… is from William Cullen Bryant‘s 1808 poem, “The Embargo” – which was written by a very young Bryant in response to President Thomas Jefferson’s embargo; Bryant was for his entire long life a free trader, and his commitment to the cause of free trade was furthered when he was tutored in economics in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, which is the home of the American Institute of Economic Research (whose president is GMU Econ alum Edward Stringham) (original emphasis):
In vain Mechanics ply their curious art,
And bootless mourn the interdicted mart;
While our sage Ruler’s diplomatic skill,
Subjects our councils to his sovereign will;
His grand “restrictive energies” employs,
And wisely regulating trade – destroys.