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200 Broadway, 
aid Geo.S. Apphtoji, UbChciinu-st.Pliil^delohia. 


72, Vesejrstreet. 



James Thorns 'n, the son of a minister! well esteemed foe 
bis piety anJ diligrence, was born September 7, 1700, at EJ- 
nam,' in the shire of Roxburg'h, of which his father was pas- 
tor. ? His mother, whose name was Hume,* inheriteJ as co- 
heiress a portion of a small estate. The revenue of a parish 
'n -^ jtland is seldom la'T^ei and it was probably in com- 
.dtioAjf the fflteculty with which Mr. Thomson sup- 
e(^is family, liaving- nine children, that Mr. Ricarton, 
t'i'-hbouring' minister, discovering' in James uncommon 
mises of future excellence, undertook to superintend his 
' ation and proviilehim books. 

e was taught the common rudiments of learning at the 
/ ool of Jedhurg'h, a place which he deliofhts to recollect ill 
his poem of ' Autumn ;' bu^was not considered by his master 
as superior to common b^PB^hous'h in those early days he 
amused his patron and his friends with poetical compositions ; 
with which, however, he so little pleased himself, that ou 
every new year's day he threw into the fire all the productions 
of the foregoino' year. 

From thil^CTDol h« was removed to Edinburgh, where he 
he haiT not' resided two years when his failfier died, and left all 
his children to the care cfTTfTeir mother, who raised upon her 
little estate what money a moTlg-a^'e could afford, and, remov- 
ing- with her family to Edinbtlrgh, lived to see her son rising 
into eminence. "" 

• This t.ppearsto be an error, as his mother's name was 
I Beatrix Trotter. His grandmother's name was Hume. 

Q ^ 


The desiofn of Thomson's friends was to breed him a min- 
ister. He lived at Edinburgh, as at school, without distinc- 
tion or expectation, till, at the usual time, he performed a 
probationary exercise by explaining a psalm. His diction 
was so poetically splendid, that Mr. Hamilton, the Professor 
of Divinity, reproved him for speakinj^ language unintelliorible 
to a popular audience : and he censured one ofhis expressisns 
as indecent, if not profane. 

This rebuke is reported to have repressed his thoughts of an 
ecclesiastical character, and he probably cultivated with new 
diligence his blossoms of poetry, which, however, were in some 
danger of a blast; for, submitting his productions to some 
who thought themselves qualified to criticise, he heard of no- 
thing but faults; but finding other judges more favourable, 
he did not suffer himself to sink into despondence. 

He easily discovered that, the only stage on which a poet 
could appear with any hope of advantage was London; a 
place too wide for the operation of petty competition and pri- 
vate malignity, where merit might soon become conspicuous, 
and would find friends as soon as it became reputable to be- 
friend it. A lady who was acquainted with his mother ad- 
vised him to the journey, and promised some countenance or 
assistance, which at last he never received ; however, he jus- 
tified his adventure by her encouragement, and came to seek 
in London patronage and fame. 

At his arrival he found his way to Mr. Mallet, then tutor to 
the sons of the Duke of Montrose. He had recommendations 
to several persons of consequence, which he had tied up care- 
fully in his handkerchief; but as he passed along the streets, 
with the gaping curiosity of a new-comer, his attention was 
upon every thing rather than his pocket, and his magazine of 
credentials was stolen from him. 

His first want was a pair of shoes. For the supply of all 
his necessities, his whole fund was his Winter, which for a 
time could find no purchaser; till, at last, Mr. Millar was 



persuaded to buy it at a low price ; and this low price he had 
for some lime reason toreg-ret; but, by accident, Mr. What- 
ley, a man not wholly unknown among authors, happening to 
turn his eye upon it, was so delighted, that he ran from place 
to place celebrating ils excellence. Thomson olnained like- 
wise the notice of Aaron Hill, whom, being friendless and 
indigent, and glad of kindness, he courted with every expres- 
sion of servile adulation. 

Winter was dedicaieJ to Sir Spencer Compton, but at- 
tracted no regard from him lo the author, till Aaron Hill 
awakened his attention by some verses addressed to Thomson, 
and published in one of the newspapers, which censured the 
great for the neglect of ingenious men. Thomson then re- 
ceived a present of twenty guineas, of which he gives this ac- 
count to Mr. Hill : 

' I hinted to you in my last, that on Saturday morning I wsw 
with Sir Spencer Compton. A certain gentleman, without 
my desire, spoke to him concerning me: his answer was that 
I had never come near him. Then the gentleman put the ques- 
tion, If he desired that I should wait on him ? He returned, he 
,did. On this, the gentleman gave me an introductory letter 
to him. He received me in what they commonly call a civil 
manner; asked me some common-place questions, and made 
me a present of twenty guineas. I am very ready to own that 
the present was larger than my performance deserved ; and 
shall ascribe it to his generosity, or any other cause, rather 
than the merit of the address.' 

The poem, which, being of a new kind, few would venture 
at first to like, by degrees gained upon the public ; and one 
edition was very speedily succeeded by another. 

Thomson's credit was now high, and every day brought 
him new friends; among others Dr. Rundle, a man afterward 
unfortunately famous, sought his acquaintance, and found his 
qualities such, that he recommended him to the Lord Chan- 
cellor Talbot. 




Winter was accompanied, in many edition;, not only with 
a preface and deilication, but with poetical praises, by Mr. 
Hill, Mr. Mallet (then Malloch) and Mira, the fictitious name 
of a lady once too well known. Why the dedications to 
Winter and the other Seasons, contrarily to custom, are left 
out in the collected works the reader may inquire. 

The next year (1727) he distinguished himself by three 
publications: of 'Summer,' in pursuance of his plan, of 
' A Poem on the death of Sir Isaac Newton,' which he was 
enabled to perform as an exact philosopher by the instruction 
of Mr. Gra . ; and of ' Britannia,' a kind of poetical invective 
against the ministry, whom the nation then thousrht not for- 
ward enoug-h in resenting- ihe depredations of the Spaniards. 
By this piece he declared himself an adherent to the opposi- 
tion, and had therefore no favour to expect from the Court. 

Thomson having- been some time entertained in the family 
of the Lord Biiuiiiig-, was desirous of testifying his gratitude 
by making him the patron of his 'Summer;' hut the same 
kindness which had first disposed Lord Binning to encourage 
him determined him to refuse the dedication, which was by 
his advice addressed to Mr. Dodingion, a man who had more 
power to advance the reputation and fortune of a poi--. 

' Spring' was published next year, with a dedication to the 
Countess of Hertford; whose practice it was to invite every 
summer some poet into the country to hear her verses and as- 
sist her studies. This honour was one summer conferred on 
Thomson, who took more delight in carousing with Lord 
Hertford and his friends than assistmcf her ladyship's poeti- 
cal operations, and therefore never received anothersummons. 

' Autumn,' the season to which the ' Spring' and ' Summer' 
are preparatory, still remained unsun?, and was delayed till 
he published (1730) his works collected. 

He produced, in 1727, the tragedy of 'Sophonisba,' whi^h 
raised such expectation, that every rehearsal was dignified 
with a splendid audience, collected to anticipate the delight 


that was preparing for the public. It was obserred, howerer, 
that nobody was much affected, and that lh« «ompan7 rose as 
from a moral lecture. 

It had upon the stags no unusual degrse •f succei* Slight 
accidents will operate upon the taste of pleasure. There is a 
feeble line in the play 

O Sophonisba, Sophoniiba, O ! 
This gave occasion to a waggish parody ' 

O Jemmy Thomson, Jemmy Thomson, O • 

which for a while was echoed throujh the town. 

I have been told by Savage, that of the prologue to • So- 
phonisba' the first part was written by Pope, who coultf not 
be persuaded to finish it, and that the concluding lines were 
added by Mallet. 

Thomson was not long afterward by the influence of Du 
Rundle, sent to travel wiih Mr. Charles Talbot, the eldest 
son of the Chancellor. He was yet young enough to receive 
new impressions, to have his opinions rectified, and his views 
enlarged ; nor can he be supposed to have wanted that curi- 
osity which is inseparable from an active and comprehensive 
mind. He may therefore now be supposed to havs revelled 
in all the joys of intellectual luxury ; he was every day feast- 
ed with instructive novelties ; he lived splendidly without ex- 
pense; and might expect when he returned home a certain 

At this time a long course of opposition t» Sir Robert 
Walpole had filled the nation with clamours for liberty, of 
which no man felt the want, and with care for liberty which 
was not in danger. Thomson, in his travels, on the Conti- 
nent, found or fancied so many evils arising from the tyranny 
of other governments, that he resolved to write a Tery long 
poeiil, in five parts, upon Liberty. 

While he was busy on the first book, Mr. Talbot died ; and 

^ . 


Thomson, who had been rewarded for his attendance by the 
place of secretary of the Briefs, pays in the initial lines a de- 
cent tribute to his memory. 

Upon this great poem two years were spent, and the author 
congratulated himself upon it as his noblest work; but an 
author and his readers are not always of a mind. Liberty 
called in vain upon her votaries to read her pra.ises and 
reward her encomiast • her praises were condemned to har- 
bour spiders and gather dust ; none of Thomson's perform- 
ances were so little regarded. 

The judgment of the public was not erroneous ; the recur- 
rence of the same images must tire in time ; an enumeration 
of examples to prove a position which nobody desired, as it 
was from the beginning superfluous, must quickly grow dis- 

The poem of * Liberty' does not now appear m its original 
state; but, when the author's works were collected after his 
death, was shortened by Sir George Lyttelton, with a liberty 
which, as it has a manifest tendency to lessen the confidence 
of society, and to confound the characters of authors, by mak- 
ing one write by the judgment of another, cannot be justified 
by any supposed propriety of the alteration or kindness ot 
the friend.— 1 wish to see it exhibited as its author left it. 

Thomson now lived in ease and plenty, and seems for 
awhile to have suspended his poetry ; but he was soon called 
back toilabour by the death of the Chancellor, for his place 
then became vacant ; and though the Lord Hardwicke delay- 
ed for some time to give it away, Thomson's bashfnlness or 
pr de, or some other motive perhaps not more laudable, with- 
held him from soliciting; and the new Chancellor would not 
give him what he would not ask. 

He now relapsed to his former indigence , but the Prince of 
Wales was at that time struggling for popularity, and by the 
influence of Mr. Lyttelton professed himself the patron of 
wit: to him Thomson was introduced, and being gaily in;er- 



rog-aled about the state of his affairs, said, ' that they were in 
a more poetical posture ihan formerly;' and had a pension 
allowed him of one hundred pounds a year 

Being now obliged to write, he produced (1738*) the trage- 
dy of ' Ag-amemnon,' which was much shortened in the repre- 
sentation. It had the fate wliich most commonly anends 
mythological stories, and was only endured but not favoured. 
It struggled with such difficulty through the first night, that 
Thomson, coming late io his friends with whom he was to 
sup, excused his delay by telling ihem how ihe sweat of his 
distress had so disordered his wig, that he could not come till 
be had been refitted by a barber. 

He so interested himself in his own drama, that, if I remem- 
ber right, as he sat in the upper gallery, he accompanied the 
players by audible recitation, till a friendly hint frighted him 
to silence. Pope countenanced ' Agamemnon,' by coming to 
it the first night, and was welcomed to the theatre by a gene- 
ral clap; he had much regard for Tliomson, and once ex- 
pressed it in a poetical epistle sent to Italy, of wliioli how- 
ever he abated the value by translating some of the lines into 
his epistle to Arbuthnol. 

About this time the act was passed for licensing plays, of 
which the first operation was the prohibition of ' Gnstavus 
Vasa,' a tragedy of Mr. Brooke, whom the public recom- 
pensed by a very liberal subscription ; the next was the refusal 
of ' Edward and Eleonora,' offered by Tliomson. It is hard 
to discover why either play should have been obstructed. 
Thomson likewise endeavoured to repair his loss by a sub- 
scription, of which I cannot now tell the success. 

When the public murmured at the unkind treatment of 
Thomson, one of the ministerial writers remarked, that 'he 
had taken a Liberty which was not agreeable to Britannia in 
any Season.^ 

* In this vear an edition of Milton's Areopagitica was pub- 
lished by Millar, with a Preface by Thomson: 


He was soon after employed, in conjunction with Mr. 
Mallet, to write the mask of ' Alfred,' which was acted before 
the Prince at Clifden-House. 

His next worlt (1745) was 'Tancred and Sig-ismunda,' the 
most successful of all his trag'edies, for it still keeps its turn 
upon the stage. It may be doubled whether he was, either 
by the bent of nature or habits of study much qualified for 
trafi;edy. It does not appear that he had much sense of the 
pathetic ; and his ditl'usive and descriptive style produced 
declamation raiher than dialogue 

His friend Mr. l.yiieUon was now in power, and conferred 
upon him the office of Surveyor-general of the Leeward 
Islands ; from which, when his deputy was paid, he received 
about three hundred pounds a-year. 

The last piece that he lived to publish was the ' Castle of 
Indolence,' which was many years under his hand, but was 
at last finished with great accuracy. The first canto opens 
a scene of luzy luxury that fills the imagination. 

He was now at ease, but whs not long to enjoy it; for, by 
taking cold on the water between London and Kew, he caught 
a disorder, which, with some careless exasperation, ended in 
a fever that put an end to his life, August 27, 1748. He was 
buried in the church of Richmond, without an inscription ;* 
but a monument has since been erected to his memory in 

Thomson was of a stature above the middle size, and 
•more fat than bard beseems,' of a dull countenance, and a 
gross, unanimated, uninviting appearance; silent in mingled 
company, but cheerful among select friends, and by his 
friends very tenderly and warmly beloved. 

He left behind him the tragedy of * Coriolanus,' which 
was, by the zeal of his patron Sir George Lyttelton, brought 
upon the stage for the benefit of his family, and recommended 

*One has since been erected. See end of Life. 


by a Prologue, which Q,uin, who had long lived with Thom- 
son in fond intimacy, spoke in such a manner as shewed him 
' to be,' on that occasion, ' no actor.' The commencement of 
this benevolence is very honourable to Quin ; whoisreponed 
to have delivered Thomson, then known to him only for his 
genius, from an arrest by a very considerable present : and 
its continuance is honourable to both, for friendship is 
not always the sequel of obligation. By this tragedy a con- 
siderable sum was raised, of which part discharged his debts, 
and the rest was remitted to his sisters, whom, however 
removed from them by place or condition, he regarded with 
great tenderness, as will appear from the following letter, 
which 1 communicate with much pleasure, as it gives me at 
ojice an opportunity of recording the fiaiernal kindness of 
Thomson, and retlecting on the friendly assistance of Mr. 
Boswell, from whom I received 't. 

'Hagley, in Worcestershire, 
October the 4ib, 1747. 
' My dear Sister, 
' I thought you had known me better than to interpret my 
silence into a decay of aflection, especially as your behaviour 
has always been such as rather to increase than diminish it. 
Don't imagine, because I am a bad correspondent, that I can 
ever prove an unkind friend and brother. I must do myself 
the justice to tell you, that my affections are naturally very 
fixed and constant; and if I had ever reason of complaint 
against you (of which by-the-bye I have not the least shadow,) 
'lam conscious of so many defects in myself, as dispose me 
not to be a little charitable and forgiving. 

' It gives me the truest heartfelt satisfaction to hear you 
have a good, kind husband, and ar* in easy, contented cir- 
cumstaucei; but were they otherwise, that would only 
awaken and heighten my tenderness towards you. As our 
good and tender-hearted parents did not live to leceive any 
material testimoDies of that highest human graiiiude 1 



owed them (than which nothing' could have given me equal 
pleasure), the only return 1 can make them now is by kiiidneaa 
to those they left behind them. Would to God poor Lizy had 
lived long'er, to have been a farther witness of tlie truth of 
what 1 say, and that 1 mijht have had the pleasure of seeins^ 
once more a sister who so truly deserved my esteem and love ! 
But she is happy, while we must toil a little lono'er here be- 
low ; let us however do it cheerfully and gratefully, support- 
ed by the pleasinpf hope of meetinj^ yet again on a safer shore, 
where to recollect the storms and difficulties of life will not 
perhaps be inconsistent with (hat blissful state. You did 
right to call your dau^-hter by her name ; for you must needs 
have had a particular tender friendship for one another, en- 
deared as you were by nature, by having passed the affection- 
ate years of your youth together, and by that great softener 
and engager of hearts, mutual hardship. That it was in my 
power to ease it a little, I account one of the most exquisite 
pleasures of my life.— But enough of this melancholy though 
not unpleasing strain. 

' I esteem you for your sensible and disinterested advice to 
Mr. Bell, as you will see by my letter to him. as 1 approve 
entirely of his marrying again, you may readily ask me why I 
don't marry at all. My circumstances have hitherto been so 
variable and uncertain in this fluctuating world, as induce to 
keep me from engaging in such a state; and now, though 
they are more setMed, and of late (which you will be glad to 
hear) considerably improved, I begin to think myself too far 
advanced in life for such youthful undertakings, not to men- 
tion some olher pretty reasons that are apt to startle the deli- 
cacy of difficult old bachelors. I am, however, not a little sus- 
picious that, was 1 to pay a visit to Scotland (which I have 
some thoughts of doing soon), 1 might possibly be templed to 
think of a thing not easily repaired if done amiss. 1 have 
always been of opinion, that none make better wives than the 
ladies of Scotland; and yet, who more forsaken than they, 

) o 


while the g-eiitlemen are coniinuallyrunnin^? abroad all the 
world over ? Some of iheni, it is true, are wise enou»-h to re- 
turn for a wife. You see I am beg^inning- to make interest al- 
ready with the Scots ladies. But no more of this mfectious 
«ubject.— Pray let me hear from you now and then; and 
though I am not a regular correspondent, yet perhaps 1 may 
mend in that respecu Remember me kindly to your husband, 
and believe me to be 

' Your most affectionate brother, 


Addressed to ' Mrs. Thomson in Lanark.' 

The benevolence of Thomson was fervid, but not active ; he 
would give on all occasions what assistance his purse could 
supply ; but the offices of intervention or solicitation he could 
not conquer his sluggishness sufficiently to perform. The af- 
fairs of others, however, were not more neglected than his 
own. He had often felt the inconveniences of idleness, but he 
never cured it; and was so conscious of his own character, 
that he talked of writing au eastern tale 'of the Man who 
loved to be in Distress.' 

Among his peculiarities was a very unskilful and inarticu- 
late manner of pronouncing any lofty or solemn composition. 
He was once reading to Dodington, who, being himself a read- 
er eminently elegant, was so much provoked by his odd ut- 
terance, that he snatched the paper from his hands, and told 
him that he did not understand his own verses. 

The biographer of Thomson has remarked, that an author's 
life is best read in his works: his observation was not Well- 
timed. Savage, who lived much with Thomson, once told 
me, he heard a lady remarking, that she could gather from his 
works three parts of his character, that he was a • great 
lover, a great swimmer, and rigorously abstinent ;' but, said 
Savage, he knows not any love but that of the sex; he was 
perhaps never in cold water in his life ; and he indulges him- 


self in nil the luxury that comes within his reach. Yet Sa- 
vage always spoke with the most eag'er praise of his social 
qualities, his warmth and constancy of friendship, and his 
adherence to his first acquaintance when the advancement of 
his reputation had left them behind liim. 

As a writer, he is entitled to one praise of the hig'hest kind ; 
his mode of thinkinoc, and of expressing' his thoughts is origi- 
nal. His blank'verse is no more the blank vtrse of Milton, or 
of any other poet, tlian the rhymes of Prior are the rhymes 
of Cowley. His numbers, his pauses, his diction, are of its 
own growth, without transcription, without imitation. He 
thinks in a peculiar train, and he thinks always as a man of 
genius; he looks round on nature and on life with the eye 
which nature bestows only on a poet ; the eye that distin- 
guishes, in every thing presented to its view, whatever there 
is on which imagination can delight to be detained, and with 
a mind that at once compiehends the vast and attends to the 
minute. The reader of The Seasons wonders that he never 
saw before what Thomson shows him, and that he never yet 
has felt what Thomson impresses. 

His is one of the works in which blank verse seems proper- 
ly used. Thomson's wide expansion of general views, and 
his enumeration of circumstantial varieties, would have been 
obstructed and embarrassed by the frequent intersections of 
the sense which are the necessary effects of rhyme. 

His descriptions of extended scenes and general effects 
bring before us the whole magnificence of nature, whether 
pleasing or dreadful. Tlie gaiety of Spring, the splendour 
of Summer, the tranquillity of Autumn, and the horror of 
Winter, take in their turns possession of the mind. The poet 
leads us through the appearances of things as they are suc- 
cessively varied by the vicissitudes of the year, and imparts 
to us so much of his own enthusiasm, that our thoughts ex- 
pand with his imagery and kindle with his sentiments. Nor 
is the naturalist without his part in the entertainment; for he 



ii assisted to recollect and to combine, to arrangfe his disco- 
Teries and to amplify the sphere of his coniempUtioii. 

The grea t defect of The Seasons is want of method ; but for 

this I know not that there was any remedy Of many ap- 

I pearances subsisting all at once, no rule can be given why one 

I should be mentioned before another ; yet the memory wants 

the help of order, and the curiosity is not excited by suspense 

j or expectation. 

His diction is in the highest degree florid and luxuriant, 
such as maybe said to be to his images and thoughts 'both 
their lustre and their shade ;' such as ii%-est them with splen- 
dour, through which perhaps they are not always easily di»- 
j cerned. it is too exuberant, and sometimes maybe charged 
J with filling the ear more than the mind. 

These poems, with which 1 was acquainted at their first 

j appearance, I have since found altered and enlarged by sub- 

. sequent revisals, as the author supposed his judgment to grow 

I mure exact, and as books or conversation extended his know- 

j ledge and opened his prospects. They are, I think, improved 

in general ; yet I know not whether they have not losi part of 

what Temple calls their 'race;' a word which, applied to 

wines in its primitive sense, means the flavourof ihe soil. 

' Liberty,' when it first appeared, I tried to read, and soon 
desisted. I have never tried again, and therefore will ijot 
h.Tzard either praise or censure. 

The highest praise which he has received ought not to be 
suppressed : it is said by Lord Lyttelton, in the Prologue to 
his posthumous play, that his works contained 

No line which, dying, he could wish to blot. 


At the west end of the north aisle of Richmond Chun 
the following' : — 

111 the earth below this tablet 

are the remains of 



Who died at Richmond, on the 27th day of August, and • 

buDed here on the 29lh, old style, 1748. 

The Earl of Buchan, unwillino: that so good a man 

and sweet a poet should be without a memorial, 

has denoted the place of his interment 

for (he satisfaction of his admirers 

in the year of our Lord 1792. 

Father of light and life! Thou good Supreme! 
O teach me what is good : teach me thyself 1 
Save me from folly, vanity, and vice — 
From ev'ry low pursuit ; and feed my soul 
With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure, 
Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss. 




The iubject proposed. Inscribed to the Countess of Hert- 
ford. The season is described as it affects the various parts 
of nature, ascending from the lower to the higher ; with 
digressions arising from the subject. Its influence ou 
inanima'.B matter, on vegetables, on brute animals, and 
lastly on man ; concludnig with a dissuasive from the wild 
and irregular passion of lore, opposed to that of a pure and 
happy kind. 


Come, gentle Spring', ethereal mildness, come, 
And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud, 
While music wakes around, veiled in a shower 
Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend. 

O Hertford I fitted or to shine in courts 
With unaffected grace, or walk the plain 
With innocence and meditation joined 
In soft assemblage, listen to my song, 
Which thy own season paints, when nature all 
Is blooming and benevolent, like thee. 10 

And see where surly Winter passes off, 
Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts: 
Ilis blasts obey, and quit the howling hill. 
The shattered forest, and the ravaged vale ; 
While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch, 
Dissolving snows in livid torrents lost. 
The mountains lift their green heads to the sky. 

As yet the trembling year is unconfirmed, 
And Winter oft at eve resumes the breeze, 
Chills the pale mom, and bids his driving sleets 20 
Deform the day delightless ; so that scarce 
The bittern knows his time, with bill ingulfed, 
To shake the sounding marsh : or from the shore 


The plovers when to scatter o'er the heath, 
And sing their wild notes to thS listening- waste. 

At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun, 
And the bright Bull receives him. Then no more, 
The expansive atmosphere is cramp'd with cold ; 
But, full of life and vivifying soul, 
Lifts the light clouds sublirlie, and spreads them thin, 
Fleecy, and white, o'er all-surrounding heaven. 31 

Forth fly the tepid airs ; and unconfined. 
Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays. 
Joyous, the impatient husbandman perceives 
Relenting Nature, and his lusty steers 
Drives from their stalls, to where the well-used 

Lies in the furrow, loosened from the frost. 
There, unrefusing, to the harnessed yoke 
They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil, 
Cheered by the simple song and soaring lark. 40 
Meanwhile incumbent o'er the shining share 
The master leans, removes th' obstructing clay, 
Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe. 

While through the neighbouring fields the sower 
With measured step, and liberal throws the gi-ain 
Into the faithful bosom of the ground, 
The harrow follows harsh, and shuts the scene. 

Be gracious, heaven I for now laborious man 
Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow ■ 
Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend ! 50 
O . 

And temper all, thou world-reviving sun, 
Into the perfect year ! Nor ye who live 
In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride, 
Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear : 
Such themes as these the rural Maro sung- 
To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height 
Of elegance and taste, by Greece refined. 

In ancient times, the sacred plough employed 
The kings and awful fathers of mankind : 
And some, with whom compared your insect-tribes 
Are but the beings of a summer's day, 61 

Have held the scale of empire, ruled the storm 
Of mighty war ; then, with unwearied hand, 
Disdaining little delicacies, seized 
The plough, and greatly independent lived. 

Ye generous Britons, venerate the plough ; 
And o'er your hills, and long withdrawing vales, 
Let Autumn spread his treasures to the sun, 
Luxuriant and unbounded. As the sea, 
Far through his azure turbulent domain, 70 

Your empire owns, and from a thousand shores 
Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports, 
So with superior boon may your rich soil, 
Exuberant, nature's better blessings pour 
O'er every land, the naked nations clothe. 
Arid be th' exhaustless granary of a world ! 

Nor only through the lenient air this change, 
Delicious, breathes ; the penetrative sun. 
His ""orce deep-darting to the dark retreat 


Of veg-etation, sets the steaming- power 80 

At large, to wander o'er the verdant earth, 
In various hues ; but chiefly thee, gay green ! 
Thou smiling nature's universal robe ! 
United light and shade I where the sight dwells 
With growing strength, and ever-new delight. 
From the moist meadow to the withered hill, 
Led by the breeze, the vivid verdure runs, 
And swells, and deepens, to the cherished eye. 
The hawthorn whitens ; and the juicy groves 
Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees, 90 

Till the whole leafy forest stands displayed 
In full luxuriance to the sighing gales, 
Where the deer rustle through the twining brake, 
And the birds sing concealed. At once arrayed 
In all the colours of the flushing year, 
By Nature's swift and secret-working hand, 
The garden glows, and fills the liberal air 
With lavish fragrance , while the promised fruit 
Lies yet a little embryo unperceived 
Within its crimson folds. Now from the town 99 
Buried in smoke, and sleep, and noisome damps, 
Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields, 
Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling 

From the bent bush, as through the verdant maze 
Of sweet-briar hedges I pursue my walk ; 
Or taste the smell of dairy ; or ascend 
Some eminence, Augusta, in thy plains, 

And see the country, far diffused around, 
One boundless blusU, one white-empurpled shower 
Of mingled blossoms ; where the raptured eye 
Hurries from joy to joy, and, hid beneath 111 

The fair profusion, yellow Autumn spies. 

