns,
How forests in majestic gardens smil'd. Or into dungeons arts, when they, their chains, How menial arts, by their gay sisters taught, Indignant, bursting, for their nobler works Wove the decp flow'r, the blooming foliage train d All other licence scorn but Truth's and mine. In joyous figures o'er the silky lawn, Oh, shame to think ! shall Britons, in the field The palace cheer’d, illum'd the story'd wall, Unconquer'd still, the better laurei lose ?
And with the pencil vy'd the glowing loom.!
While the vain honours of perfidious war
Of war-sunk millions fed? Superior still,
In Britain planted, by the potent juice Ev'n then, as in the golden calm of peace !
Of freedom swell’d? Forc'd is the bloom of arts, What public works at home! what arts arose ! A false uncertain spring, when bounty gives, What various science shone ! what genius glow'd ! Weak without me, a transitory gleam.
“ 'Tis not for me to paint, diffusive shot Fair shine the slippery days, enticing skies O'er fair extents of land, the shining road;
Of favour smile, and courtly breezes blow;
Till arts, betray'd, trust to the flattering air * Epaminondas, after having beat the Lacedæ- Their tender blossom : then malignant rise monians and their allies, in the battle of Leuctra, made an incursion at the head of a powerful army
• The canal of Languedoc. into Laconia. It was now six hundred years since + The hospitals for foundlings and invalids. the Dorians had possessed this country, and in all The academics of Science, of the Belles Lettres, that time the face of an enemy had not been seen and of Painting. within their territories. Plutarch in Agesilaus, $ Engraving. + Lewis XIV.
!! The tapestry of the Gobelins.
The blights of envy, of those insect-clouds, Till moral, public, graceful action crowns
The whole. Behold! the fair contention glows,
Barbarian pedants, wrangling sons of pride, Diffuse his warm beneficence around;
And truth-perplexing metaphysic wits, Yet death, at last, and wintery tyrants come, Men, patriots, chiefs, and citizens are form'd. Each sprig of genius killing at the root.
“ Lo! Justice, like the liberal light of Heaven, But when with me imperial bounty joins,
Unpurchas’d shines on all, and from her beam, Wide o'er the public blows eternal Spring : Appalling guilt, retire the savage crew, While mingled Autumn every harvest pours That prowl amid the darkness they themselves Of every land; whate'er invention, art,
Have thrown around the laws. Oppression grieves : Creating toil and Nature can produce."
See ! how her legal furies bite the lip, Here ceas'd the goddess; and her ardent wings, While Yorks and Talbots their deep snares detect, Dipt in the colours of the heavenly bow,
And seize swift justice through the clouds they raise. Stood waving radiance round, for sudden flight “ See ! social Labour lifts his guarded head, Prepar'd, when thus, impatient, burst my prayer. And men not yield to government in vain. " Oh, forming light of life! O, better Sun! From the sure land is rooted ruffian force, Sun of mankind! by whom the cloudy north, And, the lewd nurse of villains, idle waste ; [bowl, Sublim'd, not envies Languedocian skies,
Lo! raz'd their haunts, down dash'd their maddening That, unstain'd ether all, diffusive smile :
A nation's poison ! beauteous order reigns!
From the foul herd of brutal slaves thy sons,
And fearless peace. Or should affronting war As at the touch of day the shades dissolve, To slow but dreadful vengeance rouse the just, So quick, methought, the misty circle clear'd, Unfailing fields of freemen I behold! That dims the dawn of being here below :
That know, with their own proper arm, to guard The future shone disclos'd, and, in long view, Their own blest isle against a leaguing world. Bright rising eras instant rush'd to light. (hold! | Despairing Gaul her boiling youth restrains,
“ They come! great Goddess! I the times be- Dissolv'd her dream of universal sway: The times our fathers, in the bloody field,
The winds and seas are Britain's wide domain ; Have earn'd so dear, and, not with less renown, And not a sail, but by permission, spreads. In the warm struggles of the Senate fight.
