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The rigid hoar-frost melts before his beam ;
873.-A WINTER LANDSCAPE. Through the hushed air the whit’ning shower
descends, At first thin-wavering, till at last the flakes Fall broad and wide, and fast, dimming the
day With a continual flow. The cherished fields Put on their winter robe of purest white : "Tis brightness all, save where the new snow
melts Along the mazy current. Low the woods Bow their hoar head; and ere the languid
sun Faint from the west, emits his evening ray; Earth's universal face, deep hid, and chill, Is one wide dazzling waste, that buries wide The works of man. Drooping, the labourer.
Ox Stands covered o'er with snow, and then
demands The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven, Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around The winnowing store, and claim the little
boon Which Providence assigns them. One alone, The redbreast, sacred to the household gods, Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky, In joyless fields and thorny thickets, leaves His shivering mates, and pays to trusted
man His annual visit. Half afraid, he first Against the window beats; then, brisk,
alights On the warm hearth; then hopping o'er the
floor, Eyes all the smiling family askance, And pecks, and starts, and wonders where
he is : Till more familiar grown, the table crumbs Attract his slender feet. The foodless wilds Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The
hare, Though timorous of heart, and hard beset By death in various forms, dark snares and
dogs, And more unpitying men, the garden seeks, Urged on by fearless want. The bleating
kine Eye the bleak heaven, and next, the glist’ning
earth, With looks of dumb despair ; then, sad dis
persed, Dig for the wither'd herb through heaps of
snow. As thus the snows arise, and foul and
All winter drives along the darken'd air,
heaps, Stung with the thoughts of home; the
thoughts of home Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour
forth In many a vain attempt. How sinks his
soul ! What black despair, what horror, fills his
heart ! When for the dusky spot which fancy
feign'd, His tufted cottage rising through the snow, He meets the roughness of the middle waste, Far from the track and bless'd abode of man ; While round him night resistless closes fast, And every tempest howling o'er his head, Renders the savage wilderness more wild. Then throng the busy shapes into his mind, Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep, A dire descent! beyond the power of frost; Of faithless bogs; of precipices huge Smoothed up with snow; and what is land
unknown, What water of the still unfrozen spring, In the loose marsh or solitary lake, Where the fresh fountain from the bottom
boils. These check his fearful steps, and down he
sinks Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift, Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death, Mix'd with the tender anguish nature shoots Through the wrung bosom of the dying man,. His wife, his children, and his friends, un In vain for him the officious wife prepares The fire fair blazing, and the vestment warm : In vain his little children, peeping out Into the mingling storm, demand their sire With tears of artless innocence. Alas! Nor wife nor children more shall he behold, Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every
nerve The deadly winter seizes, shuts up sense, And o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold, Lays him along the snows a stiffen'd corse, Stretch'd out, and bleaching on the northern
blast. James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
874.-A HYMN. These, as they change, Almighty Father, these Are but the varied God. The rolling year
Is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing Th' impetuous song, and say from whom you Spring
rage. Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love. His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling Wide flush the fields; the softening air is rills; balm ;
And let me catch it as I muse along, Echo the mountains round ; the forest Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound; smiles;
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze And every sense, and every heart, is joy. Along the vale; and thou, majestic main, Then comes thy glory in the Summer A secret world of wonders in thyself, months,
Sound his stupendous praiso; whose greater With light and heat refulgent. Then thy voice Sun
Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall. Shoots full perfection through the swelling Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and year :
flowers, And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder In mingled clouds to him; whose Sun exalts, speaks ;
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve, paints. By brooks and groves, in hollow-whispering Ye forests bend, ye harvests wave, to him ; gales.
Breathe your still song into the reaper's Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined,
heart, And spreads a common feast for all that As home he goes beneath the joyous Moon. lives.
Ye that keep watch in Heaven, as Earth In Winter awful thou ! with clouds and asleep storms
Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams, Around thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest Ye constellations, while your angels strike, rollid,
Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre.
