Abbildungen der Seite

But view them closer, craft and fraud appear,
Even liberty itself is barter'd here.
At gold's superior charms all freedom flies,
The needy sell it, and the rich man buys;
A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves,
Here wretches seek dishonourable graves,
And calmly bent, to servitude conform,
Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm.
Heavens! how unlike their Belgic sires of old!
Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold;
War in each breast, and freedom on each brow;
How much unlike the sons of Britain now!


Fir'd at the sound, my genius spreads her wing,
And flies where Britain courts the western spring;
Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride,
And brighter streams than fam'd Hydaspis glide;
There all around the gentlest breezes stray,
There gentle music melts on every spray;
Creation's mildest charms are there combin'd,
Extremes are only in the master's mind!
Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state
With daring aims irregularly great;


Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
I see the lords of human kind pass by;
Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band,
By forms unfashion'd fresh from nature's hand,
Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,

True to imagin'd right, above controul,
While e'en the peasant boasts these rights to scan,
And learns to venerate himself as man.


A Description of a Parish Poor House.. Their's is yon house that holds the parish poor, Whose walls of mud scarce bear the broken door; There, where the putrid vapours flagging play, And the dull wheel hums doleful through the day; There children dwell who know no parent's care; Parents, who know no children's love, dwell there;

Heart-broken matrons on their joyless bed,
Forsaken wives, and mothers never wed;
Dejected widows with unheeded tears,
And crippled age with more than childhood fears!
The lame, the blind, and far the happiest they!
The moping ideot, and the madman gay.


Here too the sick their final doom receive,

Here brought, amid the scenes of grief, to grieve; Where the loud groans from some sad chamber


[ocr errors]


Mix'd with the clamours of the crowd below;

Here sorrowing they each kindred sorrow scan,
And the cold charities of man to man:
Whose laws indeed for ruin'd age provide,


And strong compulsion plucks the scrap from


But still that scrap is bought with many a sigh,
And pride embitters what it can't deny.


Say ye, oppress'd by some fantastic woes, Some jarring nerve that baffles your repose; Who press the downy couch, while slaves advance With timid eye, to read the distant glance; Who with sad prayers the weary doctor teaze To name the nameless ever-new disease;


Who with mock patience dire complaints endure,


Which real pain, and that alone, can cure;

How would ye bear in real pain to lie,
Despis'd, neglected, left alone to die?

How would ye bear to draw your latest breath, Where all that's wretched paves the way for death. Such is that room which one rude beam divides, And naked rafters form the sloping sides;





[ocr errors]

Where the vile bands that bind the thatch are



And lath and mud are all that lie between;

Save one dull pane, that coarsely patch'd, gives

[ocr errors]


To the rude tempest, yet excludes the day:
Here, on a matted flock, with dust o'erspread,

The drooping wretch reclines his languid head;


For him no hand the cordial cup applies,
Nor wipes the tear that stagnates in his eyes;
No friends with soft discourse his pain beguile,
Nor promise hope till sickness wears a smile.


A Country Apothecary.

But soon a loud and hasty summons calls,

Shakes the thin roof, and echoes round the walls;

Anon a figure enters, quaintly neat,

All pride and bus'ness, bustle and conceit;

With looks unalter'd by these scenes of woe;

With speed that, entering, speaks his haste to go;

He bids the gazing throng around him fly,
And carries fate and physic in his eye;

[ocr errors]

A potent

A potent quack, long vers'd in human ills,
Who first insults the victim whom he kills;
Whose murd'rous hand a drowsy bench protect,
And whose most tender mercy is neglect.

Paid by the parish for attendance here, He wears contempt upon his sapient sneer; In haste he seeks the bed where misery lies, Impatience mark'd in his averted eyes; And, some habitual queries hurried o'er, Without reply, he rushes on the door; His drooping patient, long inur'd to pain, And long unheeded, knows remonstrance vain; He ceases now the feeble help to crave, Of man, and mutely hastens to the grave.

A Country Clergyman visiting the sick. But ere his death some pious doubts arise, Some simple fears which bold bad men despise; Fain would he ask the parish priest to prove His title certain to the joys above;

For this he sends the murmuring nurse, who calls
The holy stranger to these dismal walls;

And doth not he, the pious man, appear,
He "passing rich with forty pounds a year?"



« ZurückWeiter »