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But what avail her unexhausted stores,
Her blooming mountains and her sunny shores,
With all the gifts that Heaven and Earth impart,
The smiles of Nature, and the charms of Art,
While proud oppression in her valleys reigns,
And tyranny usurps her happy plains ?
The poor inhabitant beholds in vain
The reddening orange and the swelling grain ;
Joyless he sees the growing oils and wines,
And in the myrtle’s fragrant shades repines;
Starves in the midst of Nature's bounty cursed,
And in the loaded vineyard dies for thirst.
Oh Liberty, thou goddess heavenly bright,
Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight!
Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign,
And smiling Plenty leads thy wanton train;
Eased of her load, Subjection grows more light,
And Poverty looks cheerful in thy sight;
Thou mak'st the gloomy face of Nature gay,
Giv'st beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day.
Thee, goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adores; How has she oft exhausted all her stores, How oft in field of death thy presence sought, Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought! On foreign mountains may the sun refine The grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine, With citron groves adorn a distant soil, And the fat olive swell with floods of oil : We envy not the warmer clime, that lies In ten degrees of more indulgent skies, Nor at the coarseness of our heaven repine, Though o'er our heads the frozen Pleiades shine: 'Tis liberty that crowns Britannia's isle, And makes her barren rocks and her bleak mount
PARAPHRASE ON PSALM XXIII.
The Lord my pasture shall prepare,
And feed me with a shepherd's care ;
His presence shall my wants supply,
And guard me with a watchful eye:
My noonday walks he shall attend,
And all my midnight hours defend.
When in the sultry glebe I faint,
Or on the thirsty mountain pant,
To fertile vales and dewy meads
My weary, wandering steps he leads :
Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow,
Amid the verdant landscape flow.
Though in the paths of death I tread,
With gloomy horrors overspread,
My steadfast heart shall fear no ill,
For thou, oh Lord, art with me still ;
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid,
And guide me through the dreadful shade.
Though in a bare and rugged way,
Through devious, lonely wilds I stray,
Thy bounty shall my wants beguile,
The barren wilderness shall smile,
With sudden greens and herbage crown'd,
And streams shall murmur all around.
How are thy servants bless'd, oh Lord!
How sure is their defence ! Eternal wisdom is their guide,
Their help Omnipotence.
in foreign realms, and lands remote,
Supported by thy care, Through burning climes I pass'd unhurt,
And breathed in tainted air.
Thy mercy sweetend every soil,
Made every region please ;
The hoary Alpine hills it warm'd,
And smooth'd the Tyrrhene seas.
Think, oh my soul, devoutly think,
How, with affrighted eyes,
Thou saw'st the wide-extended deep
In all its horrors rise.
Confusion dwelt on every face,
And fear in every heart; When waves on waves, and gulfs on gulfs,
O'ercame the pilot's art.
Yet then from all my griefs, oh lord !
Thy mercy set me free;
Whilst in the confidence of prayer
My soul took hold on thee.
For though in dreadful whirls we hung
High on the broken wave;
I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
Nor impotent to save.
The storm was laid, the winds retired,
Obedient to thy will;
The sea, that roar'd at thy command,
At thy command was still.
In midst of dangers, fears, and death,
Thy goodness I'll adore;
And praise thee for thy mercies pass'd,
And humbly hope for more.
My life, if thou preserv'st my life,
Thy sacrifice shall be ;
And death, if death must be my doom,
Shall join my soul to thee.
MATTHEW PRIOR. 1664-1721.
As the chameleon, who is known
To have no colours of his own,
But borrows from his neighbour's hue
His white or black, his green or blue;
And struts as much in ready light,
Which credit gives him upon sight,
As if the rainbow were in tail
Settled on him and his heirs male;
So the young 'squire, when first he comes
From country school to Will's or Tom's,
And equally, in truth, is fit
To be a statesman or a wit;
Without one notion of his own,
He saunters wildly up and down,
Till some acquaintance, good or bad,
Takes notice of a staring lad,
Admits him in among the gang ;
They jest, reply, dispute, harangue:
He acts and talks as they befriend him,
Smear'd with the colours which they lend him.
Thus, merely as his fortune chances,
His merit or his vice advances.
If, haply, he the sect pursues That read and comment upon news, He takes
their mysterious face, He drinks his coffee without lace;
This week his mimic tongue runs o'er
What they have said the week before ;
His wisdom sets all Europe right,
And teaches Marlborough when to fight.
Or if it be his fate to meet
With folks who have more wealth than wit;
He loves cheap port, and double bub,
And settles in the Hum-drum club:
He learns how stocks will fall or rise ;
Holds poverty the greatest vice;
Thinks wit the bane of conversation,
And says that learning spoils a nation.
WHEN poets wrote and painters drew,
As nature pointed out the view;
Ere Gothic forms were known in Greece
To spoil the well-proportion'd piece ;
And in our verse ere monkish rhymes
Had jangled their fantastic chimes ;
Ere on the flowery lands of Rhodes
Those knights had fix'd their dull abodes,
Who knew not much to paint or write,
Nor cared to pray, nor dared to fight :
Protogenes, historians note,
Lived there, a burgess, scot and lot;
And, as old Pliny's writings show,
Apelles did the same at Co.
Agreed these points of time and place,
Proceed we in the present case.
Piqued by Protogenes's fame,
From Co to Rhodes Apelles came,
To see a rival and a friend,
Prepared to censure or commend;
Here to absolve, and there object,
As art with candour might direct.