Page images
PDF
EPUB

"Yes, tuneful Damon, for our cares are short, Rising and falling with the cheerful day," Colin reply'd; " and pleasing weariness Soon our unaching heads to sleep inclines. Is it in cities so? where, poets tell, The cries of sorrow sadden all the streets, And the diseases of intemperate wealth. Alas, that any ills from wealth should rise!

"May the sweet nightingale on yonder spray, May this clear stream, these lawns, those snowwhite lambs,

Which, with a pretty innocence of look,
Skip on the green, and race in little troops;.
May that great lamp, which sinks behind the hills,
And streams around variety of lights,
Recall them erring: this is Damon s wish.
"Huge Breaden's 19 stony summit
After a kidling: Damon, what a scene!
What various views unnumber'd spread beneath!
Woods, towers, vales, caves, dells, cliffs, and tor-
rent floods;

once I [climb'd

And here and there, between the spiry rocks,
The broad flat sea. Far nobler prospects these,
Than gardens black with smoke in dusty towns,
Where stenchy vapours often blot the Sun:
Yet, flying from his quiet, thither crowds
Each greedy wretch for tardy-rising wealth,
Which comes too late; that courts the taste in vain,
Or nauseates with distempers. Yes, ye rich,
Still, still be rich, if thus ye fashion life;
And piping, careless, silly shepherds we,
We silly shepherds, all intent to feed
Our snowy flocks, and wind the sleeky fleece."

"Deem not, howe'er, our occupation mean,"
Damon reply'd, "while the Supreme accounts
Well of the faithful shepherd rank'd alike
With king and priest: they also shepherds are;
For so th' All-seeing styles them, to remind
Elated man, forgetful of his charge."

"But haste, begin the rites: see purple Eve Stretches her shadows: all ye nymphs and swains, Hither assemble. Pleas'd with honours due, Sabrina, guardian of the crystal flood,

Shall bless our cares, when she by moonlight clear
Skims o'er the dales, and eyes our sleeping folds;
Or in hoar caves around Plynlymmon's brow,
Where precious minerals dart their purple gleams,
Among her sisters she reclines; the lov'd
Vaga 20, profuse of graces, Ryddol 20, rough,
Blithe Ystwith 2o, and Clevedoc 20, swift of foot;
And mingles various seeds of flowers and herbs,
In the divided torrents, e'er they burst [roll.
Through the dark clouds, and down the mountain
Nor taint-worm shall infect the yeaning herds,
Nor penny-grass, nor spearwort's prisonous leaf."
He said: with light fantastic toe the nymphs
Thither assembled, thither every swain;
And o'er the dimpled stream a thousand flowers,
Pale lilies, roses, violets, and pinks,

Mix'd with the greens of burnet, mint, and thyme,
And trefoil, sprinkled with their sportive arms.

Such custom holds along th' irriguous vales, From Wreakin's brow to rocky Dolvoryn 2, Sabrina's early haunt, ere yet she fled

19 A hill on the borders of Montgomeryshire. go Rivers, the springs of which rise in the sides of Plynlymmon.

21 A ruinous castle in Montgomeryshire, on the banks of the Severn.

The search of Guendolen, her stepdame proud,
With envious hate enrag'd. The jolly cheer,
Spread on a mossy bank, untouch'd abides,
Till cease the rites: and now the mossy bank
Is gaily circled, and the jolly cheer
Dispers'd in copious measure; early fruits,
And those of frugal store, in husk or rind;
Steep'd grain, and curdled milk with dulcet cream
Soft temper'd, in full merriment they quaff,
And cast about their gibes; and some apace
Whistle to roundelays: their little ones

Look on delighted: while the mountain-woods,
And winding valleys, with the various notes

| Of pipe, sheep, kine, and birds, and liquid brooks,
Unite their echoes: near at hand the wide
Majestic wave of Severn slowly rolls
Along the deep-divided glebe: the flood,
And trading bark with low contracted sail,
Linger among the reeds and copsy banks
To listen; and to view the joyous scene.

Introduction.

BOOK II.

ARGUMENT.

Recommendation of mercifulness to animals. Of the winding of wool. Diversity of wool in the fleece: skill in the assorting of it; particularly among the Dutch. The uses of each sort. Severe winters pernicious to the fleece. Directions to prevent their effects. Wool lightest in common-fields: inconveniencies of common-fields. Vulgar errours concerning the wool of England: its real excellencies; and directions in the choice. No good wool in cold or wet pastures: yet all pastures improveable; exemplified in the drainage of Bedford Level. Britain in ancient times not esteemed for wool. Countries esteemed for wool before the Argonautic expedition. Of that expedition, and its consequences. Countries afterwards esteemed for wool. The decay of arts and sciences in the barbarous ages: their revival, first at Venice. Countries noted for wool in the present times. Wool the best of all the various materials for clothing. The wool of our island peculiarly excellent, is the combing wool. Methods to prevent its exportation. Apology of the author for treating this subject. Bishop Blaize the inventor of wool-combing. Of the dyeing of wool. Few dyes the natural product of England. Necessity of trade for importing them. The advantages of trade, and its utility in the moral world; exemplified in the prosperity and ruin of the elder Tyre.

Now, of the sever'd lock begin the song,
With various numbers, through the simple theme
To win attention: this, ye shepherd swains,
This is a labour. Yet, O Wray, if thou
Cease not with skillful hand to point her way,
The lark-wing'd Muse, above the grassy vale,
And hills, and wood, shall, singing, soar aloft;
And he, whom learning, wisdom, candour, grace,
Who glows with all the virtues of his sire,
Royston approve, and patronize the strain.

Through all the brute creation, none, as sheep, To lordly man such ample tribute pay.

For him their udders yield nectareous streams:
For him their downy vestures they resign;
For him they spread the feast: ah! ne'er may he
Glory in wants, which doom to pain and death
His blameless fellow-creatures. Let disease,
Let wasted hunger, by destroying live;
And the permission use with trembling thanks,
Meekly reluctant: 't is the brute beyond:
And gluttons ever murder when they kill.
E'en to the reptile every cruel deed
Is high impiety. Howe'er not all,
Not of the sanguinary tribe are all;

All are not savage. Come, ye gentle swains,
Like Brama's healthy sons on Indus' banks,
Whom the pure stream and garden fruits sustain,
Ye are the sons of Nature; your mild hands
Are innocent: ye, when ye shear, relieve.
Come, gentle swains, the bright unsully'd locks
Collect: alternate songs shall soothe your cares,
And warbling music break from every spray.
Be faithful: and the genuine locks alone
Wrap round: nor alien flake nor pitch enfold:
Stain not your stores with base desire to add
Fallacious weight: nor yet, to mimic those,
Minute and light, of sandy Urchinfield 22,
Lessen, with subtle artifice, the fleece:
Equal the fraud. Nor interpose delay,
Lest busy ether through the open wool
Debilitating pass, and every film
Ruffle and sully with the valley's dust.
Guard too from moisture, and the fretting moth
Pernicious: she, in gloomy shade conceal'd,
Her labyrinth cuts, and mocks the comber's care.
But in loose locks of fells she most delights,
And feeble fleeces of distemper'd sheep,
Whither she hastens, by the morbid scent
Allur'd; as the swift eagle to the fields
Of slaughtering war or carnage: such apart
Keep for their proper use.
Our ancestors

Selected such, for hospitable beds
To rest the stranger, or the gory chief,
From battle or the chase of wolves return'd.
When many-colour'd Evening sinks behind
The purple woods and hills, and opposite
Rises, full-orb'd, the silver harvest-moon,
To light th' unwearied farmer late afield
His scatter'd sheaves collecting; then expect
The artists, bent on speed, from populous Leeds,
Norwich, or Froome; they traverse every plain,
And every dale, where farm or cottage smokes:
Reject them not; and let the season's price
Win thy soft treasures: let the bulky wain
Through dusty roads roll nodding; or the bark,
That silently adown the cerule stream
Glides with white sails, dispense the downy freight
To copsy villages on either side,
And spiry towns, where ready Diligence,
The grateful burthen to receive, awaits,
Like strong Briareus, with his hundred hands.
In the same fleece diversity of wool
Grows intermingled, and excites the care
Of curious skill to sort the several kinds.
But in this subtle science none exceed
Th' industrious Belgians, to the work who guide
Each feeble hand of Want: their spacious domes
With boundless hospitality receive

Each nation's outcasts: there the tender eye
May view the maim'd, the blind, the lame, employ'd,

"The country about Ross, in Herefordshire.

And unrejected age; e'en childhood there
Its little fingers turning to the toil
Delighted: nimbly, with habitual speed,
They sever lock from lock, and long and short,
And soft and rigid, pile in several heaps.
This the dusk hatter asks: another shines,
Tempting the clothier; that the hosier seeks;
The long bright lock is apt for airy stuffs;
But often it deceives the artist's care,
Breaking unuseful in the steely comb:
For this long spungy wool no more increase
Receives, while Winter petrifies the fields:
The growth of Autumn stops: and what tho' Spring
Succeeds with rosy finger, and spins on
The texture? yet in vain she strives to link
The silver twine to that of Autumn's hand.
Be then the swain advis'd to shield his flocks
From Winter's deadening frosts and whelming
Let the loud tempest rattle on the roof, [snows:
While they, secure within, warm cribs enjoy,
And swell their fleeces equal to the worth
Of cloth'd Apulian 23, by soft warmth improv'd:
Or let them inward heat and vigour find,
By food of cole or turnip, hardy plants.
Besides, the lock of one continued growth
Imbibes a clearer and more equal dye.

But lightest wool is theirs, who poorly toil,
Through a dull round, in unimproving farms
Of common-fields: enclose, enclose, ye swains;
Why will you joy in common-field, where pitch,
Noxious to woo!, must stain your motley flock,
To mark your property? The mark dilates,
Enters the flake depreciated, defil'd,
Unfit for beauteous tint: besides, in fields
Promiscuous held, all culture languishes;
The glebe, exhausted, thin supply receives;
Dull waters rest upon the rushy flats
And barren furrows: none the rising grove
There plants for late posterity, nor hedge
To shield the flock, nor copse for cheering fire;
And, in the distant village, every hearth
Devours the grassy sward, the verdant food
Of injur'd herds and flocks, or what the plough
Should turn and moulder for the bearded grain;
Pernicious habit, drawing gradual on
Increasing beggary, and Nature's frowns.
Add too, the idle pilferer easier there
Eludes detection, when a lamb or ewe
From intermingled flocks he steals; or when,
With loosen'd tether of his horse or cow,
The milky stalk of the tall green-ear'd corn,
The year's slow-ripening fruit, the anxious hope
Of his laborious neighbour, he destroys.

There are, who over-rate our spungy stores, Who deem that Nature grants no clime, but ours, To spread upon its fields the dews of Heaven, And feed the silky fleece; that card, nor comb, The hairy wool of Gaul cau e'er subdue, To form the thread, and mingle in the loom, Unless a third from Britain swell the heap. Illusion all; though of our sun and air Not trivial is the virtue: nor their fruit, Upon our snowy flocks, of small esteem: The grain of brightest tincture none so well Imbibes the wealthy Gobelins must to this Bear witness, and the costliest of their looms.

23 The shephers of Apulia, Tarentum, and Attica, used to clothe their sheep with skins, to preserve and improve their fleeces.

And though, with hue of crocus or of rose, No power of subtle food, or air, or soil, Can dye the living fleece; yet 't will avail To note their influence in the tingeing vase. Therefore from herbage of old-pastur'd plains, Chief from the matted turf of azure marle, Where grow the whitest locks, collect thy stores. Those fields regard not, through whose recent turf The miry soil appears: not e'en the streams Of Yare, or silver Stroud, can purify Their frequent-sully'd fleece; nor what rough winds, Keen-biting on tempestuous hill, inbrown.

Yet much may be perform'd, to check the force Of Nature's rigour: the high heath, by trees Warm-shelter'd, may despise the rage of storms: Moors, bogs, and weeping fens, may learn to smile, And leave in dykes their soon-forgotten tears. Labour and Art will every aim achieve Of noble bosoms. Bedford Level 24, erst A dreary pathless waste, the coughing flock Was wont with hairy fleeces to deform; And, smiling with her lure of summe: flowers, The heavy ox, vain-struggling, to ingulph; Till one, of that high-honour'd patriot name, Russel, arose, who drain'd the rushy fen, Confin'd the waves, bade groves and gardens bloom, And through his new creation led the Onze, And gentle Camus, silver-winding streams; Godlike beneficence; from chaos drear To raise the garden and the shady grove!

