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And gathering many a flood, and copious fed
With all the mellowed treasures of the sky,
Winds in progressive majesty along :
Thro’ splendid kingdoms now devolves his maze,
Now wanders wild o'er solitary tracts
Of life-deserted fand; till, glad to quit
The joyless desart, down the Nubian rocks
From thundering steep to steep, he pours his urn, 820
And Egypt joys beneath the spreading wave.
His brother Niger too, and all the foods
In which the full-form'd maids of Afric lave
Their jetty limbs; and all that from the tract
Of woody mountains stretch'd thro gorgeous Ind 825
Fall on Cormandels coast, or Malabar;
From * Menam's orient stream, that nightly shines
With insect-lamps, to where Aurora sheds
On Indus' smiling banks the rosy shower :
All, at this bounteous season, ope their urns,
And pour untoiling harvest o'er the land.
Nor less thy world, COLUMBUS, drinks, refreshid,
* The river that runs thro' Siam; on whose banks a vast multitude of those insects called Fire-flies make a beautiful appearance in the night.
The lavish moisture of the melting year.
Wide o'er his ifles, the branching Oronòque
Rolls a brown deluge; and the native drives
To dwell aloft on life-fufficing trees,
At once his dome, his robe, his food, and arms.
Swell'd by a thousand streams, impetuous hurl'd
From all the roaring Andes, huge defcends
The mighty * Orellana. Scarce the Muse
840 Dares stretch her wing o'er this enormous mass Of rushing water ; scarce she dares attempt The sea-like Plata; to whose dread expanse, Continuous depth, and wondrous length of course, Our floods are rills. With unabated force, 845 In silent dignity they sweep along, And traverse realms unknown, and blooming wilds, And fruitful defarts, worlds of solitude, Where the fun smiles and seasons teem in vain, Unseen, and unenjoyed. Forfaking these,
850 O’er peopled plains they fair-diffufive flow, And many a nation feed, and circle safe, , In their soft bosom, many a happy ifle ; The seat of blameless Pan, yet undisturb’d
* The river of the Amazons,
By christian crimes and Europe's cruel fons.
Thus pouring on they proudly seek the deep,
Whose vanquish'd tide, recoiling from the shock,
Yields to this liquid weight of half the globe ;
And Ocean trembles for his green domain.
But what avails this wondrous waste of wealth
This gay profufion of luxurious bliss ?
This pomp of Nature? what their balmy meads,
Their powerful herbs, and Ceres void of pain ?
By vagrant birds difpers’d, and wafting winds,
What their unplanted fruits ? What the cool draughts,
Th' ambrosial food, rich gums, and spicy health, 866
Their forests yield ? Their toiling infects what,
Their filky pride, and vegetable robes ?
Ah! what avail their fatal treasures, hid
Deep in the bowels of the pitying earth,
Golconda's gems, and fad Potosi's mines;
Where dwelt the gentlest children of the sun ?
What all that Afric's golden rivers roll,
Her odorous woods, and fhining ivory stores ?
Ill-fated race! the softening arts of Peace,
Whate’er the humanizing Muses teach ;
The godlike wisdom of the temper'd breast;
Progressive truth, the patient force of thought;
Investigation calm, whose filent powers
Command the world; the Light that leads to HEAVEN;
Kind equal rule, the government of laws,
And all-protecting FREEDOM, which alone
Sustains the name and dignity of Man:
These are not theirs. The parent-sun himself
Seems o'er this world of slaves to tyrannize; 885
And, with oppressive ray, the roseat bloom
Of beauty blasting, gives the gloomy hue,
And feature gross: or worse, to ruthless deeds,
Mad jealousy, blind rage, and fell revenge,
Their fervid fpirit fires. Love dwells not there, 890
The soft regards, the tenderness of life,
The heart-shed tear, th' ineffable delight
Of sweet humanity: these court the beam
Of milder climes; in felfish fierce desire,
And the wild fury of voluptuous fense, 895
There loft. The very brute-creation there
This rage partakes, and burns with horrid fire.
Lo! the green ferpent, from his dark abode,
Which even Imagination fears to tread,
At noon forth-issuing, gathers up his train
In orbs immense, then, darting out anew,
Seeks the refreshing fount; by which diffus’d,
He throws his folds : and while, with threatning tongues
And deathful jaws erect, the monster curls
His flaming crest, all other thirst, appalld, 995
Or shivering flies, or check'd at distance ftands,
Nor dares approach. But still more direful he,
The small close-lurking minister of fate,
Whose high-concocted venom thro’ the veins
A rapid lightning darts, arresting swift
The vital current. Form’d to humble Man,
This child of vengeful Nature! There, sublim'd
To fearless lust of blood, the savage race
Roam, licens’d by the shading hour of guilt,
And foul misdeed, when the pure day has shut 915
His facred eye. The tyger darting fierce
Impetuous on the prey his glance has doom'd :
The lively-fhining leopard, speckled o’er
With many a spot, the beauty of the waste;
And, scorning all the taming arts of Man,
The keen hyena, fellest of the fell.
These, rushing from th’ inhospitable woods
Of Mauritania, or the tufted isles,
That verdant rise amid the Lybian wild,