Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

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,
And still, false-warbling in his cheated ear,
Her siren voice, enchanting, draws him on

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,
Chill the warm cheek, and blast the bloom of life! Corroding every thought, and blasting all
Neglected fortune ilies; and sliding swift,

Love's paradise. Ye fairy prospects, then,
Prone into ruin, fall his scorn'd affairs.

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,
Peeps through the chambers of the fleecy east,
Enlightened by degrees, and in her train

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,
Who in each other clasp wbatever fair

Ease, and alternate labour, useful life,
High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish; Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven,
Something than beauty dearer, should they look These are the matchless joys of virtuous love;
Or on the mind, or mind-illumin'd face ;

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 :
And mingles both their graces. By degrees, Till evening comes at last, serene and mild ;
The human blossom blows; and every day,

When, after the long vernal day of life,
Soft as it rolls along, shews some new charm, Enamour'd more, as more remembrance swells
The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom.

With many a proof of recollected love,
Then infant reason grows apace, and calls

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,

SUMMER.

ARGUMENT.

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,
Child of the Sun, refulgent Summer comes,
In pride of youth, and felt through Nature's depth :
He comes attended by the sultry hours,
And ever-fanning breezes on his way ;
While, from his ardent look, the turning Spring
Averts his blushful face, and earth and skies,
All-smiling to his hot dominion leaves.

Hence let me haste into the mid-wood shade,
Where scarce a sun-beam wanders through the gloom:
And on the dark-green grass, beside the brink
Of haunted stream, that by the roots of oak
Rolls o'er the rocky channel, lie at large,
And sing the glories of the cireling year.
Come, Inspiration! from thy hermit-seat
By mortal seldom found : may Faney dare
From thy fix'd serious eye, and raptur'd glance
Shot on surrounding heaven, to steal one look
Creative of the Poet, every power
Exalting to an ecstacy of soul.

And thou, my youthful Muse's early friend,
In whom the human graces all unite :
Pure light of mind, and tenderness of heart;
Genius and wisdom; the gay social sense,
By decency chastis'd; goodness and wit,
la seldom meeting harmony combin'd ;

Unblemish'd honour, and an active zeal
For Britain's glory, Liberty and Man:
O Dodington ! attend my rural song,
Stoop to my theme, inspirit ev'ry line,
And teach me to deserve thy just applause.

With what an awful world-revolving pow'r
Were first the unwieldy planets launch'd along
Th' illimitable void ! thus to remain,
Amid the flux of many thousand years,
That oft has swept the toiling race of men,
And all their labour'd monuments, away,
Firm, unremitting, matchless in their course ;
To the kind-temper'd change of night and day,
And of the seasons ever stealing round,
Minutely faithful : such th' all-perfect Hand !
That pois’d, impels, and rules the steady whole.

When now no more th' alternate Twins are fir'd,
And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze,
Short is the doubtful empire of the night;
And soon observant of approaching day,
The meek-ey'd Morn appears, mother of dews,
At first faint-gleaming in the dappled east;
Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow;
And, from before the lustre of her face,
White break the clouds away. With quickend step,
Brown Night, retires : young Day pours in apace,

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

And opens all the lawny prospects wide.
The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top,
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn.
Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents shine :
And from the bladed field the fearful hare
Limps, awkward : while along the forest glade
The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early passenger. Music awakes
The native voice of undissembled joy ;
And thick around the woodland hymns arise.
Rous'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves
His mossy cottage, where with peace he dwells ;
And from the crowded fold, in order drives
His flock to taste the verdure of the morn.

Falsely luxurious, will not man awake,
And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour,
To meditation due and sacred song!
For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise?
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life :
Total extinction of th' enlighten'd soul !

Or else to fev'rish vanity alive,
Wilder'd, and tossing through distemper'd dreams !
Who would in such a gloomy state remain
Longer than Nature craves ; when every muse
And every blooming pleasure wait without,
To bless the wildly-devious morning walk?

