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f Like the gay birds that sung 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; unstained and pure, As is the lily, or the mountain snow. The modest virtues mingled in her eyes, | Still on the ground dejected, darting all Their humid beams into the blooming flowers: Or when the mournful tale her mother told, Of what her faithless fortune promised once, Thrilled in her thought, they, like the dewy star Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace Sat fair-proportioned on her polished limbs, Weiled in a simple robe, their best attire, Beyond the pomp of dress; for loveliness Needs not the foreign aid of ornament, But is, when unadorned, adorned the most. Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's self, Recluse amid the close-embowering woods. As in the hollow breast of Apennine, Beneath the shelter of encircling hills, A myrtle rises, far from human eye, And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild; So flourished blooming, and unseen by all, | The sweet Lavinia; till, at length, compelled By strong Necessity's supreme command, With smiling patience in her looks, she went To glean Palemon's fields. The pride of swains Palemon was, the generous, and the rich; Who led the rural life in all its joy And elegance, such as Arcadian song Transmits from ancient uncorrupted times; When tyrant custom had not shackled man, But free to follow nature was the mode. He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes Amusing, chanced beside his reaper-train To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye; Unconscious of her power, and turning quick With unaffected blushes from his gaze: He saw her charming, but he saw not half The charms her downcast modesty concealed. That very moment love and chaste desire |Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown; For still the world prevailed, and its dread laugh, Which scarce the firm philosopher can scorn, "Should his heart own a gleaner in the field: And thus in secret to his soul he sighed: “What pity! that so delicate a form, By beauty kindled, where enlivening sense | And more than vulgar goodness seem to dwell, Should be devoted to the rude embrace Of some indecent clown She looks, methinks, Of old Acasto's line; and to my mind |Recalls that patron of my happy life, |From whom my liberal fortune took its rise; Now to the dust gone down; his houses, lands, And once fair-spreading family, dissolved. 'Tis said that in some lone obscure retreat, | Urged by remembrance sad, and decent pride, | Far from those scenes which knew their better days, | His aged widow and his daughter live, | Whom yet my fruitless search could never find. Romantic wish I would this the daughter were !’ When, strict inquiring, from herself he found She was the same, the daughter of his friend, Of bountiful Acasto, who can speak The mingled ions that surprised his heart, 'And through his nerves in shivering transport ran Then blazed his smothered flame, avowed, and bold; And as he viewed her, ardent, o'er and o'er, Love, gratitude, and pity, wept at once. Confused and frightened at his sudden tears, Her rising beauties flushed a higher bloom, As thus Palemon, passionate and just, Poured out the pious rapture of his soul. “And art thou, then, Acasto's dear remains?
She, whom my restless gratitude has sought,
[A Winter Landscape.]
Through the hushed air the whitening shower descends,
Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare,
[Benevolent Reflections, from * Winter.”
Ah little think the gay licentious proud, Whom pleasure, power, and affluence surround; They, who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth, And wanton, often cruel, riot waste; Ah little think they, while they dance along, How many feel, this very moment, death And all . sad variety of pain. How many sink in the devouring flood, Or more devouring flame. How many bleed, By shameful variance betwixt man and man. How many pine in want and dungeon glooms; Shut from the common air, and common use Of their own limbs. How many drink the cup Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread Of misery. Sore pierced by wintry winds, How many shrink into the sordid hut Of cheerless poverty. How many shake With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
| Riding sublime, thou bidst the world adore,
Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse;
Hymn on the Seasons.
These, as they change, Almighty Father, these
And humblest nature with thy northern blast.
| And let me catch it as I muse along.
Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound;
Or bids you roar, or bids your roaring fall.
