since Pope, with traits of artless nature which Pope had not, and with a peculiar felicity in his turns upon words which he constantly repeated with delightful effect: such as :—

"His feast, though small,

He sees that little lot, the lot of all."

"And turn'd and look'd, and turn'd to look again."

And one of the finest things he has left behind him in verse is that prophetic description of Burke in "Retaliation:"

"Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind."

The distinguishing attributes of his poetry are simplicity, harmony, and sweetness. It affects no novelties of expression to strike: it tries no experiments on metre to surprise and confound us with the result. Its sole instrument is the tongue of the people; and with this it infallibly accomplishes its purpose. Studious only to please, it invariably delights. As long as the language of England shall survive, so long will "The Traveller" and "The Deserted Village" excite the respect of the reader for the genius, and will conciliate his affection for the benignity of the author.

As a novelist, his "Vicar of Wakefield" has charmed all Europe. His "Citizen of the World" and "Moral Essays" are conveyed in the most agreeable chit-chat that can be conceived. And as most of his prose works were written to relieve his necessities, and of course with consequent rapidity, it is marvellous to find, that in them narrative and reflection are so happily united, that they are models of artless diction.






I AM sensible that the friendship between us can acquire no new force from the ceremonies of a dedication; and perhaps it demands an excuse thus to prefix your name to my attempts, which you decline giving with your own. But as a part of this poem was formerly written to you from Switzerland, the whole can now, with propriety, be only inscribed to you. It will also throw a light upon many parts of it, when the reader understands that it is addressed to a man, who, despising fame and fortune, has retired early to happiness and obscurity with an income of forty pounds a year.

I now perceive, my dear brother, the wisdom of your humble choice. You have entered upon a sacred office, where the harvest is great, and the labourers are but few; while you have left the field of ambition where the labourers are many, and the harvest not worth carrying away. But of all kinds of ambition-what from the refinement of the times, from different systems of criticism, and from the divisions of party-that which pursues poetical fame is the wildest.

Poetry makes a principal amusement among unpolished nations; but in a country verging to the extremes of refinement, Painting and Music come in for a share. As these offer the feeble mind a less laborious entertainment, they at first rival Poetry, and at length supplant her: they engross all that favour once shown to her; and though but younger sisters, seize upon the elder's birthright.

Yet, however this art may be neglected by the powerful, it is still in greater danger from the mistaken efforts of the learned to improve it. What criticisms have we not heard of late in favour of blank verse and pindaric odes, choruses, anapests, and iambics, alliterative care and happy negligence! Every absurdity has now a champion to defend it; and as he is generally much in the wrong, so he has always much to say-for error is ever talkative.

But there is an enemy to this art stil more dangerousI mean party. Party entirely distorts the judgment, and destroys the taste. When the mind is once infected with this disease, it can only find pleasure in what contributes to increase the distemper. Like the tiger, that seldom desists from pursuing man after having once preyed upon human flesh, the reader who has once gratified his appetite with calumny makes ever after the most agreeable feast upon murdered reputation. Such readers generally admire some half-witted thing, who wants to be thought a bold man, having lost the character of a wise one. Him they dignify with the name of poet: his tawdry lampoons are called satires; his turbulence is said to be force, and his frenzy fire.

What reception a poem may find, which has neither abuse, party, nor blank verse, to support it, I cannot tell; nor am I solicitous to know. My aims are right. Without espousing the cause of any party, I have attempted to moderate the rage of all. I have endeavoured to show, that there may be equal happiness in states that are differently governed from our own; that every state has a particular principle of happiness; and that this principle in each may be carried to a mischievous excess. There are few can judge better than yourself how far these positions are illustrated in this poem.

I am, dear Sir,

Your most affectionate brother,




REMOTE, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
Or by the lazy Scheldt or wandering Po,
Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor
Against the houseless stranger shuts the door,
Or where Campania's' plain forsaken lies
A weary waste expanding to the skies-
Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart, untravell'd, fondly turns to thee;
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend,
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend:
Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire
To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire:
Bless'd that abode, where want and pain repair,
And every stranger finds a ready chair;
Bless'd be those feasts with simple plenty crown'd,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale,
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good.

But me, not destined such delights to share,
My prime of life in wandering spent and care,
Impelled with steps unceasing to pursue
Some fleeting good, that mocks me with the view,
That, like the circle bounding earth and skies,
Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies-
My fortune leads to traverse realms alone,
And find no spot of all the world my own.

E'en now, where Alpine solitudes ascend, I sit me down a pensive hour to spend; And placed on high, above the storm's career, Look downward where an hundred realms appear

1 La Campagna di Roma.

Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide,
The pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride.

When thus Creation's charms around combine,
Amidst the store, should thankless pride repine ?
Say, should the philosophic mind disdain
That good which makes each humbler bosom vain?
Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can,
These little things are great to little man;
And wiser he whose sympathetic mind
Exults in all the good of all mankind.

Ye glittering towns, with wealth and splendour crown'd,
Ye fields where summer spreads profusion round,
Ye lakes whose vessels catch the busy gale,
Ye bending swains that dress the flowery vale-
For me your tributary stores combine;
Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine!

As some lone miser, visiting his store,
Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o'er-
Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill,
Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still—
Thus to my breast alternate passions rise,
Pleased with each good that Heaven to man supplies,
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
To see the hoard of human bliss so small;
And oft I wish, amidst the scene, to find
Some spot that's to real happiness consign'd,
Where my worn soul, each wandering hope at rest,
May gather bliss, to see my fellows bless'd.

But where to find that happiest spot below,
Who can direct, when all pretend to know?
The shuddering tenant of the frigid zone
Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own;
Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,
And his long nights of revelry and ease;
The naked negro, panting at the line,
Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine,
Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,
And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.
Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam,
His first, best country ever is at home;
And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,
And estimate the blessings which they share,
Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find
An equal portion dealt to all mankind—

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