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When on his heart the torrent softness pours.
Oft with th' enchantress of his soul he talks ; Then wisdom prostrate hies, and fading fame
Sometimes in crowds distress'd; or if retir'd Dissolves in air away; while the fond soul,
To secret-winding flower-enwoven bowers, Wrapt in gay visions of unreal bliss,
Far from the dull impertinence of man; Still paints th' illusive form; the kindling grace ;
Just as he, credulous, his endless cares Th’inticing smile; the modest-seeming eye,
Begins to lose in blind oblivious love, Beneath whose beauteous beams, belying Heaven,
Snatch'd from her yielded hand, he knows not how, Lark searchless cunning, cruelty, and death :
Through forests huge, and long untravelld heaths
With desolation brown, he wanders waste,
In night and tempest wrap'd ; or shrinks aghast, To guileful shores, and meads of fatal joy.
Back, from the bending precipice; or wades E'en present, in the very lap of love
The turbid stream below, and strives to reach Inglorious laid; while music flows around,
The farther shore; where succourless, and sad, Perfumes, and oils, and wine, and wanton hours;
She with extended arms his aid implores ; Amid the roses fierce Repentance rears
But strives in vain : borne by the outrageous flood Her snaky crest: a quick returning pang
To distance down, he rides the ridgy wave, Shoots through the conscious heart; where honor Or whelm'd beneath the boiling eddy sinks. still,
These are the charming agonies of love, And great design, against the oppressive load Whosé misery delights. But through the heart Of luxury, by fits, impatient heave.
Should jealousy its venom once diffuse, But absent, what fantastic woes arous'd,
'Tis then delightful misery no more, Rage in each thought, by restless musing fed,
But agony unmix'd, incessant gall,
Love's paradise. Ye fairy prospects, then,
Ye beds of roses, and ye bowers of joy, "Tis nought but gloom around: the darken'd sun
Farewell! ye gleamings of departed peace, Loses his light. The rosy-bosom'd Spring
Shine out your last ! the yellow-tinging plague To weeping Fancy pines; and yon bright arch,
Internal vision taints, and in a night Contracted, bends into a dusky yault.
Of livid gloom imagination wraps. All nature fades extinct; and she alone,
Ah then, instead of love-enliven'd cheeks, Heard, felt, and seen, possesses every thought,
Of sunny features, and of ardent eyes Fills every sense, and pants in every vein.
With flowing rapture bright, dark looks succeed, Books are but formal dulness, tedious friends ;
Suffus'd and glaring with untender fire ; And sad amid the social band he sits,
A clouded aspect, and a burning check, Lonely, and unattentive. From his tongue
Where the whole poison'd soul, malignant, sits, Th' unfinished period falls: while borne away
And frightens love away. Ten thousand fears On swelling thought, his wafted spirit flies
Invented wild, ten thousand frantic views To the vain bosom of his distant fair;
Of horrid rivals, hanging on the charms And leaves the semblance of a lover, fix'd
For which he melts in fondness, eat him up In melancholy site, with head declin'd,
With fervent anguish, and consuming rage. And love-dejected eyes. Sudden he starts,
In vain reproaches lend their idle aid, Shook from his tender trance, and restless runs
Deceitful pride and resolution frail, To glimmering shades, and sympathetic glooms;
Giving false peace a moment. Fancy pours, Where the dun umbrage o'er the falling stream,
Afresh, her beauties on his busy thought. Romantic, hangs: there through the pensive dusk
Her first endearments twining round the soul, Strays, in heart-thrilling meditation lost,
With all the witchcraft of ensnaring love. Indulging all to love; or on the bank
Straight the fierce storm involves his mind anew, Thrown, amid drooping lilies, swells the breeze
Flames through the nerves, and boils along the veins ;
While anxious doubt distracts the tortur'd heart: With sighs unceasing, and the brook with tears.
For ev'n the sad assurance of his fears Thus in soft anguish he consumes the day,
Were ease to what he feels. Thus the warm youth, Nor quits his deep retirement, till the Moon
Whom loye deludes into his thorny wilds,
Through flowery tempting paths, or leads a life. Leads on the gentle Hours; then forth he walks,
Of fever'd rapture, or of cruel care ; Beneath the trembling languish of her beam,
His brightest flames extinguish'd all, and all With soften'd soul, and woos the bird of eye
His lively moments, running down to waste, To mingle woes with his : or while the world
But happy they! the happiest of their kind! And all the sons of Care lie hush'd in sleep,
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate, Associates with the midnight shadows drear;
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend, And, sighing to the lonely taper, pours
'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws, His idly-tortur'd heart into the page,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind, Meant for the moving messenger of love:
That binds their peace; bnt harmony itself, Where rapture burns on rapture, every line
Attuning all their passions into love: With rising frenzy fir'd. But if on bed
Where friendship full-exerts her softest power, Delirious fung, sleep from his pillow flies ;
Perfect esteem enliven’d by desire All night he tosses, nor the balmy power
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul; • In any posture finds ; till the grey Morn
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will, Lifts her pale lustre on the paler wretch,
With boundless confidence : for nought but love Exanimate by love; and then perhaps
Can answer love, and render bliss secure. Exbausted Nature sinks a while to rest,
Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent Still interrupted by distracted dreams,
To bless himself, from sordid parents buys That o'er the sick imagination rise,
The loathing virgin, in eternal care, And in black colours paint the mimic scene.
Well-merited, consume his nights and days;
Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind, Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel;
To breathe th' enlivening spirit, and to fix Let eastern tyrants from the light of Heaven
The generous purpose in the glowing breast. Seclude their bosom slaves, meanly possess'd Oh speak the joy! ye, whom the sudden tear Of a mere lifeless, violated form:
Surprises often, wbile you look around, While those whom love cements in holy faith, And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss, And equal transport, free as Nature live,
All various Nature pressing on the heart > Disdaining fear. What is the world to them?
An elegant sufficiency, content, Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all ?
Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease, and alternate labour, useful life,
And thus their moments fly. The Seasons thus, Truth, goodness, honour, harmony, and love,
As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll, The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven.
Still find them happy; and consenting Spring Meantime a smiling offspring rises round,
Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads :
When, after the long vernal day of life,
With many a proof of recollected love,
Together down they sink in social sleep; For the kind hand of an assiduous care.
Together freed, their gentle spirits fly Delightful task ! to rear the tender thought,
To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign. To teach the young idea how to shoot,
The subject proposed. Invocation. Address to Mr. Dodington. “An introductory reflection on the motion
of the heavenly bodies : whence the succession of the seasons. As the face of Nature in this season is almost uniform, the progress of the poem is a description of a summer's day. The dawn. Sun rising. Hymn to the sun. Forenoon. Summer insects described. Hay-making. Sheep-shearing. Noon-day. A woodland retreat. Group of herds and flocks. A solemn grove: how it affects a contemplative mind. A cataract, and rude scene. View of the Summer in the torrid zone. Storm of thunder and lightning. A tale. The storm over, a serene afternoon. Bathing. Hour of walking. Transition to the prospect of a rich well-cultivated country; which introduces a panegyric on Great Britain. Sun-set. Evening Night. Summer meteors. A comet. The whole concluding with the praise of philosophy.
From brightening fields of ether fair disclos'd,
Hence let me haste into the mid-wood shade,
And thou, my youthful Muse's early friend,
Unblemish'd honour, and an active zeal
With what an awful world-revolving pow'r
When now no more th' alternate Twins are fir'd,
And opens all the lawny prospects wide.
Falsely luxurious, will not man awake,
Or else to fev'rish vanity alive,
But yonder comes the powerful King of Day,
'Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force,
Informer of the planetary train !
The vegetable world is also thine, Parent of Seasons ! who the
pomp precede That waits thy throne, as through thy vast domain, Annual, along the bright ecliptic road, In world-rejoicing state, it moves sublime. Meantime, the expecting nations, circling gay With all the various tribes of foodful earth, Implore thy bounty, or send grateful up A common hymn : while round thy beaming car, High seen, the Seasons lead, in sprightly dance Harmonious knit the rosy-finger'd Hours, The Zephyrs floating loose, the timely Rains, Of bloom ethereal the light-footed Dews, And soften'd into joy the surly Storms. These, in suécessive turn, with lavish hand,
Shower every beauty, every fragrance shower,
Nor to the surface of enliven'd earth,
The unfruitful rock itself, impregn'd by thee,
The very dead creation, from thy touch
How shall I then attempt to sing of Him
And yet was every faultering tongue of Man,
To me be Nature's volume broad display'd;
Now, flaming up the heavens, the potent sun
And morning fogs, that hover'd round the hills
Half in a blush of elustering roses lost,
Who can unpitying see the flow'ry race,
Home, from his morning task, the swain retreats; His flock before bim stepping to the fold : While the full-udder'd mother lows around The cheerful cottage, then expecting food, The food of innocence and health! The daw, The rook, and magpie, to the grey-grown oaks' That the calm village in their verdant arms, Sheltering, embrace, direct their lazy flight; Where on the mingling boughs they sit embower'd, All the hot noon, till cooler hours arise. Paint, underneath, the household fowls convene; And in a corner of the buzzing shade, The house-dog, with the vacant grey-hound lies Out-stretch'd and sleepy. In his slumbers one Attacks the nightly thief, and one exalts O'er hill and dale; till, waken'd by the wasp, They starting snap. Nor, shall the Muse disdain To let the little noisy summer-race Live in her lay, and flutter through her song ; Not mean though simple; to the sun ally'd, From him they draw their animating fire.
Wak’d by his warmer ray, the reptile young
But chief to heedless flies the window proves
Passes ; as oft the ruffian shews his front.
