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Each to his home, retire ; save those that love
Wide o'er the brim, with many a torrent swelld,
Nature! great parent! whose unceasing hand
When from the pallid sky the sun descends,
And hurls the whole precipitated air
Nor less at hand the loosen'd tempest reigns :
Huge uproar lords it wide. The clouds commix'd.
As yet 'tis midnight deep. The weary clouds,
Where now, ye lying vanities of lite !
Father of light and life! thou Good Supreme !
The keener tempests rise : and fuming dun
Heavy they roll their fleecy world along;
A dire descent! beyond the power of frost :
What water, of the still unfrozen spring,
Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils. Put on their winter-robe of purest white.
These check his fearful steps; and down he sinks 'Tis brightness all ! save where the new snow melts
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift, Along the mazy current. Low, the woods
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death, Bow their hoar head; and, ere the languid sun
Mix'd with the tender anguish Nature shoots Faint from the west emits his evening ray,
Through the wrung bosom of the dying man, Earth's universal face, deep hid and chill,
His wife, his children, and his friends unseen. Is one wide dazzling waste, that buries wide
In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The tire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire,
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve The red-breast, sacred to the household gods,
The deadly Winter seizes ; shuts up sense; Wisely regardful of th' embroiling sky,
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold, In joyless fields, and thorny thickets, leaves
Lays him along the snows, a stiffen'd corse! His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man
Stretch'd ont, and bleaching in the northern blast. His annual visit. Half afraid, he first
Ah! little think the gay licentious proud, Against the window beats; then, brisk, alights Whom pleasure, power, and affluence surround; On the warm hearth; then hopping o'er the floor,
They, who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth, Eyes all the smiling family askance,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste? And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is :
Ah ! little think they, while they dance along, Till, more familiar grown, the table crumbs
How many feel, this very moment, death,
And all the sad variety of pain.
Or more devouring flame. How many bleed,
By shameful variance betwixt man and man. And more unpitying men, the garden seeks,
How many pine in want, and dungeon glooms ;
Of misery. Sore pierc'd by wintry winds, ,
Of cheerless poverty. How many shake
Whence tumbled headlong from the height of life, Sweeps up the burden of whole wintry plains
They furnish matter for the tragic Muse. At one wide waft, and o’er the helpless flocks,
Ev'en in the vale where Wisdom loves to dwell, Hid in the hollow of two neighbouring hills,
With friendship, peace, and contemplation join'd, The billowy tempest whelms; till, upward urg'd,
How many, rack'd wish honest passions, droop The valley to a shining mountain swells,
In deep-retir'd distress. How many stand
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends,
And point the parting anguish. Thought fond man All Winter drives along the darken'd air ;
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills, In his own loose revolving fields, the swain
That one incessant struggle render life, Disaster'd stands : sees other hills ascend,
One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate, Of unknown joyless brow; and other scenes,
Vice in his high career would stand appallid, Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain :
And heedless rambling Impulse learn to think; Nor finds the river, nor the forest, hid
The conscious heart of Charity wonld warm, Beneath the formless wild; but wanders on
And her wide wish Benevolence dilate; From hill to dale, still more and more astray; The social tear would rise, the social sigh ; Impatient flouncing through the drifted heaps, And into clear perfection, gradual bliss, Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts of Refining still, the social passions work. home
And here can I forget the generous band,* Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth
Who, touch'd with human woe, redressive search'd In many a vain attempt. How sinks bis soul!
Into the horrors of the gloomy jail? What black despair, what horror fills his heart !
Unpitied, and unheard, where misery moans ; When for the dusky spot, which Fancy feign'd
Where sickness pines, where thirst and hunger burn, His tufted cottage rising through the snow,
And poor misfortune feels the lash of vice. He meets the roughness of the middle waste,
While in the land of liberty, the land Far from the track, and blest abode of man;
Whose every street and public meeting glow While round him night resistless closes fast,
With open freedom, little tyrants rag'd; And every tempest howling o'er his head,
Snatch'd the lean morsel from the stårving mouth ; Renders the savage wilderness more wild.
Tore from cold wintry limbs the tatter'd weed ;
* The Jail Committee, in the year 1729.
Thy willing victim,* Carthage, bursting loose In higher order; fitted and impelld
By Wisdom's finest hand, and issuing all
In general good. The sage historic Muse
Shew us how empire grew, declin'd, and fell,
In scatter'd states ; what makes the nations smile, ' And, warm in youth, to the poetic shade
Improves their soil, and gives them double sans ; With friendship and philosophy retir'd.
And why they pine beneath the brightest skies, Tully, whose powerful eloquence awhile
In Nature's richest lap. As thus we talk'd, Restrain’d the rapid fate of rushing Rome.
