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.