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When thus creation's charms around combine, Amidst the store, should thankless pride repine ? Say, should the philosophic mind disdain That good which makes each humbler bosom vain? Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can, These little things are great to little man; And wiser he, whose sympathetic mind Exults in all the good of all mankind. Ye glittring towns, with wealth and splendour
crown'd, Ye fields, where summer spreads profusion round, Ye lakes, whose vessels catch the busy gale, Ye bending swains, that dress the flow'ry vale, For me your tributary stores combine ; Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine.
As some lone miser, visiting his store, Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o'er; Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill, Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still; Thus to my breast alternate passions rise, Pleas'd with each good that heav'n to man sup
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
To see the hoard of human bliss so small;
And oft I wish, amidst the scene, to find
Some spot to real happiness consign’d,
Where my worn soul, each wand'ring hope at rest,
May gather bliss, to see my fellows blest.
But where to find that happiest spot below,
Who can direct, when all pretend to know?
The shudd'ring tenant of the frigid zone
Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own;
Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,
And his long nights of revelry and ease :
The naked negro, panting at the line,
Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine,
Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,
And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.
Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam,
His first, best country, ever is at home.
And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,
And estimate the blessings which they share,
Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find
An equal portion dealt to all mankind;
As diff'rent good, by art or nature giv'n,
To diff'rent nations makes their blessings ev'n.
Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call;
With food as well the peasant is supply'd
On Idra's cliff as Arno's shelvy side;
And though the rocky-crested summits frown,
These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down.
From art more various are the blessings sent;
Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content:
Yet these each other's pow'r so strong contest,
That either seems destructive of the rest.
Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment fails;
And honour sinks where commerce long prevails:
Hence ev'ry state, to one lov'd blessing prone,
Conforms and models life to that alone:
Each to the fav’rite happiness attends,
And spurns the plan that aims at other ends;
Till, carried to excess in each domain,
This fav’rite good begets peculiar pain.
But let us try these truths with closer eyes, And trace them through the prospect as it lies :
Here for a while, my proper cares resign’d,
Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind;
Like yon neglected shrub, at random cast,
That shades the steep, and sighs at ev'ry blast.
Far to the right, where Appennine ascends,
Bright as the summer, Italy extends :
Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side,
Woods over woods in gay theatric pride;
While oft some temple's mould’ring tops between
With memorable grandeur mark the scene.
Could Nature's bounty satisfy the breast,
The sons of Italy were surely blest.
Whatever fruits in diff'rent climes are found,
That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground;
Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear,
Whose bright succession decks the varied year;
Whatever sweets salute the porthern sky
With vernal lives, that blossom but to die;
These here disporting own the kindred soil,
Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil;
While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand
To winnow fragrance round the smiling land.