Our hearts would burn within us, would inhale Unconquer'd Cato, virtuous in extreme :
That portion of divinity, that ray And thou, unhappy Brutus, kind of heart,
Of purest heaven, which lights the public soul Whose steady arm, by awful virtue urg'd,
Of patriots and of heroes. But if doom'd, Lifted the Roman steel against thy friend.
In powerless humble fortune to repress
These ardent risings of the kindling soul ;
Behold, who yonder comes ! in sober state, Thro' shades and plains, along the smoothest stream
Of rural life; or snatch'd away by hope, 'Tis Phæbus' self, or else the Mantuan swain ! Through the dim spaces of futurity, Great Homer too appears, of daring wing,
With earnest eye anticipate those scenes Parent of song; and equal, by his side,
Of happiness and wonder; where the mind,
Rises from state to state, and world to world.
Of frolic fancy; and incessant form
Of fleet ideas, never join'd before,
Whence lively Wit excites to gay surprise; And mount my soaring soul to thoughts like yours. Or folly-painting Humour, grave himself, Silence, thou lonely power ! the door be thine ;
Calls Laughter forth, deep-shaking every nerve. See on the hallow'd hour that none intrude,
Meantime the village rouses up the fire; Save a few chosen friends, who sometimes deign
While well attested, and as well believ'd, To bless my humble roof, with sensė refin'd,
Heard solemn, goes the goblin story round; Learning digested well, exalted faith,
Till superstitious horror creeps o'er all. Unstudied wit, and humour ever gay.
Or, frequent in the sounding hall, they wake Or from the Muses' hill will Pope descend,
The rural gambol. Rustic mirth goes round ; To raise the sacred hour, to bid it smile,
The simple joke that takes the shepherd's heart, And with the social spirit warm the heart ?
Easily pleas’d; the long loud laugh, sincere ; For though not sweeter his own Homer sings,
The kiss, snatch'd hasty from the sidelong maid, Yet in his life the more endearing song.
On purpose guardless, or pretending sleep:
Of native music, the respondent dance.
The city swarms intense. The public haunt,
Full of each theme, and warm with mix'd discourse, Why wert thou ravish'd from our hopes so soon!
Hums indistinct. The sons of riot flow What now avails that noble thirst of fame,
Down the loose stream of false enchanted joy Which stung thy fervent breast ! that treasur'd store
To swift destruction. On the rankled soul Of knowledge, early gain'd ? that eager zeal
The gaming fury falls; and in one gulf To serve thy country, glowing in the band
Of total ruin, honour, virtue, peace, Of youthful patriots, who sustain her name?
Friends, families, and fortune, headlong sink. What now, alas ! that life-diffusing charm
Up springs the dance along the lighted dome, Of sprightly wit ? that rapture for the Muse,
Mix'd, and evolv'd, a thousand sprightly ways.
Thus in some deep retirement would I pass While, a gay insect in his summer-shine,
Dread o'er the scene the ghost of Hamlet stalks ;
Terror alarms the breast; the comely tear
Steals o'er the cheek : or else the comic Muse
Sometimes she lifts her strain, and paints the scenes
Of beauteous life; whate'er can deck mankind, Then would we try to scan the moral world, Or charm the heart, in generous Bevil * shew'd. Which, though to us it seems embroild, moves on
A character in The Conscions Lovers, written by Sir * Regulus.
O thou, whose wisdom, solid yet refin'd,
A crystal pavement, by the breath of Heaven Whose patriot virtues, and consummate skill
Cemented firm ; till seiz'd from shore to shore, To touch the finer springs that move the world, The whole imprison'd river growls below. Join'd to whate'er the Graces can bestow,
Loud rings the frozen earth, and hard reflects And all Apollo's animating fire,
A double noise ; while, at his evening watch, Give thee, with pleasing dignity, to shine
The village-dog deters the nightly thief : At once the guardian, ornament, and joy,
The heifer lows; the distant water-fall Of polish'd life : permit the rural Muse,
Swells in the breeze; and with the'hasty tread O Chesterfield, to grace with thee her song!
Of traveller, the hollow-sounding plain Ere tu the shades again she humbly flies,
Shakes from afar. The full ethereal round, Indulge her fond ambition, in thy train,
Infinite worlds disclosing to the view, (For every Muse has in thy train a place)
Shines out intensely keen; and all one cope To mark thy various fall accomplish'd mind : Of starry glitter glows from pole to pole. To mark that spirit, which with British scorn From pole to pole the rigid influence falls, Rejects th’ allurements of corrupted power ;
Through the still night, incessant, heavy, strong, That elegant politeness, which excels,
And seizes nature fast. It freezes on; Even in the judgement of presumptuous France,
Till morn, late rising o'er the drooping world, The boasted manners of her shining court;
Lifts her pale eye unjoyons. Then appears That wit, the vivid energy of sense,
The various labour of the silent night : The truth of Nature, which, with Attic point,
Prone from the dripping eave, and dumb cascade, And kind well-temper'd satire, smoothly keen,
Whose idle torrents only seem to roar, Steals through the soul, and without pain corrects.
