Page images
PDF
EPUB

SUMMER.

The ARGUMENT.

The subject proposed.- Invocation.--Address to Mr. Dodington.-An

introductory reflection on the motion of the heavenly bodies; whence the succession of the Seasons.--As the face of Nature in this season is almost uniform, the progress of the Poem is the description of a summer's day.-The dawn.-Sun-rising.--Hymn to the sun.-Forenoon.-Summer insects described.--Hay-mak ng.-Sheep-sheering.-Noonday.-A woodland retreat.--Group of herds and flocks.-A solemn grove: how it affects a contemplative mind. --A cataract and rude scene.-- View of Summer in the torrid zone. -Storm of thunder and lightning.-A tale.--The storm over, a serene afternoon.--Bathing. Hour of walking.-Transition to the prospect of a rich well cultivated country; which introduces a panegyricon Great Britain.-Sun-set.---'vening.---Night.---Summer meteors. A comet. The whole concluding with the praise of philosophy.

5

From brightening fields of ether fair disclos’d,
Child of the sun, refulgent Summer comes,
In pride of youth, and felt thro’ Nature's depth !
He comes attended by the sultry Hours,
And ever-fanning Breezes, on his way;
While, from his ardent look, the turning Spring,
Averts her blushful face; and earth, and skies,
All-smiling, to his hot dominion leaves!
Hence, let me haste into the mid-wood shade,

20

the gay

Where scarce a sun-beam wanders thro’ the gloom;
And on the dark green grass, beside the brink 11
Of haunted stream that by the roots of oak
Rolls o’er the rocky channel, "lie at large,
And sing the glories of the circling year.

Come, Inspiration! from thy hermit-seat,
By mortal seldom found; may Fancy dare,
From thy fix'd serious eye, and raptur'd glance
Shot on surrounding Heaverf; to steal one look
Creative of the Poet, every power
Exalting to an ecstacy of soul

And thou, my youthful Muse's early friend,
In whom the human graces all unite:
Puis light of mind, and tenderness of heart;
Genius, and wisdom; social

sense, By decency chastis’d, goodness and wit,

25 lu seldom-meeting harmony combind.is Unblemish'd honour, and an active zeal For Britain's glory, Liberty, and Man. 0 Lodington! attend

my
rural

song,
Stoop to my theme, inspirit every line,
And teach me to deserve thy jusť applause.

With what an awful world-revolving power
Were first the unweildy planets launch'd along
Th’ illimitable void! Thus to remain,
Amid the flux of many thousand years,
That oft has swept the toiling race of Men,
And all their labour'd monuments away,
Firin unremitting, matchless, in their course;
To the kind temper'd change of night and day,
And of the seasons ever stealing round,

40 Minutely faithful: such tu’ALL-PERFECT Hand!

30

35

That pois’d, impels, and rules the steady Whole.

When now no more th’ alternate Twins are fir'd,
And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze,
Short is the doubtful empire of the night;

45
And soon observant of approaching day,
The meek-ey'd Morn'appears, mother of dews,
At first faint-gleaming in the dappled east :
Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow;
And, from before the lustre of her face,

50 White break the clouds away. With quickened step, Brown Night retires: young Day pours in apace, And

opens all the lawny prospect wide. The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn. 55 Blue thro' the dusk, the smoking currents shine; And from the bladed field the fearful hare Limps, awkward: while along the forest glade The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze At early passenger. Music awakes

60 The native voice of undissembled joy; And thick around the woodland hymns arise. Rous’d by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves "His mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells, And from the crowded fold, in order, drives 63 His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn.

Falsely luxurious, will not Man awake; And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour, To meditation due and sacred song?

70 For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise? To lie in dead oblivion, losing half The fleeting moments of too short a life;

Total extinction of th’enlightened soul!
Or else to feverish vanity alive,

15
Wildered, and tossing thro’ distemper'd dreams?
Who would in such a gloomy state remain
Longer than Nature craves; when every Muse
And every blooming pleasure wait without,
To bless the wildly-devious morning walk ? 80

But yonder comes the powerful King of Day, Rejoicing in the east! The lessening cloud, The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow Illum'd with fluid gold, his near approach Betoken glad. Lo; now, apparent all,

85
Aslant the dew-bright earth, and coloured air,
He looks in boundless majesty abroad;
And sheds the shining day that burnish'd plays
On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering streams,
High-gleaming from afar. Prime cheerer, Light! 90
Of all material beings first, and best !
Emux divine! Nature's resplendent robe !
Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt
In unessential gloom; and thou, O Sun!
Soul of surrounding worlds! in whom best seen 95
Shines out thy Maker! may I sing of thee?

”Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force,
As with a chain indissoluble bound
Thy System rolls entire: from the far bourne
Of utmost Saturn, wheeling wide his round
of thirty years; to Mercury, whose disk
Can scarce be caught by philosophic eye,
Lost in the near effulgence of thy blaze.
INFORMER of the planetary train!

104 Without whose quickening glance their cumbrous orbs

100

Were brute unlovely mass, inert and dead,
And not, as now, the green abodes of life!
How many forms of being wait on thee,
Inhaling spirit; from th’unfetter'd mind,
By thee sublim’d, down to the daily race, 110
The mixing myriads of thy setting beam,

The vegetable world is also thine,
Parent of Seasons! who the pomp precede
That waits thy throne, as thro’ thy vast domain,
Annual, along the bright ecliptic road,

115
In world-rejoicing state, it moves sublime.
Meantime th’expecting nations, circled gay
With all the various tribes of foodful earth,
Implore thy bounty, or send grateful up

119 A common hymn: while, round thy beaming car, High-seen, the Seasons lead in sprightly dance Harmonious knit, the rosy-finner'd Hours, The Zephyrs floating loose, the timely Rains, Of bloom ethereal the light-footed Dews, And softened into joy the surly Storms.

125 These in successive turn, with lavish hand, Show'r every beauty, every fragrance shower, Herbs, flowers, and fruits; till, kindling at thy touch, From land to land is flush'd the vernal year. Nor to the surface of enliven'd earth,

130 Graceful with hills and dales, and leafy woods, Her liberal tresses, is thy force confin’d: But, to the bowell d cavern darting deep, The mineral kinds confess thy mighty power. Effulgent, hence the veiny marble shines: 135 Hence Labour draws his tools; hence burnish'd War Gleams on the day; the nobler works of Peace

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »