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And love’s and friendships finely pointed dart
To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
And dance, forgetful of the noontide hour.
Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days
Have led their children through the mirthful maze;
And the gay grandsire, skill’d in gestick lore,
Has frisk’d, beneath the burden of threescore.
Thus idly busy rolls their world away'
Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear,
For honour forms the social temper here.
Honour, that praise which real merit gains,
Or e’en imaginary worth obtains,
Here passes current; paid from hand to hand,
It shifts in splendid trafl'ick round the land:
From courts, to camps, to cottages it strays,
And all are taught an avarice of praise;
They please, are pleased; they give, to get esteem,
Till, seeming bless’d, they grow to what they seem. But while this softer art their bliss supplies,
It gives their follies also room to rise;
For praise too dearly loved, or warmly sought,
Enfeebles all internal strength of thought.
And the weak soul, within itself unbless’d,
Leans, for all pleasure, on another’s breast.
Hence ostentation here, with tawdry art,
Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart;
Here vanity assumes her pert grimace,
And trims her robes of frieze with copper lace;
Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer,
To boast one splendid banquet once a year:
The mind still turns Where shifting fashion draws,
Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause.
Embosom’d in the deep, where Holland lies.
Methinks her patient sons before me stand,
Where the broad ocean leans against the land,
And, sedulous to stop the coming tide,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride.
Onward, methinks, and diligently slow,
The firm connected bulwark seems to grow;
Spreads its long arms, amidst the watery roar,
Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore.
While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile,
Thus, while around, the wave-subjected soil
Here wretches seek dishonourable graves;
And calmly bent, to servitude conform,
Heavens! how unlike their Belgick sires of old! Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold;
War in each breast, and freedom on each brow;
Fired at the sound, my genius spreads her wing, And flies where Britain courts the western spring; Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride, And brighter streams than famed Hydaspis glide; There all around the gentlest breezes stray,
There gentle musick melts on every spray;
Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
I see the lords of human kind pass by;
Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band,
By forms unfashion’d, fresh from nature’s hand;