On Nature write with every beam his praise. Mysterious round! what skill, what force The thunder rolls; be hush'd the prostrate divine,
world; Deep felt, in these appear! a simple train, While cloud to cloud returns the solemn Yet so delightful mix'd, with such kind art,
hymn. Such beauty and beneficence combined ; Bleat out afresh, ye hills : ye mossy rocks, Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade ; Retain the sound: the broad responsive low, And all so forming an harmonious whole ; Ye valleys, raise ; for the Great Shepherd That, as they still succeed, they ravish still. reigns; But wandering oft, with bruto unconscious And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come. gaze,
Ye woodlands all, awake: a boundless song Man marks not thee, marks not the mighty Burst from the groves! and when the restless hand,
day, That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres ; Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep, Works in the secret deep; shoots, steaming, Sweetest of birds ! sweet Philomela, charm thence
The listening shades, and teach the night his The fair profusion that o'erspreads the praise. Spring :
Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles, Flings from the Sun direct the flaming day; At once the head, the heart, and tongue of Feeds every creature ; hurls the tempests all, forth;
Crown the great hymn! in swarming cities And, as on Earth this grateful change vast, revolves,
Assembled men, to the deep organ join With transport touches all the springs of life. The long-resounding voice, oft breaking Nature, attend ! join every living soul,
clear, Beneath the spacious temple of the sky, At solemn pauses, through the swelling base ; In adoration join; and, ardent, raise
And, as each mingling flame increases each, One general song! To him, ye vocal gales, In one united ardour rise to Heaven. Breathe soft, whose Spirit in your freshness Or if you rather chuse the rural shade, breathes :
And find a fane in every secret grove; Oh, talk of him in solitary glooms;
There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving lay, pine
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre, Fills the brown shade with a religious awe. Still sing the God of Seasons, as they roll. And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar, For me, when I forget the darling theme, Who shake th' astonish'd world, lift high to Whether the blossom blows, the SummerHeaven
With brother-brutes the human race had
grazed ; None e'er had soard to fame, none honour'a
been, none praised.
Rassets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams;
more, And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat. Should Fate command me to the farthest
verge Of the green earth, to distant barbarous
climes, Rivers unknown to song; where first the
Sun Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam Flames on the Atlantic isles; 'tis nought to
me; Since God is ever present, ever felt, In the void waste, as in the city full ; And where he vital breathes, there must be
joy. When er'n at last the solemn hour shall
come, And wing my mystic flight to future worlds, I cheerful will obey : there, with new
875.–FROM THE BARD'S SONG IN THE
CASTLE OF INDOLENCE. " It was not by vile loitering in ease That Greece obtain'd the brighter palm of
art, That soft yet ardent Athens learnt to
please, To keen the wit, and to sublime the heart, In all supreme complete in every part ! It was not thence majestic Rome arose, And o'er the nations shook her conquering
dart : For sluggard's brow the laurel never
grows; Renown is not the child of indolent repose.
How best enjoy'd this nature's wide desire.
breath! Who does not act is dead; absorpt entire
In miry sloth, no pride, no joy he hath : O leaden-hearted men, to be in love with
Had unambitious mortals minded nought, But in loose joy their time to wear away; Had they alone the lap of dalliance sought, Pleased on her pillow their dull heads to
lay, Rude Nature's state had been our state to
Ah ! what avail the largest gifts of
Heaven, When drooping health and spirits go
amiss ? How tasteless then whatever can be given ! Health is the vital principle of bliss, And exercise of health. In proof of this, Behold the wretch, who slugs his life away, Soon swallow'd in disease's sad abyss ; While he whom toil has braced, or manly
play, Has light as air each limb, each thought as
clear as day.
No cities e'er their towery fronts had
raised, arts had made us opulent and gay;
0, who can speak the vigorous joy of
health ? Unclogg'd the body, unobscured the mind : The morning rises gay, with pleasing
stealth, The temperate evening falls serene and
kind. In health the wiser brutes true gladness
find. See! how the younglings frisk along the
meads, As May comes on, and wakes the balmy
wind; Rampant with life, their joy all joy
exceeds: Yet what but high-strung health this dancing
A thousand shapes you wear with ease,
Thine is the balmy breath of morn,
Descending angels bless thy train,
Oh, let me pierce thy secret cell! And in thy deep recesses dwell ; Perhaps from Norwood's oak-clad hill, When Meditation has her fill, I just may cast my careless eyes Where London's spiry turrets rise, Think of its crimes, its cares, its pain, Then shield me in the woods again. James Thomson.—Born 1700, Died 1748.