But see lerne's moors and hideous bogs, Immeasurable tract. The traveller Slow tries his mazy step on th' yielding tuft, Shuddering with fear: e'en such perfidious wilds, By labour won, have yielded to the comb The fairest length of wool. See Deeping fens, And the long lawns of Bourn. "T is Art and Toil Gives Nature value, multiplies her stores, Varies, improves, crcates: 't is Art and Toil Teaches her woody hills with fruits to shine, The pear and tasteful apple; decks with flowers And foodful pulse the fields, that often rise, Admiring to behold their furrows wave With yellow corn. What changes cannot Toil With patient Art, effect? There was a time, When other regions were the swains' delight, And shepherdless Britannia's rushy vales, Inglorious, neither trade nor labour knew, But of rude baskets, homely rustic geer, Woven of the flexile willow; till, at length, The plains of Sarum open'd to the hand Of patient Culture, and, o'er sinking woods, High Cotswold show'd her summits.

Urchinfield, And Lemster's crofts, beneath the pheasant's brake, Long lay unnoted. Toil new pasture gives; And, in the regions oft of active Gaul, O'er lessening vineyards spreads the growing turf. In eldest times, when kings and hardy chiefs In bleating sheepfolds met, for purest wool Phoenicia's hilly tracts were most renown'd, And fertile Syria's and Judæa's land, Hermon, and Seir, and Hebron's brooky sides: Twice with the murex' crimson hue they ting'd The shining fleeces: hence their gorgeous wealth; And hence arose the walls of ancient Tyre.

Next busy Colchis, bless'd with frequent rains, And lively verdure (who the lucid stream Of Phasis boasted, and a portly race

24 In Cambridgeshire.

Of fair inhabitants), improv'd the fleece;
When, o'er the deep by flying Phryxus brought,
The fam'd Thessalian ram enrich'd her plains.

This, rising Greece with indignation view'd,
And youthful Jason an attempt conceiv'd
Lofty and bold: along Peneus' banks,
Around Olympus' brows, the Muses' haunts,
He rous'd the brave, to re-demand the fleece,
Attend, ye British swains, the ancient song.
From every region of Ægea's shore
The brave assembled; those illustrious twins,
Castor and Pollux; Orpheus, tuneful bard;
Zetes and Calais, as the wind in speed;
Strong Hercules, and many a chief renown'd.

On deep lolcos' sandy shore they throng'd,
Gleaming in armour, ardent of exploits;
And soon, the laurel cord, and the huge stone
Up-lifting to the deck, unmoor'd the bark;
Whose keel, of wondrous length, the skilful hand
Of Argus fashion'd for the proud attempt;
And in th' extended keel a lofty mast
Up-rais'd, and sails full-swelling; to the chiefs
Unwonted objects: now first, now they learn'd
Their bolder steerage over occan wave,
Led by the golden stars, as Chiron's art
Had mark'd the sphere celestial. Wide abroad
Expands the purple deep: the cloudy isles,
Scyros and Scopelos, and Icos, rise,

And Halonesos: soon huge Lemnos heaves
Her azure head above the level brine,

[bowers

Shakes off her mists, and brightens all her cliffs:
While they, her flattering creeks and opening
Cautious approaching, in Myrina's port
Cast out the cabled stone upon the strand.
Next, to the Mysian shore they shape their course,
But with too eager haste: in the white foam
His oar Alcides breaks; howe'er, not long
The chance detains; he springs upon the shore,
And, rifting from the roots a tapering pine,
Renews his stroke. Between the threatening towers
Of Hellespont they ply the rugged surge,
To Hero's and Leander's ardent love
Fatal: then smooth Propontis' widening wave,
That like a glassy lake expands, with hills,
Hills above hills, and gloomy woods, begirt.
And now the Thracian Bosphorus they dare,
Till the Symplegades, tremendous rocks,
Threaten approach; but they, unterrify'd,
Through the sharp-pointed cliffs and thundering
floods

