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The host himself no longer shall be found
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen, who survey 265 The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay, 'T is yours to judge how wide the limits stand Between a splendid and a happy land. Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore, And shouting Folly hails them from her shore; 270 Hoards ev'n beyond the miser's wish abound, And rich men flock from all the world around. Yet count our gains. This ealth is but a name That leaves our useful product still the same. Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride 275 Takes up a space
that many poor supplied; Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds, Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth
As some fair female, unadorn’d and plain, Secure to please while youth confirms her reign, Slights every borrow'd charm that dress supplies, Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes ; 290 But when those charms are pass’d, for charms are frail, When time advances, and when lovers fail, She then shines forth, solicitous to bless, In all the glaring impotence of dress. Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd ; 295 In nature's simplest charms at first array'd, But verging to decline, its splendours rise, Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise; While, scourged by famine from the smiling land, The mournful peasant leads his humble band ; 300 And while he sinks, without one arm to save, The country blooms—a garden, and a grave.
Where then, ah where, shall poverty reside, To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride ? If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd, 305 He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade, Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide, And ev'n the bare-worn common is denied.
If to the city sped—What waits him there? To see profusion that he must not share; 310
To see ten thousand baneful arts combined
335 She left her wheel and robes of country brown.
Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest train, Do thy fair tribes participate her pain ? Ev'n now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led, At proud men's doors they ask a little bread ! 340
Ah, no. To distant climes, a dreary scene. Where half the convex world intrudes between,
Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go,
Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting That call’d them from their native walks away! When the poor exiles, every pleasure past, 365 Hung round the bowers, and fondly look’d their last, And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain For seats like these beyond the western main; And shuddering still to face the distant deep, Return'd and wept, and still return'd to weep.
370 The good old sire the first prepared to go To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe; But for himself, in conscious virtue brave, He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave.
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears, 375
O Luxury! thou curst by Heaven's decree, 385 How ill exchanged are things like these for thee! 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:
390 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. Ev'n now the devastation is begun,
395 And half the business of destruction done; Ev'n 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,
400 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,
405 And steady loyalty, and faithful love.