« ZurückWeiter »
“ Of noon, flies harmlefs: and that very voice,
“ Which thunders terror thro' the guilty heart,
** With tongues of feraphs whispers peace to thine.
“ ’Tis fafety to be near thee fure, and thus
“ To clasp perfećtion !” From his void embrace,
Mysterious Heaven ! that moment, to the ground,
A blacken'd corse, was struck the beautious maid,
But who can paint the lover, as he stood,
Pierc'd by fevere amazement, hating life,
Speechless, and fix'd in all the death of woe !
So, faint resemblance, on the marble tomb,
The well dissembled mourner stooping stands,
For ever filent, and for ever fad.
In the poem on autumn, he introduces a prospect of the fields ready for harvest, with fome reflećtions in praise of industry, which are naturally excited by that scene. We are then presented with a defcription of reapers in a field, and with a tale relative to it which we shall infert. This is followed by a description of an harvest storm, and of hunting and shooting, with fuitable reflećtions on the barbarity of those pastimes. After which he gives us a defcription of an orchard, wall-fruit, and a vineyard ; descants on the fogs, that fo frequently prevail in the latter part of autumn, and by a beautiful and philosophical digresion, endeavours to investigate the cause of springs and rivers. He then confiders the birds of season, that now change their habitation, and speaks of the prodigious number that cover the western and northern isles of Scotland. This naturally leads him to describe that country, We are then entertained with a profpećt of woods that are fading and discoloured, of moon-light after a gentle dusky day, and of autumnal meteors. The morning succeeds, which ushers in a calm fun-fhiny day, fuch as usually close this feafon. He then describes the country people at the end of harvest, ģiving loose to pleasure and disiolv’d in joy, and concludes with a panegyric on a philosophical country life.
The following pleasing and pathetick tale, which is na: turally introduced in his description of the reapers, is, if I mistake not, borrowed from the story of RUTH in the Old Testament. ·
Soon as the morning trembles o'er the sky,
And, unperceiv'd, unfolds the spreading day ;
Before the ripen'd field the reapers stand,
In fair array : each by the lafs he loves,
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate
By nameless gentle offices her toil.
At once they stoop and swell the lufty fheaves;
While thro' their chearful band the rural talk,
And, conscious, glancing oft on every fide
His fated eye, feels his heart heave with joy.
The gleaners spread around, and here and there,
The liberal handful. Think, oh grateful think !
How good the God of HAR v est is to you ;
Who pours abundance o'er your flowing fields ;
While these unhappy partners of your kind,
Wide hover round you, like the fowls of heaven, And ask their humble dole. The various turns
Of fortune ponder; that your fons may want
What now, with hard reluctance, faint, ye give.
The lovely young Lav IN 1A once had friends ;
And fortune fmil'd, deceitful, on her birth.
For, in her helpless years depriv'd of all,
Of every stay, fave innocence and H E A v EN,
She with her widow'd mother, feeble, old,
And poor, liv'd in a cottage, far retir'd
Among the windings of a woody vale ;
By folitude and deep furrounding fhades,
But more by bashful modesty, conceal'd.
Together thus they shunn'd the cruel fcorn
Which virtue, funk to poverty, would meet
From giddy paffion and low-minded pride:
Almost on nature's common bounty fed ;
Like the gay birds that fung them to repose,
Content and careless of to-morrow's fare.
Her form was fresher than the morning rose,
When the dew wets its leaves ; unftain’d, and pure,
As is the lily, or the mountain snow.
The modest virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground dejećted, darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers:
Or when the mournful tale her mother told,
Of what her faithlefs fortune promis'd once,
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy star
Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair proportion'd on her polish’d limbs,
Veil'd in a fimple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp of dress ; for loveliness
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is when unadorn'd adorn'd the most.
'Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's felf,
Recluse amid the close-embowering woods.
As in the hollow breaft of Appenine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills,
A myrtle rifes, far from human eye,
And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild ;.
So flourish’d blooming, and unfeen by all, * *
The sweet La v1N1A ; till, at length, compell’d
By strong necessity’s fupreme command,
With fmíling patience in her looks, she went
To glean PALE Mon’s fields. The pride of fwains
PAL EM o N was, the generous, and the rich ;
Who led the rural life in all its joy
And elegance, fuch as Arcadian fong
Transmits from ancient uncorrupted times;
When tyrant custom had not fhackled man,
But free to follow nature was the mode.
He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes
Amufing, chanc'd befide his reaper-train
To walk, when poor La v1N1A drew his eye ;
Unconscious of her power, and turning quick
With unaffećted blushes from his gaze :
He saw her charming, but he faw not half
The charms her down-cast modesty conceal'd.
That very moment love and chafte defire
sprung in his bofom, to himself unknown ;
For still the world prevail'd, and its dread laugh,
Which scarce the firm philosopher can scorn,
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field :
In his poem on Winter, he descibes the approach of that feafon, and the various storms of rain, wind and snow that usually succeed ; which is followed by a landscape, or view, of the snow driven into mountains, and a pathetic tale of a husbandman bewilder’d and loft near his own home ; which naturally introduces refiećtions on the wants and miferies of mankind. He then speaks of the wolves descending from the Alps and Apennines, and describes a winter Evening, as fpent by philosophers, by the country people, and by those in London. He then presents us with a frost, with a view