If, brushed from Russian wilds, a cutting gale 
Rise not, and scatter from his humid wings 
The clammy mildew ; or, dry-blowing, breathe 
Untimely frost ; before whose baleful blast 
The full-blown Spring through all her fohage 

Joyless, and dead, a wide-dejected waste. 
For oft, engendered by the hazy north, 
Myriads on myriads, insect armies warp 120 

Keen in the poisoned breeze ; and wasteful eat, 
Through buds and bark, into the blackened core, 
Their eager way. A feeble race 1 yet oft 
The sacred sons of vengeance, on whose course 
Corrosive Famine waits, and kills the year. 
To check this plague, the skilful farmer chaflf 
And blazing straw before his orchard bums ; 
Till, all involved in smoke, the latent foe 
From every cranny suffocated falls : 
Or scatters o'er the blooms the pungent dust 130 
Of pepper, fatal to the frosty tribe : 
Or, when the envenomed leaf begins to curl, 
With sprinkled water drowns them in their nest ; 
Nor, while they pick them up with busy bill, 
The little trooping birds unwisely scares. 


Be patient, swains ; these cruel-seeming winds 
Blow not in vain. Far hence they keep repressed 
Those deepening clouds on clouds, surcharged with 

That o'er the vast Atlantic hither borne 139 

In endless train, would quench the summer-blaze, 
And, cheerless, drown the crude unripened year. 

The north-east spends his rage ; he now shut up 
Within his iron cave, th' effusive south 
Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven 
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers distent. 
At first a dusty wreath they seem to rise, 
Scarce staining ether ; but by swift degrees, 
In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour sails 
Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep 
Sits on th' horizoni round a settled gloom : 150 
Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed. 
Oppressing life ; but lovely, gentle, kind, 
And full of every hope and every joy, 
The wish of nature. Gradual sinks the breeze 
Into a perfect calm, that not a breath 
Is heard to quiver through the closing woods, 
Or rustling turn the many-twinkling leaves 
Of aspen tall. Th' uncurling floods, diffused 
In glassy breadth, seem through delusive lapse 
Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all, 160 
And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks 
Drop the dry sprig, and mute-imploring eye 
The falling verdure. Hushed in short suspense, 
O . 


The plumy people streak their wings with oil, 
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off, 
And wait th' approaching sign to strike, at once, 
Into the general choir. E'en mountains, vales, 
And forests seem, impatient, to demand 
The promised sweetness. Man superior walks 
Amid the glad creation, musing praise, 170 

And looking lively gratitude. At last 
The clouds consign their treasures to the fields ; 
And, softly shaking on the dimpled pool 
Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow, 
In large effusion, o'er the freshened world. 
The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard 
By such as wander through the forest walks, 
Beneath th' umbrageous multitude of leaves. 
But who can hold the shade, while Heaven descends 
In universal bounty, shedding herbs, 180 

And fruits, and flowers, on Nature's ample lap? 
Swift Fancy fired anticipates their growth ;" 
And, while the milky nutriment distils, 
Beholds the kindling country colour round. 

Thus all day long the full-distended clouds 
Indulge their genial stores, and well-showered earth 
Is deep enriched with vegetable life ; 
Till, in tlie western sky, the downward sun 
Looks out, eft'ulgent, from amid the flush 
Of broken clouds, gay-shifting to his beam. 190 
The rapid radiance instantaneous strikes 
Th' illumined mountain, through the forest streams, 


Shakes on the floods, and in a yellow mist, 
Far smoking o'er th' interminable plain, 
In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems. 
Moist, bright, and green, the landscape laughs 

Full swell the woods ; their every music wakes. 
Mixed in wild concert with the warbling brooks 
Increased, the distant bleatings of the hills. 
And hollow lows responsive from the vales, 200 
Whence blending all the sweetened zephyr springs. 
Meantime, refracted from yon eastern cloud, riding earth, the grand ethereal bow 
Shoots up immense ; and every hue unfolds 
In fair proportion, running from the red 
To where the violet fades into the sky. 
Here, awful Newton, the dissolving clouds 
Form, fronting on the sun, thy showery prism : 
And to the sage-instructed eye unfold 
The various twine of light, by thee disclosed 210 
From tlie white mingling maze. Not so the boy ; 
He wondering views the bright enchantment bend, 
Delightful, o'er the radiant fields, and runs 
To catch the falling glory ; but amazed 
Beholds th' illusive arch before him %, 
Then vanish quite away. Still night succeeds, 
A softened shade, and saturated earth 
Awaits the morning beam, to give to light. 
Raised through ten tliousand different plastic tubes. 
The balmy treasures of the former day. 220 

SFBIN6. 13 

Then spring the living herbs, profusely wild, 
O'er all the deep-green earth, beyond the power 
Of l)otanist to number up their tribes : 
Whether he steals along the lonely dale, 
In silent search ; or through the forest, rank 
With what the dull incurious weeds account 
Bursts his blind way ; or climbs the mountain rock, 
Fired by the nodding verdure of its brow. 
With such a liberal hand has Nature flung 229 
Their seeds abroad, blown them about in winds, 
Innumerous mixed them with the nursing mould, 
The moistening current, and prolific rain. 

But who their virtues can declare ? who pierce, 
With vision pure, into these secret stores 
Of health, and life, and joy 1 the food of man, 
While yet he lived in innocence, and told 
A length of golden years ; unfleshed in blood, 
A stranger to the savage arts of life, 
Death, rapine, carnage, surfeit, and disease ; 
The lord, and not the tyrant, of the worid. 240 

The first fresh dawn then wak'd the gladden'd 
Of uncorrupted man, nor blush'd to see 
Tlie sluggard sleep beneath its sacred beam ; 
For their light slumbers gently fumed away, 
And up they rose as vigorous as the sun, 
Or to the culture of the willing glebe, 
Or to the cheerful tendance of the fluck. 


Meantime the song went round ; and dance and 

Wisdom and friendly talk, successive, stole 
Their hours away ; while in the rosy vale 250 

Love breathed his infant sighs, from angpiish free, 
And full replete with bliss ; save the sweet pain, 
That, inly thrilling, but exalts it more. 
Nor yet injurious act, nor surly deed, 
Was known among those happy sons of Heaven ; 
For reason and benevolence were law. 
Harmonious Nature too looked smiling on. 
Clear shone the skies, cooled with eternal gales. 
And balmy spirit all. The youthful sun 259 

Shot his best rays, and still the gracious clouds 
Dropped fatness down ; as o'er the swelling mead 
The herds and flocks, commixing, played secure. 
This when, emergent from the gloomy wood, 
The glaring lion saw, his horrid heart 
Was meekened, and he joined his sullen joy; 
For music held the whole in perfect peace : 
Soft sighed the flute ; the tender voice was heard. 
Warbling the varied heart ; the woodlands round 
Applied their choir ; and winds and waters flowed 
In consonance. Such were those prime of days. 270 
But now those white unblemish'd manners, 
The fabling poets took their golden age, 
Are found no more amid these iron times. 
These dregs of life I now the distempered mind 


Has lost that concord of harmonious powers 

Which forms the soul of happiness ; and all 

Is off the poise within: the passions all 

Have burst their bounds ; and reason half extinct, 

Or impotent, or else approving, sees 

The foul disorder. Senseless and deformed, 280 

Convulsive Anger storms at large ; or pale. 

And silent, settles into fell revenge. 

Base Envy withers at another's joy, 

And hates that excellence it cannot reacih. 

Desponding Fear, of feeble fancies full, 

Weak and unmanly, looseas every power. 

E'en Love itself is bitterness of soul, 

A pensive anguish pining at the heart; 

Or, sunk to sordid interest, feels no more 

That noble wish, that never-cloyed desire, 230 

Which, selfish joy disdaining, seeks alone 

To bless the dearer object of its flame. 

Hope sickens with extravagance ; and Grief, 

Of life impatient, into madness swells, 

Or m dead silence wastes the weeping hours. 

These, and a thousand mixed emotions more, 
From ever-changing news of good and ill. 
Formed infinitely various, vex the mind 
With endless storm: whence, deeply rankling,. 

The partial thought, a listless unconcern, 300 

Cold, and averting from our neighbour's good ; 
Then dark Disgust, and Hatred, winding wiles. 


Coward Deceit, and ruffian Violence : 

At last, extinct each social feeling, fell 

And joyless Inhumanity pervades 

And petrifies the heart. Nature disturbed 

Is deemed, vindictive, to have chang'd her cotirae. 

Hence, in old dusky time, a deluge came : 

When the deep-cleft disparting- orb, that arched 

The central waters round, impetuous rushed, 310 

With universal burst, into the gulf, • 

And o'er the high-piled hills of fractured earth 

Wide dashed the waves, in undulation vast ; 

Till, from the centre to the streaming clouds, 

A shoreless ocean tumbled round the globe. 

The seasons since have, with severer sway, 
Oppressed a broken world : the Winter keen 
Shook forth his waste of snows ; and Summer shot 
His pestilential heats. Great Spring, before, 
Greened all the year ; and fruits and blossoms 
blushed, 320 

In social sweetness, on the self-same bough. 
Pure was the temperate air ; an even calm 
Perpetual reigned, save what the zephyrs bland 
Breathed o'er the blue expanse : for then nor storms 
Were taught to blow, nor hurricanes to rage ; 
Sound slept the waters ; no sulphureous glooms 
Swelled in the sky, and sent the lightning forth ; 
While sickly damps and cold autumnal fogs 
Hung not, relaxing, on the springs of life. 
But now, of turbid elements the sport. 


From clear to cloudy tossed, from hot to cold, 
And dry to moist, with inward-eating change, 
Our drooping days are dwindled down to nought, 
Their period finished ere 'tis well begun. 

And yet the wholesome herb neglected dies ; 
Though with the pure exhilarating soul 
Of nutriment and health, and vital powers, 
Beyond the search of art, 'tis copious blest. 
For, with hot ravine fired, ensanguined man 340 
Is now become the lion of the plain, 
And worse. The wolf, who from the nightly fold 
Fierce drags the bleating prey, ne'er drunk her 

Nor wore her warming fleece : nor has the steer. 
At whose strong chest the deadly tiger hangs, 
E'erplough'd for him. They too are temper'dhigh, 
With hunger stung and wild necessity. 
Nor lodges pity in their shaggy breast. 
But man, whom Nature formed of milder clay, 
With every kind emotion in his heart. 
And taught alone to weep ; while from her lap 350 
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 smiles, and looks erect on heaven, 
E'er stoop to mingle with the prowling herd. 
And dip his tongue in gore 1 The beast of prey, 
Blood-stain'd, deserves to bleed : but you, ye flocks 
What have you done ? ye peaceful people, what, 

I ■ ■ o 


To merit death 1 you who have given us milk 
In luscious streams, and lent us your own coat 360 
Against the winter's cold ? And the plain ox, 
That harmless, honest, guileless animal, 
In what has he offended 1 he whose toil-, 
Patient and eVef ready, clothes the land 
With all the pomp of harvest ; shall he bleed, 
And struggling groan beneath the cruel hands 
E'en of the clown he feeds? and that, perhaps, 
To swell the riot of th' autumnal feast. 
Won by his labour 1 Thus the feeling heart 
Would tenderly suggest : but 'tis enough, 370 

In this late age, adventurous, to have touched 
Light on the numbers of the Samian sage. 
High Heaven forbids the bold presumptuous strain, 
Whose wisest will has fixed us in a state 
That must not yet to pure perfection rise. 

Now when the first foul torrent of the brooks, 
Swelled with the vernal rains, is ebbed away ; 
And, whitening, down their mossy-tinctured stream 
Descends the billowy foam : now is the time. 
While yet the dark-brown water aids the guile, 380 
To tempt the trout. The well-dissembled fly, 
The rod fine-tapBring v/ith elastic spring, 
Snatched from the hoary steed the floating line, 
And all thy slender wat'ry stores prepare. 
But let not on thy hook the tortured worm, 
Convulsive, twist in agonising folds. 
Which, by rapacious hunger swallowed deep, 


S PRING . 19 

Gives, as you tear it from the bleeding- breast 
Of the weak, helpless, uncomplaining- wretch, 
Harsh pain and horror to the tender hand. 390 

When with his lively ray the potent sun 
Has pierced the streams, and roused the finny race, 
Then, issuing- cheerful, to thy sport repair ; 
Chief should the western breezes curling play, 
And light o'er ether bear the shadowy clouds. 
High to their fount, this day, amid the hills, 
And woodlands warbling round, trace up the brooks; 
The next, pursue their rocky-channelled maze, 
Down to the river, in whose ample wave 
Their little naiads love to sport at large. 400 

Just in the dubious point where with the pool 
Is mixed the trembling stream, or where it boils 
Around the stone, or from the hollow'd bank 
Reverted plays in undulating flow, 
There throw, nice-judging, the delusive fly ; 
And, as you lead it round in artful curve, 
With eye attentive mark the springing- game. 
Straight as above the surface of the flood 
They wanton rise, or urged by hunger leap, 
Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook : 410 
Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank. 
And to the shelving shore slow-dragging some, 
With various hand proportioned to their force. 
If yet too young, and easily deceived, 
A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod, 
Him, piteous of his youth and the short space 

■ o 


lie has enjoyed the vital light of heaven, 
Soft disengage, and back into the stream 
The speckled captive throw. But should you lure 
From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots 420 
Of pendent trees, the monarcli of the brook, 
Behoves you then to ply your finest art. 
Long time he, following cautious, scans the fly ; 
And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft 
The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear. 
At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun 
Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death, 
With sullen plunge. At once he darts along, 
Deep struck, and runs out all the lengthened line ; 
Then seeks the furthest ooze, the sheltering weed, 
The caverned baiik, his old secure abode ; 431 

And flies aloft, and flounces round the pool, 
Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand, 
That feels him still, yet to his furious course 
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now 
Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage ; 
Till floating broad upon his breathless side, 
And to his fate abandoned, to the shore 
You gaily drag your unresisting prize. 

Thus pass the temperate hours ; but when the sun 
Shakes from his noon-day throne the scattenng 
clouds, 441 
E'en shooting listless languor through the deeps. 
Then seek the bank where flowering elders crowd, 
Where scattered wild the hly of the vale 


Its balmy essence breathes, where cowslips hang 

The dewy head, where purple violets lurk, 

With all the lowly children of the shade : 

Or lie reclined beneath yon spreading ash, 

Hung o'er the steep ; whence, borne on liquid wing 

The sounding culver shoots ; or where the hawk. 

High, in the beetling cliff, his eyry builds. 451 

There let the classic page thy fancy lead 

Tlirough rural scenes, such as the Mantuan swain 

Paints in the matchless harmony of song ; 

Or catcli thyself the landscape, gliding swift 

Athwart imagination's vivid eye ; 

Or by the vocal woods and waters lulled, 

And losf in lonely musing, in the dream, 

Confused, of careless solitude, where mix 

Ten thousand wandering images of things, 460 

Soothe every gust of passion into peace ; 

All but the swellings of the softened heart. 

That waken, not disturb, the tranquil mind. 

Bfihold yon breathing prospect bids the muse 
Tlirow all her beauty forth. But who can paint 
Like Nature ? Can imagination boast, 
Amid its gay creation, hues like hers? 
Or can it mix them with that matchless skill, 
And lose them in each other, as appears 
In every bud that blows 1 If fancy then 470 

Unequal fails beneath the pleasing task. 
Ah, what shall language do ? ah, where find words 
Tinged with so many colours, and whose power, 



To life approaching-, may perfume my lays 
With that fine oil, those aromatic gales, 
That inexhaustive flow continual round '.' 

Yet, though successless, will the toil delight. 
Come then, ye Wrgins and ye youths, whose hearts 
Have felt the raptures of refining love ; 
And thou, Amanda, come, pride of my song I 460 
Formed by the graces, loveliness itself ! 
Come with those downcast eyes, sedate and sweet, 
Those looks demure, that deeply pierce the soul. 
Where, with the light of thoughtful reason mix'd, 
Shines lively fancy and the feeling heart : 
Oh come I and, while the rosy-footed May 
Steals blushing on, 'together let us tread 
The morning-dews, and gather in their prime 
Fresh-blooming flowers, to grace thy braided hair 
And thy lov'd bosom that improves their sweets. 490 

See, where the winding vale, its lavish stores, 
Irriguous, spreads. See, how the lily drinks 
The latent rill, scarce oozing through the grass, 
Of growth luxuriant : or the humid bank, 
In fair profusion, decks. Long let us walk, 
"Wliere the breeze blows from yon extended field 
Of blossomed beans. Arabia cannot boast 
A fuller gale of joy than, liberal, thence 
Breathes through the sense, and takes the ravished 

Nor is the mead unworthy of thy foot, 500 

Full of fresh verdure, and unnumber'd flowers. 


The negligence of Nature, wide, and wild ; 
Where, undisguised by mimic art, she spreads 
Unbounded beauty to the roving eye. 
Here their delicious task the fervent bees. 
In swarming millions, tend : around, athwart 
Through the soft air, the busy nations fly, 
Cling to the bud, and, with inserted tube, 
Suck its pure essence, its ethereal soul ; 
And oft, with bolder wing, they soaring dare 510 
The purple heath, or where the wild thyme grows, 
And yellow load them with the luscious spoil. 

At length the finished garden to the view 
Its vistas opens, and its alleys green. 
Snatched through the verdant maze, the hurried eye 
Distracted wanders ; now the bowery walk 
Of covert close, where scarce a speck of day 
Falls on the lengthen'd gloom, protracted sweeps ; 
Now meets the bending sky : the river now 
Dimpling along, the breezy-ruflled lake, 520 

The forest darkening round, the glittering spire, 
Th' ethereal mountain, and the distant main. 
But why so far excursive ? when at hand, 
Along these blushing borders, ht.ght with dew, 
And in yon mingled wilderness of flowers. 
Fair-handed Spring unbosoms every grace. 
Throws out the snow-drop, and the crocus first : 
The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue, 
And polyanthus of unnumbered dyes : 529 

The yellow wall-flower, stained with iron brown ; 


And lavish stock that scents the garden round : 

From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed, 

Anemonics ; auriculas, enriched 

With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves ; 

And full ranunculus, of glowing red. 

Then comes the tulip-race, where beauty plays 

Her idle freaks ; from family diffused 

To family, as flies the father-dust, 

The varied colours run ; and while they break 

On the charm'd eye, th' exulting florist marks, 540 

With secret pride, the wonders of his hand. 

No gradual bloom is wanting ; from the bud, 

First-born of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes : 

Nor hyacinths, of purest virgin white, 

Low-l)ent, and blushing inward ; nor jonquils, 

Of potent fragrance ; nor Narcissus fair, 

As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still ; 

Nor broad carnations, nor gay-spotted pinks ; 

Nor, shower'd from every bush, the damask-rose. 

Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells, 550 

With hues on hues expression cannot paint, 

The breath of nature, and her endless bloom. 

Hail, Source of Being I Universal Soul 
Of heaven and earth ! Essential Presence, hail ! 
To thee I bend the knee ; to Thee my thoughts. 
Continual, climb, who with a master-hand 
Hast the great whole into perfection touched. 
By Thee the various vegetative tribes, 
' Wrapt in a filmy net, and clad with leaves, 

O- — ■ 


Draw the live ether, and imbibe the dew : 560 

By Thee disposed into congenial soils 

Stands each attractive plant, and sucks, and swells 

The juicy tide, a twining: mass of tubes. 

At Thf command the vernal sun awakes 

The torpid sap, detruded to the root 

By wintry winds, that now in fluent dance, 

And lively fermentation, mounting-, spreads 

All this innumerous-coloured scene of thing-s. 

As rising' from the vegetable world 
My theme ascends, with equal wing ascend, 570 
My panting muse I and hark hovy loud the woods 
Invite you forth in all your gayest trim. 
Lend me your song, ye nightingales ! oh pour 
The mazy-running soul of melody 
Into my varied verse ! while I deduce, 
From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings 
The symphony of Spring, and touch a theme 
Unknown to fame,^ — the passion of the groves, 

Wiien first the soul of love is sent abroad, 
Warm through the vital air and on the heart 580 
Harmonious seizes, the gay troops begin. 
In gallant thought, to plume the painted wing. 
And try again the long-forgotten strain. 
At first faiut-warbled ; but no sooner grows 
The soft infusion prevalent, and wide, 
Than, all alive, at once their joy o'erflows 
In music unconfined. Up-springs the lark, 
Shrill-voiced, and loud, the messenger of morn : 


Ere yet the shadows fly, he mounted sings 
Amid the dawning clouds, and from their haunts 
Calls up the tuneful nations. Every copse 591 
Deep-tangled, tree irregular, and bush 
Bending with dewy-moisture o'er the heads 
Of the coy choristers that lodge within, 
Are prodigal of harmony. The thrush 
And wood-lark, o'er the kind contending throng 
Superior heard, run through the sweetest length 
Of notes ; when hstening Philomela deigns 
To let them joy, and purposes, in thought 
Elate, to make her night excel their day. 600 

The black-bird whistles from the thorny brake 
The mellow bullfinch answers from the grove ; 
Nor are the hnnets, o'er the flowering furze 
Poured out profusely, silent. Joined to these 
Innumerous songsters, in the freshening shade 
Of new-sprung leaves, their modulations mix 
Mellifluous. The jay, the rook, the daw, 
And each harsh pipe, discordant heard alone, 
Aid the full concert : while the stock-dove breathes 
A melancholy murmur through the whole. 61 

'Tis love creates their melody, and all 
This waste of music is the voice of love, 
That e'en to birds, and beasts, the tender arts 
Of pleasing teaches. Hence the glossy kind 
Try every winning way inventive love 
Can dictate, and in courtship to their mates 
Pour forth their little souls. First, wide around, 


With distant awe, in airy rings they rove, 
Endeavouring by a thousand tricks to catch 
The cunning, conscious, half-averted glance 620 
Of the regardless charmer. Should she seem 
Softening the least approvance to bestow, 
Their colours burnish, and, by hope inspired. 
They brisk advance ; then, on a sudden struck, 
Retire disordered ; then again approach ; 
In fond rotation spread the spotted wing, 
And shiver every feather with desire. 

Connubial leagues agreed, to the deep woods 
They haste away, all as their fancy leads. 
Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts ; 630 
That Nature's great command may be obeyed : 
Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive 
Indulged in vain. Some to the holly-hedge 
Nestling repair, and to the thicket some ; 
Some to the rude protection of the thorn 
Commit their feeble offspring. The cleft tree 
Offers its kind concealment to a few, 
Their food its insects, and its moss their nests. 
Others apart far in the grassy dale, 639 

Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave. 
But most in woodland solitudes delight, 
In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks, 
Steep, and divided by a babbling brook. 
Whose murmurs soothe them uU the live-long day, 
When by kind duty fix'd. Among the roots 
Of liazel, pendent o'er the plaintive stream, 


They frame the first foundation of their domes ; 
Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid, 
And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought 
But restless hurry through the busy air, 650 

Beat by unnumbered wings. The swallow sweeps 
The slimy pool, to build his hanging house 
Intent. And often, from the careless back 
Of herds and flocks, a thousand tugging bills 
Pluck hair and wool ; and oft, when unobserv'd, 
Steal from the barn a straw : till soft and warm, 
Clean and complete, their habitation grows. 

As thus the patient dam assiduous sits. 
Not to be tempted from her tender task 
Or by sharp hunger or by smooth delight, 660 

Though the whole loosen'd Spring around her blows 
Her sympathising lover takes his stand 
High on th' opponent bank, and ceaseless sings 
The tedious time away ; or else supplies 
Her place a moment, while she sudden flits 
To pick the scanty meal. Th' appointed time 
With pious toil fulfilled, the callow young, 
Warmed and expanded into perfect life, 
Their brittle bondage break, and come to light, 
A helpless family, demanding food 670 

With constant clamour. O what passions then. 
What melting sentiments of kindly care. 
On the new parents seize ! away they fly ' 
Affectionate, and undesiring bear 
The most delicious morsel to their young ; 


Which equally distributed, again 

The search begins. Even so a gentle pair, 

By fortune sunk, but formed of generous mould, 

And charmed with cares beyond the vulgar breast, 

In some lone cot amid the distant woods, 660 

Sustained alone by providential Heaven, 

Oft, as they weeping eye their infant train, 

Check their own appetites, and give them all. 

Nor toil alone they scorn : exalting love, 
By the great Father of the Spring inspired, 
Gives instant courage to the fearful race, 
And, to the simple, art. With stealthy wing. 
Should some rude foot their woody haunts molest, 
Amid a neighbouring bush they silent drop. 
And whirring thence, as if alarmed, deceive 690 
Th' unfeeling school-boy. Hence, around the head 
Of wandering swain, the white-wing'd plover 

Her sounding flight, and then directly on 
In long excursion skims the level lawn, 
To tempt him from her nest. The wild-duck, hence, 
O'er the rough moss, and o'er the trackless waste 
The heath-hen flutters, pious fraud I to lead 
The hot-pursuing spaniel far astray. 

Be not the muse ashamed here to bemoan 
Her brothers of the grove, by tyrant man 700 
Inhuman caught, and in the narrow cage 
From liberty confined, and boundless air. 
Dull are the pretty slaves, their plumage dull, 
;j_ ^ 1 



Ragged, and all its brightening lustre lost ; 
Nor is that sprightly wildness in their notes, 
Wliich, clear and vigorous, warbles from the beech. 
Oh then, ye friends of love and love-taught song, 
Spare the soft tribes, this barbarous art forbear. 
If on your bosom innocence can win, 
Music engage, or piety persuade. 710 

But let not chief the nightingale lament 
Her ruin'd care, too delicately framed 
To brook the harsh confinement of the cage. 
Oft when, returning with her loaded bill, 
Th' astonished mother finds a vacant nest, 
By the hard hand of unrelenting clowns 
Robb'd, to the ground the vain provision falls ; 
Her pinions ruffle, and, low-drooping, scarce 
Can bear the mourner to the poplar shade ; 
Where, all abandoned to despair, she sings 720 
Her sorrows through the night ; and, on the bough, 
Sole-sitting, still at every dying fall 
Takes up again her lamentable strain 
Of winding wo ; till, wide around, the woods 
Sigh to her song, and with her wail resound. 

But now the feathered youth their former bounds, 
Ardent, disdain ; and, weighing oft their wings, 
Demand the free posseasion of the sky: 
This one glad office more, and then dissolves 
Parental love at once, now needless grown. 730 
Unlavish Wisdom never works in vain. 
'Tis on some evening, sunny, grateful, mild, 


AVhen nought but b:tlm is breathing- through the 

With yellow lustre bright, that the new tribes 
Visit the spacious heavens, ami look abroad 
On Nature's common, far as they can see, 
Or wing, their range and pasture. O'er the boughs 
Dancing about, still at the giddy verge 
Their resolution fails ; their pinions still, 
In loose libration stretched, to trust the void 740 
Trembling refuse : till down before them fly 
The parent guides, and chide, exhort, command, 
Or push them off. The surging air receives 
Its jilumy burden ; and their self-taught wings 
Winnow the wa\nng element. On ground 
Alighted, bolder up again they lead, 
Further and further on, the lengthening flight ; 
Till vanished every fear, and every power 
Roused into life and action, light in air 
Th' acquitted parents see their soaring race, 750 
And once rejoicing never know them more. 
High from the summit of a craggy cliff. 
Hung o'er the deep, such as amazing frowns 
On utmost Kilda's* shore, whose lonely race 
Resign the setting sun to Indian worlds, 
The royal eagle draws his vigorous young, 
Strong-pounced, and ardent with paternal fire. 
Now fit to raise a kingdom of their own, 

* The furthest of the western islands of Scotland. 


He drives them from his fort, the towering seat, 
For ag'es, of his empire ; which, in peace, 760 

Unstained he holds, while many a leag'ue to sea 
He wings his course, and preys in distant isles. 

