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CYCLOPÆDIA

OF

ENGLISH LITERATURE.

SIXTH PERIOD.

(1720—1780.)—
GEORGE II. AND GEORGE III.

(Continued.)

A Summer Morning.

With quickened step
Brown night retires : young day pours in apace,
And opens all the lawny prospect wide.
The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn.
Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents shine;
And from the bladed field the fearful hare
Limps awkward ; while along the forest glade
The wild-deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early passenger. Music awakes
The native voice of undissembled joy ;
And thick around the woodland hymns arise.
Roused by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves
His mossy cottage, where with peace he dwells;
And from the crowded fold, in order, drives
His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn.

Autumn Evening Scene.
But see the fading many-coloured woods,
Shade deepening over shade, the country round
Imbrown; a crowded umbrage, dusk and dun,
Of every hue, from wan declining green
To sooty dark. These now the lonesome muse,
Low whispering, lead into their leaf-strewn walks,
And give the season in its latest view.

Meantime light-shadowing all, a sober calm
Fleeces unbounded ether; whose least wave
Stands tremulous, uncertain where to turn
The gentle current; while illumined wide,
The dewy-skirted clouds imbibe the sun,
And through their lucid veil his softened force
Bhed o'er the peaceful world. Then is the time,

For those whom virtue and whom nature charm,
To steal themselves from the degenerate crowd,
And soar above this little scene of things :
To tread low-thoughted vice beneath their feet;
To soothe the throbbing passions into peace;
And woo lone Quiet in her silent walks.

Thus solitary, and in pensive guise,
Oft let me wander o'er the russet mead,
And through the saddened grove, where scarce is heard
One dying strain, to cheer the woodman's toil.
Haply soine widowed songster pours his plaint,
Far, in faint warblings, through the tawny copse ;
While congregated thrushes, linnets, larks,
And each wild throat, whose artless strains so late,
Swelled all the music of the swarming shades,
Robbed of their tuneful onls, now shivering sit
On the dead tree, a dull despondent flock,
With not a brightness waving o'er their plumes,
And nought save chattering discord in their note,
O let not, aimed from some human eye,
The gun the music of the coming year
Destroy; and harmless, unsuspecting harm,
Lay the weak tribes a miserable prey
In mingled murder, fluttering on the ground !

The pale descending year, yet pleasing still,
A gentler inood inspires; for now the leaf
Incessant rustles from the mournful grove;
Oft startling such as studious walk below,
And slowly circles through the waving air.
But should a quicker breeze amid the boughs
Sob, v'er the sky the leafy deluge streams;
Till choked, and maited with the dreary shower,
The forest-walks, at every rising gale,
Roll wide the withered waste, and whistle bleak.
Fied is the blasted verdure of the fields ;
And, shrunk into their beds, the flowery race
Their sunuy robes resign. E'en what remained
Of bolder fruits falls from the naked tree;
And woods, fields, gardens, orchards all around,
The desolated prospect thrills the soul...

The western sun withdraws the shortened day,
And humid evening, gliding o'er the sky,
Iu her chill progress, to the ground condensed
The vapour throws. Where creeping waters ooze,
Where marshes stagnate, and where rivers wind,
Cluster the rolling logs, and swim along
The dusky-mantled lawn. Meanwhile the moon,
Full orbed, and breaking through the scattered clouds.
Shews her broad visage in the crimsoned east.
Turned to the sun direct her spotted disk,
Where mountains rise, umbrageous dales descend,
And caverns deep, as optic tube descries,
A smailer earth, gives all his blaze again,
Void of its flame, and sheds a softer day.
Now through the passing cloud she seems to stoop,
Now up the pure cerulean rides sublime.
Wide the pale deluse floats, and streaming mild
O'er the skied mountain to the shadowy vale,
While rocks and floods reflect the quivering gleam;
The whole air whitens with a boundle.is tide
Of silver radiance trembling round the world. ...

