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And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
The country blooms a garden, and a grave.
Where then, ah! where shall poverty reside,
To ’scape the pressure of contiguous pride?
If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd,
He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,
Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,
And e'en the bare-worn common is denied.
If to the city sped - What waits him there?
To see profusion that he must not share;
To see ten thousand baneful arts combin'd
To pamper luxury, and thin mankind;
To see each joy the sons of pleasure know,
Extorted from his fellow-creature's woe.
Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade,
There the pale artist plies the sickly trade;
Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomps display,
There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.
The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign,
Here, richly deck’d, admits the gorgeous train;
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare.
Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy!
Sure these denote one universal joy!
Are these thy serious thoughts? Ah! turn thine eyes
Where the poor houseless shivering female lies.
She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest,
Has wept at tales of innocence distrest;
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn;
Now lost to all, her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer's door she lays her head,
And pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the shower,
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left her wheel and robes of country brown.
Do thine, sweet AUBURN, thine, the loveliest train, Do thy fair tribes participate her pain ? E'en now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led, At proud men's doors they ask a little bread!
Ah, no. To distant climes, a dreary scene, Where half the convex world intrudes between, Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go, Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe. Far different there from all that charm'd before, The various terrors of that horrid shore; Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray, And fiercely shed intolerable day; Those matted woods where birds forget to sing, But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling; Those poisonous fields with rank luxuriance crown'd, Where the dark scorpion gathers death around; Where at each step the stranger fears to wake The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake; Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey, And savage men more murderous still than they; While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies, Mingling the ravag'd landscape with the skies. Far different these from every former scene, The cooling brook, the
green, The breezy covert of the warbling grove, That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love.
Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day, That call'd them from their native walks away; When the poor exiles, every pleasure past, Hung round the bowers, and fondly look'd their last, And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain For seats like these beyond the western main; And shuddering still to face the distant deep, Return'd and wept, and still return'd to weep. The good old sire, the first prepar’d to go To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe;
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave.
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
The fond companion of his helpless years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover's for her father's arms.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes
And blest the cot where every pleasure rose;
And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear,
And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear;
Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief
In all the silent manliness of grief.
O luxury! thou curst by Heaven's decree,
How ill exchang'd are things like these for thee!
How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigour not their own:
At every draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe;
Till sapp'd their strength, and every part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
E'en now the devastation is begun, And half the business of destruction done; E'en now, methinks, as pondering here I stand, I see the rural virtues leave the land. Dowu where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail, That idly waiting flaps with every gale, Downward they move, a melancholy band, Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand. Contented toil, and hospitable care, And kind connubial tenderness, are there; And piety with wishes plac'd above, And steady loyalty, and faithful love. And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid, Still first to fly where sensual joys invade;
Unfit in these degenerate times of shame,
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame;
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride.
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,
That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
Farewell, and 0! where'er thy voice be tried,
On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigours of th’inclement clime;
Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain;
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain;
Teach him, that states of native strength possest,
Though very poor, may still be very blest;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away;
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.
THANKS, my Lord, for your Ven'son; for finer or fatter,
Never rang’d in a forest, or smok'd in a platter:
The Haunch was a picture for painters to study,
The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy;
Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help regretting,
To spoil such a delicate picture by eating:
I had thoughts in my Chambers to place it in view,
To be shown to my friends as a piece of virtù ;
As in some Irish houses, where things are so-so,
One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show;
But, for eating a rasher of what they take pride in,
They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fry'd in.
- Don't I hear you pronounce,
This tale of the bacon a damnable bounce ?
Well! suppose it a bounce sure a poet may try,
By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly.
But, my Lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my turn,
It's a truth and your lordship may ask Mr. Burp.
To go on with my tale as I gaz'd on the Haunch,
I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch,
So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undrest,
To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best.