The pendent icicle; the frost-work fairy Or, rising thence with yet a brighter flame,
Where transient hues, and fancied figures rise; : O let me hail thee on some glorious day,
Wide-spouted o'er the hill, the frozen brook, When to the listening senate, ardent, crowd
A livid tract, cold-gleaming on the morn; Britannia's sons to hear her pleaded cause.
The forest bent beneath the plamy wave; Then dress'd by thee, more amiably fair,
And, by the frost refin’d, the whiter snow, Truth the soft robe of mild persuasion wears :
Incrusted hard, and sounding to the tread
Of early shepherd, as he pensive seeks
Pleas'd with the slippery surface, swift descends. ; And ev’n reluctant party feels awhile
On blithsome frolics bent, the youthful swains, Thy gracious power : as through the varied maze While every work of man is laid at rest, Of eloquence, now smooth, now quick, now strong,
Fond o'er the river crowd in various sport Profound and clear, you roll the copious flood.
And revelry dissolv'd; where mixing glad, To thy lov'd haunt return, my happy Muse : Happiest of all the train ! the raptur'd boy For, now, behold, the joyous winter days,
Lashes the whirling top. Or, where the Rhine Frosty, succeed; and through the blue serene,
Branch'd out in many a long canal extends, Por sight too fine, the ethereal nitre flies;
From every province swarming, void of care, Killing infectious damps, and the spent air
Batavia rushes forth; and as they sweep, Storing afresh with elemental life.
On sounding skates, a thousand different ways, Close crowds the shining atmosphere; and binds In circling poise, swift as the winds, along, Our strengthen'd bodies in its cold embrace,
The then gay land is maddened all to joy. Constringent; feeds, and animates our blood :
Nor less the northern courts, wide o'er the snow, Refines our spirits, through the new-strung nerves,
Pour a new pomp.
Eager, on rapid sleds, In swifter sallies darting to the brain ;
Their vigorous youth in bold contention wheel Where sits the soul intense, collected, cool,
The long-resounding course. Meantime, to raise Bright as the skies, and as the season keen.
The manly strife, with highly blooming charms, Al Nature feels the renovating force
Flush'd by the season, Scandinavia's dames, Of Winter, only to the thoughtless eye
Or Russia's buxom daughters, glow around. In min seen. The frost-concocted glebe
Pure, quick, and sportful, is the wholesome day; Draws in abundant vegetable soul,
But soon elaps'd. The horizontal sun, And gathers vigour for the coming year.
Broad o'er the south, hangs at his utmost noon: , A stronger glow sits on the lively cheek
And, ineffecual, strikes the gelid cliff: Of ruddy fire: and luculent along
His azure gloss the mountain still maintains, The purer rivers flow; their sullen deeps,
Nor feels the feeble touch. Perhaps the vale! Transparent, open to the shepherd's gaze,
Relents awhile to the reflected ray ; And murmur hoarser at the fixing frost.
Or from the forest falls the cluster'd snow, What art thou, frost ? and whence are thy keen stores Myriads of gems, that in the waving gleam Deriv'd, thou secret all-invading power,
Gay-twinkle as they scatter. Thick around, Whom even th' illusive fluid cannot fly?
Thunders the sport of those, who with the gun, Is not thy potent energy unseen,
And dog impatient bounding at the shot, Myriads of little salts, or hook'd, or shap'd
Worse than the season, desolate the fields ; Like double wedges, and diffus'd immense
And, adding to the ruins of the year, Through water, earth, and ether? Hence at eve, Distress the footed or the feather'd game. Steam'd eager from the red horizon round,
But what is this? Our infant Winter sinks, With the fierce rage of Winter deep suffus’d,
Divested of his grandeur, should our eye An icy gale, oft shifting, o'er the pool
Astonish'd shoot into the frigid zone; Breathes a blue film, and in its mid career
Where, for relentless months, continual Night Arrests the bickering stream. The loosen'd ice, Holds o'er the glittering waste her starry reign. Let down the flood, and half dissolv'd by day,
There, through the prison of unbounded wilds, Rastles no more ; but to the sedgy bank
Barr'd by the hand of Nature from escape, Fast grows, or gathers round the pointed stone, Wide roams the Russian exile. Nought around