Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

The ARGUMENT.

The subjeff. proposed. Address to the Earl of Wil.

MINGTON. First approach of WinterAccording to the natural course of the seafon, various forms de. fcribed. Rain. Wind. Snow. The driving of the snows : A Man perishing among them; whence reo flexions on the wants and miseries of human life. The wolves descending from the Alps and Appenines. A wintry-evening described; as spent by philosophers; by the country people; in the city. Frofl. A view of Winter within the polar circle. A thaw. The whole. concluding with moral reflexions on a future flaten,

W I N T E R.

E

EE, WINTER comes, to rule the varied year,

Sullen, and fad, with all his rising train; Vapours, and Clouds, and Stormis. Be these my theme, These, that exalt the soul to folemn thought, And heavenly muling. Welcome, kindred glooms! 5 Cogenial horrors, hail! with frequent foot, Pleas'd have I, in my chearful morn of life, When nurs'd by careless folitude I liv'd, And sung of Nature with unceasing joy, Pleas'd have I wander'd thro' your rough domain ; 10 Trod the pure virgin-snows, myFelf as pure; Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burft ;Or seen the deep fermenting tempest brew'd, In the grim-evening sky. Thus pafs'd the time, Till thro' the lucid chambers of the south

15 Look'd out the joyous SPRING,'look'd out, and smild.

To thee, the patron of her first essay, The Muse, O WILMINGTON!' renews ber song. Since has she rounded the revolving year: Skimm'd the gay Spring; on eagle-pinions borne, 20 Attempted thro' the Summer-blaze to rise ; Then swept o'er Autumn with the shadowy gale; And now among the wint'ry clouds again, Roll'd in the doubling storin, she tries to soar; To swell her note with all the rushing winds ; 25 To suit her sounding cadence to the floods ; As is her theme, her numbers wildly great: Thrice happy! could she fill thy judging ear With bold description, and with manly thought.

Not

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Nor art thou skill'd in awful schemes alone,
And how to make a mighty people thrive:
But 'equal goodness, found integrity,
A firm unshaken uncorrupted foul
Amid a sliding age, and burning ítrong,
Not vainly blazing for thy country's weal, 33
A steady spirit regularly free;
These, each exalting each, the ftatesinan light
Into the patriot; these, the public hope
And eye to thee converting, bid the Muse
Record what envy dares not fattery call.

Now when the chearless empire of the sky
To Capricorn the Centaur Archer yields,
And fierce Aquarius ftains th' inverted year;
Hung o'er the farthest verge of heaven, the fun
Scarce spreads o'er aétiser the dejected day. 45
Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot
His struggling rays, in horizontal lines,
Thro' the thick air; as cloth’d in cloudy storm,
Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky;
And, foon-descending, to the long dark night, 50
Wide-shading all, the proftrate world refigns.
Nor is the night unwilh'di; while vital heat,
Light, life, and joy, the dubious day forsake.
Meantime, in fable cincture, shadows valt,
Deep-ting'd, and damp, and congregated clouds, 55
And all the vapoury turbulence of heaven
Involve the face of things.". Thus Winter falls,
A heavy gloom oppressive o'er the world,
Thro’ Nature shedding influence malign,
And rouses up the feeds of dark diseafe.

60
The foul of Man dies in him, loaching life,
And black with more than melancholy views.
The cattle droop: and o'er the furrowed land,

Freld

1

65

3

Fresh from the plough, the dun-discoloured flocks,
Untended spreading, crop the wholesome root.
Along the woods, along the moorish fens,
Sighs the sad Genius of the coming storm;
And up among the loose disjointed cliffs,
And fractur’d mountains wild, the brawling brook
And cave, presagefil, send a hollow moan, 70
Refounding long in liftening Fancy's ear.

Then comes the father of the tempest forth,
Wrapt in black gloons. First joyless rains obscure
Drive thro' the mingling kies with vapour foul;
Dalh on the mountain's brow, and shake the woods, 75
That grumbling wave below. Th’ unsightly plain
Lyes a brown deluge ; as the low-bent clouds
Pour flood on flood, yet unexhausted still
Combine, and deepening into night, shut up
The day's fair face. The wanderers of heaven,
Each to his home, retire ; fave those that love
To take their pastime in the troubled air,
Or skimming flutter round the dimply pool,
The cattle froin th' untafted fields return,
And ask, with meaning lowe, their wonted stalls,' 85
Or ruminate in the contiguous shade.
Thither the houshold feathery people croud,
The crested cock, with all his female train,
Pensive, and dripping; while the cottage-hind
Hangs o'er th' enlivening blaze, and taleful there 90
Recounts his fimple frolic: much he talks,
And much he laughs, nor recks the storm that blows
Without, and rattles on his humble roof.

Wide o'er the brim, with many a' torrent swellid,
And the mix'd ruin of its banks o'erspread,
At last the rous'd-up river pours along:
Resistless, roaring, dreadful, down it comes, bain!
Vol. I.

р

From

80

95

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

From the rude mountain, and the mossy wild,
Tumbling thro' rocks abrupt, and founding far;
Then o'er the sanded valley floating spreads, 100
Calm, sluggish, filent; till again, constrain'd
Between two meeting hills, it bursts away,
Where rocks and woods o'erhang the turbid stream;
There gathering triple force, rapid, and deep,
It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders through.

Nature! great parent! whose unceasing hand 106
Rolls round the seasons of the changeful year,
How mighty, how majestic, are thy works !
With what a pleasing dread they swell the soul !
That sees astonish'd! and astonish'd sings! IIO
Ye too, ye winds! that now begin to blow,
With boisterous sweep, I raise my voice to you.
Where are your stores, ye powerful beings! say,
Where your aerial magazines reserv'd,
To swell the brooding terrors of the storm ?
In what far-distant region of the sky,
Hulh'd in deep silence, Neep ye when 'tis calm?

When from the pallid sky the sun descends,
With many a spot, that o'er his glaring orb
Uncertain wanders, stain'd; red fiery streaks I 20
Begin to flush around. The reeling clouds
Stagger with dizzy poise, as doubting yet
Which master to obey: while rising Now,
Blank, in the leaden-colour'd east, the moon
Wears a wan circle round her blunted horns.

125
Seen thro' the turbid fluctuating air,
The stars obtuse emit a shivered

ray;
Or frequent seem to shoot athwart the gloom,
And long behind them trail the whitening blaze.
Snatch'd in short eddies, plays the wither’d leaf; 130
And on the flood the dancing feather floats.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »