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Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain :
Nor finds the river, nor the forest, hid
Beneath the formless wild; but wanders on
From hill to dale, ftill more and more astray;
Impatient flouncing through the drifted heaps,
Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts of home
Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth
many a vain attempt. How sinks his soul!
What black despair, what horror, fills his heart !
When for the dusky spot, which fancy feign’d 290
His tufted cottage rising through the snow,
He meets the roughness of the middle waste,
Far from the track, and blest abode of man;
While round him night refiftless closes fast,
And every tempest, howling o'er his head,
295 Renders the favage wilderness more wild. Then throng the busy shapes into his mind, Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep, A dire descent! beyond the power of frost; Of faithlefs bogs; of precipices huge,
300 Smooth'd up with snow; and, what is land, unknown, What water of the still unfrozen spring, In the loose marsh or solitary lake, Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils. These check his fearful fteps; and down he finks 305 Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift, Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death, Mix'd with the tender anguish nature shoots Through the wrung bofom of the dying man, His wife, his children, and his friends unseen. 310
In vain for him th’ officious wife prepases
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their fire,
With tears of artless innocence.. Alas !
Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve
The deadly winter seizes; shuts up sense ;
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snows, a stiffend corse,
320 Stretch'd out, and bleaching in the northern blaft.
Ah, little think the gay licentious proud,
Whom pleafurę, power, and affluence surround;
They, who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot walte ;
325 Ah, little think they, while they dance along, How
many feel, this very moment, death And all the sad variety of pain. How many sink in the devouring flood, Or more devouring flame. How many bleed, 33 By shameful variance betwixt man and man. llow many pine in want, and dungeon glooms; Shut from the common air, and common use Of their own limbs. How
many Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
335 Of misery. Sore pierc'd by wintery winds, How many shrink into the fordid hut Of cheerless
With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded paffion, madness, guilt, remorse ;
Whence tumbled headlong 'from the height of life,
They furnish matter for the Tragic Muse.
Evin in the vale, where wisdom loves to dwell,
With friendship, peace, and contemplation join’d,
How many, rack'd with honest palfions, droop 345
In deep retir’d distress. How many stand
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends,
And point the parting 'anguilh. Thought fond man
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills,
That one incessant struggle render life,
One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate,
Více in his high career would stand appall’d,
And heedless rambling Impulse learn to think ;
The confcious heart of Charity would warm,
And her wide with Benevolence dilate;
The social tear would rise, the focial sigh;
And into clear perfection, gradual bliss,
Refining still, the social passions work.
And here can I forget the generous * band, Who, touch'd with human woe, redressive search'd Into the horrors of the gloomy jail ? Unpitied, and unheard, where misery moans ; Where sickness pines; where thirst and hunger burn, And
poor misfortune feels the lash of vice. While in the land of liberty, the land
363 Whofe every street and public meeting glow With open freedom, little tyrants rag'd ; Snatch'd the lean morsel from the starving moạth;
* The Gapl Committee, in the year 1729.
Tore from cold wintery limbs the tatter'd weed;
X Ev’n robb’d them of the last of comforts, sleep; 370
The free-born Briton to the dungeon chain'd,
Or, as the luft of cruelty prevail’d,
At pleasure mark'd him with inglorious stripes ;
And crush'd out lives, by fecret barbarous ways,
That for their country would have toil'd, or bled. 375
O, great design! if executed well,
With patient care, and wisdom-temper'd zeal.
Ye fons of mercy! yet resume the search ;
Drag forth the legal monsters into light,
Wrench from their hands oppreffion's iron rod, 360
And bid the cruel feel the pains they give.
Much still untouch'd remains; in this rank age,
Much is the patriot's weeding hand requir’d.
The toils of law, (what dark insidious men
Have cumberous added to perplex the truth,
And lengthen fimple justice into trade)
How glorious were the day! that saw these broke,
And every man within the reach of right.
By wintery famine rous'd, from all the tract
Of horrid mountains which the shining Alps,
And wavy Appenine, and Pyrenees,
Branch out ftupendous into distant lands;
Cruei as death, and hungry as the grave !
Burning for blood! bony, and ghaunt, and grim!
Alsembling wolves in raging troops descend; 395
And, pouring o'er the country, bear along,
Keen as the north-wind sweeps the glofsy snow.
All is their prize. They fasten on the steed,
Press him to earth, and pierce his mighty heart.
Nor can the bull his awful front defend,
Or shake the murdering savages away.
Rapacious, at the mother's throat they ily,
And tear the screaming infant from her breast.
XThe godlike face of man avails him nought.
Ev'n beauty, force divine ! at whose bright glance 405
lion stands in soften'd gaze,
Here bleeds, a hapless undistinguish'd prey.
But if, appriz'd of the fevere attack,
country be shut up, lur'd by the scent,
On church-yards drear (inhuman to relate !) 416
The disappointed prowlers fall, and dig
The shrouded body from the grave; o'er which,
Mix'd with foul shades, and frighted ghosts, they howl.
Among those hilly regions, where embrac'd In peaceful vales the happy Grisons dwell; 415 Oft, rushing fudden from the loaded cliffs, Mountains of snow their gathering terrors roll. From steep to steep, loud-thundering down they come, A wintery waste in dire commotion all; And herds, and focks, and travellers, and swains, 420 And sometimes whole brigades of marching troops, Or hamlets sleeping in the dead of night, Are deep beneath the smothering ruin whelm’d.
Now, all amid the rigours of the year, In the wild depth of winter, while without 425 The ceaseless winds blow ice, be my retreat, Between the groaning forest and the shore Beat by the boundless multitude of waves,