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« How few, alas! in Nature's wide domains
The sacred charm of SYMPATHY restrains !
Uncheck'd desires from appetite commence,
And pure reflection yields to selfish sense !
- Blest is the sage, who, learn'd in Nature's laws,
With nice distinction marks effect and cause;
Who views the insatiate grave with eye sedate,
Nor fears thy voice, inexorable Fate !
“ When War, the demon, lifts his banner high,
And loud artillery rends the affrighted sky;
Swords clash with swords, on horses horses rush,
Man tramples man, and nations nations crush ;
Death his vast sithe with sweep enormous wields,
And shudd'ring Pity quits the sanguine fields.
“ The wolf, escorted by his milk-drawn dam,
Unknown to mercy, tears the guiltless lamb;
The tow'ring eagle, darting from above,
Unfceling rends the inoffensive dove ;
The lamb and dove on living nature feed,
Crop the young herb, or crush the embryon seed.
Nor spares the loud owl in her dusky Hight,
Smit with sweet notes, the minstrel of the night ;
Nor spares, enamour'u of his radiant form,
The hungry nightingale the glowing worm;
Who with bright lamp alarms the midnight hour,
Climbs the green stem, and slays the sleeping flower.
66 Fell æstrus buries, in her rapid course,
Her countless brood in stag, or bull, or horse ;
Whose hungry larva eats its living way,
Hatch'd by the warmth, and issues into day.
The wing'd ichneumon for her embryon young
Gores with sharp horn the caterpillar throng.
The cruel larva mines its silky course,
And tears the vitals of its fostring nurse.
While fierce libellula, with jaws of steel
Ingulfs an insect-province at a meal ;
Contending bee-swarms rise on rustling wings,
And slay their thousands with envenom'd stings.
“ Yes ! smiling Flora drives her armed car
Thro' the thick ranks of vegetable war ;
Herb, shrub, and tree, with strong emotions rise
For light and air, and battle in the skies ;
Whose roots diverging with opposing toil
Contend below for moisture and for soil ;
Round the tall elm the flatt'ring ivies bend,
And strangle, as they clasp, their struggling friend;
Eavenom'd dews from mancinella fiow,
And scald with caustic touch the tribes below;
Denne shadowy leaves on sens aspiring borne
Wit' blight and mildew thin the realnis of coin;
ind insect hories with restless tooth devour
The undclded bud, and pierce the ruvell’d Hower.
“ In occin's pearly haunts, the waves beneath
Sits the grim monarch of insatiate Death;
The shark rapacious with descending blow
Dirts on the scaly brood, that suinis below;
The crawling cri codiles, bencath that move,
Arrest with risirg jaw the tribes above;
With monstrous gape sepulchral whales devour
Shoals at a gulp, a million in an hour.
-Air, earth, and ocean, to astonish'd day
One scene of blood, one mighty tomb display!
From Hunger's arm the shafts of Death are hurid,
And one great slaughter-house the warring world!
“ The brow of man erect, with thought clate,
Ducks to the mandate of resistless fate;
Nor Love retains him, nor can Virtue save
Her sages, sairts, or heroes from the grave,
While cold and hunger by defect oppress,
Repletion, heat, and labour by excess,
The whip, the sting, the spur, the fiery brand,
And, cursed Slavery! thy iron hand;
And led by Luxury Disease's trains,
Load human life with unextinguish'd pains.
“ Here laughs Ebriety more fell than arms,
And ihias the nations with her fatal charms,
With Gout, and Hydrops groaning in her train,
And cold Lebility, and grinning lain,
With harlct's, smiles deluded man salutes,
Revenging all his cruclties to brutes !
There the curst spells of Superstition blind,
And fix her fetters on the tortured mind;
She bids in dreams tormenting shapes appear,
With shrieks that shock Imagination's ear,
E'en o'er the grave a deeper shadow flings,
And maddening Conscience darts a thousand stings.
“ There writhing Mania sits on Reason's throne;
Or Melancholy marks it for her own,
Sheds o'er the scene a voluntary gloom,
Requests oblivion, and demands the tomb.
And last Association's train suggest
Ideal ills, that harrow up the breast,
Call for the dead from Time's o'erwhelming main,
And bid departed Sorrow live again.
“ Here ragged Avarice guards with bolted door
His useless treasures from the starving poor;
Loads the lorn hours with misery and care,
And lives a beggar to enrich his heir.
Unthinking crowds thy forms, Imposture, gull,
A saint in sackcloth, or a wolf in wool.
While mad with foolish fame, or drunk with power,
Ambition slays his thousands in an hour;
Dcmoniac Envy scowls with haggard mien,
And blights the bloom of other's joys, unseen ;
Or wrathful Jealousy invades the grove,
And turns to night meridian beams of Love !