Cleave their bold passage; nathless by the crags
And torrents sorely shatter'd: as the strong
Eagle or vulture, in th' entangling net [hind.
Involv'd, breaks through, yet leaves his plumes be-
Thus, through the wide waves. their slow way they
To Thynia's hospitable isle. The brave [force
Pass many perils, and to fame by such
Experience rise. Refresh'd, again they speed
From cape to cape, and view unnumber'd streams,
Halys, with hoary Lycus, and the mouths
Of Asparus and Glaucus, rolling swift
To the broad deep their tributary waves;
Till in the long-sought harbour they arrive
Of golden Phasis. Foremost on the strand
Jason advanc'd: the deep capacious bay,
The crumbling terrace of the marble port,
Wondering he view'd, and stately palace-domes,
Pavilions proud of luxury; around,

In every glittering hall, within, without,
O'er all the timbrel-sounding squares and streets,

Nothing appear'd but luxury, and crowds
Sunk deep in riot. To the public weal
Attentive none he found: for he, their chief
Of shepherds, proud Aëtes, by the name
Sometimes of king distinguish'd, 'gan to slight
The shepherd's trade, and turn to song and dance:
E'en Hydrus ceas'd to watch; Medea's songs
Of joy, and rosy youth, and beauty's charms,
With magie sweetness lull'd his cares asleep,
Till the bold heroes grasp'd the golden fleece.
Nimbly they wing'd the bark, surrounded soon
By Neptune's friendly waves: secure they speed
O'er the known seas, by every guiding cape,
With prosperous return. The myrtle shores,
And glassy mirror of Iolcos' lake,
With loud acclaim receiv'd them. Every vale,
And every hillock, touch'd the tuneful stops
Of pipes unnumber'd, for the ram regain'd.
Thus Phasis lost his pride: his slighted nymphs
Along the withering dales and pastures mourn'd;
The trade-ship left his streams; the merchant
His desert borders; each ingenious art, [shunn'd
Trade, Liberty, and Affluence, all retir'd,
And left to Want and Servitude their seats:
Vile successors! and gloomy Ignorance
Following like dreary Night, whose sable hand
Hangs on the purple skirts of flying Day.

Sithence the fleeces of Arcadian plains,
And Attic, and Thessalian, bore esteem;
And those in Grecian colonies dispers'd,
Caria and Doris, and Iönia's coast,
And fam'd Tarentum, where Galesus' tide,
Rolling by ruins hoar of ancient towns,
Through solitary valleys seeks the sea.
Or green Altinum, by an hundred Alps
High-crown'd, whose woods and snowy peaks aloft
Shield her low plains from the rough northern blast.
Those too of Botica's delicious fields,
With golden fruitage bless'd of highest taste,
What need I name? The Turditanian tract,
Or rich Coraxus, whose wide looms unroll'd
The finest webs? where scarce a talent weigh'd
A ram's equivalent. Then only tin
To late improv'd Britannia gave renown.

Lo the revolving course of mighty Time, Who loftiness abases, tumbles down Olympus' brow, and lifts the lowly vale. Where is the majesty of ancient Rome, The throng of heroes in her splendid streets, The snowy vest of peace, or purple robe, Slow trail'd triumphal? Where the Attic fleece, And Tarentine, in warmest litter'd cotes, Or sunny meadows, cloth'd with costly care? All in the solitude of ruin lost,

War's horrid caruage, vain Ambition's dust.

Long lay the mournful realms of elder Fame In gloomy desolation, till appear'd Beauteous Venetia, first of all the nymphs, Who from the melancholy waste emerg'd: In Adria's gulf her clotted locks she lav'd, And rose another Venus: each soft joy, Each aid of life, her busy wit restor❜d; Science reviv'd, with all the lovely Arts, And all the Graces. Restituted Trade To every virtue lent his helping stores, And cheer'd the vales around, again the pipe, And bleating flocks, awak'd the cheerful lawn. The glossy fleeces now of prime esteem Soft Asia boasts, where lovely Casimere, Within a lofty-mound of circling hills,

Spreads her delicious stores; woods, rocks, caves, lakes,

Hills, lawns, and winding streams; a region term'd
The Paradise of Indus. Next, the plains
Of Lahor, by that arbour stretch'd immense,
Through many a realm, to Agra, the proud throne
Of India's worshipp'd prince, whose lust is law:
Remote dominions; nor to ancient Fame,
Nor modern known, till public-hearted Roe,
Faithful, sagacious, active, patient, brave,
Led to their distant climes adventurous Trade.
Add too the silky wool of Libyan lands,
Of Caza's bowery dales, and brooky Caus,
Where lofty Atlas spreads his verdant feet,
While in the clouds his hoary shoulders bend.
Next proud Iberia glories in the growth
Of high Castile, and mild Segovian glades.

