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With easy force it opens all the cells
25 That we might try the ground again, where once (Through inexperience as we now perceive) We miss'd that happiness we might have found! Some friend is gone, perhaps his son's best friend! A father, whose authority, in show
30 When most severe, and mus'tring all its force, Was but the graver countenance of love; Whose favour, like the clouds of spring, might low'r, And uttfer now and then an awful voice, But had a blessing in its darkest frown,
35 Threatning at once and nourishing the plant. We lov’d, but not enough, the gentle hand That rear'd us. At a thoughtless age, allur'd By ev'ry gilded folly, we renounc'd His shelt'ring side, and wilfully forewent That converse which we now in vain regret. How gladly would the man recall to life The boy's neglected sire! a mother too, That'softer friend, perhaps more gladly still, Might he demand them at the gates of death. Sorrow has, since they went, subdu'd and tam'd The playful humour: he could now endure, (Himself grown sober in the vale of tears,)
And feel a partnt's presence no restraint.
The night was winter in its roughest mood; The morning sharp and clear. But now at noonUpon the southern side of the slant hills, And where the woods fence off the northern blast, 60 The season smiles, resigning all its rage, And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue Without a cloud, and white without a speck The dazzling splendour of the scene below. Again the harmony comes o’er the vale; And through the trees I view 'th'embattled tow'r, Whence all the musick. I again perceive The soothing influence of the wasted strains, And settle in soft musings as I tread The walks, still verdant, under oaks and elms, 70 Whose outspread branches overarch the glade. The roof, though moveable through all its length As the wind sways it, has yet well suffic'd, And, intercepting in their silent fall The frequent flakes, has kept a path for me. 75 No noise is here, or none that hinders thought. The red-breast warbles still, but is content With slender notes, and more than half suppress’d: Pleas'd with his solitude, and flitting light From spray to spray, where'er he rests he shakes SO From many a twig the pendent drops of ice, That tinkle in the wither'd leaves below. Stillness, accompanied with sounds so soft, Charms more than silence. Meditation here May think down hours to moments. Here the heart 85 May give a useful lesson to the head,
And learning wiser grow without his books.
100 Some to the fascination of a name, Surrender judgment hood-wink’d. Some the style Infatuates, and through labyrinths and wilds Of errour leads them, by a tune entranc’d. While sloth seduces more, too weak to bear 105 The insupportable fatigue of thought, And swallowing, therefore; without pause or choice The total grist unsifted, husks and all. But tree and rivulets, whose rapid course Defies the check of winter, haunts of deer, 110 And sheep-walks populous with bleating lambs, And lanes, in which the primrose ere her time Peeps through the moss, that clothes the hawthorn root, Deceive no student. Wisdom there and truth, Not shy, as in the world, and to be won
115 By slow solicitation, seize at once The roving thought, and fix it on themselves.
What prodigies can pow'r divine perform More grand than it produces year by year, And all in sight of inattentive man?
120 Familiar with th' effect, we slight the cause, And in the constancy of Nature's course, The regular return of genial months,
And renovation of a faded world,
155 That the wind severs from the broken wave; The lilack, various in array, now white, Now sanguine, and her beauteous head now set With purple spikes pyramidal, as if Studious of ornament, yet unresolv'd
160 * The Guelder Rose.
Which hue she most approv’d, she chose them all;
In heav'nly truth; evincing, as she makes
Some say that in the origin of things,