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When he is by, with breath so piercing cold,
No flow'ret dares its tender buds unfold.
Nought can his powerful freezing touch withstand;
And should he smite you with his chilling hand,
His magic influence you would fly in vain,
But stiff and dead like marble you'd remain.
Ye Youths and Maidens, does he yet appear?
Fast he approaches, and will soon be here.
Declare, I pray you, tell me, if ye can,
The name and lineage of this aged man.
SWEET daughter of a rough and stormy Sire,
Hoar Winter's blooming child, delightful Spring!
Whose unshorn locks with leaves
And swelling buds are crown'd;
From the green islands of eternal youth,
Crown'd with fresh blooms, and ever-springing
Turn, hither turn thy step,
O thou, whose powerful voice,
More sweet than softest touch of Doric reed,
Or Lydian flute, can sooth the madding winds,
And through the stormy deep
Breathe thy own tender calm.
Thee, best belov’d! the virgin train await,
With songs, and festal rites, and joy to rove
Thy blooming wilds among,
And vales and downy lawns,
With untir'd feet; and cull thy earliest sweets
To weave fresh garlands for the glowing brow
Of him, the favour'd youth,
That prompts their whisper'd sigh.
Unlock thy copious stores; those tender showers,
That drop their sweetness on the infant buds,
And silent dews that swell
The milky ear's green stem,
And feed the flowery osier's early shoots;
And call those winds, which through the whisper-
With warm and pleasant breath,
Salute the blowing flowers.
Now let me sit beneath the whitening thorn,
And mark thy spreading tints steal o'er the dale;
And watch with patient eye
Thy fair unfolding charms.
O Nymph! approach, while yet the temp?rate Sun,
With bashful forehead, through the cool moist air
Throws his young maiden beams,
And with chaste kisses wooes
The Earth's fair bosom ; while the streaming veil
Of lucid clouds, with kind and frequent shade,
Protects thy modest blooms
From his severer blaze.
Sweet is thy reign, but short: the dog-star's beams
Shall scorch thy tresses; and the mower's scythe
Thy greens, thy flowerets all,
Remorseless, shall destroy!
Reluctant shall I bid thee then farewell ;
For, O! not all that Autumn's lap contains,
Nor Summer's ruddiest fruits,
Can aught for theé atone,
Fair Spring! whose simplest promise more delights,
Than all their largest wealth, and through the heart
Each joy and new-born hope
With softest influence breathes.
Behold, forth issuing from his azure domes,
Array'd in smiles, resplendent Summer comes !
The gentle Spring with her soft train retires
Her milder Justre, and her fainter fires.
Now Phæbus, issuing from his orient towers,
Through the wide sky a flood of glory pours:
His purple ray the shining hills adorns,
And bright around the spacious concave burns.
Ere yet his beams' intolerable light,
And heat shed copious from th' ethereal height,
Intensely fierce and ardent all around,
Incessant blaze upon the glowing ground,
Give me to walk where balmy breezes blow,
Or where, O Tweed, thy crystal waters flow!
In whose pure stream the finny nations play,
Whose burnish'd scales reflect the golden day ;
While sportive insects hum around my head,
And music warbles from the sylvan shade;
And lowing herds, with bleating flocks conspire,
Tho' in rude harmony, to aid the choir.
All these with ceaseless music fill the skies;
Glad Echo hears delighted, and replies.
O let me mingle with the tuneful throng,
And welcome Summer with a grateful song!
O Summer! glorious from the heav'nly sphere,
Thou brightest season of the rolling year!
Earth's num'rous offspring love thy genial hours,
And reach perfection by thy fost’ring powers.
To spread the rose, and paint the vale is thine ;
To swell the purple clusters of the vine:
The trees, surcharg'd with fragrant fruitage, nod,
The branches bend beneath the generous load.
'Tis thine to crown the hind's laborious pain,
And bid wide harvests wave upon the plain,
Whence Autumn gathers her redundant stores,
And wafts her treasures to remotest shores.
Thy pleasing sway enlivens every soil;
The garden, field, and gloomy forest smile.
Thus in thy love; but when thy fury burns, The roses fade, and drooping Nature mourns; Black rolling clouds involve the face of day, And shroud in night the sun's refulgent ray; Thick lightnings flash, and peals of thunder roll, Rend the black air, and shake the solid pole ; While, starting at the majesty of God, Sea roars, earth trembles, and her mountains nod. Then in some op’ning vista let me stand, Shaded above, and wrought on either hand, View the broad blaze, and hear the solemn sound Murmur tremendous through the dark profound; Deep-rous'd, enjoy a pleasing dread, and feel A sacred terror through my bosom steal; Adore that Power whose hand the lightning forms, Whose breath collects or dissipates the storms.When Phæbus' gaudy beam at length retires, And fading purple in the west expires, O’er solitary mountains let me stray, And the still beauties of the night survey!
Or trace the lonely margin of the main,
When no rude breeze disturbs the wat'ry plain,
While modest Cynthia's mild unclouded blaze
Silvers the hoary rocks, and on the billows plays.
But now 'tis noon, and, vertical the sun,
Bids me bis rage, tho' much reluctant, shun.
O now for fair Amelia's cooling shades,
Her crystal fountains, and her breezy glades !
There happy with the matchless nymph to stray,
And pass in joy the sultry hours away!
Where oft, retiring from the noisy crowd
Of towns and cities, turbulent and loud,
The fair one sits, op mossy turf reclin'd,
While Nature's charms delight her gentle mind;
Her golden bair with flowery wreaths is bound,
And lilies spring, and roses blush around.
But fairer she than all the various train
That paint the garden or enamell’d plain :
Her beauteous face the rose and lily deck,
And lilies tinge her alabaster neck;
Her glowing lip is bright with scarlet dye,
And heaven's own radiance sparkles in her eye!
In her sweet converse let me pass the hours,
And draw refreshment from her fragrant bowers !
AUTUMN, I hail thy steps ! On yonder knoll thou pausest ! o'er the groves, As slowly waves thy hand, a deeper tinge Of stains ethereal brightning every green, Follows its course. But when thy lifted arm Swift as in anger moves, the shuddering woods,