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A patriot's for his country: thou art sad
At thought of her forlom and abject state,
From which no power of thine can raise her up.
Thus fancy paints thee, and though apt to ert,
Perhaps errs little when the 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 fight 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 yours.
But, though true worth and virtue in the mild And genial soil of cultivated life Thrive most, and may perhaps thrive only there, Yet nat in cities oft: in proud and gay And gain-devoted cities. Thither flow,
As to a common and most noisome few'r,
The dregs and feculence of ev'ry land.
In cities foul example on most minds
Begets its likeness. Rank abundance breeds
In gross and pamper'd cities Noth and lust,
And wantonness and gluttonous excess.
In cities vice is hidden with moft ease,
Or seen with least reproach ; and virtue, taught
By frequent lapse, can hope to triumph there
Beyond th' achievement of successful flight.
I do confess them nurs'ries of the arts,
Io which they flourish most ; where, in the beams
Of warm encouragement, and in the eye
of public note, they reach their perfect fize.
Such London is, by taste and wealth proclaim'd
The faireft 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 fees
All her reflected features. Bacon there
Gives more than female beauty to a stone,
And Chatham's eloquence to marble lips.
Nor does the chiffel occupy alone
The pow'rs of sculpture, but the style as much ;
Each province of her art her equal care.
With nice incision of her guided steel
She ploughs a brazen field, and clothes a soil
So sterile with what charms foe'er she will,
The richest scen'ry and the loveliest forms.
Where finds philofophy 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 the 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 supply'd,
As London--opulent, eplarg'd, and fill
Increasing, London Babylon of old
Not more the glory of the earth than she,
A more accomplish'd world's chief glory now.
She has her praise. Now mark a spot or two, That so much beauty would do well to purge ; And show this queen of cities, that fo fair May yet be foul; fo witty, yet not wise. It is not seemly, nor of good report, That she is flack 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 oft-times honour too,
To peculators of the public gold :
That thieves at home must hang; but he, that puts
Into his overgorg'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 cent'ring all authority in modes
And customs of her own, till Sabbath rites
Have dwindled into unrespected forms,
And knees and hasfocs are well nigh divorc'd.
God made the country, and man made the town. What wonder then that health and virtue, gifts 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 to console at noon
The pensive wand'rer in their shades.
The moon-beam, sliding foftly in between
The sleeping leaves, is all the light they wifhi,
Birds warbling all the music. We can spare
The fplendour of your lamps; they but eclipfe
Our softer satellite. Your fongs confound
Our more harmonious notes: the thrush departs
Scar'd, and th' offended nightingale is mute.
There 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, stedfaft but for you,
A mutilated structure, soon to fall.