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WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION.
[ The name is taken from a favourite resort of the Poet's in the grounds of Weston-Underwood. Composed soon after the lines “ To Peace.”]
Oh, happy shades—to me unblest!
Friendly to peace, but not to me!
And heart that cannot rest, agree !
This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Those alders quivering to the breeze,
And please, if any thing could please.
But fix'd unalterable Care
Foregoes not what she feels within,
And slights the season and the scene.
For all that pleased in wood or lawn,
While Peace possess'd these silent bowers,
Has lost its beauties and its powers.
The saint or moralist should tread
This moss-grown alley, musing, slow;
But not like me to nourish wo!
Me fruitful scenes, and prospects waste,
Alike admonish not to roam ;
And those of sorrows yet to come.
THE WINTER NOSEGAY.
[Another pleasing example of a simple incident of domestic life, exquisitely versified. February, 1780.]
What Nature, alas ! has denied
To the delicate growth of our isle,
And Winter is deck'd with a smile.
From the shelter of that sunny shed,
Though abroad they are frozen and dead.
'Tis a bower of Arcadian sweets,
Where Flora is still in her prime,
From the cruel assaults of the clime.
These pinks are as fresh and as gay,
On the beautiful bosom of May.
See how they have safely survived
The frowns of a sky so severe;
Through many a turbulent year.
Seem graced with a livelier hue,
The truth of a friend such as you.
MUTUAL FORBEARANCE NECESSARY TO THE HAPPINESS OF THE MARRIED STATE.
The lady thus address'd her spouse:-
Those hangings with their worn-out graces, Long beards, long noses, and pale faces, Are such an antiquated scene, They overwhelm me with the spleen.” Sir Humphrey, shooting in the dark, Makes answer quite beside the mark : “ No doubt, my dear, I bade him come, Engaged myself to be at home, And shall expect him at the door, Precisely when the clock strikes four.”
6 You are so deaf,” the lady cried, And raised her voice, and frown'd beside, “ You are so sadly deaf, my dear, What shall I do to make you hear?'
“ Dismiss poor Harry !” he replies ; “ Some people are more nice than wise : For one slight trespass all this stir ? What if he did ride whip and spur, 'Twas but a mile--your favourite horse Will never look one hair the worse.”
“ Well, I protest 'tis past all bearing” “ Child ! I am rather hard of hearing! “ Yes, truly; one must scream and bawl : I tell you, you can't hear at all !" Then, with a voice exceeding low, 66 No matter if you hear or no."
Alas! and is domestic strife,
Then farewell all that must create
The love that cheers life's latest stage,
TO THE REV. MR NEWTON. AN INVITATION INTO THE COUNTRY. WRITTEN 1780.
The swallows in their torpid state
Compose their useless wing,
The call of early Spring.
The keenest frost that binds the stream,
The wildest wind that blows,
Secure of their repose.
But man, all feeling and awake,
The gloomy scene surveys ;
And pant for brighter days.
Old Winter, halting o'er the mead,
Bids me and Mary mourn;
And whispers your return.
Then April, with her sister May,
Shall chase him from the bowers,
To crown the smiling hours.
And if a tear, that speaks regret
Of happier times, appear,
Shall shine and dry the tear.
[This spirit-stirring ode was suggested by the reading of Hume's history, during the winter of 1780.]
When the British warrior queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Counsel of her country's gods,
Sage beneath the spreading oak
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Full of rage, and full of grief.
“ Princess ! if our aged eyes
· Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 'Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues.
“ Rome shall perish — write that word
In the blood that she has spilt ;
Deep in ruin as in guilt.
“ Rome, for empire far renown'd,
Tramples on a thousand states;
Hark! the Gaul is at her gates !