Yeforests bend, ye harvests wave to Him; | Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart, As home he goes beneath the joyous moon. |Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep 'Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams; | Ye constellations, while your angels strike, Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre. | Great source of day! blest image here below Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide, From world to world, the vital ocean round, On nature write with every beam His praise. The thunder rolls: be hushed the prostrate world, While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn. Bleat out afresh ye hills; ye mossy rocks Retain the sound; the broad responsive low, Ye walleys, raise; for the Great Shepherd reigns, , And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come. Ye woodlands, all awake; a boundless song Burst from the groves; and when the restless day, Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep, Sweetest of birds ! sweet Philomela, charm
Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles; At once the head, the heart, the tongue of all, Crown the thymn ! in swarming cities vast, Assembled men to the deep organ join The long resounding voice, oft breaking clear, At solemn pauses, through the swelling base; And, as each mingling flame increases each, In one united ardour rise to heaven. Or if you rather choose the rural shade, And find a fane in every sacred grove, There let the shepherd's lute, the virgin's lay, The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre, Still sing the God of seasons as they roll. For me, when I forget the darling theme, Whether the blossom blows, the Summer ray Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams, Or Winter rises in the blackening east— | Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no 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 even at last the solemn hour shall come, And wing my mystic flight to future worlds, I cheerful will obey; there with new powers, Will rising wonders sing. I cannot go Where universal love not smiles around, Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns; From seeming evil still educing good, And better thence again, and better still, | In infinite progression. But I lose Myself in Him, in light ineffable Come, then, expressive silence, muse His praise.
[The Caravan of Mecca.]
Breathed hot | From all the boundless furnace of the sky,
And the wide glittering waste of burning sand, A suffocating wind the pilgrim smites With instant death. Patient of thirst and toil, | Son of the desert e'en the camel feels, Shot through his withered heart, the fiery blast. Or from the black-red ether, bursting broad, Sallies the sudden whirlwind. Straight the sands
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil paints.
The listening shades, and teach the night His praise.
Commoved around, in gathering eddies play;
[The Siberian Ecile.]
Our infant winter sinks Divested of his grandeur, should our eye Astonished shoot into the frigid zone; Where for relentless months continual night Holds o'er the glittering waste her starry reign. There, through the prison of unbounded wilds, Barred by the hand of nature from escape, Wide roams the Russian exile. Nought around Strikes his sad eye, but deserts lost in snow; And heavy-loaded groves; and solid floods That stretch athwart the solitary waste Their icy horrors to the frozen main; And cheerless towns far distant, never blessed Save when its annual course the caravan Bends to the golden coast of rich Cathay.
[Pestilence at Carthagena.]
Wasteful, forth Walks the dire power of pestilent disease. A thousand hideous fiends her course attend, Sick nature blasting, and to heartless wo And feeble desolation casting down The towering hopes and all the pride of man. Such as of late at Carthagena quenched The British fire. You, gallant Vernon, saw The miserable scene; you, pitying, saw To infant weakness sunk the warrior's arm; Saw the deep racking pang, the ghastly form, The lip pale quivering, and the beamless eye No more with ardour bright; you heard the groans Of agonising ships, from shore to shore; Heard, nightly plunged amid the sullen waves, The frequent corse; while on each other fixed In sad presage, the blank assistants seemed Silent to ask whom Fate would next demand.
[From the ‘Castle of Indolence."]
O mortal man, who livest here by toil, Do not complain of this thy hard estate; That like an emmet thou must ever moil, Is a sad sentence of an ancient date; And, certes, there is for it reason great; For, though sometimes it makes thee weep and wail, And curse thy star, and early drudge and late, Withouten that would come a heavier bale, Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale.
In lowly dale, fast by a river's side, With woody hill o'er hill encompassed round, A most enchanting wizard did abide, Than whom a fiend more fell is nowhere found. It was, I ween, a lovely spot of ground: And there a season atween June and May, Half pranked with spring, with summer half imbrowned, A listless climate made, where, sooth to say, No living wight could work, ne cared even for play.
Was nought around but images of rest:
Sleep-soothing groves, and quiet lawns between ;
And flowery beds that slumberous influence kest,
From poppies breathed; and beds of pleasant green,
Now the hoarse stream, and now the zephyr's sigh, Attuned to the birds, and woodland melody.
Or tend the blooms, and deck the vernal year;