On His Grotto At Twickenham, Composed Of Marbles, Spars, Gems, Ores, And Minerals.
By Thou who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent wave
Shines a broad mirror through the shadowy cave;
Where lingering drops from mineral roofs distil,
And pointed crystals break the sparkling rill,
Unpolish'd gems no ray on pride bestow,
And latent metals innocently glow:
Approach! Great Nature studiously behold!
And eye the mine without a wish for gold.
Approach: but awful! lo! the Aegerian grot,
Where, nobly-pensive, St John sate and thought;
Where British sighs from dying Wyndham stole,
And the bright flame was shot through Marchmont's soul.
Let such, such only, tread this sacred floor,
Who dare to love their country, and be poor!
After VER. 6, in the MS.--
Yon see that island's wealth, where, only free,
Earth to her entrails feels not tyranny.
--i.e. Britain is the only place on the globe which feels not tyranny
even to its very entrails. Alluding to the condemnation of criminals to
the mines, one of the inflictions of civil justice in most countries--W.
VER. 11, in MS. it was thus--
To Wyndham's breast the patriot passions stole.