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As she with all her rules can never reach.
135 Cyrene, when he bore the plaintive tale Of his lost bees to her maturnal ear: In such a palace poetry might place The armoury of Winter; where his troops, The gloomy clouds, find weapons, arrowy sleet 140 Skin-piercing volley, blossom-bruising hail, And snow, that often blinds the trav'ller's course, And wraps him in an unexpected tomb. Silently as a dream the fabrick rose; No sound of hammer or of saw was there : Ice upon ice, the well-adjusted parts Were soon conjoin'd, nor other cement ask'd -Than water interfus'd, to make them one. Lamps gracefully dispos'd, and of all hues, Illumin'd ev'ry side : a wat'ry light
150 Gleam'd through the clear transparency, that seem'd Another moon new ris'n, or meteor fall’n From Heav'n to Earth, of lambent flame serene So stood the brittle prodigy; though smooth And slipp’ry the materials, yet frost-bound 155 Firm as a rock. Nor wanted aught within That royal residence might well befit, For grandeur or for use. Long wavy wreaths Of flow'rs that fear'd no enemy but warmth, Blush'd on the pannels. Mirror needed none 160 Where all was vitreous ; but in order due Convivial table and commodious seat What seem'd at least commodious seat) were there ;
Sofa, and couch, and high-built throne august.
170 (Made by a monarch,) on her own estate, On human grandeur and the courts of kings. 'Twas transient in its nature, as in show 'Twas durable ; as worthless, as it seem'd Intrinsically precious ; to the foot
175 Treach'rous and false ; it smil'd, and it was cold. Great princes have great play-things. Somo have
play'd At hewing mountains into men, and some At building human wonders mountain-high. Some have amus'd the dull, sad years of life, 180 (Life spent in indolence, and therefore sad,) With schemes of monumental fame; and sought By pyramids and mausolean pomp, Short liv'd themselves, t' immortalize their bones. Some seek diversion in the tented field,
185 And make the sorrows of mankind their sport. But war's a game, which, were their subjects wise, Kings would not play at. Nations would do well, T'extort their truncheons from the puny hands Of heroes, whose infirm and baby minds
190 Are gratified with mischief; and who spoil, Because men suffer it, their toy, the world.
When Babel was confounded, and the great
And equal ; and he bade them dwell in peace.
215 To a keen edge, and made it bright for war. Him, Tubal nam’d, the Vulcan of old times, The sword and falchion their inventor claim; And the first smith was the first murd'rer's son. His art surviv'd the waters; and ere long,
220 When man was multiplied and spread abroad In tribes and clans, and had begun to call These meadows and that range of hills his own, The tasted sweets of property begat Desire of more ; and industry in some,
225 T'improve and cultivate their just demesne, Made others covet what they saw so fair. Thus war began on Earth : these fought for spoil, And those in self-defence. Savage at first The onset, and irregular. At length
230 One eminent above the rest for strength, For stratagem, for courage, or for all, Was chosen leader ; him they serv'd in war, And him in peace, for sake of warlike deeds, Rev'renc'd no less. Who could with him compare ? Or who so worthy to control themselves,
236 As he, whose prowess had subdu'd their foes ? Thus war, affording field for the display
Of virtue, made one chief, whom times of peace,
Spent in the purchase of renown for him,
285 E'en in the cradled weakness of the world ! Still stranger much, that, when at length mankind Had reach'd the sinewy firmness of their youth, And could discriminate and argue well On subjects more mysterious, they were yet
290 Babes in the cause of freedom, and should fear And quake before the gods themselves had made : But above measure strange, that neither proof Of sad experience, nor examples set By some whose patriot virtue has prevailid, 295 Can even now, when they are grown mature In wisdom, and with philosophick deeds Familiar, serve t' emancipate the rest ! Such dupes are men to custom, and so prone To rev'rence what is ancient, and can plead
309 A course of long observance for its use, That even servitude, the worst of ills, Because deliver'd down from sire to son, Is kept and guarded as a sacred thing. But is it fit, or can it bear the shock
305 Of rational discussion, that a man, Compounded and made up like other men Of elements tumultuous, in whom lust And folly in as ample measure meet As in the bosoms of the slaves he rules,
310 Should be a despot absolute, and boast Himself the only freeman of his land ? Should, when he pleases, and on whom he will, Wage war, with any or with no pretence