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On gracious errands bent: to save the fall
In one impetuous torrent, down the steep
At first, an azure sheet, it rushes broad:
And from the loud-resounding rocks below
Dash'd in a cloud of foam, it sends aloft
Bui, raging still amid the shaggy rocks,
Aslant the hollow channel rapid darts ;
And, falling fast from gradual slope to slope,
Along the mazes of the quiet vale.
Invited froin the cliff, to whose dark brow
With upward pinions, through the flood of day;
Gains on the Sun; while all the tuneful race,
Short interval of weary woe! again
The sad idea of his murder'd mate,
Across his fancy comes; and then resounds
A louder song of sorrow through the grove.
Beside the dewy border let me sit,
All in the freshness of the humid air;
An ample chair moss-lin'd, and over-head
Of fragrant woodbine loads his litile thigh.
Now, while I taste the sweetness of the shade, of poet, swelling to seraphic strain."
While Nature lies around deep-lull'd in Noon,
And view the wonders of the torrid zone :
Yon blaze is feeble, and yon skies are cool.
Rising direct, swift chases from the sky
And barbarous wealth, that see each circling year,
Or to the far horizon wide diffus'd,
A boundless deep immensity of shade.
east, or the collateral points, the north east and southI check my steps, and view the broken scene.
east; caused by the pressure of the rarefied air on that Smooth to the shelving brink a copious flood
before it, according to the diurnal motion of the Sun from
east to west. Rolls fair, and placid; where, collected all
1 In all climates between the tropics, the Sun, as he A young lady who died at the age of eighteen, in the passes and repasses in his annual motion, is twice a year year 1738
vertical, which produces this effect.
Here lofty trees, to ancient song unknown, Leans the huge elephant: wisest of brutes !
And empires rise and fall; regardless be
Of what the never-resting race of men And vital spirit, drink amid the cliffs
Project: thrice happy! could he 'scape their guile, And burning sands that bank the shrubby vales, Who mine, from cruel avarice, his steps ; Redoubled day, yet in their rugged coats
Or with his towery grandeur swell their state, A friendly juice to cool its rage contain.
The pride of kings! or else his strength pervert, Bear me, Pomona! to thy citron-groves ;
And bid him rage amid the mortal fray, To where the lemon and the piercing lime, Astonish'd at the madness of mankind. With the deep orange, glowing through the green, Wide o'er the winding umbrage of the floods, Their lighter glories blend. Lay me reclin'd Like vivid blossoms glowing from afar, Beneath the spreading tamarind that shakes, Thick swarm the brighter birds. For Nature's hand, Fann'd by the breeze, its fever-cooling fruit. That with a sportive vanity bas deck'd Deep in the night the massy locust sheds, (maze, The plumy nations, there her gayest hues Quench my hot limbs; or lead me through the Profusely pours. But, if she bids them shine, Embowering endless, of the Indian fig;
Array'd in all the beauteous beams of day, Or, thrown at gayer ease, on some fair brow, Yet, frugal still, she humbles them in song. Let me behold, by breezy murmurs coold, Nor envy we the gaudy robes they lent Bmad o'er my head the verdant cedar wave, Proud Montezuma's realm, whose legions cast And high palmeltoes lift their graceful shade. A boundless radiance waving on the Sun, Or, stretch'd amid these orchards of the Sun, While Philomel is ours; while in our shades, Give me to drain the cocoa's milky bowl,
Through the soft silence of the listening night, And from the palm to draw its freshening wine! The sober-suited songstress trills her lay. More bounteous far than all the frantic juice
But come, my Muse, the desert-barrier burst, Which Bacchus pours. Nor, on its slender twigs A wild expanse of lifeless sand and sky: Low-bending, be the full pomegranate scorn'd; And, swifter than the toiling caravan, Nor, creeping through the woods, the gelid race Shoot o'er the vale of Sennar; ardent climb Of berries. Oft in humble station dwells:
The Nubian mountains, and the secret bounds Unboastful worth, above fastidious pomp.
Of jealous Abyssinia boldly pierce. Witness, thou best Anâna, thou the pride
Thou art no ruffian, who beneath the mask Of vegetable life, beyond whate'er
of social commerce com’st to rob their wealth ; The poets imag'd in the golden age :
No holy Fury thou, blaspheming Heaven, Quick let me strip thee of thy tufty coat,
With consecrated steel lo stab their peace, Spread thy ambrosial stores, and feast with Jove! And through the land, yet red from civil wounds,
From these the prospect varies. Plains immense To spread the purple tyranny of Rome. Lie stretch'd below, interminable meads,
Thou, like the harmless bee, may'st freely range And vast savannas, where the wandering eye, From mead to mead, bright with exalted flowers, Unfix'd, is in a verdant ocean lost.
