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And fast condensed upon the dewy sash,
Asks egress; which obtained, the overcharged
And drench'd conservatory breathes abroad
In volumes wheeling slow, the vapour dank,
And purified, rejoices to have lost
Its foul inhabitant. But to assuage
The impatient fervour which it first conceives
Within its reeking bosom, threatening death
To his young hopes, requires discreet delay.
Experience, slow preceptress, teaching oft 505
The way to glory by miscarriage foul 19,
Must prompt him, and admonish how to catch
The auspicious moment, when the temper'd heat
Friendly to vital motion, may afford
Soft fermentation, and invite the seed.
510 The seed selected wisely, plump and smooth And glossy, he commits to pots of size Diminutive, well fill'd with well-prepared And fruitful soil, that has been treasured long, And drunk no moisture from the dripping clouds. 515 These on the warm and genial earth that hides The smoking manure and o’erspreads it all, He places lightly, and as time subdues The rage of fermentation, plunges deep In the soft medium, till they stand immersed. Then rise the tender germs upstarting quick
Let us know
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well
When our deep plots do fail.
Hamlet, v. 2.
Into the right we err, and must confess
To oversights we often owe success.
Dispensary, canto iv.
And spreading wide their spongey lobes, at first
Pale, wan, and livid, but assuming soon,
If fann'd by balmy and nutritious air
Strain'd through the friendly mats, a vivid green. 525
Two leaves produced, two rough indented leaves,
Cautious he pinches from the second stalk
A pimple, that portends a future sprout,
And interdicts its growth. Thence straight succeed
The branches, sturdy to his utmost wish, 530
Prolific all, and harbingers of more.
The crowded roots demand enlargement now
And transplantation in an ampler space.
Indulged in what they wish, they soon supply
Large foliage, overshadowing golden flowers,
Blown on the summit of the apparent fruit.
These have their sexes; and when summer shines
The bee transports the fertilizing meal
From flower to flower, and even the breathing air
Wafts the rich prize to its appointed use.
Not so when winter scowls : assistant art
Then acts in nature's office, brings to pass
The glad espousals and insures the crop.
Grudge not, ye rich, (since luxury must have His dainties, and the world's more numerous half 645 Lives by contriving delicates for you,) Grudge not the cost. Ye little know the cares, The vigilance, the labour, and the skill That day and night are exercised, and hang Upon the ticklish balance of suspense,
550 That ye may garnish your profuse regales With summer fruits brought forth by wintry suns. Ten thousand dangers lie in wait to thwart
The process. Heat and cold, and wind and steam, Moisture and drought, mice, worms, and swarming flies Minute as dust and numberless, oft work
556 Dire disappointment that admits no cure, And which no care can obviate. It were long, Too long to tell the expedients and the shifts Which he that fights a season so severe Devises, while he guards his tender trust, And oft, at last, in vain. The learn'd and wise Sarcastic would exclaim, and judge the song Cold as its theme, and like its theme, the fruit Of too much labour, worthless when produced.
Who loves a garden, loves a green-house too. Unconscious of a less propitious clime There blooms exotic beauty, warm and snug, While the winds whistle and the snows descend. The spiry myrtle with unwithering leaf Shines there and flourishes. The golden boast Of Portugal and western India there, The ruddier orange and the paler lime, Peep through their polish'd foliage at the storm, And seem to smile at what they need not fear. 575 The amomum there with intermingling flowers And cherries hangs her twigs. Geranium boasts Her crimson honours, and the spangled beau Ficoides, glitters bright the winter long. All plants of every leaf 20 that can endure The winter's frown, if screen’d from his shrewd bite, Live there and prosper. Those Ausonia claims, Levantine regions these ; the Azores send
Their jessamine, her jessamine remote
Caffraria ; foreigners from many lands
They form one social shade, as if convened
By magic summons of the Orphean lyre.
Yet just arrangement, rarely brought to pass
But by a master's hand, disposing well
The gay diversities of leaf and flower,
Must lend its aid to illustrate all their charms,
And dress the regular yet various scene.
Plant behind plant aspiring, in the van
The dwarfish, in the rear retired, but still
Sublime above the rest, the statelier stand.
So once were ranged the sons of ancient Rome,
A noble show! while Roscius trod the stage ;
And so, while Garrick as renown'd as he,
The sons of Albion,-fearing each to lose
Some note of Nature's music from his lips,
And covetous of Shakespeare's 21 beauty seen
In every flash of his far-beaming eye.
Nor taste alone and well-contrived display
Suffice to give the marshald ranks the grace
Of their complete effect. Much yet remains
Unsung, and many cares are yet behind
And more laborious; cares on which depends
Their vigour, injured soon, not soon restored.
The soil must be renew'd, which often wash'd
Loses its treasure of salubrious salts,
And disappoints the roots; the slender roots
Close interwoven where they meet the vase
21 While friends beheld thee give with eye, voice, mien, More than theatric force to Shakespeare's scene.
Wordsworth. On Sir G. Beaumont,
Must smooth be shorn away; the sapless branch
Must fly before the knife; the wither'd leaf
Must be detach'd, and where it strews the floor 615
Swept with a woman's neatness, breeding else
Contagion, and disseminating death.
Discharge but these kind offices, (and who
Would spare, that loves them, offices like these?)
Well they reward the toil. The sight is pleased, 620
The scent regaled; each odoriferous leaf,
Each opening blossom freely breathes abroad
Its gratitude, and thanks him with its sweets.
So manifold, all pleasing in their kind,
All healthful, are the employs of rural life,
Reiterated as the wheel of time
Runs round, still ending, and beginning still.
Nor are these all. To deck the shapely knoll
That softly swell’d and gaily dress’d, appears
A flowery island from the dark green lawn 630
Emerging, must be deemed a labour due
To no mean hand, and asks the touch of taste.
Here also grateful mixture of well match'd
And sorted hues, (each giving each relief,
And by contrasted beauty shining more,)
Is needful. Strength may wield the ponderous spade 23,
May turn the clod, and wheel the compost home,
But elegance, chief grace the garden shows
And cheeks of sorry grain will serve to ply
The sampler, and to tease the huswife's wool :
What need a vermeil-tinctured lip for that,
Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the morn ?