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| Think these loft themes unworthy of your ear: "
Such themes as these the rural Ma R o fung -
To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height
Of elegance and taste, by Greece refin’d. t : . '
In antient times, the facred plough employ’d :
The kings, and awful fathers of mankind :
And fome, with whom compar'd your infećt-tribes
Are but the beings of a fummer's day,
Have held the fcale of empire, rul’d the storm
Of mighty war ; then, with vićtorious hand,
Difdaining little delicacies, feiz'd *
The plough, and greatly independent liv'd.
His description of a gentle refreshing rain, and of the
rainbow is, I think, inimitable.
The north-east spends his rage; he now, shut up
Within his iron cave, th'affusive south
Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers distent.
At first a dusky wreath they feem to rife, :
Scarce ftaining ether; but by swift degrees,
In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour fails
Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep
Sits on th” horizon round a fettled gloom,
Not fuch as wintry-storms on mortals shed,
Opprefsing life ; but lovely, gentle, kind,
And full of every hope and every joy,
The wish of nature. Gradual finks the breeze
Into a perfećt calm ; that not a breath
Is heard to quiver thro' the closing woods,
Or rustling turn the many-twink'ling leaves . .
Of afpin tall. Th’ uncurling floods, diffus'd
In glaffy breadth, feem thro' delufive lapse
Forgetful of their course. ’Tis filence all,
And pleafing expectation. i Herds and flocks
Drop the dry sprig, and mute imploring eye
The falling verdure. Hush'd in short Îuspense
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off;
And wait th' approaching fign to strike, ato eo,
Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales,
And forests feem, impatient, to demand
The promis'd sweetness. Man superior walks
Amid the glad creation, mufing praife,
And looking lively gratitude. At last,
The clouds confign their treasures to the fields;
And, foftly shaking on the dimpled pool
Prelufive drops, let all their moisture flow,
In large effufion, o'er the freshened world.`
The stealing shower is fcarce to patter heard,
By fuch as wander thro’ the forrest walks,
Beneath the umbrageous multitude of leaves.
But who can hold the fhade, while heaven descends
In universal bounty, shedding herbs, -
And fruits, and flowers, on nature's ample lap ?
Swift fancy fir’d anticipates their growth ;
And while the mighty nutriment distills,
Beholds the kindling country colour round.
Thus all day long the full distended clouds Indulge their genial stores, and well-shower'd earth Is deep enrich'd with vegetable life ; Till, in the western sky, the downward fun Looks out, effugent, from amid the flush Of broken clouds, gay. shifting to his beam. The rapid radience instantaneous strikes Th’illumin’d mountain, thro’ the foreft streams, Shakes on the floods, and in a yellow mist, Farfmoaking o'er th’ interminable plain, In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems. Moist, bright, and green, the landskip laughs around. Full swell the woods; their every music wakes, Mix'd in wild concert with the warbling brooks Increas'd, the distant bleatings of the hills, And hollow lows responfive from the vales, Whence blending all the sweetened zephyr springs. Mean time refraćted from yon eastern cloud, Bestriding earth, the grand ethereal bow Shoots up immenfe ; and every hue unfolds, In fair proportion running from the red, To where the violet fades into the sky. Here, awful Newton, the diffolving clouds Form, fronting on the fun, the showry prifm ; And to the fage-instruếted eye unfold
From the white mingling maze. Not so the boy;
He wondering views the bright enchantment bend,
Delightful, o'er the radient fields, and runs
To catch the falling glory ; but amaz’d
Beholds th' amufive arch before him fly,
Then vanquish quite away. Still night succeeds,
A foftened shade, and faturated earth
Awaits the morning-beam, to give to light,
Rais'd thro’ ten thousand different plastic tubes,
The balmy treasures of the former day.
That part where he prefers the vegetable to the animal food, and inveighs against the cruelty of destroying those creatures, that are not only inoffensive, but serviceable to us, is pathetic and sublime.
