Графични страници
PDF файл




And visionary monks. We in return
Receive Cantabrian steel and fleeces soft,
Segovian or Castilian, far renowned;
And gold's attractive metal, pledge of wealth,
Spur of activity, to good or ill
Powerful incentive; or Hesperian fruits,
Fruits of spontaneous growth, the citron bright,
The fig, and orange, and heart-cheering wine.

Those ships, from ocean broad, which voyage through
The gates of Hercules,' find many seas
And bays unnumbered opening to their keels:
But shores inhospitable oft, to fraud
And rapine turned, or dreary tracts become
Of desolation. The proud Roman coasts,
Fallen, like the Punic, to the dashing waves
Resign their ruins: Tiber's boasted flood,
Whose pompous moles o’erlooked the subject deep,
Now creeps along, through brakes and yellow dust,
While Neptune scarce perceives its murmuring rill:
Such are th' effects, when virtue slacks her hand;
Wild nature back returns: along these shores
Neglected Trade with difficulty toils,
Collecting slender stores, the sun-dried grape,
Or capers froin the rock, that prompt the tasto
Of luxury. Even Egypt's fertile strand,
Bereft of human discipline, has lost
Its ancient lustre: Alexandria's port,
Once the metropolis of trade, as Tyre,
And elder Sidon, as the Attic town,
Beautiful Athens, as rich Corinth, Rhodes,
Unhonoured droops. Of all the numerous marts,
That in those glittering seas with splendour rose,
Only Byzantium, of peculiar site,

1! Gates of Hercules :' the Straits of Gibraltar.


[ocr errors]


Remains in prosperous state; and Tripolis,
And Smyrna, sacred ever to the Muse.

To these resort the delegates of trade,
Social in life, a virtuous brotherhood;
And bales of softest wool from Bradford looins,
Or Stroud, dispense; yet see, with vain regret,
Their stores, once highly prized, no longer now
Or sought, or valued: copious webs arrive,
Smooth-woven of other than Britannia's fleece,
On the thronged strand alluring; the great skill
Of Gaul, and greater industry, prevails;
That proud imperious foe. Yet, ah— tis not
Wrong not the Gaul; it is the foe within,
Impairs our ancient mart: it is the bribe;
'Tis he who pours into the shops of trade
That impious poison: it is he who gains
The sacred seat of parliament by means
That vitiate and emasculate the mind;
By sloth, by lewd intemperance, and a scene
Of riot, worse than that which ruined Rome.
This, this the Tartar, and remote Chinese,
And all the brotherhood of life bewail.

Meantime (while those, who dare be just, oppose 100
The various powers of many-headed Vice,)
Ye delegates of trade, by patience rise
O’er difficulties: in this sultry clime
Note what is found of use: the flix of goat,
Red-wool, and balm, and coffee's berry brown,
Or dropping gum, or opium's lenient druy;
Unnumbered arts await them: trifles oft,
By skilful labour, rise to high esteem.
Nor what the peasant, nor some lucid wave,
Páctolus, Simois, or Meander slow,
Renowned in story, with his plough upturns,

110 112


Neglect; the hoary medal, and the vase,
Statue and bust, of old magnificence
Beautiful reliques: oh, could modern time
Restore the mimic art, and the clear mien
Of patriot sages, Walsinghams, and Yorkes,
And Cecils, in long-lasting stone preserve!
But mimic art and nature are impaired-
Impaired they seem-or in a varied dress
Delude our eyes; the world in change delights:
Change then your searches, with the varied modes
And wants of realms. Sabean frankincense

Rare is collected now: few altars smoke
Now in the idol fane: Panchaia views
Trade's busy fleets regardless pass her coast:
Nor frequent are the freights of snow-white woofs,
Since Rome, no more the mistress of the world,
Varies her garb, and treads her darkened streets
With gloomy cowl, majestical no more.

See the dark spirit of tyrannic power.
The Thracian channel, long the road of trade
To the deep Euxine and its naval streams,
And the Mæotis, now is barred with chains,
And forts of hostile battlement: in aught
That joys mankind the arbitrary Turk
Delights not: insolent of rule, he spreads
Thraldom and desolation o'er his realms.

Another path to Scythia's wide domains
Commerce discovers: the Livonian gulf
Receives her sails, and leads them to the port
Of rising Petersburg, whose splendid streets
Swell with the webs of Leeds: the Cossack there,
The Calmuc, and Mongolian, round the bales
In crowds resort, and their warmed limbe enfold,
Delighted; and the hardy Samoid,


140 147


Rough with the stings of frost, from his dark caves
Ascends, and thither hastes, ere winter's rage
O’ertake his homeward step; and they that dwell
Along the banks of Don's and Volga's streams;
And borderers of the Caspian, who renew
That ancient path to India's climes, which filled
With proudest affluence the Colchian state.

Many have been the ways to those renowned
Luxuriant climes of Indus, early known
To Memphis; to the port of wealthy Tyre;
To Tadmor, beauty of the wilderness,
Who down the long Euphrates sent her sails;
And sacred Salem, when her numerous fleets,
From Ezion-geber, passed the Arabian gulf.

But later times, more fortunate, have found,
O'er ocean's open wave a surer course,
Sailing the western coast of Afric's realms,
Of Mauritania, and Nigritian tracts,
And islands of the Gorgades, the bounds,
On the Atlantic brine, of ancient trade;
But not of modern, by the virtue led
Of Gama and Columbus. The whole globe
Is now of commerce made the scene immense,
Which daring ships frequent, associated,
Like doves, or swallows, in th' ethereal flood,
Or, like the eagle, solitary seen.

Some, with more open course, to Indus steer;
Some coast from port to port, with various men
And manners conversant; of the angry surge,
That thunders loud, and spreads the cliffs with foam,
Regardless, or the monsters of the deep,
Porpoise, or yrampus, or the ravenous shark,
That chase their keels; or threatening rock o'erhead
Of Atlas old; beneath the threatening rocks,

170 190

Reckless, they furl their sails, and bartering take 180
Soft flakes of wool; for in soft flakes of wool,
Like the Silurian, Atlas' dales abound.

The shores of Sus inhospitable rise,
And high Bojador; Zara too displays
Unfruitful deserts; Gambia's wave in-isles
An oozy coast, and pestilential ills
Diffuses wide; behind are burning sands,
Adverse to life, and Nilus' hidden fount.

On Guinea's sultry strand, the drapery lighi
Of Manchester or Norwich is bestowed
For clear transparent gums and ductile wax
And snow-white ivory; yet the valued trade,
Along this barbarous coast, in telling wounds
The generous heart, the sale of wretched slaves;
Slaves by their tribes condemned, exchanging death
For life-long servitude; severe exchange!
These till our fertile colonies, which yield
The sugar-cane, and the Tobago-leaf,
And various new productions, that invite
Increasing navies to their crowded wharfs.

But let the man, whose rough tempestuous hours In this adventurous traffic are involved, With just humanity of heart pursue The gainful commerce: wickedness is blind: Their sable chieftains may in future times Burst their frail bonds, and vengeance execute On cruel unrelenting pride of heart And avarice. There are ills to come of crimes.

Hot Guinea too gives yellow dust of gold, Which, with her rivers, rolls adown the sides Of unknown hills, where fiery-winged winds, And sandy deserts roused by sudden storms, All search forbid: howe'er, on either hand



« ПредишнаНапред »