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Poetic fields encompass me around;
How am I pleased to search the hills and woods For rising springs and celebrated floods ! To view the Nar, tumultuous in his course; And trace the smooth Clitumnus to his source ! To see the Mincio draw his wat'ry store Through the long windings of a fruitful shore; And hoary Albula's infected tide, O'er the warm bed of smoking sulphur glide !
Fired with a thousand raptures, I survey Eridanus through flow'ry meadows stray! The King of Floods! that, rolling o'er the plains, The tow'ring Alps of half their moisture drains ; And, proudly swollen with a whole Winter's snows, Distributes wealth and plenty where he flows !
Sometimes, misguided by the tuneful throng, I look for streams immortalized in Song, That lost in silence and oblivion lie (Dumb are their fountains, and their channels dry) : Yet run for ever, by the Muses' skill ; And in the smooth description murmur still!
Sometimes, to gentle Tiber I retire,
Such was the Boyne! a poor inglorious stream
0, could the Muse, my ravished breast inspire With warmth like yours, and raise an equal fire; Unnumbered beauties in my Verse should shine, And VIRGIL's Italy should yield to mine!
See, how the golden groves around me smile!
Bear me, some God! to Baja's gentle seats ;
Where western gales eternally reside,
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 displayed, Their base degenerate progeny upbraid ! Whole rivers here, forsake the fields below; And, wond'ring at their height, through airy channels
Still to new scenes my wand'ring Muse retires, And the dumb show of breathing rocks admires : Where the smooth chisel all its force has shown, And softened into flesh the rugged stone! In solemn silence, a majestic band, Heroes, and Gods, and Roman Consuls, stand. Stern tyrants, whom their cruelties renown, And Emperors, in Parian marble frown;
While the bright Dames, to whom they humbly sued, Still show the charms that their proud hearts subdued.
Fain would I RAPHAEL's Godlike art rehearse ; And show th' immortal labours in my Verse! Where, from the mingled strength of shade and light, A new creation rises to my sight! Such heavenly figures from his pencil flow, So warm with life his blended colours glow, From theme to theme with secret pleasure tost, Amidst the soft variety I'm lost!
Here, pleasing Airs my ravished soul confound With circling notes and labyrinths of sound !
Here, Domes and Temples rise in distant views; And opening Palaces invite my Muse!
How has kind Heaven adorned the happy land;
The poor inhabitant beholds in vain
O, 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 mak’st the gloomy face of Nature gay; Giv'st 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
We envy not the warmer clime that lies
Others with tow'ring Piles may please the sight; And in their proud aspiring Domes delight! A nicer touch to the stretched canvas give; Or teach their animated rocks to live!