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What crowd is this? what have we here! we must
not pass it by; A Telescope upon its frame, and pointed to the sky: Long is it as a Barber's Pole, or Mast of little Boat, Some little Pleasure-skiff, that doth on Thames's
The Show-man chooses well his place, 'tis Leicester's
busy Square; And he's as happy in his night, for the heavens are
blue and fair; Calm, though impatient, is the Crowd; each is ready
with the fee, And envies him that's looking — what an insight must it be!
Yet, Show-man, where can lie the cause? Shall
thy Implement have blame, A Boaster, that when he is tried, fails, and is put
to shame ?Or is it good as others are, and be their eyes in fault?Their eyes, or minds? or, finally, is this resplendent Vault?
Is nothing of that radiant pomp so good as we have here? Or gives a thing but small delight that never can be dear? The silver Moon with all her Vales, and Hills ol
mightiest fame, Do they betray us when they're seen? and are they
but a name?
Or is it rather that Conceit rapacious is and strong, And bounty never yields so much but it seems to
do her wrong? Or is it, that when human Souls a journey long
have had, And are returned into themselves, they cannot but be sad?
Or must we be constrained to think that these Spectators rude,
Poor in estate, of manners base, men of the multitude,
Have souls which never yet have risen, and therefore prostrate lie?
No, no, this cannot be — Men thirst for power and majesty!
Does, then, a deep and earnest thought the blissful mind employ Of him who gazes, or has gazed? a grave and steady joy,
That doth reject all shew of pride, admits no outward sign,
Because not of this noisy world, but silent and divine!
Whatever be the cause, 'tis sure that they who pry and pore Seem to meet with little gain, seem less happy than before:One after One they take their turns, nor have I one espied That doth not slackly go away, as if dissatisfied.
Those silver clouds collected round the sun
The noon-tide hour: — though truly some there are
Whose footsteps superstitiously avoid
This venerable Tree; for, when the wind
Blows keenly, it sends forth a creaking sound
(Above the general roar of woods and crags)
Distinctly heard from far — a doleful note!
As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deemed)
The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed
Some bitter wrong. Nor is it unbelieved,
By ruder fancy, that a troubled Ghost
Haunts this old Trunk; lamenting deeds of which
The flowery ground is conscious. But no wind
Sweeps now along this elevated ridge;
Not even a zephyr stirs; — the obnoxious Tree
Is mute, — and, in his silence, would look down
On thy reclining form with more delight
Than his Coevals, in the sheltered vale
Seem to participate, the whilst they view
Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads
Vividly pictured in some glassy pool,
That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying stream!