But yonder comes the powerful King of Day,
Rejoicing in the east. The lessening cloud,
The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow,
Illum'd with fluid gold, his near approach
Betoken glad. Lo! now, apparent all,
Aslant the dew-bright earth, and colour'd air,
He looks in boundless majesty abroad;
And sheds the shining day, that burnish'd plays
On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering streams
High-gleaming from afar. Prime cheerer Light!
Of all material beings first, and best!
Efnux divine! Nature's resplendent robe !
Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt
In unessential gloom; and thou, 0 Sun
Soul of surrounding worlds! in whom best seen
Shines out thy Maker! may I sing of thee?

'Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force,
As with a chain indissoluble bound,
Thy system rolls entire ; from the far bourn
Of utmost Saturn, wheeling wide his round
Of thirty years : to Mercury, whose disk
Can scarce be caught by philosophic eye,
Lost in the near effulgence of thy blaze.

Informer of the planetary train !
Without whose quick’ning glance their cümbrous orbs
Were brute unlovely mass, inert and dead,
And not, as now, the green abodes of life!
How many forms of beings wait on thee;
Inhaling spirit; from the unfetter'd mind,
By thee sublim'd, down to the daily race,
The mixing myriads of thy setting beam.

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,
Herbs, flowers, and fruits ; till, kindling at thy touch,
From land to land is flush'd the vernal year.

Nor to the surface of enliven'd earth,
Graceful with hills and dales, and leafy woods,
Her liberal tresses, is thy force confin'd;
But, to the bowell'd cavern darting deep,
The mineral kinds confess thy mighty power.
Effulgent, hence, the veiny marble shines;
Hence Labour draws his tools, hence burnish'd War
Gleams on the day : the nobler works of Peace
Hence bless mankind, and generous Commerce binds
The round of nations in a golden chain.

The unfruitful rock itself, impregn'd by thee,
In dark retirement forms the lucid stone.
The lively Diamond drinks thy purest rays,
Collected light, compact; that, polish'd bright,
And all its native lustre let abroad,
Dares, as it sparkles on the fair one's breast,
With vain ambition emulate her eyes.
At thee the Ruby lights its deepening glow,
And with a waving radiance inward flames ;
From thee the Sapphire, solid ether, takes
Its hue cerulean; and of evening tinct,
The purple-streaming Amethyst is thine.
With thy own smile the yellow Topaz burns ;
Nor deeper verdure dyes the robes of Spring,
When first she gives it to the southern gale,
Than the green Emerald shews. But all combin'd
Thick through the whitening Opal play thy beams;
Or, flying several from its surface, form
A trembling variance of revolving hues,
As the site varies in the gazer's hand.

The very dead creation, from thy touch
Assames a mimic life. By thee refin'd,
In brighter mazes the reluctant stream
Plays o'er the mead. The precipice abrupt,
Projecting horror on the blacken'd flood,
Softens at thy return. The desert joys
Wildly through all his melancholy bounds,
Rude ruins glitter ; and the briny deep,
Seen from some pointed promontory's top,
Far to the blue horizon's utmost verge,
Restless reflects a floating gleam. But this,
And all the much-transported Muse can sing,
Are to thy beauty, dignity, and use,
Unequal far : great delegated source
Of light, and life, and grace, and joy below!)

How shall I then attempt to sing of Him
Who, Light Himself, in uncreated light
Invested deep, dwells awfully retir'd
From mortal eye, or angel's purer ken ?
Whose single smile has, from the first of time,
Fill'd overflowing, all those lamps of heaven,
That beam for ever through the boundless sky :
But, should he hide his face, the astonish'd sun,
And all the extinguish'd stars, would loos’ning reel
Wide from their spheres, and Chaos come again.

And yet was every faultering tongue of Man,
Almighty Father ! silent in thy praise,
Thy works themselves would raise a general voice;
Even in the depths of solitary woods,
By human foot untrod, proclaim thy power,
And to the quire celestial Thee resound,
The eternal cause, support, and end of all !

To me be Nature's volume broad display'd;
And to peruse its all-instructing page,
Or, haply catching inspiration thence,
Some easy passage, raptur'd, to translate,
My sole delight; as through the falling glooms
Pensive I stray, or with the rising dawn
On Fancy's eagle wing excursive soar.

Now, flaming up the heavens, the potent sun
Melts into limpid air, the high-rais'd clouds,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

And morning fogs, that hover'd round the hills
In party colour'd bands ; till wide unveild
The face of Nature shines, from where earth seems,
Far-stretch'd around, to meet the bending sphere.

Half in a blush of elustering roses lost,
Dew-dropping Coolness to the shade retires;
There, on the verdant turf, or flowery bed,
By gelid founts and careless rills to muse;
While tyrant Heat, dispreading through the sky,
With rapid sway, his burning influence darts
On man, and beast, and herb, and tepid stream.

Who can unpitying see the flow'ry race,
Shed by the morn, their new-flush'd bloom resign,
Before the parching beam ? So fade the fair,
When fevers revel through their azure veins.
But one, the lofty follower of the sun,
Sad when he sets, shuts up her yellow leaves,
Drooping all night: and, when he warm returns,
Points her enamour'd bosom to his ray.

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
Come wing'd abroad; by the light air upborne,
Lighter, and full of soul. From every chink,
And secret corner, where they slept away
The wintry storms; or rising from their tombs,
To higher life ; by myriads, forth at once,
Swarming they pour ; of all the vary'd hues
Their beauty-beaming parent can disclose.
Ten thousand forms ! ten thousand different tribes
People the blaze. To sunny waters some
By fatal instinct fly; where on the pool
They, sportive, wheel; or sailing down the stream,
Are snatch'd immediate by the quick-ey'd trout,
Or darting salmon. Through the green-wood glade
Some love to stray; there lodg’d, amusd, and fed
In the fresh leaf, Luxurious, others make
The meads their choice, and visit ev'ry flow'r,
And ev'ry latent herb: for the sweet task,
To propagate their kinds, and where to wrap,
In what soft beds, their young yet undisclos'd,
Employs their tender care. Some to the house,
The fold, the dairy, hungry, bend their flight ;
Sip round the pail, or taste the curdling cheese :
Oft, inadvertent, from the milky stream
They meet their fate ; or weltering in the bowl,
With powerless wings around them wrapt, expire.

But chief to heedless flies the window proves
A constant death ; where gloompily retir’d,
The villain spider lives, cunning and fierce,
Mixture abhorr'd! Amid a mangled heap
Of carcasses, in eager watch he sits,
O'erlooking all his waving snares around.
Near the dire cell the dreadless wanderer oft

Passes ; as oft the ruffian shews his front.
The prey at last ensnar'd, he dreadful darts,
With rapid glide, along the leaning line;
And, fixing in the wretch his cruel fangs,
Strikes backward grimly pleas'd : the flutt'ring wing
And shriller sound declare extreme distress,
And ask the helping hospitable hand.

Resounds the living surface of the ground :
Nor undelightful is the ceaseless hum,
To him who muses through the wood at noon :
Or drowsy shepherd as he lies reclin'd,
With half-shut eyes, beneath the floating shade
Of willows grey, close-crowding o'er the brook.

Gradual, from these what num'rous kinds descend,
Evading e'en the microscopic eye!
Full Nature swarms with life: one wondrous mass
Of animals, or atoms organiz'd
Waiting the vital breath, when Parent Heaven
Shall bid his spirit blow. The hoary fen,
In putrid streams, emits the living cloud
Of pestilence. Through subterranean cells,
Where searching sun-beams scarce can find a way,
Earth animated heaves. The flowery leaf
Wants not its soft inhabitants. Secure
Within its winding citadel the stone
Holds multitudes. But chief the forest boughs,
That dance unnumber'd to the playful breeze,
The downy orchard, and the melting pulp
Of mellow froit, the nameless nations feed
Of evanescent insects. Where the pool
Stands mantled o'er with green, invisible
Amid the floating verdure, millions stray.
Each liquid too, whether it pierces, soothes,
Inflames, refreshes, or exalts the taste,
With various forms abounds. Nor is the stream
Of purest crystal, nor the lucid air,
Though one transparent vacancy it seems,
Void of their unseen people. These conceal'd
By the kind art of forming Heaven, escape
The grosser eye of man : for, if the worlds
In worlds enclos'd should on his senses burst,
From cates ambrosial, and the nectar'd bowl,
He would abhorrent turn; and in dead night,
When silence sleeps o'er all, be stunn'd with noise.

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,

D

[ocr errors]

An idle summer-life in fortune's shine,

Who having now, to pay his annual care,
A season's glitter ! Thus they flutter on 47 Borrow'd your fleece, to you a cumb'rous load,
From toy to toy, from vanity to vice;

Will send you bounding to your hills again.
Till, blown away by death, oblivion comes

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,
Her kindled graces burning o'er her cheek.

Impending hangs o'er Gallia's humbled coast :
Even stooping age is here ; and infant hands Hence rules the cireling deep, and awes the world.
Trail the long rake, or with the fragrant load

'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
Advancing broad, or wheeling round the field, Can sweep, a dazzling deluge reigns; and all
They spread their breathing harvest to the sun, From pole to pole is undistinguish'd blaze.
That throws refreshful round a rural smell :

In vain the sight, dejected to the ground,
Or, as they rake the green-appearing ground, and Stoops for relief : thence hot-ascending streams
And drive the dusky wave along the mead, And keen reflection pain. Deep to the root
The russet haycock rises thick behind,

Of vegetation parch'd, the cleaving fields
In order gay. While heard from dale to dale, And slippery lawn an arid hue disclose,
Waking the breeze, resounds the blended voice Blast fancy's bloom, and whither e'en the soul.
Of happy labour, love, and social glee.

Echo no more returns the cheerful sound
Or rushing thence, in one diffusive band,

Of sharpening scythe; the mower, sinking, heaps
They drive the troubled flocks, by many a dog O’er him the humid hay, with flow'rs perfum'd:
Compelld, to where the many-running brook it! And scarce a chirping grasshopper is heard
Forms the deep pool ; this bank abrupt and high, Through the dumb mead. Distressful Nature pants.
And that fair spreading in a pebbled shore.

The very streams look languid from afar;
Urg'd to the giddy brink, much is the toil,

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.
Ere the soft fearful people to the food

All-conquering Heat, oh intermit thy wrath
Commit their woolly sides. And oft the swain, And on my throbbing temples potent thus
On some impatient seizing, hurls them in :

Beam not so fierce! Incessant still you flow,
Embolden’d then, nor hesitating more,

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 panting labour to the farthest shore:

And restless turn, and look around for night;
Repeated this, till deep the well-wash'd fleece Night is far off; and hotter hours approach.
Has drunk the flood, and from his lively haunt Thrice happy he! who on the sunless side
The trout is banish'd by the sordid stream:

Of a romantic mountain, forest-crown'd,
Heavy, and dripping, to the breezy brow

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,
At last, of snowy white, the gather'd flocks

And every passion aptly harmoniz?d,
Are in the wattled pen innumerous press’d, Amid a jarring world with vice inflam'd.
Head above head : and rang'd in lusty rows,

Welcome, ye shades! Ye bowery thickets, hail!
The shepherds sit, and whet the sounding shears.

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,
Shines o'er the rest, the pastoral queen, and rays

Or stream full-flowing, that his swelling sides
Her smiles, sweet-beaming, on her shepherd king; Laves, as he floats along the herbay'd brink.
While the glad circle round them yield their souls Cool thro' the nerves your pleasing comfort glides;
To festive mirth, and wit that knows no gall.

The heart beats glad ; the fresh-expanded eye
Meantime their joyous task goes on apace:

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
Holds by the twisted horns th' indignant ram.

Gently diffus’d into a limpid plain;
Behold, where bound, and of his robe bereft A various group the herds and flocks compose;
By needy man, that all-depending lord,

Rural confusion ! On the grassy bank
How meek, how patient the mild creature lies! Some ruminating lie; while others stand
What softness in its melancholy face,

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,

[graphic]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »