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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
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left her wheel and robes of country brown.
Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest train,
Do thy fair tribes participate her pain ?
E’en now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
At proud men's doors they ask a little bread!
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 wo. Far diff'rent 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; Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey, And savage men more murd'rous still than they; While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies, Mingling the ravaged landscape with the skies. Far diff'rent these from ev'ry former scene, The cooling brook, the grassy-vested green, The breezy covert of the warbling grove, That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love. [day,
Good Heav'n! what sorrows gloom'd that parting That call’d them from their native walks away; When the poor exiles, ev'ry pleasure past, Hung round the bow'rs, and fondly look’d their last, And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain For seats like these beyond the western main ;
And shudd'ring still to face the distant deep,
Return’d and wept, and still return'd to weep.
The good old sire the first prepared to go
To new-found worlds, and wept for others' wo;
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave.
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
The fond companion of his helpless years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover's for a father's arms.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
And bless'd the cot where ev'ry pleasure rose;
And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear,
And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear;
While her fond husband strove to lend relief,
In all the silent manliness of grief.
Oh, Luxury! thou cursed by Heaven's decree,
How ill exchanged are things like these for thee!
How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
Kingdoms by thee to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigour not their own :
At ev'ry draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank unwieldy wo;
Till, sapp'd their strength, and ev'ry part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round..
E’en now the devastation is begun,
And half the bus'ness of destruction done;
methinks, as pond'ring here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land.
Down where yon anch'ring vessel spreads the sail,
That, idly waiting, flaps with ev'ry gale,
Downward they move, a melancholy band,
Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand.
Contented Toil, and hospitable Care,
And kind connubial Tenderness are there ;
And Piety, with wishes placed above,
And steady Loyalty, and faithful. Love.
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid, Still first to fly where sensual joys invade!
Unfit, in these degen’rate times of shame,
To catch the heart, or strike for honest Fame.
Dear, charming nymph, neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride ;
Thou source of all my bliss and all my wo,
That sound'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of ev'ry virtue, fare thee well;
Farewell! and, oh! where'er thy voice be tried,
On Torno's cliffs or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigours of th’ inclement clime ;
Aid slighted Truth with thy persuasive strain,
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain ;
Teach him that states, of native strength possess'd,
Though very poor, may still be very bless'd ;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away;
While self-dependant pow'r can Time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.
SAMUEL Johnson. 1709–1784.
ON THE DEATH OF MR. ROBERT LEVET.
CONDEMN'D to Hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts or slow decline,
Our social comforts drop away.
Well tried through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.
Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind; Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny
Thy praise to merit unrefined. When fainting Nature call'd for aid,
And hov'ring Death prepared the blow, His vig’rous remedy display'd,
The pow'r of art without the show.
In Misery's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh, Where hopeless Anguish pour'd his groan,
And lonely Want retired to die. No summons mock'd by chill delay,
No petty gain disdain'd by pride, The modest wants of ev'ry day
The toil of ev'ry day supplied.
His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void; And sure th’ Eternal Master found
The single talent well employ'd.
The busy day, the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by ; His frame was firm, his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.
Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay, Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES, IN IMITATION OF THE
TENTH SATIRE OF JUVENAL.
Let observation, with extensive view,
Survey mankind from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life;
Then say how hope and fear, desire and hate,
O’erspread with snares the clouded maze of fate,
Where wav’ring man, betray'd by vent'rous pride,
To choose the dreary paths without a guide,
As treach'rous phantoms in the mist delude,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good;
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant voice;
How nations sink by darling schemes oppress’d,
When vengeance listens to the fool's request.
Fate wings with ev'ry wish th' afflictive dart,
Each gift of nature and each grace of art;
With fatal heat impetuous courage glows,
With fatal sweetness elocution flows,
Impeachment stops the speaker's pow'rful breath,
And restless fire precipitates on death.
But, scarce observed, the knowing and the bold
Fall in the gen’ral massacre of gold;
Wide-wasting pest! that rages unconfined,
And crowds with crimes the records of mankind;
For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws,
For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws;
Wealth heap'd on wealth, nor truth nor safety buys,
The dangers gather as the treasures rise.
Let hist’ry tell where rival kings command, And dubious title shakes the madded land, When statutes glean the refuse of the sword, How much more safe the vassal than the lord ; Low skulks the hind beneath the rage of power, And leaves the wealthy traitor in the Tower, Untouch'd his cottage, and his slumbers sound, Though confiscation's vultures hover round.