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A calm of plenty! till the ruffled air
Falls from its poise, and gives the breeze to blow. 35
Rent is the fleecy mantle of the sky;
The clouds fly different; and the sudden fun
By fits effulgent gilds th' illumin'd field,
And black by fits the shadows sweep along.
A gaily-checker'd heart-expanding view,
Far as the circling eye can shoot around,
Unbounded toffing in a flood of corn.
These are thy blessings, Industry! rough power;
Whom labour ftill attends, and sweat, and pain;
Yet the kind source of every gentle art,
45 And all the soft civility of life: Raiser of human-kind! by Nature cast, Naked, and helpless, out amid the woods And wilds, to rude inclement elements; With various feeds of art deep in the mind Implanted, and profusely pour'd around Materials infinite; but idle all. Still unexerted, in th’ unconscious breast, Slept the lethargic powers; corruption still, Voracious, swallow'd what the liberal hand
55 Of bounty scatter'd o'er the savage year : And still the sad barbarian, roving, mix'd With beasts of prey; or for his acorn-meal Fought the fierce tusky boar; a shivering wretch! Aghast, and comfortless, when the bleak north,
60 With winter charg'd, let the mix'd tempest fly, Hail, rain, and snow, and bitter-breathing frost : Then to the shelter of the hut he fled;
And the wild season, fordid, pin'd away.
For home he had not; home is the resort
Of love, of joy, of peace and plenty, where,
Supporting and supported, polith'd friends,
And dear relations mingle into bliss.
But this the rugged favage never felt,
Ev'n desolate in crowds; and thus his days
Rollid heavy, dark, and unenjoy'd along :
A waste of time! till Industry approach'd,
And rous'd him from his miferable sloth:
His faculties unfolded; pointed out
Where lavish Nature the directing hand
Of Art demanded; thew'd him how to raise
His feeble force by the mechanic powers,
To dig the mineral from the vaulted earth,
On what to turn the piercing rage of fire,
On what the torrent, and the gather'd blast;
Gave the tall ancient forest to his axe;
Taught him to chip the wood, and hew the stone,
Till by degrees the finish'd fabric rose;
Tore from his limbs the blood-polluted fur,
And wrapt them in the woolly vestment warm,
Or bright in gloffy filk, and flowing lawn;
With wholesome viands fill’d his table, pour'd
The generous glafs around, inspir'd to wake
The life-refining foul of decent wit :
Nor stop'd at barren bare necessity;
But, still advancing bolder, led him on
To pomp, to pleafure, elegance, and grace ;
And, breathing high ambition through his soul,
Set science, wisdom, glory, in his view,
And bade him be the Lord of all below.
Then gathering men their natural powers combin'd,
And forni'd a Publick; to the general good
Submitting, aiming, and conducting all.
For this the Patriot-Council met, the full,
The free, and fairly represented whole;
For this they plann’d the holy guardian laws,
Distinguish'd orders, animated arts,
And, with joint force Oppreffion chaining, fet
Imperial Justice at the helm; yet still
To them accountable; nor flavish dream'd
That toiling millions must resign their weal,
And all the honey of their search, to such
As for themselves alone themselves have rais'd.
form of cultivated life
In order set, protected, and inspir’d,
Into perfection wrought. Uniting all
Society grew numerous, high, polite,
And happy. Nurse of art! the city rear'd
In beauteous pride her tower-encircled head;
And, stretching street on street, by thousands drew,
From twining woody haunts, or the tough yew
To bows strong-straining, her aspiring fons.
Then Commerce brought into the public walk
The busy merchant; the big warehouse built;
Rais’d the strong crane
the loaded street With foreign plenty; and thy stream, o Thames, Large, gentle, deep, majestic, king of floods ! Chose for his grand resort. On either hand,
Like a long wintery forest, groves of masts
Shot up their spires ; the bellying sheet between 125
Poffefs’d the breezy void ; the sooty hulk
Steer'd Nuggish on; the splendid barge along
Row'd, regular, to harmony; around,
The boat, light-skimming, stretch'd its oary wings;
While deep the various voice of fervent toil
From bank to bank increas'd; whence ribb’d with oak
To bear the British Thunder, black, and bold,
The roaring vessel rush'd into the main.
Then too the pillar'd dome, magnific, heav'd Its ample roof; and Luxury within
135 Pour'd out her glittering stores; the canvas smooth, With glowing life protuberant, to the view Embodied rose; the statue seem'd to breathe, And soften into flesh, beneath the touch Of forming art, imagination-flush'd.
140 All is the gift of Industry; whate’er Exalts, embellishes, and renders life Delightful. Pensive Winter chear'd by him Sits at the focial fire, and happy hears Th’ excluded tempest idly rave along;
145 His harden'd fingers deck the gaudy Spring ; Without him Summer were an arid waste; Nor to th' Autumnal months could thus transmit Those full, mature, immeasurable stores, That, waving round, recall my wandering song. 150
Soon as the morning trembles o’er the sky, And, unperceiv'd, unfolds the spreading day; Before the ripen'd field the reapers stand,
In fair array; each by the lass he loves,
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate
By namelefs gentle offices her toil.
At once they stoop and swell the lusty fheaves;
While through their chearful band the rural talk,
The rural scandal, and the rural jeft,
Fly harmless, to deceive the tedious time, 160
And steal unfelt the fultry hours away.
Behind the master walks, builds-up the fhocks;
And, conscious, glancing oft on every side
His fated eye, feels his heart heave with joy.
The gleaners spread around, and here and there, 165
Spike after spike, their scanty harvest pick.
Be not too narrow, husbandmen! but fing
From the full fheaf, with charitable ftealth,
The liberal handful. Think, oh, grateful think!
How good the God of Harveft is to you;
170 Who pours
abundance o'er your flowing fields
While these unhappy partners of your kind
Wide-hover round you like the fowls of heaven,
And ask their humble dole. The various turns
Of fortune ponder; that your
175 What now, with hard reluctance, faint, ye give.
The lovely young Lavinia once had friends ; And Fortune smil'd, deceitful, on her birth. For, in her helpless years depriv’d of all, Of every stay, fave Innocence and Heaven, 180 She, with her widow'd mother, feeble, old, And poor, liv'd in a cottage, far retir'd Among the windings of a woody vale;