And beauteous Albion, since great Edgar chas'd
The prowling wolf, with many a lock appears
Of silky lustre; chief, Siluria, thine;
Thine, Vaga, favour'd stream; from sheep minute
On Cambria bred: a pound o'erweighs a fleece.
Gay Epsom's too, and Banstead's, and what gleams
On Vecta's isle, that shelters Albion's fleet,
With all its thunders: or Salopian stores,
Those which are gather'd in the fields of Clun:
High Cotswold also 'mong the shepherd swains
Is oft remember'd, though the greedy plough
Preys on its carpet: He 25, whose rustic Muse
O'er heath and craggy holt her wing display'd,
And sung the bosky bourns of Alfred's shires,
Has favour'd Cotswold with luxuriant praise.
Need we the levels green of Lincoln note,
Or rich Leicestra's marly plains, for length
Of whitest locks and magnitude of fleece
Peculiar; envy of the neighbouring realms?
But why recount our grassy lawns alone,
While e'en the tillage of our cultur'd plains,
With bossy turnip, and luxuriant cole,
Learns through the circling year their flocks to feed!
Ingenious Trade! to clothe the naked world,
Her soft materials, not from sheep alone,
From various animals, reeds, trees, and stones,
Collects sagacious: in Euboca's isle

A wondrous rock 26 is found, of which are wovenTM
Vests incombustible: Batavia, flax;
Sian's warm marish yields the fissile cane;
Soft Persia, silk; Balasor's shady hills,
Tough bark of trees; Peruvian Pito, grass;
And every sultry clime the snowy down
Of cotton, bursting from its stubborn shell
To gleam amid the verdure of the grove.
With glossy hair of Tibet's shagged goat
Are light tiaras wove, that wreathe the head,
And airy float behind: the beaver's flix

[bear,

Gives kindliest warmth to weak enervate limbs,
When the pale blood slow rises through the veins.
Still shall o'er all prevail the shepherd's stores,
For numerous uses known: none yield such warmth,
Such beauteous hues receive, so long endure;
So pliant to the loom, so various, none.
Wild rove the flocks, no burthening fleece they
In fervid climes: Nature gives nought in vain.
Carmenian wool on the broad tail alone
Resplendent swells, enormous in its growth:
As the sleek ram from green to green removes,
On aiding wheels his heavy pride he draws,
And glad resigns it for the hatter's use.

[blocks in formation]

E'en in the new Columbian world appears
The woolly covering: Apacheria's 27 glades,
And Canses' 27, echo to the pipes and flocks
Offoreign swains. While Time shakes down his sands,
And works continued change, be none secure :
Quicken your labours, brace your slackening nerves,
Ye Britons; nor sleep careless on the lap
Of bounteous Nature; she is elsewhere kind.
See Mississippi lengthen-on her lawns,
Propitious to the shepherds: see the sheep 28
Of fertile Arica 29, like camels form'd ;
Which bear huge burthens to the sea-beat shore,
And shine with fleeces soft as feathery down.

Coarse Bothnic locks are not devoid of use;
They clothe the mountain carl, or mariner
Labouring at the wet shrouds, or stubborn helm,
While the loud billows dash the groaning deck.
All may not Stroud's or Taunton's vestures wear;
Nor what, from fleece Rataan 3o, mimic flowers
Of rich Damascus: many a texture bright
Of that material in Prætorium 31 woven,
Or in Norvicum, cheats the curious eye.
If any wool peculiar to our isle

Is given by Nature, 't is the comber's lock,
The soft, the snow-white, and the long-grown flake.
Hither be turn'd the public's wakeful eye,
This golden fleece to guard, with strictest watch,
From the dark hand of pilfering Avarice,
Who, like a spectre, haunts the midnight hour,
When Nature wide around him lies supine
And silent, in the tangles soft involv'd

Of death-like sleep: he then the moment marks,
While the pale Moon illumes the trembling tide,
Speedy to lift the canvass, bend the oar,
And waft his thefts to the perfidious foe.

