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He stands erect; his slouch becomes a walk; Then Milton had indeed a poet's charms :
New to my taste, his Paradise surpass'd
I marvell'd much that at so ripe an age
As twice seven years, his beauties had then first Returns indignant to the slighted plow.
Engag'd my wonder; and admiring still,
With transports, such as favor'd lovers seel,
By modern lights from an erroneous taste,
I still revere thee, courtly though retir'd;
Though stretch'd at ease in Chertsey's silent bow'rs Man in society is like a flow'r
Not unemploy'd ; and finding rich amends Blown in its native bed : 'tis there alone
For a lost world in solitude and verse. His faculties, expanded in full bloom,
'Tis born with all: the love of Nature's works Shine out; there only reach their proper use.
Is an ingredient in the compound man, But man, associated and leagu'd with man
Infus'd at the creation of the kind. By regal warrant, or self-join'd by bond
And, though th' Alınighty Maker has throughout For int'rest-sake, or swarming into clans
Discriminated each from each, by strokes Beneath one head for purposes of war,
And touches of his hand, with so much art Like flow'rs selected from the rest, and bound
Diversified, that two were never found And bundled close to fill some crowded vase, Twins at all points—yet this obtains in all, Fades rapidly, and, by compression marr’d,
That all discern a beauty in his works, Contracts defilement not to be endur'd.
And all can taste them: minds that have been form'd Hence charter'd boroughs are such public plagues ; And tutor’d, with a relish more exact, And burghers, men immaculate perhaps
But none without some relish, none unmov'd. In all their private functions, once combin'd,
It is a flame, that dies not even there, Become a lothesome body, only fit
Where nothing feeds it: neither business, crowds, For dissolution, hurtful to the main.
Nor habits of luxurious city life, Hence merchants, unimpeachable of sin
Whatever else they smother of true worth Against the charities of domestic life,
In human bosoms, quench it or abate. Incorporated seem at once to lose
The villas, with which London stands begirt, Their nature; and, disclaiming all regard
Like a swarth Indian with his belt of beads, For mercy and the common rights of man,
Prove it. A breath of unadulterate air, Build factories with blood, conducting trade
The glimpse of a green pasture, how they cheer At the sword's point, and dying the white robe
The citizen, and brace his languid frame! of innocent commercial Justice red.
Ev'n in the stifling bosom of the town, Hence too the field of glory, as the world A garden, in which nothing thrives, has charms Misdeems it, dazzled by its bright array,
That soothe the rich possessor; much consolid, With all its majesty of thund'ring pomp,
That here and there some sprigs of mournful mint, Enchanting music, and immortal wreaths,
Of nightshade, or valerian, grace the well Is but a school, where thoughtlessness is taught
He cultivates. These serve him with a hint, On principle, where foppery atones
That Nature lives; that sight-refreshing green For folly, gallantry for ev'ry vice.
Is still the liv'ry she delights to wear, Bui slighted as it is, and by the great
Though sickly samples of th' exub'rant whole. Abandon'd, and, which still I more regret,
What are the casements lin'd with creeping herbs, Infected with the manners and the modes
The prouder sashes fronted with a range It knew not once, the country wins me still. Of orange, myrtle, or the fragrant weed, I never fram'd a wish, or form'd a plan
The Frenchman’s darling ?* Are they not all proofs That flatter'd me with hopes of earthly bliss, That man, immur'd in cities, still retains But there I laid the scene. There early stray'd
His inborn inextinguishable thirst My fancy, ere yet liberty of choice
Of rural scenes, compensating his loss Had found me, or the hope of being free.
By supplemental shifts, the best he may ? My very dreams were rural; rural too
The most unfurnish'd with the means of life, The first-born efforts of my youthful Muse, Are they, that never pass their brick-wall bounds, Sportive and jingling her poetic bells,
To range the fields, and treat their lungs with air, Ere yet her ear was mistress of their pow'rs. Yet feel the burning instinct : over-head No bard could please me but whose lyre was tun'd Suspend their crazy boxes, planted thick, To Nature's praises. Heroes and their feats And water'd duly. There the pitcher stands Fatigu'd me, never weary of the pipe
A fragment, and the spoutless tea-put there; of Tilyrus, assembling, as he sang, The rustic throng beneath his fav'rite beech.
Sad witnesses how close-pent man regrets Prepost'rous sight! the legs without the man.
Beneath the dazzling deluge; and the bents,
Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine And harmless pleasures, in the throng'd abode Conspicuous, and in bright apparel clad, Of multitudes unknown; hail, rural life!
And, fledg'd with icy feathers, nod superb. Address himself who will to the pursuit
The cattle mourn in corners, where the fence Of honors, or emolument, or fame;
Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep I shall not add myself to such a chase,
In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait Thwart his attempts, or envy his success. Their wonted fodder; not like hung'ring man, Some must be great. Great offices will have Fretful if unsupplied ; but silent, meek, Great talents. And God gives to ev'ry man And patient of the slow-pac'd swain's delay. The virtue, temper, understanding, taste,
He from the stack carves out th' accustom'd load. That lifts him into life, and lets bim fall
Deep plunging, and again deep plunging oft, Just in the niche he was ordain'd to fill.
His broad keen knife into the solid mass : To the deliv'rer of an injur'd land
Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands, He gives a tongue t' enlarge upon, a heart With such undeviating and even force To feel, and courage to redress her wrongs; He severs it away: no heedless care, To monarchs dignity; to judges sense ;
Lest storms should overset the leaning pile To artists ingenuity and skill;
Deciduous, or its own unbalanc'd weight. To me an unambitious mind, content
Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcern'd In the low vale of life, that early felt
The cheerful haunts of man ; to wield the ax, A wish for ease and leisure, and ere-long
And drive the wedge, in yonder forest drear,
Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears,
His dog attends him. Close behind his heel
Now ereeps he slow; and now, with many a frisk
Wide-scamp’ring, snatches up the drifted snow THE WINTER-MORNING WALK.
With iv'ry teeth, or plows it with his snout;
Then shakes his powder'd coat, and barks for joy. Argument.
Heedless of all his pranks, the sturdy churl A frosty morning. The foddering of cattle. The Moves right toward the mark ; nor stops for aogh
woodman and his dog. The poultry. Whimsical But now and then with pressure of his thumb effects of frost at a waterfall. The Empress of T adjust the fragrant charge of a short tube, Russia's palace of ice. Amusements of monarchs. That sumes beneath his nose ; the trailing cloud War, one of them. Wars, whence; and whence Streams far behind him, scenting all the air. monarchy. The evils of it. English and French Now from the roost, or from the neighb'ring pale loyalty contrasted. The Bastile, and a prisoner Where, diligent to catch the first faint gleam there. Liberty the chief recommendation of this Of smiling day, they gossip'd side by side, country. Modern patriotism questionable, and Come trooping at the housewife's well-known ca. why. The perishable nature of the best human The feather'd trihes domestic. Half on wing, institutions. Spiritual liberty not perishable. The And half on foot, they brush the fieecy flood. slavish state of man by nature. Deliver him, Conscious and fearful of too deep a plunge. Deist, if you can. Grace must do it. The re- The sparrow's peep, and quit the shelt'ring ea res spective merits of patriots and martyrs stated. To seize the fair occasion; well they eye Their different treatment. Happy freedom of the The scatter'd grain, and, thievishly resolvid man whom grace makes free. His relish of the T'escape th' impending famine, often scard works of God. Address to the Creator.
As oft return, a pert voracious kind.
Clean riddance quickly made, one only care
His wonted strut; and, wading at their head
With well-consider'd steps, seems to resent Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray His alter'd gait and stateliness retrench'd. Siides ineffectual down the snowy vale,
How find the myriads, that in summer cheer And, tinging all with his own rosy hue,
The hills and valleys with their ceaseless songs From ev'ry herb and ev'ry spiry blade
Due sustenance, or where subsist they now! Siretches a length of shadow o'er the field. Earth yields them nought; th'imprison'd worm is safe Mine, spindling into longitude immense,
Beneath the frozen clod; all seeds of herbs In spite of gravity, and sage remark
Lie cover'd close ; and berry-bearing thorns, That I myself am but a fleeting shade,
Thai feed the thrush, (whatever some suppose,) Provokes me to a smile. With eye askance Afford the smaller minstrels no supply, , view the muscular proportion'd limb
The long.protracted rigor of the year,
Ten thousand seek an unmolested end,
Where neither grub, nor root, nor earth-nut, now Blush'd on the panels. Mirror needed none
Where all was vitreous; but in order due
Convivial table and commodious seat
The same lubricity was found in all,
And soon to slide into a stream again.
Alas! 'twas but a mortifying stroke
'Twas transient in its nature, as in show No frost can bind it there ; its utmost force 'Twas durable ; as worthless, as it seem'd Can but arrest the light and smoky mist,
Intrinsically precious ; to the foot
Some have amus'd the dull, sad years of life,
Short-liv'd themselves, t' immortalize their bones.
And make the sorrows of mankind their sport.
T' extort their truncheons from the puny hands
Are gratified with mischief; and who spoil,
Because men suffer it, their loy the World. By these fortuitous and random strokes
When Babel was confounded, and the great Performing such inimitable feats,
Confed'racy of projectors wild and vain As she with all her rules can never reach.
Was split into diversity of tongues, Less worthy of applause, though more admir'd, Then, as a shepherd separates his flock, Because a novelty, the work of man,
These to the upland, to the valley those, Imperial mistress of the fur-clad Russ,
God drave asunder, and assign'd their lot Thy most magnificent and mighty freak,
To all the nations. Ample was the boon
He gave them, in its distribution fair
sow'd, In such a palace Aristæus found
And reap'd their plenty without grudge or strife. Cyrene, when he bore the plaintive tale
But violence can never longer sleep Of his lost bees to her maternal ear:
Than human passions please. In ev'ry heart
Are sown the sparks that kindle fiery war;
Soon by a righteous judgment in the line
Of his descending progeny was found No sound of hammer nor of saw was there : The first artificer of death; the shrewd Ice upon ice, the well-adjusted parts
Contriver, who first sweated at the forge, Were soon conjoin'd, nor other cement ask'd And forc'd the blunt and yet unbloodied steel Than water interfus'd to make them one.
To a keen edge, and made it bright for war. Lamps gracefully dispos'd, and of all hues, Him, Tubal nam'd, the Vulcan of old times, Illumin'd ev'ry side: a wat’ry light
The sword and falchion their inventor claims ;
His art surviv'd the waters; and ere-long,
Desire of more; and industry in some,
Thus war began on Earth : these fought for spoil, Familiar, serve t' emancipate the rest!
Such dupes are men to custom; and so prone
To rev’rence what is ancient, and can plead One eminent above the rest for strength,
A course of long observance for its use,
That even servitude, the worst of ills,
Of rational discussion, that a man,
As in the bosoms of the slaves he rules
Wage war, with any or with no pretence Was sure t'intoxicate the brows it bound.
Of provocation giv'n, or wrong sustain'd, It is the abject property of most,
And force the beggarly last doit, by means
That his own humor dictates, from the clutch
A splendid opportunity to die?
Say, ye, who (with less prudence than of old
In politic convention) put your trust
Rejoice in him, and celebrate his sway, Step forth to notice ; and, besotted thus,
Where find ye passive fortitude ? Whence springs Build him a pedestal, and say, “Stand there, Your self-denying zeal, that holds it good And be our admiration and our praise."
To stroke the prickly grievance, and to hang They roll themselves before him in the dust, His thorns with streamers of continual praise ? Then most deserving in their own account, We, too, are friends to loyalty. We love When most extra vagant in his applause,
The king who loves the law, respects his bounds As if, exalting him, they rais'd themselves. And reigns content within them: him we serve Thus by degrees, self-cheated of their sound Freely and with delight, who leaves us free; And sober judgment, that he is but man,
But recollecting still, that he is man, They demi-deify and fume him so,
We trust him not too far. King though he be, That in due season he forgets it too.
And king in England too, he may be weak, Inflated and astrut with self-conceit,
And vain enough to be ambitious still ;
May exercise amiss his proper pow'rs,
To serve him nobly in the common cause,
True to the death, but not to be his slaves. He deems a thousand, or ten thousand lives, Mark now the difference, ye that boast your love Spent in the purchase of renown for him, Of kings, between your loyalty and ours. An easy reckoning; and they think the same. We love the man, the paltry pageant you : 'Thus kings were first invented, thus kings We the chief patron of the commonwealth, Were burnish'd into heroes, and became
You the regardless author of its woes :
We for the sake of liberty a king,
In reason, is judicious, manly, free;
Yours, a blind instinct, crouches to the rod, Ev'n in the cradled weakness of the World : And licks the foot that treads it in the dust. Still stranger much, that when at length mankind Were kingship as true treasure as it seems, Had reach'd the sinewy firmness of their youth, Sterling, and worthy of a wise man's wish, And could discriminate and argue well
I would not be a king to be beloved
Of a superior, he is never free.
The state that strives for liberty, though foil'd
And forc'd lo abandon what she bravely sought, Eradicate him, tear him from his hold
Upon th' endearments of domestic life
And social, nip his fruitfulness and use,
And doom him for perhaps a heedless word
Moves indignation, makes the name of king But slaves, that once conceive the glowing thought of king whom such prerogative can please) of freedom, in that hope itself possess
As dreadful as the Manichean god,
"Tis liberty alone, that gives the flow'r The surest presage of the good they seek.
or fleeting life its lustre and perfume ; Then shame to manhood, and opprobrious more And we are weeds without it. All constraint, To France than all her losses and defeats,
Except what wisdom lays on evil men,
Is evil: hurts the faculties, impedes
Bestial, a meagre intellect, unfit
With all thy loss of empire, and though squeez'd
Thee I account still happy, and the chief In forging chains for us, themselves were free. Among the nations, seeing thou art free, For he, who values Liberty, confines
My native nook of earth! Thy clime is rude, His zeal for her predominance within
Replete with vapors, and disposes much No narrow bounds; her cause engages him All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine : Wherever pleaded. "Tis the cause of man. Thine unadulterate manners are less soft There dwell the most forlorn of human-kind, And plausible than social life requires, Immur'd, though unaccus’d, condemn'd untried, And thou hast need of discipline and art, Cruelly spar'd, and hopeless of escape.
To give thee what politer France receives There, like the visionary emblem seen
From nature's bounty—that humane address By him of Babylon, life stands a stump,
And sweetness, without which no pleasure is And, filleted about with hoops of brass,
In converse, either starv'd by cold reserve,
Of that one feature, can be well content,
But once enslav'd, farewell! I could endure
Chains nowhere patiently; and chains at home, To theatre, or jocund feast, or ball :
Where I am free by birthright, not at all. The wearied hireling finds it a release
Then what were left of roughness in the grain From labor; and the lover, who has chid
Of British natures, wanting its excuse Its long delay, feels ev'ry welcome stroke That it belongs to freemen, would disgust Upon his heart-strings, trembling with delight And shock me. I should then with double pain To fly for refuge from distracting thought
Feel all the rigor of thy fickle clime; To such amusements, as ingenious woe
And, if I must bewail the blessing lost, Contrives, hard-shifting, and without her tools For which our Hampdens and our Sidneys bled, To read engraven on the mouldy walls,
I would at least bewail it under skies In stagg'ring types, his predecessor's tale,
Milder, among a people less austere ; A sad memorial, and subjoin his own
In scenes, which having never known me free, To turn purveyor to an overgorg’d
Would not reproach me with the loss I felt. And bloated spider, till the pamper'd pest
Do I forbode impossible events, Is made familiar, watches his approach,
And tremble at vain dreams? Heav'n grant I may! Comes at his call, and serves him for a friend But th' age of virtuous politics is past, To wear out time in numb'ring to and fro
And we are deep in that of cold pretence. The studs, that thick emboss his iron door;
Patriots are grown too shrewd to be sincere, Then downward and then upward, then aslant, And we too wise to trust them. He that takes And then alternate; with a sickly hope
Deep in his soft credulity the stamp
Of liberty, themselves the slaves of lust,
Incurs derision for his easy faith, Oh comfortless existence! hemm'd around
And lack of knowledge, and with cause enough : With woes, which who that suffers would not kneel For when was public virtue to be found, And beg for exile, or the pangs of death?
Where private was not? Can he love the whole, That man should thus encroach on fellow-man, Who loves no part? He be a nation's friend, Abridge him of his just and native rights,
Who is in truth the friend of no man there?