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Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn;
Now lost to all; her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer’s door she lays her head;
And pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the shower,
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left her Wheel, and robes of country brown.
Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest train,
Do thy fair tribes participate her pain?
E’en now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
At proud men's doors they ask a little bread!
Ah, no! to distant climes, a dreary scene,
Where half the convex world intrudes between,
Through torrid tracts, with fainting steps, they go,
Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe.
Far different there from all that charm’d before,
The various terrours of that horrid shore;
Those blazing suns, that dart a downward ray,
And fiercely shed intolerable day;
Those matted woods, where birds forget to sing,
But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling;
Those poisonous fields, with rank luxuriance crown’d,
Where the dark scorpion gathers death around;
Where, at each step, the stranger fears to wake
The rattling terrours of the vengeful snake;
Where, crouching tigers wait their hapless prey,
And savage men, more murderous still than they;
While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies,
Mingling the ravaged landscape with the skies.
Far different these from every former scene,
The cooling brook, the grassy vested green,
The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
That only shelter’d thefts of harmless love.
Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom’d that parting day,
That call’d them from their native walks away;
When the poor exiles, every pleasure pass’d,
Hung round the bowers, and fondly look’d their last,
And took a long farewell; and wish'd in vain
For seats like these beyond the western main;
And shuddering still to face the distant deep,
Return’d and wept, and still return’d to weep.
The good old sire, the first prepared to go
To new-found worlds, and wept for others’ woe;
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wish’d for worlds beyond the grave.
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
The fond companion of his helpless years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover’s for a father’s arms.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
And bless’d the cot, where every pleasure rose;
And kiss’d her thoughtless babes, with many a tear,
And clasp’d them close, in sorrow doubly dear;
Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief,
In all the silent manliness of grief.
O, luxury! thou cursed by Heaven’s decree, How ill exchanged are things like these, for thee! How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
Kingdoms, by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigour not their own.
At every draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe;
Till, sapp’d their strength, and every part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round. E’en now the devastation is begun,
And half the business of destruction done;
E’en now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land.
Down, where you anchoring vessel spreads the sail,
That, idly waiting, flaps with every gale,
Downward they move, a melancholy band,
Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand:
Contented toil, and hospitable care,
And kind connubial tenderness, are there;
And piety, with wishes placed above,
And steady loyalty, and faithful love:
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade;
Unfit, in these degenerate times of shame,
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame:
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decry’d,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride;
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,
That found’st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well:
Farewell; and oh! where-e’er thy voice be try'd,
On Torno’s cliffs, or Pambamarca’s side;
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigours of the inclement clime;
Aid slighted truth, with thy persuasive strain,
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain;
Teach him, that states of native strength possess’d,
Though very poor, may still be very bless’d;