“ Lo! swarming southward on rejoicing sons, The times I see! whose glory to supply,
Gay colonies extend ; the calm retreat
“Lo! princes I behold ! contriving still, But, bound by social freedom, firm they rise ;
“ Horrid with want and misery, no more Of treacherous smiles, of adulation fell,
Our streets the tender passenger afflict. And of the blinding clouds around them thrown: Nor shivering age, nor sickness without friend, Their court rejoicing millions ; worth alone, Or home, or bed to bear his burning load, And virtue dear to them; their best delight, Nor agonizing infant, that ne'er earn'd In just proportion, to give general joy :
Its guiltless pangs, I see! The stores, profuse, Their jealous care thy kingdom to maintain ; Which British bounty has to these assign’d, The public glory theirs ; unsparing love
No more the sacrilegious riot swell Their endless treasure; and their deeds their praise. Of cannibal devourers! Right apply'd, With thee they work. Nought can resist your force : No starving wretch the land of freedom stains : Life feels it quickening in her dark retreats ; If poor, employment finds ; if old, demands; Strong spread the blooms of genius, science, art; If sick, if maim'd, his miserable due ; His bashful bounds disclosing merit breaks ; And will, if young, repay the fondest care. And, big with fruits of glory, virtue blows Sweet sets the sun of stormy life, and sweet Expansive o'er the land. Another race
The morning shines, in mercy's dews array'd. Of
generous youth, of patriot-sires, I see! Lo! how they rise ! these families of Heaven!: Not those vain insects fluttering in the blaze That !* chief, (but why — ye bigots !-why so late?) Of court, and ball, and play ; those venal souls, Where blooms and warbles glad a rising age : Corruption's veteran unrelenting bands,
What smiles of praise ! and while their song ascends, That, to their vices slaves, can ne'er be free. The listening seraph lays his lute aside.
" I see the fountain's purg'd; whence life derives “ Hark! the gay Muses raise a nobler strain,
Of various string, and heart-felt image fill'd.
. An hospital for foundlings.
Restor'd : behold! the well-dissembled scene
Oh! if thou hover'st round my walk, Calls from embellish'd eyes the lovely tear,
While under every well-known tree,
I to thy fancy'd shadow talk,
And every tear is full of thee;
Should then the weary eye of grief,
Beside some sympathetic stream, O'er the bruté scene its ouran-outangs * pours;
In slumber find a short relief, Detested forms! that, on the mind imprest,
O visit thou my soothing dream! Corrupt, confound, and barbarize an age.
“ Behold! all thine again the sister-arts, Thy graces they, knit in harmonious dance. Nurs'd by the treasure from a nation drain'd
THE HAPPY MAN.
He's not the Happy Man, to whom is given Of pompous tyrants, and of dreaming monks, A plenteous fortune by indulgent Heaven; The gaudy tools, and prisoners, no more.
Whose gilded roofs on shining columns rise, “ Lo ! numerous domes a Burlington confess :
And painted walls enchant the gazer's eyes; For kings and senates fit, the palace see !
Whose table flows with hospitable cheer, The temple breathing a religious awe;
And all the various bounty of the year; Spring, Ev'n fram'd with elegance the plain retreat,
Whose valleys smile, whose gardens breathe the The private dwelling. Certain in his aim, Whose carved mountains bleat, and forests sing; Taste, never idly working, saves expence.
For whom the cooling shade in Summer twines “ See ! Sylvan scenes, where Art, alone, pretends While his full cellars give their generous wines; To dress her mistress, and disclose her charms : From whose wide fields unbounded Autumn pours Such as a Pope in miniature has shown;
A golden tide into his swelling stores: A Bathurst o'er the widening forest + spreads ;
Whose Winter laughs; for whom the liberal gales And such as form a Richmond, Chiswick, Stowe. Stretch the big sheet, and toiling commerce sails;
“ August, around, what public works I see ! When yielding crowds attend, and pleasure serves; Lo! stately streets, lo! squares that court the While youth, and health, and vigour string his
breeze, In spite of those to whom pertains the care,
Ev'n not all these, in one rich lot combin'd, Ingulphing more than founded Roman ways.
Can make the Happy Man, without the mind; Lo! ray'd from cities o'er the brighten'd land,
Where Judgment sits clear-sighted, and surveys Connecting sea to sea, the solid road.
The chain of Reason with unerring gaze;
Where social Love exerts her soft command,
Hard is the fate of him who loves,
Yet dares not tell his trembling pain, Rush'd the still ruins of dejected Rome.
But to the sympathetic groves,
But to the lonely listening plain.