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Eternal bleffings crown my earliest friend,
But me, not deftin'd fuch delights to share, My prime of life in wand'ring spent and care : Impell'd, with fteps unceasing, to pursue Some flceting good, that mocks me with the view; That, like the circle bounding earth and skies; Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies; My fortune leads to traverse realms alone, And find no spot of all the world my own.
Ev'n now, where Alpine folitudes afcend, I fit me down a penfive hour to spend ; And, plac'd on high above the ftorm's career, Look downward, where an hundred realms appear; Lakes, forefts, cities, plains extending wide, The pomp of kings, the fhepherd's humble pride.
When thus Creation's charms around combine, Amidst the fore, fhould thanklefs pride repine? Say, fhould the philofophic mind difdain That good, which makes each humbler bofom vain ? Let fchool-taught pride diffemble all it can, Thefe little things are great to little man ; And wifer he, whose sympathetic mind Exults in all the good of all mankind.
Ye glitt'ring towns with wealth and fplendor crown'd Ye fields where fummer fpreads profufion round.
Ye lakes, whofe veffels catch the bufy gale,
As fome lone mifer vifiting his ftore, Bends at his treafure, counts, recounts it o'er; Hoards after hoards his rifing raptures fill Yet ftill he fighs, for hoards are wanting ftill: Thus to my breaft alternate paffions rife, Pleas'd with each good that heav'n to man fupplies: Yet oft a figh prevails, and forrows fall, To fee the hoard of human blifs fo fmall; And oft I wish, amidst the scene, to find Some fpot to real happiness confign'd, Where my worn-foul, each wand'ring hope at reft, May gather blifs to fee my fellows bleft.
But where to find that happieft fpot below,
Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
grants her blifs at labour's earnest call;
With food as well the peasant is fupply'd On Idra's cliffs as Arno's fhelvy fide; And though the rocky crefted fummits frown, Thefe rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down. From art more various are the bleffings fent; Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content. Yet these each other's pow'r fo ftrong conteft, That either féems deftructive of the reft. Where wealth and freedom reign contentment fails, And honour finks where commerce long prevails. Hence ev'ry ftate to one lov'd bleffing prone, Conforms and models life to that alone. Each to the fav'rite happiness attends, And fpurns the plan that aims at other ends; 'Till, carried to excefs in each domain, This fav'rite good begets peculiar pain.
But let us view thefe truths with clofer eyes,
Far to the right where Appennine afcends, Bright as the fummer, Italy extends; Its uplands floping deck the mountain's fide, Woods over woods in gay theatric pride; While oft fome temple's mould'ring top between, With venerable grandeur marks the scene.
Could nature's bounty fatisfy the breast,
Thefe bere difporting own the kindred foil,
But fmall the blifs that fenfe alone bestows, And fenfual blifs is all this nation knows. In florid beauty groves and fields appear, Man feems the only growth that dwindles here. Contrafted faults through all his manners reign, Though poor, luxurious, though fubmiffive, vain, Though grave, yet trifling, zealous, yet untrue, And ev'n in penance planning fins 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 flate; At her command the palace learn'd to rife, Again the long-fall'n column fought the fkies; The canvafs glow'd beyond e'en Nature warm, The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form. Till, more unfteady than the fouthern gale, Commerce on other shores difplay'd her fail : While nought remain'd of all that riches gave, But towns unman'd, and lords without a flave: And late the nation found with fruitlefs fkill Its former ftrength was but plethoric ill.
Yet ftill the lofs of wealth is here fupplied
Here may be feen, in bloodlefs pomp array'd,
Each nobler aim repreft by long controul,
My foul turn from them, turn we to furvey, Where rougher climes a nobler race difplay, Where the bleak Swifs their ftormy mansions tread, And force a churlish foil for fcanty bread: No product here the barren hills afford, But man and steel, the foldier and his fword. No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array, But winter ling'ring chills the lap of May; No zephyr fondly fues the mountain's breast, But meteors glare, and ftormy glooms invest.
Yet ftill, ev'n here, content can fpread a charm, Redrefs the clime, and all its rage difarm. Though poor the peasants hut, his feasts though small, He fees his little lot the lot of all;
Sees no contiguous palace rear its head