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"O who of man the story will unfold, Ere victory and empire wrought annoy "In that elysian age, (misnamed of gold) " The age of love, and innocence, and joy, "When all were great and free! man's sole employ "To deck the bosom of his parent earth;
"Or toward his bower the murmuring stream decoy, "To aid the floweret's long-expected birth, "And lull the bed of peace, and crown the board of mirth.
"Sweet were your shades, O ye primeval groves, "Whose boughs to man his food and shelter lent, "Pure in his pleasures, happy in his loves, "His eyes still smiling, and his heart content. “Then, hand in hand, Health, Sport, and Labor went; "Nature supplied the wish she taught to crave. "None prowl'd for prey, none watch'd to circumvent,
"To all an equal lot Heaven's bounty gave: "No vassal fear'd his lord, no tyrant fear'd his slave.
"But ah! th' historic Muse has never dared
"To pierce those hallow'd bowers: 'tis Fancy's
"Pour'd on the vision of th' enraptur'd bard, "That paints the charms of that delicious theme. "Then hail sweet Fancy's ray! and hail the dream "That weans the weary soul from guilt and woe! “Careless what others of my choice may deem, I long where Love and Fancy lead to go,
"And meditate on Heaven; enough of earth I know."
"I cannot blame thy choice," the sage replied, For soft and smooth are Fancy's flowery ways. "And yet, even there, if left without a guide, The young adventurer unsafely plays.
Eyes dazzled long by Fiction's gaudy rays, "In modest Truth no light nor beauty find. "And who, my child, would trust the meteor blaze,
"That soon must fail, and leave the wanderer blind, "More dark and helpless far, than if it ne'er had shined?
"Fancy enervates, while it soothes the heart; "And, while it dazzles, wounds the mental sight: "To joy each heightening charm it can impart, "But wraps the hour of woe in tenfold night. And often where no real ills affright,
"Its visionary fiends, an endless train,
Assail with equal or superior might,
"And, through the throbbing heart, and dizzy brain, "And shivering nerves, shoot stings of more than mortal pain.
XLII. "And yet, alas! the real ills of life
Claim the full vigor of a mind prepared, "Prepared for patient, long, laborious strife, "Its guide Experience, and Truth its guard. "We fare on earth as other men have fared; "Were they successful? Let not us despair. "Was disappointment oft their sole reward? "Yet shall their tale instruct, if it declare, How they have borne the load ourselves are doom'd to bear.
"What charms th' historic Muse adorn, from spoils, "And blood, and tyrants, when she wings her flight,
"To hail the patriot prince, whose pious toils, "Sacred to science, liberty, and right,
"And peace, through every age divinely bright "Shall shine the boast and wonder of mankind! "Sees yonder sun, from his meridian height, "A lovelier scene, than virtue thus inshrined In power, and man with man, for mutual aid, combined ?
"Hail, sacred Polity, by Freedom rear❜d!
Hail, sacred Freedom, when by Law restrain'd! "Without you what were man? A grovelling herd "In darkness, wretchedness, and want, enchain'd. "Sublimed by you, the Greek and Roman reign'd "In arts unrivall'd: O, to latest days, "In Albion may your influence unprofaned "To godlike worth the generous bosom raise, "And prompt the sage's lore, and fire the poet's lays.
"But now let other themes our care engage.
And from within the cherish'd heart to brace, Philosophy appears. The gloomy race "By Indolence and moping Fancy bred, "Fear, Discontent, Solicitude, give place, "And Hope and Courage brighten in their stead, "While on the kindling soul her vital beams are shed.
Then waken from long lethargy to life
"The seeds of happiness, and powers of thought: "Then jarring appetites forego their strife, "A strife by ignorance to madness wrought. "Pleasure by savage man is dearly bought "With fell revenge; lust that defies control, "With gluttony and death. The mind untaught "Is a dark waste, where fiends and tempests howl; As Phœbus to the world, is Science to the soul.
"And Reason now through number, time, and space, "Darts the keen lustre of her serious eye,
"And learns from facts compared the laws to trace, "Whose long progression leads to Deity. "Can mortal strength presume to soar so high? "Can mortal sight, so oft bedimm'd with tears, "Such glory bear ?--for, lo! the shadows fly "From nature's face; confusion disappears, "And order charms the eyes, and harmony the ears.
"In the deep windings of the grove, no more
Nor sinks convulsive in prophetic swoon;
"Nor bids the noise of drums and trumpets swell, "To ease of fancied pangs the laboring moon, "Or chase the shade that blots the blazing orb of noon.
"Many a long-lingering year, in lonely isle,
“Lo, with dim eyes that never learn'd to smile. "And trembling hands, the famish'd native craves "Of Heaven his wretched fare: shivering in caves, "Or scorch❜d on rocks, he pines from day to day; "But Science gives the word; and lo, he braves "The surge and tempest, lighted by her ray, "And to a happier land wafts merrily away.
"And ev❜n where Nature loads the teeming plain With the full pomp of vegetable store, "Her bounty, unimproved, is deadly bane: "Dark woods and rankling wilds, from shore to shore, "Stretch their enormous gloom; which to explore "Ev'n Fancy trembles, in her sprightliest mood; "For there, each eyeball gleams with lust of gore, "Nestles each murderous and each monstrous brood, Plague lurks in every shade, and steams from every flood.
"Twas from Philosophy man learn❜d to tame "The soil by plenty to intemperance fed.
Lo! from the echoing axe, and thundering flame, "Poison and plague and yielding rage are fled. "The waters, bursting from their slimy bed, "Bring health and melody to every vale:
"And, from the breezy main and mountain's head, "Ceres and Flora, to the sunny dale,
To fan their glowing charms, invite the fluttering gale.
"What dire necessities on every hand