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Our more harmonious notes: the thrush de.

paits Scar'd, and th' offended nightingale is mute. Their is a public mischief in your mirth: It plagues your country. Folly such as yours, Grac'd with a sword, and worthier of a fan, Has made, what enemies could ne'er have

done, Our arch of empire, steadfast but for you, A mutilated structure soon to fall.

THE TASK.

BOOK II.

TIIE TIME-PIECE.

ARGUMENT OF THE SECOND BOOK. Reflections suggested by the conclusion of the former bouba

-Peace among the nations recommended on the ground of their common fellowship in sorrow-Prodigies enumerated-Sicilian earthquakes-Man rendered obnox ious to these calamities by sin-God the agent in themThe philosophy that stops at secondary causes reproved -Our own late miscarriages accounted fur-Satirical notice taken of our trips to Fontainbleau-But the pulpit, not satire, the proper engine of reformation-The Reverend Advertiser of engraved sermons-Petit-maitre parson-The good preacher-Picture of a theatrical clerk cal coxcomb-Story-tellers ard jesters in the pulpit reproved-Apostrophe 10 popusar applause-Retailers of ancient philosophy expostulated with-Sum of the whole malter-Effects of sacerdotal mismanagement on the laily-Their folly and extravagance-The mischiefs of profusion-Profusicn itself, with all its consequent evils, ascribed, as to its principal cause, to the want of discipline in the universities.

O for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumor of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more! My ear is pair'u,
My soul is sick with ev'ry day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is fill'd
There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart;
It does not feel for man; the natural bond
Of brotherhood is sever'd, as the flax,
That falls asunder at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not colour'd like his own; and having pow'r
T' enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as a lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
A bhor each other. Mountains interpos’d
Make enemies of nations, who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And worse than all, and most to be deplor'd,
As human nature's broadest, foulest blot,
Chairs him, and tasks him, and exacts his swear
With stripes, that Mercy with a bleeding heart,
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.
Then what is man? And what man, seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush,
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a slave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That sinews bought and seld have ever earn’d.

No: dear as freedom is, and in my

heart's Just estimation priz'd above all price, I had much rather be myself the slave, And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him. We have no slaves at home.-Then why abroad 1 And they themselves, once ferried o'er the wave That parts us, are emancipate and loos’d. Slaves cannot breathe in England ; if their lungs Receive our air, that moment they are free; They touch our country, and their shackles fall. That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud And jealous of the blessing. Spread it, then, And let it circulate through ev'ry vein Of all your empire: that, where Britain's pow'r Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.

Sure there is need of social intercourse, Benevolence, and peace, and mutual aid, Between the nations, in a world that seems To toll the death-bell of its own disease, And by the voice of all its elements To preach the gen'ral doom.* When were the

winds Let slip with such a warrant to destroy ? When did the waves so haughtily o'erleap Their ancient barriers, deluging the dry? Fires from beneath, and meteorst from abova, Portentous, unexampled, unexplain'd Have kindled beacons in the skies; and th' old And crazy Earth has had her shaking fits

* Alluding to the calamities in Jamaica + Augus', 13, 1781.

* More frequent, and foregene lier usual resi.
Is it a time to wrangle, when the props
And pillars of our planet seem to fail,
And Nature with a dim and sickly eye*
To wait the close of all ? But grant her end
More distant, and that prophecy demands
A longer respite, unaccomplish'd yet;
Still they are frowning signals, and bespeak
Displeasure in his breast who smites the Earth
Or heals it, makes it languish or rejoice.
And ’ris but seemly, that, where all deserve
And stand expos'd by common peccancy
To what no few have felt, there should be peace
And brethren in calamity should love.

Alas for Sicily! rude fragments now
Lie scatter'd, where the shapely columns stood.
Her palaces are dust. In all her streets
The voice of singing and the sprightly chord
Are silent. Revelry, and dance, and show,
Suffer a syncope and solemn pause;
Whire God performs upon the trembling stage
Of his own works his dreadful part alone.
How does the earth receive him ? with what signs
Of gratulation and delight her king ?
Pours she not all her choicest fruits abroad,
Her sweetest flow'rs, her aromatick gums,
Disclosing Paradise where'er he treads ?
She quakes at his approach. Her hollow womb,
Conceiving thunders, through a thousand deeps

# Alluding to the fog that covered both Europe and Asia during the whole summer o‘ 1783.

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