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But with his clumsy port the wretch has lost
His ignorance and harmless maeners too!
To swear, to game, to drink; to fhew at home,
By lewdness, idleness, and Sabbath-breach,
The great proficiency he made abroad;
T astonish and to grieve bis gazing friends;
To break fome maiden's and his mother's heart;
To be a pest where he was useful once ;
Are his fole aim, and all his glory, now!
Man in fociety is like a flow'r
Blown in its native bed : 'tis there alone
His faculties, expanded in full bloom,
Shine out; there only reach their proper
man, affociated and leagu'd with man By regal warrant, or felf-join'd by bond For intrest-fake, or swarming into clans Beneath one head for purposes of war, Like flow'rs selected from the rest, and bound And bundled close to fill some crowded vase. Fades rapidly, and, by compression" marr’d, Contracts deflement not to be endur’d. Hence charter'd boroughs are such public plagues ; And burghers, men immaculate perhaps In all their private functions, once combin'd,
Become a loathsome body, only fit
For dissolution, hurtful to the main.
Hence merchants, unimpeachable of fin.
Against the charities of domestic life,
Incorporated, seem at once to lose
Their nature ; and, disclaiming all regard
For mercy and the common rights of mang.
Build factories with blood, conducting trade
At the sword's point, and dyeing the white robe
Of innocent commercial justice red.
Hence, too, the field of glory, as the world
Misdeems it, dazzled by its bright array,
With all its majesty of thund'ring pomp,
Enchanting music and immortal wreaths,
Is but a school where thoughtlessness is taught
On principle, where foppery atones
For folly, gallantry for ev'ry vice.
But, slighted as it is, and by the great Abandon’d, and, which still I more regret, Infected with the manners and the modes It knew not once, the country wins me ftill.. I never fram'd a wish, or form'd a plan, That flatter'd me with hopes of earthly bliss, But there I laid the scene. There early stray'd
My fancy, ere yet liberty of choice
Had found me, or the hope of being free.
My very dreams were rural; rural, too,
The first-born efforts of my youthful mufe,
Sportive, and jingling her poetic bells
her ear was mistress of their pow'rs.
No bard could pleafe me but whose lyre was tun'd
To nature's praises. Heroes and their feats
Fatigu'd me, never weary of the pipe
Of Tityrus, affembling, as he fang,
The rustic throng beneath his fav’rite beech.
Then Milton had indeed a poet's charms:
New to my taste, his Paradise surpafs'd
The struggling efforts of my boyish tongue,
To speak its excellence. I danc'd for joy.
I marvell'd much, that, at so ripe an age
As twice seven years, his beauties had then first
Engag'd my wonder; and,' admiring still,
And still admiring, with regret suppos'd
The joy half lost because not sooner found.
There, too, enamourd of the life I lov’d,
Pathetic in its praise, in its pursuit
Determin’d, and poffeffing it at laft
With transports such as favour'd lovers feel,
I studied, priz'd, and wilh'd that I had knowe,
Ingenious Cowley! and, though now reclaim’d
By modern lights from an erroneous taste,
I cannot but lament thy splendid wit
Entangled in the cobwebs of the schools.
I still revere thee, courtly though retir'd;
Though stretch'd at ease in Chertsey's silent bow'rs,
Not unemploy’d; and finding rich amends
For a lost world in solitude and verse.
'Tis born with all: the love of nature's works
Is an ingredient in the compound man,
Infus'd at the creation of the kind.
And, though th' Almighty Maker has throughout
Discriminated each from each, by strokes
And touches of his hand, with so much art
Diversified, that two were never found
Twins at all points—yet this obtains in all,
That all discern a beauty in his works,
And all can taste them: minds that have been form'd
And tutor’d with a relish more exact,
But none without some relish, none unmov’d.
It is a fame that. dies not even there,
Where nothiug feeds it: neither bus'ness, crowds,
Nor habits of luxurious city.life ;
Whatever else they smother of true worth
In human bofoms; quench it, or abate.
The villas with which London ftands begirt,
Like a swarth Indian with his belt of beads,
Prove it. A breath of unadult'rate air,
The glimpse of a green pasture, how they cheer
The citizen, and brace his languid frame !
Ev’n in the stifling bosom of the town,
A garden, in which nothing thrives, has charms
That soothe the rich poffeffor; much confold,
That here and there some sprigs of mournful mint,
Of nightshade, or valerian, grace the well
He cultivates. These ferve him with a hint
That nature lives ; that sight-refreshing green
Is still the liv'ry she delights to wear,
Though sickly samples of th' exub'rant whole.
What are the casements lin’d with creeping herbs,
The prouder salhes fronted with a range
Of orange, myrtle, or the fragrant weed,
The Frenchman's * darling? are they not all proofs
That man, immur'd in cities, still retains
His inborn inextinguishable thirst
Of rural scenes, compensating his lofs
By supplemental shifts, the best he may ?
The most unfurnish'd with the means of life,