Shall Man, whom nature form’d of milder clay,
With every kind emotion in his heart,
And taught alone to weep; while from her lap
She pours ten thousand delicacies, herbs,
And fruits, as numerous as the drops of rain,
Or beams that gave them birth : shall he fair form !
Who wears sweet fmiles, and looks erećt on heaven,
E'er stoop to mingle with the prowling herd
And dip his tongue in gore ? The beast of prey,
Blood-stain'd deserves to bleed : but you, ye flocks,
What have you done ; ye peaceful people, what,
To merit death ? You, who have given us milk
In lufcious streams, and lent us your own coat
Against the winter’s cold ? And the plain Ox ;
That harmlefs, honest, guileless animal,
In what has he offended ? He, whose toil,
Patient and ever ready, clothes the land
With all the pomp of harvest; shall he bleed,
And struggling groan beneath the cruel hands
Even of the clown he feeds ?
The description of the garden, and the apostrophe to the Supreme being on that occasion, are both pious and poetical ; as also is the description of the feathered fongsters, and their Loves ; but thefe and other parts, equally beautiful, are too long to be here inferted. The author con
clades his poem on Spring with an Eulogium on a happy marriage state. As the Summer season is more uniform than the Spring, and does not admit of equal variety, the poet, after defcribing the motion of thofe heavenly bodies which occafion the succession of feasons, introduces the description of a Summer's day, and speaks particularly of the dawn, funrifing, and the forenoon ; where he confiders the Summer infects, and gives us a scene of hay-making, and sheepfhearing, which are natural and poetical. He then describes the noon-day, a wood-land retreat, a groupe of flocks and herds, a folemn grove, and the effećt it has on a contemplative mind. He next presents us with a cataraćt, and a landscape, rude and romantic ; whence we are led into the Torrid Zone, to view a Summer there. He then describes a storm of thunder and light’ning, which is fufficiently terrible, but is made more so by a pathetic tale of two lovers lost in the tempest. This storm is succeeded by a ferene afternoon, in which are described the pastime of bathing and walking. After this, we are presented with the prospect of a well cultivated country, which paves the way for a panegyric on Great Britain, that immediately follows. We are then entertained with descriptions of the fun fetting, of the evening, night, fummer meteors, and of a comet ; and the Poem concludes in praife of natural philosophy. His description of the morning, of the fun rifing, and the hymn on that occafion, are too beautiful to be omitted.
- WHEN now no more th” alternate Twins are fix’d,
And Cancer reddens with the folar blaze,
Short is the doubtful empire of the night;
And foon, observant of approaching day,
The meek-ey'd morn appears, mother of dews,
At first faint-gleaming in the dappled east:
Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow ;
And, from before the luftre of her face,
White break the clouds away. With quicken'd step,
Brown night retires : young day pours in a-pace,
And opens all th' lawny prospect wide,
The dripping rock, the mountain’s misty top
Swell on the fight, and brighten with the dawn.
Blue thro’ the dusk, the smoaking currents fhine ;
And from the bladed field the fearful hare
Limps, aukward : while along the forest glade
The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early pasienger. Music awakes
The native voice of undiffembled joy;
And thick around the woodland hymns arife.
Rous'd by the cock, the foon-clad shepherd leaves
His moffy cottage, where with Peace he dwells;
And from the crowded fold, in order, drives
His flock, to tafte the verdure of the morn.
FA LsE Lx luxurious, will not Man awake;
And, springing from the bed of floth, enjoy
The cool, the fragrant, and the filent hour,
To mediation due and facred fong ?
For is there aught in sleep can charm the wife ?
To lie in dead oblivion, loofing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life ?
Total extinćtion of th’ enlightned foul!
Or elfe to feverish vanity alive,
Wildered, and tosting thro’ distemper’d dreams ?
Who would in fuch a gloomy fiate remain,
Longer than nature craves ; where every muse
And every blooming pleasure wait without,
To bless the wildly-devious morning-walk ?