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Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear :
Such themes as these the rural MARO lung
To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height
Of elegance and taste, by Greece refin'd.
In antient times, the sacred plough employ'd
The kings, and awful fathers of mankind :
And some, with whom compar'd your infect-tribes
Are but the beings of a summer's day,
Have held the scale of empire, ruld the storm
Of mighty war; then, with victorious hand,
Disdaining little delicacies, feiz'd
The plough, and greatly independent liv'd.
His description of a gentle refreshing rain, and of the rainbow is, I think, inimirable.
The north-east spends his rage; he now, shut up
Within his iion cave, th'affusive south
Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers diftent.
At first a dusky wreath they seem to rife,
Scarce ftaining ether ; but by swift degrees,
In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour fails
Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep
Sits on th' horizon round a settled gloom.
Not such as wintry-storms on mortals shed,
Opprefling life; but lovely, gentle, kind,
And full of every hope and every joy,
The wish of nature. Gradual finks the breeze
Into a perfect calm ; that not a breath
Is heard to quiver thro' the clofing woods,
Or ruftling turn the many-twink'ling leaves
Of aspin tall. Th'uncurling floods, diffus'd
In glafly breadth, seem thro' delusive lapse
Forgetful of their course. 'Tis filence all,
And pleasing expectation. : Herds and locks
Drop the dry sprig, and mute. imploring eye
The falling verdure.' Huth'd in short suspense
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off;
And wait th’approaching sign to strike, at once,
Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales,
?d forests seem, impatient, to demand
The promis'd sweetness. Man superior walks
Amid the glad creation, mufing praise,
And looking lively gratitude. At last,
The clouds confign their treasures to the fields;
And, foftly shaking on the dimpled pool
Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow,
In large effufion, o'er the freshened world.
The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard,
By such as wander thro' the forrest walks,
Beneath the umbrageous multitude of leaves.
But who can hold the shade, while heaven descends
In universal bounty, shedding herbs,
And fruits, and flowers, on nature's ample lap?
Swift fancy fir'd anticipates their growth ;
And while the mighty nutriment diftills,
Beholds the kindling country colour round.
Thus all day long the full distended clouds
Indulge their genial stores, and well-lower'd earth
Is deep enrich'd with vegetable life ;
Till, in the western sky, the downward sun
Looks out, effulgent, from amid the Auth
Of broken clouds, gay. shifting to his beam.
The rapid radience instantaneous strikes
Th’illumin'd mountain, thro' the forest streams,
Shakes on the floods, and in a yellow milt,
Far smoaking o'er th’interminable plain,
In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems.
Moilt, bright, and green, the landskip laughs around,
Full swell the woods; their every music wakes,
Mix'd in wild concert with the warbling brooks
Increas'd, the distant bleatings of the hills,
And hollow lows responsive from the vales,
Whence blending all the sweetened zephyr springs.
Mean time refracted from yon eastern cloud,
Beftriding earth, the grand ethereal bow
Shoots up immense ; and every hue unfolds,
In fair proportion running from the red,
To where the violet fades into the sky.
Here, awful NEWTON, the diffolving clouds
Form, fronting on the sun, the showry prism;
And to the sage-instructed eye unfold
The various twine of light, by thee disclos'd
From the white mingling maze, Not fo the boy
He wondering views the bright enchantment bend,
Delightful, o'er the radient fields, and runs
To catch the falling glory; but amaz'd
Beholds th' amusive arch before him fly,
Then vanquish quite away. Still night succeeds,
A softened shade, and saturated earth
Awaits the morning.beam, to give to light,
Rais'd thro’ ten thousand different plastic tubes,
The balmy treasures of the former day.
That part where he prefers the vegetable to the animal food, and inveighs against the cruelty of destroying those creatures, that are not only inoffensive, but serviceable to us, is pathetic and sublime.
Shall Man, whom nature form'd of milder clay,
kind emotion in his heart,
And taught alone to weep; while from her lap
She pours ten thousand delicacies, herbs,
And fruits, as numerous as the drops of rain,
Or beams that gave them birth : Mall he fair form!
