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Sometimes, with early morn, he mounted gay Successive had ; but now in ruins grey
LE Sometimes, retiring to the secret vale,
To crown his toils, sir Industry then spread Yclad in steel, and bright with burnish'd mail, The swelling sail, and made for Britain's coast. He strain'd the bow, or toss'd the sounding spear, A sylvan life till then the natives led, Or darting on the goal outstripp'd the gale, In the brown shades and green-wood forest lost,
Or wheeld the chariot in its mid career, (peer. All careless rambling where it lik'd them most : Or strenuous wrestled hard with many a tough com- Their wealth the wild-deer bouncing through the
glade ; At other times he pry'd through Nature's store, They lodg'd at large, and liv'd at Nature's cost; Whate'er she in th' ethereal round contains, Save spear, and bow, withouten other aid ; Whate'er she hides beneath her verdant floor, Yet not the Roman steel their naked breast dis The vegetable and the mineral reigns: (mains,
may'd Or else he scann'd the globe, those small doWhere restless mortals such a turmoil keep,
He lik'd the soil, he lik'd the clement skies, Its seas, its floods, its mountains, and its plains; He lik'd the verdant hills and flowery plains But more he search'd the mind, and rous'd from “ Be this my great, my chosen isle," he cries, sleep
“ This, whilst my labours Liberty sustains, Those moral seeds whence we heroic actions reap. This queen of Ocean all assault disdains."
Nor lik'd he less the genius of the land,
And oft he put himself to Neptune's school, Whatever finish'd Agriculture knows, Fighting with winds and waves on the vext ocean Fair queen of arts ! from Heaven itself who came pool.
When Eden flourished in unspotted fame :
And still with her sweet Innocence we find, To solace then these rougher toils, he try'd And tender Peace, and joys without a naine, To touch the kindling canvass into life ;
That, while they ravish, tranquillize the mind : With Nature his creating pencil vy'd,
Nature and Art, at once, delight and use com. With Nature joyous at the mimic strife :
bin'd. Or, to such shapes as grac'd Pygmalion's wife, He hew'd the marble ; or, with varied fire,
The towns he quicken’d by mechanic arts, He rous'd the trumpet and the martial fife, And bade the fervent city glow with toil;
Or bade the lute sweet tenderness inspire, (lyre. Bade social Commerce raise renowned marts, Qr verses fram'd that well might wake Apollo's Join land to land, and marry soil to soil,
Unite the Poles, and, without bloody spoil, Accomplish'd thus he from the woods issued, Bring home of either Ind the gorgeous stores ; Full of great aims, and bent on bold emprize; Or, should despotic rage the world embroil
, The work, which long he in his breast had brew'd, Bade tyrants tremble on remotest shores, roars Now to perform he ardent did devise ;
While o'er th’ encircling deep Britannia’s thunder To wit, a barbarous world to civilize. Earth was till then a boundless forest wild ; The drooping Muses then he westward called, Nought to be seen but savage wood, and skies ; From the fam'd city by Propontic sea, No cities nourish'd arts, no culture smil'd,
What time the Turk th' enfeebled Grecian No government, no laws, no gentle manners mild.
Thence from their cloister'd walks he set them A rugged wight, the worst of brutes, was man ;
free, On his own wretched kind he, ruthless, prey'd : And brought them to another Castalie, The strongest still the weakest over-ran;
Where Isis many a famous noursling breeds ; In every country mighty robbers sway'd,
Or where old Cam soft-paces o'er the lea And guile and ruffian force were all their trade. In pensive mood, and tunes his Doric reals, Life was a scene of rapine, want, and woe; The whilst his flocks at large the lonely shepherd Which this brave knight, in noble anger, made
feeds. To swear, he would the rascal rout o'erthrow, Por, by the powers divine, it should no more be so ! Yet the fine arts were what he finish'd least.
For why? They are the quintessence of all, It would exceed the purport of my song,
The growth of labouring time, and slow increast ; To say how this best Sun from orient climes Unless, as seldom chances, it should fall, Came beaming life and beauty all along,
That mighty patrons the coy sisters call Before him chasing indolence and crimes.
Up to the sun-shine of uncumber'd ease, Still as he pass'd, the nations he sublimes,
Where no rude care the mounting thought may ; And calls forth arts and virtues with his ray : And where they nothing have to do but please; Then Egypt, Greece, and Rome, their golden Ah! gracious God: thou know'st they ask no others times,
But now, alas! we live too late in time :
Of public virtue much he dull'd the sense, Our patrons now ev'n grudge that little claim, Ev'n much of private ; ate our spirit out, Except to such as sleek the soothing rhyme; And fed our rank luxurious vices: whence And yet, forsooth, they wear Mæcenas' name, The land was overlaid with many a lout; Poor sons of puft-up vanity, not fame.
Not as old Fame reports, wise, generous, bold, and
While she protects, inspires the noblest strains. A rage of pleasure madden'd every breast,
To his licentious wish each must be blest,
Thus Vice the standard rear'd; her arrier-ban In which the sovereign laws alone command, Corruption call’d, and loud she gave the word, Laws 'stablish'd by the public free consent, “ Mind, mind yourselves! why should the vulgar Whose majesty is to the sceptre lent;
man, When this great plan, with each dependent art, The lacquey, be more virtuous than his lord ? Was settled firm, and to his heart's content, Enjoy this span of life! 'tis all the gods afford."
Then sought he from the toilsome scene to part, And let life's vacant eve breathe quiet through the The tidings reach'd to where, in quiet hall, heart.
The good old knight enjoy'd well-earn'd repose.
“ Come, come, sir Knight! thy children on thee For this he chose a farm in Deva's vale, Where his long alleys peep'd upon the main. Come, save us yet, ere ruin round us close ! In this calm seat he drew the healthful gale, The demon Indolence thy toils o'erthrows." Here mix'd the chief, the patriot, and the swain. On this the noble colour stain's his cheeks, The happy monarch of his sylvan train,
Indignant, glowing through the whitening snows Here, sided by the guardians of the fold,
Of venerable eld; his eye full speaks He walk'd his rounds, and cheer'd his blest His ardent soul, and from his couch at once he domain!
breaks. His days, the days of unstain'd nature, rollid, Replete with peace and joy, like patriarchs of old. “ I will,” he cry'd, “ so help me God! destroy
That villain Archimage. His page then Witness, ye lowing berds, who gave him milk;
straight Witness, ye flocks, whose woolly vestments far He to him call’d, a fiery-footed boy, Exceed soft India's cotton, or her silk;
Benempt Dispatch. My steed be at the gate; Witness, with autumn charg'd, the nodding car, My bard attend; quick, bring the net of Fate." That homeward came beneath sweet evening's This net was twisted by the sisters three ; (late star,
Which when once cast o'er harden'd wretch, too Or of September moons the radiance mild.
Repentance comes; replevy cannot be 0, hide thy head, abominable War!
From the strong iron grasp of vengeful Destiny. Of crimes and ruffian-idleness the child From Heaven this life ysprung, from Hell thy glories He came, the bard, a little druid-wight, vild!
Of wither'd aspect ; but his eye was keen,
With sweetness mix’d. In russet brown bedight, Nor from this deep retirenient banish'd was As is his sister of the copses green, Th' amusing care of rural industry.
He crept along, unpromising of mien. Still as with grateful change the seasons pass, Gross he who judges so.
