Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mad into tumult the seditious herd,
Or melt them down to slavery. Let these
Inspare the wretched in the toils of law,

1290
Fomenting discord, and perplexing right,
An iron race! and those of fairer front,
But equal inhumanity, in courts,
Delusive pomp, and dark cabals, delight;
Wreath the deep brow, diffuse the lying smile, 1295
And tread the weary labyrinth of state.
While he, from all the stormy passions free
That restless Men involve, hears, and but hears,
At distance safe, the human tempest roar,
Wrapt close in conscious peace. The fall of kings,
The rage of nations, and the crush of states, 1301
Move not the Man, who, from the world escap'd,
In still retreats, and flowery solitudes,
To Nature's voice attends, from month to month,
And day to day, thro’ the revolving year; 1305
Admiring, sees her in her every shape;
Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart;
Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more.
He, when young Spring protrudes the bursting gems,
Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale 1310
Into his freshened soul; her genial hours
He full enjoys; and not a beauty blows,
And not an opening blossom breathes in vain.
In Summer he, beneath the living shade,
Such as o'er frigid Tempe wont to wave, 1315
Or Hemus cool, reads what the Muse, of these
Perhaps, has in immortal numbers sung;
Or what she dictates writes: and, oft an eye
Shot round, rejoices in the vigorous year.

When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world, 1320
And tempts the sickled swain into the field,
Seiz?d by the general joy, his heart distends
With gentle throes; and thro’ the tepid gleams
Deep musing, then he best exerts his song.
Even Winter wild to him is full of bliss.

1325
The mighty tempest, and the hoary, waste,
Abrupt, and deep, stretch'd o'er the buried earth,
Awake to solemn thought. At night the skies,
Disclas'd, and kindled, by refining frost,
Pour every lustre on th' exalted eye.

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,
World beyond world, in infinite extent,
Profusely scattered o'er the blue immense, 1354
Shew me; their motions, periods, and their laws,
Give me to scan; thro' the disclosing deep
Light my

blind way: the mineral strata there;
Thrust, blooming, thence the vegetable world;
O'er that the rising system, more complex,
Of animals; and higher still, the mind,

1360
Thé varied scene of quick compounded thought,
And where the mixing passions endless shift;
These ever open to my ravish'd eye;
A search, the flight of time can ne'er exhaust!
But if to that unequal ; if the blood,

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

WINTER

The ARGUMENT.

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,
Sullen and sad, with all his rising train;
Vapours, and Clouds, and Storms. Be thèse my theme.
These! that exalt the soul to solemn thought,
And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms! 5
Congenial horrors, hail! with frequent foot,
Pleas'd have I, in my cheerful morn of life,
When nurs’d by careless solitude I liv’d,
And sung of Nature with unceasing joy,
Pleas'd have I wander'd thro’your rough domain; 10.
Trod the pure virgin snows, myself as pure;
Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst;

Or seen the deep fermenting tempest brew'd,
In the grim evening sky. Thus pass'd the time,
Till thro’ the lucid chambers of the south

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

« PreviousContinue »