Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
I. Patriotism
East, West, Home ’s Best
Oliver Goldsmith (1730–1774)
 
From “The Traveller”

AS some lone miser visiting his store,
Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o’er;
Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill,
Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still:
Thus to my breast alternate passions rise,        5
Pleased with each good that heaven to man supplies:
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
To see the sum of human bliss so small;
And oft I wish, amidst the scene to find
Some spot to real happiness consigned,        10
Where my worn soul, each wandering hope at rest,
May gather bliss to see my fellows blest.
But where to find that happiest spot below,
Who can direct, when all pretend to know?
The shuddering tenant of the frigid zone        15
Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own,
Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,
And his long nights of revelry and ease;
The naked negro, planting at the line,
Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine,        20
Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,
And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.
Such is the patriot’s boast where’er we roam,
His first, best country, ever is at home.
And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,        25
And estimate the blessings which they share,
Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find
An equal portion dealt to all mankind,
As different good, by art or nature given,
To different nations, makes their blessings even.        30
 
 
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