His soul was fair, New scenes arise, new landskips strike the eye, Bright as the children of yon azure sheen. And all th' enliven'd country beautify:
True comeliness, which nothing can impair, Gay plains extend where marshes slept before ; Dwells in the mind : all else is vanity and glare. O'er recent meads th' exulting streamlets fly; Dark frowning heaths grow bright with Ceres' “ Come,” quoth the knight, “ a voice has reach'd store,
mine ear : And woods imbrown the steep, or wave along the The demon Indolence threats overthrow
To all that to mankind is good and dear : As nearer to his farm you made approach,
Come, Philomelus; let us instant go, He polish'd nature with a finer hand :
O’erturn his bowers, and lay his castle low. Yet on her beauties durst not art incroach ;
Those men, those wretched men ! who will be T'is art's alone these beauties to expand.
slaves, In graceful dance immingled, o'er the land, Must drink a bitter wrathful cup of woe : Pan, Paleas, Flora, and Pomona play'd
But some there be, thy song, as from their graves, Here too brisk gales the rude wild common fann's Shall raise. Thrice happy he! who without rigour
An happy place; where free, and unafraid, Amid the flowering brakes each coyer creature stray'd
Issuing forth, the knight bestrode his steed,
Of ardent bay, and on whose front a star (breed Bat in prime vigour what can last for ay ? Shone blazing bright: sprung from the generous That soul-enfeebling wizard Indolence,
That whirl of active day the rapid car,
* The nightingale.
Ho pranc'd along, disdaining gate or bar. Elate in thought, he counted them his own,
But they instead, as if transmew'd to stone, His meditations, but full softly trode ;
Marvell’d he could with such sweet art unite And much they moralis'd as thus yfere they yode. The lights and shades of manners, wrong and
right. They talk'd of virtue, and of human bliss. Meantime, the silly crowd the charm devour, What else so fit for man to settle well ?
Wide pressing to the gate. Swift on the knight And still their long researches met in this, He darted fierce, to drag him to his bower, This truth of truths, which nothing can refel: Who backening shunn'd his touch, for well he knew “ From virtue's fount the purest joys out-well,
its power. Sweet rills of thought that cheer the conscious soul;
(Hell, As in throng'd amphitheatre, of old, While vice. pours forth the troubled streams of The wary Retiarius trapp'd his foe;
The which, howe'er disguis'd, at last with dole Ev'n so the knight, returning on him bold, Will, through the tortur'd breast, their fiery torrent At once involv'd him in the net of woe, roll."
Whereof I mention made not long ago
Inrag'd at first, he scorn'd so weak a jail, At length it dawn'd, that fatal valley gay, (rear. And leapt, and few, and flounced to and fro; O'er which high wood-crown'd hills their summits But when he found that nothing could avail, On the cool height awhile our palmers stay, He set him felly down and gnaw'd his bitter nail And spite ev'n of themselves their senses cheer ; Then to the wizard's wonne their steps they steer. Alarm'd, th' inferior demons of the place Like a green isle, it broad beneath them spred, Rais'd rueful shrieks and hideous yells around; With gardens round, and wandering currents clear, Black stormy clouds deform’d the welkin's face,
And tufted groves to shade the meadow bed, And from beneath was heard a wailing sound, Sweet airs and song; and without hurry all seem'd As of infernal sprites in cavern bound; glad.
A solemn sadness every creature strook,
And lightnings flash'd, and horrour rock'd the “ As God shall judge me, knight, we must for
Huge crowds on crowds out-pour'd, with blemish'd (The half-enraptur'd Philomelus cry:d) As if on time's last verge this frame of things had “ The frail good man deluded here to live,
shook. And in these groves his musing fancy hide. Ah! nought is pure. It cannot be deny'd,
Soon as the short-liv'd tempest was yspent, That virtue still some tincture has of vice,
Steam'd from the jaws of vex'd Avernus' hole, And vice of virtue. What should then betide And hush'd the hubbub of the rabblement, But that our charity be not too nice ?
