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I had much rather be myself the slave,
And wear the bonds, that fasten them on him.
We have no slaves at home—then why abroad?
And they themselves once ferried o'er the waves
That part us, are emancipate and loos’d.
Slaves cannot breath in England ; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free;
They touch our country, and their shackles fall,
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through ev'ry vein
Of all your empire, that where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.
REFLECTIONS ON A FUTURE STATE,
FROM A REVIEW OF WINTER. ;
Tis done ! dread Winter spreads his latest glooms, And reigns tremendous o'er the conquer'd year. How dead the vegetable kingdom lies ! : How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends His desolate domain. Behold, fond man! See here thy pictur'd life : pass some few years, Thy flowering spring, thy summer's ardent strength, Thy sober autumn fading into age, And pale concluding winter comes at last, And shuts the scent. Ah! whither now are fled, Those dreams of greatness ? those unsolid hopes Of happiness ? those longings after fame? Those restless cares? those busy bustling days? Those gay-spent, festive nights ? those veering tho'ts Lost between good and ill, that shar'd thy life? All now are vanish'd! Virtue sole survives, Immortal never-failing friend of man, His guide to happiness on high. And see ! 'Tia come, the glorious morn! the second birth
Of heaven, and earth! awakening Nature hears
The new-created world ; and starts to life,
In every heightened form, from pain and death -
For ever free. The great eternal scheme,
Involving all, and in a perfect whole
Uniting as the prospect wider spreads,
To Reason's eye refin'd clears up apace."
Ye vainly wise! Ye blind presumptious ! now,
Confounded in the dust, adore that Power,
And Wisdom oft arraiga'd: see now the cause
: Why unassuming Worth in secret liv'd,
And died neglected : why the good man's share
In life was gall and bitterness of soul:
Why the lone widow and her orphans pin'd - In starving solitude; while Luxury,
In palaces, lay straining her low thought,
To form unreal wants : why heaven-born Truth,
And Moderation fair, wore the red marks
Of Superstition's scourge : why licens'd Pain,
That cruel spoiler, that embosom'd foe,
Imbitter'd all our bliss. Ye good distress'd!
Ye noble few! who here unbending stand
Beneath life's pressure, yet bear up a while,
And what your bounded view, which only saw
A little part, deem'd evil, is no more :
The storms of wintry time will quickly pass,
And one unbounded spring encircle all.
Many by Number judge a Poet's song;
And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong:
In the bright Muse though thousand charms conspire,
Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire;
Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear,
Not mend their minds, as some to Church repair
Not for the doctrine, but the music there.
These equal syllables alone require,
Though oft the ear the open vowels tire ;
While expletives their feeble aid to join ;
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line :
While they ring round the same unvary'd chimes,
With sure returns of still expected rhymes;
Where'er you find “ the cooling western breeze,"
In the next line, it " whispers through the trees :"
In chrystal streams “ with pleasing murmurs creep,"
The reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with “sleep;?!
Then, at the last and only couplet fraught
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
That like a wounded snake drags its slow length along.
Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know
What's roundly smooth, or languishingly slow;
And praise the easy vigour of a line,
Where Denham's strength, and Waller's sweetness join.
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance..
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense :
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, .
The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar :
When Ajax strives some rocks vast weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move slow ;
Not so, when swist Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the
Hear how Timotheus' vary'd lays surprise,
And bid alternate passions fall and rise !
While at each change, the son of Lybian Jove
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now his fierce eyes with sparkling fury glow,
Now sighs steal out, and tears begin to flow :
Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And the World's victor stood subdued by Sound!
Of all the causes, which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind,
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is Pride, the never failing vice of fools.
Whatever Nature has in worth deny’d,
She gives in large recruits of needless pride!
For, as in bodies, thus in souls, we find
What wants in blood and spirits, swell’d with wind,
Pride where wit fails, steps into our defence,
And fills up all the mighty void of sense.
If once right Reason drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with resistless day.
'Trust not yourself; but, your defects to know ,
Make use of every friend--and every foe. , ,
A little learning is a dangerous thing:
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierean Spring :
Their shallow draughts intoxicate the brain;
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of arts,
While, from the bounded level of our mind,
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind ;
But, more advanc'd, behold, with strange surprise,
New distant scenes of endless science rise !
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky;
The eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last :
But those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthen'd way;
The increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes ;
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise.
The meek eye'd Morn appears, mother of dews,
At first faint gleaming in the dappled east; .
Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow : .
1 And from before the lustre of her face
White break the clouds away. With quickened step
Brown Night retires : Young Day pours io apace,
And opens all the lawny prospect wide.
The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top,
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn.
Blue, through ihe dusk, the smoking currents shine ;
And from the bladed field the fearful hare
Limps, awkward : while along the forest-glade ..
The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early passenger. Music awakes . "
The native voice of undissembled joy ;
And thick around the woodland hymns arise.
Rous'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves
His mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells;
And from the crouded fold, in order, drives
His flock to taste the verdure of the Morn.
Falsely luxurious, will not man awake;
And, springing from the bed of Sloth, enjoy .
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour,