« PreviousContinue »
EDUCATION AND GOVERNMENT.
-Πόταγωγαθέ, των γαρ αοιδαν
Ούτι πω εις Αίδαν γε τον εκλελάθονία φυλαξεις. .
As sickly plants betray a niggard earth,
Whose barren bosom starves her gen'rous birth,
Nor genial warmth, nor genial juice retains,
Their roots to feed, and fill their verdant veins:
And as in climes, where Winter holds his reign,
The soil, tho' fertile, will not teem in vain,
Forbids her gems to swell, her shades to rise,
Nor trusts her blossoms to the churlish skies:
So draw Mankind in vain the vital airs,
Unform'd, unfriended, by those kindly cares,
That health and vigour to the soul impart,
Spread the young thought, and warm the open-
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, tho' frugal hand,
Light golden showers of plenty o'er the land:
But Tyranny has fix'd 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 th' exterior form we find,
Howe'er opinion tinge the varied mind,
Alike to all, the kind, impartial Heav'n
The sparks of truth and happiness has giv'n:
With sense to feel, with memory to retain,
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 and sympathetic tear.
Say, then, thro' ages by what fate confin'd
To different climes seem different souls assign'd?
Here measur'd laws and philosophic ease
Fix, and improve the polish'd 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 Scythia breath'd the living cloud of war;
And, where the deluge burst, with sweepy sway
Their arms, their kings, their gods were roll’daway.
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 Heav'ns 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
Th' 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 suns 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,
Must sick’ning Virtue fly the tainted ground?
Unmanly thought! what seasons can controul,
What fancied zone can circumscribe the soul,
Who, conscious of the source from whence she
By Reason's light, on Resolution's wings,
Spite of her frail companion, dauntless goes
O'er Lybia's deserts and thro' Zembla's snows?
She bids each slumb’ring 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 flavour of its parent earth.
As various tracks enforce a various toil,
The manners speak the idiom of their soil.