Sir Industry the first calm moment stole. Come, let us those we can to real bliss entice.” “ There must,” he cry'd, “amidst so rast a shoal,
Be some who are not tainted at the heart, “Ay, sicker," quoth the knight, “all flesh is frail, Not poison'd quite by this same villain's bowl: To pleasant sin and joyous dalliance bent;
Come then, my bard, thy heavenly fire impart; But let not brutish vice of this avail,
Touch soul with soul, till forth the latent spirit start." And think to 'scape deserved punishment. Justice were cruel weakly to relent ;
The bard obey'd ; and taking from his side, From Mercy's self she got her sacred glaive; Where it in seemly sort depending hung, Grace be to those who can, and will, repent; His British harp, its speaking strings he try'd, But penance long, and dreary, to the slave,
The which with skilful touch he deftly strung, Who must in floods of fire his gross foul spirit lave.” Till tinkling in clear symphony they rung.
Then, as he felt the Muses come along, Thus, holding high discourse, they came to where Light o'er the chords his raptur'd hand he flung, The cursed carle was at his wonted trade;
And play'd a prelude to his rising song:
“ Ye helpless race, His countenance fell; yet oft his anxious eye Dire-labouring here to smother reason's ray, Mark'd them, like wily fox who roosted cock doth That lights our Maker's image in our face, spy
And gives us wide o'er Earth unquestion'd sway;
What is th' ador'd Supreme Perfection, say? Nathless, with feign'd respect, he bade give back What, but eternal never-resting soul, The rabble-rout, and welcom'd them full kind; Almighty power, and all-directing day; Struck with the noble twain, they were not slack By whom each atom stirs, the planets roll; His orders to obey, and fall behind.
Who fills, surrounds, informs, and agitates the whole. Then he resum'd his song; and unconfin'd, Pour'd all his music, ran through all his strings : “ Come, to the beaming God your hearts unfold! With magic dust their eyne he tries to blind, Draw from its fountain
life ! 'tis thence, alone, And virtue's tender airs o'er weakness flings. We can excel. Up from unfeeling mould, What pity base his song who so divinely sings! To.seraphs burning round th' Almighty's throne,
Life rising still on life, in higher tone,
“ Ah! what avail the largest gifts of Heaven, Perfection forms, and with perfection bliss, When drooping health and spirits go amiss ? In universal nature this clear shown,
How tasteless then whatever can be given ! Nor needeth proof; to prove it were, I wis, Health is the vital principle of bliss, To prove the beauteous world excels the brute And exercise of health. In proof of this, abyss.
Behold the wretch, who slugs his life away,
Soon swallow'd in disease's sad abyss; “ Is not the field, with lively culture green, While he whom toil has brac'd, or manly play, A sight more joyous than the dead morass ? Has light as air each limb, each thought as clear as Do not the skies, with active ether clean,
day. And fann'd by sprightly zephyrs, far surpass The foul November fogs, and slumberous mass, “ O, who can speak the vigorous joy of health ? With which sad Nature veils her drooping face? Unclogg'd the body, unobscur'd the mind : Does not the mountain-stream, as clear as glass, The morning rises gay, with pleasing stealth, Gay dancing on, the putrid pool disgrace ? The temperate evening falls serene and kind. The same in all holds true, but chief in human In health the wiser brutes trye gladness find.
See! how the younglings frisk along the meads,
As May comes on, and wakes the balmy wind; “ It was not by vile loitering in ease
Rampant with life, their joy all joy exceeds : That Greece obtain’d the brighter palm of art, Yet what but high-strung bealth this dancing please That soft yet ardent Athens learnt to please,
saunce breeds? To keen the wit, and to sublime the heart, In all supreme ! complete in every part !
“ But here, instead, is foster'd every ill, It was not thence majestic Rome arose,
Which or distemper'd minds or bodies know. And o'er the nations shook her conquering dart : Come then, my kindred spirits ! do not spill For sluggard's brow the laurel never grows;
Your talents here. This place is but a show, Renown is not the child of indolent repose.
