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I knew an Irishman; to England he
Came every spring a hay-making; and much
Would praise his cabin. By a bog it stood,
And he had store of peats. Without a chimney
Stood the little cabin. Fuil of warmth and smoke,
It cherished its owner. The smoke he loved,
Loved for the warmth's sake, though it bleared bis eyes.
Now when the North-East pinches, I bethink me
Of this poor Irishman; and think “ how sweet
“ It were to house with him, and pat his cur,
" And peel potatoes mid his cabin's smoke."
Extrafted from imitative “ Verses on Alexander's Expedition
down the Hydaspes and the Indus, to the Indian Ocean,"
printed in 1792, but not published.
Here closed his lips--still spake his glistening eye Still Admiration heaved her deep-drawn sighAround the soul-rapt Chief, in crowded rings, His kindling warriors press-the destined kings Of mighty states—They catch the Monarch's fire. Their gestures, quick, the train remote inspire. From breast to breast triumphal ardours run And all partake the bliss of Philip's son.
At first low murmurs creep ; at length the bands
Ope their glad lips and smite their joyous hands,
Till land and waters pour exulting cries
And pealing shouts assail the Indian skies
-He, from applauding myriads' loud acclaim,
Accepts the omen of immortal fame,
And feels assuaged, in that enraptured hour,
His burning thirst of glory and of power.
To her scared eye, as Fate's dark leaves disclose
The ghastly characters of India's woes
Thy parting sail, O King, the pensive Muse
With many a sigh, down Indus' stream pursues
-Large was thy thought, and liberal was thy soul,
Nor stooped thy glance beneath bright Honour's goal;
Beyond the Sage's amplest grasp, thy mind
mbraced the general mass of Humankind :
And spurned, with firm disdain, the barbarous rule
Framed by the founder of the subtle school.*
To agonizing woe and captive fear
Thy pity gave the warm, balsamic tear.
And hark! where HISTORY, mid the dome of Fame,
Awards the tyrant's and the conqueror's shame,
While all the nations mingled round the throne,
Wait on her lips, and catch each awful tone,
* The inhuman ideas on the subject of slavery entertained by the Greek philosophers are well known. Aristotle advised Alexander to treat the barbarians (all but Greeks) as slaves.
Humanity's mild voice, still raised for THEE,
Abates the rigour of her stern decree.
Lo ! in redundant current, Commerce pours
Obedient to thy call, her Eastern stores :
And still, though Plague and Rapine range the land,
Her spicy bale perfumes thy chosen strand.
And ah! had years matured that fair design
Of which thy genius traced the wond'rous line-
Had GENERAL CONCORD from her finished fame
Shed her pure light, and breathed her strains humane,
Man's varied race, from far-dissevered lands
Had thronged her courts, and pledged discoloured bands;
Her shrines had witnessed tongues discordant blend
The vow, and in the stranger hail the friend.
Stern Scythia's clans had cast their rage, aside;
Unsocial Greece renounced her scornful pride ;,
Secure beneath thy star's protecting ray
Had bloomed the regions of the rising day;
With keen awakened sense the listening child
Still on his mother's fearless bosom smiled,
As deep-concealed o'erarching shades among
Content had carolled his unlaboured song-
Still from afar, the swarm of plunderers loured
Eyed the fair fruits, and but in thought devoured
But Earth's fond hope how blasted in its bloom! How feels a world convulsed thy early doom ! What mingling sounds of woe and outrage rise : How wild the eddying dust of ruin fliés ! As frantic Chiefs* the Master's pile deface, Rend his strong walls and shake the deep-laid base.
Mourn, India, mourn—The womb of future time
Teems with the fruit of each portentous crime.
The Crescent onwards guides consuming hosts,
And Carnage dogs the Cross along thy coasts ;
From Christian strands, the rage accursed of gain
Wafts all the Furies in its baleful train,
Their eye-ball strained, impatient of the way,
They snuff, with nostril broad, the distant prey.
-And now the Rout pollutes the hallowed shore
That nursed young Art and infant Science bore ;
Immediately on Alexander's death, society was thrown into the most dreadful convulsions ; the most bloody dissentions broke out among his generals. Hence the Macedonians have been compared to those migrating rats, the pest of the North, that after ravaging whole countries, at last, for want of subsistence, fall upon and devous one another.