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THERE was a time when Ætna's silent fire
Vines, olives, herbage, forests disappear,
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. O bliss precarious, and unsafe retreats, O charming Paradise of shortliv'd sweets ! The selfsame 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; i! 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 defence, 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 domain, 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 it's 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, laburious man, by slow degrees, (Such is his thirst of opulence and ease) Plies all the sinews of industrious toil, Gleans up 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
O place me in some Heav'n-protected isle, Where Peace, and Equity, and Freedom smile $ 1) Where no volcano pours his fiery flood,
** No crested warrior dips bis plume in blood; r* Where Pow'r secures what Industry has won zi: il Where to succeed is not to be undone ; , 100kW! A land, that distant tyrants hate in vain, In Britain's isle, beneath a George's reignutne
On the receipt of my Mother's Picture out of
Norfolk, the gift of my cousin Ann Bodham.
THAT those lips had language! Life has pass'd With me but roughly since I heard thee last. Those lips are thine-thy own sweet smile I see, The same, that oft in childhood solac'd me; Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
Grieve not, my child, cbase all thy fears away!"* The meek intelligence of those dear eyes (Blest be the art that can immortalize, The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim To quench it) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,