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Dark and voluminous the vapours rile,
And hang their horrors in the neighb'ring skies,
While through the flygian veil that blots the day.
In dazzling streaks the vivid lightnings play.
But oh! what muse, and in what pow'rs of songs
Can trace the torrent as it burns along?
Havock and devastation in the van,
It marches o'er the prostrate works of man,
Vines, olives, herbage, forests disappear,
And all the charms of a Sicilian year.
Revolving seasons, fruitless as they pass,
See it an uninform’d and idle mass,
Without a foil t'invite the tiller's care,
Or blade that might redeem it from despair.
Yet time at length (what will not time atchieve ?).
Cloaths it with earth, and bids the produce live,
Once more the spiry myrtle crowns the glade,
And ruminating Alocks enjoy the shade.
Oh bliss precarious, and unsafe retreats,
Oh charming paradise of short-liv'd fwects!
The self-fame gale that wafts the fragrance round,
Brings to the distant ear a fullen sound,
Again the mountain feels th' imprison’d foe,
Again pours ruin on the vale below,
Ten thousand swains the waited scene deplore,
That only future ages can restore.
Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honour draws, Who write in blood the merits of your cause, Who strike the blow, then plead your own defence, Glory your aim, but justice your pretence; Behold in Ætna's emblematic fires The mischiefs your ainbitious pride inspires.
Fast by the stream that bounds your just domain, And tells you where ye have a right to reign, A nation dwells, not envious of your throne, Studious of peace, their neighbours and their own. Ill-fated race! how deeply inust they rue Their only crime, vicinity to you! 'The trumpet sounds, your legions swarm abroad, Through the ripe harvest lies their destin'd road, At ev'ry step beneath their feet they tread The life of multitudes, a nation's bread; Earth seems a garden in its lovelicít dress Before them, and behind a wilderness; Famiine, and pestilence her first-born son, Attend to finish what the sword begun, And echoing praises such as fiends might earn, And folly pays, resound at your return. A calm succeeds--but plenty with her train Of heart-felt joys, fucceed's not foon again, And years of pining indigence must show What scourges are the gods that rule ow.
Yet man, laborious man, by flow degrees, Such is his thirst of opulence and case) Plies all the finews of industrious toil, Gleans up the refuse of the general spoil, Rebuilds the tow'rs that smok'd upon the plain, And the sun gilds the shining spires again.
Increasing commerce and reviving art
Renewing the quarrel on the conqu’rors part,
And the sad leffon ntust be learn`d once more,
That wealth within is ruin at the door.
What are ye monarchs, laureld herocs, say,
But Ætnas of the fuff’ring world ye fway?
Sweet nature stripp'd' of lier embroider'd robe,
Deplores the wasted regions of her globe,
And stands a witness at truth's awful bar,
'To prove you there, destroyers as ye are.
Oh place ine in some heav'n protected ille,
Where peace and equity and freedom (mile,
Where no Volcano pours his fiery flood,
No crested warrior dips his plume in blood,
Where pow'r secures what industry has won,
Where to suceerd is not to be undonc,
A land that distant tyrants hate in vain,
In Britain's isle, bencath a George's reign.
No matter when a poet's muse is
To make them grow just where she chuses:
You shapeless nothing in a dish,
You that are but almost a fish,
I scorn your coarse insinuation,
And have most plentiful occasion
To wish myself the rock I view,
Or such another dolt as you.
For many a grave and learned clerk,
And many a gay unletter'd spark,
With curious touch examines me,
If I can feel as well as he ;
And when I bend, retire and shrink,
Says, well ’tis more than one would think----
Thus life is spent, oh fie upon't, !
In being touch'd, and crying don't
A poet in his evening walk, ,
O'erheard and check'd this idle talk.
And your fine sense, he said, and yours,
Whatever evil it endures,
Deserves not, if so soon offended,
Much to be pitied or commended.
Disputes though short, are far too long,
Where both alike are in the wrong;
Your feelings in their full amount,
Are all upon your own account..