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And mix elastic force with firmness hard: Was never knight on ground mote be with him compar'd.
Sometimes, with early morn, he mounted gay The hunter-steed, exulting o'er the dale, And drew the roseate breath of orient day; Sometimes, retiring to the secret vale, Yclad in steel, and bright with burnish'd mail, He strain'd the bow, or toss'd the sounding spear, Or darting on the goal outstripp'd the gale, Or wheel'd the chariot in its mid-career, Or strenuous wrestled hard with many a tough compeer.
At other times he pry'd through Nature's store, Whate'er she in th' ethereal round contains, Whate'er she hides beneath her verdant floor, The vegetable and the mineral reigns; Or else he scann'd the globe, those small domains, Where restless mortals such a turmoil keep, Its seas, its floods, its mountains, and its plains; But more he search'd the mind, and rous’d from sleep Those moral seeds whence we heroic actions reap.
Nor would he scorn to stoop from high pursuits Of heavenly truth, and practise what she taught, Vain is the tree of knowledge without fruits. Sometimes in hand the spade or plough he caught, Forth-calling all with which boon earthis fraught; Sometimes he ply'd the strong mechanic tool, Or rear'd the fabric from the finest draught; And oft he put himself to Neptune's school, Fighting with winds and waves on the vext ocean pool.
To solace then these rougher toils, he try’d To touch the kindling canvas into life; With nature his creating pencil vy'd, With nature joyous at the mimic strife: Or, to such shapes as grac'd Pygmalion's wife He hew'd the marble; or, with varied fire, Herous’d the trumpet and the martial fife, Orbade the lute sweet tenderness inspire, Orverses fram'd that well might wake Apollo's lyre.
Accomplish'd thus he from the woods issued, Full of great aims, and bent on bold emprise; The work, which long he in his breast had brew’d Now to perform he ardent did devise; To wit, a barbarous world to civilize. Earth was till then a boundless forest wild; Nought to be seen but savage wood, and skies; No cities nourish'd arts, no culture smil'd, No government, no laws, no gentle manners mild.
A ragged wight, the worst of brutes, was man;
On his own wretched kind he, ruthless, prey'd :
The strongest still the weakest over-ran;
In every country mighty robbers sway’d,
And guile and ruffian force were all their trade.
Life was a scene of rapine, want, and woe;
Which this brave knight, in noble anger, made
To swear, he would the rascal rout o'erthrow, For, by the powers divine, it should no more be sc:
It would exceed the purport of my song, To say how this best sun from orient climes Came beaming life and beauty all along, Before him chasing indolence and crimes. Still as he pass'd, the nations he sublimes, And calls forth arts and virtues with his ray: Then Egypt, Greece, and Rome, their golden times Successive had; but now in ruins gray They lie, to slavish sloth and tyranny a prey.
To crown his toils, Sir Industry then spread The swelling sail, and made for Britain's coast. A sylvan life till then the natives led, In the brown shades and green-wood forest lost, All careless rambling where it lik'd them most: Their wealth the wild deer bouncing through the glade; They lodg’d at large, and liv'd at Nature's cost; Save spear and bow, withouten other aid; Yet not the Roman steel their naked breast dismay’d.
He lik'd the soil, he lik’d the clement skies, He lik'd the verdant hills and flowery plains. Be this my great, my chosen isle (he cries) This, whilst my labours liberty sustains, This queen of ocean all assault disdains. Nor lik'd he less the genius of the land, To freedom apt, and persevering pains, Mild to obey, and generous to command, [hand. Temper’d by forming Heaven with kindest, firmest
Here, by degrees, his master-work arose, Whatever arts and industry can frame: Whatever finish'd agriculture knows, Fair queen of arts' from Heaven itself who came, When Eden flourish’d in unspotted fame: And still with her sweet innocence we find, And tender peace, and joys without a name, That, while they ravish, tranquillize the mind: Nature and art at once, delight and use combin'd.
The towns he quicken'd by mechanic arts, And bade the fervent city glow with toil; Bade social commerce raise renowned marts, Join land to land, and marry soil to soil, Unite the poles, and without bloody spoil Bring home of either Ind the gorgeous stores; Or, should despotic rage the world embroil, Bade tyrants tremble on remotest shores, [roars. While o'er th' encircling deep Britannia's thunder
The drooping Muses then he westward call'd,
From the fam'd city by Propontic sea,
What time the Turk th' enfeebled Crecian thrall'd;
Thence from their cloister'd walks he set them
And brought them to another Castalie, [free,
Where Isis many a famous noursling breeds;
Or where old Cam soft-paces o'er the lea
In pensive mood, and tunes his Doric reeds,
The whilst his flocks at large the lonely shepherd
Sleep on the new fall'n snows; and scarce his head,
Rais'd o'er the heapy wreath, the branching elk
Lies slumb'ring, sullen in the white abyss.
The ruthless hunter wants nor dogs nor toils,
Nor with the dread of sounding bows he drives
The fearful flying race; with pond’rous clubs,
As weak against the mountain heaps they push
Their beating breast in vain, and piteous bray,
He lays them quiv'ring on the ensanguin’d snows,
And with loud shouts rejoicing bears them home.
There, through the piny forest half absorpt,
Rough tenant of these shades, the shapeless bear,
With dangling ice all horrid, stalks forlorn;
Slow-plac'd, and sourer as the storms increase,
He makes his bed beneath th' inclement drift,
And with stern patience scorning weak complaint,
Hardens his heart against assailing want.
Wide o'er the spacious regions of the North,
That sees Boötes urge his tardy wain,
A boist’rous race, by frosty Caurus pierc'd,
Who little pleasure know, and fear no pain,
Prolific swarm. They once relum'd the flame
Of lost mankind in polish'd slav'ry sunk,
Drove martial horde on horde, with dreadful sweep
Resistless rushing o'er th' enfeebled South,
And gave the vanquish'd world another form.
Not such the sons of Lapland; wisely they
Despise th' insensate barb'rous trade of war;
They ask no more than simple nature gives;
They love their mountains and enjoy their storms:
No false desires, no pride-created wants,
Disturb the peaceful current of their time;
And through the restless ever-tortur'd maze
Of pleasure or ambition bid it rage.
Their reindeer form their riches: these their tents,
Their robes, their beds, and all their homely wealth,
Supply, their wholesome fare, and cheerful cups.
Obsequious at their call, the docile tribe
Yield to the sled their necks, and whirl them swift
O'er hill and dale, heap'd into one expanse
Of marbled snow, as far as eye can sweep,
With a blue crust of ice unbounded glaz'd.
By dancing meteors then, that ceaseless shake
A waving blaze refracted o'er the heav'ns,
And vivid moons, and stars that keener play
With double lustre from the glossy waste,
Ev’n in the depth of Polar night they find
A wondrous day; enough to light the chase,
Or guide their daring steps to Finland fairs.
Wish’d spring returns, and from the hazy south,
While dim Aurora slowly moves before,
The welcome sun, just verging up at first,
By small degrees extends the swelling curve:
Till seen at large for gay rejoicing months,
Still round and round his spiral course he winds;
And, as he nearly dips his flaming orb,
Wheels up again, and reascends the sky.
In that glad season from the lakes and floods
Where pure Niemi's fairy mountains rise,
And fring'd with roses Tenglio rolls his stream,
They draw the copious fry. With these, at eve
They cheerful-loaded to their tents repair,
Where all day long in useful cares employ'd,
Their kind unblemish'd wives the fire prepare.
Thrice happy race! by poverty secur'd
From legal plunder and rapacious power;
In whom fell int’rest never yet has sown
The seeds of vice; whose spotless swains ne'er knew
Injurious deed, nor, blasted by the breath
Of faithless love, their blooming daughters woe.
Muttering, the winds at eve, with blunted point,
Blow hollow blust'ring from the South. Subdu'd,
The frost resolves into a trickling thaw.
Spotted the mountains shine, loose sleet descends,
And floods the country round. The rivers swell,
Of bonds impatient. Sudden from the hills
O'er rocks and woods, in broad brown cataracts
A thousand snow-fed torrents shoot at once;
And, where they rush, the wide-resounding plain
Is left one slimy waste. Those sullen seas,
That wash'd th’ungenial pole, will rest no more
Beneath the shackles of the mighty North;
But, rousing all their waves, resistless heave.
And hark the length'ning roar continuous runs
Athwart the rifted deep; at once it bursts,
And piles a thousand mountains to the clouds.
Ill fares the bark, with trembling wretches chargo,
That toss'd amid the floating fragments, moors
Beneath the shelter of an icy isle,
While night o'erwhelms the sea, and horror lock,
More horrible. Can human force endure
Th' assembled mischiefs that besiege them round:
Heart-gnawing hunger, fainting, weariness,
The roar of winds and waves, the crush of ice,
Now ceasing, now renew’d with louder rage,
And in dire echoes bellowing round the main:
More to embroil the deep, Leviathan
And his unwieldy train, in dreadful sport,
Tempest the loosen’d brine, while thro’ the gloom,
Far from the bleak inhospitable shore,
Loading the winds, is heard the hungry howl
Of famish'd monsters, there awaiting wrecks.
The castle hight of Indolence,
And its false luxury;
Where for a little time, alas! .
We liv'd right jollily.
O mortal man, who livest here by toil,
Do not complain of this thy hard estate;
That like an emmit thou must ever moil,
Is a sad sentence of an ancient date;
And, certes, there is for it reason great; [wall,
For, though sometimes it makes thee weep and
And curse thy star, and early drudge and late,
Withouten that would come an heavier bale,
Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale.
In lowly dale, fast by a river's side,
With woody hill o'er hill encompass'd round,
A most enchanting wizard did abide,