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She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow; Rush'd to battle, fought, and died;
Dying, hurld them at the foe,
Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heav'n awards the vengeance due ;
Empire is on us bestow'd,
Shame and ruin wait for
THERE was a time when Ætna's silent fire
Slept unperceiv'd, the mountain yet entire;
When, conscious of no danger from below,
She tow'r'd a cloud-capt pyramid of snow.
No thunders shook with deep intestine sound
The blooming groves that girdled her around.
Her unctuous olives, and her purple vines,
(Unfelt the fury of those bursting mines)
The peasant's hopes, and not in vain, assur'd,
In peace upon her sloping sides matur'd.
When on a day, like that of the last doom,
A conflagration lab'ring in her womb,
She teem'd and heav'd with an infernal birth,
That shook the circling seas and solid earth.
Dark and voluminous the vapours rise, ,
And hang their horrors in the neighb'ring skies,
While through the Stygian veil that blots the day,
In dazzling streaks, the vivid lightnings play.
But, oh! what muse, and in what pow'rs of song,
Can trace the torrent as it burns along?
Havoc and devastation in the van,
It marches o'er the prostrate works of man....
Vines, olives, herbage, forests, disappear,
And all the charms of a Sicilian year.
Revolving seasons, fruitless as they pass,
See it an uninform’d and idle mass;
Without a soil t invite the tiller's care,
Or blade that might redeem it from despair.
Yet time at length (what will not time achieve?)
Clothes it with earth, and bids the produce live.
Once more the spiry myrtle crowns the glade,
And ruminating flocks enjoy the shade.
Oh, bliss precarious, and unsafe retreats,
Oh charming paradise of short-liv'd sweets!
The self-same gale that wafts the fragrance round
Brings to the distant ear a sullen sound :
Again the mountain feels th' imprison'd foe,
Again pours ruin on the vale below.
Ten thousand swains the wasted scene deplore,
That only future ages can restore.
Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honour draws, Who write in blood the merits of your cause,
Who strike the blow, then plead your own defenc@g...
Glory your aim, but justice your pretence:
Behold in Ætna's emblematic fires
The mischiefs your ambitious pride inspires !
Fast by the stream that bounds your just do main,
And tells you where ye have a right to reign,
A nation dwells, not envious of your throne,
Studious of peace, their neighbours', and their own.
Ill-fated race! how deeply must they rue
Their only crime, vicinity to you!
The trumpet sounds, your legions swarm abroad,
Through the ripe harvest lies their destin'd road;
At ev'ry step beneath their feet they tread
The life of multitudes, a nation's bread!
Earth seems a garden in its loveliest dress
Before them, and behind a wilderness.
Famine, and pestilence, her first-born son,
Attend to finish what the sword begun;
And, echoing praises such as fiends might earn,
And folly pays, resound at your return;.
A calm succeeds....but plenty, with her train
Of heart-felt joys, succeeds not soon again,
And years of pining indigence must show
What scourges are the gods that rule below.
Yet man, laborious man, by slow degrees,
(Such is his thirst of opulence and ease)
Plies all the sinews of industrious toil,
Gleans the refuse of the gen'ral spoil,
Rebuilds the tow'rs that smok'd upon the plain,
And the sun gilds the shining spires again.
Increasing commerce and reviving art Renew the quarrel on the conqu’rors' part; And the sad lesson must be learn'd once more, That wealth within, is ruin at the door. What are ye, monarchs, laureld heroes, say.... But Ætnas of the suff'ring world ye sway? Sweet nature, stripp'd of her embroider'd robe, Deplores the wasted regions of her globe ; And stands a witness at truth's awful bar, To prove you, there, destroyers as ye are.
Oh, place me in some heav'n-protected isle, Where peace, and equity, and freedom smile ; . Where no volcano pours his fiery flood, No crested warrior dips his plume in blood; Where pow'r secures what industry has won ; Where to succeed is not to be undone ; A land that distant tyrants hate in vain, In Britain's isle, beneath a George's reign!
An Oyster, cast upon the shore,
Was heard, though nezer heard before,
Complaining in a speech well worded,
And worthy thus to be recorded....
Ah, hapless wretch! condemn'd to dwell
For ever in my native shell ;
Ordain'd to move when others please,
my own content or ease ;
But toss'd and buffeted about,
Now in the water and now out.
'Twere better to be born a stone,
Of ruder shape, and feeling none,
Than with a tenderness like mine,
And sensibilities so fine!
I envy that unfeeling shrub,
Fast rooted against ev'ry rub.
The plant he meant grew not far off,
And felt the sneer with scorn enough;
Was hurt, disgusted, mortified,
And with asperity replied.
When, cry the botanists....and stare....
Did plants call'd sensitive grow there?
No matter when....a poet's muse is
To make them grow just where she chooses.