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To men of other minds my fancy flies, Embosomed in the deep where HOLLAND lies. Methinks her patient sons before me stand Where the broad ocean leans against the land, And sedulous to stop the coming tide,
Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil,
Heavens ! how unlike their Belgian sires of old !
315 How much unlike the sons of Britain now !
Fired 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 famed Hydaspes glide. 320
1 See note, “Paradise Lost,” book iii. I. 181.
There, all around, the gentlest breezes stray,
Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictured here, Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear, Too blest, indeed, were such without alloy, But fostered even by Freedom, ills annoy ; That independence Britons prize too high, Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie. 340 The self-dependent lordlings stand alone, All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown; Here, by the bonds of nature feebly held, Minds combat minds, repelling and repelled ; Ferments arise, imprisoned factions roar,
345 Repressed Ambition struggles round her shore, Till
, over-wrought, the general system feels Its motions stop, or frenzy fire the wheels.
Nor this the worst. As Nature's ties decay, As duty, love, and honour fail to sway,
350 Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law, Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. Hence all obedience bows to these alone, And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown; The time may come, when, stripped of all her charms, 355 The land of scholars, and the land of arms, Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame, Where kings have toiled, and poets wrote for fame, One sink of level avarice shall lie, And scholars, soldiers, kings unhonoured lie.
300 Yet think not thus, when Freedom's ills I state, I mean to flatter kings, or court the great.
Ye powers of truth, that bid my soul aspire,
O then how blind to all that truth requires,
Have we not seen, at Pleasure's lordly call,
Even now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays
420 Casts a long look where England's glories shine, And bids his bosom sympathise with mine.
Vain, very vain, my weary wish to find, That bliss which only centres in the mind : Why have I strayed from pleasure and repose,
425 To seek a good each government bestows? In every government, though terrors reign, Though tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain, How small, of all that human hearts endure, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure. Still to ourselves, in every place consigned, Our own felicity we make or find: With secret course which no loud storms annoy, Glides the smooth current of domestic joy. The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel, Luke's iron crown', and Damien’s bed of steel", To men remote from power but rarely known, Leave reason, faith, and conscience all our own.
1 A river of the United States of 3 For Luke's, read Zeck's. George N. America, which flows into the and Luke Zeck were two brothers, Lake Ontario.
who headed an insurrection in Hun2 One of the most stupendous cata- gary, 1514. George, who had usurped racts in the world, being in one part the sovereignty, received the punish164 feet in perpendicular height. ment of the iron crown. The Niagara river is a branch of the 4 A fanatic, who attempted the life St. Lawrence. It is calculated that of Louis XV. in 1757. For this at100 millions of tons of water per tempt he was cruelly tortured, and minute are precipitated down the afterwards executed. cataract.
EXAMINATION ON “ THE TRAVELLER.”
1. What was Goldsmith's object in this poem ? 2. Quote a comparison from the first part of the poem. 3. Which, on the whole, may be considered the finest passage in this poem ? 4. What opinion does the poet give of the Italians ? 5. What may we say of the versification of this poem? 6. Explain the poet's views of the French and Dutch. 7. Where may we find the moral of this poem (within the last twelve lines)? 8. How does Goldsmith's style differ from that of Thomson?