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Proceffions form'd for piety and love,
A mistress or a faint in ev'ry grove.
By sports like these are all their cares beguil'd,
The fports of children fatisfy the child;
Each nobler aim repreft by long controul,
Now finks at laft, or feebly mans the foul;
While low delights, fucceeding faft behind,
In happier meannefs occupy the mind:
As in thofe dooms, where Cæfars once bore fway,
Defac'd by time and tott'ring in decay,
There in the ruin, heedless of the dead,
The fhelter-feeking peafant builds his fhed,
And, wond'ring man could want the larger pile,
Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile.
My foul turn from them, turn we to furvey
Where rougher climes a nobler race display,
Where the bleak Swifs their ftormy manfions tread,
And force a churlish foil for fcanty bread;
No product here the barren hills afford,
But man and steel, the foldier and his fword.
No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array,
But winter ling'ring chills the lap of May;
No zephyr fondly fues the mountains breast,
But meteors glare, and ftormy glooms invett.
Yet still, ev'n here, content can fpread a charm, 175 Redress the clime, and all its rage difarm.
Sees no contiguous palace rear its head
To shame the meannefs of his humble shed;
No coftly lord the fumptuous banquet deal
To make him loath his vegetable meal;
Though poor the peafant's hut, his feafts though small, He fees his little lot the lot of all;
But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil,
Each wifh contracting, fits him to the foil.
Chearful at morn he wakes from short repofe,
Breafts the keen air, and carols as he goes;
With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
Or drives his vent'rous plough-fhare to the steep;
Or feeks the den where fnow-tracks marks the way,
And drags the struggling favage into day.
At night returning, ev'ry labour fped,
He fits him down the monarch of a shed
Smiles by his chearful fire, and round furveys
His childrens looks that brighten at the blaze ;
While his lov'd partner, boastful of her hoard,
Difplays her cleanly platter on the board:
And haply too fome pilgrim thither led,
With many a tale repays the nightly bed.
Thus every good his native wilds impart,
Imprints the patriot paffion on his heart,
And ev❜n those ills that round his mansion rife,
Enhance the blifs his fcanty fund fupplies.
Dear is that fhed to which his foul conforms,
And dear that hill which lifts him to the ftorms
And as a child, when fearing founds moleft,
Clings clofe and closer to the mother's breast,
So the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar,
But bind him to his native mountains more.
Such are the charms to barren ftates affign'd;
Their wants but few, their wishes all confin'd.
Yet let them only share the praises due,
If few their wants, their pleasures are but few;
every want that ftimulates the breast,.
Becomes a fource of pleasure when redrest.
Whence from fuch lands each pleasing science flies, 215
That firft excites defire, and then fupplies;
Unknown to them, when fenfual pleasures cloy,
To fill the languid paufe with finer joy;
Unknown those pow'rs that raise the foul to flame,
Catch ev'ry nerve, and vibrate through the frame. 220
Their level life is but a mould'ring fire,
Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by ftrong defire;
Unfit for raptures, or, if raptures cheer
On some high festival of once a year,
In wild excefs the vulgar breaft takes fire,
Till buried in debauch, the blifs expire.
But not their joys alone thus coarfely flow:
Their morals, like their pleafures, 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 dart, .
Fall blunted from each indurated heart.
Some fterner virtues o'er the mountains breast
May fit, like falcons cow'ring on the neft;
But all the gentler morals, fuch as play
'Thro' life's more cultur'd walks, and charm the way, These far difpers'd, on tim'rous pinions fly, To fport and flutter in a kinder sky.
To kinder fkies, where gentler manners reign, 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 pleafe, How often have I led thy fportive choir, With tuneless pipe, beside the murmuring Loire ? Where fhading elms along the margin grew, And freshen'd from the wave the zephyr flew ;
And haply, though my harsh touch falt'ring ftill,
But mock'd all tune, and marr'd the dancer's skill;
Yet would the village praife my wondrous pow'r,
And dance, forgetful of the noon-tide hour.
Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days.
Have led their children through the mirthful maze,
And the gay grandfire, fkill'd in geftic lore,
Has frifk'd beneath the burthen of threefcore.
So bleft a life thefe thoughtlefs realms difplay, 255 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 praife which real merit gains, Or ev❜n 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 ftrays, And all are taught an avarice of praise ; They please, are pleas'd, they give to get efteem, 265 Till, feeming bleft, they grow to what they feem. But while this fofter art their blifs fupplies, It gives their follies alfo room to rife; For praife too dearly lov'd, or warmly fought, Enfeebles all internal ftrength of thought. And the weak foul, within itfelf unbleft, Leans for all pleasure on another's breast. Hence oftentation here, with tawdry art, Pants for the vulgar praife, 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 still turns where shifting fashion draws,
Nor weigh the folid worth of felf-applause.
To men of other minds my fancy flies,
Embofom'd in the deep where Holland lies.
Methinks her patient fons before me stand,
Where the broad ocean leans against the land,
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 wat'ry roar,
Scoops out an empire and ufurps the shore.
While the pent ocean rifing o'er the pile,
Sees an amphibious world beneath him fmile;
The flow canal, the yellow bloffem'd vale,
The willow tufted bank, the gliding fail,'
The crouded mart, the cultivated plain,
A new creation refcu'd from his reign.
Thus, while around the wave-subjected foil
Impels the native to repeated toil,
Induftrious habits in each bofom reign,
And industry begets a love of gain.
Hence all the good from opulence that fprings,
With all thofe ills fuperfluous treasure brings,
Are here difplay'd. Their much-lov'd wealth imparts
Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts;
But view them clofer, craft and fraud appear,
Ev'n Liberty itself is barter'd here.
At Gold's fuperior charms all freedom flies,
The needy fell it, and the rich man buys;
A land of tyrants, and a den of flaves,
Here wretches feek dilhonourable graves,