Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/26

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30
PROEM.


 Gathering a thousand rivers on his way,
 Huge Orellana rolls his affluent flood;
 And where the happier sons of Paraguay,
 By gentleness and pious art subdued,
 Bow'd their meek heads beneath the Jesuits' sway.
 And lived and died in filial servitude.

 I love thus uncontroll'd, as in a dream,
 To muse upon the course of human things;
 Exploring sometimes the remotest springs,
 Far as tradition lends one guiding gleam;
 Or following, upon Thought's audacious wings,
 Into Futurity, the endless stream.
 But now in quest of no ambitious height,
 I go where truth and nature lead my way,
 And ceasing here from desultory flight,
In measured strains I tell a Tale of Paraguay.