Should I my steps turn to the rural seat, 
Whose lofty elms, and venerable oaks. 
Invite the rook, who high amid the boughs, 
In early Spring, his airy city builds, 
And ceaseless caws amusive ; there, well-pleased, 
I might the various polity survey 
Of the mixed household kind. The carefid hen 
Calls all her chirping family abound, '('TO 

Fed and defended by the fearless cock. 
Whose breast with ardour flames, as on he walks, 
Graceful, and crows defiance. In the pond, 
The finely-checker'd duck before her train 
Rows garrulous. The stately-sailing swan 
Gives out his snowy plumage to the gale ; 
And, arching proud his neck, with oary feet 
Bears forward fierce, and guards his osier-isle, 
Protective of his young. The turkey nigh, 
Loud threat'ning, reddens ; while the peacock 

His every-coloured glory to the sun, 781 

And swims in radiant majesty along. 
O'er the whole homely scene, the crtoingdove 
Flies thick in amorous chace, and wanton rolls 
The glancing eye, and turns the changeful neck. 
While thus the gentle tenants of the shade 



Indulge their purer loves, the rougher world 
Of brutes, below, rush furious into flame, 
And fierce desire. Through all his lusty veins, 
The bull, deep-scorched, the raging passion feels. 
Of pasture sick, and negligent of food, 791 

Scarce seen, he wades among the yellow broom, 
"While o'er his ample sides the rambling spray 
Luxuriant shoot ; or through the mazy wood 
Dejected wanders, nor th' enticing bud 
Crops, though it presses on his careless sense. 
And oft, in jealous madd'ning fancy wrapt, 
He seeks the fight ; and idly-butting feigns 
His rival gored in every knotty trunk. 799 

Him should he meet, the bellowing war begins : 
Their eyes flash fury ; to the hoUow'd earth. 
Whence the sand flies, they mutter bloody deeds, 
And groaning deep, th' impetuous battle mix : 
While the fair heifer, balmy-breathing, near, 
Stands kindling up their rage. The trembling steed, 
With this hot impulse seized in every nerve. 
Nor heeds the rein, nor hears the sounding thong ; 
Blows are not felt ; but tossing high his head, 
And by the well known joy to distant plains 
Attracted strong, all wild he bursts away ; 810 

O'er rocks, and woods, and craggy mountains flies. 
And neighing, on the aerial summit takes 
Th' exciting gale ; then, steep-descending, cleaves 
The headlong torrents foaming down the hills, 
E'en where the madness of the straiten'd stream 


Turns m black eddips round ; such is the force 
With which his frantic heart and sinews swell. 
Nor undelig-hted by the Iwnndless Spring- 
Are the broad monsters of the foaming deep : 
From the deep ooze and gelid cavern roused, 820 
They flounce and tumble in unwieldy joy. 
Dire were the strain, and dissonant, to sing 
TKe cruel raptures of the savage kind ; 
How by this flame, their native wrath sub]imcd> 
They roam, amid the fury of their heart, 
The far-resounding waste in fiercer bands, 
And growl their horrid loves. But this the theme 
I sing, enraptured, to the British fair, 
Forbids, and leads me to the mountain-brow, 
Where sits the shepherd on the grassy turf, 630 
Inhaling, healthful, the descending sun. 
Around him feeds his mauy-bleating flock. 
Of various cadence ; ami his sportive lambs. 
This way and that convolved, in friskful glee, 
Their frolics play. And now the sprightly race 
Invites them forth ; when swift, the signal given, 
They start away, and sweep the massy mound 
That runs around the hill ; the rampart once 
Of iron war, in ancient barl)arous times, 
When disunited Britain ever bled, 840 

Lost in eternal broil : ere yet she grew 
To this deep-laid indissoluble state, 
Where wealthand commerce lift their golden heads ; 


And o'er our labours, Liberty and Law, 
Impartial, watch ; the wonder of a world ! 

What is this mighty breath, ye sages, say, 
That, in a powerful language, felt, not heard. 
Instructs the fowls of heaven, and through their 

These arts of love diffuses 1 WTiat, but God 1 
Inspiring God I who boundless Spirit all, 850 

And unremitting Energy, pervades. 
Adjusts, sustains, and agitates the whole. 
He ceaseless works alone ; and yet alone 
Seems not to work, with such perfection framed 
Is this complex stupendous scheme of things. 
But though concealed, to every purer eye 
Til' informing Author in his works appears. 
Chief, lovely Spring, iu thee, and thy soft scenes, 
The smiling God is seen ; while water, earth. 
And air, attest his bounty, which exalts 860 

The brute creation to this finer thought, 
And annual melts their undesigning hearts 
Profusely thus in tenderness and joy. 

Still let my song a nobler note assume, 
And sing th' infusive force of Spring on man ; 
When heaven and earth, as if contending, vie 
To raise his being, and serene his soul. 
Can lie forl)ear to join the general smile 
Of nature ? Can fierce passions vex his breast, 
Wliile every gale is peace, and every grove 870 
Is melody ? Hence ! from the bounteous walks 


Of flowng Spring^, ye sonlid sons of earth, 

Hard, and unfeeling of another's wo, 

Or only lavish to yourselves, away ! 

But come, ye generous minis, in whose wide 

Of all his works, creative Bounty bums 
With warmest beam ; and on your open front 
And liberal eye sits, from his dark retreat 
Inviting modest Want. Nor till invoked 
Can restless goodness wait ; your active search 
Leaves no cold wintry corner unexplored ; 881 

Like silent-working Heaven, surprising oft 
The lonely heart with unexpected good. 
For you the roving spirit of the wind 
Blows Spring abroad ; for you the teeming clouds 
Descend in gladsome plenty o'er the world ; 
And the sun sheds his kindest rays for you. 
Ye flower of Human race I In these green days, 
Reviving Sickness lifts her languid head ; 
Life flows afresh ; and young-eyed Health exalts 
The whole creation round. Contentment walks 
The sunny glade, and feels an inward bliss 892 
Spring o'er his. mind, beyond the power of kings 
To purchase. Pure serenity apace 
Induces thought and contemplation still. 
By swift degrees the love of nature works. 
And warms the bosom ; till at last sublimed 
To rapture, and enthusiastic heat, 


We feel the present Deity, and taste 

The joy of God to see a happy world ! 900 

These are the sacred feelings of thy heart, 
Thy heart informed by reason's purer ray, 
O Lyttelton, the friend I thy passions thus 
And meditations vary, as at lar^e. 
Courting the muse, through Hagley Park thou 

stray's t ; 
The British Tempe ! There along the dgile. 
With woods o'er-hung, and shagg'd with mossy 

Whence on each hand the gushing waters play, 
And down the rough cascade white-dashing fall, 
Or gleam in lengthened vista through the trees, 
You silent steal ; or sit beneath the shade 911 
Of solemn oaks, that tuft the swelling mounts 
Thrown graceful round by Nature's careless hand, 
And pensive listen to the various voice 
Of rural peace : the herds, the flocks, the birds. 
The hollow-whispering breeze, the plaint of rills, 
That, purling down amid the twisted roots 
Which creep around, their dewy murmurs shake 
On the soothed ear. From these abstracted oft, 
You wander through the philosophic world, 920 
Where in bright train continual wonders rise, 
Or to the curious or the pious eye. 
And oft, conducted by historic truth. 
You tread the long extent of backward time, 
Planning, with warm benevolence of mind, 


And honest zeal unwarped by party-rage, 

Britannia's weal ; how from the venal gulf 

To raise her virtue, and her arts revive. 

Or, turning thence thy view, these graver thoughts 

The muses charm: while, with sure taste refiu'd, 

You draw th' inspiring breath of ancient song, 931 

Till nobly rises, emulous, thy own. 

Perliaps thy loved Lucinda shares thy walk. 

With soul to thine attuned. Then nature all 

Wears to the lover's eye a look of love ; 

And all the tumult of a guilty world, . 

Tost by ungenerous passions, sinks away. 

The tender heart is animated peace, 

And as it pours its copious treasures forth 

In varied converse, softening every theme, 940 

You, frequent-pausing, turn, and from her eyes, 

Where meekened sense, and amiable gi-ace, 

And lively sweetness dwell, enraptured drink 

That nameless spirit of ethereal joy 

(Unutterable happiness ') which love 

Alone bestows, and on a favour'd few. 

Meantime you gain the height, from whose fair brow 

The bursting prospect spreads immense around : 

And snatch'd o'er. hill and dale, and wood and lawn, 

And verdant field, and darkening heath between. 

And villages embosomed soft in trees, 951 

And spiry towns by surging columns mark'd 

Of household smoke, your eye excursive roams: 

Wide-stretching from the hall, in whose kind haunt 



The hospitable genius linijers still. 

To where the broken kiiulsnaiie, liy degrees, 

Ascending, roughens into rigid hills ; 

O'er which the Cambrian mountains, like f\ir clouds 

That skirt the blue horizon, dusky rise. 

Flushed by the spirit of the genial year, 960 

Now from the virgin's cheek a fresher bloom 
Shoots less and less, the live carnation round ; 
Her lips i)lusli deeper sweets : she breathes of 

youth ; 
The shining moistiire swells into her eyes, 
In brighter flow ; her wishing bosom heaves, 
With palpitations wild ; kind tumults seize 
Her veins, and all her yieldi7ig soul is love. 
From the keen gaze her lover turns away, 
Full of the dear ecstatic power, and sick 
With sighing languishment. Ah then, ye fair I 970 
Be greatly cautious of your sliding hearts : 
Dare not the infectious sigh ; the pleading look 
Downcast, and low, in meek submission dressed, 
But full of guile. Let not the fervent tongue, 
Prompt to deceive, with adulation smooth. 
Gain on your purposed will. Nor in the bower. 
Where woodbines flaunt, and roses shed a couch, 
While evening draws her crimson curtains round, 
Trust your soft minutes with betraying man. 

And let the aspiring youth beware of love, 980 
Of the smooth glance beware ; for 'tis too late 
When on his heart the torrent softness pours. 


Then wisdom prostrate lies, and fading fame 
Dissolves in air away , while the fond soul, 
Wrapt in gay v-isions of unreal bliss. 
Still paints th' illusive form ; the kindling grace ; 
Th' enticing smile ; the modest-seeming eye, 
Beneath whose beauteous beams, belying heaven, 
Lurk searchless cunning, cruelty, and death ; 
And still, false -warbling in his cheated ear, 990 
Her siren voice, enchanting, draws him on- 
To guileful shores, and meads of fatal joy. 

E'en present, in the very lap of Love 
Inglorious laid ; while music flows around. 
Perfumes, and oils and wine, and wanton hours ; 
Amid the ruses fierce Repentance rears 
Her snaky crest : a quick -returning pang 
Shoots through the conscious heart ; where honour 

And great design, against th' oppressive load 
Of luxury, by fits, impatient heave. 1000 

But, absent, what fantastic woes, aroused 
Rage, in each thought, by restless musing fed, 
ChiUthe warm cheek, and blast the bloom of life I 
Neglected fortune flies ; and sHding swift, 
Prone into ruin, fall his scorned affairs. 
'Tis nought but gloom around : the darkened sun 
Loses his light ; the rosy-bosom'd Spring 
To weeping fancy pines ; and yon bright arch, 
Contracted, bends into a dusky vault. 
All nature fades extinct ; and she alone, 1010 



Heard, felt, and seen, possesses every thought, 
Fills every sense, and pants in every vein. 
Books are but formal dulness, tedious friends ; 
And sad amid the social band he sits, 
Lonely, and uuattentive. From his tongue 
Th' unfinished period falls : while, bonie away 
On swelling thought, his wafted spirit flies 
To the vain bosom of his distant fair ; 
And leaves the semblance of a lover, fixed 
In melancholy site, with head dechned, 1020 

And love-dejected eyes. Sudden he starts. 
Shook from his tender trance, and restless runs 
To glimmering shades, and sympathetic glooms ; 
Where the dun umbrage o'er the falling stream 
Romantic hangs ; there through the pensive dusk 
Strays, in lieart-thhlling meditation lost, 
Indulging all to love : or on the bank 
Thrown, amid drooping lilies, swells the breeze 
With sighs unceasing, and the brook with tears. 

Thus in soft anguish he consumes the day, 1030 
Nor quits his deep retirement, till the moon 
Peeps through the chambers of the fleecy east, 
Enlightened by degrees, and in her train 
Leads on the gentle hours ; then forth he walks, 
Beneath the trembling languish of her beam, 
With softened soul, and woos the bird of eve 
To mingle woes with his ; or, while the world 
And aU the sons of Care lie hushed in sleep, 
Associates with the midnight shadows drear ; 


And, sighing' to the lonely taper, pnurs 1040 

His idly-tortureJ heart into the pa^e. 

Meant for the moving messeng-er of love ; 

Where raptnre barns on rapture, ever)' line 

With rising frenzy fired. But, if on bed 

Delirious flun^, sleep from his pillow flies, 

All night he tosses, nor the balmy power 

In any posture finds ; till tlie grey niirn 

Lifts her pale lustre on the paler wretch. 

Exanimate by love : and then perhaps 

Exhausted nature sinks awhile to rest, 1050 

Still inteiTupted by distracted dreams, 

That o'er the sick imagination rise. 

And in black colours paint the mimic sc-ene. 

Oft with th' enchantress of his soul he talks ; 
Sometimes in crowds distressed ; or if rt;tired 
To secret winding flower-enwoven l)owers, 
Far from the dull impertinence of man. 
Just as he, credulous, his endless cares 
Begins to lose in blind oblivious 1 ive, 1059 

Snatch'd from her yielding hand, he knows not how, 
Through forest huge, and long untravelled heaths 
With desolation brown, he wanders waste, 
In night and tempest wrapped ; or shrinks aghast, 
Back, from the bending precipice ; or wades 
The turbid stream below, and strives to reach 
The further shore ; where, saccourless and sad, 
She with extended arms his aid implores ; 
But strives in vain : borne bv th' outrageous flood 


To distance down, he rides the ridgy wave, 

Or whelmed beneath the boiling eddy sinks. 1070 

These are the charming- ag-onies of love, 
Whose misery delights. But through the heart 
Should jealousy its venom once diffuse, 
'Tis then delighted misery no more, 
But agony unmixed, incessant gall. 
Corroding every thought, and blasting all 
Love's paradise. Ye fairy prospects, then, 
Ye beds of roses, and ye bowers of joy, 
Farewell I Ye gleamings of departed peace, 
Shine out your last ? the yellow-tinging plague 
Internal vision taints, and in a night 1081 

Of livid gloom imagination wraps. 
Ah then I instead of love-enlivened cheeks, 
Of sunny features, and of ardent eyes 
With flowing rapture bright, dark looks succeed, 
Suffused and glaring with untender fire ; 
A clouded aspect, and a burning cheek, 
Where the whole poisoned soul, malignant, sits, 
And frightens love away. Ten thousand fears 
Invented wild, ten thousand frantic views 1090 
Of horrid rivals, hanging on the charms 
For which he melts in f(mdness, eat him up 
With fervent anguish and consuming rage. 
In vain reproaches lend their idle aid, 
Deceitful pride, and resolution frail. 
Giving false peace a moment. Fancy pours. 
Afresh, her beauties on his busy thought. 


Her first endearments twining round the soul, 
With all the witchcraft of ensnaring love. 1099 
Straight the tierce storm involves his rnind anew, 
Flames through the nerves, and boils along the 

veins ; 
While anxious doubt distracts the tortured heart : 
For e'en sad assurance of his fears 
Were ease to what he feels. Thus the warm youth 
Whom love deludes into his thorny wilds, 
Through flowery-tempting paths, or leads a life 
Of fevered rapture, or of cruel care ; 
His b»-ightest aims extinguished all, and all 
His lively moments running down to waste. 

But happy they, the happiest of their kind, 1110 
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate 
Their hearts, their fortunes and their beings blend. 
'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws, 
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind, 
That binds their peace, but harmony itself 
Attuning all their passions into love ; 
Where friendship full-exerts her softest power. 
Perfect esteem enlivened by desire 
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul ; 1119 

Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will, 
With boundless confidence ; for nought but love 
Can answer love, and render bliss secure. 
Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent 
To bless himself from sordid parents buys 
The loathing virgin, in eternal care. 




Well-merited, consume his nights and days : 

Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love 

Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel ; 

Let eastern tyrants from the light of heaven 

Seclude their bosom-slaves, meanly possessed 1130 

Of a mere lifeless violated form : 

While those whom love cements in holy faith, 

And equal transport, free as Nature live, 

Disdaining fear. What is the world to them, 

Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all, 

Who in each other clasp whatever fair 

High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish. 

Something than beauty dearer, should they look 

Or on the mind, or mind-illumined face : 

Truth, goodness, honour, harmony, and love, 1140 

The richest bounty of indulgent heaven? 

Meantime a smiling offspring rises round. 

And mingles both their graces. By degrees, 

The human blossom blows ; and every day. 

Soft as it rolls alon?, shows some new charm 

The father's lustre and the mother's bloom. 

Then infant reason grows apace, and calls 

For the kind hand of an assiduous care. 

Delightful task 1 to rear the tender thought, 

To teach the young idea how to shoot, 1150 

To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind, 

To breathe th' enlivening spirit, and to fix 

The generous purpose in the glowing breast. 

Oh, speak the joy I ye, whom the sudden tear 

Surprises often, while you look around, 

And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss, 

All various nature pressing on the heart ; 

An elegant sufficiency, content, 

Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, honks. 

Ease and alternate labour, useful life, llfiO 

Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven. 

These are the matchless joys of virtuous love : 

And thus their moments fly. The seasons thus. 

As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll, 

Still find them happy ; and consenting Spring 

Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads : 

Till evening comes at last, serene and mild, 

When after the long vernal day of life, 

Enamoured more as more remembrance swells 

With many a proof of recollected love, 1170 

Together down they sink in social sleep ; 

Together feed, their gentle spirits fly 

To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign. 

^ y BSifl (Ml 1 1^ 


The subject proposed. Invocation. Address to Mr. Dodin^- 
ton. An introductory reflection on the motion of the hea- 
venly bodies ; whence the succession of the seasons. Aa 
the face of tialiire in this season is almost uniform, the 
progress of the poem is a description of a summer's day. 
The dawn. Sun-rising. Hymn to the sun. Forenoon. 
Slimmer insects described. Hay-making-. Sheep-shearing. 
Noon-day. A woodland retreat. Group of herds and 
flocks. A solemn grove: how it affects a contemplative 
mind. A cataract, and rude scene. View of summer in 
the torrid zone. Storm of thunder and lightning. A tale- 
The storm over, a serene afternoon. Bathing. Hour of 
walking. Transition to the prospect of a rich well-culti- 
vated country ; which introduces a panegyric on Great 
Britain. Sun-set. Evening. Night. Summer meteors. 
A comet. The whole concluding with the praise of philo- 


Fkom brig-htening fields of ether fair disclosed, 
I Child of the sun, refulgent Summer comes, 
' In pride of youth, and felt through nature's depth 
He comes attended by the sultry Hours, 
And ever-fanning breezes, on his way ; 
While, from his ardent look, the turning Spring 
Averts her blushful face ; and earth, and skies, 
AU-sniiling, to his hot dominion leaves. 

Hence, let me haste into the mid-wood shade. 
Where starce a sunbeam wanders through the 

gloom ; 
And on the dark-green grass, beside the brink 11 
Of haunted stream, that by the roots of oak 
Rolls o'er the rocky channel, lie at large, 
And sing the glories of the circling year. 

Come, Inspiration I from thy hermit-seat. 
By mortal seldom found ; may Fancy dare, 
From thy fixed serious eye, and raptured glance 
Shot on surrounding heaven, to steal one look 
Creative of the poet, every power 
Exalting to an ecstasy of soul. 20 

And thou, my youthful muse's early friend. 
In whom the human graces all unite : 
) '■ 


Pure light of mind, and tenderness of heart ; 

Genius, and wisdom : the gay social sense, 

By decency chastised ; goodness and wit, 

In seldom-meeting harmony conihined ; 

Unblemished honour, and an active zeal 

For Britain's glory, liberty, and man : 

O Dodington ! attend my rural song. 

Stoop to my theme, inspirit every line, 30 

And teach me to deserve thy just applause. 

With what an awful woi-ld-revolving power 
Were first th' unwieldy planets launched along 
Th' illimitable void I thus to remain, 
Amid the flux of many thousand years, 
That oft has swept the toiling race of men 
And all their laboured monuments away, 
Firm, unremitting, matchless, in their course ; 
To the kind-tempered change of night and day. 
And of the seasons ever stealing round, 40 

Minutely faithful : such th' all-])erfect hand 
That poised, impels, and rules the steady whole I 

When now no more th' alternate Twins are fired. 
And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze, 
Short is the doubtful empire of the right ; 
And soon, observant of approaching day, 
The meek-eyed Morn appears, mother of dews, 
At first faint-gleaming in the dapi)led east : 
Till far o'er ether spreads the widening glow ; 
And, from before the lustre of her face, 50 

Wliite break the clouds away. 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 60 

The native voice of undissembled joy ; 
And thick around the woodland hymns arise. 
Roused by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves 
Ilis mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells ; 
And from the crowded fold, in order drives 
His flock, to taste the verdure of the mom. 
Falsely luxurious, will not man awake ; 
And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy 
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour, 
To meditation due and sacred song 1 70 

For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise ? 
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half 
The fleeting moments of too short a life ; 
Total extinction of th' enlightened soul ! 
Or else to feverish vanity alive, 
Wildered, and tossing through distemper'd dreams ? 
Who would in such a gloomy state remain 
Longer than nature craves, when every muse 
And every blooming pleasure wait without, 
To bless the wildly-devious morning- walk ? 80 

53 S V M M E B . 

But yonder comes the powerful king of day, 
Rejoicing in the east. The lessening cloud, 
The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow 
Illumed with fluid gold, his near approach 
Betoken glad. Lo, now, apparent all, 
Aslaat the dew-bright earth, and coloured air, 
He looks in boundless majesty abroad ; 
And sheds the shining day, that burnished plays 
On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering 

High-gleaming from afar. Prime cheerer, Light ! 
Of all material beings first, and best I 91 

Efflux divine I Nature's resplendent robe I 
Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt 
In unessential gloom ; and thou, O Sun ! 
Soul of surrounding worlds I in whom best seen 
Shines out thy Maker ! may 1 sing of thee 1 

'Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force, 
As with a chain indissoluble bound, 
Thy system rolls entire ; from the far bourne 
Of utmost Saturn, wheeling wide his round 100 
Of thirty years, to Mercury, whose disk 
Can scarce be caught by philosophic eye, 
Lost in the near effulgence of tl^y blaze. 

Informer of the planetary train ! 
Without whose quickening glance their cumbrous 

Were brute unlovely mass, inert and dead, 
And not, as novf, the green abodes of life I 

s u At M E R . 53 

How many folms of being wait on thee, 
Inhaling spirit ; from th' unfettered mind, 
By thee sublimed, down to the daily race, 110 

The mixing myriads of thy setting beam ! 

The vegetable world is also thine, 
Parent of seasons ! who the pomp precede 
That waits thy throne, as through thy vast domain, 
Annual, along the bright ecliptic road. 
In world -rejoicing state, it moves sublime. 
Meantime th' expecting nations, circled gay 
With all the various tribes of foodful earth, 
Implore thy bounty, or send grateful up 
A common hymn : while, round thy beaming car, 
High seen, the Seasons lead, in sprightly dance 
Harmonious knit, the rosy-fingered Hours, 122 

The Zephyrs floating loose, the timely Rains, 
Of bloom ethereal the light-footed Dews, 
And softened into joy the surly Storms. 
These,- in successive turn, with lavish hand. 
Shower every beauty, every fragrance shower. 
Herbs, flowers, and fruits ; till, kindling at thy 

From land to land is flushed the vernal yeat. 

Nor to the surface of enlivened earth, 130 

Graceful with hills and dales, and leafy woods, 
Her liberal tresses, is thy force confined : 
But, to the bowelled cavern darting deep. 
The mindral kinds confess thy mighty power. 
Effulgent, hence the veiny marble shines i 


Hence Labour draws his tools ; hence burnish'd Wat 
Gleams on the day ; the nobler works of Peace 
Hence bless mankind, and generous Commerce binds 
The round of nations in a golden chain. 

Th' unfruitful rock itself, impregn'd by thee, 
In dark retirement forms the lucid stone. 141 

The lively diamond drinks thy purest rays, 
Collected light, compact ; that, polished bright, 
And all its native lustre let abroad. 
Dares, as it sparkles on the fair-one's breast, 
With vain ambition emulate her eyes. 
At thee the ruby lights its deepening glow, 
And with a waving radiance inward flames. 
From thee the sapphire, solid ether, takes) 
Its hue cerulean ; and of evening tinct, 150 

The purple-streaming amethyst is thine. 
With thy own smile the yellow topaz burns. 
Nor deeper verdure dyes the robe of Spring, 
When first she gives it to the southern gale. 
Than the green emerald shows. But, all combined, 
Thick through the whitening opal play thy beams ; 
Or, flying several from its surface, form 
A trembling variance of revolving hues, 
As the sight varies in the gazer's hand. 

The very dead creation, from thy touch, 160 

Assumes a mimic life. By thee refined, 
In brighter mazes the relucent stream 
Plays o'er the mead. The precipice abrupt, 
Projecting horror oa the blackened flood. 


Softens at thy return. The desert joys 

Wildly, through all his melancholy bounds. 

Rude ruins glitter ; and the briny deep, 

Seen from some pointed promontory's top, 

Far to the blue horizon's utmost verge, 

Restless, reflects a floating gleam. But this, 170 

And all the much-transported muse can sing, 

Are to thy beauty, dignity, and use. 

Unequal far ; great delegated Source 

Of light, and life, and grace, and joy below ! 

How shall I then attempt to sing of Ilim 
Who, light himself, in uncreated light 
Invested deep, dwells awfully retired 
From mortal eye or angel's purer ken, 
Whose single smile has, from the first of time. 
Filled, overflowing, all those lamps of heaven 180 
That beam for ever through the boundless sky : 
But, should he hide his face, the astonished sun, 
And all th' extinguished stars, would loosening reel 
Wide from their spheres, and chaos come again I 

And yet was every faltering tongue of man, 
Almighty Father I silent in thy praise, 
Thy works themselves would raise a general voice, 
E'en in the depth of solitary woods 
By human foot untrod, proclaim thy power. 
And to the choir celestial thee resound, 190 

Th' eternal cause, support, and end of all ! 

To me be nature's volume broad-displayed ; 
And to peruse its all-instructing page, 

p— : 

56 SU MMBR. 

Or, haply catching inspiration thence, 
Some easy passage, raptured, to translate, 
My sole delight ; as through the falling glooms 
Pensive I stray, or with the rising dawn 
On Fancy's eagle-wing excursive soar 

Now, flaming up the heavens, the potent sun 
Melts into limpid air the high-raised clouds, 200 
And morning fogs, that hovered round the hills 
In party-coloured bands : till wide unveiled 
The face of nature shines, from where earth seems, 
Far-stretched around, to meet the bending sphere. 

Half in a blush of clustering roses lost. 
Dew-dropping Coolness to the shade retires ; 
There, on the verdant turf, or flowery bed, 
By gelid founts and careless rills to muse ; 
While tyrant Heat, dispreading through the sky. 
With rapid sway, his burning influence darts 210 
On man, and beast, and herb, and tepid stream. 

Who can unpitying see the flowery race, 
Shed by the morn, their new-flushed bloom resign. 
Before the parching beam 1 so fade the fair. 
When fevers revel through their azure veins. 
But one, the lofty follower of the sun. 
Sad when he sets, shuts up her yellow leaves. 
Drooping all night ; and, when he warm returns. 
Points her enamored bosom to his ray. 