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The lengthened night elapsed, the morning shines
Serene, in all her dewy beauty bright
Unfolding fair the last autumnal day.
And now the mounting sun dispels the fog;
The rigid hoar-frost melts before his beam;
And hung on every spray, on every blade
Of grass, the myr ad dew-drops twinkle round.

A Winter Landscape.
Through the hushed air the whitening shower descends,
At first thin-wavering, till at last the flakes
Fall broad, and wide, and fast, dimming the day
With a continual flow. The cherished fields
Put on their winter robe of purest white :
'Tis brightness all, save where the new snow melts
Along the mazy current. Low the woods
Bow their hoar head; and ere the languid sun
Faint from the west, emits his evening ray,
Earth's universal face, deep hid, and chill,
Is one wild dazzling waste, that buries wide
The works of man. Drooping, the labourer-ox
Stands covered o'ur with snow, and then demands
The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven,

Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around was and more

The winnowing store, and claim the little boon
Which Providence assigns them. One alone,
The red breast, sacred to the household gods,
Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky,
In joyless fields and thorny thickets, leaves
His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man
His annual visit. Half-afraid, he first
Against the window beats; then, brisk, alights
On the warm hearth; then hopping d'er the floor,
Eyes all the smiling family askance,
And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is :
Till more familiar grown, the table crumbs
Attract his slender feet. The foodless wilds
Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare.
Though timorous of heart, and hard beset
By death in various forms-dark shares and dogs,
And more unpitying men-the garden seeks,
Urged on by fearless want. The bleating kine
Eye the bleak heaven, and next, the glistening earth,
With looks of dumb despair; then, sad dispersed,
Dig for the withered herb through heaps of snow..

As thus the snows arise, and foul and fierce
All winter drives along the darkened air,
In his own loose revolving fields the swain
Disastered stands; sees other hills ascend,
Of unknown joyless brow, and other scenes,
Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain;
Nor finds the river nor the forest, hid
Beneath the formless wild ; but wanders on
From hill to dele, still more and more astray,
Impatient flouncing through the drifted heaps,
Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts of home
Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth
In many a vain attempt. How sinks his soul!
What black despair, what horror, fills his heart,
When for the dusky spot which fancy feigned,
Jis tufted cottage rising through the snow,

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He meets the roughness of the middle waste,
Far from the track and blest abode of man;
While round him night resistless closes fast,
And every tempest howling o'er his head,
Renders the savage wilderness more wild!
Then throng the busy shapes into his mind,
Of covered pits, unfathomably deep,
A dire descent! beyond the power of frost;
Of faithless bogs; of precipices huge
Smoothed up with snow; and what is land unknown,
What water of the still unfrozen spring,
In the loose marsh or solitary lake,
Where the fresh fountaju from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps, and down he sinks
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift,
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mixed with the tender anguish nature shoots
Through the wrung bosom of the dying man,
His wife, his children, and his friends, unseen.
In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm:
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife nor children more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve
The deadly winter seizes, shuts up sense,
And o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snows a stiffened cors
Stretched out, and bleaching in the northern blast.

Hymn on the Seasons.
These, as they change, Almighty Father, these
Are but the varied God. The rolling year
Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
Thy beauty walks, Thy tenderness and love.
Wide flush the fields; the softening air is balm;
Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles ;
And every sense and every heart is joy.
Then comes Thy glory in the Summer months,
With light and heat refulgent. Then Thy son
Shoots full perfection through the swelling year:
And oft Thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks,
And oft at dawn, deep poon, or falling eve,
By brooks and groves in hollow-whispering gulex
Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined,
And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
In Winter awful Thou ! with clouds and storms
Around Thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rollos
Majestic darkness! On the whirlwind's wing
Riding sublime, Thon bidst the world adore,
And humblest nature with Thy northern blast.

Mysterious round! what skill, what force divino,
Deep-felt, in these appear! a simple train,
Yet so delightful mixed, with such kind art,
Such beanty and beneficence combined ;
Shade, ya perceived, so softening into shade;
And all so forming a harmonious whole,
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wundering oft, with rnde unconscious gaze,
Man inorks not thee, marks not the mighty band

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