Happy the patriot, who can teach the means
To check his frauds, and yet untroubled leave
Trade's open channels. Would a generous aid
To honest toil, in Cambria's hilly tracts,
Or where the Lune32 or Coker33 wind their streams,
Be found sufficient? Far, their airy fields,
Far from infectious luxury arise.

O might their mazy dales, and mountain sides
With copious fleeces of lerne shine,
And gulphy Caledonia, wisely bent
On wealthy fisheries and flaxen webs;
Then would the sister realms, amid their seas,
Like the three Graces in harmonious fold,
By mutual aid enhance their various charms,
And bless remotest climes-To this lov'd end,
Awake, Benevolence; to this lov'd end,
Strain all thy nerves, and every thought explore.
Far, far away, whose passions would immure,
In y our own little hearts, the joys of life;
(Ye worms of pride) for your repast alone,
Who claim all Nature's stores, wood, waters, meads,
All her profusion; whose vile hands would grasp
The peasant's scantling, the weak widow's mite,
And in the sepulchre of Self entomb
Whate'er ye can, whate'er ye cannot use.
Know, for superior ends th' Almighty Power

(The Power, whose tender arms embrace the worm)
Breathes o'er the foodful earth the breath of life,
And forms us manifold; allots to each
His fair peculiar; wisdom, wit, and strength;
Wisdom, and wit, and strength, in sweet accord,
To aid, to cheer, to counsel, to protect,
And twist the mighty bond. Thus feeble man,
With man united, is a nation strong;
Builds towery cities, satiates every want,
And makes the seas profound, and forests wild,
The gardens of his joys. Man, each man 's born
For the high business of the public good.

For me, 't is mine to pray, that men regard
Their occupations with an honest heart,
And cheerful diligence: like the useful bee,
To gather for the hive not sweets alone,
But wax, and each material; pleas'd to find
Whate'er may soothe distress, and raise the fall'n,
In life's rough race: O be it as my wish!
'T is mine to teach th' inactive hand to reap
Kind Nature's bounties, o'er the globe diffus'd,
For this, I wake the weary hours of rest;
With this desire, the merchant 1 attend;
By this impell'd, the shepherd's hut I seek,
And, as he tends his flock, his lectures hear
Attentive, pleas'd with pure simplicity,
And rules divulg'd beneficent to sheep:
Or turn the compass o'er the painted chart,
To mark the ways of traffic; Volga's stream,
Cold Hudson's cloudy streights, warm Afric's cape,
Latium's firm roads, the Ptolemcar. fosse,
And China's long canals; those noble works,
Those high effects of civilizing trade,
Employ me, sedulons of pub'e weal:
Yet not unmindful of my sacred charge;
But also mindful, thus devising good,
At vacant seasons, oft; when evening mil d
Purples the valleys, and the shepherd counts
His flock, returning to the quiet fold,
With dumb complacence: for religion, this,
To give our every comfort to distress,
And follow virtue with a humble mind;
This pure religion. Thus, in elder time,
The reverend Blasius wore his leisure hours,
And slumbers, broken oft: till, fill'd at length
With inspiration, after various thought
And trials manifold, his well-known voice
Gather'd the poor, and o'er Vulcanian stoves,
With tepid lees of oil, and spiky comb, [length,
Show'd how the fleece might stretch to greater
And cast a glossier whiteness. Wheels went round;
Matrons and maids with songs reliev'd their toils;
And every loom receiv'd the softer yarn.
What poor, what widow, Blasius, did not bless
Thy teaching hand? thy bosom, like the morn,
Opening its wealth? What nation did not seek,
Of thy new-model'd wool, the curious webs?

Hence the glad cities of the loom his name
Honour with yearly festals: through their streets
The pomp, with tuneful sounds, and order just,
Denoting labour's happy progress, moves,
Procession slow and solemn: first the rout;

27 Provinces in Louisiana, on the western side of Then servient youth, and magisterial eld;

the Mississippi.

28 These sheep are called Guanapos.

29 A province of Peru.

30 The fleeces of Leicestershire.

31 Coventry.

A river in Cumberland,

33 A river in Lancashire.

Each after each, according to his rank,
His sway, and office, in the common weal;
And to the board of smiling Plenty's stores
Assemble, where delicious cates and fruits
Of every clime are pil'd; and with free hand,
Toil only tastes the feasts, by nerveless ease
Unrelish'd, Various mirth and song resound;

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »