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To view the Nar, tumultuous in his course,
Fired with a thousand raptures, I survey
Sometimes, misguided by the tuneful throng,
Sometimes to gentle Tiber I retire,
Oh could the Muse my ravish'd breast inspire With warmth like your's, and raise an equal fire, Unnumber'd beauties in my verse should shine, And Virgil's Italy should yield to mine!
See how the golden groves around me smile! That shun the coast of Britain's stormy isle; Or when transplanted, and preserved with care, Curse the cold clime, and starve in northern air. Here kindly warmth their mounting juice ferments To nobler tastes and more exalted scents; Even the rough rocks with tender myrtle bloom, And trodden weeds send out a rich perfume. Bear me, some god, to Baia's gentle seats, Or cover me in Umbria's green retreats, Where western gales eternally reside, And all the Seasons lavish all their pride; Blossoms, and fruits, and flowers, together rise, And the whole year in gay confusion lies.
Immortal glories in my mind revive, And in my soul a thousand passions strive, When Rome's exalted beauties I descry Magnificent in piles of ruin lie. An amphitheatre's amazing height Here fills my eye with terror and delight, That on its public shows unpeopled Rome, And held, uncrowded, nations in its womb: Here pillars, rough with sculpture, pierce the skies; And here the proud triumphal arches rise, Where the old Romans deathless acts' display'd Their base degenerate progeny upbraid: Whole rivers here forsake the fields below, And wondering at their height through airy chan
nels flow. Still to new scenes my wandering Muse retires, And the dumb show of breathing rocks admires,
Where the smooth chissel all its force has showni,
and temples rise in distant views, And opening palaces invite my Muse.
How has kind Heav'n adorn’d the happy land,
Starves, in the midst of Nature's bounty curs’d, And in the loaden vineyard dies for thirst.
Oh, Liberty! thou goddess heavenly bright, Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight! Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign, And smiling Plenty leads thy wanton train ; Eased of her load Subjection grows more light, And Poverty looks cheerful in thy sight; Thou makest the gloomy face of Nature gay, Givest beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day,
Thee, goddess! thee Britannia's isle adores; How has she oft exhausted all her stores, How oft in fields of death thy presence sought, Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought! On foreign mountains may
the sun refine The grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine, With citron groves adorn a distant soil, And the fat olive swell with floods of oil; We envy not the warmer clime that lies In ten degrees of more indulgent skies, Nor at the coarseness of our heaven repine, Though o’er our heads the frozen Pleiads shine; 'Tis Liberty that crowns Britannia’s isle, And makes her barren rocks and her bleak moun
tains smile. Others with towering piles may please the sight, And in their proud aspiring domes delight, A nicer touch to the stretch'd canvass give, Or teach their animated rocks to live; 'Tis Britain's care to watch o'er Europe's fate, And hold in balance each contending state; To threaten bold presumptuous kings with war, And answer her afflicted neighbours' prayer.
The Dane and Swede, roused up by fierce alarms,
The' ambitious Gaul beholds with secret dread
Fired with the name which I so oft have found The distant climes and different tongues resound, I bridle in my struggling Muse, with pain, That longs to launch into a bolder strain.
But I've already troubled you too long, Nor dare attempt a more adventurous song: My humble verse demands a softer theme, A painted meadow or a purling stream; Unfit for heroes, whom immortal lays, And lines like Virgil's, or like yours, should praise,