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Then forests, or the savage rock, may please, That hides the sea-mew in his hollow clefts Above the reach of man. His hoary head, Conspicuous many a league, the mariner Bound homeward, and in hope already there, Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist A girdle of half-withered shrubs he shows, And at his feet the baffled billows die. The common, overgrown with fern, and rough With prickly gorfe, that shapeless and deformed And dangerous to the touch, has yet its bloom, And decks itself with ornaments of gold, Yields no unpleasing ramble; there the turf Smells fresh, and rich in odoriferous herbs And fungous fruits of earth, regales the sense With luxury of unexpected sweets.
There often wanders one, whom better days Saw better clad, in cloak of satin trimmed With lace, and hat with splendid ribband bound. A serving maid was she, and fell in love With one who left her, went to sea, and died. Her fancy followed him through foaming waves To distant shores; and she would fit and weep
At what a failor suffers; fancy too
I see a column of Now rising smoke
Or vermin, or at best of cock purloined
Beguile their woes, and make the woods resound.
Blest he, though undistinguished from the crowd By wealth or dignity, who dwells secure, Where man, by nature fierce, has laid afide His fierceness, having learnt, though flow to learn, The manners and the arts of civil life. His wants indeed are many; but supply Is obvious, placed within the easy reach Of temperate wishes and industrious hands. Here virtue thrives as in her proper soil; Not rude and surly, and beset with thorns, And terrible to fight, as when she springs (If ever she spring spontaneous) in remote And barbarous climes, where violence prevails, And strength is lord of all; but gentle, kind, By culture tamed, by liberty refreshed, And all her fruits by radiant truth matured.
War and the chase engross the savage whole; War followed for revenge, or to supplant The envied tenants of some happier spot: The chase for sustenance, precarious trust! His hard condition with severe constraint Binds all his faculties, forbids all growth Of wisdom, proves a school, in which he learns Sly circumvention, unrelenting bate, Mean self-attachment, and scarce aught befide. Thus fare the shivering natives of the north, And thus the rangers of the western world, Where it advances far into the deep,
Towards the Antarctic. Even the favoured isles So lately found, although the constant sun Cheer all their seasons with a grateful smile, Can boast but little virtue; and inert Through plenty, lose in morals what they gain In manners-victims of luxurious ease. These therefore I can pity, placed remote From all, that science traces, art invents, Or inspiration teaches; and enclosed In boundless oceans, never to be passed. By navigators uninformed as they, ,