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THE Poem opens with a comparison between the beauty of remote objects in a landscape, and those ideal scenes of felicity which the imagination delights to contemplate.—The influence of anticipation upon the other passions is next delineated. An allusion is made to the well known fiction in Pagan tradition, that, when all the guardian deities of mankind abandoned the world, Hope alone was left behind.--The confolations of this passion in situations of danger and distress. The seaman on his midnight watch.—The soldier marching into battle.—Allufion to the interesting adventures of Byron.
The inspiration of Hope, as it actuates the efforts of genius, whether in the department of science, or of taste.--Domestic felicity, how intimately connected with views of future happiness.-- Picture of a mother watch
ing her infant when asleep.--Pietures of the prisoner, the maniac, and the wanderer.
From the confolations of individual misery, a transition is made to prospects of political improvement in the future state of society.--The wide field that is yet open for the progress of humanizing arts among uncivilized nations. - From these views of amelioration of fociety, and the extension of liberty and truth over despotic and barbarous countries, by a melancholy contrast of ideas we are led to reflect upon the hard fate of a brave people recently conspicuous in their struggles for independence. Description of the capture of Warsaw, of the last contest of the oppressors and the oppressed, and the maffacre of the Polish Patriots at the bridge of Prague.--Apostrophe to the self-interested enemies of human improvement. The wrongs of Africa. The barbarous policy of Europeans in India.--Prophecy in the Hindoo mythology of the expected descent of the Deity, to redress the miseries of their race, and to take rengeance on the violators of justice and mercy.
Thus, with delight, we linger to survey
The promis’d joys of life's unmeasur'd way ;
Thus, from afar, each dim-discover'd scene
More pleasing seems than all the past hath been ;
And every form, that Fancy can repair
From dark oblivion, glows divinely there.
What potent spirit guides the raptur'd eye
To pierce the shades of dim futurity ?
Can Wisdom lend, with all her heav'nly power,
The pledge of Joy's anticipated hour ?
Ah, no! she darkly sees the fate of man
Her dim horizon bounded to a span ;
Or, if she hold an image to the view,
'Tis Nature pictur'd too feverely true.