Home, from his morning task, the swain retreats ; 
His flock before him stepping to the fold : 221 

While the fuU-uddered mother lows around 

,_-^...,-^-, — ^^..^^^.^ 

— — c 


The cheerful cottage, then expecting food, 
j The food of innocence and health ! The daw, 
The rook and magpie, to the grey-grown oaks 
That the calm village in their verdant arms. 
Sheltering, embrace, direct their lazy flight ; 
Where on the mingling boughs they sit embowered 
All the hot noon, till cooler hours arise. 
Faint, underneath, the liousehold fowls convene ; 
And, in a corner of the buzzing shade, 231 

The house-dog, with the vacant greyhound, lies, 
Outstretched, and sleepy. In his slumbers one 
Attacks the nightly thief, and one exults 
O'er hill and dale ; till, wakened by the wasp, 
They starting snap. Nor shall the muse disdain 
To let the little noisy sunnner-race 
Live in her lay, and flutter through her song : 
Not mean though simple ; to the sun allied, 
From him they draw their animating fire. 240 

Waked by his warmer ray, the reptile young 
Come winged abroad ; by the light air upborne, 
Lighter, and full of soul. From every chink, 
And secret corner, where they slept away 
The wintry storms ; or rising from their tombs, 
To higher life ; by myriads, forth at once. 
Swarming they pour ; of all the varied hues 
Their beauty-beaming parent can disclose. 
Ten thousand forms, ten thousand different tribes, 
People the blaze. To sunny waters some 250 

By fatal instinct fly ; where on the pool 


They, sportive, wheel ; or, sailing down the stream, 
Are snatched immediate by the quick-eyed trout, 
Or darting salmcm. Through the green-wood glade 
Some love to stray ; there lodged, amused and fed, 
In the fresh leaf. Luxurious, others make 
The meads their choice, and visit every flower, 
And every latent herb : for the sweet task, 
To propagate their kinds, and where to wrap, 
In what soft beds, their young yet undisclosed, 260 
Employs their tender care. Some to the house, 
The fold, and dairy, hungry, bend their flight ; 
Sip round the pail, or taste the curdhng cheese 
Oft, inadvertent, from the milky stream 
They meet their fate ; or, weltering in the bowl, 
With powerless wings around them wrapt, expire. 
But chief to heedless flies the window proves 
A constant death ; where, gloomily retired. 
The villain spider lives, cunning, and fierce, 
Mixture abhorred I Amid a mangled heap 270 
Of carcases, in eager watch he sits, 
O'erlooking all his wa\-ing snares around. 
Near the dire cell the dreadless wanderer ofl 
Passes ; as oft the ruffian shows his front ; 
The prey at last en.snared, he dreadful darts, 275 
With rapid glide, along the leaning line ; 
And, fixing in the wretch his cruel fangs, 
Strikes backward, grimly pleased : the fluttering 


And shriller sound declare extreme distress, 

And ask the helping hospitable hand. 280 

Resounds the living surface of the ground : 
Nor uudelightful is the ceaseless hum, 
To him who muses through the woods at noon ; 
Or drowsy shepherd, as he lies reclined, 
With half-shut eyes, beneath the floating shade 
Of willows grey, close-crowding o'er the brook. 

Gradual, from these what numerous kinds descend, 
Evading e'en the microscopic eye ! 
Full Nature swarms with life ; one wondrous mass 
Of animals, or atoms organized, 290 

Waiting the vital breath, when Parent-Heaven 
Shall bid his spirit blow. The hoary fen, 
In putrid steams, emits the livid cloud 
Of pestilence. Through subterranean cells, 
Where searching sunbeams scarce can find a way, 
Earth animated heaves. The flowery leaf 
Wants not its soft inhabitants. Secure, 
Within its winding citadel, the stone 
Holds multitudes. But chief the forest-boughs. 
That dance unnumbered to the playful breeze, 300 
The downy-orchard, and the melting pulp 
Of mellow fruit, the nameless nations feed 
Of evanescent insects. Where the pool 
Stands mantled o'er with green, invisible, 
Amid the floating verdure millions stray. 
Each liquid too, whether it pierces, soothes, 
Inflames, refreshes, or exalts the taste 


With various forms abounds. Nor is the stream 
Of purest crystal, nor the lucid air, 
Though one transparent vacancy it seems, 310 

Void of their unseen people. These, concealed 
By the kind art of forming Heaven, escape 
The grosser eye of man ; for, if the worlds 
In worlds enclosed should on his senses burst, 
From cates ambrosial and the nectared bowl 
He would abhorrent turn, and in dead night. 
When silence sleeps o'er all, be stunn'd with noise. 

Let no presuming impious railer tax 
Creative wisdom, as if aught was formed 
In vain, or not for admirable ends. 320 

Shall little haughty Ignorance pronounce 
His works unwise, of which the smallest part 
Exceeds the narrow vision of her mind 1 
As if upon a full proportioned dome, 
On swelling columns heaved, the pride of art, 
A critic-fly, whose feeble ray scarce spreads 
An inch around, with blind presumption bold, 
Should dare to tax the structure of the whole 
And lives the meyi whose universal eye 
Has swept at once th' unbounded scheme of things, 
Marked their dependence so, and firm accord, 331 
As with unfaltering accent to conclude 
Tliat this availeth nought ? Has any seen 
The mighty chain of beings, lessening dovm 
From Infinite Perfection to the brink 
•Of dreary nothing, desolate aby^s ! 

S U M M E B . 61 

I From which astonished thought, recoiling-, turns 1 
Till then alone let zealous praise ascend, 
And hymns of holy wonder, to that Power 
Whose wisdom shines as lovely on our minds 340 
, As on our smiling eyes, his servant-sun. 
' Thick in yon stream of light, a thousand ways, 
Upward, and downward, thwarting, and convolved, 
The quivering nations sport ; till, tempest-winged. 
Fierce Winter sweeps them from the face of day. 
E'en so luxurious men, unheeding, pass 
An idle summer life in fortune's shrine, 
A season's glitter ! thus they flutter on 
From toy to toy. from vanity to vice ; 
Till, blown away by death, oblivion comes 350 

Behind, and strikes them from the book of life. 
! Now swarms the village <-'er the jovial mead ; 
The rustic youth, brown witli meridian toil. 
Healthful and strong ; full as the summer-rose 
Blown by prevailing suns, the ruddy maid. 
Half-naked, swelling on the sight, and all 
Her kindled graces burning o'er her cheek. 
E'en stooping age is here ; and infant-hands 
Trail the long-rake, or, with the fragrant load 
O'erchanged, amid the kind oppression roll. 360 
Wide flies the tedded grain ; all in a row 
Advancing broad, <ir wheeling round the field, 
They spread the breathing harvest to the sun, 
That throws refreshful round a rural smell : 
Or, as they rake the green-appearing ground, 



And drive the dusky wave along the mead, 
The russet hay-cock rises thick behind, 
In order gay. While heard from dale to dale, 
Waking the breeze , resounds the blended voice 
Of happy labour, love, and social glee. 370 

Or rushing thence, in one diffusive band, 
They drive the troubled flocks, by many a dog 
Compelled, to where the mazy-running brook 
Forms a deep pool ; this bank abrupt and-high, 
And that fair-spreading m a pebbled shore. 
Urged to the giddy brink, much is the toil. 
The clamour much, of men, and boys, and dogs, 
Ere the soft fearful people to the flood 
Commit their wooly sides. And oft the swain, 
On some impatient seizing hurls them in : 380 

Emboldened then, nor hesitating more, 
Fast, fast, they plunge amid the flashing wave. 
And panting labour to the furthest shore. 
Repeated this, till deep the well-washed fleece 
Has drunk the flood, and from his lively haunt 385 
The trout is banished by the sordid stream ; 
Heavy, and dripping, to the breezy brow 
Slow move the harmless race : where, as they spread 
Their swelling treasures to the sunny ray. 
Inly disturbed, and wondering what this wild 390 
Outrageous tumult means, their loud complaints 
The country fill ; and, tossed from rock to rock, 
Incessant bleatings run around the hills. 
At last, of snowy white, the gathered flocks 

G~ —- = ___™.,.^___ 

s t; M M & R . 63 

Are ih the iVattled pen innumerous pressed. 
Head above head ; and, rang'd in lusty rows 
The shepherds sit, and whet the sounding shears. 
The housewife waits to roll her fleecy stores, 
With all her gay-drest maids attending round. 
One, chief, in gracious dignity enthroned, 400 
Shines o'er the rest, the pastoral queen, and rays 
Her smiles, sweet-beaming, on her shepherd-king ; 
f "While the glad circle round them yield their souls 
To festive mirth, and wit that knows no gaU. 
Meantime, their joyous task goes on apace : 
1 Some mingling stir the melted tar, ahd some, 
; Deep on the new-shorn vagrant's heaving side 
To stamp the master's cypher ready stind ; 
Others th' unwilling wether drag along ; 
And, glorying In his might, the sturdy boy 410 
Holds by the twisted horns th' indignant ram. 
Behold were bound, and of its robe bereft, 
By needy man, that all-depending loi'd. 
How meek, how patient, the mild creature lies ! 
What softness in its melancholy face, 
What dumb complaining innocence appears I 
Fear not, ye gentle tribes, 'tis not the knife 
Of horrid slaughter that is o'er you waved ; 
No, 'tis the tender swain's well-guided shears, 
Wlio having now, to pay his annual care, 420 
Borrowed your fleece, to you a cumbrous load. 
Will send you bounding to your hills again. 
A simple scene ! yet hence Britannia sees 


Her solid grandeur rise : hence she commands 
Th' exalted stores of every brighter clime, 
The treasures of the sun without his rage : 
Hence, fervent all, with culture, toil, and arts, 
Wide glows her land ; her dreadful thunder hence 
Rides o'er the waves isublime, and now, e'en now, 
Impending hangs o'er Gallia's humbled coast ; 430 
Hence rules the circling deep, and awes the world. 

* Tis raging noon ; and, vertical, the sun 
Darts on the head direct his forceful rays. 
O'er heaven and earth, far as the tanging eye 
Can sweep, a dazzling deluge reigns ; and all 
From pole to pole is undistinguished blaze. 
In vain the sight, dejected to the ground. 
Stoops for relief; thence hot ascending steams, 
And keen reflection pain. Deep to the root 
Of vegetation parched, the cleaving fields 440 

And slippery lawn an arid hue disclose. 
Blast Fancy's bloom, and wither e'en th*; soul. 
Echo no more returns the cheefful sound 
Of sharpening scythe : the mower sinking heaps 
O'er him the humid hay, with flowers perfumed ; 
And scarce a chirping grasshopper is heard 
Through the dumb mead. Distressful Nature pants. 
The Very streams look languid from afar ; 
Or, through th' unsheltered glade, impatient, seem 
To hurl into the covert of the grove. 450 

All-'Conquering Heat, oh intermit thy wrath ! 
And on my throbbing temples potent thus 

Q^ O 


Beam not so fierce I Incessant still you flow, 
And still another fervent flood succeeds, 
Poured on the head profuse. In vain I sigh, 
And restless turn, and look around for night ; 
Night is far off"; and hotter hours approach. 
Thr.ce happy he ! who on the sunless side 
Of » romantic mountain, forest-crowned. 
Beneath the whole collected shade reclines : 460 
Or in the gelid caverns woodbine-wrought. 
And fresh bedewed with ever-spouting streams, 
Sits coolly calm ; while all the world without. 
Unsatisfied, and sick, tosses in noon. 
Emblem instructive of the virtuous man. 
Who keeps his tempered mind serene, and pure. 
And every passion aptly harmonized, 
Amid a jarring world with vice inflamed. 

Welcome, ye shades ! ye bowery thickets, hail ! 
Ye lofty pines ! ye venerable oaks I 470 

Ye ashes wild, resounding o'er the steep 
Delicious is your shelter to the soul. 
As to the hunted hart the sallying spring, 
Or stream full-flowing, that his swelling sides 
Laves, as he floats along the herbaged brink. 475 
Cool, through the nerves, your pleasing comfort 

glides ; 
The heart beats glad ; the fresh-expanded eye 
And ear resume their watch ; the sinews knit ; 
And life shoots swift through all the lengthened 




AroUhd th' adjoining brook, that purls along 480 
The vocal grove, now fretting o'er a rock, 
Now scarcely moving through a reedy pool, 
Now starting to a Sudden stream, and now 
Gently diffused into a limpid plain, 
A various group the herds and flocks compose, 
Rural confusion ! On the grassy bank 
Some ruminating lie ; while others stand 
Half in the flood, and often bending sip 
The Circling surface. In the middle droops 
The strong Itiboi'ioUs ox, of honest front, 490 

Which incomposed he shakes ; and from his sides 
The troublous insects lashes with his tail, 
Returning Still. Amid his subjects safe, 
Slumbers the monarch-swain ; his careless arm 
Thrown round his head, on downy moss sustained ; 
Here laid his scrip, with wholesome viands filled ; 
There, listening every noise, his Watchful dog. 

Light fly his slumbers, if perchance a flight 
Of angry gad-flies fasten on the hetd, 
That startling scatters from the shallow brook, 500 
In search of lavish stream. Tossing the foam, 
They scorn the keeper's voice, and scour the plain, 
Through all the bright severity of noon ; 
While, from their labouring breasts, a hollow moan 
Proceeding, runs low-bellowing round the hills. 

Oft in this season too the horse, provoked. 
While his big sinews full of spirits swell. 
Trembling with vigour, in the heat of blood. 


Springs the high fence ; and, o'er the field effused, 
Darts on the gloomy flood, with stedfast eye, 510 
And heart estranged to fear : his nervous chest, 
Luxuriant, and erect, the seat of strength. 
Bears down th' opposing stream ; quenchless his 

thirst : 
He takes the river at redoubled draughts, 
And with wide nostrils, snorting, skims the wave. 

Still let me pierce into the midnight depth 
Of yonder grove, of wildest largest growth : 
That, forming high in air a woodland choir. 
Nods o'er the mount beneath. At every step, 
Solemn and slow the shadows blacker fall 520 

And all is awful listening gloom around. 

These are the haunts of Meditation ; these 
The scenes where ancient bards th' inspiring breath, 
Ecstatic, felt ; and, from this world retired, 
Conversed with angels, and immortal forms, 
On gracious errand bent : to save the fall 
Of virtue struggling on the brink of vice ; 
In waking whispers, and repeated dreams, 
To hint pure thought, and warn the favoured soul 
For future trials fated to prepare ; 530 

To prompt the poet who devoted gives 
His muse to better themes : to soothe the pangs 
Of dying worth, and from the patriot's breast 
(Backward to mingle in detested war. 
But foremost when engaged) to turn the death ; 


And numberless such ofiires of love, 
Daily, and nightly, zealous to perform 

Shook sudden from the bosom of the eky, 
A thousand shapes or glide athwart the dusk. 
Or stalk majestic on. Deep-roused. I feel 540 

A sacred terror, a severe delight, 
Creep through my mortal frame ; and thus me- 

A voice, than human more, th' abstracted ear 
Of Fancy strikes. " Be not of us afraid. 
Poor kindred man I thy fellow-creatures, we 
From the same Parent-Power our beings drew. 
The same our Lord, and laws, and great pursuit. 
Once some of us, like thee, through stormy life. 
Toiled, tempest-beaten, ere we could attain 
This holy calm, this harmony of mind, 550 

Where purity and peace immingle charms. 
Then fear not us ; but with responsive song, 
Amid these dim recesses, undisturbed 
By noisy folly and discordant vice, 
Of nature sing with us, and nature's God. 
Here frequent, at the visionary hour. 
When musing midnight reigns or silent noon, 
Angelic harps are in full concert heard, 
And voices chanting from the wood-crowned hill. 
The deepening dale, or inmost sylvan glade, 560 
A privilege bestowed by us, alone. 
On Contemplation, or the hallowed ear 
Of poet, swelling to seraphic strain." 



And art thou, Stanley,* of that sacred band ? 
Alas, for us too soon I thous:h raised above 565 
The leanh of human pain, above the flight 
Of human joy ; yet, with a mingled ray 
Of sadly pleased remembrance, must thou feel 
A mother's love, a mother's tender wo, 
Who seeks thee still, in many a former scene ; 570 
Seeks thy fair form, thy lovely-beaming eyes, 
Thy ))leasing converse, by gay lively sense 
Inspired, where moral wisdom mildly shone, 
Without the toil of art ; and virtue glowed, 
In all her smiles, without forbidding pride. 
But, O thou best of parents I wipe thy tears, 
Or rather to parental nature pay 
The tears of grateful joy, who for a while 
Lent thee this younger self, this opening bloom 
Of thy enlightened n)ind and gentle worth. 580 
Believe the muse : the wintr)- blast of death 
Kills not the buds of virtue ; no, they spread. 
Beneath the heavenly beam of l)righter suns. 
Through endless ages, into higher powers. 

Thus up the mount, in airy vision rapt, 
I stray, regardless whither, till the sound 
Of a near fall of water every sense 
W^akes from the charm of thought : swift-shrinking 

I check my steps, and view the broken scene. 

• A yoiinor lady, well known to the author, who ilied at 
the ag-e of eighteen, in the year 1738. 


Smooth to the shelving brink a copious flood 590 
Rolls fair and placid, where collected all, 
In one impetuous torrent, down the steep 
It thundering shoots, and shakes the country round. 
At first, an azure sheet, it rushes broad ; 
Then whitening by degrees, as prone it falls, 
And, from the loud-resounding rocks below, 
Dashed in a cloud of foam, it sends aloft 
A hoary mist, and forms a ceaseless shower. 
Nor can the tortured wave here find repose ; 
But, raging still amid the shaggy rocks, 600 

Now flashes o'er the scattered fragments, now 
Aslant the hollowed channel rapid darts ; 
And falling fast from gradual slope to slope, 
With wild infracted course and lessened roar, 
It gains a safer bed, and steals, at last, 
Along the mazes of the quiet vale. 

Invited from the cliff, to whose dark brow 
He olings, the steep-ascending eagle soars. 
With upward pinions through the flood of day ; 
And, giving full his bosom to the blaze, 610 

Gains on the sun ; while all the tuneful race, 
Smit by afflictive noon, disordered droop. 
Deep in the thicket ; or, from bower to bower 
Responsive, force an interrupted strain. 
The stock-dove only through the forest coos. 
Mournfully hoarse ; oft ceasing from his plaint 
(Short interval of weary wo I) again 
The sad idea of his murdered mate, 


Struck from his side by savage fowler's guile, 
Across his fancy comes ; and then resounds 620 
A louder song of sorrow through the grove. 

Beside the dewy border let me sit, 
All in the freshness of the humid air ; 
There in that hollowed rock, grotesque and wild, 
An ample chair moss-lined, and overhead 
Bj flowering umbrage shaded, where the bee 
Strays diligent, and with th' extracted balm 
Of fragrant woodbine loads his little thigh. 

Now, while I taste the sweetness of the shade. 
While Nature lies around deep-lulled in noon, 630 
Now come, bold Fancy, spread a daring flight, 
And view the wonders of the torrid zone : 
Climes unrelenting ! with whose rage compared, 
Yon bla'ze is feeble, and yon skies are cool. 

See how at once the bright-effulgent sun, 
Rising direct, swift chases from the sky 
The short-lived twilight, and with ardent blaze 
Looks gaily fierce through all the dazzling air ! 
He mounts his throne ; but kind before him sends. 
Issuing from out the portals of the morn, 640 

The general breeze,* to mitigate his fire 
And breathe refreshment on a fainting world. 
Great are the scenes, with dreadful beauty crowned 

• Which blows constantly between the tropics from the 
east, or the collateral points, (he north-east and sonili east; 
caused by the pressure of the rarefied air on that before i I, 
according to the diurnal motion of the sun from east to 




And barbarous wealth, that see, each circling year, 

Returning suns and double seasons* pass : 

Rocks rich in gems, and mountains big with mines, 

That on the high equator ridgy rise, 

Whence many a bursting stream auriferous plays : 

Majestic vroods, of every vigorous green, 

Stage above stage, high-waving o'er the hills ; 650 

Or to the far horizon wide diffused, 

A boundless deep immensity of shade. 

Here lofty trees, to ancient song unknown. 

The noble sons of potent heat and floods 

Prone rushing from the clouds, rear high to heaven 

Their thorny stems, and broad around them throw 

Meridian g'oom. Here, in eternal prime, 

Unnumbered fruits, of keen delicious taste 

And vital spirit, drink amid the cliffs, 

And burning sands that bank the shrubby vales, 660 

Redoubled day, yet in their rugged coats 

A friendly juice to cool its rage contain. 

Bear me, Pomona, to thy citron groves, 
To where the lemon and the piercing lime, 
With the deep orange, glowing through the green, 
Their lighter glories blend. Lay me reclined 
Beneath the spreading tamarind, that shakes, 
Fanned by the breeze, its fever-cooling fruit. 
Deep in the night the massy locust sheds, 

• In all climates between the tropics, the sun, as he passes 
and repasses in his annual motion, is twice a year vertical, 
which produces this effect. 


Quench my hot hmbs ; or lead me through the maze, 
Embowering endless, of the Indian fig ; 671 

Or, thrown at gayer ease on some fair brow, 
Let me behold, my breezy murmurs cooled, 
Broad o'er my head the verdant cedar wave, 
And high palmetos lift their graceful shade. 
Or, stretched amid these orchards of the sun, 
Give me to drain the cocoa's milky bowl, 
And from the palm to draw its freshening wine, 
More bounteous far than all the frantic juice, 679 
Which Bacchus pours ! Nor, on its slender twigs 
Low-bending, be the full pomegrauate scorned : 
Nor, creeping through the woods, the gelid-nice 
Of berries. Oft iu humble station dwells 
Unboastful worth, above fastidious pomp : 
Witness, thou best Anana, thou the pride 
Of vegetable life, beyond whate'er 
The poets imaged in the golden age : 
Quick let me strip thee of thy tufty coat. 
Spread thy ambrosial stores, and feast with Jove ! 
From these the prospect varies. Plains immense 
Lie stretched below, interminable meads, 691 

And vast savannahs, where the wandering eye, 
Unfixed, is in a verdant ocean lost. 
Another Flora there, of bolder hues, 
And richer sweets, beyond our garden's pride, 
Plays o'er the fields, and showers with sudden hand 
Exuberant spring ; for oft these valleys shift 
Their green-embroidered robe to finry brown, 

74 s y M M E H . 

And swift to green again, as scorching suns, 

Or strcming dews and torrent rains, prevail. 700 

Along these lonely regions, where, retired 
From little scenes of art, great Nature dwells 
In awful solitude, and nought is seen 
But the wild herds that own no master's stall, 
Prodigious rivers roll their fat'ning seas. 
On whose luxuriant herbage, half-concealed, 
Like a fall'n cedar, far-diffused his train, 
Cased in green scales, the crocodile extends. 
The flood disparts : behold ! in plaited mail, 
Behemoth* rears his head. Glanced from his side 
The darted steel in idle shivers flies : 711 

He fearless walks the plain, or seeks the hills, 
Where, as he crops his varied fare, the herds 
In widening circle round, forget their food, 
And at the harmless stranger wondering gaze. 

Peaceful, beneath primeval trees, that cast 
Their ample shade o'er Niger's yellow stream. 
And' where the Ganges rolls his sacred wave ; 
Or mid the central depth of blackening woods. 
High-raised in solemn theatre around, 720 

Leans the huge elephant : wisest of brutes ! 
O truly wise, with gentle might endowed. 
Though powerful, not destructive ! Here he sees 
Revolving ages sweep the changeful earth. 
And empires rise and fall ; regardless he 

* The hippopotamus, or river-horse. 


Of what the never-restiji? race of men 

Project : thrice-happy could he scape their guile 

Who mine, from cruel avarice, his steps ; 

Or with his towery grandeur swell their state 739 

(The pride of kings!) or else his strength pervert, 

And bid him rage amid the mortal fray, 

Astonished at the madness of mankind. 

Wide o'er the winding umbrage of the floods. 
Like vivid blossoms glowing from afar ; 
Thick swarm the brighter birds ; for Nature's hand. 
That with a sportive vanity has decked 
The jdumy nations, there her gayest hues 
Profusely pours. But, if she bids them shine, 
Arrayed in all the beauteous beams of day, 
Yet, frugal still, she humbles them in song.* 740 
Nor envy we the gaudy robes they lent 
Proud Montezuma's realm, whose legions cast 
A boundless radiance waving on the sun. 
While Philomel is ours, while in our shades, 
Through the soft silence of the listening night, 
The sober-suited songstress trills her lay. 

But come, my muse, the desert-barrier burst, 
A wild expanse of lifeless sand and sky. 
And, swifter than the toiling caravan. 
Shoot o'er the vale of Sennar, ardent climb 750 
The Nubian Mountains, and the secret bounds 

* In al 1 the regions of the toirid zone, the birds, though more 
beautiful in their plumage, are observed to be less melodious 
than ours. 


Of jealous Abyssinia boldly pierce. 

Thou art no ruffian who beneath the mask 

Of social commerce com'st to rob their wealth ; 

No holy fury thou, blaspheming Heaven, 

With consecrated steel to stab their peace, 

And through the land, yet red from civil wounds 

To spread the purple tyranny of Rome. 

Thou, like the harndess bee, may'st freely range 

From mead to mead, bright with exalted flowers, 

From jasmine grove to grove may'st wander gay. 

Through palmy shades and aromatic woods, 762 

That grace the plains, invest the peopled hills. 

And up the more than Alpine mountains wave. 

There on the breezy summit, spreading fair. 

For many a league ; or on stupendous rocks, 

That from the sun-redoubling valley lift, 

Coo] to the middle air, their lawny tops ; 

Where palaces, and fanes, and villas rise, 

And gardens smile around, and cultured fields : 770 

And fountains gush ; and careless herds and flocks 

Securely stray ; a world within itself, 

Disdaining all assault : there let me draw 

Ethereal soul, there drirdc reviving gales, 

Profusely breathing from the spicy groves, 

And vales of fragrance ; there at distance hear 

The roaring floods and cataracts, that sweep 

From disembowelled earth the virgin gold, 

And o'er the varied landscape, restless, rove. 

Fervent with life of every fairer kind : 780 



A land of wonders, which the sun still eyes 
With ray direct, as of the lovely realm 
Enamoured, and delighting there to dwell. 

How changed the scene ! In blazing height of 
The sun, oppressed, is plunged in thickest gloom. 
Still horror reigns, a dreary twilight round, 
Of struggling night and day malignant mixed. 
For to the hot equator crowding fast. 
Where, highly rarefied, the yielding air 
Admits their stream, incessant vapours roll, 790 
Amazing clouds on clouds continual heaped ; 
Or whirled tempestuous by the gusty wind, 
Or silent borne along, heavy, and slow, 
With the big stores of steaming oceans charged. 
Meantime, amid these upper seas, condensed 
Around the cold aerial mountain's brow, 
And by conflicting winds together dashed. 
The thunder holds his black tremendous throne ; 
From cloud to cloud the rending lightnings rage ; 
Till, in the furious elemental war 800 

Dissolved, the whole precipitated mass 
Unbroken floods and solid torrents pours. 

The treasures these, hid from the bounded search 
Of ancient knowledge ; whence, with annual pomp, 
Rich king of floods I o'erflows the swelling Nile. 
From his two springs, in Gojam's sunny realm, 
Pure-wellmg out, he through the lucid lake 
Of fair Dambea rolls his infant stream. 


There by the Naiads nursed, he sports away 
His playful youth, amid the fragrant isles 810 

That with unfading verdure smile around. 
Ambitious, thence the manly river breaks ; 
And gathering many a flood, and copious fed 
With all the mellowed treasures of the sky, 
Winds in progressive majesty along : 
Through splendid kingdoms now devolves his maze, 
Now wanders wild o'er solitary tracts 
Of life-deserted Sand ; till, glad to quit 
The joyless desert, down the Nubian rocks. 
From thundering steep to steep, he pours his urn. 
And Egypt joys beneath the spreading wave, 821 

His brother Niger too, and all the floods 
In which the full-form'd maids of Afric lave 
Their jetty limbs ; and all that from the tract 
Of woody mountains stretched through gorgeous Ind 
Fall on Cor'mandel's coast, or Malabar ; 
FromMenam's orient stream*, that nightly shines 
With insect lamps, to where Aurora sheds 
On Indus' smiling banks the rosy shower: 
All, at this bounteous season ope their urns, 830 
And pour untoiling harvest o'er the land. 

Nor less thy world, Columbus, drinks, refreshed, 
The lavish moisture of the melting year. 
Wide o'er his isles the branching Oronoque 

* The river that runs throusfh Siam, on whose banks a vast 
multaude of those insects called fire-flies malte a beautiful 
appearance at nig-ht. 


