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Those which are gathered in the fields of Clun:
High Cotswold also ʼmong the shepherd swairis
Is oft remembered, though the greedy plough
Preys on its carpet: he, whose rustic Muse
O’er heath and craggy holt her wing displayed,
And sung the bosky bourns of Alfred's shrines,
Has favoured Cotswold with luxuriant praise.
Need we the levels green of Lincoln note,
Or rich Leicestria's marly plains, for length
Of whitest locks and magnitude of fleece
Peculiar, envy of the neighbouring realms?
But why recount our grassy lawns alone,
While even the tillage of our cultured plains,
With bossy turnip, and luxuriant cole,
Learns through the circling year their flocks to feed ?
Ingenious trade, to clothe the naked world,
Her soft materials, not from sheep alone,
From various animals, reeds, trees, and stones,
Collects sagacious: in Eubea's isle
A wondrous rock 2 is found, of which are woven
Vests incombustible: Batavia, flax;
Siam's warm marish yields the fissile cane;
Soft Persia, silk; Balasor's shady hills,
Tough bark of trees; Peruvian Pito, grass;
And every sultry clime the snowy down
Of cotton, bursting from its stubborn shell
To gleam amid the verdure of the grove.
With glossy hair of Thibet's shagged goat
Are light tiaras woven, that wreath the head,
And airy float behind: the beaver's flix
Gives kindliest warmth to weak enervate limbs,
When the pale blood slow rises through the veins.
Still shall o'er all prevail the shepherd's stores,
· Drayton.-3. A wondrous rock :' the Asbestos.
For numerous uses known: none yield such warmth,
Such beauteous hues receive, so long endure;
So pliant to the loom, so various, none.
Wild rove the flocks, no burdening fleece they
In fervid climes: Nature gives naught in vain.
Carmenian wool on the broad tail alone
Resplendent swells, enormous in its growth:
As the sleek ram from green to green removes,
On aiding wheels his heavy pride he draws,
And glad resigns it for the hatter's use.
Even in the new Columbian world appears
The woolly covering: Apacheria’s glades,
And Canses',' echo to the pipes and flocks
Of foreign swains. While Time shakes down his sands,
And works continual change, be none secure:
Quicken your labours, brace your slackening nerves,
Ye Britons; nor sleep careless on the lap
Of bounteous Nature; she is elsewhere kind.
See Mississippi lengthen-on her lawns,
Propitious to the shepherds: see the sheep 2
Of fertile Arica, 3.like camels formed,
Which bear huge burdens to the sea-beat shore,
And shine with fleeces soft as feathery down.
Coarse Bothnic locks are not devoid of use;
They clothe the mountain carl, or mariner
Lab'ring at the wet shrouds, or stubborn helm,
While the loud billows dash the groaning deck.
All may not Stroud's or Taunton's vestures wear;
Nor what, from fleece Rataan,4 mimic flower
Of rich Damascus: many a texture bright
Of that material in Prætorium 1 woven,
441 Or in Norvicum,2 cheats the curious eye. If
any wool peculiar to our isle Is given by Nature, 'tis the comber's lock, The soft, the snow-white, and the long-grown flake. Hither be turned the public's wakeful eye, This golden fleece to guard with strictest watch From the dark hand of pilfering avarice, Who, like a spectre, haunts the midnight hour When Nature wide around him lies supine And silent, in the tangles soft involved Of death-like sleep: he then the moment marks, While the pale moon illumes the trembling tide, Speedy to lift the canvas, bend the oar, And waft his thefts to the perfidious foe.
Happy the patriot, who can teach the means To check his frauds, and yet untroubled leave Trade's
channels. Would a generous aid To honest toil, in Cambria's hilly tracts, Or where the Lunes or Coker4 wind their streams, Be found sufficient? Far, their airy fields, Far from infectious luxury arise. O might their mazy dales, and mountain sides, With copious fleeces of Ierne shine, And gulfy Caledonia, wisely bent On wealthy fisheries and flaxen webs! Then would the sister realms amid their seas, Like the three Graces in harmonious fold, By mutual aid enhance their various charms, And bless remotest climes To this loved end 470 Awake, Benevolence; to this loved end, Strain all thy nerves, and every thought explore.
Far, far away, whose passions would immure,
your own little hearts, the joys of life;
(Ye worms of pride) for your repast alone,
Who claim all Nature's stores, woods, waters, mcads,
All her profusion; whose vile hands would grasp
The peasant's scantling, the weak widow's mite,
And in the sepulchre of self entomb
Whate'er ye can, whate'er ye cannot use.
Know, for superior ends th' Almighty Power
(The Power, whose tender arms embrace the worm)
Breathes o'er the foodful earth the breath of life,
And forms us manifold; allots to each
His fair peculiar; wisdom, wit, and strength;
Wisdom, and wit, and strength, in sweet accord,
To aid, to cheer, to counsel, to protect,
And twist the mighty bond. Thus feeble man,
With man united, is a nation strong;
Builds towery cities, satiates every want,
And makes the seas profound, and forests wild,
The gardens of his joys. Man, each man's born
For the high business of the public good.
For me, 'tis time to pray that men regard
Their occupations with an honest heart,
And cheerful diligence: like the useful bee,
To gather for the hive not sweets alone,
But wax, and each material; pleased to find
Whate'er may soothe distress, and raise the fallen
In life's rough race: oh be it as my wish!
'Tis mine to teach th' inactive hand to reap
Kind Nature's bounties, o'er the globe diffused.
For this I wake the weary hours of rest;
With this desire the merchant I attend;
By this impelled the shepherd's hut I seek,
And, as he tends his flock, his lectures hear
Attentive, pleased with pure simplicity,
And rules divulged beneficent to sheep:
Or turn the compass o'er the painted chart,
To mark the ways of traffic; Volga’s' stream,
Cold Hudson's cloudy straits, warm Afric's cape,
Latium's firm roads, the Ptoleniean fosse,
And China's long canals; those noble works,
Those high effects of civilising trade,
Employ me, sedulous of public weal:
Yet not unmindful of my sacred charge;
Thus also mindful, thus devising good,
At vacant seasons, oft: when evening mild
Purples the valleys, and the shepherd counts
His flock, returning to the quiet fold,
With dumb complacence: for religion, this,
To give our every comfort to distress,
And follow virtue with an humble mind;
This pure religion. Thus, in elder time,
The reverend Blasius wore his leisure hours,
And slumbers, broken oft: till, filled at length
With inspiration, after various thought,
And trials manifold, his well-known voice
Gathered the poor, and o'er Vulcanian stoves,
With tepid lees of oil, and spiky comb,
Showed how the fleece might stretch to greater length,
And cast a glossier whiteness. Wheels went round;
Matrons and maids with songs relieved their toils;
And every loom received the softer yarn.
What poor, what widow, Blasius, did not bless,
Thy teaching hand ? thy bosom, like the morn,
Opening its wealth? What nation did not seek,
Of thy new-modell’d wool the curious webs?
Hence the glad cities of the loom his name