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To a Friend

Dwellers at home, in indolence and ease,
How deep their debt, to those that roam the seas,
Or cross the lands, in quest of every art
That science, knowledge, pity can impart
To help mankind, or guild the lettered page
The bold discoverers of every age.

This spirit—in thy breast the ardent guide
To seek new lands, and wastes as yet untried
Where none but hunters trod the field before
Unveiled the grandeur of Superior’s show
Where nature’s forms in varied shape and guise
Break on the view, with wonder and surprise.
Not least, among those forms, the traveller’s tale,
These pillared rocks and castle pomps prevail
Standing, like some vast ruin of the plain,
Where ancient victims by their priests were slain
But far more wondrous,—for the fair design
No architect drew out, with measured line
‘Twas nature’s wildest flower, that graved the Rock,
The waves’ loud fury, and the tempest’s shock
Yet all that arts can do, here frowning shine,
In mimic pride, and grandeur of design.

               The simple Indian, as the work he spies,
Looks up to nature’s God above the skies
And though, his lot be rugged wild and dear,
Yet owns the ruling power with soul sincere,
Not as where, Asia’s piles of marble high,
For idol gods the beast was doomed to die,
But, guided by a purer-led surprise,
Points to the great good sovreign of the skies
And thinks the power that built the upper sphere,
Hath left but traces of his fingers here.