“ Here wide o'er earth impetuous waters sweep,
And fields and forests rush into the deep;
Or dread Volcano with explosion dire
Involves the mountains in a flood of fire ;
Or yawning Earth with closing jaws inhumes
"Unwarned nations, living in their tombs;
Or Famine seizes with her tiger-paw,
And swallows millions with unsated maw.
“ There livid Pestilence in league with Dearth
Walks forth malignant o'er the shuddering earth,
Her rapid shafts with airs volcanic wings,
Or steeps in putrid vaults her venom'd stings.
Arrests the young in Beauty's vernal bloom,
And bears the innocuous strangers to the tomb !---
“ And now, e'en I, whose verse reluctant sings
The changeful state of sublunary things,
Bend o'er Mortality with silent sighs,
And wipe the secret tear-drops from my eyes,
Hear through the night one universal groan,
And mourn unseen for evils not my own,
With restless limbs and throbbing heart complain,
Stretch'd on the rack of sentimental pain!
-Ah, where can Sympathy reflecting find
One bright idea to console the mind?
One ray of light in this terrene abode
To prove to man the goodness of his God?”
“ Hear, O ye Sons of Time !” the nymph replies,
Quick indignation darting from her eyes;
foi When in soft tones the Muse lamen ng sings,
And weighs with tremulous hand the sum of things;
She loads the scale in melancholy mood,
Presents the evil, but forgets the good.
But if the beam some firmer hand suspends,
And good and evil load the adverse ends ;
With strong libration, where the good abides,
Quick nods the beam, the ponderous gold subsides.
N his car of light on high
Flaming down the gladden'd sky,
Which the new-born Zephyrs bear
Thro' the azure waste of air,
Dropping verdure, dropping joy,
As they wave the dewy wing,
Moves on, the smiling majesty of Spring.
His floating robe each splendid charm displays
Of colour, varied in a thousand ways;
Gay dance behind the Graces wreath'd with flowers,
Young Loves, and blooming Hopes, and bright-ey'd Hours;
The hills and vales their green array renew,
And all Elizium rises to the view ;
O’er ev'ry mead the breath of fragrance flows;
O’er ev'ry grove the blush of beauty glows.
Maya's rosy fingers now
Cull the fairest Howers that blow,
And ev'ry balmy sweet combine
To form the wreath divine,
And consecrate the gift at Nature's sacred shrine.
The mighty Mother, bending from her throne,
Receives the fragrant boon,
And bids it her refulgent brows infold,
And breathe perfume around her locks of gold.
Hence, Sadness then, with sullen brow,
And gloomy thoughts that feed on woe!
Hence Discontent's corroded breast,
With all Heav'ns blessings still unblest !
While hill, and dale, and stream supply,
Whate'er can charm the ear, or eye,
Scenes where enthusiast Fancy strays,
Lost in wild Rapture's magic maze,
Indulge the genial hour, and taste
The thousand sweets of Nature's feast.
Let Cheerfulness with golden ray
Beam ev'ry cloud of care away, Let warm Benevolence expand the mind, And Nature's kindness teach us to be kind.
The Fairy-tribes, as village legends say,
From silent haunts of dale, and hill,
And pebbled fount, and rush-clad rill,
And tangled copse, and forest hoar,
Where Winter winds have ceas'd to roar,
Now hold their yearly holy-day.
Featly o’er the hallow'd ground
On the nimble toe they bound,
Ever in a magic round,
With rites and honours due to celebrate the May.
Corydon will shew the place,
And their tiny footsteps trace,
Springing with a fresher green.
There in the secret shadowy glade,
When from yon mountain's azure head
The ling'ring gleams of parting day
Glimmer, faint, and fade away,
Sweet Philomel ! thou bid'st to flow
Thy musical, thy melting woe.
Suspended o'er the sparkling stream,
Where plays the pale Moon's ever-trembling beam,
Attention stands with mute surprise,
With folded arms, and half-clos's eyes,
And listens into ecstacies.
The sylvan Genius seems to guard the ground,
And all is soft enchantment round.
Hush'd is the hollow gale,
That lately whistled thro' the rustling woods ;
The shrill wild warblings dying down the dale,
With the rude murmur mix'd of falling floods,
At that still solemn hour
Seize on the sense, and with mysterious pow'r
Of artless plaintive modulation, lull
In sweet and silent ravishment the Soul.
Charm’d are the passions, harmoniz'd the mind,
Calm as the glassy seas, while sleeps the wind.
O’er-wearied Labour feels no more his toils :
Dew-ey'd Sorrow, rous'd to hear,
Wipes away the starting tear :
Woe-worn Melancholy smiles,
And grim Despair, that beat her madding breast,
Forgets awhile that she was e'er unblest.