Kevin Jones has tracked down an online copy of The Traveller by Oliver Goldsmith, part of which I quoted from Kramnick’s book on Bolingbroke here. The entire poem is worth reading, but these two parts most caught my attention:
Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictured here,
Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear:
Too blest indeed were such without alloy;
But fostered even by freedom, ills annoy.
That independence Britons prize too high,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie;
The self-dependent lordlings stand alone,
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown.
Here, by the bonds of nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds repelling and repellled;
Ferments arise, imprisoned factions roar,
Represt ambition struggles round her shore;
Till, over-wrought, the general system feels
Its motions stop, or frenzy fire the wheels.
O then how blind to all the truth requires,
Who think it freedom when a part aspires !
Calm is my soul nor apt to rise in arms,
Except when fast approaching danger warns:
But when contending chiefs blockade the throne,
Contracting regal power to stretch their own;
When I behold a factious band agree
To call it freedom when themselves are free;
Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw,
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law;
The wealth of climes, where savage nations roam,
Pillaged from slave to purchase slaves at home;
Fear, pity, justice, indignation start,
Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart;
Till, half a patriot, half a coward grown,
I fly from petty tyrants to the throne.