Page images
PDF
EPUB

a

a

Steerd Britain's oak into a world unknown,
And in his country's glory sought his own,
Wherever he found man to nature true,
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 sav’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 nunn'ries 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 age 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,

K

Thy pomp

over

The canker'd spoil corrodes the pining state,
Starv'd by that indolence their minds create.

Oh, could their ancient Incag 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 dard despise Alike the wrath and mercy of the skies,

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 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 ail. 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 capacious land :

a

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors]

page 99.

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.

Heav'n speed the canvass, gallantly unfurld 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 deep serene. 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,

a

« PreviousContinue »