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Presenting to his view an ample tome,
Wherein is writ, (in characters how true!)
Man, when the many, govern'd by the few,
Give to their masters praise that to their God is due.
Yes, the fresh air that penetrates around
Bids us think nobly; mountains, too, sublime
When tyrants would destroy the work of time!
But, gloomy Calvin, how couldst thou prevail With thy dark doctrines, and ascetic pride, Where the ripe harvest smiles along the vale, Where glows the vintage near Lake Leman's tide, And all was mirth and cheerfulness beside?
Why didst thou not to northern regions hie,
Or in some dreary wilderness abide ?
Why spread thy faith where Heav'n and earth deny The truths of thy heart-withering creed of destiny!
Yet Genius, eagle-eyed, has dared to raise
Alas! to her, whose philosophic mind
Show'd more than manly strength, a long adieu ! What, though her thoughts were somewhat o'er-refined, She yet was Freedom's daughter-Pride of womankind!
Sweet wanderer! art thou not happy now, Climbing the mountain steep with fairy feet, Thy cheeks carnation'd with health's vivid glow, Not flushing with the ball-room's sickly heat? Is not thy simple rural feast more sweet Than gorgeous suppers? and the lovely things That court thy steps, companions far more meet For Nature's child, than those poor fashionlings Who taint a woman's heart, then pierce it with their stings?
Thou might'st a model to Canova be
For young Diana, with thy steps of lightness;
His Psyche's scarce excels thy bosom's whiteness!
is yon wild-flower, that shuns the sun's full glare.
Had man no other duties, he might live
His post, though thick beset by enemies?
No! rather let him be the more awake,
Give back his foemen blows that he is forced to take.
It is the lot of all to be reviled,
And who can hope to 'scape that general lot!
Of friendship there; and then hypocrisy will prate!
No matter; tares will grow up with the wheat;
Yet there prevails the love of honest fame;
The true friend's heart as yonder lake is calm;
To the hurt mind that's felt the world's rude shocks;
Evils there are; but many self-created
In this our busy world: why should we grieve
Ourselves, not others? still, where'er thou art,
The poor man's wants, thou wilt perform thy part Well on the stage of life, and blunt e'en Envy's dart!
Adieu, sweet country! Of Helvetia's wrongs, Even in my childhood, have I thought, and wept, When the war-cry was heard, where late the songs Of Innocence spread mirth around, where slept, The child securely; where the goat--herd kept His flocks untroubled: then the spoiler came, Treading in innocent blood where'er he stept, Hell's horrid offspring-Anarchy his name, Affecting Freedom's voice fair Freedom's cause to shame.
Had France no Washingtons, Timoleons, then,
And Gallia's woes will make thy bosom bleed.
All spoke in vain, the soldier rush'd between:
Th' imperial consul's pomp then closed the eventful scene.
* Madame de Staël.