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"Quo nihil majus meliusve terris
Fata donavere, bonique divi;
Nec dabunt, quamvis redeant in aurum
Hor. Lib. iv. Od. 2.
FAIREST and foremost of the train, that wait
On man's most dignified and happiest state,
Whether we name thee Charity or Love,
Chief grace below, and all in all above,
Prosper (I press thee with a pow'rful plea)
A task I venture on, impelld by thee:
O, never seen but in thy blest effects,
Or felt but in the soul that Heav'n selects ;
Who seeks to praise thee, and to make thee known
To other hearts, must have thee in his own.
Come prompt me with benevolent desires,
Teach me to kindle at thy gentle fires,
And, though disgraced and slighted, to redeem
A poet's name, by making thee the theme.
God, working ever on a social plan,
By various ties attaches man to man:
He made at first, though free and unconfin'd,
One man the common father of the kind;
That ev'ry tribe, though plac'd as he sees best,
Where seas or deserts part them from the rest,
Diff'ring in language, manners, or in face,
Might feel themselves allied to all the race.
When Cook-lamented, and with tears as just
As ever mingled with heroic dust,
Steer'd Britain's oak into a world unknown, ont
And in his country's glory sought his own,
Wherever he found man to nature true, 2010)
The rights of man were sacred in his view;
He sooth'd with gifts, and greeted with a smile,
The simple native of the new-found isle;
He spurn’d the wretch, that slighted or withstood
The tender argument of kindred blood,
Nor would endure, that any should control
His freeborn brethren of the southern pole.
But though some nobler minds a law respect,
That none shall with impunity neglect,
In baser souls unnumber'd evils meet,
To thwart its influence, and its end defeat.
While Cook is lov’d for savage lives he say'd,
See Cortez odious for a world enslav'd!
Where wast thou then, sweet Charity? where then,
Thou tutelary friend of helpless men ?
Wast thou in monkish cells and nunnʼries found,
Or building hospitals on English ground?
No.-Mammon makes the World his legatee
Through fear, not love; and Heav'n abhors the fee.
Wherever found, (and all men need thy care,
Nor nor infancy could find thee there.
The hand, that slew till it could slay no more,
Was glued to the sword-hilt with Indian gore.
Their prince, as justly seated on his throne
As vain imperial Philip on his own,
Trick'd out of all his royalty by art,
That stripp'd him bare, and broke his honest heart,
Died by the sentence of a shaven priest,
For scorning what they taught him to detest.
How dark the veil, that intercepts the blaze
Of Heav'n's mysterious purposes and ways;
God stood not, though he seem'd to stand aloof;
And at this hour the conqu’ror feels the proof:
The wreath he won drew down an instant curse.
The fretting plague is in the public purse, have sur
The canker'd spoil corrodes the pining state,
Starv'd by that indolence their minds create.
Oh, could their ancient Incas rise again,
How would they take up Israel's taunting strain !
Art thou too fall'n, Iberia ? Do we see
The robber and the murd'rer weak as we?
Thou, that hast wasted Earth, and dar'd despise
Alike the wrath and mercy of the skies,
Thy pomp is in the grave, thy glory laid
Low in the pits thine avarice has made.
We come with joy from our eternal rest,
To see th'oppressor in his turn oppress’d.
Art thou the god, the thunder of whose hand
Roll'd over all our desolated land,
Shook principalities and kingdoms down,
And made the mountains tremble at his frown ?
The sword shall light upon thy boasted pow'rs,
And waste them, as the sword has wasted ours.
'Tis thus Omnipotence his law fulfils,
And Vengeance executes what Justice wills.
Again—the band of commerce was design'd T associate all the branches of mankind; And if a boundless plenty be the robe, Trade is the golden girdle of the globe. Wise to promote whatever end he means, God opens fruitful nature's various scenes : Each climate needs what other climes produce, And offers something to the gen’ral use ; No land but listens to the common call, And in return receives supply from all. This genial intercourse, and mutual aid, Cheers what were else an universal shade, Calls nature from her ivy-mantled den, And softens human rock-work into men. Ingenious Art! with her expressive face, Steps forth to fashion and refine the race; Not only fills Necessity's demand, But overcharges her capacions hand :
Capricious Taste itself can crave no more,
Than she supplies from her abounding store;
She strikes out all that luxury can ask,
And gains new vigour at her endless task.
Hers is the spacious arch, the shapely spire,
The painter's pencil, and the poet's lyre ;
From her the canvass borrows light and shade,
And verse, more lasting, hues that never fade,
She guides the fingers o'er the dancing keys,
Gives difficulty all the grace of ease,
And pours a torrent of sweet notes around,
Fast as the thirsting ear can drink the sound.
These are the gifts of Art, and Art thrives most
Where commerce has enrich'd the busy coast;
He catches all improvements in his flight,
Spreads foreign wonders in his country's sight,
Imports what others have invented well,
And stirs his own to match them, or excel.
"Tis thus, reciprocating, each with each,
Alternately the nations learn and teach;
While Providence enjoins to ev'ry soul
An union with the vast torraqueous whole.
Heay'n speed the canvass, gallantly unfurl'd
To furnish and accommodate a world,
To give the pole the produce of the sun,
And knit th' unsocial climates into one-
Soft airs and gentle heavings of the wave
Impel the fleet, whose errand is to save,
To succour wasted regions, and replace
The smile of Opulence on Sorrow's face.-
Let nothing adverse, nothing unforeseen,
Impede the bark, that ploughs the de
Charg'd with a freight, transcending in its worth
The gems of India, Nature's rarest birth,
That flies, like Gabriel on his Lord's commands,
A herald of God's love to Pagan lands.
But, ah! what wish can prosper, or what pray'r,
For merchants rich in cargoes of despair,
Who drive a loathsome traffic, gauge, and span,
And buy the muscles and the bones of man!
The tender ties of father, husband, friend,
All bonds of nature in that moment end;
And each endures, while yet he draws his breath,
A stroke as fatal as the scythe of Death.
The sable warrior, frantic with regret
Of her he loves, and never can forget,
Loses in tears the far-receding shore,
But not the thought, that they must meet no more;
Depriv'd of her and freedom at a blow,
What has he left that he can yet forego ?
Yes, to deep sadness, sullenly resignd,
He feels his body's bondage in his mind;
Puts off his gen'rous nature ; and, to suit
His manners with his fate, puts on the brute.
0, most degrading of all ills, that wait
On many a mourner in his best estate!
All other sorrows Virtue may endure,
And find submission more than half a cure ;
Grief is itself a med'cine, and bestowed
To improve the fortitude that bears the load,
To teach the wand'rer, as his woes increase,
The path of Wisdom, all whose paths are peace;
But slav'ry !_Virtue dreads it as her grave :
Patience itself is meanness in a slave;
Or if the will and sov’reignty of God
Bid suffer it awhile, and
kiss the rod,
Wait for the dawning of a brighter day
the chain the moment when you may.
Nature imprints upon whate'er we see,
That has a heart and life in it, Be free;
The beasts are charter'd-neither age nor force
Can quell the love of freedom in a horse :
He breaks the cord that held him at the rack;
And, conscious of an unencumber'd back,
Snuffs the morning air, forgets the rein;
Loose fly his forelock and his ample main ;