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SPRING.

The subject proposed. Inscribed to the Countess of Ilertford. The

Season is dorcribed as it affects the various parts of Nature, ascending rom the lower to the bigher; with digressions arising from the subject. Its influence on inanimate Matrap, on Vegeta. bles, on bruto Animals, and last on Man; concluding with a disguasive from the wild and irregular passion of Love, opposed to that of a pure and happy kind.

COME, gentle SPRING, ethereal Mildness, come,
And from the hosom of yon dropping cloud,
While music wakes around, veild in a shower
Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend.
O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts

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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.

10 And see where surly 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 ravaged vale ; While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch, 15 Dissolving snows in livid torrents lost, Tho 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 sleets 20 Deform the day delightless : so that scarce The bittern knows his time, with bill ingulf'd, To shake the sounding marsh ; or from the shore The plovers when to scatter o'er the heath, And sing their wild notes to the listening waste. 25

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At last from Arics rolls the bounteous sun,
And the bright Bull receives him. Then no moro
The' expansive atmosphere is cramp'd with cold ;
But, full of life and vivifying soul,
Lifts the light clouds sublime, and spreads them thin,
Fleecy, and white o'er all surrounding heaven. 31

Forth fly the tepid airs; and unconfined,
Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays.
Joyous, the' impatient husbandman perceives
Relenting Nature, and his lusty steers

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Drives from their stalls, to where the well used plough
Lies in the furrow, loosen'd from the frost.
There unrefusing, to the harness'd yoke,
They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil,
Cheer'd by the simple song and soaring lark. 40
Meanwhile incumbent o'cr the shining share
The master leans, removes the’ obstructing clay,
Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe.

While thro’ the neighbouring fields the sower stalks,
With measured step; and liberal throws the grain 45
Into the faithful bosom of the ground :
The harrow follows harsh, and shuts the scene.

Be gracious, Heaven! for now laborious man
Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow;
Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend ! 50
And temper all, thou world-reviving sun,
Into the perfect year! Nor ye who live
In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride,
Think these lost themes, unworthy of your ear :
Such themes as these the rural Maro sung

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To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height
Of elegance and taste, by Greece refined.
In ancient times, the sacred plough employ'd
The kings, and awful fathers of mankind.
And some, with whom compared your insect tribes 60
Are but the beings of a summer's day,
Have held the scale of empire, ruled the storm
Of mighty war; then, with unwearicd hand,

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Disdaining little delicacies, seized
The plough, and greatly independent lived.

Ye generous Britons, venerate the plough!
And o'er your hills and long withdrawing vales
Let Autumn spread his treasures to the sun,
Luxuriant and unbounded : as the sea,
Far through his azure turbulent domain,

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Your empire owns, and from a thousand shores
Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports ;
So with superior boon may your rich soil,
Exuberant, Nature's better blessings pour
O'er every land, the naked nations clothe,

75 And be the' exhaustless granary of a world !

Nor only through the lenient air this change,
Delicious, breathes; the penetrative sun,
His force deep darting to the dark retreat
Of vegetation, sets the steaming Power

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At large, to wander o'er the verdant earth,
In various hues; but chiefly thec, gay green!
Thou smiling Nature's universal robe !
United light and shade! where the sight dwells
With growing strength and ever new delight. 86

From the moist meadow to the wither'd hill, Led by the breeze, the vivid verdure runs, And swells and deepens to the cherish'd eye. The hawthorn whitens; and the juicy groves Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees, 90 Till the whole leafy forest stands display'd, In full luxuriance, to the sighing gales : Where the deer rustle through the twining brake, And the birds sing concoald. At once array'd In all the colours of the flushing year,

95 By Nature's swift and secret working hand, The garden lows, and fills the liberal air With lavish fragrance ; while the promised fruit Lies yet a little embryo, unperceived, Within its crimson folds. Now from the town, 100 Buried in smoke and sleep and nois'me damps,

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