Whose charms delude you to the den of woe :
Come, follow me, I will direct you right, “ Had unambitious mortals minded nought, Where pleasure's roses, void of serpents, grow, But in loose joy their time to wear away ;
Sincere as sweet ; come, follow this good knight, Had they alone the lap of dalliance sought, And you will bless the duy that brought him to your Pleas'd on her pillow their dull heads to lay,
sight. Rude Nature's state had been our state to-day ;
(camps ; No cities e'er their towery fronts had rais'd, “ Some he will lead to courts, and some to No arts had made us opulent and gay;
To senates some, and public sage debates, With brother-brutes the human race had graz'd; Where, by the solemn gleam of midnight-lamps, None e'er had soar'd to fame, none honour'd been, The world is pois'd, and manag'd mighty states; none prais'd.
To high discovery some, that new-creates
The face of Earth ; some to the thriving mart; * Great Homer's song had never fir'd the breast Some to the rural reign, and softer fates ; To thirst of glory, and heroic deeds ;
To the sweet Muses some, who raise the heart; Sweet Maro's Muse, sunk in inglorious rest, All glory shall be yours, all nature, and all art. Had silent slept amid the Mincian reeds: The wits of modern time had told their beads, “ There are, I see, who listen to my lay, And monkish legions been their only strains; Who wretched sigh for virtue, but despair. Our Milton's Eden had lain wrapt in weeds, • All may be done,' methinks I hear them say, Our Shakspeare strollid and laugh'd with War- • Ev'n death despis'd by generous actions fair ; wick swains,
All, but for those who to these bowers repair, Ne had my master Spenser charmd his Mulla's Their every power dissolv'd in luxury, plains.
To quit of torpid sluggishness the lair,
And from the powerful arms of sloth get free. “ Dumb too had been the sage historic Muse, 1 'Tis rising from the dead :- Alas !_it cannot be !" And perish'd all the sons of ancient fame; Those starry lights of virtue, that diffuse
“ Would you then learn to dissipate the band Through the dark depth of time their vivid dame, Of these huge threatening difficulties dire, Had all been lost with such as have no name. That in the weak man's way like lions stand, Who then had scorn'd his ease for others' good ? His soul appall, and damp his rising fire ? Who then had toild rapacious men to tame? Resolve, resolve, and to be men aspire. Who in the public breach devoted stood,
Exert that noblest privilege, alone, And for his country's cause been prodigal of blood ? Here to mankind indulg'd: controul desire :
Let godlike Reason, from her sovereign throne, " But should your hearts to fame unfeeling be, Speak the commanding word — I will — and it is If right I read, your pleasure all require :
done. Then hear how best may be obtain'd this fee, How best enjoy'd this nature's wide desire. “ Heavens! can you then thus waste, in shameToil, and be glad ! let Industry inspire
ful wise, Into your quicken'd limbs her buoyant breath! Your few important days of tryal here? Who does not act is dead; absorpt entire
Heirs of eternity! yborn to rise In miry sloth, no pride, no joy he hath :
Through endless states of being, still more near O leaden-hearted men, to be in love with death! To bliss approaching, and perfection clear,
Can you renounce a fortune so sublime,
“ O, Heaven!" they cry'd, “ and do we once Such glorious hopes, your backward steps to steer,
And roll, with vilest brutes, thro' mud and slime? Yon blessed Sun, and this green Earth so fair? No! no ! - Your heaven-touch'd heart disdains the Are we from noisome damps of pest-house free? sordid crime!”
And drink our souls the sweet ethereal air?
0, thou! or knight, or god! who holdest there “ Enough! enough!" they cry'd - straight from That fiend, oh, keep him in eternal chains ! the crowd
But what for us, the children of despair, The better sort on wings of transport fly:
Brought to the brink of Hell, what hope remains ? As when amid the lifeless summits proud Repentance does itself but aggravate our pains." Of Alpine cliffs, where to the gelid sky Snows pil'd on snows in wintery torpour lie, The gentle knight, who saw their rueful case, The rays divine of vernal Phæbus play ;
Let fall adown his silver beard some tears. Th'awaken'd heaps, in streamlets from on high, “ Certes,” quoth he, “it is not ev'n in grace,
Rous'd into action, lively leap away, (gay. T undo the past, and eke your broken years: Glad warbling through the vales, in their new being Nathless, to nobler worlds Repentance rears,
With humble hope, her eye; to her is given Not less the life, the vivid joy serene,
A power the truly contrite heart that cheers; That lighted up these new-created men,
She quells the brand by which the rocks are riven; Than that which wings th' exulting spirit clean, She more than merely softens, she rejoices Heaven. When, just deliver'd from his fleshly den, It soaring seeks its native skies agen:
“ Then patient bear the sufferings you have earn'd, How light its essence ! how unclogg'd its powers, And by these sufferings purify the mind; Beyond the blazon of my mortal pen!
Let wisdom be by past misconduct learn'd: Ev'n so we glad forsook the sinful bowers, Or pious die, with penitence resign'd; Ev'n such enraptur'd life, such energy was ours. And to a life more happy and refin'd,
Doubt not, you shall, new creatures, yet arise. But far the greater part, with rage inflam'd, Till then, you may expect in me to find Dire-mutter'd curses, and blasphem'd high Jove. One who will wipe your sorrow from your eyes “Ye sons of hate !" they bitterly exclaim'd, One who will soothe your pangs, and wing you to “What brought you to this seat of peace and love?
the skies. While with kind nature, here amid the grove, We pass'd the harmless sabbath of our time, They silent heard, and pour'd their thanks in tears What to disturb it could, fell men, emove
“ For you," resum'd the knight, with sterner Your barbarous hearts? Is happiness a crime ?
(sears, Then do the fiends of Hell rule in yon Heaven “ Whose hard dry hearts th' obdurate demon sublime."
That villain's gifts will cost you many a groan;
In dolorous mansion long you must beinoan “ Ye impious wretches," quoth the knight in His fatal charms, and weep your stains away: wrath,
Till, soft and pure as infant goodness grown, “ Your happiness behold!” Then straight a wand You feel a perfect change: then, who can say, He wav'd, an anti-magic power that hath, What grace may yet shine forth in Heaven's eternal Truth from illusive falsehood to command, Sudden the landskip sinks on every liand; The pure quick streams are marshy puddles found; This said, his powerful wand he way'd anew : On baleful heaths the groves all blacken'd stand; Instant, a glorious angel-train descends,
And, o'er the weedy foul abhorred ground, The Charities, to wit, of rosy hue ; Snakes, adders, toads, each loathsome creature Sweet love their looks a gentle radiance lends, crawls around.
And with seraphic flame compassion blends.
At once, delighted, to their charge they fly: And here and there, on trees by lightning scath'd, When, lo! a goodly hospital ascends; Unhappy wights who loathed life yhung;
In which they bade each lenient aid be nigh, Or, in fresh gore and recent murder bath'd, That could the sick-bed smoothe of that sad comThey weltering lay; or else, infuriate fung
pany. Into the gloomy flood, while ravens sung The funeral dirge, they down the torrent roll’d: It was a worthy edyfying sight, These, by distemper'd blood to madness stung, And gives to human-kind peculiar grace, Had doom'd themselves; whence oft, when night To see kind hands attending day and night, controllid
With tender ministry, from place to place. The world, returning hither their sad spirits howl'd. Some prop the head; some from the pallid face
Wipe off the faint cold dews weak nature stæeris; Meantime a moving scene was open laid ;
Some reach the healing draught: the whilst, to That lazar-house, I whilom in my lay
chase Depainted have, its horrours deep-display'd, The fear supreme, around their soften'd beds And gave unnumber'd wretches to the day, Some holy man by prayer all opening Heaven disWho tossing there in squalid misery lay.
preds. Soon as of sacred light th' unwonted smile Pour'd on these living catacombs its ray,
Attended by a glad acclaiming train, Through the drear caverns stretching many a mile, Of those he rescued had from gaping Hell, The sick up-rais'd their heads, and dropp'd their Then turn'd the knight ; and, to his hall again woes awhile.
Soft-pacing, sought of Peace the mossy cell: