Of Public Spirit In Regard To Public Works: An Epistle, To His Royal Highness Frederick Prince of Wa
Great Hope of Britain!-Here the Muse essays
A theme, which, to attempt alone, is praise.
Be Her's a zeal of Public Spirit known!
A princely zeal!-a spirit all your own!
Where never science beam'd a friendly ray,
Where one vast blank neglected Nature lay;
From Public Spirit there, by arts employ'd,
Creation, varying, glads the cheerless void.
Hail arts, where safety, treasure and delight,
On land, on wave, in wond'rous works unite!
Those wond'rous works, O Muse, successive raise,
And point their worth, their dignity and praise!
What tho' no streams, magnificently play'd,
Rise a proud column, fall a grand cascade;
Thro' nether pipes, which nobler use renowns,
Lo! ductile riv'lets visit distant towns!
Now vanish fens, whence vapours rise no more,
Whose agueish influence tainted heav'n before.
The solid isthmus sinks a wat'ry space,
And wonders, in new state, at naval grace.
Where the flood, deep'ning, rolls, or wide extends,
From road to road, yon arch, connective, bends.
Where ports were choak'd where mounds, in vain, arose;
There harbours open, and there breaches close;
To keels, obedient, spreads each liquid plain,
And bulwark moles repel the bost'rous main.
When the sunk sun no homeward sail befriends,
On the rock's brow the light-house kind ascends,
And from the shoaly, o'er the gulfy way,
Points to the pilot's eye the warning ray.
Count still, my Muse (to count what Muse can cease?)
The works of Public Spirit, freedom, peace!
By the mshall plants, in forests, reach the skies;
Then lose their leafy pride, and navies rise:
(Navies, which to invasive foes explain,
Heav'n throws not round us rocks and seas in vain,)
The sail of commerce in each sky aspires,
And property assures what toil acquires.
Who digs the mine or quarry, digs with glee;
No slave!-His option and his gain are free:
Him the same laws the same protection yield,
Who plows the furrow, as who owns the field.
Unlike, where tyranny the rod maintains
O'er turfless, leafless, and uncultur'd plains,
Here herbs of food and physic plenty show'rs,
Gives fruits to blush, and colours various flow'rs.
Where sands or stony wilds once starv'd the year,
Laughs the green lawn, and nods the golden ear.
White shine the fleecy race, which fate shall doom
The feast of life, the treasure of the loom.
On plains now bare shall gardens wave their groves,
While settling songsters woo their feather'd loves.
Where pathless woods no grateful openings knew,
Walks tempt the step, and vistas court the view.
See the parterre confess expansive day;
The grot, elusive of the noon-tide ray.
Up yon green slope a length of terrace lies,
Whence gradual landscapes fade in distant skies.
Now the blue lake reflected heav'n displays;
Now darkens, regularly-wild, the maze.
Urns, obelisks, fanes, statues intervene;
Now center, now commence or end the scene.
Lo, proud alcoves! lo, soft sequester'd bow'rs!
Retreats of social, or of studious hours!
Rank above rank here shapely greens ascend;
There others natively-grotesque depend.
The rude, the delicate, immingled tell
How Art wou'd Nature, Nature, Art excell;
And how, while these their rival charms impart,
Art brightens Nature, Nature brightens Art;
Thus in the various, yet harmonious space,
Blend order, symmetry, and force, and grace.
When these from Public Spirit smile, we see
Free-opening gates, and bow'ry pleasures free;
For sure great souls one truth can never miss,
Bliss not communicated is not bliss.
Thus Public Spirit, liberty and peace,
Carve, build, and plant, and give the land increase;
From peasant hands imperial works arise,
And British, hence, with Roman grandeur vies;
Not grandeur that in pompous whim appears,
That levels hills, that vales to mountains rears;
That alters nature's regulated grace,
Meaning to deck, but destin'd to deface.
Tho' no proud gates, with China's taught to vie,
Magnificently useless, strike the eye;
(Useless, where rocks a surer barrier lend,
Where seas incircle, and where fleets defend
What tho' no arch of triumph is assign'd
To laurel'd pride, whose sword has thinn'd mankind;
Tho' no vast wall extends from coast to coast,
No pyramid aspires sublimely lost;
Yet the safe road thro' rocks shall winding tend,
And the firm causeway o'er the clays ascend.
Lo! stately streets, lo! ample squares invite
The salutary gale that breathes delight.
Lo! structures mark the charitable soil
For casual ill, maim'd valour, feeble toil
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"Of Public Spirit In Regard To Public Works: An Epistle, To His Royal Highness Frederick Prince of Wa" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 6 Apr. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/30289/of-public-spirit-in-regard-to-public-works:-an-epistle,-to-his-royal-highness-frederick-prince-of-wa>.