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With food as well the peasant is supply'd
On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelry fide ;
And though the rocky crested summits frown,
These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down.
From art more various are the blessings fent ;
Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content.
Yet these each other's pow'r so strong contest,
That either seems destructive of the rest.
Where wealth and freedom reign contentment fails,
And honour finks where commerce long prevails.
Hence ev'ry state to one lov'd blessing prone,
Conforms and models life to that alone. .
Each to the fav'rite happiness attends,
And spurns the plan that aims at other ends;
'Till, carried to excess in each domain,
This fav'rite good begets peculiar pain.
But let us view these truths with closer eyes, And trace them through the prospect as it lies ; Here for a while my proper cares resign’d, Here let me fit in sorrow for mankind, Like yon neglected shrub at random cast, That shades the steep, and fighs at ev'ry blast.
Far to the right where Appennine ascends, Bright as the summer, Italy extends ; Its uplands Noping deck the mountain's fide, Woods over woods in gay theatric pride ; While oft some temple's mould'ring top between, With venerable grandeur marks the scene.
Could nature's bounty satisfy the breast, The sons of Italy were surely blest. Whatever fruits in different climes were found, That proudly rife, or humbly court the ground Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear, Whose bright succession decks the varied year ; Whatever sweets salute the northern sky With vernal lives that blossom but to die ;
These here disporting own the kindred foil,
Nor aík luxuriance from the planter's toil ;
While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand
To winnow fragrance round the smiling land.
But small the bliss that sense alone beftows, And sensual bliss is all this nation knows. In florid beauty groves and fields appear, Man feems the only growth that dwindles here. Contrafted faults through all his manners reign, Though poor, luxurious, though submissive, vain, Though grave, yet trifling, zealous, yet untrue, And ev'n in penance planning fins anew, All evils here contaminate the mind, That opulence departed leaves behind ; For wealth was theirs, not far remov'd the date, When commerce proudly flourish'd through the flate; At her command the palace learn’d to rife, Again the long-fall'n column sought the fkies ; The canvass glow'd beyond e'en Nature warm, The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form. Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, Commerce on other shores display'd her fail : While sought remain'd of all that riches gave, But towns upman'd, and lords without a llave : And late the nation found with fruitless skill Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
Yet still the loss of wealth is here supplied
By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride :
From these the feeble heart and long-fallen mind
An easy compenfarion seem to find.
Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd,
The paste-board triumph and the cavalcade ;
Processions form’d for piety and love,
A mistress or a saint in ev'ry grove.
By like these are all their cares beguild,
The sports of children fatisfy the child ;
Each nobler aim repreft by long controul,
Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul ;
While low delights, succeeding faft behind,
In happier meannels occupy the mind :
As in those domes, where Cæsars once bore sway,
Defac'd by time and tott'ring in decay,
There in the ruin, heedless of the dead,
The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed,
And, wond'ring man could want a larger pile,
Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile.
My foulturn from them, tura we to survey, Where rougher climes a nobler race display, Where the bleak Swiss their stormy inansions tread, And force a churlish foil for scanty bread: No product here the barren hills afford, But man and Iteel, the soldier and his sword. No vernal bloome their torpid rocks array, But winter ling'ring chills the lap of May; No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast, But meteors glare, and formy glooms inveft.
Yet still, ev'n here, content can spread a charm, Redress the clime, and all its
Though poor the peasants hut, his feasts though fmall,
He sees his little lot the lot of all;
Sees no contiguous palace rear its head
To shame the meanness of his humble shed;
No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal
To make him loath his vegetable meal ;
But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil,
Each wish contracting, fits him to the foil.
Chearful at morn he wakes from short repose,
Breathe the keen air, and carols as he
With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
Or drives his vent'rous plough-share to the steep;
Or feeks the den where snow-tracts mark the way,
And drags the struggling favage into day,
At night returning, ev'ry labour sped,
He fits him down the monarch of a shed ;
Smiles by his chearful fire, and round surveys
His childrens looks, that brighten at the blaze ;
While his lov'd partner, boaitful of her hoard,
Displays her cleanly platter on the board :
And haply too fome pilgrim, thither led,
With many a tale repays the nightly bed.
Thus ev'ry good his native wilds impart,
Imprints the patriot paffion on his heart,
And ev'n those hills, that round his manfion rife,
Enhance the bliss. his scanty fund supplies.
Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms,
And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms ;
And as a child, when scaring sounds moleft,
Clings close 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 states assign’d;
Their pants but few, their wishes all confin'd.
Yet let them only share the praises duc,
If few their wants, their pleasures are but few
For ev'ry want that dimulates the breast,
Becomes a source of pleasure when redréft.
Whence from such lands each pleasing science fies,
That first excites defire, and then supplies;
Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy,
To fill the languid pause with finer joy i
Unknown those pow'rs that raise the soul to flame,
Catch ev'ry nerve, and vibrate through the frame.
Their level life is but a mould ring fire,
Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire;
Unfit for raptures, or, if raptures cheer
On fome high festival of once a year,
In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire,
Till buried in debauch, the bliss expire.
But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow :
Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low,
For, as reinement Itops, from fire to fon,
Unalter'd, unimprove their manners run,
And love's and friendihip's finely pointed dart
Falls blunted from each indurated heart.
Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast
May fit, like falcons cow'ring on the nelt;
But all the gentler morals, such as play
Through life's more cultur’d walks, and charm the
These far dispers’d on timorous pinions fly,
To iport and flutter in a kinder sky.
To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
I turn; and France displays her bright domain.
Gay sprightly land of mirth and social eafe,
Pleasd with thyself, whom all the world can please,
How often have I led thy sportive choir,
With tuneless pipe, beside the murmuring Loire ?
Where Thading elms along the margin grew,
And freshen'd from the wave the zephyr flew;
And haply, though my liarsh touch falt'ring still,
But mock'd all tune, and marr'd the dancer's tkill;
Yet would the village praise my wond'rous 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 skill'd in gestic lore,
Has frisk'd beneath the burtlien of threescore.
So blest a life these thoughtless realms display,
Tbus idly busy rolls their world away:
Theirs are thole arts that mind to miuid endcar,
For honour forins the social tamper here...,
Honour, that praise which real merit gains,
Or ev'n imaginary worth obtains,
Here países currect; paid from hand to hand,
It shifts in fplendid traffic round the land ;