Rolls a brown deluge, and the native drives 

To dwell aloft on life-sufficing trees, 

At once his dome, his robe, his food, and arms. 

Swelled by a thousand streams, impetuous hurled 

From all the roaring Andes, huge descends 

The mighty Orellana.* Scarce the muse 840 

Dares stretch her wing o'er this enormous mnss 

Of rushini,'- water ; scarce she dares attempt 

The sea-like Plata, to whose dread expanse. 

Continuous depth, and wondrous length of course, 

Our floods are rill?. With unabated force, 

In silent dignity they sweep along. 

And traverse realms unknown, and l>looming wilds, 

And fruitful deserts, worlds of solitude. 

Where the sun smiles, and seasons teem in vain, 

Unseen, and unenjoyed. Forsaking these, 850 

O'er peopled plains they fair-diffusive flow, 

And many a nation feed, and circle safe. 

In their soft bosom, many a happy isle. 

The seat of blameless Pan, yet undisturbed 

By Christian crimes and cruel Europe's sons. 

Thus pouring on they proudly seek the deep, 

Whose vanquish 'd tide, recoiling from the shock, 

Yields to this liquid weight of half the globe. 

And 0(-ean trembles for his green domain. 

But what avails this wondrous waste of wealth — 
This gay profusion of luxurious bliss — 861 

* The river of the Amazons. 



This pomp of nature T what their balmy meads, 
Their powerful herbs, and Ceres void of pain ? 
By vagrant birds dispersed, and wafting winds, 
What their unplanted fruits ? what the cool 

The ambrosial food, rich gums, and spicy health, 
Their forests yield ? Their toiling insects what, 
Their silky pride, and vegetable robes ? 
Ah ! what avail their fatal treasures, hid, 
Deep in the bowels of the pitying earth, 870 

Golconda's gems, and sad Potosi's mines. 
Where dwelt the gentlest children of the sun 1 
What all that Afrio's golden rivers roll. 
Her odorous woods, and shining ivory stores? 
Ill-fated race ! the softening arts of peace, 
Whate'er the humanising muses teach : — 
The godlike wisdom of the tempered breast ; 
Progressive truth, the patient force of thought ; 
Investigation calm, whose silent powers 
Command the world ; the light that leads to heaven ; 
Kind equal rule, the government of laws, 881 

And all-protecting Freedom, which alone 
Sustains the name and dignity of man ; — 
These are not theirs. The parent sun himself 
Seems o'er this world of slaves to tyrannise ; 
And, with oppressive ray the roseate bloom 
Of beauty blasting, gives the gloomy hue, 
And feature gross : or worse, to ruthless deeds, 
Mad jealousy, blind rage, and fell revenge, 

, Q 

SUMMER. 81 ! 

Their fervid spirit fires. I<ove dwells not there, 
The soft regards, the tenderness of life, 891 

The heart-shed tear, th' ineffable deli^jht 
Of sweet humanity : these court the beam , 

Of milder climes ; in selfish fierce desire, 
And the wild fury of voluptuous sense, | 

There lost. The very brute-creation there 
This rage partakes, and burns with horrid fire. 
Lo I the green serpent, from his dark abode, 
Which e'en Imagination fears to tread. 
At noon forth-issuing, gathers up his train 900 
In orbs immense, then, darting out anew. 
Seeks the refreshing founts, by which diffused 
He throws his folds ; and while, with threatening 

And deathful jaws erect, the monster curls 
His flaming crest, all other thirst appalled. 
Or shivering flies, or checked at distance stands. 
Nor dares approach. But still more dreadful he 
The small close-lurking minister of fate. 
Whose high-concocted venom through the veins 
A rapid lightning darts, arresting swift 910 

The vital current. Formed to humble man. 
This child of vengeful Nature ! there, sublimed 
To fearless lust of blood, the savage race 
Roam, licensed by the shading hour of guilt. 
And foul misdeed, when the pure day has shut 
His sacred eye. The tiger darting fierce 
Impetuous on the prey his glance has doomed ; 


The lively-shining leopard, speckled o'er 
With many a spot, the beauty of the waste ; 
And, scorning all the taming arts of man, 920 

The keen hyena, fellest of the fell ; 
These, rushing from th' inhospitable woods 
Of Mauritania, or the tufted isles 
That verdant rise amid the Lybian wild, 
Innumerous glare around their shaggy king, 
Majestic, stalking o'er the printed sand, 
And, with imperious and repeated roars, 
Demand their fated food. The fearful flocks 
Crowd near the guardian swain ; the nobler herds, 
Where round their lordly bull, in rural ease, 930 
They ruminating lie, with horror hear 
The coming rage. Th' awakened village starts ; 
And to her fluttering breast the mother strains 
Her thoughtless infant. From the pirate's den, 
Or stern Morocco's tyrant fang, escaped, 
Tiie wretch half wishes for his bonds again ; 
While, uproar all, the wilderness resounds, 
From Atlas eastward to the frighted Nile. 

Unhappy he who from the fijst of joys. 
Society, cut off, is left alone 940 

Amid this world of death. Day after day, 
Sad on the jutting eminence he sits, 
And views the main that ever toils below. 
Still fondly forming in the furthest verge, 
Where the round ether mixes with the wave, 
Ships, dim-discovered, dropping from the clouds ! 


At evening, to the sotting sun he turns 
A mournful eye, and down his dying heart 
Sinks helpless ; while the wonted roar is up. 
And hiss continual through the tedious night. 9j0 
Yet here, e'en here, into these i)lack. abodes 
Of monsters, unappalled, from stooping Rome, 
And guilty Cansar, Liberty retired, 
HerCato following through Numidian wilds, 
Disdainful of Campania's gentle plains 
And all the green delights Ausonia pours. 
When for them she must bend the servile knee 
And fawning take the splendid robljer's boon. 
Nor stop the terrors of these regions here. 
Commissioned demons oft, angels of wrath, 960 
Let loose the raging elements. Breathed hot, 
From all the boundless furnace of the sky. 
And the wide glittering waste of burning sand-, 
A suffocating wind the pilgrim smites 
With instant death. Patient of thirst and toil, 
Son of the desert 1 e'en the camel feels. 
Shot through his withered heart, the fiery blaSt. 
Or from the black-red ether bursting broad, 
Sallies the sudden whirlwind. Straight the sands, 
Commoved around, in gathering eddies play ; 970 
Nearer and nearer sti.ll they darkening come ; 
Till, with the general all-involving storm 
Swept up, the whole continuous wilds arise ; 
And by their noon-day fount dejected thrown, 
Or sunk at night in sad disastrous sleep. 



Beneath descending hills, the caravan 

Is buried deep. In Cairo's crowded streets 

Th' irppitient merchant, -wondering, waits in vain, 

And Mecca saddens at the long delay. 

But chief at sea, whose every flexile wave 980 
Obeys the blast, the aerial tumult swells, 
In the dread ocean, undulating wide. 
Beneath the radiant line that girls the globe, 
The circling Typhon*, whirled from point to point, 
Exhausting all the rage of all the sky. 
And dire Ecnephia* reign. Amid the heavens, 
Falsely serene, deep in a cloudy speck t 
Compressed, the mighty tempest brooding dwells ; 
Of no regard, save •;o the skilful eye, 
Fiery and foul, the small prognostic hangs 990 

Aloft, or on the promontory's brow 
Musters its force. A faint deceitful calm, 
A fluttering gale, the demon sends before. 
To tempt the spreading sail. Then down at once, 
Precipitant, descends a mingled mass 
Of roaring winds, and flame, and rushing floods. 
In wild amazement fixed the sailor stands. 
Art is too slow. By rapid fate oppressed, 
His broad-winged vessel drinks the whelming tide, 
Hid in the bosom of the black abyss. 1000 

• Typhon and Ecnephia, names of particular storms or 
hurricanes, known only between the tropics. 

t Called by sailors the Ox-eye, heing in appearance at 
first DO bigger. 


With such mad seas the daring Gama* fought, 

For many a day, and many a dreadful night, 

Incessant, lab'ring round the stormy Cape, 

By bold ambition led, and bolder thirst 

Of gold. For then from ancient gloom emerged 

The rising world of trade : the genius, then, 

Of navigation, that, in hopeless sloth. 

Had slumbered on the vast Atlantic deep 

For idle ages, starting, heard at last 

The Lusitanian priucet ; who, Heaven inspired. 

To love of useful glory roused mankind, 1011 

And in unbounded commerce mixed the world. 

Increasing still the terrors of these storms. 
His jaws horrific armed with threefold fate. 
Here dwells the direful shark. Lured by the S(^ent 
Of steaming crowds, of rank disease, and death, 
Behold I he rushing cuts the briny flood, 
Swift as the gale can bear the ship along ; 
And, from the partners of that cruel trade 
Which spoils unhappy Guinea of her sons, 1020 
Demands his share of prey, demands themselves. 
The stormy fates descend : one death involves 
Tyrants and slaves ; when straight their mangled 

• Va«co de Gama, the first who sailed rotind Africa, by the 
Cape of Good Hope, to the East Indies. 

t Don Henry, third son to John the first, Kin|r of Portiijral. 
His stroiiof genius to the discovery of new countries was the 
chief 3our(ie of all the modern inlprovements in navigation. 


Crashing- at once, he dyea the purple seas 
With gore, and riots in the vengeful meal. 

When o'er this world, by equinoctial rains 
Flooded immense, looks out the joyless sun, 
And draws the copious stream from swampy fens, 
Where putrefaction into life ferments, 
And breathes destructive myriads, or from woods, 
Impenetrable shades, recesses foul 1031 

In vapours rank and blue corruption wrapt, 
Whose gloomy horrors yet no desperate foot 
Has ever dared to pierce ; then, wasteful, forth 
Walks the dire power of pestilent disease. 
A thousand hideous fiends her course attend, 
Sick Nature blasting, and to heartless wo. 
And feeble desolation, casting down 
The towering hopes and all tlie pride of man, 
Such as, of late, at Carthagena quenched 1040 
The British fire. You, gallant Vernon, saw 
The miserable scene ; you, pitying, saw 
To infaut-weakneas sunk the warrior's arm ; 
Saw the deep-racking pang, the ghastly form. 
The lip pale-quivering, and the beamless eye 
No more with ardour bright ; you heard the groans 
Of agonising ships, from shore to shore ; 
Heard, nightly plunged amid the sullen waves. 
The frequent corSe ; while on each other fixed 
In sad presage, the blank assistants seemed, 1050 
Silent, to ask whom Fate would next demand. 

What need I mention those inclement skies, 



Where, frequent o'er the sickening city, Plague, 

The fiercest child of Nemesis divine, 

Descends ? From Ethiopia's poisoned woods, 

From stifled Cairo's filth, a.ud fetid fields 

With locust-armies putrifying heaped*. 

This great destroyer sprung. Her awful rage 

The brutes escape : man is her destined prey, 

Intemperate man ! and o'er his guilty domes 1060 

She draws a close incumbent cloud of death ; 

Uninterrupted by the living winds, 

Forbid to blow a wholesome breeze ; and stained 

With many a mixture by the sun, suifused, 

Of angry aspect. Princely Wisdom, then, 

Dejects his watchful eye ; and from the hand 

Of feeble .Justice, ineffectual, drop 

The sword and balance : mute the voice of joy, 

And hushed the clamour of the busy world. 

Empty the streets, with uncouth vendure clad ; 1070 

Into ihe worst of deserts sudden turned 

The cheerful haunt of men, unless escaped 

From the doomed house, where matchless horror 

Shut up by barbarous fear, the smitten wretch, 
With frenzy wild, breaks loose ; and, loud to heaven 
Screaming, the dreadful policy arraigns, 
Inhuman and unwise. Tlie sullen door, 
Yet uninfected, on its cautious hinge 

* These are the causes supposed to be the first orjo^in of the 
plague, ui Dr. Mead's eleg'ant book on that subject. 


Fearing to turn, abhors society : 

Dependents, friends, relations. Love himself, 1080 

Savaged by wo, forget the tender tie» 

The sweet engagement of the feeling heart. 

But vain their selfish care : the circling sky, 

The wide enlivening air, is full of fate ; 

And, struck by turns, in solitary pangs 

They fall, unblest, untended, and unmourned. 

Thus o'er the prostrate city black Despair 

Extends her raven wing ; while, to complete 

The scene of desolation, stretched around 

The grim guards stand, denying all retreat, 1090 

And give the flying wretch a better death. 

Much yet remains unsung : the rage intense 
Of brazen-vaulted skies, of iron fields, 
Where draught and famine starve the blasted year : 
Fired by the torch of noon to tenfold rage, 
The infuriate hill that shoots the pillared flame. 
And, roused within the subterranean world, 
Th' expanding earthquake, that resistless shakes 
Aspiring cities from their solid base. 
And buries mountains in the flaming gulf. 1100 
But ' tis enough ; return my vagrant muse : 
A nearer scene of horror calls thee home, 

Behold, slow-settling o'er the lurid grove, 
Unusual darkness broods, and growing gains 
The full possession of the sky, surcharged 
With wrathful vapour, from the secret beds, 
Where sleep the mineral generations, drawn. 


Thence nitre, sulphur, and the fiery spume 

Of fat bitumen, steaming on the day 

With various-tinctured trains of latent flame, 1110 

Pollute the sky, and in yon baleful cloud, 

A reddeningf gloom, a magazine of fate, 

Ferment ; till, by the touch ethereal roused, 

The dash of clouds, or irritating war 

Of fighting winds, while all is calm below, 

They furious spring. A boding silence reigns, 

Dread through the dun expanse ; save the dull 

That from the mountain, previous to the storm, 
Rolls o'er the muttering earth, disturbs the flood, 
And shakes the forest leaf without a breath. 1120 
Prone, to the lowest vale, the aerial tribes 
Descend: the tempest-loving raven scarce 
Dares wing the dubious dusk. In rueful gaze 
The cattle stand, and on the scowling heavens 
Cast a deploring eye, by man forsook. 
Who to the crowded cottage hies him fast, 
Or seeks the shelter of the downward cave. 

'Tis listening fear and dumb amazement all. 
When to the startled eye the sudden glance 1129 
Appears far south, eruptive through the cloud ; 
And following slower, in explosion vast. 
The thunder raises his tremendous voice. 
At first, heard solemn o'er the verge of heaven, 
The tempest growls ; but as it nearer comes, 
And rolls its awful burden on the wind. 



The lightning's flash a larger curve, and more 
The noise astounds : till over head a sheet 
Of livid flame discloses wide ; then shuts, 
And opens wider ; shuts and opens still 
Expansive, wrapping ether in a blaze. 1140 

Follows the loosened aggravated roar. 
Enlarging, deepening, mingling ; peal on peal 
Crushed horrible, convulsing heaven and earth. 

Down comes a deluge of sonorous hail, 
Or prone-descending rain. Wide-rent, the clouds. 
Pour a whole flood ; and yet, its flame unquenched 
Th' unconquerable lightning struggles through, 
Ragged and flerce, or in red whirling balls, 
And fires the mountains with redoubled rage. 1149 
Black from the stroke, above, the smould'ring pine 
Stands a sad shattered trunk ; and stretched below, 
A lifeless group, the blasted cattle lie : 
Here .the soft flocks, with that same harmless look 
They wore alive, and ruminating still 
In Fancy's eye ; and there the frowning bull, 
An ox half-raised. Struck on the castled cliff, 
The venerable tower and spiry fane 
Resign their aged pride. The gloomy woods 
Start. at the flash, and from their deep recess. 
Wide-flaming out, their trembling inmates shake. 
Amid Carnarvon's mountains rages loud 1161 

The repercussive roar : with mighty crash, 
Into the flashing deep, from the rude rocks 
Of Penmanmaur heaped hideous to the sky, 



Tumble the smitten cliffs ; and Snowden's peak, 
Dissolving-, instant yields his wintry load. 
Far-seen, the heights of heathy Cheviot blaze, 
And Thule bellows through her utmost isles. 
Guilt hears appalled, with deeply-troubled 
thought ; 
And yet not always on the guilty head 
Descends the fated flash. Young Celadon 
And his Amelia were a matchless pair ; 
With equal virtue formed and equal grace. 
The same, distinguished by their sex alone : 
Hers, the mild lustre of the blooming morn, 
And his the radiance of the risen day. 
They loved ; but such their guileless passion was 
As in the dawn of time informed the heart 
Of Innocence, and undissembling Truth. 
'Twas friendship heightened by the mutual wish, 
Th' enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow, 1181 
Beamed from the mutual eye. Devoting all 
To love, each was to each a dearer self. 
Supremely happy in th' awakened power 
Of giving joy. Alone, amid the shades. 
Still in harmonious intercourse they lived 
The rural day, and talked the flowing heart, 
Or sighed and looked unutterable things. 
So passed their life, a clear united stream, 
By care unruffled ; till, in evil hour, 1190 

The tempest caught them on the tender walk, 
Heedless how far, and where its mazes strayed 


While, with each other blest, creative love 
Still bade eternal Eden smile around. 
Presaging- instant fate her bosom heaved 
Unwonted sighs, and, stealing oft a look 
Of the big gloom, on Celadon her eye 
Fell tearful, wetting her disordered cheek. 
In vain assuring love, and confidence 1199 

In Heaven, repressed her fear ; it grew, and shook 
Her frame near dissolution. He perceived 
Th' unequal conflict, and, as angels look 
On dying saints, his eyes compassion shed, 
With love illumined high. " Fear not," he said, 
" Sweet innocence I thou stranger to offence, 
An inward storm ! He who yon skies involves 
In frowns of darkness ever smiles on thee 
With kind regard. O'er thee the secret shaft 
That wastes at midnight, or th' undreaded hour 
Of noon, flies harmless ; and that very voice 1210 
Which thunders terror through the guilty heart 
With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine. 
'Tis safety to be near thee sure, and thus 
To clasp perfection ! " From his void embrace 
(Mysterious Heaven !) that moment, to the ground, 
A blackened corse, was struck the beauteous maid. 
But who can paint the lover, as he stood. 
Pierced by severe amazement, hating life, 
Speechless, and fixed in all the death of wo ! 
So (faint resemblance !) on the marble tomb, 1220 

S U M M E B 93 

The well-dissembled mourner stooping stands, 
For ever silent, and for ever sad. 

As from the face of heaven the shattered clouds 
Tumultuous rove, th' interminable sky 
Sublimer swells, and o'er the world expands 
A purer azure. Through the lightened air 
A higher lustre and a clearer calm, 
Diffusive, tremble ; while, as if in sign 
Of danger past, a glittering robe of joy, 
Set off abundant by the yellow ray, 1230 

Invests the fields, and Nature smiles revived. 

'Tis beauty all, and grateful song around. 
Joined to the low of kine, and numerous bleat 
Of flocks thick nibbling through the clovered vale. 
And shall the hymn be marred by thankless man. 
Most-favoured, who with voice articulate 
Should lead the chorus of this lower world 1 
Shall he, so soon forgetful of the hand 
That hushed the thunder, and serenes the sky. 
Extinguished feel that spark the tempest waked. 
That sense of powers exceeding far his own, 1241 
Ere yet his feeble heart has lost its fears 1 
Cheered by the milder beam, the sprightly youth 
Speeds to the well-known pool, whose crystal depth 
A sandy bottom shows. Awhile he stands 
Gazing th' inverted landscape, half afraid 
To meditate the blue profound below, 
Then plunges headlong down the circling flood. 
His ebon tresses and his rosy cheek 

C- ■ 


Instant emerge ; and through th' obedient wave, 
At each short breathing by his lip repelled, 1251 
With arms and legs according well, he makes, 
As humour leads, an easy-winding path ; 
Wliile, from his polished sides, a dewy light 
Effuses on the pleased spectators round. 

This is the purest exercise of health, 
The kind refresher of the summer-heats ; 
Nor, when cold Winter keens the brightening flood. 
Would I weak-shivering linger on the brink. 
Thus life redoubles, and is oft preserved, 1260 

By the bold swimmer, in the swift illapse 
Of accident disastrous. Hence the limbs 
Knit into force ; and the same Roman arm 
Tliat rose victorious o'er the conquered earth 
First learned, while tender, to subdue the wave. 
E'en from the body's purity the mind 
Receives a secret sympathetic aid. 

Close in the covert of a hazel copse, 
Where winded into pleasing solitudes 
Runs out the rambling dale, young Damon sat, 1270 
Pensive, and pierced with love's delightful pangs 
There to the stream that down the distant rocks 
Hoarse-murmuring fell, and plaintive breeze that 

Among the bending willows, falsely he 
Of Musidora's cruelty complained. 
She felt his flame ; but deep within her breast, 
In bashful coyness, or in maiden pride. 


The soft return concealed, save when it stole 
In side-long glances from her downcast eye, 
Or from her swelling soul in stifled sighs. 1280 
Touched by the scene, no stranger to his vows, 
He framed a melting lay to try her heart ; 
And, if an infant passion struggled there. 
To call that passion forth. Thrice happy swain ' 
A lucky chance, that oft decides the fate 
Of mighty monarchs, then decided thine. 
For lo I conducted by the laughing lovos, 
This cool retreat his Musidora sought : 
Warm in her cheek the sultry season glowed ; 
And, robed in loose array, she came to bathe 1290 
Her fervent wings in the refreshing stream. 
What shall he do ? In sweet confusion lost, 
And dubious flutterings, he awhile remained : 
A pure ingenuous elegance of soul, 
A delicate refinement, known to few, 
Perplexed his breast, and urged him to retire : 
But love forbade. Ye prudes in virtue, say. 
Say, ye severest what would you have done ? 
Meantime, this fairer nymph than ever blest 
Arcadian stream, with timid eye around 1300 
The banks sun-eying, stripped her beauteous limbs, 
To taste the lucid coolness of the flood. 
Ah then ! not Paris on the piny top 
Of Ida panted stronger, when aside 
The rival-goddesses the veil divine 
Cast unconfined, and gave him all their charms, 
)— ■ 1 


Than, Damon thou ; as from the snowy leg-, 
And slender foot^ th' inverted silk she drew ; 
As the soft touch dissolved the virgin zone ; 1309 
And, through the partinsr robe, th' alternate breast, 
With youth wild-'throbbing, on thy lawless gaze 
In full luxuriance rose. But, desperate youth. 
How durst thou risk the soul distracting view, 
As from her naked limbs, of glowing white, 
Harmonious swelled by Nature's finest hand, 
In folds loose-floating fell the fainter lawn ; 
And fair-exposed she stood, shrunk from herself. 
With fancy blushing, at the doubtful breeze 
Alarmed, and starting like the fearful fawn T 
Then to the flood she rushed ; the parted flood 1320 
Its lovely guest with closing waves received ; 
And eVcry beauty softening, every grace 
Flushing anew, a mellow lustre shed : 
As shines the lily through the crystal mild i 
Or as the rose amid the morning dew. 
Fresh from Aurora's hand, more sweetly glows. 
While thus she wantoned, now beneath the wave 
But ill concealed, and now with streaming locks, 
That half embraced her in a humid veilj 
Rising again, the latent Damon drew 1330 

Such madd'ning draughts of beauty to the Soul 
As for awhile o'erwhelmed his raptured thought 
With luxury too daring. Checked, at last, 
By love's respectful modesty, he deemed 
The theft profane, if aught profane to love 

O : : 

S tJ M M E R . 97 

Can e'er be deemed ; and, struggling from the 

With headlong hurry fled : but first these lines, 
Traced by his ready pencil, on the bank 
With trembling hand he thre-w. " Bathe on, my 

Yet unbeheld, save by the sacred eye 1340 

Of faithful love : I go to guard thy haunt, 
To keep from thy recess each vagrant foot. 
And each licentious eye." With wild surprise, 
As if to marble struck, devoid of sense, 
A stupid moment motionless she stood ; 
So stands the statue that enchants the world,* 
So bending tries to veil the matchless boast, 
The mingled beauties of exulting Greece. 
Recovering, swift she flew to tiiid those robes 
Which blissful Eden knew not , and, arrayed 1350 
In careless haste, th' alarming paper snatched. 
But, when her Damon's well-known hand bhe saw, 
Her terrors vanished, and a softer train 
Of mixt emotions, hard to be described, 
Her sudden bosom seized : shame void of guilt, 
The charming blush of innocence, esteem 
And admiration of her lover's flame. 
By modesty exalted : e'en a sense 
Of self-approving beauty stole across 
Her busy thought. At length, a tender calm 1360 
Hushed by degrees the tumult of her soul , 
• The Venus of Medici. 


And on the spreading beech, that.o'er the stream 

Incumbent hung she with the silvan pen 

Of rural lovers this confession carved. 

Which soon her Damon kissed with weeping joy : 

" Dear youth, sole judge of what these verses 

By fortune too much favoured, but by love 
Alas I not favoured less, be still as now 
Discreet ; the time may come you need not fly." 

The sun has lost its rage : his downward orb 
Shoots nothing now but animating warmth, 1371 
And vital lustre, that, with various ray. 
Lights up the clouds, those beauteous robes of 

Incessant rolled into romantic shapes. 
The dream of waking Fancy. Broad below 
Covered with ripening fruits, and swelling fast 
Into the perfect year, the pregnant earth 
And all her tribes rejoice. Now the soft hour 
Of walking comes to him who lonely loves 
To seek the distant hills, and there converse 1380 
With Nature ; there to harmonise his heart, 
And in pathetic song to breathe around 
The harmony to others. Social friends, 
Attuned to happy unison of soul, 
To whose exalting eye a fairer world, 
Of which the vulgar never had a glimpse, 
Displays its charms, whose minds are richly fraught 
With philosophic stores, superior light, 



And in whose breast, enthusiastic, burns 
Virtue the sons of interest deem romance, 1390 
Now called abroad enjoy the falling day : 
Now to the verdant portico of woods. 
To Nature's vast Lyceum forth they walk ; 
By that kind school where no proud master reigns, 
The full free converse of the friendly heart, 
Improving and improved. Now from the world, 
Sacred to sweet retirement, lovers steal, 
I And pour their souls in transport, which the sire 
: Of love approving hears, and calls it good. 1399 
' Which way, Amanda, shall we bend our course ? 
I The choice perplexes. Wherefore should we 
I choose : 

I All is the same with thee. Say, shall we wind 
Along the streams? or walk the smiling mead? 
Or court the forest-glades ? or wajider wild 
Among the waving harvests ? or ascend, 
While radiant Summer opens all its pride, 
Thy hill, delightful Shene?* Here let us sweep 
The boundless landscape : now the raptured eye, 
Exuking, swjft to huge Augusta send. 
Now to t'..e Sister hillat that skirt her plain, 1410 
T'j lofty Harrow now, and now to where 
Mijestic Windsor lifts his princely brow. 
In lovely contrast to thjj glorious view, 

• The old name of Richmond, signifying, in Saxon, shining 
or tplendour. 

t Highgats and Henapitead. 

100 SUMMER. 

Calmly magnificent, then will we turn 

To where the silver Thames first rural grows. 

There let the feasted eye unwearied stray : 

Luxurious, there, rove throuj^h the pendent woods 

That nodding hang o'er Harrington's retreat : 

And, stooping thence to Ham's embowering walks, 

Beneath whose shades, in spotless peace retired. 

With her the pleasing partner of his heart, 1421 

The worthy Queensb'ry yet laments his Gay, 

And polished Cornbury woos the willing muse, 

Slow let us trace the matchless vale of Thames ; 

Fair winding-up to where the muses haunt 

In Twit'nam's bowers, and for their Pope implore 

The healing God ;* to Royal Hampton's pile, 

To Clermont's terraced height, and Esher's groves, 

Where in the sweetest solitude, embraced 

B/ the soft windings of the silent Mole, 1430 

From courts and senates Pelham finds repose. 

Enchanting vale ! beyond whate'er the muse 

Has of Achaia or Hesperia sung ! 

O vale of bliss ! O softly-swellmg hills ! 

On which the power of cultivation lies, 

And joys to see the wonders of his toil. 

