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And thus the rangers of the western world,
Where it advances far into the deep,
Tow'rds the antarctic. E'en the favour'd isles
So lately found, although the constant sun
Cheer all their seasons with a grateful smile,
Can boast but little virtue; and inert
Through plenty, lose in morals what they gain
In manners-victims of luxurious ease.
These therefore I can pity, plac'd remote
From all that science traces, art invents,
Or inspiration teaches; and enclos'd
In boundless occans never to be pass’d
By navigators uninform’d as they,
Or plough'd perhaps by British bark again
But far beyond the rest, and with most cause,
Thee, gentle savage !* whom no love of thee
Or thine, but curiosity perhaps,
Or clse vain glory, promoted us to draw
Forth from thy native bow'rs, to show thee here
With what superior skill we can abuse
The gifts of Providence, and squander life.
The dream is past; and thou hast found again
Thy cocoas and bananas, palms and yans,
And homestall thatch'd with leaves. But hast
thou found Their former charms? And, having seen our
state, Our palaces, our ladies, and our pomp Of equipage, our gardens, and our sports, A ad heard our music; are thy simple friends,
Tl.y simple fare, and all thy plain welights,
As dear to thee as once ? And have thy joys
Lost nothing by comparison with ours ?
Rude as thou art, (for we return'd thee rude
And ignorant, except of outward show,)
I cannot think thee yet so dull of heart
And spiritless, as never to regret
Sweets tasted here, and left as soon as known.
Methinks I see thee straying on the beach,
And asking of the surge that bathes thy foot,
If ever it has wash'd our distant shore,
I see thee weep, and thine are honest tears,
A patriot's for his country: thou art sad
At thought of her forlorn and abject state,
From which no pow'r of thine can raise her up.
Thus fancy paints thee, and, though apt to err,
Perhaps errs little, when she paints thee thus.
She tells me too, that duly ev'ry morn
Thou climb'st the mountain top, with eager eye
Exploring far and wide the wat'ry waste
For sight of ship from England. Ev'ry speck
Seen in the dim horizon turns thee pale
With conflict of contending hopes and fears.
But comes at last the dull and dusky eve,
And sends thee to thy cabin, well prepar'd
To dream all night of what the day denied.
Alas! expect it not. We found no bait
To tempt us in thy country. Doing good,
Disinterested good, is not our trade.
We travel far, 'tis true, but not for nought ;
And must be brib’d to compass Earth again
By other hopes and richer fruits than youse.
But though true worth and virtue is the mild And genial soil of cultivated life Thrive most, and may perhaps thrive only there Yet not in cities oft in proud, and gay, And gain-devoted cities. Thither flow, As to a common and most noisome sewer, The dregs and feculence of every land. In cities, foul example on most minds Begets its likeness. Rank abundance breeds, In gross and pamper'd cities, sloth, and lust, And wantonness, and gluttonous excess. In cities, vice is hidden with most ease, Or seen with least reproach; and virtue, taught By frequent lapse, can hope no triumph there Beyond th' achievement of successful flight. I do confess them nurseries of the arts, In which they flourish most; where in the
beams Of warm encouragement, and in the eye Of public note, they reach their perfect size. Such London is, by taste and wealth proclaim'd The fairest capital of all the world, By riot and Incontinence the worst. There touch'd by Reynolds, a dull blank
becomes A lucid mirror, in which Nature sees All her reflected features. Bacon there Gives more than female beauty to a stone, And Chatham's eloquence to marble lips. Nor does the chisel occupy alone The pow'rs of Iptu but the style as much: Each province of her art her qual care.
Wiih nice incision of her guided steel
She ploughs a brazen field, and cloties a so:1
So sterile with what charms soe'er she will,
The richest scenery and the loveliest forms.
Where finds Philosophy her eagle eye,
With which she gazes at yon burning disk
Undazzled, and detects and counts his spots ?
In London. Where her implements exact,
With which she calculates, computes and scans
All distance, motion, magnitude, and now
Measures an atom, and now girds a world ?
In London. Where has commerce such a mart
So rich, so throng'd, so drain'd, and so sup
As London--opulent, enlarg’d, and still
Increasing London ? Babylon of old
Not more the glory of the Earth, than she,
A mure accomplish'd world's chief glory now.
She has her praise. Now mark a spot o!
two, That so much beauiy would do well to purge ; And show this queen of cities, that so fair, May yet be foul; so witty, yet not wise. It is not seemly, nor of good report, That she is slack in discipline; more prompt T'avenge than to prevent the breach of law : That she is rigid in denouncing death On petty robbers, and indulges life, And liberty, and ofttimes honour too, To peculators of the public gold: That thieves' at honig must hang ; but he that
Into his overgory'd and bloated purse
The wealth of Indian provinces, escapes.
Nor is it well, nor can it come to good,
That, through profane and infidel contempt
Of holy writ, she has presum’d t' annul
And abrogate, as roundly as she may,
The total ordinance and will of God;
Advancing Fashion to the post of Truth
And centring all authority in modes
And customs of her own, till sabbath rites
Have dwindled into unrespected forms,
And knees and hassacks are well-nigh divorc' i.
God made the country, and man made the
What wonder then that health and virtue, gists
That can alone make sweet the bitter draught
That life holds out to all, should most abound
And least be threaten'd in the fields and
groves ? Possess ye, therefore, ye who, borne about In chariots and sedans, know no fatigue But that of idleness, and taste no scenes But such as art contrives, possess ye still Your element, there only can ye shine ; There only minds like yours can do no harm. Our groves were planted 10 console at noon The pensive wand'rer in their shades. At eve The moon-beam, sliding softly in between The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wish, Birds warbling all the music. We can spare The splendour of your lamps; they but eclipse üur softer satellitr. Your songs confound