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EE, WINTER comes, to rule the varied year,
Vapours, and Clouds, and Storms. Be these my theme,
These, that exalt the soul to solemn thought,
And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms !
Cogenial horrors, hail ! with frequent foot,
Pleas'd have I, in
chearful morn of life, When nurs’d by careless folitude I liv'd, And sung of Nature with unceasing joy, Pleas'd have I wander'd thro' your rough domain; 10 Trod the pure virgin-snows, myself as pure ; Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst; Or seen the deep fermenting tempest brew'd, In the grim evening sky. Thus pass’d the time, Till thro' the lucid chambers of the fouth,
15 Look'd out the joyous Spring, look'd out and smild.
To thce, the patron of this fort essay,
The Mufe, O WILMINGTON! renews her fong.
Since has ihe rounded the revolving year :
Skim'd the gay Spring; on eagle-pinions borne, 20
Attempted through the Summer-blaze to rise;
Then fwept o'er Autumn with the shadowy gale;
And now among the wintry clouds again,
Roll'd in the doubling storm, she tries to foar ;
To swell her note with all the rufling winds; 25
To fuit her founding cadence to the floods ;
As is her theme, her numbers wildly great :
Thrice happy! could the fill thy judging ear
With bold description, and with manly thought.
Nor art thou skill'd in awful schemes alone,
And how to make a mighty people thrive :
But equal goodness, found integrity,
A frm unshaken uncorrupted soul
Amid a Riding age, and burning strong,
Not vainly blazing for thy country's weal, 35
A steady spirit regularly free;
These, each exalting each, the statesman light
Into the patriot ; these, the public hope
And eye to thee converting, bid the Muse
Record what envy dares not flattery call.
Now when the chearless empire of the sky
To-Capricorn the Centaur-Archer yields,
And fierce Aquarius, stains th' inverted year;
Hung o'er the farthest verge of heaven, the sun
Scarce spreads o’er ether the dejected day.
Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot
His struggling rays, in horizontal lines,
Thro' the thick air; as cloath'd in cloudy storm,
Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky ;
And, soon-descending, to the long dark night, 50
Wide-shading all, the prostrate world resigns.
Nor is the night unwithd; while vital heat,
Light, life, and joy, the dubious day forfake.
Mean-time, in fable cincture, shadows valt,
Deep-ting'd and damp, and congregated clouds, 55
And all the vapoury turbulence of heaven
Involve the face of things. Thus Winter falls,
A heavy gloom oppressive o'er the world,
Thro' Nature shedding influence malign,
And rouses up the feeds of dark disease..
The foul of Man dies in him, loathing life,
And black with more than melancholy views.
The cattle droop; and o'er the furrowed land,
Fresh from the plough, the dun discoloured flocks,
Untended spreading, crop the wholesome root. 65
Along the woods, along the moorish fens,
Sighs the fad Genius of the coming storm ;
And up among the loose disjointed cliffs,
And fractur'd mountains wild, the brawling brook
And cave, presageful, send a hollow moan,
Resounding long in listening Fancy's ear.
Then comes the father of the tempest forth, Wrapt in black glooms. First joyless rains obscure I 3
Drive thro' the mingling skies with vapour foul; 74
Dash on the mountain's brow, and shake the woods,
That grumbling wave below. Th’unsightly plain
Lies a brown deluge; as the low-bent clouds
Pour flood on flood, yet unexhausted flill
Combine, and deepening into night shut up 79
The day's fair face. The wanderers of heaven,
Each to his home, retire ; save those that love
To take their pastime in the troubled air,
Or skimming Autter round the dimply pool.
The cattle from th' untasted fields return,
And ask, with meaning lowe, their wanted falls,
Or ruminate in the contiguous shade.
Thither the houshold feathery people croud,
The crested cock, with all his female train,
Pensive, and dripping ; while the cottage-hind
Hangs o'er th' enlivening blaze, and taleful there
Recounts his fimple frolic : much he talks, 91
And much he laughs, nor recks the storm that blows
Without, and rattles on his humble roof.
Wide o'er the brim, with many a torrent fwell'd,
And the mix'd ruin of its banks o'erspread, 95
At last the rous'd-up river pours along :
Refiftless, roaring, dreadful, down it comes,
From the rude mountain, and the mosly wild,
Tumbling thro' rocks abrupt, and founding far ;
Then o'er the fanded valley floating spreads,
Calm, fluggish, filent; till again constrain’d,
Between two meeting hills it bursts a way,
Where rocks and woods o’erhang the turbid stream ;.
There gathering triple force, rapid, and deep, 104
It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders through.
NATURE! great parent! whose unceasing hand Rolls round the Seasons of the changeful year, How mighty, how majestic, are thy works! With what a pleasing dread they swell the soul ! That sees astonish'd! and astonish'd sings ! Ye too, ye winds ! that now begin to blow, With boisterous sweep, I raise my voice to you. Where are your stores, ye powerful beings! say, Where your aërial magazines reserv'd, To swell the brooding terrors of the storm ? 115 In what far-diftant region of the sky, Hush'd in deep filence, fleep you when 'tis calm ?
WHEN from the palid sky the sun defcends, With many a spot, that o'er his glaring orb Uncertain wanders, stain'd; red fiery streaks Begin to flush around. The reeling clouds Stagger with dizzy poize, as doubting yet Which master to obey : while rising Now, Blank, in the leaden-colour'd east, the moon Wears a wan circle round her blunted horns. Seen thro the turbid fluctuating air,