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VAU Wundu. Vu LO w appearance i Barueu the world as something new. Its humour is quiet and droll; the treatment of so rude a subject in the lofty Miltonic style and measure, was a bold attempt; but as the writer was then totally unknown, the risk of failure which he incurred was very slight. We cannot find in it the talent that others have found; while his poem of Cider, which has been generally regarded as of far less merit, to us appears a production of the highest and rarest order. It is at once " a book of entertainment and of science." It communicates a vast quantity of knowledge in a form the most agreeable and impressive; there is, indeed, no point or circumstance connected with the subject upon which the author has not offered some comment, and given some explanation; passing from essays on the nature and culture of the soil, to rural sports, when labour is over,-from the seasons, their changes and effects, to the industry of the husbandman and the skill of the mechanic,-from the growth of the tree to the treatment of the varied fruit it bears,--and always with a grace, easy, unforced, and natural. The poem is, like the subject of it, essentially English-the style is nervous, clear and comprehensive; the writer, if rarely enthusiastic, is always satisfactory; and the reader derives exceeding pleasure as well as ample information from its perusal.
Thus naught is useless made; nor is there land But what or of itself or else compellid Affords advantage. On the barren heath The shepherd tends his flock, that daily crop Their verdant dinner from the mossy turf Sufficient; after them the cackling goose, Close grazer, finds wherewith to ease her want. What should I more ? Ev’n on the cliffy height Of Penmenmaur, and that cloud-piercing hill Plinlimmon, from afar the traveller kens Astonish'd how the goats their shrubby browse Gnaw pendent; nor untrembling canst thou see
How from a scraggy rock whose prominence
penury the worst of ills remove ?
The farmer's toil is done; his cades mature Now call for vent; his lands exhaust permit T' indulge awhile. Now solemn rites he pays To Bacchus, author of heart-cheering mirth. His honest friends at thirsty hour of dusk Come uninvited; he with bounteous hand Imparts his smoking vintage, sweet reward Of his own industry; the well-fraught bowl, Circles incessant, whilst the humble cell With quav'ring laugh and rural jests resounds. Ease and content, and undissembled love, Shine in each face; the thoughts of labour past Increase their joy: as, from retentive cage, When sullen Philomel escapes, her notes She varies, and of past imprisonment Sweetly complains; her liberty retriev'd Cheers her sad soul, improves her pleasing song: Gladsome they quaff, yet not exceed the bounds Of healthy temp’rance, nor encroach on night, Season of rest, but well bedew'd repair Each to his home with unsupplanted feet. Ere heav'n 's emblazon'd by the rosy dawn, Domestic cares awake them; brisk they rise, Refresh'd, and lively with the joys that flow From amicable talk and mod’rate cups Sweetly interchang'd.
Sturdy swains In clean array for rustic dance prepare, Mixt with the buxom damsels; hand in hand They frisk and bound, and various mazes weave, Shaking their brawny limbs, with uncouth mien Transported, and sometimes an oblique leer Dart on their loves, sometimes an hasty kiss
Steal from unwary lasses; they with scorn
THE SPLENDID SHILLING.
HAPPY the man who, void of cares and strife,
vie With Massic, Setin, or renown'd Falern.
Thus while my joyless minutes tedious flow,
Beware, ye Debtors ! when ye walk beware,