« PreviousContinue »
That health and vigor to the soul impart,
Spread the young thought, and warm the opening
So fond instruction on the growing powers
Of nature idly lavishes her stores,
If equal justice with unclouded face
Smile not indulgent on the rising race,
And scatter, with a free though frugal hand,
Light golden showers of plenty o'er the land:
But tyranny has fixed her empire there,
To check their tender hopes with chilling fear,
And blast the blooming promise of the year.
This spacious animated scene survey, From where the rolling orb, that gives the day, His sable sons with nearer course surrounds To either pole, and life's remotest bounds, How rude soe'er the exterior form we find, Howe'er opinion tinge the varied mind, Alike to all, the kind, impartial heaven The sparks of truth and happiness has given: With sense to feel, with memory to retain, 30 They follow pleasure, and they fly from pain; Their judgment mends the plan their fancy draws, The event presages, and explores the cause; The soft returns of gratitude they know, By fraud elude, by force repel the foe; While mutual wishes, mutual woes endear The social smile, the sympathetic tear.
Say, then, through ages by what fate confined
To different climes seem different souls assigned ?
Here measured laws and philosophic ease
Fix, and improve the polished arts of peace;
There industry and gain their vigils keep,
Command the winds, and tame the unwilling deep:
Here force and hardy deeds of blood prevail;
There languid pleasure sighs in every gale.
Oft o'er the trembling nations from afar
Has Scythiao breathed the living cloud of war;
And, where the deluge burst, with sweepy sway
Their arms, their kings, their gods were rolled away
As oft have issued, host impelling host,
The blue-eyed myriads from the Baltic coast."
The prostrate south to the destroyer yields
Her boasted titles, and her golden fields:
With grim delight the brood of winter view
A brighter day, and heavens of azure hue;
Scent the new fragrance of the breathing rose,
And quaff the pendent vintage as it grows.
Proud of the yoke, and pliant to the rod,
Why yet does Asia dread a monarch's nod,
While European freedom still withstands
The encroaching tide that drowns her lessening
And sees far off, with an indignant groan,
Her native plains, and empires once her own?
Can opener skies and sons of fiercer flame
O'erpower the fire that animates our frame;
As lamps, that shed at eve a cheerful ray,
Fade and expire beneath the eye of day?
Need we the influence of the northern star
To string our nerves and steel our hearts to war?
And, where the face of nature laughs around, 70
Must sickening virtue fly the tainted ground?
Unmanly thought! what seasons can control,
What fancied zone can circumscribe the soul,
Who, conscious of the source from whence she springs,
By reason's light, on resolution's wings,
Spite of her frail companion, dauntless goes
O'er Libya's deserts and through Zembla's snows°?
She bids each slumbering energy awake,
Another touch, another temper take,
Suspends the inferior laws that rule our clay;
The stubborn elements confess her sway;
Their little wants, their low desires, refine,
And raise the mortal to a height divine.
Not but the human fabric from the birth
Imbibes a flavor of its parent earth:
As various tracts enforce a various toil,
The manners speak the idiom of their soil.
An iron-race the mountain cliffs maintain,
Foes to the gentler genius of the plain:
For where unwearied sinews must be found
With sidelong plough to quell the flinty ground,
To turn the torrent's swift-descending flood,
To brave the savage rushing from the wood,
What wonder if to patient valor trained,
They guard with spirit what by strength they gained ?
And while their rocky ramparts round they see,
The rough abode of want and liberty,
(As lawless force from confidence will grow,)
Insult the plenty of the vales below?
What wonder, in the sultry climes, that spread 100
Where Nile redundant o'er his summer-bed
From his broad bosom life and verdure flings,
And broods o'er Egypt with his watery wings,
If with adventurous oar and ready sail
The dusky people drive before the gale;
Or on frail floats to neighboring cities ride,
That rise and glitter o'er the ambient tide
[The following couplet, which was intended to have been introduced in the poem on the Alliance of Education and Government, is much too beautiful to be lost. — Mason.] When love could teach a monarch to be wise, And gospel-light first dawned from Bullen's eyes.
“HENCE, avaunt, ('tis holy ground,)
Comus, and his midnight-crew,
And Ignorance with looks profound,
And dreaming Sloth of pallid hue.
Mad Sedition's cry profane,
5 Servitude that hugs her chain, Nor in these consecrated bowers, Let painted Flattery hide her serpent-train in
“Nor Envy base, nor creeping Gain,
Dare the Muse's walk to stain,
While bright-eyed Science watches round:
Hence, away, 'tis holy ground !"
From yonder realms of empyrean day
Bursts on my ear the indignant lay: There sit the sainted sage, the bard divine, 15
The few, whom genius gave to shine
Through every unborn age, and undiscovered clime.
Rapt in celestial transport they :
Yet thither oft a glance from high
They send of tender sympathy
To bless the place, where on their opening soul
First the genuine ardor stole.
'Twas Milton struck the deep-toned shell,
And, as the choral warblings round him swell,
Meek Newton's selfo bends from his state sub-
lime, And nods his hoary head, and listens to the rhyme.