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Where many a nestling first essays to fly;
Where blows the woodbine, faintly streak'd with red,
And rests on every bough its tender head;
Round the young ash its twining branches meet,
Or crown the hawthorn with its odours sweet.

Say, ye that know, ye who have felt and seen,
Spring's morning smiles, and soul-enliv'ning green,
Say, did you give the thrilling transport way?
Did your eye brighten, when young lambs at play
Leap'd o'er your path with animated pride,
Or gaz'd in merry clusters by your side?
Ye who can smile, to wisdom no disgrace,
At the arch meaning of a kitten's face;
If spotless immocence, and infant mirth,
Excites to praise, or gives reflection birth;
In shades like these pursue your favʼrite joy,
Midst nature's revels, sports that never cloy.

A few begin a short but vigorous race,
And indolence abash'd soon flies the place;
Thus challeng'd forth, see thither one by one,
From every side assembling playmates run;
A thousand wily antics mark their stay,
A starting crowd, impatient of delay.
Like the fond dove from fearful prison freed,
Each seems to say, "Come, let us try our speed;"
Away they scour, impetuous, ardent, strong,
The green turf trembling as they bound along;
Adown the slope, then up the hillock climb,
Where every molehill is a bed of thyme,
There panting stop; yet scarcely can refrain;
A bird, a leaf, will set them off again:
Or, if a gale with strength unusual blow,
Scatt'ring the wild-briar roses into snow,
Their little limbs increasing efforts try,
Like the torn flower the fair assemblage fly.
Ah, fallen rose! sad emblem of their doom;
Frail as thyself, they perish while they bloom!


SHOT up from broad rank blades that droop below, The nodding wheat-ear forms a graceful bow, With milky kernels starting full, weigh'd down, Ere yet the sun hath ting'd its head with brown; Whilst thousands in a flock, forever gay, Loud chirping sparrows welcome in the day, And from the mazes of the leafy thorn, Drop one by one upon the bending corn.



Giles with a pole assails their close retreats,
And round the grass-grown dewy border beats;
On either side completely overspread,

Here branches bend, there corn o'ertops his head.
Green covert, hail! for through the varying year
No hours so sweet, no scene to him so dear.
Here wisdom's placid eye delighted sees
His frequent intervals of lonely ease,
And with one ray his infant soul inspires,
Just kindling there her never-dying fires,
Whence solitude derives peculiar charms,
And heaven-directed thought his bosom warms.
Just where the parting boughs' light shadows play,
Scarce in the shade, nor in the scorching day,
Stretch'd on the turf he lies, a peopled red,
Where swarming insects creep around his head.
The small dust-colour'd beetle climbs with pain
O'er the smooth plaintain leaf, a spacious plain!
Thence higher still, by countless steps convey'd,
He gains the summit of a shivering blade,
And flirts his filmy wings, and looks around,
Exulting in his distance from the ground.
The tender speckled moth here dancing seen,
The vaulting grasshopper of glossy green,
And all prolific Summer's sporting train,
Their little lives by various pow'rs sustain.
But what can unassisted vision do?

What, but recoil where most it would pursue;
His patient gaze but finish with a sigh,
When music waking speaks the sky-lark nigh!
Just starting from the corn he cheerly sings,
And trusts with conscious pride his downy wings;
Still louder breathes, and in the face of day
Mounts up, and calls on Giles to mark his way.
Close to his eyes his hat he instant bends,
And forms a friendly telescope, that lends
Just aid enough to dull the glaring light,
And place the wand'ring bird before his sight,
That oft beneath a light cloud sweeps along,
Lost for a while, yet pours the varied song:
The eye still follows, and the cloud moves by,
Again he stretches up the clear blue sky;
His form, his motion, undistinguish'd quite,
Save when he wheels direct from shade to light:
E'en then the songster a mere speck to deem,
Gliding like fancy's bubbles in a dream
The gazer sees; but yielding to repose,
Unwittingly his jaded eyelids close.

Peace o'er his slumbers waves her guardian wing,
Nor conscience once disturbs him with a sting;
He wakes refresh'd from every trivial pain,
And takes his pole and brushes round again.


FAR weightier cares and wider scenes expand; What devastation marks the new sown land! "From hungry woodland foes, go Giles, and guard The rising wheat; ensure its great reward: A future sustenance, a Summer's pride, Demand thy vigilance: then be it try'd: Exert thy voice, and wield thy shotless gun; Go, tarry there, from morn till setting sun.'

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Keen blows the blast, or ceaseless rain descends;
The half-stript hedge a sorry shelter lends.
O for a hovel, e'er so small or low,

Whose roof, repelling winds and early snow,
Might bring home's comforts fresh before his eyes,
No sooner thought, than see the structure rise!
In some sequester'd nook, embank'd around,
Sods for its walls, and straw in burdens bound :
Dried fuel hoarded is his richest store,
And circling smoke obscures his little door;
Whence creeping forth, to duty's call he yields,
And strolls the Crusoe of the lonely fields.
On white-thorns tow'ring, and the leafless rose,
A frost-nipt feast in bright vermillion glows:
Where clust'ring sloes in glossy order rise,
He crops the loaded branch; a cumb'rous prize;
And o'er the flame the sputt'ring fruit he rests,
Placing green sods to seat his coming guests;
His guests by promise; playmates young and gay :
But ah! fresh pastimes lure their steps away!
He sweeps his hearth, and homeward looks in vain,
Till feeling disappointment's cruel pain,
His fairy revels are exchang'd for rage,
His banquet marr'd, grown dull his hermitage.
The field becomes his prison, till on high
Benighted birds to shades and coverts fly.
Midst air, health, day-light, can he prisoner be?
If fields are prisons, where is liberty?

Here still she dwells, and here her votaries stroll;
But disappointed hope untunes the soul:
Restraints unfelt whilst hours of rapture flow,
When troubles press, to chains and barriers grow.
Look then from trivial up to greater woes;

From the poor bird-boy with his roasted sloes,
To where the dungeon'd mourner heaves the sigh;
Where not one cheering sun-beam meets his eye.
Though ineffectual pity thine may be,

No wealth, no pow'r, to set the captive free;
Though only to thy ravish'd sight is given
The radiant path that Howard trod to heaven;
Thy slights can make the wretched more forlorn,
And deeper drive affliction's barbed thorn.
Say not, "I'll come and cheer thy gloomy cell
With news of dearest friends: how good, how well;
I'll be a joyful herald to thine heart:"

Then fail, and play the worthless trifler's part,
To sip flat pleasures from thy glass's brim,
And waste the precious hour that 's due to him.
In mercy spare the base unmanly blow;
Where can he turn, to whom complain of you?
Back to past joys in vain his thoughts may stray,
Trace and retrace the beaten worn-out way,
The rankling injury will pierce his breast,
And curses on thee break his midnight rest.


In part these nightly terrors to dispel, Giles, ere he sleeps, his little flock must tell. From the fire-side with many a shrug he hies, Glad if the full-orb'd moon salute his eyes, And through th' unbroken stillness of the night Shed on his path her beams of cheering light. With saunt'ring step he climbs the distant stile, Whilst all around him wears a placid smile; There views the white-rob'd clouds in clusters driver, And all the glorious pageantry of heaven. Low, on the utmost bound'ry of the sight, The rising vapours catch the silver light; Thence fancy measures, as they parting fly, Which first will throw its shadow on the eye, Passing the source of light; and thence away, Succeeded quick by brighter still than they. Far yet above these wafted clouds are seen (In a remoter sky, still more serene,) Others, detach'd in ranges through the air, Spotless as snow, and countless as they 're fair; Scatter'd immensely wide' from east to west, The beauteous seniblance of a flock at rest. These to the raptur'd mind, aloud proclaim Their mighty Shepherd's everlasting name.


In describing some of the reminiscences of childhood, Rogers has displayed a chaste refinement and pensive delicacy of thought very nearly allied to that of Goldsmith; though his versification and style are far inferior. He is sometimes pathetic, as in the tale of Ginevra, but his genius is not vivid or powerful. Some of his smaller pieces display a captivating sweetness and softness of conception, and the moral tone of his poetry, though not elevated, is always pure.


TWILIGHT'S Soft dews steal o'er the village green,
With magic tints to harmonize the scene.
Still'd is the hum that through the hamlet broke,
When round the ruins of their ancient oak
The peasants flocked to hear the minstrel play,
And games and carols clos'd the busy day.
Her wheel at rest, the matron thrills no more
With treasur'd tales, and legendary lore.
All, all are fled; nor mirth nor music flows
To chase the dreams of innocent repose.
All, all are fled; yet still I linger here!
What secret charms this silent spot endear?

Mark yon old mansion frowning through the trees,
Whose hollow turret woos the whistling breeze.
That casement, arch'd with ivy's brownest shade,
First to these eyes the light of heaven convey'd.
The mouldering gateway strews the grass-grown court,
Once the calm scene of many simple sport;
When nature pleas'd, for life itself was new,
And the heart promis'd what the fancy drew.

See, through the fractur'd pediment reveal'd, Where moss inlays the rudely-sculptur'd shield, The martin's old, hereditary nest.

Long may the ruin spare its hallow'd guest!

As jars the hinge, what sullen echoes call!
Oh haste, unfold the hospitable hall!
That hall, where once, in antiquated state,
The chair of justice held the grave debate.

Now stain'd with dews, with cobwebs darkly hung,
Oft has its roof with peals of rapture rung;
When round yon ample board, in due degree,
We sweeten'd every meal with social glee.

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