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Mad into tumult the seditious herd,
When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world, 1320
1330 A friend, a book, the stealing hours secure, And mark them down for wisdom. With swift wing, O'er land and sea imagination roams; Or truth, divinely breaking on his mind, Elates his being, and unfolds his powers;
1335 Or in his breast heroic virtue burns. The touch of kindred too and love he feels; The modest eye, whose beams on his alone Bestatic shine; the little strong embrace Of prattling children, twin'd around his neck, 1340 And emulous to please him, calling forth The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay, Amusement, dance, or song he sternly scorns; For happiness and true philosophy Are of the social still, and smiling kind.
1345 This is the life which those who fret in guilt, And guilty cities, never knew; the life, Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt, When angels dwelt, and God himself, with Man! Oh Nature! all-sufficient! over all!
1350 Enrich me with the knowledge of thy works!
Snatch me to heaven; thy rolling wonders there,
blind way: the mineral strata there;
1365 In sluggish streams about my heart, forbid That best ambition; under closing shades, Inglorious, lay me by the lowly brook, And whisper to my dreams. From Thee begin, Dwell all on Thee, with Thee conclude my song ; And let me never, never stray from Thee! 1371
The subject proposed. --Address to the Earl of Wilmington. First
approach of Winter--According to the natural course of the season, various storms described.-Rain.--Wind.-Snow. The driving of the snows.-A man perishing among them; whence reflections on the wants and miseries of human life. The wolves descending from the Alps and Appennines.-A winter-evening described: as spent by philosophers; by the country people; in the city.-Frost.—A view of Winter within the polar circle.-A thaw.—The whole concluding with moral reflections on a future state,
See, WINTER comes, to rule the varied year,
Or seen the deep fermenting tempest brew'd,
15 Look'd out the joyous Spring, look'd out and smild.
To thee, the patron of her first essay, The Muse, O Wilmington! renews her song. Since has she rounded the revolving year: Skimm'd the gay Spring; on eagle-pinions borne, 20 Attempted thro’ the Summer-blaze to rise; Then swept o’er Autumn with the shadowy gale; And now among the wintry clouds again, Roll'd in the doubling storm, she tries to soar; To swell her note with all the rushing winds;
25 To suit her sounding cadence to the floods ; As is her theme, her numbers wildly great: Thrice happy! could she fill thy judging ear With bold description, and with manly thought. Nor art thou skill'd in awful schemes alone, 30 And how to make a mighty people thrive: But equal goodness, sound integrity, A firin unshaken uncorrupted soul Amid a sliding age, and burning strong, Not vainly blazing for thy country's weal,
35 A steady spirit regularly free; These, each exalting each, the statesman light Into the patriot; these, the public hope And eye to thee converting, bid the Muse Record what envy dares not flattery call.
40 Now when the cheerless empire of the sky Po Capricorn the Centaur Archer yields, And fierce Aquarius, stains th’inverted year; Hung p'er the fartbest verge of heaven, the sun