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Discriminated each from each, by strokes
And touches of his hand, with so much art
Diversified, that two were never found
Twins at all points-yet this obtains in all,
That all discern'a beauty in his works,
And all can taste them: minds that have been form’d
And tutor’d, with a relish more exact,
But none without some relish, none unmov'd.
It is a flame, that dies not even there,
Where nothing feeds it; neither business, crowds,
Nor habits of luxurious city-life,
Whatever else they smother of true worth
In human bosoms, quench it or abate.
The villas with which London stands begirt,
Like a swarth Indian with his belt of beads,
Prove it. A breath of unadult'rate air,
The glimpse of a green pasture, how they cheer
The citizen, and brace his languid frame !
E'en in the stilling bosom of the town
A garden, in which nothing thrives, has charms,
That sooth the rich possessor; much consolid,
That here and there some sprigs of mournful mint,
Of nightshade, or valerian, grace the well
He cultivates. These serve him with a hint,
That nature lives; that sight-refreshing green
Is still the liv'ry she delights to wear,
Though sickly samples of th' exub'rant whole.
What are the casements lin’d with creeping herbs,
The prouder sashes fronted with a range
Of orange, myrtle, or the fragrant weed,
The Frenchman's darling ?* are they not all proofs,
That man, immur'd in cities, still retains
His in-born, inextinguishable thirst
Of rural scenes, compensating his loss
By supplemental shifts, the best he may?
The most unfurnish'd with the means of life,
And they, that never pass their brick-wall bounds,
To range the fields, and treat their lungs with air,
Yet feel the burning instinct: over head
Suspend their crazy boxes, planted thick
And water'd duly. There the pitcher stands
A fragment, and the spoutless tea-pot there;
Sad witnesses how close-pent man regrets
The country, with what ardour he contrives
at Nature, when he can no more.
Hail, therefore, patroness of health and ease,
And contemplation, heart-consoling joys,
And harmless pleasures, in the throng d abode
Of multitudes unknown; hail, rural life !
Address himself who will to the pursuit
Of honours, or emolument, or fame;
I shall not add myself to such a chase,
Thwart his attempts, or envy
Some must be great. Great offices will have
Great talents. And God gives to ev'ry man
The virtue, temper, understanding, taste,
That lifts him into life, and lets him fall
Just in the niche he was ordain'd to fill.
To the deliv'rer of an injur'd land
He gives a tongue ť enlarge upon, a heart
To feel, and courage to redress her wrongs;
To monarchs dignity ; to judges sense;
To artists ingenuity and skill;
To me, an unambitious mind, content
In the low vale of life, that early felt
A wish for ease and leisure, and ere long
Found here that leisure, and that ease I wish’d.
ARGUMENT OF THE FIFTH BOOK.
A frosty morning.--The foddering of cattle.---The woodman and his dog.
--The poultry --Whimsical effects of frost at a waterfall.---The Empress of Russia's palace of ice.---Amusements of monarchs.---War, one of them.---Wars, whence.---And whence monarchy.--The evils of it.---English and French loyalty contrasted.---The Bastile, and a prisoner there.---Liberty the chief recommendation of this country.---Modern patriotism questionable, and why.---The perishable nature of the best human institutions.---Spiritual liberty not perishable.---The slavish state of man by nature.--Deliver him, Deist, if you can.-Grace must do it.---The respective merits of patriots and martyrs stated.--- Their different treatment.--Happy freedom of the man whom grace makes free. His relish of the works of God.--- Address to the Creator,
'Tis morning; and the sun, with ruddy orb
Ascending, fires th' horizon; while the clouds,
That crowd away before the driving wind,
More ardent as the disk emerges more,
Resemble most some city in a blaze,
Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray
Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale,
And, tinging all with his own rosy hue,
From ev'ry herb, and ev'ry spiry blade
Stretches a length of shadow o'er the field.