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No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,.
Yes ! let the rich deride, the proud disdain, These simple blessings of the lowly train; To me more dear, congenial to my heart, One native charm, than all the gloss of art. Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play, The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway ; Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind, Unenvied, unmolested, unconfin'd: But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade, With all the freaks of wanton wealth array'd, In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain, The toiling pleasure sickens into pain; And, even while fashion's brightest arts decoy, The heart, distrusting, asks if this be joy.
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen, who survey The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay, 'Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits stand 12 Between a splendid and a happy land. Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
12 • Too much commerce may injure a nation as well as too little ; and there is a wide difference between a conquering and a flourishing empire.' – Cit. of the Worla, i. 98.
And shouting Folly hails them from her shore;
14 As some fair female, unadorn'd and plain, Secure to please while youth confirms her reign, Slights every borrow'd charm that dress supplies, Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes;
13 Takes] · Abstulerat miseris tecta superbus ager.'
Martial, Ep. 1, 2, 3, 14 Veild in a simple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp of dress; for loveliness
Thomson, Aulumn, 1. 202.
But when those charms are past, — for charms
are frail, — When time advances, and when lovers fail, She then shines forth, solicitous to bless, In all the glaring impotence of dress : Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd, In nature's simplest charms at first array'd; But, verging to decline, its splendours rise, Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise; While, scourged by famine from the smiling land. The mournful peasant leads his humble band; 15 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 even the bare-worn common is denied. If to the city sped, what waits him there? 16 To see profusion that he must not share; To see ten thousand baneful arts combin'd To pamper luxury, and thin mankind; To see those joys the sons of pleasure know Extorted from his fellow-creature's woe.
15 And while] “Sinks the poor babe, without a hand to save.'
Roscoe's Nurse, p. 69. 16 To see profusion] "He only guards those luxuries he is not fated to share.' — An. Nat. iv. p. 43.
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! [eyes Are these thy serious thoughts? Ah! turn thine 17 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.
17 "These poor shivering females have once seen happier days, and been flattered into beauty. They have been prosti. tuted to the gay and luxurious villain, and now turned out to meet the severity of the winter. Perhaps now lying at the doors of their betrayers, they sue to wretches whose hearts are insensible.' – Cit. of the World, ii. 211. See also The Bee. The City Night Piece, p. 126.
Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest
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. Får 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 pois'nous 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; 18 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 grassy-vested green,
* [The Altamaha, in Georgia, is referred to.] 18 . To savage beasts who on the weaker prey, Or human savages more wild than they!'
Sir W. Temple. v. Nicholls' Poems, ii. 80.