Page images
[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]


6 OC64


The spark of life. The sportive wind blows wide
Their fluttering rags, and shows a tawny skin,
The vellum of the pedigree they claim.
Great skill have they in palmistry, and more
To conjure clean away the gold they touch,
Conveying worthless dross into its place

Loud when they beg, dumb only when they steal.
Strange that a creature rational, and cast
In human mould, should brutalize by choice
Ilis nature; and, though capable of arts,
By which the world might profit, and himself,
Self-banish'd from society, prefer

Such squalid sloth to honourable toil!

Yet even these, though, feigning sickness oft,
They swathe the forehead, drag the limping limb,
And vex their flesh with artificial sores,
Can change their whine into a mirthful note
When safe occasion offers; and with dance,

And music of the bladder and the bag,

Beguile their woes, and make the woods resound.
Such health and gaiety of heart enjoy
The houseless rovers of the sylvan world;

And, breathing wholesome air, and wandering much,
Need other physic none to heal the effects

Of loathsome diet, penury, and cold.

Blest he, though undistinguish'd from the crowd By wealth or dignity, who dwells secure, Where man, by nature fierce, has laid aside His fierceness, having learnt, though slow to learn The manners and the arts of civil life. His wants indeed are many; but supply Is obvious, placed within the easy reach Of temperate wishes and industrious hands. Here virtue thrives as in her proper soil; Not rude and surly, and beset with thorns, And terrible to sight, as when she springs (If e'er she spring spontaneous) in remote And barbarous climes, where violence prevails, And strength is lord of all; but gentle, kind, By culture tamed, by liberty refresh'd, And all her fruits by radiant truth matured. War and the chase engross the savage whole; War follow'd for revenge, or to supplant The envied tenants of some happier spot: The chase for sustenance, precarious trust! His hard condition with severe constraint

« PreviousContinue »