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Paint cards and dolls, and every idle thing,
Thus oft, reclined at ease, I lose an hour That fancy finds in her excursive flights.
At evening, till at length the freezing blast, Come Evening, once again, season of peace; That sweeps the bolted shutter, summons home Return sweet Evening, and continue long!
The recollected powers; and snapping short Methinks I see thee in the streaky west,
The glassy threads, with which the fancy weaves With matron-step slow-moving, while the night Her brittle toils, restores me to myself. Treads on thy sweeping train; one hand employed How calm is my recess; and how the frost, In letting fall the curtain of repose
Raging abroad, and the rough wind endear On bird and beast, the other charged for man
The silence and the warmth enjoyed within! With sweet oblivion of the cares of day:
I saw the woods and fields at close of day, Not sumptuously adorned, nor needing aid,
A variegated show; the meadows green, Like homely-featured night, of clustering gems; Though faded; and the lands, where lately waved A star or two, just twinkling on thy brow,
The golden harvest, of a mellow brown, Suffices thee; save that the moon is thine
Upturned so lately by the forceful share. No less than hers, not worn indeed on high
I saw far off the weedy fallows smile With ostentatious pageantry, but set
With verdure not unprofitable, grazed With modest grandeur in thy purple zone,
By flocks, fast feeding, and selecting each Resplendent less, but of an ampler round.
His favourite herb; while all the leafless groves Come then, and thou shalt find thy votary calm,
That skirt the horizon, wore a sable hue, Or make me so. Composure is thy gift,
Scarce noticed in the kindred dusk of eve. And, whether I devote thy gentle hours
To-morrow brings a change, a total change! To books, to music, or the poet's toil;
Which even now, though silently performed, To weaving nets for bird-alluring fruit;
And slowly, and by most unfelt, the face Or twining silken threads round ivory reels,
Of universal nature undergoes. When they command whom man was born to please ;
Fast falls a fleecy shower: the downy flakes HET I slight thee not, but make thee welcome still. Descending, and with never-ceasing lapse
Just when our drawing-rooms begin to blaze Softly alighting upon all below, With lights, by clear reflection multiplied
Assimilate all objects. Earth receives From many a mirror, in which he of Gath,
Gladly the thickening mantle; and the green Goliah, might have seen bis giant bulk
And tender blade, that feared the chilling blast, Whole without stooping, towering crest and all,
Escapes unhurt beneath so warin a veil. My pleasures too begin. But me perhaps
In such a world, so thorny, and where none The glowing hearth may satisfy a while
Finds happiness unblighted; or, if found, With faint illumination, that uplifts
Without some thistly sorrow at its side; The shadows to the cieling, there by fits
It seems the part of wisdom, and no sin Dancing uncouthly to the quivering flame.
Against the law of love, to measure lots Not undelightful is an hour to me
With less distinguished than ourselves; that thus So spent in parlour twilight: such a gloom
We may with patience bear our moderate ills, Suits well the thoughtful or unthinking mind, And sympathize with others, suffering more. The mind contemplative, with some new theme
Il fares the traveller now, and he that stalky Pregnant, or indisposed alike to all.
In ponderous boots beside his reeking team. Laugh ye, who boast your more mercurial powers,
The wain goes heavily, impeded sore That never felt a stupor, know no pause,
By congregated loads adhering close Nor need one; I ain couscious, and confess
To the clogged wheels; and in its sluggish pace Fearless a soul, that does not always think.
Noiseless appears a moving hill of snow.
The toiling steeds expand the nostril wide,
L'pon their jutting chests. He, formed to bear I gazed, myself creating what I saw.
The pelting brunt of the tempestuous night, Nor less amused have I quiescent watched
With half-shut eyes, and puckered cheeks, and teeth
Presented bare against the storm, plods on. The sooty films, that play upon the bars
One hand secures his hat, save when with both Pendulous, and foreboding in the view
He brandishes his pliant length of whip,
Resounding oft, and never heard in vain.
O happy; and in my account denied proach. "Tis thus the understanding takes repose
That sensibility of pain, with which
Refinement is endued, thrice happy thou ! In indolent vacuity of thought,
Thy frame, robust and hardy, feels indeed And sleeps and is refreshed. Meanwhile the face
The piercing cold, but feels it unimpaired. Conceals the mood lethargic with a mask
The learned finger never need explore Of deep deliberation, as the man
Thy vigorous pulse; and the unhealthful east, Were tasked to his full strength, absorbed and lost.
That breathes the spleen, and searches every bone Nor what a wealthier than ourselves may send.
I mean the man, who, when the distant poor
PRAISE OF THE COUNTRY.
Man in society is like a flower
Poor, yet industrious, modest, quiet, neat, But man, associated and leagued with man
By regal warrant, or self-joined by bond And have a friend in every feeling heart.
For interest-sake, or swarming into clans Warmed, while it lasts, by labour, all day long
Beneath one head for purposes of war, They brave the season, and yet find at eve,
Like flowers selected from the rest, and bound
And bundled close to fill some crowded vase,
Hence chartered boroughs are such public plagues;
And burghers, men immaculate perhaps
Against the charities of domestic life,
Incorporated seem at once to lose Yet he too finds his own distress in theirs.
Their nature; and disclaiming all regard The taper soon extinguished, which I saw
For mercy and the common rights of man,
Build factories with blood, conducting trade
Hence too the field of glory, as the world
Misdeems it, dazzled by its bright array, Where penury is felt the thought is chained, With all its majesty of thundering pomp, And sweet colloquial pleasures are but few! Enchanting music and immortal wreaths, With all this thrift they thrive not. All the care, Is but a school, where thoughtlessness is taught Ingenious parsimony takes, but just
On principle, where foppery atones Saves the small inventory, bed, and stool,
For folly, gallantry for every vice. Skillet, and old carved chest, from public sale. But slighted as it is, and by the great They live, and live without extorted alms
Abandoned, and, which still I more regret, From grudging hands; but other boast have none Infected with the manners and the modes To sooth their honest pride, that scorns to beg,
It knew not once, the country wios me still.
I never framed a wish, or formed a plan,
But there I laid the scene.
There early strayed A dry but independent crust, hard earned,
My fancy, ere yet liberty of choice
Had found me, or the hope of being free.
My very dreams were rural; rural too
The first-born efforts of my youthful Muse, To clamorous importunity in rags,
Sportive and jingling her poetic bells, But oft-times deaf to suppliants, who would blush
Ere yet her ear was mistress of their powers. To wear a tattered garb however coarse,
No bard could please me but whose lyre was tuned Whom fainine cannot reconcile to filth:
To Nature's praises. Heroes and their feats These ask with painful shyness, and, refused
Fatigued me; never weary of the pipe Because deserving, silently retire!
Of Tityrus, assembling, as he sang, But be ye of good courage! Time itself
The rustic throng beneath his favourite beech. Shall much befriend you. Time shall give increase;
Then Milton had indeed a poet's charms: And all your numerous progeny, well-trained
New to my taste his Paradise surpassed But helpless, in few years shall find their hands,
The struggling efforts of my boyish tongue And labour too. Meanwhile ye shall not want
To speak its excellence. I danced for joy.
I marvelled much that, at so ripe an age
Engaged my wonder; and admiring still,
Sad witnessess how close-pent man regrets
The country, with what ardour he contrives
A peep at nature, when he can no more.
Hail, therefore, patroness of health and ease,
And contemplation, heart-consoling joys
And harmless pleasures, in the thronged abode
1 shall not add myself to such a chase,
'Thwart his attempts, or envy his success.
Some must be great. Great offices will have
Great talents. And God gives to every man
That lifts him into life, and lets him fall
Just in the niche he was ordained to fill.
He gives a tongue to enlarge upon, a heart
To feel, and courage to redress her wrongs;
To artists ingenuity and skill;
To me, an unambitious mind, content
In the low vale of life, that early felt
A wish for ease and leisure, and ere long
THE WINTER MORNING WALK.
'Tis morning; and the sun, with orb Where nothing feeds it: neither business, crowds, Ascending, fires the horizon; while the clouds, Nor habits of luxurious city-life,
That crowd away before the driving wind,
More ardent as the disk emerges more,
Resemble most some city in a blaze,
Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale,
And, tinging all with his own rosy hue,
Stretches a length of shadow o'er the field.
Mine, spindling into longitude immense,
I view the muscular proportioned limb
Take step for step; and, as I near approach
The cottage, walk along the plastered wall,
The verdure of the plain lies buried deep
Beneath the dazzling deluge; and the bents,
Of late unsightly and upseen, now shine
Conspicuous, and in bright apparel clad,
And fledged with icy feathers, nod superb.
The cattle mourn in corners where the fence
Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep
In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait
Their wonted fodder ; not like huugering man,
Fretful if unsupplied; but silent, meek,
And patient of the slow-paced swain's delay,
He from the stack carves out the accustomed load, A fragment, and the spoutless tea-pot there;
Deep-plunging, and again deep-plunging ost,
Illumined every side: a watery light (seemed
For grandeur or for use. Long wavy wreaths
His broad keen knife into the solid mass :
O'erwhelming all distinction. On the flood,
Lies undissolved; while silently beneath,
And unperceived, the current steals away. Lest storms should overset the leaning pile
Not so where, scornful of a check, it leaps Deciduous, or its own unbalanced weight.
The mill-dam, dashes on the restless wheel,
That in its fall the liquid sheet throws wide.
That trickle down the branches, fast congealed,
Here grotto within grotto safe defies
The growing wonder takes a thousand shapes
Thus nature works as if to mock at art,
As she with all her rules can never reach.
Because a novelty, the work of man,
Thy most magnificent and mighty freak,
The wonder of the North. No forest fell
To enrich thy walls: but thou didst hew the floods,
And make thy marble of the glassy wave.
In such a palace Aristæus found
Of his lost bees to her maternal ear:
In such a palace poetry might place
songs, The gloomy clouds, find weapons, arrowy sleet,
Skin-piercing volley, blossom-bruising hail, Beneath the frozen clod; all seeds of herbs
And snow, that often blinds the traveller's course, Lie covered close; and berry-bearing thorns
And wraps him in an unexpected tomb. That feed the thrush, (whatever some suppose)
Silently as a dream the fabric rose;
No sound of hammer or of saw was there:
Ice upon ice, the well-adjusted parts
Were soon conjoined, nor other cement asked
Than water interfused to make them one.
Lamps gracefully disposed, and of all bues,
Gleamed through the clear transparency
, that Repays their labour more; and perched aloft
Another moon new risen, or meteor fallen By the way-side, or stalking in the path,
From heaven to earth, of lambent flame serene. Lean pensioners upon the traveller's track,
So stood the brittle prodigy; though smooth Pick up their nauseous dole, though sweet to them,
And slippery the materials, yet frost-bound, Of voided pulse or half-digested grain.
Firm as a rock. Nor wanted aught within The streams are lost amid the splendid blank,
That royal residence might well befit,
Of flowers, that feared no enemy but warmth, Io politic convention) put your trust at
Blushed on the panels. Mirror needed none In the shadow of a bramble; and, reclined
In fancied peace beneath his dangerous branch, Convivial table and commodious seat
Rejoice in him, and celebrate his sway; (What seemed at least commodious seat) were there; Where find ye passive fortitude: Whence springs Sofa, and couch, and high-built throne august. Your self-denying zeal, that holds it good The same lubricity was found in all,
To stroke the prickly grievance, and to hang And all was moist to the warm touch: a scene His thorns with streamers of continual praise? Of evanescent glory, once a stream,
We too are friends to loyalty. We love And soon to slide into a stream again.
The king, who loves the law, respects his bounds, Alas! 'twas but a mortifying stroke
And reigns content within them: him we serve EE Of undesigned severity, that glanced
Freely and with delight, who leaves us free: (Made by a monarch) on her own estate,
But recollecting still that he is man, On human grandeur and the courts of kings. We trust him not too far. King though he be, 'Twas transient in its nature, as in show
And king in England too, he may be weak, ta 'Twas durable; as worthless, as it seemed
And vain enough to be ambitious still; Intrinsically precious; to the foot
May exercise amiss his proper powers, Treacherous and false ; it smiled, and it was cold. Or covet more than freemen choose to grant: Great princes have great playthings. Some have Beyond that mark is treason. He is ours played
To administer, to guard, to adorn, the state, At hewing mountains into men, and some
But not to warp or change it. We are his At building human wonders mountain-high. To serve him nobly in the common cause, Some have amused the dull, sad years of life, True to the death, but not to be his slaves. (Life spent in inolence, and therefore sad)
Mark now the difference, ye that boast your love With schemes of monumental fame; and sought Of kings, between your loyalty and ours. By pyramids and mausolean pomp,
We love the man, the paltry pageant you: Short-lived themselves, to immortalize their bones. We the chief patron of the commonwealth, Some seek diversion in the tented field,
You the regardless author of its woes: And make the sorrows of mankind their sport. We for the sake of liberty a king, But war's a game, which, were their subjects wise, You chains and bondage for a tyrant's sake. Kings would not play at. Nations would do well Our love is principle, and has its root To extort their truncheons from the puny hands In reason, is judicious, manly, free; Of heroes, whose infirm and baby minds
Yours, a blind instinct, crouchies to the rod, Are gratified with mischief; and who spoil,
And licks the foot, that treads it in the dust. Because men suffer it, their toy the world.
Were kingship as true treasure as it seems,
I would not be a king to be beloved
Causeless, and daubed with undiscerning praise,
Where love is mere attachment to the throne, To reverence'what is ancient, and can plead
Not to the man, who fills it as he ought. A course of long observance for its use,
'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower That even servitude, the worst of ills,
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume; Because delivered down from sire to son,
And we are weeds without it. All constraint, Is kept and guarded as a sacred thing.
Except what wisdom lays on evil men, But is it fit, or can it bear the shock
Is evil: hurts the faculties, impedes Of rational discussion, that a man,
Their progress in the road of science; blinds Compounded and made up like other men
The eyesight of discovery; and begets Of elements tumultuous, in whom lust
In those that suffer it, a sordid mind And folly in as ample measure meet,
Bestial, a meagre intellect, unfit As in the bosoms of the slaves he rules,
To be the tenant of man's noble form. Should be a despot absolute, and boast
Thee therefore still, blame-worthy as thou art, Himself the only freeman of his land?
With all thy loss of empire, and though squeezed Should, when he pleases, and on whom he will, By public exigence till annual food Wage war, with any or with no pretence
Fails for the craving hunger of the state, Of provocation given, or wrong sustained,
Thee I account still happy, and the chief And force the beggarly last doit, by means
Among the nations, seeing thou art free; That his own humour dictates, from the clutch
My native nook of earth! Thy clime is rude, Of poverty, that thus he may procure
Replete with vapours, and disposes much
All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine: His thousands, weary of penurious life,
Thine unadulterate manners are less soft A splendid opportunity to die?
And plausible than social life requires, Say ye, who (with less prudence than of old
And thou hast need of discipline and art Jothan ascribed to his assembled trees