Resounds the living surface of the ground :
Gradual, from these what num'rous kinds descend,
Let no presuming impious railer tax Creative Wisdom, as if aught was form'd In vain, or not for admirable ends. Shall little haughty Ignorance pronounce His works onwise, of which the smallest part Exceeds the narrow vision of her mind ? As if upon a full-proportion'd dome, On swelling columns heav'd, the pride of art, A critic-fly, whose feeble ray scarce spreads An inch around, with blind presumption bold, Should dare to tax the structure of the whole. And lives the man, whose universal eye Has swept at once th’unbounded scheme of things ; Mark'd their dependance so, and firm accord, As with unfaultering accent to conclude That this availeth nought? Has any seen The mighty chain of beings, lessening down From infinite perfection to the brink Of dreary nothing, desolaté abyss ! From which astonish'd thought, recoiling, turns ? Till then, alone let zealous praise ascend, And hymns of holy wonder, to that Power, Whose wisdom shines as lovely on vur minds, As on our smiling eyes his servant-sun.
Thick in yon stream of light, a thousand ways, Upward, and downward, thwarting, and convolvid, The quivering nations sport; till tempest-wing’d, Fierce Winter sweeps them from the face of day. E'en so luxurious men unbeeding pass,
An idle summer-life in fortune's shine,
Who having now, to pay his annual care,
Will send you bounding to your hills again.
A simple scene! Yet hence Britannia sees Behind, and strikes them from the book of life. Her solid grandeur rise : hence she commands
Now swarms the village o'er the jovial mead : Th' exalted stores of every brighter clime : The rustic youth, brown with meridian toil,
The treasures of the sun, without his rage: Healthful and strong; full as the summer rose, Hence fervent all with culture, toil and arts, Blown by prevailing suns, the ruddy maid,
Wide glows her land: her dreadful thunder hence Half-naked, swelling on the sight, and all
Rides o'er the waves sublime, and now, even now,
Impending hangs o'er Gallia's humbled coast :
'Tis raging noon; and, vertical, the su O'ereharg'd amid the kind oppression roll.
Darts on the head direct his forceful rays. Wide flies the tedded grain; all in a row
O'er heaven and earth, far as the ranging eye
In vain the sight, dejected to the ground,
Of vegetation parch'd, the cleaving fields
Echo no more returns the cheerful sound
Of sharpening scythe; the mower, sinking, heaps
The very streams look languid from afar;
Or, through th' unshelter'd glade, impatient seem The clamour much, of men, and boys, and dogs,
To hurl into the covert of the grove.
All-conquering Heat, oh intermit thy wrath
Beam not so fierce! Incessant still you flow,
And still another fervent flood succeeds, Fast, fast, they plunge amid the flashing wave,
Pour'd on the head profuse. In vain I sigh,
And restless turn, and look around for night;
Of a romantic mountain, forest-crown'd,
Beneath the whole collected shade reclines : Slow moves the harmless race; where, as they spread
Or in the gelid caverns, woodbine-wrought, Their swelling treasures to the sunny ray,
And fresh bedew'd with ever-spouting streams, Inly disturb’d, and wondering what this wild Sits coolly calm : while all the world without, Outrageous tumult means, their loud complaints
Unsatisfied and sick, tosses in noon. The country fill: and, toss’d from rock to rock,
Emblem instructive of the virtuous man, Incessant bleatings run around the hills.
Who keeps his temper'd mind serene, and pure,
And every passion aptly harmoniz?d,
Welcome, ye shades! Ye bowery thickets, hail!
Ye lofty pines ! ye venerable oaks! The housewife waits to roll her fleecy stores,
Ye ashes wild, resounding o'er the steep! With all her gay-drest maids attending round.
Delicious is your shelter to the soul, One, chief in gracious dignity enthron'd,
As to the hunted hart the sallying spring,
Or stream full-flowing, that his swelling sides
The heart beats glad ; the fresh-expanded eye
And ear resume their watch; the sinews knit, Some, mingling, stir the melted tar, and some,
And life shoots swift through all the lighten'd limbs. Deep on the new-shorn vagrant's heaving side,
Around th' adjoining brook, that purls along To stamp his master's cipher ready stand :
The vocal grove, now fretting o'er a rock, Others th' unwilling wether drag along ;
Now scarcely moving through a reedy pool, And, glorying in his might, the sturdy boy
Now starting to a sudden stream, and now
Gently diffus’d into a limpid plain;
Rural confusion ! On the grassy bank
Half in the flood, and often bending sip What dumb-complaining innocence appears ! The circling surface. In the middle droops Fear not, ye gentle tribes, 'tis not the knife
The strong laborious ox, with honest front, Or horrid slaughter that is o'er you wav'd;
Which incompos'd he shakes; and from his sides No, 'tis the tender swain's well-guided shears, The tronblous insects lashes with his tail,