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Untimely Froft ; before whose baleful Blast,
The full-blown Spring thro' all her Foliage shrinks,
Into a smutty, wide-dejected Wafe.
For oft engender'd by the hazy North,
Myriads on Myriads, Insect-Armies waft
Keen in the poison'd breeze; and wasteful eat
Thro’ Buds, and Bark, even to the Heart of Oak
Their eager Way. A feeble Race ! scarce seen,
Save to the prying Eye; yet Famine waits
On their corrosive Course, and starves the Year.
Sometimes o'er Cities as they steer their Flight,
Where rising Vapour meits their Wings away,
Gaz’d by th’astonish'd Crowd, the horrid Shower
Descends. And hence the skilful Farmer Chaff
And blazing Straw before his Orchard burns,
Till all involv'd in Smoak the latent Foe
From every Cranny fuffocated fails ;
Or Onions steaming hot beneath his Trees
Exposes, fatal to the frosty Tribe :
Nor, from their friendly Task, the busy Bill
Of little trooping Birds instinctive scares.
THESE are not idle Philosophic Dreams ;
Full Nature fwarms with Life. Th' unfaithful Fen
In putrid Steams emits the living Cloud
Of Pestilence. Thro' fubterranean Cells,
Where searching Sun-Beams never found a Way,
Earth animated heavés. : The flowery Leaf
Wants not it's soft Inhabitants. The Stone,
Hard as it is, in every winding Pore
Holds Multitudes. But chief the Forest-Boughs,
Which dance unnumber'd to th' inspiring Breeze,
The downy Orchard, and the melting Pulp
Of mellow Fruit 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 of acid Taste,
Milky, or strong, with various Forms abounds.
Nor is the lucid Stream, nor the pure
Tho' one transparent Vacancy they feem,
Devoid of theirs. Even animals subfift
On Animals, in infinite Descent ;
And all fo fine adjusted, that the Lofo
Of the leaft Species would disturb the whole.
Stranger than this th' inspective Glass confirms,
And to the Curious gives th' amazing Scenes
Of less'ning Life; by Wisdom kindly hid
From Eye, and Ear of Man : for if at once
The Worlds in Worlds enclos'd were push'd to Light,
Seen by his sharpen’d Eye, and by his Ear
Intensely bended Heard, from the choice Cate,
The fresheft Viands, and the brighteft. Wines,
He'd turn abhorrent, and in Dead of Night,
When Silence sleeps o'er all, be tunn'd with Noife.
The North-East spends his Rage, and now shut
up Within his Iron Caves, th' effufive South
Warms the wide Air, and o'er the Void of Heaven
Breathes the big Clouds with vernal Showers distent.
At first a dusky Wreath they seem to rise,
Scarce staining Æther ; but by fast Degrees,
In Heaps on Heaps, the doubling Vapour fails
Along the loaded Sky, and mingling thick
Sits on th' Horizon round a settled Gloom.
Not such as wintry Storms on Mortals shed
Oppresling Life, but lovely, gentle, kind,
And full of every Hope, and every Joy,
The Wish of Nature. Gradual sinks the Breeze
Into a perfect Calm ; that not a Breath
Is heard to quiver thro' the closing Woods,
Or rustling turn the many-twinkling Leaves
Of Alpin tall. Th’uncurling Floods, diffus'd
In glaffy Breadth, seem thro' delusive Lapse
Forgetful of their Course. 'Tis Silence all,
And pleasing Expectation. Herds and Flocks
Drop the dry Sprig, and mute imploring eye
The falling Verdure. Hush'd in short Suspense
The plumy People streak their Wings with Oil,
And wait th' approaching Sign to strike at once
Into the general Choir. Ev'n Mountains, Vales,
And Forests seem expansive to demand
The promisd Sweetness. Man superior walks
Amid the glad Creation, mụsing Praise,
And looking lively Gratitude. At last
The Clouds consign their Treasures to the Fields,
And, softly shaking on the dimply Pool
Prelusive'Drops, let all their Moisture flow
In large Effufion o'er the freshen'd World.
'Tis scarce to patter heard, the itealing Shower,
By such as wander thro' the Forest-Walks,
Beneath th' umbrageous Multitude of Leaves.
But who would hold the Shade, while Heaven descends
In universal Bounty, shedding Herbs,
And Fruits, and Flowers, on Nature's ample Lap?
Imagination fir'd prevents their Growth,
And while the verdant Nutriment distills,
Beholds the kindling Country colour round.
Thus all Day long the full-distended Clouds
Indulge their genial Showers, and well-shower'd Earth
Is deep enrich'd with vegetable Life ;
Till, in the Western Sky, the downward Sun
Looks out illustrious from amid the Flush
Of broken Clouds, gay-shifting to his Beam.
The rapid Radiance instantaneous strikes
Th’ illumin'd Mountain, thro’ the Forest streams,
Shakes on the Floods, and in a yellow Mist,
Far-smoaking o'er th' interminable Plain,
In twinkling Myriads lights the dewy Gems.
Moist, bright, and green, the Landskip laughs around.
Full swell the Woods ; their every Mufick wakes,