876.-ODE. O Nightingale, best poet of the grove, That plaintive strain can ne'er belong to
thee, Blest in the full possession of thy love: O lend that strain, sweet nightingale, to
me ! 'Tis mine, alas ! to mourn my wretched fate :
I love a maid who all my bosom charms, Yet lose my days without this lovely mate;
Inhuman Fortune keeps her from my arms. You, happy birds! by nature's simple laws Lead your soft lives, sustain'd by Nature's
fare; Yon dwell wherever roving fancy draws,
And love and song is all your pleasing care : But we, vain slaves of interest and of pride, Dare not be blest lest envious tongues
should blame : And hence, in vain I languish for my bride ; O mourn with me, sweet bird, my hapless
flame. James Thomson.--Born 1700, Died 1748.
877.-HYMN ON SOLITUDE. Hail, mildly pleasing Solitude, Companion of the wise and good, But, from whose holy, piercing eye, The herd of fools and villains fly.
Oh ! how I love with thee to walk, And listen to thy whisper'd talk, Which innocence and truth imparts, And melts the most obdurate hearts.
878.—THE HAPPY MAN. He's not the Happy Man to whom is given A plenteous fortune by indulgent Heaven ; Whose gilded roofs on shining columns rise, And painted walls enchant the gazer's eyes; Whose table flows with hospitable cheer, And all the various bounty of the year ; Whose valleys smile, whose gardens breathe
the spring, Whose carved mountains bleat, and forests
sing ; For whom the cooling shade in Summer
twines, While his full cellars give their generous
wines ; From whose wide fields unbounded Autumn
pours A golden tide into his swelling stores;
Whose winter laughs; for whom the liberal
gales Stretch the big sheet, and toiling commerce
sails; When yielding crowds attend, and pleasure
serves ; While youth, and health, and vigour string
his nerves. Er'n not all these, in one rich lot combined, Can make the Happy Man, without the
mind; Where Judgment sits clear-sighted, and
surveys The chain of Reason with unerring gaze ; Where Fancy lives, and to the brightening
eyes, His fairer scenes and bolder figures rise ; Where social Love exerts her soft command, And plays the passions with a tender hand, Whence every virtue flows, in rival strife, And all the moral harmony of life.
James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
879.-RULE BRITANNIA. When Britain first, at Heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main, This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sung the strain : Rule-Britannia, Britannia rules the waves !
Britons never shall be slaves.
880.-GRONGAR HILL. Silent nymph, with curious eye, Who, the purple evening, lie On the mountain's lonely van, Beyond the noise of busy man ; Painting fair the form of things, While the yellow linnet sings; Or the tuneful nightingale Charms the forest with her tale ; Come, with all thy various hues, Come and aid thy sister Muse; Now, while Phæbus riding high, Gives lustre to the land and sky! Grongar Hill invites my song, Draw the landscape bright and strong; Grongar, in whose mossy cells Sweetly musing Quiet dwells ; Grongar, in whose silent shade, For the modest Muses made ; So oft I have, the evening still, At the fountain of a rill, Sate upon a flowery bed, With my hand beneath my head ; While stray'd my eyes o'er Towy's flood, Over mead and over wood, From house to house, from hill to hill, Till Contemplation had her fill.
About his chequer'd sides I wind,
Now, I gain the mountain's brow,
Old castles on the cliffs arise,
Below me trees unnumber'd rise,
The nations not so blest as thee,
Must in their turn to tyrants fall, Whilst thou shalt flourish great and free, The dread and envy of them all.
Rule Britannia, &c. Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful from each foreign stroke; As the loud blast that tears the skies, Serves but to root thy native oak.
Rule Britannia, &c.
All their attempts to bend thee down
Rule Britannia, &c.
To thee belongs the rural reign ;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine;
Rule Britannia, &c.
Shall to thy happy coast repair ;
Rule Britannia, &c. James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.