From jasmine grove to grove, may'st wander gay, Another Flora there, of bolder hues,
Through palmy shades and aromatic woods, And richer sweets, beyond our garden's pride, That grace the plains, invest the peopled hills, Plays o'er the fields, and showers with sudden hand And up the more than Alpine mountains wave. Exuberant Spring; for oft these valleys shift There on the breezy summit, spreading fair, Their green-embroider'd robe to fiery brown, For many a league ; or on stupendous rocks, And swift to green again, as scorching suns, That from the sun-redoubling valley list, Or streaming dews and torrent rains, prevail. Cool to the middle air, their lawny tops;
Along these lonely regions, where, retir'd Where palaces, and fanes, and villas rise; From liule scenes of art, great Nature dwells And gardens smile around, and cultur'd fields ; In awful solitude, and nought is seen
And fountains gush ; and careless herds and flocks But the wild herds that own no master's stall, Securely stray; a world within itself, Prodigious rivers roll their fattening seas; Disdaining all assault: there let me draw On whose luxuriant herbage, half-conceal'd, Ethereal soul, there drink reviving gales, Like a fall'n cedar, far diffus'd his train,
Profusely breathing from the spicy groves, Cas'd in green scales, the crocodile extends. And vales of fragrance; there at distance hear The flood disparts : behold! in plaited mail, The roaring floods, and cataracts, that sweep Behemoth * rears his head. Glanc'd from his side, From disembowell’d Earth the virgin gold; The darted steel in idle shivers flies :
And o'er the varied landscape, restless, rove, He fearless walks the plain, or sceks the hills ; Fervent with life of every fairer kind : Where, as he crops his varied fare, the herds, A land of wonders! which the Sun still eyes In widening circle round, forget their food, With ray direct, as of the lovely realm And at the harmless stranger woudering gaze. Enamour'd, and delighting there to dwell. (noon,
Peaceful, beneath primeval trees, that cast How chang’d the scene! In blazing height of Their ample shade o'er Niger's yellow stream, The Sun, oppress'd. is plung'd in thickest gloom. And where the Ganges rolis his sacred wave; Still Horror reigns, a dreary twilight round, Or mid the central depth of blackening woods, High rais'd in solemn theatre around,
† In all the regions of the torrid zone, the birds, though of struggling night and day malignant mix'd. And many a nation feed, and circle safe, For to the hot equator crowding fast,
more beautiful in their plumage, are observed to be less * The hippopotamus, or river.horse.
melodious than ours.
In their soft bosom, many a happy isle ; Where, highly rarefied, the yielding air
The seat of blameless Pan, yet undisturbid Admits their stream, incessant vapors roll, By Christian crimes and Europe's cruel sons. Amazing clouds on clouds continual heap'd ! Thus pouring on they proudly seek the deep, Or whirld lempestuous by the gusty wind, Whose vanquish'd tide, recoiling from the shock, Or silent borne along, heavy, and slow,
Yields to the liquid weight of half the globe; With the big stores of steaming oceans charg'd. And Ocean trembles for his green domain. Meantime, amid these upper seas, condens'd
But what avails this wondrous waste of wealth? Around the cold aërial mountain's brow,
This gay profusion of luxurious bliss ? And by conflicting winds together dash'd, This pomp of Nature ? what their balmy meads, The Thunder holds his black tremendous throne: Their powerful herbs, and Ceres void of pain ? From cloud to cloud the rending Lightnings rage; By vagrant birds dispers'd, and wasting winds, Till, in the furious elemental war
What their unplanted fruits ? what the cool draughts, Dissolv'd, the whole precipitated mass,
Th'ambrosial food, rich gums, and spicy health, Unbroken floods and solid torrents pours.
Their forests yield ? their toiling insects what, The treasures these, hid from the bounded search Their silky pride, and vegetable robes ? Of ancient knowledge; whence, with annual pomp, Ah! what avail their fatal treasures, hid, Rich king of floods ! o'erflows the swelling Nile. Deep in the bowels of the pitying Earth, From his two springs, in Gojam's sunny realm, Golconda's gems, and sad Potosi’s mines; Pure welling out, he through the lucid lake Where dwelt the gentlest children of the Sun ? of fair Dambea rolls his infant stream.
What all that Afric's golden rivers roll, There, by the Naïads nurs'd, he sports away Her odorous woods, and shining ivory stores ? His playful youth, amid the fragrant isles,
Ill-fated race! the softening arts of peace, That with unfading verdure smile around. Whate'er the humanizing Muses teach ; Ambitious, thence the manly river breaks ;
The godlike wisdom of the temper'd breast; And, gathering many a flood, and copious fed Progressive truth, the patient force of thought; With all the mellow'd treasures of the sky, Investigation calm, whose silent powers Winds in progressive majesty along:
Command the world; the light that leads to Heaven, Through splendid kingdoms now devolves his maze, Kind equal rule, the government of laws, Now wanders wild o'er solitary tracts
And all-protecting freedom, which alone Of life-deserted sand : till, glad to quit
Sustains the name and dignity of man: The joyless desert, down the Nubian rocks These are not theirs. The parent Sun himself From thundering steep to steep, he pours his urn,
Seems o'er this world of slaves to tyrannize; And Egypt joys beneath the spreading wave. And, with oppressive ray, the roseate bloom
His brother Niger, too, and all the floods Of beauty blasting, gives the gloomy hue, In which the full-form'd maids of Afric lave And feature gross : or worse, to ruthless deeds, Their jetty limbs; and all that form the tract Mad jealousy, blind rage, and fell revenge, Of woody mountains stretch'd through gorgeous Ind Their fervid spirit fires. Love dwells not there. Fall on Cormandel's coast, or Malabar;
The soft regards, the tenderness of life, From Menam's orient stream,* that nightly shines The heart-shed tear, th' ineffable delight With insect-lamps, to where Aurora sheds of sweet humanity: these court the beam On Indus' smiling banks the rosy shower:
of milder climes; in selfish fierce desire, All, at this bounteous season, ope their urns, And the wild fury of voluptuous sense, And pour untoiling harvest o'er the land.
There lost. The very brute creation there Nor less thy world, Columbus, drinks, refresh'd, This rage partakes, and burns with horrid fire. The lavish’d moisture of the melting year.
Lo! the green serpent, from his dark abode, Wide o'er his isles, the branching Oronoque Which evin imagination fears to tread, Rolls a brown deluge ; and the native drives At noon forth issuing, gathers up his train To dwell aloft on life-sufficing trees,
In orbs immense, then, darting out anew.. At once his dome, his robe, his food, and arms. Seeks the refreshing fount; by which diffus'd, Swellid by a thousand streams, impetuous hurl'd He throws his folds : and while, with threatening From all the roaring Andes, huge descends
tongue, The mighty Orellana. Scarce the Muse
And deathful jaws erect, the monster curls Dares stretch her wing o'er this enormous mass His faming crest, all other thirst appallid, Of rushing water; scarce she dares attempt Or shivering fies, or check'd at distance stands, The sea-like Plata ; to whose dread expanse, Nor dares approach. But still more direful he, Continuous depth, and wondrous length of course. The small close-lurking minister of Fate, Our floods are rills. With unabated force,
Whose high-concocted venom through the veins In silent dignity they sweep along,
A rapid lightning darts, arresting swift And traverse realms unknown, and blooming wilds, The vital current. Form'd to humble man, And fruitful deserts, worlds of solitude,
This child of vengeful nature! There, sublim'd Where the Sun smiles and Seasons teem in vain, To fearless lust of blood, the savage race Unseen and unenjoy'd. Forsaking these,
Roam, licens'd by the shading hour of guilt, O'er peopled plains they far-diffusive flow,
And foul misdeed, when the pure day has shut
His sacred eye. The tiger darting fierce * The river that runs through Siam ; on whose banks Impetuous on the prey his glance has doom'd. a vast number of those insects called fire flies make a The lively-shining leopard, speckled o'er beautiful appearance in the night.
With many a spot, the beauty of the waste + The river of the Amazons.
And, scorning all the taming arts of man,
The keen hyena, fellest of the fell.
Falsely serene, deep in a cloudy speckt These, rushing from th' inhospitable woods Compress'd, the mighty tempest brooding dwells : Of Mauritania, or the tufted isles
Of no regard, save to the skilful eye, That verdant rise amid the Libyan wild,
Fiery and foul, the small prognostic hangs Innumerous glare around their shaggy king, Aloft, or on the promontory's brow Majestic, stalking o'er the printed sand;
Musters its force. A faint deceitful calm, And, with imperious and repeated roars,
A Nuttering gale the demon sends before, Demand their fated food. The fearful flocks To tempt the spreading sail. Then down at once, Crowd near the guardian swain; the nobler herds, Precipitant, descends a mingled mass Where round their lordly bull, in rural ease, of roaring winds, and flame, and rushing floods. They ruminating lie, with horror hear
In wild amazement fix'd, the sailor stands. The coming rage. Th’awaken’d village starts ; Art is too slow: by rapid Fate oppress’d, And to her fluttering breast the mother strains His broad-wing'd vessel drinks the whelming tide, Her thoughtless infant. From the pirate's den, Hid in the bosom of the black abyss. Or stern Morocco's tyrant-fang escap'd,
With such mad seas the daring Gama I fought, The wretch half-wishes for his bonds again : For many a day, and many a dreadful night, While, uproar all, the wilderness resounds, Incessani, laboring round the stormy Cape ; From Atlas eastward to the frighted Nile.
By bold ambition led, and bolder thirst Unhappy he! who from the first of joys, of gold. For then from ancient gloom emerg'd Society, cut off, is left alone
The rising world of trade : the genius, then,
Had slumber'd on the vast Atlantic deep,
The Lusitanian prince ; j who, Heaven-inspir'd,
Increasing still the terrors of these storms, A mournful eye, and down his dying heart His jaws horrific arm'd with threefold fate, Sinks helpless; while the wonted roar is up, Here dwells the direful shark. Lurd by the scent And hiss continual through the tedious night. or steaming crowds, of rank disease, and death, Yet here, ev'n here, into these black abodes Behold! he rushing cuts the briny food, Of monsters unappall’d, from stooping Rome, Swift as the gale can bear ihe ship along ; And guilty Cæsar, liberty retir'd,
And, from the partners of that cruel trade, Her Cato following through Numidian wilds : Which spoils unhappy Guinea of ber sons, Disdainful of Campania's gentle plains,
Demands his share of prey ; demands themselves. And all the green delights Ausonia pours; The stormy Fates descend: one death involves When for them she must bend the servile knee, Tyrants and slaves; when straight, their mangled And fawning take the splendid robber's boon.
limbs Nor stop the terrors of these regions here: Crashing at once, he dyes the purple seas Commission'd demons oft, angels of wrath, With gore, and riots in the vengeful meal. Let loose the raging elements. Breath'd hot, When o'er this world, by equinoctial rains From all the boundless furnace of the sky, Flooded immense, looks out the joyless Sun, And the wide glittering waste of burning sand, And draws the copious steam : from swampy sens A suffocating wind the pilgrim smites
Where putrefaction into life ferments, With instant death. Patient of thirst and toil, And breathes destructive myriads : or from woods, Son of the desert! even the camel feels,
Impenetrable shades, recesses foul, Shot through his wither'd heart, the fiery blast. In vapors rank and blue corruption wrapt, Or from the black-red ether, bursting broad, Whose gloomy horrors yet no desperate foot Sallies the sudden whirlwind. Straight the sands, Has ever dar'd to pierce; then, wasteful, forth Commov'd around, in gathering eddies play: Walks the dire power of pestilent Disease. Nearer and nearer still, they darkening come; A thousand hideous fiends her course attend, Till, with the general all-involving storm
Sick Nature blasting, and to heartless woe, Swept up, the whole continuous wilds arise ; And feeble desolation, casting down And by their noon-day fount dejected thrown, The lowering hopes and all the pride of man: Or sunk at night in sad disastrous sleep,
Such as, of late, at Carthagena quench'd
The British fire. You, gallant Vernon, saw
Saw the deep-racking pang, the ghastly form,
Vasco de Gama, the first who sailed round Africa, by And dire Ecnephia * reign. Amid the heavens, . the Cape of Good Hope, to the East Indies.
& Don Henry, third son to John the First, king of Por.
tugal. His strong genius to the discovery of new coun. * Typhon and Ecnephia, names of particular storms or tries was the chief source of all the modern improve. hurricanes, known only between the tropics.
ments in navigation.
No more with ardor bright: you heard the groans A reddening gloom, a magazine of fate,
Ferment; till by the touch ethereal rous'd,
What need I mention those inclement skies, That from the mountain, previous to the storm, Where, frequent o'er the sickening city, Plague, Rolls o'er the muttering earih, disturbs the flood, The fiercest child of Nemesis divine,
And shakes the forest-leaf without a breath. Descends ?* From Ethiopia's poison'd woods, Prone, to the lowest vale, th' aerial tribes From stifled Cairo's filth, and fetid fields
Descend: the tempest-loving raven scarce With locust-armies putrefying heap'd,
Dares wing the dubious dusk. In rueful gaze This great destroyer sprung.
ller awful rage The cattle stand, and on the scowling Heavens The brutes escape: man is her destin'd prey, Cast a deploring eye, by man forsook, Intemperate man! and, o'er his guilty domes, Who to the crowded cottage bies him fast, She draws a close incumbent cloud of death ; Or seeks the shelter of the downward cave. Uninterrupted by the living winds,
'Tis listening fear and dumb amazement all: Forbid to blow a wholesome breeze ; and stain'd When to the startled eye the sudden glance With many a mixture by the Sun, suffus’d, Appears far south, eruptive through the cloud; Of angry aspect. Princely wisdom, then,
And following slower, in explosion vast, Dejects his watchful eye; and from the band The thunder raises his tremendous voice. Of feeble justice, ineffectual, drop
At first, heard solemn o'er the verge of Heaven, The sword and balance : mute the voice of joy, The tempest growls; but as it nearer comes, And hush'd the clamor of the busy world.
And rolls its awful burden on the wind, Empty the streets, with uncouth verdure clad; The lightnings flash a larger curve, and more Into the worst of deserts sudden turn'd
The noise astounds: till over-head a sheet The cheerful haunt of men, unless escap'd (reigns, of livid flame discloses wide; then shuts, From the doom'd house, where matchless horror And opens wider; shuts and opens still Shut up by barbarous fear, the smitten wretch, Expansive, wrapping ether in a blaze. With frenzy wild, breaks loose ; and, loud 10 Heaven Follows the loosen'd aggravated roar, Screaming, the dreadful policy arraigns,
Enlarging, deepening, mingling; peal on peal Inhunian, and unwise. The sullen door,
Crush'd horrible, convulsing Heaven and Earth. Yet uninfected, on its cautious hinge
Down comes a deluge of sonorous hail, Fearing to turn, abhors society:
Or prone descending rain. Wide rent, the clouds Dependants, friends, relations, Love himself, Pour a whole flood ; and yet, its flame unquench'd, Savag'd by woe, forget the tender tie,
Th’unconquerable lightning struggles through, The sweei engagement of the feeling heart. Ragged and fierce, or in red whirling balls, But vain their selfish care : the circling sky,
And fires the mountains with redoubled rage. The wide enlivening air, is full of fate ;
Black from the stroke, above, the smouldering pine And struck by turns, in solitary pangs
Stands a sad shatter'd trunk; and, stretch'd below, They fall, unblest, untended, and unmourn'd. A liseless group, the blasted cattle lie: Thus o'er the prostrate city black Despair
Here the soft flocks, with that same harmless look Extends her raven wing; while, to complete They wore alive, and ruminating suill The scene of desolation, stretch'd around,
In Fancy's eye; and there the frowning bull, The grim guards stand, denying all retreat,
An ox half-rais'd. Struck on the castled cliff,
The venerable tower and spiry fane
Start at the flash, and from their deep recess, Where drought and famine starve the blasted year: Wide-flaming out, their trembling inmates shake. Fird by the torch of noon to ten-fold rage,
Amid Carnarvon's mountains rages loud Th’infuriate hill that shoots the pillar'd flame; The repercussive roar: with mighty crush, And, rous'd within the subterranean world, Into the flashing deep, from the rude rocks Th'expanding earthquake, that resistless shakes Of Penmenmaur heap'd hideous to the sky, Aspiring cities from their solid base,
Tumble the smitten cliffs; and Snowden's peak, And buries mountains in the flaming gulf.
Dissolving, instant yields his wintry load. But 'tis enough; return, my vagrant Muse : Far-seen, the heights of lieathy Cheviot blaze, A nearer scene of horror calls thee home.
And Thule bellows through her utmost isles. Behold, slow-settling o'er the lurid grove,
Guilt hears appall'd, with deeply-troubled thought Unusual darkness broods; and growing gains And yet not always on the guilty head The full possession of the sky, surcharg'd
Descends the fated flash. Young Celadon With wrathful vapor, from the secret beds,
And his Amelia were a matchless pair; Where sleep the mineral generations, drawn. With equal virtue form’d, and equal grace, Thence nitre, sulphur, and the fiery spume The same, distinguish'd by their sex alone : Or fat bitumen, steaming on the day,
Hers the mild lustre of the blooming morn, With various-tinctur'd trains of latent flame, And his the radiance of the risen day. Pollute the sky, and in yon baleful cloud,
They lov’d: but such theic guileless passion was
As in the dawn of time inform’d the heart * These are the causes supposed to be the first origin Of innocence and undissembling truth. of the plague, in Dr. Mead's elegant book on that sub. "Twas friendship, heightend by the mutual wish, ject.
Th'enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow,