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He made at first, though free and unconfin'd,
One man, the common father of the kind;
That every tribe, though plac'd as he sees best,
Where seas or deserts part them from the rest,
Differing in language, manners, or in face,
Might feel themselves allied to all the race.
When Cook- lamented, and with tears as just
As ever mingled with heroic dust-
Steer'd Britain's oak into a world unknown,
And in his country's glory sought his own,
Wherever he found man, to nature true,
The rights of man were sacred in his view.
He sooth'd with gists, and greeted with a smile,
'The simple native of the new-found isle ;
He spurn'd the wretch that slighted or withstood
The tender argument of kindred blood,
Nor would endure that any should control
His free born brethren of the southern pole.
But, though some nobler minds a law respect,
That none shall with impunity neglect,
In baser souls unnumber'd evils meet,
To thwart its influence, and its end defeat.
While Cook is lov'd for savage lives he sav'd,
See Cortez odious for a world enslav'd!
Where wast thou then, sweet Charity? where then,
Thou tutelary friend of helpless men ?
Wast thou in monkish cells and nunneries found,
Or building hospitals on English ground ?
No.--Mammon makes the world his legatee
Phrough fear, not love-; and Heaven abhors the fees
Wherever found, (and all men need thy care)
Nor age nor infancy could find thee there.
The land that slew, till it could slay no more,
Was glued to the sword-hilt with Indian gore.
Their prince, as justly seated on his throne
As vain imperial Philip on his own,
Trick'd out of all his royalty by art,
That stripp'd him bare, and broke his honest heart,
Died, by the sentence of a shaven priest,
For scorning what they taught him to detest.
How dark the veil that intercepts the blaze
Of Heaven's mysterious purposes and ways !
God stood not, though he seem'd to stand, aloof;
And at this hour, the conqueror feels the proof:
The wreath he won drew down an instant curse,
The fretting plague is in the public purse,
The canker'd spoil corrodes the pining state,
Starv'd by that indolence their minds create.
Oh, could their ancient Incas rise again,
How would they take up Israel's taunting strain !
Art thou too fallen, Iberia ? Do we see
The robber and the murderer weak as we ?
Thou, that hast wasted earth, and dar'd despise
Alike the wrath and mercy of the skies,
Thy pomp is in the grave, thy glory laid
Low in the pits thine avarice has made !
We come with joy from our eternal rest,
To see th' oppressor in his turn oppress’d.
Art thou the god, the thunder of whose hand
Rall'd over all our desolated land,
Shook principalities and kingdoms down,
And made the mountains tremble at his frown?
The sword shall light upon thy boasted powers,
And waste them, as thy sword has wasted ours.
'Tis thus Omnipotence his law fulfils,
And vengeance executes what justice wills.
Again-the band of commerce was design'd
T'associate all the branches of mankind;
And, if a boundless plenty be the robe,
Trade is the golden girdle of the globe.
Wise to promote whatever end he means,
God opens fruitful nature's various scenes :
Each climate needs what other climes produce,
And offers something to the general use ;
No land but listens to the common call,
And, in return, receives supply from all.
This genial intercourse, and mutual aid,
Cheers what were else an universal shade,
Calls nature from her ivy-mantled den,
And softens human rock-work into men.
Ingenious art, with her expressive face,
Steps forth to fashion and refine the race ;
Not only fills necessity's demand,
But overcharges her capacious band :
Capricious taste itself can crave no more
Than she supplies from her abounding store :
She strikes out all that luxury can ask,
And gains new vigour at her endless task.
Her's is the spacious arch, the shapely spire,
The painter's pencil, and the poet's lyre ;
In language warm as all that love inspires;
And, in the glow of her intense desires,
Pants to communicate her noble fires.
She sees a world stark blind to what employs
Her eager thought, and feeds her flowing joys ;
Though wisdom hail them, heedless of her call,
Flies to save some, and feels a pang
That flies, like Gabriel on his Lord's commands,
A herald of God's love to pagan lands.
But, ah ! what wish can prosper, or what prayer,
For merchants, rich in cargoes of despair,
Who drive a loathsome traffic, gage, and span,
And buy, the muscles and the bones of man?
The tender ties of father, husband, friend,
All bonds of nature, in that moment end ;
And each endures, while yet he draws his breath,
A stroke, as fatal as the scythe of death.
The sable warrior, frantic with regret
Of her he loves, and never can forget,
Loses in tears the far receding shore.
But not the thought that they must meet no more ;
Depriv'd of her and freedom at a blow,
What has he left that he can yet forego ?
Yes, to deep sadness sullenly resign'd,
He feels his body's bondage in his mind ;
Puts off his generous nature ; and, to suit
His manners with his fate, puts on the brute.
Oh, most degrading of all ills that wait
On man, a mourner in his best estate !
Al other sorrows virtue may endure,
And find submission more than half a cure ;
Grief is itself a medicine, and bestow'd
T'improve the fortitude that bears the load,
To teach the wanderer, as his woes increase,
The path of wisdom, all whose paths are peace ;
But slavery! virtue dreads it as her grave :
Patience itself is meanness in a slave.