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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 every draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe;
Till sapp'd their strength, and every part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.

Even now the devastation is begun,
And half the business of destruction done;
Even now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
I see the rural Virtues leave the land.
Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail
That idly waiting flaps with every 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 degenerate 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 woe,
That found’st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of every 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,

410 421

X

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 possest,
Though very poor, may still be very blest ;
That Trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away;
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.

autorky

430

THE HERMIT.1

1 " TURN, gentle Hermit of the dale,

And guide my lonely way,
To where yon taper cheers the vale

With hospitable ray.

2 “ For here forlorn and lost I tread,

With fainting steps and slow;
Where wilds, immeasurably spread,

Seem lengthening as I go.”

3 “ Forbear, my son,” the Hermit cries,

“ To tempt the dangerous gloom ; For yonder faithless phantom flies

To lure thee to thy doom.

4 “ Here to the houseless child of want

My door is open still ;
And though my portion is but scant,
I give it with good will.

See Vicar of Wakefield, chapter viii.

1

5 “ Then turn to-night, and freely share

Whate'er my cell bestows;
My rushy couch and frugal fare,

My blessing, and repose.

6 “ No flocks that range the valley free

To slaughter I condemn ;
Taught by that Power that pities me,

I learn to pity them :

7 “ But from the mountain's

grassy

side A guiltless feast I bring ; A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,

And water from the spring.

8 “ Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;

All earth-born cares are wrong;
Man wants 1 but little here below,

Nor wants that little long."

9 Soft as the dew from heaven descends,

His gentle accents fell :
The modest stranger lowly bends,

And follows to the cell.

10 Far in a wilderness obscure

The lonely mansion lay ;
A refuge to the neighbouring poor,

And strangers led astray.

11 No stores beneath its humble thatch

Required a master's care ;
The wicket, opening with a latch,

Received the harmless pair.
1. Man wants,' &c. : See Young's Fourth Night.

12 And now, when busy crowds retire

To take their evening rest,
The Hermit trimm'd his little fire,

And cheer'd his pensive guest :

13 And spread his vegetable store,

And gaily prest, and smiled ;
And, skill'd in legendary lore,

The lingering hours beguiled.

14 Around in sympathetic mirth

Its tricks the kitten tries;
The cricket chirrups in the hearth ;

The crackling fagot flies.

15 But nothing could a charm impart,

To soothe the stranger's woe;
For grief was heavy at his heart,

And tears began to flow.

16 His rising cares the Hermit spied,

With answering care opprest :
And, “Whence, unhappy youth,” he cried,

“ The sorrows of thy breast ?

17 “ From better habitations spurn'd,

Reluctant dost thou rove?
Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd,

Or unregarded love?

18 “ Alas! the joys that fortune brings

Are trifling, and decay;
And those who prize the paltry things,

More trifling still than they.

19

“ And what is friendship but a name,

A charm that lulls to sleep ;
A shade that follows wealth or fame,

And leaves the wretch to weep?

20 “ And love is still an emptier sound,

The modern fair one's jest ;
On earth unseen, or only found

To warm the turtle's nest.

the sex,

21 “ For shame, fond youth! thy sorrows hush, And spurn

sex,” he said : But while he spoke, a rising blush

His love-lorn guest betray'd.

22 Surprised he sees new beauties rise,

Swift mantling to the view;
Like colours o'er the morning skies,

As bright, as transient too.

23 The bashful look, the rising breast,

Alternate spread alarms :
The lovely stranger stands confest

A maid in all her charms.

24 And, “ Ah! forgive a stranger rude,

A wretch forlorn," she cried ;
« Whose feet un hallow'd thus intrude

Where heaven and you reside.

25 “But let a maid thy pity share,

Whom love has taught to stray ;
Who seeks for rest, but finds despair

Companion of her way.

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