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Begs a warm office, doom'd to a cold jail
And groat per diem, if his patron frown.
The levee swarms, as if in golden pomp
Were character'd on every statesman's door,
• Batter'd and bankrupt fortunes mended here.'
These are the charms that sully and eclipse
The charms of nature. 'Tis the cruel gripe,
That lean, hard-handed Poverty inflicts,
The hope of better things, the chance to win,
The wish to shine, the thirst to be amused,
That at the sound of winter's hoary wing
Unpeople all our counties of such herds
Of fluttering, loitering, cringing, begging, loose,
And wanton vagrants, as make London, vast
And boundless as it is, a crowded coop.

O thou, resort and mart of all the earth,
Checker'd with all complexions of mankind,
And spotted with all crimes; in whom I see
Much that I love, and more that I admire,
And all that I abhor; thou freckled fair,
That pleasest and yet shock’st me, I can laugh,
And I can weep, can hope, and can despond, .
Feel wrath and pity, when I think on thee!
Ten righteous would have saved a city once,
And thou hast many righteous.-Well for thee-
That salt preserves thee; more corrupted else,
And therefore more obnoxious, at this hour,
Than Sodom in her day had power to be,
For whom God heard his Abraham plead in vain.

THE TASK.

BOOK IV.

The Winter Evening,

The post comes in. The newspaper is read. The World

contemplated at a distance.---Address to Winter.--The rural amusements of a winter evening compared with the fashionable ones.--Address to evening.--A brown study.-Fall of snow in the evening. The waggoner.—A poor family piece.—The rural thief.—Public houses. The multitude of them censured. The farmer's daughter: what she was,- what she is.—The simplicity of country manners almost lost.- Causes of the change.- Desertion of the country by the rich.-Neglect of magistrates. The militia principally in fault.—The new recruit and his transformation.-Reflection on bodies corporate. The love of rural objects natural to all, and never to be totally extinguished.

HARK! 'tis the twanging horn o'er yonder bridge,
That with its wearisome but needful length
Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon
Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright;-
He comes, the herald of a noisy world, [locks;
With spatter'd boot, strapp'd waist, and frozen
News from all nations lumbering at his back.
True to his charge, the close pack'd load behind,
Yet careless what he brings, his one concern
Is to conduct it to the destined inn ;

And, having dropp'd the expected bag, pass on.
He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch,
Cold and yet cheerful; messenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to some;
To him indifferent whether grief or joy.
Houses in ashes, and the fall of stocks,
Births, deaths, and marriages, epistles wet
With tears, that trickled down the writer's cheeks
Fast as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charged with amorous sighs of absent swains,
Or nymphs responsive, equally affect
His horse and him, unconscious of them all.
But O‘the' important budget! usher'd in
With such heart-shaking music, who can say
What are its tidings? have our troops awaked ?
Or do they still, as if with opium drugg’d,
Snore to the murmurs of the Atlantic wave?
Is India free? and does she wear her plumed
And jeweld turban with a smile of peace,
Or do we grind her still? The grand debate,
The popular harangue, the tart reply,
The logic, and the wisdom, and the wit,
And the loud laugh-I long to know them all;
I burn to set the imprison'd wranglers free,
And give them voice and utterance once again.

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
Throws up a steamy. column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
Not such his evening, who with shining face
Sweats in the crowded theatre, and squeezed

And bored with elbow points through both his
Outscolds the ranting actor on the stage: [sides,
Nor his, who patient stands till his feet throb,
And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath
Of patriots, bursting with heroic rage, .
Or placemen, all tranquillity and smiles.
This folio of four pages, happy work!
Which not e'en critics criticise; that holds.
Inquisitive Attention, while I read,
Fast bound in chains of silence, which the fair,
Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break;
What is it, but a map of busy life,
Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns?
Here runs the mountainous and craggy ridge,
That tempts Ambition. On the summit see
The seals of office glitter in his eyes; [heels,
He climbs, he pants, he grasps them! At his
Close at his heels, a demagogue ascends,
And with a dexterous jerk soon twists him down,
And wins them, but to lose them in his turn.
Here rills of oily eloquence in soft
Meanders lubricate the course they take;
The modest speaker is ashamed and grieved
To'engross a moment's notice, and yet begs,
Begs a propitious ear for his poor thoughts,
However trivial all that he conceives.
Sweet bashfulness! it claims at least this praise;
The dearth of information and good sense,
That it foretells us, always comes to pass.
Cataracts of declamation thunder here;
There forests of no meaning spread the page,
In which all comprehension wanders lost;
While fields of pleasantry amuse us there
With merry descants on a nation's woes.

The rest appears a wilderness of strange
But gay confusion; roses for the cheeks,
And lilies for the brows of faded age,
Teeth for the toothless, ringlets for the bald,
Heaven, earth, and ocean, plunder'd of their
Nectareous essences, Olympian dews, (sweets,
Sermons, and city feasts, and favourite airs,
Ætherial journeys, submarine exploits,
And Katterfelto, with his hair on end
At his own wonders, wondering for his bread.

'Tis pleasant, through the loopholes of retreat,
To peep at such a world; to see the stir
Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd;
To hear the roar she sends through all her gates
At a safe distance, where the dying sound
Falls a soft murmur on the uninjured ear.
Thus sitting, and surveying thus at ease
The globe and its concerns, I seem advanced
To some secure and more than mortal height,
That liberates and exempts me from them all.
It turns submitted to my view, turns round
With all its generations; I behold
The tumult, and am still. The sound of war
Has lost its terrors ere it reaches me;
Grieves, but alarms me not. I mourn the pride
And avarice that make man a wolf to man;
Hear the faint echo of those brazen throats,
By which he speaks the language of his heart,
And sigh, but never tremble at the sound.
He travels and expatiates, as the bee
From flower to flower, so he from land to land;
The manners, customs, policy of all
Pay contribution to the store he gleans;
He sucks intelligence in every clime,

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