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Here pleasing airs my ravish'd soul confound
With circling notes, and labyrinths of sound:
Here domes and temples rise in distant views,
And opening palaces invite my Muse.
How has kind Heav'n adorn'd the happy land,
And scatter'd blessings with a wasteful hand!
But what avail her unexhausted stores,
Her blooming mountains, and her sunny shores,
With all the gifts that Heav'n and earth impart,
The smiles of nature, and the charms of art,
While proud Oppression in her valleys reigns,
And Tyranny usurps her happy plains?
The poor inhabitant beholds in vain
The redd'ning orange and the swelling grain:
Joyless he sees the growing oils and wines,
And in the myrtle s fragrant shade repines:
Starves, in the midst of nature's bounty curst,
And in the loaden vineyard dies for thirst.
Oh Liberty! thou goddess heav'nly bright,
Profuse of bliss, aud pregnant with delight!
Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign,
And smiling Plenty leads thy wanton train;
Eas'd of her load, Subjection grows more light,
And Poverty looks cheerful in thy sight;
Thou mak'st the gloomy face of Nature gay,
Giv'st beauty to the Sun, and pleasure to the Day.
Thee, Goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adores;
How has she oft exhausted all her stores,
How oft, in fields of death, thy presence sought,
Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought!
On foreign mountains may the sun refine
The grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine,
With citron groves adorn a distant soil,
And the fat olive swell with floods of oil:
We envy not the warmer clime, that lies.
In ten degrees of more indulgent skies,
Nor at the coarseness of our Heav n repine,
Tho' o'er our heads the frozen Pleiads shine:
'Tis Liberty that crowns Britannia s isle,
And makes her barren rocks and her bleak mountains smile. Others with tow'ring piles may please the sight,
And in their proud aspiring domes delight;
A nicer touch to the stretch'd canvass give,
Or teach their animated rocks to live:
'Tis Britain's care to watch o'er Europe's fate,
And hold in balance each contending state;
To threaten bold presumptuous kings with war,
And answer her afflicted neighbour's pray'r.
The Dane and Swede, rous'd up by fierce alarms,
Bless the wise conduct of her pious arms:
Soon as her fleets appear, their terrors cease,
And all the northern world lies hush'd in peace.
Th' ambitious Gaul beholds with secret dread
Her thunder aim'd at his aspiring head,
And fain her godlike sons would disunite
By foreign gold, or by domestic spite:
But strives in vain to conquer or divide,
Whom Nassau's arms defend and councils guide.
Fir'd with the name, which I so oft have found
The distant climes and diff'rent tongues resound,
I bridle in my struggling Muse with pain,
That loves to launch into a bolder strain.
But I've already troubled you too long,
Nor dare attempt a more advent'rous song.
My humble verse demands a softer theme,
A painted meadow, or a purling stream;
Unfit for heroes; whom immortal lays,
And lines like Virgil's, or like yours, should praise.
COPENHAGEN, MARCH 9, 1709
FROM frozen climes, and endless tracts of snow,
From streams which northern winds forbid to flow,
What present shall the Muse to Dorset bring,
Or how, so near the Pole, attempt to sing?
The hoary winter here conceals from sight
All pleasing objects which to verse invite.
The hills and dales, and the delightful woods,
The flow'ry plains, and silver-streaming floods,
By snow disguis'd, in bright contusion lie,
And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye.
No gentle breathing breeze prepares the spring,
No birds within the desart region sing.
The ships, unmoor'd, the boist'rous winds defy,
While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly...
The vast Leviathan wants room to play,
And spout his waters in the face of day.
The starving wolves along the main sea prowl,
And to the moon in icy valleys howl.
O'er many a shining league the level main
Here spreads itself into a glassy plain:
There solid billows of enormous size,
Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.
And yet but lately have I seen, ev'n here,
The winter in a lovely dress appear,
Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasur'd snow,
Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow,
At ev'ning a keen eastern breeze arose,
And the descending rain unsully'd froze.
Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn disclos'd at once to view
The face of nature in a rich disguise,
And brighten'd ev'ry object to my eyes:
For ev'ry shrub, and ev'ry blade of grass,
And ev'ry pointed thorn, seem'd wrought in glass;
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show,
While through the ice the crimson berries glow.
The thick-sprung reeds, which wat'ry marshes yield,
Seem'd polish'd lances in a hostile field.
The stag in limpid currents, with surprize,
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise:
The spreading oak, the beech, and tow'ring pine,
Glaz'd over, in the freezing æther shine.
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
Which wave and glitter in the distant sun.
When if a sudden gust of wind arise,
The brittle forest into atoms flies,
The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends,
And in a spangled show'r the prospect ends:
Or, if a southern gale the region warm,
And by degrees unbind the wintry charm,
The traveller a miry country sees,
And journies sad beneath the dropping trees:
Like some deluded peasant, Merlin leads
Through fragiant bow'rs, and through delicious meads
While here inchanted gardens to him rise,
And airy fabrics there attract his eyes,
His wand'ring feet the magic paths pursue,
And while he thinks the fair illusion truc,
The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air,
And woods, and wilds, and thorny ways appear,
A tedious road the weary wretch returns,
And, as he goes, the transient vision mourns.
To the EARL of WARWICK, on the DEATH of Mr. ADDISON. (TICKELL.)
IF, dumb too long, the drooping Muse hath stay'd,
And left her debt to Addison unpaid,
Blame not her silence, Warwick, but bemoan,
And judge, oh judge, my bosom by your own.
What mourner ever felt poetic fires!
Slow comes the verse that real woe inspires:
Grief unaffected suits but ill with art,
Or flowing numbers with a bleeding heart.
Can I forget the dismal night, that gave
My soul's best part for ever to the grave!
How silent did his old companions tread,
By midnight lamps, the mansions of the dead,
Thro' breathing statues, then unheeded things,
Thro' rows of warriors, and thro' walks of kings!
What awe did the slow solemn knell inspire;
The pealing organ, and the pausing choir;
The duties by the lawn-rob d prelate pay'd;
And the last words, that dust to dust convey'd!
While speechless o'er thy closing grave we bend,
Accept these tears, thou dear departed friend!
O gone for ever, take this long adieu;
And sleep in peace, next thy lov'd Montague."
To strew fresh laurels let the task be mine,
A frequent pilgrim, at thy sacred shrine;
Mine with true sighs thy absence to bemoan,
And grave with faithful epitaphs thy stone.
If e'er from me thy lov'd memorial part,
May shame afflict this alienated heart;
Of thee forgetful if I form a song,
My lyre be broken, and untun'd my tongue;
My grief be doubled from thy image free,
And mirth a torment, unchastis'd by thee.
Oft let me range the gloomy aisles alone,
Sad luxury to vulgar minds unknown,
Along the walls, where speaking marbles show
What worthies form the hallow'd mould below:
Proud names, who once the reins of empire held;
In arms who triumph'd, or in arts excell'd;
Chiefs, grac'd with scars, and prodigal of blood;
Stern patriots, who for sacred Freedom stood;
Just men, by whom impartial laws were given;
And saints who taught, and led the way to heav'n.
Ne'er to these chambers, where the mighty rest,
Since their foundation, came a nobler guest;
Nor e'er was to the bow'rs of bliss convey'd
A fairer spirit, or more welcome shade.
In what new region, to the just assign'd,
What new employments please th' unbody'd mind?
A winged Virtue, through th' etherial sky,
From world to world, unweary'd, does he fly?
Or, curious, trace the long laborious maze
Of Heaven's decrees, where wond'ring angels gaze?
Does he delight to hear bold seraphs tell
How Michael battel'd, and the Dragon fell;
- Or, mix'd with milder cherubim, to glow
In hymns of love, not ill essay'd below?
Or dost thou warn poor mortals left behind,
A task well suited to thy gentle mind?
Oh! if, sometimes, thy spotless form descend,
To me thy aid, thou guardian genius, lend!
When Rage misguides me, or when Fear alarms,
When Pain distresses, or when Pleasure charms,
In silent whisp'rings purer thoughts impart,
And turn from ill a trail and feeble heart;
Lead through the paths thy virtue trod before,
Till Bliss shall join, nor Death can part us more.
That aw ful form, (which, so ye Heav'ns decree,
Must still be lov'd, and still deplor'd by me)
In nightly visions seldom fails to rise,
Or, .ous'd by Fancy, ineets my waking eyes.
If business calls, or crowded courts invite,
Th' unblemish'd statesman seems to strike my sight;
If in the stage I seek to sooth my care,
I meet his soul which breathes in Cato there:
If, pensive, to the rural shades I roye,
His shape o'ertakes me in the lonely grove;
'Twas there of just and good he reason'd strong,
Clear'd some great truth, or rais'd some serious song:
There, patient, show'd us the wise course to steer,
A candid censor, and a friend severe;