Government poems/ page 12 of 16 /
Yet must we mark, the bondage of the mind
Spreads deeper glooms, and subj ugates mankind;
The zealots fierce, whom local creeds enrage,
In holy feuds perpetual combat wage,
Support all crimes by full indulgence given,
Usurp the power and wield the sword of heaven,
I paus'd a while, to meditate a Speech,
And now was stepping just within his reach;
When that rude Clown began his hect'ring Cry,
And made me for my Life, and from th' Attempt to fly.
Indeed 'twas Time, the shiv'ring Beldam said,
To scour the Plain, and be of Life afraid.
Of earth, rocks, Fifth-month flowers, experienced-stars, rain, snow,
Having studied the mocking-bird's tones, and the mountainhawk's,
And heard at dusk the unrival'd one, the hermit thrush from the
Solitary, singing in the West, I strike up for a New World.
Like the vain Curlings of the Watry maze,
Which in smooth streams a sinking Weight does raise;
So Man, declining alwayes, disappears.
In the Weak Circles of increasing Years;
Thus the magistrate spoke. The others departed and thanked him,
And the pastor produced a gold piece (the silver his purse held
He some hours before had with genuine kindness expended
When he saw the fugitives passing in sorrowful masses).
From that mark'd stage of man we now behold,
More rapid strides his coming paths unfold;
His continents are traced, his islands found,
His well-taught sails on all his billows bound,
His varying wants their new discoveries ply,
And seek in earth's whole range their sure supply.