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But we most happy, who can fear no force
But winged troops, or Pegasean horse :
'Tis not so hard for greedy foes to spoil
Another nation, as to touch our soil.
Should nature's self invade the world again,
And o'er the centre spread the liquid main,
Thy pow'r were safe ; and her destructive hand
Wou'd but enlarge the bounds of thy command:
Thy dreadful fleet would style thee Lord of all,
And ride in triumph o'er the drowned ball:
Those tow'rs of oak o'er fertile plains might go,
And visit mountains where they once did grow.
The world's restorer once could not endure,
That finith'd Babel Ahould chofe men secure,
Whose pride design'd that fabric to have stood
Above the reach of any second flood.
To thee his chosen more indulgent, he
Dares truft such power with so much piety.
On the INVENTION OF LETTERS. ELL me what genius did the art invent,
The lively image of the voice to paint; Who first the secret how to colour sound, And to give shape to reafon, wisely found; With bodies how to cloath ideas, taught; And how to draw the picture of a thought: Who taught the hand to speak, the eye to hear A filent language roving far and near; Whose softest noise out-strips loud thunder's sound, And spreads her accents through the world's vat round: A voice heard by the deaf, spoke by the dumb, Whose echo reaches long, long time to come; Which dead men speak as well as those alive Tell me what genius did this art contrive?
*HE noble art to Cadmus owes its rife,
Of painting words, and speaking to the eyes
He first in wond'rous magic fetters bound
The airy voice, and stop'd the flying sound:
The various figures by his pencil wrought,
Gave colour, form, and body to the thought.
The ENTHUSIAST; or the LOVER of NATURE.
E green-rob’d Dryads, oft' at dusky eve
To unfrequented meads, and pathless wilds,
Lead me from gardens deck'd with art's vain pomps.
Can gilt alcoves, can marble-mimick gods,
Parterres embroider'd, obelisks, and urns
Of high relief: can the long, spreading lake,
Or vista Jessening to the fight; can Stow
With all her Attick fanes, such raptures raise,
As the thrush-haunted copse, where lightly leaps
The fearful fawn the ruftling leaves along,
And the brisk squirrel sports from bough to bough,
While from an hollow oak, whose naked roots
O'erhang a pensive rill, the busy bees
Hum drowsy lullabies? The bards of old,
Fair Nature's friends, fought such retreats, to charm
Sweet Echo with their songs; oft' too they met
In summer evenings, near fequefter'd bow'rs,
Or mountain-nymph, or mule, and eager learn'd
The moral strains The taught to mend mankind.
As to a fecret grot Ægeria stole
With patriot Numa, and in silent night
Whisper'd him facred laws, he list'ning fat
Rapt with her virtuous voice, old Tyber lean'd
Attentive on his urn, and hubhd his waves.
Rich in her weeping country's spoils Versailles
May boast a thousand fountains, that can cast
The tortur'd waters to the distant heav'ns;
Yet let me choose some pine-top'd precipice
Abrupt and shaggy, whence a foamy stream,
Like Anio, tumbling roars; or somé bleak heath,
Where ftraggling stand the mournful juniper,
Or yew-tree scathd; while in clear prospect round,
From the grove's bosom spires emerge, and smoak
In bluish wreaths ascends, ripe harvests wave,
Low, lonely cottages, and ruin's tops
Of Gothic battlements appear, and streams
Beneath the sun-beams twinkle.-The shrill lark,
That wakes the wood-man to his early talk,
Or love-fick Philomel, whose luscious lays
Soothe lone night-wanderers, the moaning dove
Pitied by listening milk-maid, far excel
The deep-mouth viol, the foul-lulling lute,
And battle-breathing trumpet. Artful sounds!
That please not like the choristers of air,
When first they hail th' approach of laughing May.
Can Kent design like Nature? Mark where Thames.
Plenty and pleasure pours thro'. Lincoln's meads;
Can the great artist, tho' with taste fupreme
Endu'd, one beauty to this Eden add!
Tho' hé, by rules unfetter'd, boldly scorns
Formality and method, round and square
Disdaining, plans irregularly great.
Creative Titian, can thy vivid strokes;
Or thine, O graceful Raphael, dáre to vie
With the rich tints that paint the breathing" mead?
The thousand-colour'd tulip, violet's bell
Snow-clad and meek, the vermil-tinctur'd rose,
And golden crocus? -Yet with these the maid,
Phillis or Phoebe, at a feast or wake,
Her jetty locks enamels; fairer she,
In innocence and home-fpun vestments dress’dz,
Than if coerulean fapphires at her ears
Shone pendent, or a precious diamond-crofs
Heav'd gently on her panting bosom white.
Yon Thepherd idły stretch'd on the rude rock,
Listening to dashing waves, and sea-mews clang
High hovering o'er his head, who views beneath
The dolphin dancing o'er the level brine,
Feels more true bliss than the proud admiral,
Amid his vessels bright with burnish'd gold
And filken streamers, tho' his lordly nod:
Ten thoufand war-worn mariners revere.
And great neas + gaz'd with more delight
On the rough mountain shagg’d with horrid shades,
(Where cloud-compelling Jove, as fancy dream'd,
Descending shook his direful Ægis black)
Than if he enter'd the high Capitol
On golden columns rear'd, a conquer'd world
Exhausted to enrich its stately head.
: More pleas'd he slept in poor Evander's cott
* The earl of Lincoln's terrace at Weybridge in Surry. .
5. Æneid VIII,
On shaggy skins, lulla by sweet nightingales,
Than if a Nero, in an age refin'd,
Beneath a gorgeous canopy had plac'd
His royal guest, and bade his minstrels found
Soft flumb'rous Lydian airs, to foothe bis rest.
* Happy the first of men, ere yet confin'd
To smoaky cities; who in fheltering groves,
Warm caves, and deep-funk vallies liv'd and lov'd,
By cares unwounded; what the fun and showers,
And genial earth untillagd could produce,
They gather'd grateful, or the acorn brown,
Or blushing berry; by the liquid lapse
Of murr'ring waters call'd to Nake their thirst,
Or with fair nymphs their fun-brown limbs to bathe;
With nymphs who fondly clasp'd their fav’rite youths,
Unaw'd by shame, beneath the beechen fhade,
Nor wiles, nor artificial coyness knew.
Then doors and walls were not; the melting maid
Nor frowns of parents fear'd, nor husband's threats;
Nor had curs'd gold their tender hearts allur'd:
Then beauty was not venal. Injur'd love,
O whither, god of raptures, art thou Aled?
While avarice waves his golden wand around,
Abhorr'd magician, and his coftly cup
Prepares with baneful drugs, t'enchant the fouts
Of each low-thoughted fair to wed for gain.
In earth's first infancy (as fung the + bard,
Who strongly painted what he boldly thought)
Tho'che fierce north oft (mote with iron whip
Their shiv'ring limbs, tho' of the briftly boar
Or hungry lion 'woke them with their howls,
And scar'd them from their moss-grown caves to rove
Houseless and cold in dark tempestuous nights;
Yet were not myriads in embatteld fields
Swept off at once, nor had the raging feas
O'erwhelm'd the found'ring bark and shrieking crew;
In vain the glasly ocean smil'd to tempt
The jolly failor unsuspecting harm;
For cominerce nc'er had spread her swelling fails,
Nor had the wond'ring Nereids ever heard
The dashing oar: then famine, want, and pine,
Sunk to the grave their fainting limbs; but us
Diseaseful dainties, riot and excess,
And * See Lucretius, lib. V. † Lucretius,
And feverish luxury destroy. In brakes,
Or marshes wild unknowingly they crop d
Herbs of malignant juice; to realms remote
While we for powerful poisons madly roam,
From ev'ry noxious herb collecting death.
What tho unknown to those primeval fires
The well-arch'd dome, peopled with breathing forms
By fair Italia's fkilful hand, unknown
The shapely column, and the crumbling busts
Of awful ancestors in long descent?
Yet why should man mistaken deem it nobler
To dwell in palaces, and high-roof'd halls,
Than in God's forests, architect fupreme !
Say, is the Persian carpet, than the field's
Or meadow's mantle gay, more richly wov'n ;
Or fofter to the votaries of ease
Than bladed grass perfum'd with dew-drop'd flow'rs?
O tafte corrupt ! that luxury and pomp,
In specious names of polith'd manners veil'd,
Should proudly banish Nature's simple charms !
All beauteous Nature ! by thy boundless charms
Oppress’d, O where shall I begin thy praise,
Where turn th' ecstatick eye, how ease my breast
That pants with wild astonishment and love!
Dark forests, and the op'ning lawn, refresh'd
With ever-gushing brooks, hill, meadow, dale,
The balmy bean-field, the gay clover'd close,
So sweetly interchang'd, the lowing ox,
The playful lamb, the distant water-fall
Now faintly heard, now swelling with the breeze,
The sound of paftoral reed from hazel-bower,
The choral birds, the neighing steed, that snuffs
His dappled mate, ftung with intense desire,
The ripen'd orchard when the ruddy orbs
Betwixt the green leaves blush, the azure skiesz,
The chearful fun that thro' earth's vitals pours
Delight and health and heat; all, all conspire,
To raise, to soothe, to harmonize the mind,
To lift, on wings of praise, to the great Sire
Of being and of beauty, at whose nod
Creation started from the gloomy vault
Of dreary Chaos, while the griefly king
Murmur'd to feel his boisterous power confin'd.