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As different good, by art or nature given
To different nations, makes their blessings even.

Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call:
With food as well the peasant is supplied
On Idria's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side;
And, though the rocky-crested summits frown,
These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down.
From art more various are the blessings sent-
Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content;
Yet these each other's power so strong contest,
That either seems destructive of the rest:
Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment fails,
And honour sinks where commerce long prevails.
Hence every state, to one lov'd blessing prone,
Conforms and models life to that alone;
Each to the favourite happiness attends,
And spurns the plan that aims at other ends
Till carried to excess in each domain,
This favourite good begets peculiar pain.

But let us try these truths with closer eyes,
And trace them through the prospect as it lies:
Here, for a while, my proper cares resign'd,
Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind;
Like yon neglected shrub, at random cast,
That shades the steep, and sighs at every blast.

Far to the right, where Apennine ascends,
Bright as the summer, Italy extends:
Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side,
Woods over woods in gay theatric pride,
While oft some temple's mouldering tops between
With memorable grandeur mark the scene.

Could Nature's bounty satisfy the breast, The sons of Italy were surely bless'd. Whatever fruits in different climes are found, That proudly rise, or humbly court the groundWhatever blooms in torrid tracts appear, Whose bright succession decks the varied year Whatever sweets salute the northern sky With vernal lives, that blossom but to die These, here disporting, own the kindred soil, Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil; While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand To winnow fragrance round the smiling land.

But small the bliss that sense alone bestows,
And sensual bliss is all the nation knows;
In florid beauty groves and fields appear,
Man seems the only growth that dwindles here.
Contrasted faults through all his manners reign;
Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vain;
Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue
And even in penance planning sins anew.
All evils here contaminate the mind,
That opulence departed leaves behind;
For wealth was theirs--not far remov'd the date,
When commerce proudly flourish'd through the state
At her command the palace learn’d to rise,
Again the long-fall’n column sought the skies,
The canvas glow'd, beyond e'en nature warm,
The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form;
Till, more unsteady than the southern gale,
Commerce on other shores display'd her sail;
While nought remain'd of all that riches gave,
But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave-
And late the nation found, with fruitless skill,
Its former strength was but plethoric ill.

Yet, still the loss of wealth is here supplied
By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride:
From these the feeble heart and long-fallen mind
An easy compensation seem to find.
Here
may

be

seen, in bloodless pomp array'd, The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade: Processions form'd for piety and loveA mistress or a saint in every grove: By sports like these are all their cares beguild, The sports of children satisfy the child. Each nobler aim, repress’d by long control, Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul; While low delights, succeeding fast behind, In happier meanness occupy the mind. As in those domes, where Cæsars once bore sway, Defaced by time and tottering in decay, There in the ruin, heedless of the dead, The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed; And, wondering man could want the larger pile, Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile.

My soul, turn from them, turn we to survey Where rougher rlimes a nobler race display

Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansions tread,
And force a churlish soil for scanty bread.
No product here the barren hills afford
But man and steel, the soldier and his sword;
No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array,
But winter lingering chills the lap of May;
No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast,
But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest.

Yet still, e'en here, content can spread a charm, Redress the clime, and all its rage

disarm.
Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts though small,
He sees his little lot the lot of all;
Sees no contiguous palace rear its head,
To shame the meanness of his humble shed
No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal,
To make him loathe his vegetable meal-
But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil,
Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil.
Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose,
Breasts the keen air, and carols as he goes;
With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
Or drives his venturous ploughshare to the steep;
Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the way
And drags the struggling savage into day.
At night returning, every labour sped,
He sits him down, the monarch of a shed;
Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys
His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze
While his lov'd partner, boastful of her hoard:
Displays her cleanly platter on the board:
And haply too some pilgrim, thither led,
With many a tale repays the nightly bed.

Thus every good his native wilds impart
Imprints the patriot passion on his heart;
And even those hills, that round his mansion rise,
Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies :
Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms,
And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms;
And as a child, when scaring sounds molest,
Clings close and closer to the mother's breast-
So the loud torrent and the whirlwind's roar,
But bind him to his native mountains more.

Such are the charms to barren states assign'd;
Their wants but few, their wishes all confin'd;

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Yet let them only share the praises due,
If few their wants, their pleasures are but few;
For every want that stimulates the breast
Becomes a source of pleasure when redress'd.
Whence from such lands each pleasing science flies,
That first excites desire, and then supplies;
Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy,
To fill the languid pause with finer joy;
Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame,
Catch every nerve and vibrate through the frame:
Their level life is but a smouldering fire,
Unquench’d by want, unfann'd by strong desire;
Unfit for raptures, or, if raptures cheer
On some high festival of once a year,
In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire,
Till, buried in debauch, the bliss expire.

But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow
Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low;
For, as refinement stops, from sire to son
Unalter'd, unimprov'd, the manners run-
And love's and friendship's 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 cultur'd walks, and charm the way--
These, far dispers’d, 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 skillYet would the village praise my wondrous 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 gestic lore, Has frisk'd beneath the burthen of threescore.

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