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Lib'ral in all things else, yet nature here
With stern severity deals out the year.
Winter invades the spring, and often pours
A chilling flood on summer's drooping flow'rs,
Unwelcome vapors quench autumnal beams,
Ungenial blasts attending, curl the streams,
The peasants urge their harvest, plie the fork
With double toil, and shiver at their work,
Thus with a rigor, for his good design'd,
She rears her fav'rite man of all mankind.
His form robust and of elastic tone,
Proportion' d well, half muscle and half bone,
Supplies with warm activity and force
A mind well lodg'd, and masculine of course.
Hence liberty, sweet liberty inspires,
And keeps alive his fierce but noble fires.
Patient of constitutional controul,
He bears it with meek manliness of foul,
But if authority grow wanton, woe
To him that treads upon his free-born toe,
One step beyond the bound'ry of the laws
Fires him at once in freedom's glorious cause.
Thus proud prerogative, not much rever'd,
Is seldom felt, though sometimes seen and heard;
And in his cage, like parrot fine and gay,
Is kept to strut, look big, and talk away.
Born in a climate softer far than our's,
Not form'd like us, with such Herculean pow'rs,
The Frenchman, easy, debonair and briik,
Give him his lass, his fiddle and his frisk,
Is always happy, reign whoever may,
And laughs the fense of mis'ry far away.
He drinks his simple bev'rage with a gust,
And feasting on an onion and a crust.
We never feel th' alacrity and joy
With which he shouts and carols, Vive le Royt
Fill'd with as much true merriment and glee.
As if he heard his king fay—Slave be free.
Thus happiness depends, as nature shews,
Less on exterior things than most suppose.
Vigilant over all that he has made,
Kind Providence attends with gracious aid,
Bids equity throughout his works prevail,
And weighs the nations in an even scale j
He can encourage slav'ry to a smile,
And fill with discontent a British isle.
A. Freeman and slave then, if the case be such, Stand on a level, and you prove too much.
If all men indiscriminately share,
His fost'ring pow'r and tutelary care,
As well be yok'd by despotism's hand,
As dwell at large in Britain's charter'd land.
B. No. Freedom has a thousand charms to show, That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.
The mind attains beneath her happy reign,
1 he growth that nature meant she should attain.
The varied fields of science, ever new,
Op'ning and wider op'ning on her view,
She ventures onward with a prosp'rous force,
While no base fear impedes her in her course.
Religion, richest savour of the skies,
Stands most reveal'd before the freeman's eyes;
No shades of superstition blot the day,
Liberty chaces all that gloom away;
The foul, emancipated, unoppress'd,
Free to prove all things and hold fast the best,
Learns much, and to a thousand list'ning minds,
Communicates with joy the good siie finds.
Courage in arms, and ever prompt to show
His manly forehead to the fiercest foe;
Glorious in war, but for the fake of peace,
His spirits rising as his toils increase,
Guards well what arts and industry have won,
And freedom claims him for her first-born son.
Slaves sight for what were better cast away,
The chain that binds them, and a tyrant's sway,
But they that fight for freedom, undertake
The noblest cause mankind can have at stake,
Religion, virtue, truth, whate'er we call
A blessing, freedom is the pledge of all.
Oh liberty! the pris'ners pleasing dream,
The poet's muse, his passion and his theme,
Genius is thine, and thou art fancy's nurse,
Lost without thee th' ennobling pow'rs of verse,
Heroic song from thy free touch acquires
Its clearest tone, the rapture it inspires j
Place me where winter breathes his keenest air,
And I will sing if liberty be there j
And I will sing at liberty's dear feet,
In Afric's torrid clime or India's fiercest heat.
A. Sing where you please, in such a cause I grant An English Poet's privilege to rant,
But is not freedom, at least is not our's
Too apt to play the wanton with her pow'rs,
Grow freakish, and o'er leaping ev'ry mound
Spread anarchy and terror all around?
B. Agreed. But would you fell or siay your horse For bounding and curvetting in his course;
Or is, when ridden with a careless rein,
He break away, and seek the distant plain?