Who wears sweet smiles, and looks erect on heaven,
E'er stoop to mingle with the prowling herd
And dip his tongue in gore? The beast of prey,
Blood-itain'd deserves to bleed : but you, ye flocks,
What have you done ; ye peaceful people, what,
To merit death? You, who have given us milk.
In luscious streams, and lent us your own coat
Against the winter's cold? And the plain Ox;
That harmless, honest, guileless animal,
In what has he offended ? He, whose toit,
Patient and ever ready, clothes the land
With all the pomp of harvest; shall he bleed,
And struggling groan beneath the cruel hands
Even of the clown he feeds ?
The description of the garden, and the apostrophe to the Supreme being on that occafion, are both pious and poetical ; as also is the description of the feathered songsters, and their Loves; but these and other parts, equally beautiful, are too long to be here inserted. The author con.
cludes his poem on Spring with an Eulogium on a happy marriage state.
As the Summer season is more uniform than the Spring, and does not admit of equal variety, the poet, after describing the motion of thofe heavenly bodies which occafion the succession of seasons, introduces the description of a Summer's day, and speaks particularly of the dawn, sunrising, and the forenoon; where he considers the Summer insects, and gives us a scene of hay-making, and sheepfhearing, which are natural and poetical. He then describes the noon-day, a wood-land retreat, a groupe of flocks and herds, a folemn grove, and the effect it has on a contemplative mind. He next presents us with a cataract, and a landscape, rude and romantic; whence we are led into the Torrid Zone, to view a Summer there. He then describes a storm of thunder and lightning, which is sufficiently terrible, but is made more so by a pathetic tale of two lovers lost in the tempeft. This storm is fucceeded by a serene afternoon, in which are described the pastime of bathing and walking. After this, we are presented with the prospect of a well cultivated country, which paves the way for a panegyric on Great Britain, that immediately follows. We are then entertained with descriptions of the sun setting, of the evening, night, summer meteors, and of a comet; and the Poem concludes in praise of natural philosophy.
His description of the morning, of the sun rising, and the hymn on that occasion, are too beautiful to be omitted.
When now no more th' alternate Twins are fix'd,
And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze,
Short is the doubtful empire of the night ;
And soon, observant of approaching day,
The ineek-ey'd morn appears, mother of dews,
At firft faint-gleaming in the dappled east :
Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow ;
And, from before the lastre of her face,
White break the clouds away. With quickend step,
Brown night retires : young day pours in a-pace,
And opens all th' lawny prospect wide.
The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top
Swell on the fight, and brighten with the dawn.
Blue thro' the dus, the smoaking currents Thine ;
And from the bladed field the fearful hare
Limps, aukward: while along the forest glade
The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early passenger. Mufic awakes
The native voice of undissembled joy ;
And thick around the woodland hymns arise.
Rou'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves
His moffy cottage, where with Peace he dwells;
And from the crowded fold, in order, drives
His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn.
FALSELY luxurious, will not Man awake;
And, springing from the bed of Noth, enjoy
The cool, the fragrant, and the filent hour,
To mediation due and sacred song ?
For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise ?
To lie in dead oblivion, loofing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life?
Total extinction of th' enlightned soul!
Or else to feverish vanity alive,
Wildered, and tossing thro' distemper'd dreams?
Who would in fuch a gloomy fiate remain,
Longer than nature craves ; where every muse
And every blooming pleasure wait without,
To bless the wildly-devious morning-walk?
But yonder comes the powerful king of day,
Rejoicing in the east. The leślening cloud,
The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow,
Illum'd with fluia gold, his near approach
Betoken glad. Lo! now apparent all,
Aflant the dew-bright earth, and colour'd air,
He looks in boundless majesty abroad ;
And sheds the shining day, that burnish'd plays
On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering streams,
High gleaming from a far. Prime chearer light!
Of all material beings first, and best!
Efflux divine ! Nature's resplendent robe !
Without whole esting beauty all were wrapt
In unsssential gloom ; and thou, O Sun!
Soul of surrounding worlds ! in whom best seen
Shines out thy Maker! may I sing of thee?