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“ But let untender thoughts afar be driven ; “ Nor venture to arraign the dread decree:
For know, to man, as candidate for heaven, “ The voice of The Eternal said, Be free; “ And this divine prerogative to thee “ Does virtue, happiness, and heaven convey ; “ For virtue is the child of liberty,
“And happiness of virtue; nor can they “ Be free to keep the path who are not free to stray.
“ Yet leave me not. I would allay that grief, “ Which else might thy young virtue overpower ; “ And in thy converse I shall find relief, “ When the dark shades of melancholy lower; “ For solitude has many a dreary hour, “ Even when exempt from grief, remorse, and pain: " Come often then ; for, haply, in my bower, “ Amusement, knowledge,wisdom thou may'st gain. “If I one soul improve, I have not liv'd in vain." And now, at length, to Edwin's ardent gaze The Muse of history unrolls her page. But few, alas ! the scenes her art displays, To charm his fancy, or his heart engage. Here chiefs their thirst of power in blood assuage ; And straight their flames with tenfold fierceness burn: Here smiling Virtue prompts the patriot's rage,
But, lo! ere long, is left alone to mourn, And languish in the dust, and clasp the abandon'd urn.
“ Ah! what avails,” he said, “to trace the springs, “ That whirl of empire the stupendous wheel ! “ Ah! what have I to do with conquering kings, “ Hands drench'd in blood, and breasts begirt with
steel! “To those, whom Nature taught to think and feel, “ Heroes, alas ! are things of small concern. “ Could History man's secret heart reveal,
“And what imports a heaven-born mind to learn, “ Her transcripts to explore what bosom would not
This praise, O Cheronean Sage,* is thine. "(Why should this praise to thee alone belong?) " All else from Nature's moral path decline, “ Lur'd by the toys that captivate the throng; “ To herd in cabinets and camps, among
Spoil, carnage, and the cruel pomp of pride ; “ Or chant of heraldry the drowsy song,
“ How tyrant blood o'er many a region wide, " Rolls to a thousand thrones its execrable tide.
“O who of man the story will unfold, “ Ere victory and empire wrought annoy, “ In that elysian age (misnam'd of gold) “The age of love, and innocence, and joy, “ When all were great and free! man's sole employ " To deck the bosom of his parent earth ; " Or toward his bower the murmuring stream decoy,
“ To aid the floweret's long.expected birth, (mirth. “And lull the bed of peace, and crown the board of
“Sweet were your shades, O ye primeval groves, " Whose boughs to man his food and shelter lent, “ Pure in his pleasures, happy in his loves, “ His eye still smiling, and his heart content. (went. “Then, hand in hand, Health, Sport, and Labor “ Nature supply'd the wish she taught to crave. “ None prowlid for prey, none watch'd to circum
vent. “To all an equal lot Heaven's bounty gave : “No vassal fear'd his lord, no tyrant fear'd his slave.
But, ah! th' Historic Muse has never dar'd “To pierce those hallow'd bowers: 'tis Fancy's beam “ Pour'd on the vision of the enraptur'd Bard, " That paints the charms of that delicious theme, " Then hail, sweet Faney's ray! and hail the dream “ That weans the weary soul from guilt and woe! “ Careless what others of my choice may deem, “I long where Love and Fancy lead to go, "And meditate on Heaven; enough of earth I know."
“ I cannot blame thy choice” the Sage replied, * For soft and smooth are Fancy's flowery ways. “ And yet even there, if left without a guide, “ The young adventurer unsafely plays. “ Eyes dazzled long by Fiction's gaudy rays “In modest Truth no light nor beauty find. “ And, who, my child, would trust the meteor-blaze,
“That soon must fail, and leave the wanderer blind, “More dark and helpless far, than if it ne'er had shin'd?
" Fancy enervates, while it soothes, the heart, “ And while it dazzles, wounds the mental sight: “ To joy each heightening charm it can impart, “But wraps the hour of woe in tenfold night. " And often, where no real ills affright, “ Its visionary fiends, an endless train, “ Assail with equal or superior might,
“ And thro' the throbbing heart, and dizzy brain, " And shivering nerves, shoot stings of more than
" And yet, alas ! the real ills of life
“ Yet shall their tale instruct, if it declare, “How they have borne the load ourselves are doom'd
to bear. " What charms the Historic Muse adorn, from spoils “ And blood, and tyrants, when she wings her flight, " To hail the patriot Prince, whose pious toils “ Sacred to science, liberty, and right, “ Ånd peace, thro' every age divinely bright « Shall shine the boast and wonder of mankind: “ Sees yonder sun, from his meridian height
“A lovelier scene, than Virtue thus enshrin'd " In power, and man with man for mutual aid combin'd?
“Hail, sacred Polity, by Freedom rear'd! “ Hail, sacred Freedom, when by Law restrain'd! “ Without you what were man? A groveling herd “ In darkness, wretchedness, and want enchain'd. “ Sublim'd by you, the Greek and Roman reign'd “ In arts unrivall'd: 0, to latest days, “ In Albion may your influence unprofan'd
“ To godlike worth the generous bosom raise, " And prompt the Sage's lore, and fire the Poet's lays!
“ But now let other themes our care engage. “ For, lo! with modest yet majestic grace, “ To curb Imagination's lawless rage, “And from within the cherish'd heart to brace,
Philosophy appears. The gloomy race “ By Indolence and moping Fancy bred, “ Fear, Discontent, Solicitude give place,
“ And Hope and Courage brighten in their stead, “While on the kindling soul her vital beams are shed.
“Then waken from long lethargy to life * “ The seeds of happiness, and powers of thought; “ Then jarring appetites forego their strife, “ A strife by ignorance to madness wrought. “ Pleasure by savage man is dearly bought “ With fell revenge, lust that defies control, “ With gluttony and death. The mind untaught
“ Is a dark waste, where fiends and tempests howl; “ As Phoebus to the world, is Science to the soul.
The influence of the Philosophic Spirit, in humanizing the mind, and preparing it for intellectual exertion, and delicate pleasure ;-in exploring, by the help of geometry, the system of the universe ;-in banishing superstition ; in promoting navigation, agriculture, medicine, and moral and political science ;-- from this Stanza to the end of the first Stanza, Page 31,
“ And Reason now, thro' number, time, and space, “ Darts the keen lustte of her serious eye, " And learns, from facts compar'd, the laws to trace, “ Whose long progression leads to Deity. “ Can mortal strength presume to soar so high! “ Can mortal sight, so oft bedim'd with tears, “ Such glory bear !--for lo! the shadows fly
“ From Nature's face; Confusion disappears, " And order charms the eyes, and harmony the ears.
“ In the deep windings of the grove no more “ The hag obscene, and grisly phantom dwell; “ Nor in the fall of mountain-stream, or roar “ Of winds, is heard the angry spirit's yell ; “ No wizard mutters the tremendous spell, “ Nor sinks convulsive in prophetic swoon; “ Nor bids the noise of drums and trumpets swell,
“ To ease of fancied pangs the laboring moon, " Or chase the shade that blots the blazing orb of
“ Many a long lingering year, in lonely isle, “ Stunn'd with the eternal turbulence of waves, " Lo, with dim eyes that never learn'd to smile, “ And trembling hands, the famish'd native craves « Of Heaven his wretched fare: shivering in caves, “ Or scorch'd on rocks, he pines from day to day ; “ But Science gives the word; and lo, he braves
“ The surge and tempest, lighted by her ray, “And to a happier land wafts merrily away.
“ And even where Nature loads the teeming plain “ With the full pomp of vegetable store, “ Her bounty, unimprov'd, is deadly bane: “ Dark woods and rankling wilds, from shore to shore “ Stretch their enormous gloom; which to explore .“ Even Fancy trembles in her sprightliest mood; “For there each eye-ball gleams with lust of gore,
“ Nestles each murderous and each monstrous brood, “ Plague lurks in every shade, and streams from every