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SPRING. 1728.

A R G U M E N T.

The subject proposed. Inscribed to the Countess of

Hertford. The season is described as it affects the various parts of Nature, ascending from the lower to the higher; with digressions arising from the subject. Its influence on inanimate matter, on vegetables, on brute animals, and, last, on man; concluding with a dissuasive from the wild and irregular passion of love, opposed to that of a pure and happy kind.

S Ú Ï Ï N G.

" Et nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbos,
“ Nunc frondent sylvæ, nunc formosissimus annus.”

VIRG. COME, gentle Spring, ethereal Mildness, come,

And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud,
While music wakes around, veil'd in a shower
Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend.
O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts

With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
With innocence and meditation join'd
In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
Which thy own Season paints ; when Nature all
Is blooming and benevolent, like thee.

And see where furly Winter passes off, Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts : His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill, The shatter'd forest, and the ravag'd vale; While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch, 15 Dissolving snows it livid torrents loft, The mountains lift their green heads to the sky.

As yet the trembling year is unconfirm’d, And Winter oft at eve resumes the breeze, Chills the pale morn, and bids his driving fleets 20 Deform the day delightless: so that scarce The bittern knows his time, with bill ingulpht



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