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And love’s and friendships finely pointed dart
Fall blunted, from each indurated heart.
Some sterner virtues o’er the mountain’s breast
May sit, like falcons cowering on the nest;
But all the gentler morals, such as play
Through life’s more cultured walks, and charm the way,
These, far dispersed, on timorous pinions fly,
To sport and flutter in a kinder sky.

To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
I turn; and France displays her bright domain.
Gay sprightly land of mirth and social ease,
Pleased with thyself, whom all the world can please;
How often have I led thy sportive choir,
With tuneless pipe, beside the murmuring Loire?
Where shading elms along the margin grew,
And, freshen’d from the wave, the zephyr flew;
And haply, though my harsh touch faltering still,
But mock’d all tune, and marr’d the dancer’s skill;
Yet would the village praise my wonderous power,

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.
So bless’d a life these thoughtless realms display;

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.
To men of other minds my fancy flies,

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,
Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile;
The slow canal, the yellow blossom’d vale,
The willow tufted bank, the gliding sail,
The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,
A new creation rescued from his reign.

Thus, while around, the wave-subjected soil
Impels the native to repeated toil,
Industrious habits in each bosom reign,
And industry begets a love of gain.
Hence, all the good from opulence that springs,
With all those ills superfluous treasure brings,
Are here display’d. Their much loved wealth imparts
Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts:
But view them closer, craft and fraud appear;
E’en liberty itself is barter'd here!
At gold’s superiour charms all freedom flies;
The needy sell it, and the rich man buys:
A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves,

Here wretches seek dishonourable graves;

And calmly bent, to servitude conform,
Dull as their lakes, that slumber in the storm.

Heavens! how unlike their Belgick sires of old! Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold;

War in each breast, and freedom on each brow;
How much unlike the sons of Britain now!

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;
Creation’s mildest charms are there combined;
Extremes are only in the master’s mind;
Stern o’er each bosom reason holds her state,
With daring aims, irregularly great;

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;

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