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And high palmetos lift their graceful shade.
O ftretch'd amid these orchards of the fun,
Give me to drain the cocoa's milky bowl,
And from the palm to draw its freshening wine!
More bounteous far than all the frantic juice
Which Bacchus pours. Nor, on its slender twigs
Low-bending, be the full pomegranate fcorn'd;
Nor, creeping thro' the woods, the gelid race
Of berries. Oft in humble station dwells
Unboastful worth, above fastidious pomp.
Witness, thou belt Anâna, thou the pride
Of vegetable life, beyond whate'er
The poets imag'd in the golden age :
Quick let me strip thee of thy tufty coat,
Spread thy ambrosial stores, and feast with Jove!
From these the prospect varies. Plains immense
Lie stretch'd below, interminable meads,
And vast l'avannalıs, where the wandering eye,
Unfixt, is in a verdant ocean loft.
Another Flora there, of bolder hues,
And richer sweets, beyond our garden's pride,
Plays o'er the fields, and showers with fudden hand
Exuberant spring : for oft these valleys shift
Their green-embroider'd robe to fiery brown,
And swift to green again, as scorching suns,
Or streaming dews and torrent rains, prevail.
Along these lonely regions, where retir'd,
From little scenes of art, great Nature dwells
In awful solitude, and nought is seen
But the wild herds that own no master's stall,
Prodigious rivers roll their fatt'ning feas:
On whose luxuriant herbage, half-conceal'd,
Like a fallen cedar, far diffus’d his traing
Cas'd in green scales, the crocodile extends.
The flood difparts: behold! in plaited mail,
Behemoth his head. Glanc'd from his fide,
The darted steel in idle shivers flies :
He fearless walks the plain, or seeks the hills ;
Where, as he crops his varied fare, the herds,
In widening circle round, forget their food,
And at the harmless stranger wondering gaze.
Peaceful, beneath primeval trees, that caft
Their ample shade o'er Niger's yellow stream,
And where the Ganges rolls his sacred wave ;
Or mid the central depth of blackening woods,
High-rais'd in folemn theatre around,
Leans the huge elephant : wiseft of brutes!
The Hippopotamus, or river-horse.
O truly wise! with gentle might endow'd,
Tho' powerful, not deftructive! Here he fees
Revolving ages sweep the changeful earth,
And empires rise and fall; regardless he
Of what the never-resting race of Men
Project: thrice happy! could he 'Icape their guile,
Who mine, from cruel avarice, his steps;
Or with his towery grandeur swell their state,
The pride of kings! or else his strength pervert,
And bid him rage amid the mortal fray,
Astonish'd at the madness of mankind.
Wide o'er the winding umbrage of the floods,
Like vivid blossoms glowing from afar,
Thick-fwarm the brighter birds. For Nature's hand,
That with a sportive vanity has deck'd
The plumy nations, there her gayest hues
Profusely pours. But, if she bids them shine,
Array'd in all the beauteous beams of day,
Yet frugal ftill, she humbles them in fung*.
Nor envy we the gaudy robes they lent
Proud Montezuma's realm, whose legions cast
A boundless radiance waving on the sun,
* In all the regions of the torrid zone, the birds, though more beautiful in their plumage, are observed to be less melodious than
While Philomel is ours; while in our shades,
Thro' the soft silence of the listening night,
The fober-suited fongstrefs trills her lay. X
But come, my Muse, the desert-barrier burst,
A wild expanse of lifeless fand and sky:
And, swifter than the toiling caravan,
Shoot o'er the vale of Sennar; ardent climb
The Nubian mountains, and the fecret bounds
Of jealous Abyssinia boldly pierce.
Thou art no ruffian, who beneath the mask
Of social commerce com'ft to rob their wealth;
No holy Fury thou, blafpheming HEAVEN,
With confecrated steel to ftab their
peace, And thro’ the land, yet red from civil wounds, To spread the purple tyranny of Rome. Thou, like the harmless bee, may'st freely range, From mead to mead bright with exalted flowers, From jasmine grove to grove, may'st wander gay, Thro' palmy shades and aromatic woods, That grace the plains, invest the peopled hills, And up the more than Alpine mountains wave. There on the breezy fummit, spreading fair, For many a league ; or on stupendous rocks, That from the sun-redoubling valley lift, Cool to the middle air, their lawny tops ;
Where palaces, and fanes, and villas rife;
And gardens smile around, and cultur'd fields;
And fountains gush; and careless herds and flocks
Securely stray; a world within itself,
Disdaining all assault : there let me draw
Ethereal foul, there drink reviving gales,
Profusely breathing from the spicy groves,
And vales of fragrance; there at distance hear
The roaring foods, and cataracts, that sweep
From disembowel'd earth the virgin gold;
And o'er the varied landscape, restless, rove,
Fervent with life of every fairer kind:
A land of wonders! which the fun still
eyes With ray direct, as of the lovely realm Inamour'd, and delighting there to dwell.
How chang'd the scene! In blazing height of noon, The sun, oppress’d, is plung'd in thickest gloom. Still Horror reigns, a dreary twilight round, Of struggling night and day malignant mix’d. For to the hot equator crowding fast, Where, highly rarefy'd, the yielding air Admits their stream, inceffant vapours roll, Amazing clouds on clouds continual heap'd; Or whirl'd tempestuous by the gufty wind, Or filent borne along, heavy and flow,