"How bright the scene to Fancy's eye appears, / Through the long perspective of distant years, / When this, this little group their country calls / From academic shades and learned halls, / To fix her laws, her spirit to sustain, / And light up glory through her wide domain!"
— Barbauld, Anna Letitia [née Aikin] (1743-1825)
Through the long perspective of distant years,
When this, this little group their country calls
From academic shades and learned halls,
To fix her laws, her spirit to sustain,
And light up glory through her wide domain!
Their various tastes in different arts displayed,
Like tempered harmony of light and shade,
With friendly union in one mass shall blend,--
And this adorn the state, and that defend.
These the sequestered shade shall cheaply please,
With learned labour and inglorious ease:
While those, impelled by some resistless force,
O'er seas and rocks shall urge their venturous course;
Rich fruits matured by glowing suns behold,
And China's groves of vegetable gold;
From every land the various harvest spoil,
And bear the tribute to their native soil:
But tell each land,--while every toil they share,
Firm to sustain, and resolute to dare,--
Man is the nobler growth our realms supply,
And souls are ripened in our northern sky.
(pp. 21-2; cf. ll. 133-154, p. 54 in Broadview ed.)
Barbauld, Mrs. (Anna Letitia), 1743-1825. See Poems (London: Printed for Joseph Johnson, 1773). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO-TCP>
Some text drawn from The Works of Anna Lætitia Barbauld. With a Memoir by Lucy Aikin (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Browne, and Green, 1825).
Reading McCarthy, William and Kraft, Elizabeth, eds. Anna Letitia Barbauld: Selected Poetry and Prose (Ontario: Broadview Press, 2002).