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Crocodile and Elephant.
Their ample shade o'er Niger's yellow stream,
725 Of what the never-resting race of Men Project : thrice-happy ! could he 'scape their guile, Who mine, from cruel avarice, his steps ; Or with his towery grandeur swell their state, The pride of kings ! or else his strength pervert,
730 And bid him rage amid the mortal fray, Astonished at the madness of mankind.
Wide o'er the winding umbrage of the floods,
* But, if she bids them shine,
* In all the regions of the torrid zone, the birds, though more beautiful in their plumage, are observed to be less melodious than ours.
The sober-suited songstress trills her lay.
Buí come, my Muse, the desert-barrier burst,
From disembowelled earth the virgin gold ;
How changed the scene ! In blazing height of noon, The sun, oppressed, is plunged in thickest gloom. 785 Still Horror reigns, a dreary twilight round, Of struggling night and day malignant mixt. For to the hot equator crowding fast, Where, highly rarefied, the yielding air Admits their stream, incessant vapours roll,
790 Amazing clouds on clouds continual heaped ; Or whirled tempestuous by the gusty wind, Or silent borne along, heavy, and slow, With the big stores of steaming oceans charged. Meantime, amid these upper seas, condensed 795 Around the cold aërial mountain's brow, And by conflicting winds together dashed, The thunder holds his black tremendous throne : From cloud to cloud the rending lightnings rage ; Till, in the furious elemental war
80G Dissolved, the whole precipitated mass Unbroken floods and solid torrents pours.
The treasures these, hid from the bounded search Of ancient knowledge ; whence, with annual pomp, Rich king of foods ! o'erflows the swelling Nile. 805 From his two Springs, in Gojam's sunny realm, Pure-swelling out, he thro' the lucid lake Of fair Dambea rolls his infant-stream. There, by the Naiads nursed, he sports away His playful youth, amid the fragrant isles,
The Nile and Niger.
That with unfading verdure smile around.
His brother Niger too, and all the floods In which the full-formed maids of Afric lave Their jetty limbs; and all that from the tract Of woody mountains stretched thro' gorgeous Ind 825 Fall on Coromandel's 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,
* 830 And pour untoiling harvest o'er the land.
Nor less thy world, COLUMBUS, drinks, refreshed The lavish moisture of the melting year. Wide oʻer his isles, the branching Oronoque Rolls a brown deluge ; and the native drives 835 To dwell aloft on life-sufficing trees, At once his dome, his robe, his food and arms. Swelled by a thousand streams, impetuous hurled From all the roaring Andes, huge descends
* The river that runs thro'Siam ; on whose banks a vast mul. titude of those insects called Fire-fies make a beautiful appearance in the night.
Rivers in America.
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 wonderous length of course, Our floods are riiis. With unabated force,
843 In silent dignity they sweep along, And traverse realms unknown, and blooming wilds, And fruitful desarts, worlds of solitude, Where the sun seniles, and seasons teem in valii, Unseen and unenjoyed. Forsaking these, O'er peopled plains they far-diffusive flow, And many a nation feed, and circle safe, In their soft bosom, many a happy isle ; The seat of blameless Pan, yet undisturbed By christian crimes, and Europe's cruel sons.
855 Thus pouring on they proudly seek the deep, Whose vanquished 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 ?
860 This gay profusion of luxurious bliss ? This pomp
of nature ? what their balmy meads, Their powerful herbs, and Ceres void of pain ? By vagrant birds dispersed, and wasting winds, What their unplanted fruits ? What the cool draughts, The ambrosial food, rich gums, and spicy health,
865 Their forests yield? Their toiling insects what, Their silky pride, and vegetable robes? Ah! what avail their fatal treasures, hid Deep in the bowels of the pitying earth,
870 The river of the Amazons.