Heavens I what a goodly prospect spreads around. 
Of hills, and dales, and woods, and lawns, and 

And glittering towns, and gilded streams, till all 
The stretching landscape into smoke decays ! 1440 
* In his last sickness. 


!> U M M E R . 101 

Happy Britannia I where, the Queen of Arts 
Inspiring vigour, Li!)erty abroad 
Walks, uncoiifined, e'en to thy furthest cots, 
Anii scattfrs plenty witli unsparing hand. 

Ri(;h is thy soil, and merciful thy clime ; 
Thy streams unfailing in the summer's drought ; 
Unmatched thy guardian-oaks ; thy valleys float 
With golden waves ; and on thy mountains flocks 
Bleat numberless, while, roving round their sides, 
Bellow the blackening herds in lusty droves. 1450 
Beneath, thy meadows glow, and rise unquelled 
Against the mower's scythe. On every hand 
Thy villas shine. Thy country teems with wealth ; 
And property assures it to the swain. 
Pleased, and unwearied, in his guarded toil. 

Full are thy cities with the sons of art ; 
And trade and joy, in every busy street, 
Mingling are heard ; e'en Drudgery himself, ^ 1 
As at the car he sweats, or dusty hews 
The palace-stone looks gay. Thy crowded ports, 
Where rising masts an endless prospect yield, 1461 
With labour burn, and echo to the shouts 
Of hurried sailor, as he hearty waves 
His last adieu, and, loosening every sheet 
Resigns the spreading vessel to the wind. 

B )ld, firm, and graceful, are thy generous youth, 
By hardships sinewed and by danger fired. 
Scattering the natiims, where they go, and first 
Or on the listed plain or stormy seas. 


Mild are thy glories too, as o'er the plains 1470 
Of thriving peare thy thoughtful sires preside ; 
In genius, and substantial learning, high ; 
For every virtue, every worth renowned ; 
Sincere. plain-hearted, hospitable, kind; 
"Vet like the mustering thunder when provoked, 
The dread of tyrants, and the sole resource 
Of those that under grim oppression groan. 
Thy sons of glory many I Alfred thine, 
In whom the splendour of heroic war. 
And more heroic peace, when governed well, 1480 
Combine; whose hallowed name the Virtues saint, 
And his own muses love ; the best of kings I 
With him thy Edwards and thy Henries shine, 
Names dear to Fame ; the first who deep impressed 
On haughty Gaul the terror of thy arms. 
That awes her genius still. In statesmen thou, 
And patriots, fertile. Thine a steady More, 
Who, with a generous, though mistaken zeal, 
Withstood a brutal tyrant's useful rage, 
Like Cato firm, like Aristides just, 1490 

Like rigid Cincinnatus nobly poor, 
A dauntless soul erect, who smiled on death. 
Frugal, and wise, a Walsingham is thine ; 
A Drake, who made thee mistress of the deep. 
And bore thy name in thunder round the world. 
Then flamed thy spirit high ; but who can speak 
The numerous worthies of the Maiden reign? 
In Raleigh mark their every glory mixed ; 

o — — 

I SUMMER. 103 

Raleig-h, the scourge of Spain ' whose breaat with all 
The sage, the patriot, and the hero burned, 1500 
Nor sunk his vigour wlien a cowar.l-reijirn 
Tlie warrior fettered, and at last resi:xiied. 
To glut the vengeance of a vanquished foe. 
Then, active still and unrestrained, his mind 
Explored the vast extent of ages past. 
And with his prison-hours enriched the world ; 
Yet found no times, in all the long research, 
So glorious, or so base, as those he proved. 
In which he conquered and in which he bled. 
Nor can the muse the gallant Sidney pass, 1510 
The plume of war I with early laurels crowned, 
The lover's myrtle, and the poet's bay. 
A Hampden too is thine (illustrious land I) 
Wise, strenuous, firm, of unsubmittingsoul, 
Who stemmed the torrent of a downward age, 
To slavery prone, and bade thee rise again 
In all thy native pomp of freedom hold. 
Bright, at its call, thy age of men effulged, 
Of men on whom late time a kindling eye 
Shall turn, and tyrants tremble while they read. 
Bring every sweetest flower, and let me strew 1521 
The grave where Russel lies, whose tempered blood 
With calmest cheerfulness for thee resigned. 
Stained the sad annals of a giddy reign, 
Aiming at lawless power, though meanly sunk 
In loose ingloriousluxury. With hira 

104 SUMMER. 

His friend, the British Cassius,* fearless bled ; 

Of hij,^h determined spirit, nmghly brave, 

By ancient learning to the enliirhleneil love 

Of ancient freedom warmed. Fair thy renown 

In awful sa2res, and in noble bards, 1.'j30 

Soon as the light of dawning Science spread 

Her orient ray, and waked the muses' song. 

Thine is a Bacon ; hapless in his choice, 

Unfit to stand the civil storm of state. 

And through the smooth barbarity of courts 

With firm but pliant virtue forward still 

To urge his course : him for the studious shade 

Kind Nature formed, deep, comprehensive, clear, 

Exact, and elegant ; in one rich soul, 1540 

Plato, the Stagyrite, and Tully joined. 

The great, deliverer he ! who from the gloom 

Of cloistered mcmks, and jargon-teaching schools, 

Led forth the true philosophy, there long 

Held in the magic chain of words and forms, 

And definitions void : he led her forth, 

Daughter of Heaven ! that slow-ascending still, 

Investigating sure the chain of things, 

With radiant finger points to heaven again. 1549 

The generous Ashleyt thine, the friend of man, 

Who scanned his nature with a brother's eye, 

His weakness prompt to shade, to raise his aim, 

To touch the finer movements of the mind, 


* Algernon Sidney. 

t Anthony Ashley Cooper, earl of Shafiosbury 

S U M M E B . 105 

And with the moral beauty charm the heart. 

Why need I name thy Boyle, whose pious search 

Amid the dark recesses of his works 

The great Creator sought 1 And why thy Locke, 

Who made the whole internal world his own T 

Let Newton, pure intelligence, whom God 

To mortals lent, to trace his boundless works 1560 

From laws sublimely simple, speak thy fame 

In all philosophy. For lofty sense, 

Creative fancy, and inspection keen 

Through the deep windings of the human heart, 

Is not wild Shakspeare thine and Nature's boast T 

Is not each great, each amiable muue 

Of classic ages in thy Milton met, 

A genius universal as his theme, 

Astonishing as Chaos, as the bloom 

Of blowing Eden fair, as heaven sublime T 1570 

Nor shall my verse that elder bard forget, 

The gentle Spencer, Fancy's pleasing son, 

Who, like a copious river, poured his song 

O'er all the mases of enchanted ground : 

Nor thee, his ancient master, laughing sage, 

Chaucer, whose native manners-painting verse, 

Well-moralized, shines through the Gothic cloud 

Of time and language o'er thy genius thrown. 

May my song soften, as thy daughters I, 
Britannia, hail ! for beauty is their own, 1580 

The feeling heart, simplicity of life. 
And elegance, and taste ; the faultless form. 



106 SUMMER. 

Shaped by l.he hand of Harmony ; the cheek, 
Where the hve crimson, through the native white 
Soft-shooting, o'er the face di (fuses bloom, 
And every nameless grace ; the parted lip. 
Like the red rose-bud moist with morning-dew, 
Breatbing delight ; and, under flowing jet, 
Or sunny ringlets, or of circling brown. 
The neck slight-shaded, and tlie swelling breast ; 
The look resistless, piercing to the soul, 159J 

And by thie soul informed, when dressed in love 
She sits high-smiling in the conscious eye. 

Island of bliss I amid the subject seas, 
That thunder round thy rocky coasts, set up, 
At once the wonder, terror, and delight. 
Of distant nations, whose remotest shi)res 
Can soon be shaken by thy naval arm. 
Not to be shook thyself, but all assaults 
Baffling, as thy hoar cliffs the loud sea-wave. 1600 

Thou by whose almighty nod the scale 
Of empire rises, or alternate falls. 
Send forth the saving virtues round the land, 
In bright patrol : while Peace and social Love, 
The tender-looking Charity intent 
On gentle deeds, and shedding tears through smiles 
Undaunted Truth, and Dignity of mind : 
Courage composed, and keen ; sound Temperance, 
Healthful in heart and look ; clear Chastity, 
With blushes reddening as she moves along, 1610 
Disordered at the deep regard she draws ; 


Rough Industry ; Activity untired, 
With copious life informed, and all awake : 
While in the radiant front superior shines 
That first paternal virtue, Public Zeal, 
Who throws o'er all an equal wide survey, 
And, ever musing on the common weal, 
Still labours glorious with some great design. 

Low walks the sun, and broadens by degrees, 
Just o'er the verge of day. The shifting clouds 
Assembled gay, a richly gorgeous train, 1621 

In all their pomp attend his setting throne. 
Air, earth and ocean smile immense. And now. 
As if his weary chariot sought the bowers 
Of Amphitrite, and her tending nymphs 
(So Grecian fable sung), he dips his orb ; 
Now half-immersed ; and now a golden curve 
Gives one bright glance, then total disappears. 

For ever running an enchanted round, 
Passes the day, deceitful, vain, and void, 1630 
As fleets the vision o'er the formful brain, 
This moment hurrying wild th' impassioned soul, 
The next in nothing lost. 'Tis so to him. 
The dreamer of this earth, an idle blank: 
A sight of horror to the cruel wretch 
Who all day long in sordid pleasure rolled. 
Himself a useless load, has squandered vile, 
Upon his scoundrel train, what might have cheered 
A drooping family of modest worth. 
But to the generous still-improving mind, 1640 

108 SUMMER. 

That gives the hopeless heart to sing for joy, 
Diffusing kind beneficence around, 
Boaslless, as now descends the silent dew ; 
To him the long review of ordered life 
Is inward rapture, only to be felt. 

Confessed from yonder slow-extinguished clouds, 
All ether softening, sober Evening takes 
Her wonted station in the middle air, 
A thausand shadows at her beck. First this 
She sends on earth ; then that of deeper dye 1650 
Steals soft behind ; and then a deeper still, 
In circle following circle, gathers round, 
To close the face of things. A fresher gale 
Begins to wave the wood, and stir the stream, 
Sweeping with shadowy dust the fields of corn, 
While the quail clamours for his running mate. 
Wide o'er the thirsty lawn, as swells the breeze, 
A whitening shower of vegetable down 
Amusive floats. The kind impartial care 1659 

Of Nature naught disdains : thoughtful to feed 
Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year. 
From field to field the feathered seed she wings. 

His folded flock secure, the shepherd home 
Hies, merry-hearted ; and by turns relieves 
The ruddy milkmaid of her brimming pail. 
The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart. 
Unknowing what the joy-mixt anguish means, 
Sincerely loves, by that best language shown 
Of cordial glances and obliging deeds. 

SUMMER. 109 

OuvvanI they pass, o'e r many a panting height, IfiTO 

And valley sunk, and unfrequented, where 

At fall of eve the fairy people throng, 

In various game and revelry, to jiass 

The summer night, as village-stories tell. 

But far about they wander from the grave 

Of him whom his ungentle fortune urged 

Against his own sad breast to lift the hand 

Of impious violence. The lonely tower 

Is also shunn'd, whose mournlul chambers hold. 

So night-struck Fancy dreams, the yelling ghost. 

Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge, 1681 
The glow-worm light his gems ; and, through the 

A moving radiance twinkles. Evening yields 
The world to Night ; not in her winter robe 
Of massy Stygian woof, but loose arrayed 
In mantle dun. A faint erroneous ray, 
Glanced from th' imperfect surfaces of things, 
Flings half an image on tlie straining eye ; 
While wavering woods, and villages, and streams, 
And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long retained 
Th' ascending gleam, are all one swimming scene. 
Uncertain if beheld. Sudden to heaven 1692 

Thence weary vision turns, where, leading soft 
The silent hours of love, with purest ray 
Sweet Venus shines; and from her genial rise, 
When day-light sickens till it springs afresh, 
Unrivalled reigns, the fairest lamp of night. 

110 SUMMER. 

As thus th' effulgence tremulous I drink, 

With cherished gaze, the lambent lightnings shoot 

Across the sky, or horizontal dart 1700 

In wondrous shapes, by fearful murmuring crowds 

Portentous deemed. Amid the radiant orbs 

That more than deck, that animate the sky. 

The life-infusing sutis of other worlds, 

Lo ! from the dread immensity of space 

Returning, with accelerated course. 

The rushing comet to the sun descends ; 

And as he sinks below the shading earth. 

With awful train projected o'er tlie heavens, 

The guilty nations tremble. But, above 1710 

Those superstitious horrors that enslave 

The fond sequacious herd, to mystic faith 

And blind amazement prone, the enlightened few. 

Whose godlike minds philosophy exalts. 

The glorious stranger hail. They feel a joy 

Divinely great ; they in their powers exult, 

That wondrous force of thought, which mounting 

This dusky spot, and measures all the sky : 
AVhiie, from his far excursion through the wilds 
Of barren ether, faithful to his time, 1720 

They see the blazing wonder rise anew, 
In seeming terror clad, but kindly bent 
To work the will of all-sustaining Love : 
From his huge vapoury train perhaps to shake 
Reviving moisture on the numerous orbs 


Through which his long ellipsis winds ; perhaps 
To lend new fuel to declining suns, 
To light up worlds, and feed th' eternal fire. 
With thee, serene Philosophy, with thee, 
And thy bright garland, let nie crown my song, 
Effusive source of evidence, and truth ! 
A lustre shedding o'er th' ennobled mind, 
Stronger than summer-noon, and pure as that 
Whose mild vibrations soothe the parted soul. 
New to the dawning of celestial day. [thee 

Hence through her nourished powers, enlarged by 
She springs aloft, with elevated pride, 
Above the tangling mass of low desires, 
That bind the fluttering crowd ; and angel-winged, 
The heights of science and of virtue gains, 1740 
Where all is calm and clear ; with Nature round, 
Or in the starry regions, or th' abyss. 
To Reason's and to Fancy's eye displayed : 
The first up-tracing from the dreary void, 
The chain of causes and effects to Him, 
The world-producing Essence, who alone 
Possesses being; while the last receives 
The whole magnificence of heaven and earth, 
And every beauty, delicate or bold. 
Obvious or more remote, with livelier sense, 1750 
Diffusive painted on the rapid mind. 
Tutored by thee, hence Poetry exalts 
Her voice to ages, and informs the page 
With music, image, sentiment, and thought, 

112 SUMMER. 

Never to die, the treasure of mankind, 
Their highest honour, and their truest joy I 

Without thee what were unenlightened man I 
A savage roaming through the woods and wilds 
In quest of prey, and with th' unfashioned fur 
Rough-clad, devoid of every finer art 1760 

And elegance of life. Nor happiness 
Domestic, mixed of tenderness and care, 
Nor moral excellence, nor social bliss, 
Nor guardian law were his ; nor various skill 
To turn the furrow, or to guide the tool 
Mechanic, nor the lieaven-conductedprow 
Of navigation bold, that fearless braves 
The burning line or dares the wintry pole ; 
Mother severe of infinite delights I 
Nothing, save rapine, indolence, and guile, 1770 
And woes on woes, a still-revolving train, 
"Whose horrid circle had made human life 
Than non-existence worse ; but, taught by thee, 
Ours are the plans of policy and peace, 
To live like brothers, and conjunctive all 
Embellish life. While thus laborious crowds 
Ply the tough oar, Philosophy directs 
The ruling helm ; or, like the liberal breath 
Of potent Heaven, invisible, the sail 
Swells out, and bears th' inferior world along. 1780 

Nor to this evanescent speck of earth 
Poorly confined, the radiant tracts on high 
Are her exalted range ; intent to gaze 



SUMMER. 113 

Cre.ation through ; and, from that full complex 

Of never-endingr wonders, to conceive 

Of the Sole Being right, who spoke the word, 

And nature moved complete. With inward view, 

Thence on th' ideal kingdom swift she turns 

Her eye ; and instant, at her powerful glance, 

Th' ohedient phantoms vanish or appear ; 1790 

Compound, divide, and into order shift. 

Each to his rank, from plain perception up 

To the fair forms of Fancy's fleeting train : 

To reason then, deducing truth from truth, 

And notion quite abstract ; where first begins 

The world of spirits, action all, and life 

Unfettered, and unmixed. But here the cloud, 

So wills eternal Providence, sits deep. 

Enough for us to know that this dark state, 

In wayward passions lost, and vain pursuits, 1800 

This infancy of being, cannot prove 

The final issue of the works of God, 

By boundless love and perfect wisdom formed, 

And ever rising with the rising mind. 

/^ W T (U) [Ml IM 


the subject proposed. Addressed to Mr. OnsloW. . A pros- 
pect of the fields ready for harrest. Reflections in praise 
of industry raised by that view. Reaping. A tale rela- 
tive to it. A harvest storm. Shooting' and hunting-, their 
barbarity. A ludicrous account of fox-hunting. A view 
of an orchard. Wall-fruit. A vineya:rd. A description 
offog-s, frequent in the latter part of Autumn: whence a. 
digression, inquiring into the rise of fountains and rivers. 
Birds of season considered, that now shift their habitation. 
The prodigious number of them that cover the northern 
and western isles of Scotland. Hence a view of the coun- 
try. A prospect of the discoloured fading woods, Aftera 
gentle dusky day, moon -light. Autumnal meteors. Morn- 
ingi (0 which succeeds a calm, pure, sunshiny daj', such 
as usually shuts up the season. The harvest being gather- 
ed in, the country dissolved in Joy. The whole conclndea 
•with a panegyric on a philosophical country hfe. 


CrowneO with the sickle and the Mrheaten sheaf, 
While Autumn, nodding' o'er the yellow plain. 
Comes jovial on, the Doric reed once more. 
Well pleased, I tune. Whate'er the wintry frost 
Nittous prepared, the various-bloSsomed Spring 
Put in white promise forth, and Summer-suns 
Concocted strong, rush boundless now to view, 
Full, perfect all, and swell my glorious theme. 

Onslow I the muse, ambitious of thy name, 
To grace, inspire, and dignify her song. 
Would from the public voice thy gentle ear 
Awhile engaee. Thy noble cares she knows, 
The patriot virtues that distend thy thought, 
Spread on thy front, and in thy bosom glow ; 
While listening Senates hang upon thy tongue, 
Devolving through the maze of eloquence 
A roil of periods, sweeter than her song. 
But she too pants for public virtue, she, 
Though weak of power, yet strong in ardent will, 
Whene'er her crtUntry rushes on her heart, 20 

Assumes a boldet note, and fondly tries 
To mix the patriot's with the poet's flame. 

When the bright Virgin gives the beauteous days, 


0- : 

118 AUTUMN. 

And Libra weighs in equal scales the year, 

From heaven's high cope the fierc6 effulgence shook 

Of parting summer, a serenerblue, 

With golden light enlivened, vi^ide invests 

The happy world. Attemper'd suns arise, 

Sweet-beamed, and shedding oft through lucid 

A pleasing calm ; while, broad and brown, below 30 
Extensive harvests hang the heavy head. 
Rich, silent, deep, they stand ; for not a gale 
Rolls its light billows o'er the bending plain : 
A calm of plenty I till the ruffled air 
Falls from its poise, and gives the breeze to blow. 
Rent is the fleecy mantle of the sky ; 
The clouds fly diflferent ; and the sudden sun 
By fits eflfulgent gilds th' illumined field 
And black by fits the shadows sweep along. 
A gaily-checkered heart-expanding view, 40 

Far as the circling eye can shoot around, 
Unbounded tossihg in a flood of corn. 

These are thy blessings ! Industry, rough power I 
Whom labour still attends, and sweat, and pain ; 
Yet the kind source of every gentle art, 
And all the soft civility of life : 
Raiser of human kind ! by Nature cast. 
Naked and helpless, out amid the woods 
And wilds, to rude inclement elements ; 
With various seeds of art deep in the mind 50 

Implaiited, and profusely poured around 

AUTUMN. 119 

Materials infinite ; but idle all. 

Still unexerted, in th' unconscious breast, 

Slept the lethargic powers ; Corruption still, 

Voracious, swallowed what the liberal hand 

Of bounty scattered o'er the savage year : 

And still the sad barbarian, roving mixed 

With beasts of prey, or for his acorn-meal 

Fought the fierce tusky boar, — a shivering wretch ' 

Aghast, and comfortless, when the bleak north, 60 

"With winter charged, let the mixed tempest fly. 

Hail, rain, and snow, and bitter-breathing frost ; 

Then to the shelter of the hut he fled. 

And the wild season, sordid, pined away. 

For home he had not ; home is the resort 

Of love, of joy, of peace and plenty, where, 

Supporting and supported, polished friends 

And dear relations mingle into bliss. 

But this the rugged savage never felt. 

E'en desolate in crowds ; and thus his days 70 

Rolled heavy, dark, and unenjoyed along, 

A M'aste of time, till Industry approached, 

And roused him from his miserable sloth, 

His faculties unfolded, pointed out 

Where lavish Nature the directing hand 

Of art demanded ; showed him how to raise 

His feeble force by the mechanic powers, 

To dig the mineral from the vaulted earth, 

On what to turn the piercing rage of fire. 

On what the torrent, and the gathered blast ; 80 

120 AUTUMN. 

Gave the tall ancient forest to his axe ; 

Taught him to chip the wood and hew the stone, 

Till by degrees the finished fabric rose ; 

Tore from his limbs the blood-polluted fur, 

And wrapt them in the woolly vestment warm, 

Or bright in glossy silk and flowing lawn ; 

With wholesome viands filled his table, poured 

The generous glass around, inspired to wake 

The life-refining soul of decent wit : 

Nor stopped at barren bare necessity ; 90 

But, still advancing bolder, led him on 

To pomp, to pleasure, elegance, and grace ; 

And, breathing high ambition through his soul, 

Set science, wisdom, glory, in his view, 

And bade him be the Lord of all below. 

Then gathering men their natural powers com» 
And formed a public, to the general good 
Submitting, aiming, and conducting all, ■* 

For this the patriot-council met, the full. 
The free, and fairly represented whole ; 100 

For this they planned the holy guardian laws, 
Distinguished orders, animated arts. 
And, with joint force oppression chaining, set 
Imperial Justice at the helm, yet still 
To them accountable, nor slavish dreamed 
That toiling millions must resign their weal, 
And all the honey of their search, to such 
As for themselves alone themselves have raised. 


AUTUMN. 121 

Hence every form of cultivated life 
In order set, protected, and inspired, 110 

Into perfection wrought. Uniting all, 
Society grew numerous, high, polite, 
And happy. Nurse of art I the city reared 
In beauteous pride her tower-encircled head ; 
And, stretching street on street, by thousands drew, 
From twining woody haunts, or the tough yew 
To bows strong-straining, her aspiring sons 

Then Commerce brought into the public walk 
The busy merchant ; the big warehouse built ; 119 
Raised the strong crane ; choked up the loaded 

With foreign plenty ; and thy stream, Thames, 
Large, gentle, deep, majestic, king of floods I 
Chose for his grand resort. On either hand, 
Like a long wintry forest, groves of masts 
Shot up their spires ; the bellying sheet between 
Possessed the breezy void ; the sooty hulk 
Steered sluggish on ; the splendid barge along 
Rowed, regular, to harmony ; around 
The boat, hght-skimming, stretched its oary wings ; 
While deep the various voice of fer\'^ent toil 130 
From bank to bank increased ; whence ribbed with 

To bear the British thunder, black and bold, 
The roaring vessel rushed into the main. 

Then too the pillar'd dome, magnific, heaved 
Its ample roof; and Luxury within 


122 AUTUMN. 

Poured out her glittering stores : the canvas smooth, 
With glowing life protuberant, to the view 
Embodied rose ; the statue seemed to breathe, 
And soften into flesh, beneath the touch 
Of forming art, imagination-flushed. 140 

All is the gift of Industry, whate 'er 
Exalts, embellishes, and renders life 
Delightful. Pensive Winter cheer'd by him 
Sits at the social fire, and happy hears 
Th' excluded tempest idly rave along ; 
His hardened fingers deck the gaudy Spring ; 
Without him Summer were an arid waste ; 
Nor to th' autumnal months could thus transmit 
Those full, mature, immeasurable stores. 
That, waving round, recal my wandering song. 150 

Soon as the morning trembles o'er the sky, 
And, unperceived, unfolds the spreading day, 
Before the ripened field the reapers stand, 
In fair array, each by the lass he loves, 
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate 
By nameless gentle ofllces her toil. 
At once they stoop and swell the lusty sheaves ; 
While through their cheerful band the rural talk, 
The rural scandal, and the rural jest. 
Fly harmless, to deceive the tedious time, 160 

And steal unfelt the sultry hours away. 
Behind the master walks, builds up the shocks ; 
And, conscious, glancing oft on every side 
His sated eye, feels his heart heave with joy. 

AUTUMN. 123 

The gleaners spread around, and here and there, 
Spike after spike, their scanty harvest pick 
Be not too narrow, husbandman I but fling- 
From the full sheaf, with charitable stealth. 
The liberal handful. Think, oh grateful think ! 
How good the God of harvest is to you, 170 

Who pours abundance o'er your flowing fields ; 
While these unhappy partners of your kind 
Wide-hover round you, like the fowls of heaven, 
And ask their humble dole. The various turns 
Of fortune ponder ; that your sons may want 
What now, with hard reluctance, faint, ye give. 

The lovely young Lavinia once had friends. 
And fortune smiled, deceitful, on her birth. 
For, in her helpless years deprived of all. 
Of every stay, save innocence and Heaven, 180 
She, with her widowed mother, feeble, old. 
And poor, lived in a cottage, far retired 
Among the windings of a woody vale. 
By solitude and deep surrounding shades. 
But more by bashful modesty concealed. 
Together thus they shumied the cruel scorn 
Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet 
From giddy passion and low-minded pride. 
Almost on Nature's common bounty fed, 
Like the gay birds that sung them to repose, 190 
Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare. 
Her form was fresher than the morning rose, 
When the dew wets its leaves ; unstained, and pure I 

124 AUTUMN. 

As is the lily, or the mountain snow. 

The modest virtues mingled in her eyes, 

Still on the ground dejected, darting all 

Their humid beams into the blooming flowers : 

Or when the mournful tale her mother told. 

Of what her faithless fortune promised once, 199 

Thrilled in her thought, they, like the dewy star 

Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace 

Sat fair-proportioned on her polished limbs, 

Veiled in a simple robe, their best attire, 

Beyond the pomp of dress ; for loveliness 

Needs not the foreign aid of ornament. 

But is when unadorned adorned the most. 

Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's self, 

Recluse amid the close-embowering woods. 

As in the hollow breast of Apennine, 

Beneath the shelter of encircling hills, 210 

A myrtle rises, far from human eye. 

And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild ; 

So flourished, blooming and unseen by all, 

The sweet Lavinia ; till, at length, compelled 

By strong necessity's supreme command, 

With smiling patience in her looks, she went 

To glean Palemon's fields. The pride of swains 

Palemon was, the generous, and the rich, 

Who led the rural life in all its joy 

And elegance, such as Arcadian song 220 

Transmits from ancient uncorrupted times. 

When tyrant custom had not shackled man, 

AUTUMN. 125 

But free to follow Nature was the mode. 

He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes 

Amusing, chanced beside his reaper-train 

To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye, 

Unconscious of her power, and turning quick 

With unaffected blushes from his gaze : 

He saw her charming, but he saw not half 

The charms her downcast modesty concealed. 230 

That very moment love and chaste desire 

Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown ; 

For still the world prevailed, and its dread laugh, 

Which scarce the firm philosoplier can scorn 

Should his heart own a gleaner in the field : 

And thus in secret to his soul he sighed : 

" What pity that so delicate a form, 
By beauty kindled, where enlivening sense 
And more than vulgar goodness seem to dwell 
Should be devoted to the rude embrace 240 

Of some indecent clown ! She looks, methinks, 
Of old Acasto's line ; and to my mind 
Recals that patron of my happy life. 
From whom my liberal fortune took its rise, 
Now to the dust gone down, his houses, lands, 
And once fair-spreading family, dissolved. 
'Tis said that in some lone obscure retreat. 
Urged by remembrance sad, and decent pride, 
Far from those scenes which knevv theii better days 
His aged widow and his daughter live, 230 

126 AUTUMN. 

Whom yet my fruitless search could never find. 
Romantic wish ! would this the daughter were !" 

When, strict inquiring, from herself he found 
She was the same, the daughter of his friend, 
Of bountiful Acasto, who can speak 
The mingled passions that surprised his heart, 
And through his nerves in shivering transport ran? 
Then blazed his smothered flame, avowed, and bold ; 
And as he viewed her, ardent, o'er and o'er, 
Love, gratitude, and pity wept at once. 260 

Confused, and frightened at his sudden tears. 
Her rising beauties flushed a higher bloom. 
As thus Palemon, passionate and just. 
Poured out the pious rapture of his soul:— 

" And art thou then Acasto's dear remains 1 
She whom my restless gratitude has sought 
So long in vain 1 O heavens I the very same. 
The softened image of my noble friend, 
Alive his every look, his every feature, 
More elegantly touched. Sweater than Spring ! 270 
Thou sole-surviving blossom from the root 
That nourished up my fortune ! Say, ah where, 
In what sequestered desert, hast thou drawn 
The kindest aspect of delighted Heaven, 
Into such beauty spread, and blown so fair, 
Though poverty's cold wind, and crushing rain, 
Beat keen, and heavy, on thy tender years ? 
O let me now into a richer soil 

AUTUMN. 127 

Transplant thee safe ! where vernal suns and 

Diffuse their warmest, largest influence, 280 

And of my garden be the pride and joy ! 
Ill it befits thee, oh it ill befits 
Acasto's daughter, his whose open stores, 
Though vast, were little to his ampler heart, 
The father of a country, thus to pick 
The Very refuse of those harvest-fields 
Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy. 
Then throw that shameful pittance from thy hand, 
But ill applied to such a rugged task ; 
The field, the master, all, my fair, are thine ; 290 
If to the various blessings which thy house 
Has on me lavished thou wilt add that blisS) 
That dearest bliss, the power of hlessing thee I'* 

Here ceased the youth : yet still his speaking eye 
Expressed the sacred triumph of his soul. 
With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love. 
Above the vulgar joy divinely raised. 
Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm 
Of goodness irresistible, and all 
In sweet disorder lost, she blushed consent. 300 
The news immediate to her mother brought, 
While, pierced with anxious thought, she pined 

The lonely moments for Lavinia's fate ; 
Amazed, and scarce believing what she heard, 
Joy seized her withered veins, and one bright gleam 

i28 AUTUMN. 

Of setting Hfe shone on her evenin?-hours, 
Not less enraptured than the happy pair, 
Who flourished long in tender bliss, and reared 
A numerous offspring-, lovely like themselves, 
And good, the grace of all the country roUnd. 310 

Defeating oft the labours cf the year, 
The sultry south collects a potent blast. 
At first the groves are scarcely seen to stir 
Their trembling tops, and a still murmuf runS 
Along the soft-inclining fields of corn. 
But as the aerial tempest fuller swells, 
And in one mighty stream, invisible. 
Immense, the whole excited atmosphere 
Impetuous rushes o'er the Sounding worlds 
Strained to the root, the stooping forest pours 320 
A rusthng shower of yet untimely leaves. 
High-beat, the circling mountains eddy in, 
From the bare wild, the dissipated storm, 
And send it in a torrent down the vale. 
Exposed, and naked, to its utmost rage, 
Through all the sea of harvest rolling round. 
The billowy plain floats wide, nor can evade, 
Though pHant to the blast, its seizing force ; 
Or whirled in air, or into vacant chaff 329 

Shook waste. And sometimes too a burst of rain, 
Swept from the black horizon, broad, descends 
In one Continuous flood Still over head 
The mingling tempest weaves its gloom, and still 
The deluge deepens, till the fields around 

AUTUMN. 129 

Lie sunk, and flatted, in the sordid wave, 
Sudden the ditches swell, the meadows swim. 
Red, ffom the hills^ innumerable streams 
Tumultuous roar, and high above its banks 
The river lift, before whose rushing tide 
Herds, flocks, and harvests, cottages, and swains, 340 
Roll mingled down ; all that the winds had spared 
tn one wild moment ruined, the big hopes 
And well-earned treasures of the painful year. 
Fled to some eminence, the husbandman 
Helpless beholds the miserable \treck 
Driving along ; his drowning ox at once 
Descending, with his labours scattered round. 
He sees ; and instant o'er his shivering thought 
Comes winter unprovidedj and a train 
Of clamant children dear. Ye masters, then, 350 
Be mindful of the rough laborious hand 
That sinks you soft in elegance and ease ; 
Be mindful of those hntbs, in russet clad. 
Whose toil to yours is warmth and graceful pride ; 
And oh be mindful of that sparing board 
Which covers yours with luxury profuse. 
Makes your glass sparkle j and your sense rejoice, 
Nor cruelly demand what the deep rains 
And all-involving winds haive swept away. 

Here the rude clamoui" of the sportsman's joy, 360 
The gun fast-thundering, and the winded horn, 
Would tempt the muse to sing the rural game : 
How in his mid-career the spaniel struck, 

130 AUTUMN. 

Stiff, by the tainted g-ale, with open nose, 
Outstretched, and tiiielj' sensible, draws full, 
Fearful, and cautious, on the latent prey ; 
As in the sun the circling covey bask 
Their varied plumes, and watchful every way 
Through the rough stubble turn the secret eye 
Caught in the meshy snare, in vain they beat 370 
Their idle wings, entangled more and more : 
Nor on the surges of the boundless air. 
Though borne triumphant, are they safe ; the gun 
Glanced just, and sudden, from the fowler's eye 
O'ertakes their sounding pinions ; and again, 
Immediate brings them from the towering wing, 
Dead to the ground, or drives them wide-dispersed, 
Wounded, and wheeling various, down the wind. 
These are not subjects for the peaceful muse, 
Nor will she stain with such her spotless song, 380 
Then most delighted when she social sees 
The whole mixed animal-creation round 
Alive and happy. 'Tis not joy to her. 
The falsely-cheerful barbarous game of death. 
This rage of pleasure, which the restless youth 
Awakes, impatient, with the gleaming morn, 
When beasts of prey retire, that all nightlong, 
Urged by necessity, had ranged the dark, 
As if their conscious ravage shunned the light, 
Ashamed. Not so the steady tyrant man, 390 

Who with the thoughtless insolence of power 
Inflamed, beyond the most infuriate wrath 

AUTUMN. 131 

Of the worst monster that e'er roamed the waste, 

For sport alone pursues the cruel chase, 

Amid the beamings of the gentle days. 

Upbraid, ye ravening tribes, our wanton rage, 

For hunger kindles you, and lawless want ; 

But lavish fed, in Nature's bounty rolled, 

To joy at anguish, and delight in blood, 

Is what your horrid bosoms never knew. 400 

Poor is the triumph o'er the timid hare ! 
Scared from the corn, and now to some lone seat 
Retired : the rushy fen ; the ragged furze, 
Stretched o'er the stony heath ; tlie stubble chapt ; 
The thistly lawn ; the thick-entangled broom ; 
Of the same friendly hue, the withered fern ; 
The fallow ground laid open to the sun, 
Concoctive ; and the nodding sandy bank, 
Hung o'er the mazes of the mountain brook. 
Vain is her best precaution, though she sits 410 
Concealed, with folded ears, unsleeping eyes, 
By Nature raised to take the horizon in. 
And head couched close betwixt her hairy feet, 
In act to spring away. The scented dew 
Betrays her early labyrinth ; and deep 
In scattered sullen openings, far behind. 
With every breeze she hears the coming storm. 
But nearer, and more frequent, as it loads 
The sighing gale, she springs amazed, and all 
The savage soul of game is up at once ; 420 
The pack full-opening, various ; the shrill horn 
, i^ 

132 AUTUMN. 

Resounded from the liills ; the neighin? steed, 
Wild for the chase ; and the loud hunter's sTiout 
O'er a weak, harmless, flying creature, all 
Mixed in mad tumult, and discordant joy. 

The stag- too, singled from the herd where long 
He ranged, the branching monarnli of the shades, 
Before the tempest drives. At first in speed 
He, sprightly, puts his faith ; and, roused by fear. 
Gives all his swift aerial soul to flight ; 430 

Against the breeze he darts, that way the more 
To leave the lessening murderous cry behind : 
Deception short ' though fleeter than the winds 
Blown o'er the keen-aired mountain by the north. 
He bursts the thickets, glances through the glades, 
And plunges deep into the wildest wood ; 
If slow, yet sure, adhesive to the track 
Hot-steaming, up behind him come again 
Th' inhuman rout, and from the shady depth 
Expel him, circling through his every shift. 440 
He sweeps the forest oft ; and sobbing sees 
The glades, mild opening to the golden day, 
Where in kind contest, with his butting friends 
He wont to struggle, or his loves enjoy. 
Oft in the full-descending flood he tries 
To lose the scent, and lave hisburning sides: 
Oft seeks the herd ; the watchful herd, alarmed, 
With selfish care avoid a brother's wo. 
What shall he do 1 His once so vivid nerves, 
So full of buoyant spirit, now no more 450 


AUTUMN. 133 I 

Inspire the course ; but fainting breathless toil, 

Sicic, seizes on his heart : he stands at bay, 

And puts his last weak refuge in despair. 

The big round tears run down his dap])]ed face ; 

He groans in anguish ; while the growling pack, 

Blood-happ\', hang at his fair jutting chest, 

And mark his beauteous checkered sides with gore. 

Of this enough. But if tlie sylvan youth, 
Whose fervent blood boils into violence, 
Must have tlie chase ; behold, despising flight 460 
The roused-up lion, resolute, and slow, 
Advancing full on the protended spear, 
And coward-hand, that circling wheel aloof. 
Slunk from the cavern, and the troubled wood, 
See the grim wolf; on him his shaggy foe 
Vindictive fix, and let the ruffian die : 
Or, growling horrid, as the brindled boar 
Grins fell-destruction, to the monster's heart 
Let the dart lighten from the nervous arm. 

These Britain knows not ; give, yq Britons, then 
Your sportive fury, pitiless, to pour 471 

Loose on the nightly robber of the fold : 
Hiiji, from his craggy winding haunts unearthed, 
Let all the thunder of the chase pursue. 
Throw the broad ditch behind you ; o'er the hedge 
High-bound, resistless ; nor the deep morass 
Refuse, but through the shaking wilderness 
Pick your nice way ; into the perilous flood 
Bear fearless, of the raging instinct full ; 

134 AUTUMN. 

And, as you ride the torrent, to the banks 480 

Your triumph sound sonorous, running- round, 
From rock to rock, in circling echoes tossed ; 
Then scale the mountains to their woody tops ; 
Rush down the dangerous steep ; and o'er the lawn, 
In fancy swallowing up the space between, 
Pour all your speed into the rapid game. 
For happy he who tops the wheeling chase, 
Has every maze evolved and every guile 
Disclosed^ who knows the merits of the pack, 
Who saw the villain seized, and dying hard, 490 
Without complaint, though by a hundred mouths 
Relentless torn. O glorious he, beyond 
His daring peers I when the retreating hora 
Calls them to ghostly halls of grey renown. 
With woodland honours graced, the fox's fur 
Depending decent from the roof, and spread 
Round the drear walls, with antic figures fierce. 
The stag's large front : he then is loudest heard. 
When the night staggers with severer toils, 
With feats Thessalian centaurs never knew, 500 
And their repeated wonders skake the dome. 
But first the fuelled chimney blazes wide ; 
The tankards foam ; and the strong table groans 
Beneath the smoking sirloin, stretched immense 
From side to side, in which, with desperate knife 
They deep incision make, and talk the while 
Of England's glory, ne'er to be defaced. 
While hence they borrow vigour ; or amain 

vK^Koihe pasty lounged, at intervals, 

If stomach keen can intervals allovp, 510 

Relating all the glories of the chase. 
Then sated Hunger bids his brother Thirst 
Produce the mighty bowl ; the mighty bowl, 
Swelled high with fiery juice, steams liberal round, 
A potent gale, delicious, as the breath 
Of Maia to the love-srck sheperdess, 
On violets diffused, while soft she hears 
Her panting shepherd stealing to her arms. 
Nor wanting is the brown October, drawn 
Mature and perfect, from his dark retreat 520 

Of thirty years ; and now his honest front 
Tri.,^r,c ;.. fi.p 'ifj-iit refulgent, not afraid 

iieyard's best produce to vie. 
irsty moments, Whist awhile 
Walks his dull round, beneath a cloud of smoke, 
Wreathed, fragrant, from the pipe, or the quick 

In thunder leaping from the box, awake 
The sounding gammon ; while romp-loving miss 
Is hauled about, in gallantry robust 

At last, these puling idlenesses laid 530 

Aside, frequent and full, the dry divan 
Close in firm circle ; and set, ardent, in 
For serious drinking. Nor evasion sly. 
Nor sober shift, is to the puking wretch 
Indulged apart ; but earnest, brimming bowls 
Lave every soul, the table floating round. 

AUTUMN. 135 

136 AUTUMN, 


And pavement, faithless to the fud9|^d foot.- 
Thus as they swim in mutual swill, the talk 
Vociferous at once from twenty tongues, 539 A 

Reels fast from theme to theme ; from horses, 

To church or mistress, politics or ghost, 
In endless mazes, intricate, perplexed. 
Meantime, with sudden interruption, loud, 
Th' impatient catch bursts from the joyous heart : 
That moment touched is every kindred soul ; 
And, opening in a full-mouthed cry of joy, 
The laugh, the slap, the jocund curse go rOund ; . 
While, from their slumbers shook, the kennelled 

Mix in the music of the day again. 
As when the tempest, that has vexeil t-lir- diM-p 550 
The dark night long, with faintermtn-niurs fallsf 
So gradual sinks their mirth. Their feeble tongues, 
Unable to take up ^e cumbrous word, 
Lie quite dissolved. Before their maudlin eyes, 
Seen dim and blue, the double tapers dance. 
Like the sun wading through the misty sky. 
Then, slidmg soft, they drop. Confused above. 
Glasses and bottles, pipes and gazetteers, 
As if the table e'en itself was drunk. 
Lie a wet broken scene ; and wide, below, 560 
Is heaped the social slaughter : where astride 
The lubber power in fiUhy triumph sits, 
Slumbrous, inclining still from side to side, 


A. U T U M N . 137 

And steeps th^^^^nclied in potent sleep till mom. 
Peihapfe'some otIBt, of tremendous paunch, 
Awful and deep, a black abyss of drink, 
Outlives them all ; and from his buried flock 
Retiring, full of rumination sad. 
Laments the weakness of these latter times. 

But, if the rougher sex by this fierce sport 570 
Is hurried wild, let not such horrid joy 
E'er stain the bosom of the British fair. 
Far be^espirit of the chase from them I 
UucorcflH^rage, nnbqrf|h|ung skill ; 
To sjffliP^B fence, to PM^HPl»r;incing steed ; 
The cap, tTiti u.uii, ti;e masculine attire, 
In wliicli r.hc_v ]■ MiLjii ;'. to the sense, and all 
^Tl'.' - .c.^s iT thfiii- sex is lost. 

Ill ■ f«l III dissolve at wo ; 

Wita tvn y uuhuju, every word, to wave 580 

Quick o'er the kindling pheek the ready blush, 
And from the smallest violence to shrink 
Unequal, then the loveliest in'their fears, 
And by this silent adulation, soft, 
To their protection more engaging man. 
O may their eyes no miserable sight, 
Save weeping lovers, see 1 a nobler game. 
Through love's enchanting wiles pursued, yet fled, 
In chase ambiguous. May their tender limbs 
Float in the loose simplicity of dress 1 590 

And, fashioned all to harmony, alone 
Know they to seize the captivated soul. 

138 AUTUMN, 

In rapture warbled from love-bi^^mg lips ; 

To teach the lute to languish ; with smooth step, 

Disclosing' motion in its every charm, 

To swim along, and swell the mazy dance , 

To train the foliage o'er the snowy lawn ; 

To guide the pencil, turn the tuneful page ; 

To lend new flavour to the fruitful year, 

And heighten Nature's dainties ; in their race 600 

To rear their graces into second life ; 

To give society its highest taste ; 

Well-ordered-home man's best delight toilBi%e ; 

And by submissive wisdom, modest skill, 

With every gentle care-eluding art, 

To raise the virtues, animate the bliss. 

And sweeten all the toils of human lifel 

This be the female dignity and^Ris^ 

Ye swains, now hasten to the hazel bank, 
Where, do\vn yon dale, the wildly-winding brook 
Falls hoarse from steep to steep. In close anay. 
Fit for the thickets and the tangling shrub, 612 
Ye virgins, come. For you their latest song 
The woodlands raise ; the clustering nuts for you 
The lover finds amid the secret shade ; 
And, where they burnish on the topmost bough, 
With active vigour crushes down the tree. 
Or shakes them ripe from the resigning husk, 
A glossy shower, and of an ardent brown, 
As are the ringlets of Melinda's hair : 620 

Melinda ! formed with every grace complete, 

AUTUMN. 139 

Yet these neglecting^, above beauty wise, 
And tar transcending^ such a vulgar praise. 

Hence from the busy joy-resounding fields. 
In cheerful error, let us tread the maze 
Of Autumn, unconfined ; and taste, revived, 
The breath of orchard big with bending fruit. 
Obedient to the breeze and beating ray, 
From the deep-loaded bough a mellow shower 
Incessant melts away. The juicy pear 630 

Lies, in a soft profusion, scattered round. 
A various sweetness swells the gentle race, 
By Nature's all-refining hand prepared, 
Of tempered sun, aiid water, earth, and air. 
In ever-changing composition mixed. 
Such, falling frequent through the chiller night, 
The fragrant stores, the wide-projected heaps 
Of apples, which the lusty-handed year, 
Innunierous, o'er the blushing orchard shakes. 
A various spirit, fresh, delicious, keen, 
Dwells in their gelid pores ; and, active, points 
The piercing cider for the thirsty tongue : 
Thy native theme, and boon inspirer too, 
Phillips, Pomona's bard, the second thou 
Who nobly durst, in rhyme-unfettered verse. 
With British freedom sin^ the British song : 
How, from Silurian vats, high-sparkling wines 
Foam in transparent floods ; some strong, to cheer 
The wintry revels of the labouring hind ; 
And tasteful some, to cool the summer-hours. 650 

140 AUTUMN. 

Iti this glad season, while his sweetest beams 
The suii sheds equal o'er the meekeiied day. 
Oh lose nie in the green delightful walks 
Of, Dodington, thy seat, serene and plain, 
Where simple Nature reigns ; and every view, 
Diffusive, spreads the pure Dorsetian downs, 
In boundless prospect ; yonder shagged with wood, 
Here rich with harvest, and there white with flocks ! 
Meantime the grandeur of thy lofty dome, 
Far-splendid, seizes on the ravished eye, 660 

New beauties rise with each revolving day ; 
New columns swell ; and still the fresh ^ing finds 
New plants to quickea and new groves to green. 
Full of thy genius all I the ir uses' ^^t. 
Where in the secret bower, and wSlfing walk. 
For virtuous Young and thee they twine the bay, 
Here wandering oft, fired with the restless thirst 
Of thy applause, I solitary court 
Th' inspiring breeze, and meditate the book 
Of Nature, ever open ; aiming thence, 670 

Warm from the heart, to leani the moral song. 
Here, as I steal along the sunny wall 
Where Autumn basks, with fruit empurpled deep 
My pleasing theme continual prompts my thought, 
Presents the downy peach, the shining plum, 
The ruddy, fragrant nectarine, and, dark 
Beneath his ample leaf, the luscious fig. 
The vine too here her curling tendrils shoots, 

AUTUMN. 141 

Hangs out her clusters glowing to the south, 

And scarcely wishes for a«waririer sky. 680 

Turn we a moment fancy's rapid flight 
To vigorous soils, and climes of fair extent. 
Where, by the potent sun elated high, 
The vineyard swells refulgent on the day. 
Spreads o'er the vale, or up the mountain climbs, 
Profuse, and drinks amid the sunny rocks. 
From cliff to clitf increased, the heightened blaze. 
Low bend the weighty boughs. The clusters clear, 
Half through the foliage seen, or ardent flame, 
Or shine transparent ; while perfection breathes 
White o'er the turgent film the living dew. 691 
As thus they brighten with exalted juice. 
Touched into flavour by the mingling ray. 
The rural youth and virgins o'er the field, 
Each fond for each to cull the autumnal prime, 
Exulting rove, and speak the vintage nigh. 
Then comes the crushing swain; the country floats, 
And foams unbounded with the mashy flood, 
That by degrees fermented, and refined. 
Round the raised nations pours the cup of joy : 700 
The claret smooth, red as the lip we press 
In sparkling fancy, while we drain the bowl ; 
The mellow-tasted Burgundy ; and, quick 
As is the wit it gives, the gay Cnampagne. 

Now by the cool declining year condensed, 
Descends the copious exhalations, checked 
As up the middle sky unseen they stole. 

142 AUTUMN. 

And roll the doubling fogs around the hill. 
No more the mountain, horrid, vast, sublime, 
Which pours a sweep of rivers from its sides, 710 
And high between contending kingdoms rears 
The rocky long division, fills the view 
With great variety ; but, in a night 
Of gathering vapour, from the baffled sense 
Sinks dark and dreary. Thence expanding far. 
The huge dusk, gradual, swallows up the plain: 
Vanish the woods ; the dim-seen river seeius 
Sullen, and slow, to roll the misty wave. 
E'en in the height of noon oppressed, the sun 
Sheds weak, and blunt, his wide-refracted ray ; 720 
Whence glaring oft, with many a broadened orb, 
He frights the nations. Indistinct on earth. 
Seen through the turbid air, beyond the life 
Objects appear; and, wildered, o'er the waste 
The shepherd stalks gigantic. Till at last 
Wreathed dun around, in deeper circles still 
Successive closing, sits the general fog 
Unbounded o'er the world ; and, mingling thick, 
A formless grey confusion covers all. 
As when of old (so sung the Hebrew bard) 730 

Light, uncollected, through the chaos urged 
Its infant way ; nor Order yet had drawn 
His lovely train from out the dubious gloom. 

These roving mists, that constant now begin 
To smoke along the hilly country, these 
With weightier rains, and melted Alpine snows, 

o — 

AUTUMN. 143 

The mountain-cisterns fill, those ample stores 
Of water, scooped among the hollow rocks ; 
Whence gush the streams, the ceaseless fountains 

And their unfailing wealth the rivers draw. 740 
Some sages say, that where the numerous wave 
For ever lashes the resounding shore, 
Drilled through the sandy stratum, every way, 
The waters with the sandy stratum rise ; 
Amid whose angles, infinitely strained. 
They joyful leave their jagg^y salts behind, 
And clear and sweeten as they soak along. 
Nor stops the restless fluid, mounting still. 
Though oft amidst the irriguous vale it springs ! 
But to the mountain courted by the sand, 750 

That leads it darkling on in faithful maze, 
Far from the parent-main, it boils again 
Fresh into day, and all the glittering hill 
Is bright with spouting rills. But hence this vain 
Amusive dream I why should the waters love 
To take so far a journey to the hills, 
When the sweet valleys offer to their toil 
Inviting quiet and a nearer bed ? 
Or if, by bhnd ambition led astray, 
They must aspire, why should they sudden stop 760 
Among the broken mountain's rushy dells. 
And, ere they gain its highest peak, desert 
The attractive sand that charmed their course so 
long ? 


144 AUTUMN. 

Besides, the hard agg'lomerating' salts, 

The spoil of ages, would impervious choke 

Their secret channels ; or, by slow degrees, 

High as the hills protrude the swelling vales ; 

Old Ocean too, sucked through the porous globe, 

Had long ere now forsook his horrid bed. 

And brought Deucalion's wat'ry times again. 770 

Say, then, where lurk the vast eternal springs 
That, like creating Nature, lie concealed 
From mortal eye, yet with their lavish stores 
Refresh the globe, and all its joyous tribes ? 
O thou pervading genius, given to man, 
To trace the secrets of the dark abyss, 
O lay the mountains bare, and wide display 
Their hidden structure to the astonished view ! 
Strip from the branching Alps the piny load ; 
The huge incumlirance of horrific woods 780 

From Asian Taurus, from Imaus stretched 
Athwart the roving Tartar's sullen bounds ! 
Give opening Hemus to my searching eye, 
And high Olympus pouring many a stream , 
O from the sounding summits of the north, 
The Dofrine Hills, through Scandinavia rolled 
To furthest Lapland and the frozen main ; 
From lofty Caucasus, far seen by those 
Who in the Caspian and black Euxine toil ; 
From cold Riphean rocks, which the wild Russ 
Believes the stony girdle* of the world ; 791 

The Muscovites call the Riphean Mountains Weliki 

AUTUMN. 145 

And all the dreadful monntains, wrapt in storm, 
Whence wide Siberia draws her lonely floods ; 

sweep the eternal snows I Hung- o'er the deep, 
That ever works beneath his sounding base. 

Bid Atlas, propping heaven, as poets feign. 
His subterranean wonders spread ! Unveil 
The miny caverns, blazing on the day. 
Of Abyssinia's cloud-compelling cliffs. 
And of the bending Mountains of the Moon ! * 800 
O'ertopping all these giant-sons of earth. 
Let the dire Andes, from the radiant line 
Stretched to the stormy seas that thunder round 
The southern pole, their hideous deeps unfold ! 
Amazing scene I Behold I the glooms disclose, 

1 see the rivers in their infant beds I 
Deep, deep I hear them lab'ring to get free ! 
I see the leaning strata, artful ranged ; 
The gaping fissures to receive the rains, 

The melting snows, and ever-dripping fogs. 810 
Strew'd bibulous above I see the sands, 
The pebbly gravel next, the layers then 
Of mingled inoulds, of more retentive earths, 
The guttered rocks and mazy-running clefts, 
That, while the stealing moisture they transmit, 
Retard its motion and forbid its waste. 
Beneath th' incessant weeping of these drains, 

Camenypoys, that is, the Great Scnn;/ G'rdle ; because they 
suppose ihem to encompass the whole earth. 

' A rang-e of mountains in Africa, that surround almost all 

146 AUTUMN. 

I see the rocky syphons stretched immense, 

The mighty reservoirs, of hardened chalk, 

Or stiff compacted clay, capacious formed. 82C 

O'erflowing thence, the congregated stores, 

The crystal treasures of the liquid world. 

Through the stirred sands a bubbling passage bursts ; 

And welling out, around the middle steep, 

Or from the bottoms of the bosomed hills, 

In pure effusion flow. United, thus, 

Th' exhaling sun, the vapour-burdened air. 

The gelid mountains, that to rain condensed 

These vapours in continual current draw. 

And send them, o'er the fair-divided earth, 830 

In bounteous rivers to the deep again, 

A social commerce hold, and firm support 

The full-adjusted harmony of things. 

When Autumn scatters his departing gleams, • 
Warned of approaching Winter, gathered, play 
The swallow-people ; and tossed wide around, 
O'er the calm sky, in convolution swift. 
The feathered eddy floats : rejoicing once, 
Ere to their wintry slumbers they retire ; 
In clusters clung, beneath the mouldering bank, 840 
And where, unpierced by frost, the cavern sweats. 
Or rather into warmer climes conveyed. 
With other kindred birds of season, there 
They twitter cheerful, till the vernal months 
Invite them welcome back : for, thronging now 
Innumerous wings are in ci^mmotion all. 

AUTUMN. 147 

Where the Rhine loses his majestic lorce 
In Belg-ian plains, won from the raging deep, 
By diligence amazing, and the strong 
Unconquerable hand of Liberty, 650 

The stork-assembly meets, for many a day 
Consulting deep and various, ere they take 
Their arduous voyage through the liquid sky. 
And now their route designed, their leaders chose, 
Their tribes adjusted, cleaned their vigorous wings, 
And many a circle, many a short essay, 
Wheeled round and round, in congregation full 
The figured flight ascends ; and, riding high 
The aerial billows, mixes with the clouds. 

Or where the northern ocean, in vast whirls, 860 
Boils round the naked melancholy isles 
Of furthest Thule and the Atlantic surge 
Pours in among the stormy Hebrides ; 
Who can recount what transmigrations there 
Are annual made ? what nations come and go ? 
And how the Uving clouds on clouds arise 1 
Infinite wings ! till all the plume-dark air 
And rude resounding shore are one wild cry. 

Here the plain harmless native his small flock. 
And herd diminutive of many hues, 870 

Tends on the httle island's verdant swell, 
The shepherd's sea-girt reign ; or, to the rocks 
Dire-clinging, gathers his ovarious food ; 
Or sweeps the fishy shore ; or treasures up 
The plumage, rising full, to form the bed 

' n ' 

148 AUTUMN. 

Of luxury. And here awhile the muse, 

High hovering o'er the broad cerulean scene, 

Sees Caledonia, in romantic view : 

Her airy mountains from the waving main, 

Invested with a keen diffusive sky, 880 

Breathing the soul acute ; her forests huge, 

Incult, robust, and tall, by Nature's hand 

Planted of old ; her azure lakes between, 

Toured out extensive, and of wat'ry wealth 

Full ; winding-deep, and green, her fertile vales ; 

With many a cool translucent brimming flood 

Washedlovely, from the Tweed {pure parentstream, 

"Whose pastoral banks first heard my Doric reed, 

With, sylvan Jed, thy tributary brook) 

To where the north-inflated tempest foams 890 

O'er Orca's or Betubium's highest peak : 

Nurse of a people in misfortune's school 

Trained up to hardy deeds, soon visited 

By learning, when before the Gothic rage 

She took her western flight. A manly race, 

Of unsubmitting spirit, wise and brave. 

Who still through bleeding ages struggled hard 

(As well unhappy Wallace can attest, 

Great patriot-hero ! ill-requited chief!) 

To hold a generous undiminished state ; 900 

Too much in vain '. Hence of unequal bounds 

Impatient, and by tempting glory borne 

O'er every land, for every land their life 

Has flowed profuse, their piercing genius planned, 


AUTUMN. 149 

And swelled the pomp of peace their faithful toil. 
As from their own clear north, in radiant streams, 
Bright over Europe bursts the Boreal morn. 

Oh is there not some patriot, in whose power 
That best, that godlike luxury is placed. 
Of blessing thousands, thousands yet unborn, 910 
Through late posterity? some, large of soul, 
To cheer dejected industry? to give 
A double harvest to the pining swain. 
And teach the labouring hand the sweets of toil ? 
How, by the finest art, the native robe 
To weave ; how, white as hyperborean snow, 
To form the lucid lawn ; with venturous oar 
How to dash wide the billow ; nor look on. 
Shamefully passive, while Batavian fleets 
Defraud us of the glittering finny swarms 920 

That heave our friths and crowd upon our shores ; 
How all-enlivening trade to rouse, and wing 
The prosperous sail, from every growing port, 
Uninjured, round the sea-encircled globe ; 
And thus in soul united, as in name, 
Bid Britain reign the mistress of the deep ^ 

Yes, there are such. And full on thee, Argyle, 
Her hope, her stay, her darling, and her boast. 
From her first patriots and her heroes sprung, 
Thy fond imploring country turns her eye ; 930 
In thee, with all a mother's triumph, sees 
Her every virtue, every grace combined, 
Her genius, wisdom, her engaging turn. 

I - - ■ - — -^ 

150 AUTUMN. 

Her pride of honour, and her courage tried, 
Calm and intrepid, in the very throat 
Of sulphurous war, on Tenier's dreadful field. 
Nor less the palm of peace inwreathes thy brovr j 
For, powerful as thy sword, from thy rich tongue 
Persuasion flows, and wins tlie high debate ; 
While mixed in thee combine the charm of youth. 
The force of manhood, and the depth of atje. 941 
Thee, Forbes, too, whom every worth attends, 
As truth sincere, as weeping- friendship kind, 
Thee truly generous, and in silence great. 
Thy country feels through her reviving arts. 
Planned by thy wisdom, by thy soul informed ; 
And seldom has she known a friend like thee. 

But see the fading many-coloured woods, 
Shade deepening over shade, the country round 
Imbrown, a crowded umbrage, dusk, and dun, 950 
Of every hue, from wan declining green 
To sooty dark. These now the lonesome muse, 
Low-whispering, lead into their leaf-strowu walks, 
And give the season in its latest view. 

Meantime, light shadowing all, a sober calm 
Fleeces unbounded ether, whose least wave 
Stands ti'emulous, uncertain where to tUm 
The gentle current ; while, illumined wide, 
The dewy-skirted clouds imbibe the sun, 
And through their lucid veil his softened fotce 960 
Shed o'er the peaceful world. Then is the time 
For those whom wisdom and whom Nature charm | 
— - ' - -'-- O 

AVTUMN. 151 

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 giaise, 
Oft let me wander o'er the russet mead. 
And through the saddened grove, where scarce is 

One dying strain, to cheer the woodman's toil 971 
Haply some 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 souls, 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 inhuman eye, 981 

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 mood 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 990 

152 AUTUMN. 

But, should a quicker breeze amid the bough 
Sob o'er the sky the leafy deluge streams ; 
Till choked, and matted with the dreary shower, 
The forest walks, at every rising gale, 
Roll wide the withered waste, and whistle bleak. 
Fled is the blasted verdure of the fields ; 
And, shrunk into their beds, the flowery race 
Their sunny robes resign. E'en what remained 
Of stronger fruits falls from the naked tree ; 
And woods, fields, gardens, orchards, all around 
The desolated prospect thrills the soul. 1001 

lie comes I he comes ! in every breeze the power 
Of philosophic melancholy comes I 
His near approach the sudden starting tear, 
The glowing cheek, the mild dejected air, 
The softened feature, and the beating heart. 
Pierced deep with many a virtuous pang, declare. 
O'er all the soul his sacred influence breathes ; 
Inflames imagination ; through the breast 
Infuses every tenderness ; and far 1010 

Beyond dim earth exalts the swelling thought. 
Ten thousand thousand fleet ideas, such 
As never mingled with the vulgar dream, 
Crowd fast into the mind's creative eye. 
As fast the correspondent passions rise. 
As varied, and as high. Devotion raised 
To rapture, and divine astonishment ; 
The love of nature unconfined, and, chief, 
Of human race ; the large ambitious wish. 


AUTUMN. 153 

To make them blest ; the sigh for suffering worth 
Lost in obscurity ; the noble scorn 1021 

Of tyrant-pride ; the fearless great resolve ; 
The wonder wliich the dying patriot draws, 
Inspiring glory through remotest time ; 
Th' awakened throb for virtue and for fame ; 
The sympathies of love, and friendship dear ; 
With all the social offspring of the heart. 

Oh bear me then to vast embowering shades, 
To twilight groves and visionary vales, 
To weeping grottoes and prophetic glooms, 1030 
Where angel forms athwart the solemn dusk 
Tremendous sweep, or seem to sweep along, 
And voices more than human, through the void 
Deep-sounding, seize, th' enthusiastic ear! 

Or is this gloom too much ? Then lead, ye powers 
That o'er the garden and the rural seat 
Preside, which shining through the cheerful land 
In countless numbers blest Britannia sees, 
O lead me to the wide-extended walks, 
The fair majestic paradise of Stowe '.* 1040 

Not Persian Cyrus on Ionia's shore 
E'er saw such sylvan scenes, such various art 
By genius fired, such ardent genius tamed 
By cool judicious art, that, in the strife, 
All beauteous Nature fears to be outdone. 
And there, O Pitt, thy country's early boast, 
There let me sit beneath the sheltered slopes, 
* The scat of Lord Cobham. 

154 AUTUMN. 

Or in that temple* where, in future times, 
Thou well shall merit a distinguished name ; 
And, with thy converse blest, catch the last smiles 
Of Autumn beaming o'er the yellow woods. 1051 
While there with thee th' enchanted round I walk, 
The regulated wild, gay Fancy then 
Will tread in thought the groves of Attic land, 
Will from thy standard taste refine her own, 
Correct her pencil to the purest truth 
Of nature, or th' unimpassioned shades 
Forsaking, raise it to the human mind. 
Or if hereafter she, with juster hand. 
Shall draw the tragic scene, instruct her thou 
To mark the varied movements of the heart, 1061 
What every decent character requires. 
And every passion speaks : O through her strain 
Breathe thy pathetic eloquence, that moulds 
Th' attentive senate, charms, persuades, exalts. 
Of honest zeal th' indignant lightning throws. 
And shakes Corruption on her venal throne ! 
While thus we talk, and, through Elysian vales 
Dehghted rove, perhaps a sigh escapes : 
What pity, Cobham, thou thy verdant files 1070 
Of ordered trees shouldst here inglorious range, 
Instead of squadrons flaming o'er the field, 
And long embattled hosts ! when the proud foe. 
The faithless vain disturber of mankind. 
Insulting Gaul, has roused the world to war ; 
• The Temple of Virtue in Stowe-gardens ! 


AUTUMN. 155 I 

When keen, once more, within their bounds to press I 
Those polished robbers, those ambitious slaves, 
The British youth would hail thy wise command, 
Thy tempered ardour and thy veteran skill. 

The western sun withdraws the shortened day ; 
And humid Evening gliding o'er the sky, 1081 

In her chiU progress, to the ground condensed 
The vapours throws. Where creeping waters ooze, 
Where marshes stagnate, and where rivers wind, 
Cluster the rolling fogs, and swim along 
The dusky-mantled lawn. Meanwhile the moon, 
Full-orbed and breaking through the scattered 

Shows 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, 1091 

A smaller earth, gives us 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 deluge floats, and streaming mild 
O'er the sky'd mountain to the shadowy vale, 
WTiile rocks and floods reflect the quivering gleam. 
The whole air whitens with a boundless tide, 
Of silver radiance, trembling round the world. 1 100 

But when half blotted from the sky her light. 
Fainting, permits the starry fires to bum 
With keener lustre through the depth of heaven 


156 AUTUMN. 

Or near extinct her dreaded orb appears, j 

And scarce appears, of sickly beaniless white ; 

Oft in this season, silent from the north 

A blaze of meteors shoot : ensweeping first 

The lower skies, they all at once converge 

High to the crown of heaven, and all at once 

Relapsing quick as quickly reascend, 1110 

And mix, and thwart, extinguish, and renew, 

All ether coursing in a maze of light. 

From look to look, contagious through the crowd, 

The panic runs, and into wondrous shapes 

Th' appearance throws : armies in meet array, 

Thronged with aerial spears, and steeds of fire, 

Till, the long lines of full-extended war 

In bleeding fight commixt, the sanguine flood 

Rolls a broad slaughter o'er the plains of heaven. 

As thus they scan the visionaiy scene, 1120 

On all sides swells the superstitious dm. 

Incontinent ; and busy Frenzy talks 

Of blood and battle, cities overturned. 

And late at night in swallowing earthquake sunk, 

Or hideous wrapt in fierce ascending flame ; 

Of sallow famine, inundation, storm ; 

Of pestilence, and every great distress ; 

Empires subversed, when ruling fate has struck 

The unalterable hour : e'en Nature's self 

Is deemed to totter on the brink of time. 1130 

Not so the man of philosophic eye. 

And inspect sage ; the waving brightness he 

AUTUMN. 157 

Curious surveys, inquisitive to know 
The causes, and materials, yet unfixed, 
Of this appearance beautiful and nevf. 

Now black, and de^p, the nie^ht begins to fall, 
A shade immense. Sunk in the. quenching gloom, 
Magnificent and vast, are heaven and earth. 
Order confounded lies ; all beauty void ; 
Distinction lost ; and gay variety 1140 

One universal blot : such the fair power 
Of light to kindle and create the whole. 
Drear is the state of the benighted wretch 
Who then, bewildered, wanders through the dark. 
Full of pale fancies, and chimeras huge ; 
Nor visited by one directive ray, 
From cottage streaming, or from airy hall. 
Perhaps impatient as he stumbles on. 
Struck from the root of slimy rushes, blue, 
The wildfire scatters round, or gathered trails 1150 
A length of flame deceitful o'er the moss, 
Whither decoyed by the fantastic blaze. 
Now lost and now renewed, he sinks absorpt. 
Rider and horse, amid the miry gulf, 
While still from day to day his pining wife 
And plaintive children his return await, 
In wild conjecture lost. At other times, 
Sent by the better genius of the night. 
Innoxious, gleaming on the horse's mane, 
The meteor sits, and shows the narrow path 1160 


158 AUTUMN. 

That winding leads through pits of death, or else 
Instructs him how to take the dangerous ford. 

The lengthened night elapsed, the morning shines 
Serene, in all her dewy beauty bright, 
Unfolding fair the last autumnal day. 
And now the mountain sun dispels the fog; 
The rigid hoar-frost melts before his beam , 
And hung on every spray, on every blade 1168 

Of grass, the myriad dew-drops twinkle round. 

Ah see where robbed, and murdered, in that pit 
Lies the still heaving hive ! at evening snatched, 
Beneath the cloud of guilt-concealing night, 
And fixed o'er sulphur ; while, not dreaming ill, 
The happy people, in their waxen cells, 
Sat tending pubhc cares, and planning schemes 
Of temperance, for Winter poor ; rejoiced 
To mark, full flowing round, their copious stores. 
Sudden the dark oppressive steam ascends ; 
And, used to milder scents, the tender race, 
By thousands, tumble from their honeyed domes, 
Convolved, and agonizing in the dust. 1181 

And was it then for this you roamed the Spring, 
Intent from flower to flower ? for this you toiled 
Ceaseless the burning Summer-heats away ? 
For this in Autumn searched the blooming waste, 
Nor lost one sunny gleam ? for this sad fate ? 
O man ! tyrannic lord ! how long, how long. 
Shall prostrate Nature groan beneath your rage . 
( Awaiting renovation "< When obliged, 

O— — ' 

AUTUMW. 159 

Must you destroy ? Or their ambrosial food 1190 

Can you not borrow ; and, in just return, 

Afford them shelter from the wintry winds 1 

Or, as the sharp year pinches, with their own 

Again regale them on some smihng day ? 

See where the stony bottom of their town 

Looks desolate and wild ; with here and there, 

A helpless number, who the ruined state 

Survivej lamenting weak, cast out to death. 

Thus a proud city, populous and rich, 

Full of the works of peace, and liigh in joy, 1300 

At theatre or feast, or suidc in sleep 

(As late, Palermo, was thy fate,) is seized 

By some dread earthquake, and convulsive hurled 

Sheer from the black foundation, stench-involved, 

Into a gulf of blue sulphureous- flame. 

Hence every harsher sight I for now the day. 
O'er heaven and earth diffused, grows warm, and 

Infinite splendour ! wide investing all. 
How still the breeze ! save what the filmy thread 
Of dew evaporate brushes from the plain, 1210 

How clear the cloudless sky I hov/ deeply tinged 
With a peculiar blue ! the ethereal arch 
How swelled immense ! amid whose azure throne 
The radiant sun how gay ! how calm below 
The gilded earth ! the harvest-treasures all 
Now gathered in, beyond the rage of storms, 
Sure to the swain, the circling fence shut up 

160 AUTUMN. 

And instant Winter's utmost rage defined ; 
While, loose to festive joy, the country round 
Laug-hs with the loud sincerity of mirth, 1220 

Shook to the wind their cares. The toil-strong 

By the quick sense of music taught alone, 
Leaps wildly graceful in the lively dance. 
Her every charm abroad, the village toast, 
Young, buxom, warm, in native beauty rich, 
Darts not unmeaning looks : and, where her eye 
Points an approving smile, with double force, 
The cudgel rattles, and the wrestler twines. 
Age too shines out ; and, garrulous, recounts 
The feats of youth. Thus they rejoice ; nor think 
That, with to-morrow's sun, their annual toil 1231 
Begins again the never-ceasing round. 

Oh knew he but his happiness, of men 
The happiest he who far from public rage, 
Deep in the vale, with a choice few retired. 
Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life I 
What though the dome bo wanting, whose proud 

Each morning, vomits out the sneaking crowd 
Of flatterers false, and in their turn abused ? 
Vile intercourse 1 What though the glittering robe. 
Of every hue reflected light can give, 1241 

Or floating loose, or stiff with mazy gold, 
The pride and gaze of fools, oppress him not 1 
What though, from utmost land and sea purveyed. 

AUTUMN. 161 

For him each rarer tributary life 
Bleeds not. and his insatiate table heaps 
With luxury and death T What though his bowl 
Flames not with costly juice, nor sunk in beds, 
Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night, 
j Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state? 1250 
I What though he knows not those fantastic joys 
1 That still amuse the wanton, still deceive ; 
A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain ; 
Their hollow moments undelighted all? 
Sure peace is his ; a solid life, estranged 
To disappointment and fallacious hope : 
Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich, 
In herbs and fruits ; whatever greens the Spring, 
When heaven descends in showers, or bends the 

When summer reddens, and when Autumn beams, 
Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies 1261 

Concealed, and fattens with the richest gap : 
These are not wanting ; nor the milky drove. 
Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale ; 
Nor bleating mountains ; nor the chide of streami, 
And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere 
Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade, 
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay ; 
Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song, 
Ditn. grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountain clear 
Here too dwells simple Truth ; plain Innocence ; 
UnsuUied Beauty ; sound unbroken Youth, 1272 

162 AUTUMN. 

Patient of labour, with a little pleased ; 
Health ever blooming ; unambitious Toil ; 
Calm Contemplation, and poetic Ease. 

Let others brave the flood in quest of gain, 
And beat, for joyless months, the gloomy wave. 
Let such as deem it glory to destroy 
Rush into blood, the sack of cities seek, 
Unpierccd, exulting in the widow's wail, 1280 

The virgin's shriek, and infant's trembling cry. 
Let some, far-distant from their native soil. 
Urged or by want or hardened avarice, 
Find other lands beneath another sun. 
Let this through cities work his eager way 
By legal outrage and established guile, 
The social sense extinct, and that ferment 
Mad into tumult the seditious herd, 
Or melt them down to slavery. Let these 
Ensnare the wretched in the toils of law, 1290 

Fomenting discord and perplexing right, 
An iron race I and those of fairer front, 
But equal inhumanity, in courts. 
Delusive pomp, and dark cabals, delight ; 
Wreathe the deep bow, diffuse the lying smile, 
And tread the weary labyrinth of state. 
While he, from all the stormy passions free 
That restless men involve, hears, and but hears. 
At distance safe, the human tempest roar. 
Wrapt close in conscious peace. The fall of kings. 
The rage of nations, and the crush of states, 1301 

AUTUMN. 163 

Move n"t the man who, from the world escaped, 

In still retreats, and flowery solitudes. 

To Nature's voice attends, from month to month 

/.nd day to day, through the revolving year ; 

Admiring, sees her in her every shape ; 

Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart ; 

Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more. 

He, when young Spring protrudes the bursting 

Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale, 
Into his freshened soul ; her genial hours 1311 

He full enjoys ; and not a beauty blows 
And not an opening blossom breathes in vain 
In summer he, beneath the living shade, 
Such as o'er frigid Tempe wont to wave. 
Or Hemus cool, reads what the muse of these 
Perhaps has in immortal numbers sung. 
Or what she dictates writes : and, oft an eye 
Shot round, rejoices in the vigorous year, 
^\'hen autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world, 1320 
And tempts the sickled swain into the field. 
Seized by the general joy, his heart distends 
With gentle throes ; and, through the tepid gleams 
Deep musing, then he best exerts his song. 
E'en winter wild to him is full of bliss. 
The mighty tempest, and the hoary waste. 
Abrupt, and deep, stretched o'er the buried earth, 
Awake to solemn thought. At night the skies, 
Disclosed, and kindled by refining frost, 



164 AUTUMN. 

Pour every lustre on th' exalted eye. 1330 

A friend, a book, the stealing- hours secure, 

And mark them down for wisdom. With swil.t wing, 

O'er land and sea. Imagination roams ; 

Or truth, divinely breaking on his mind, 

Elates his being, and unfolds his powers ; 

Or in his breast heroic virtue burns. 

The touch of kindred too and love he feels ; 

The modest eye, whose beams on his alone 

Ecstatic shine ; the little strong embrace 

Of prattling children, twined around his neck, 1340 

And emulous to please him, calling forth 

The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay, 

Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scorns ; 

For happiness and true philosophy 

Are of the social still and smiling kind. 

This is the life which those who fret in guilt, 

And guilty cities, never knew ; the life 

Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt. 

When angels dwelt, and God himself, with man ! 

Oh Nature I all-sufficient ! overall! 1350 

Enrich me with the knowledge of thy works ; 
Snatch me to heaven ; thy rolling wonders there, 
World beyond world, in infinite extent, 
Profusely scattered o'er the blue immense. 
Show me ; their motions, periods, and their laws, 
Give me to scan ; through the disclosing deep 
Light my blind way : the mineral strata there ; 
Thrust, blooming, thence the vegetable world ; 


AUTUMN. 165 

O'er that the rising- system, more complex, 

Of aiiimHls; and, higher still, the mind, 1360 

The varied scene of quick-compounded thoug-ht, 

And where the nuxing passions endless shift ; 

These ever open to my ravished eye, 

A search the flight of time can ne'er exhaust. 

But if to that unequal, — if the hlood, 

In sluggish streams about my heart, forbid 

That best ambition, — underdosing shades, 

Inglorious, lay me by the lowly brook, 

And whisper to my dreams. From thee begin, 

Dwell all on Thee, with Thee conclude my song ; 

And let me never, never stray from Thee 1 1371 



The subject proposed. Address to the Earl of Wilmingtou. 
First approach of Winter According' to the natural 
course of the season, various storms described. Rain. 
Wind. Snow. The driving- of the snows : a man per- 
ishing among them; whence reflections on the wants 
and miseries of human hfe. The wolves descending- 
from the Alps and Apennines, A winter-evening de- 
scribed; as spent by philosophers ; by the country people ; 
inlhe city. Frost. A view of winter within the polar 
circle. A thaw. The whole concluding with moral re- 
flections on a future state. 


See Winter comes, to rule the varied year, 
Sullen and sad, with all his rising train, 
Vapours, and clouds, and storms. Be these my theme, 
These that exalt the soul to solemn thought, 
And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms ! 
Congenial horrors, hail ! with frequent foot, 
Pleased have I — in my cheerful morn of life. 
When nursed by careless Solitude I lived, 
And sung of Nature with unceasing joy, — 
Pleased have I wandered through your rough 

Trod the pure virgin-snows, myself as pure, 11 
Heard the winds roar and the big torrent burst, 
Or seen the deep fermenting tempest brewed 
In the grim evening sky. Thus passed the time, 
Till through the lucid chambers of the south 
Looked out the joyous Spring, looked out and smiled. 

To thee, the patron of her first essay, 
The muse, O Wilmington I renews her song. 
Since has she rounded the revolving year ; 
Skimmed the gay spring ; on eagle-pinions borne, 
Attempted through the summer-blaze to rise ; 21 
Then swept o'er Autumn with the shadowy gale ; 

170 WINTER. 

And now among the wintry clouds again, 

Rolled m the doubling storm, she tries to soar, 

To swell her note with all the rushing winds. 

To suit her sounding cadence to the floods ; 

As in her theme, her numbers wildly great: 

Thrice happy could she fill thy judging ear 

With bold description and with manly thought. 

Nor art thou skilled in awful schemes alone, 30 

And how to make a mighty people thrive ; 

But equal goodness, sound integrity, 

A firm, unshaken, uncorriipted soul 

Amid a sliding age, and burning strong, 

Not vainly blazing for thy country's weal, 

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. 40 

Now when the cheerless empire of the sky 
To Capricorn the centaur archer yields, 
And fierce Aquarius stains th' inverted year, 
Hung o'er the furthest verge of heaven, the sun 
Scarce spreads through ether the dejected day. 
Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot 
His struggling rays, in horizontal lines. 
Through the thick air ; as clothed in cloudy storm, 
Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky ; 
And, soon descenJing, to the long dark night, 50 
Wide-shading all, the prostrate world resigns. 

WINTER. 171 

Nor is the night unwished ; while vital heat, 
Lig'ht, life, and joy, the dubious daj- forsake. 
Meantime, in sable cincture, shadows vast. 
Deep-tinged and damp, and congregated clouds, 
And all the vapoury turbulence of heaven. 
Involve the face of things. Thus winter falls, 
A heavy gloom oppressive o'er the world, 
Through nature shedding influence malign, 
And rouses up the seeds of dark disease. 60 

The soul 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. 
Along the woods, along the moorish fens. 
Sighs the sad genius of the coming storm ; 
And up among the loose disjointed cliflTs, 
And fractured mountains wild, the brawling brook 
And cave, presageful, send a hollow moan, 70 

Resounding long in listening Fancy's ear. 

Then comes the father of the tempest forth. 
Wrapt in black glooms. First joyless rains obscure 
Drive through the mingling skies with vapour foul ; 
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 still 
Combine, and deepening into night shut up 
The day's fair face. The wanderers of heaven, 80 

172 WINTER. 

Each to his home, retire ; save those that love 
To take their pastime in the troubled air, 
Or skiinmjng flutter round the dimply pool. 
The cattle from th' untasted fields return. 
And ask, with meaning low, their wonted stalls, 
Or ruminate in the contiaiuous shade. 
Thither the household feathery people crowd, 
The crested cock, with all his female train. 
Pensive, and dripping ; while the cottage hind 
Jiangs o'er th' enlivening blaze, and taleful there 90 
Recounts his simple frolic : much he talks, 
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 swelled, 
And the mixed ruin of its banks o'erspread, 
At last the roused-up river pours along : 
Resistless, roaring, dreadful, down it comes 
From the rude mountain, and the mossy wild. 
Tumbling through rocks abrupt, and sounding far : 
Then o'er the sanded valley floating spreads, 100 
Calm, sluggish, silent : till again, constrained 
Between two meeting hills, it bursts away. 
Where rocks and woods o'erhang the turbid stream : 
There gathering triple force, rapid, and deep, 
It boils and wheels, and foams, and thunders through 
Nature I great parent I whose unceasing hand 
Rolls round the seasons of the changeful year, 
How mighty, how majestic, are thy works I 
With what a pleasing dread they swell the soul, 

— o 



Tliat Fees astonished, and ust.jiiished sin^ I 110 
Ye lO'j, ve winds, that now hegni to blow, 
With li(-isterous sweep, I raise my voice to you. 
Where iir<^ your stores, ye powerful beings, say, 
Where your aerial magazines reserved, 
To s%\eH the brooding len^>rsof the storm? 
In wh:io far distant reijion of tlie sky. 
Hushed in deep silence, sleep ye when 'tis calm 

Whe.i from the pallid sky the sun descends. 
With many a spot, that (j'er his glaring- orb 
Uncertain wanders, stained . red fiery streaks 120 
Begin to flush around. Tlie reeling clouds 
Stagger with dizzy poise, as doubting yet 
Which master to obey ; while rising slow, 
Blank, in the leaden-coloured east, the moon 
Wears a wan circle round her blunted horns. 
Seen through the turbid fluctuating air, 
The stars obtuse emit a shivered ray, 
Or frequent seem to shoot athwart the gloom, 
And long behind them trail the whitening blaze. 
Snatched in short eddies, plays the withered leaf; 
And on the flood the dancing feather floats. 131 
With broadened nostrils, to the sky up-turned, 
The conscious heifer snuffs the stormy gale. 
E'en as the matron, at her nightly task, 
With pensive labour draws the flaxen thread. 
The wasted taper and the crackling flame 
Foretel the blast. But chief the plumy race. 
The tenants of the sky, its changes speak 

174 W I N T K a 

Retiring from the clowns, where all day long 
They picked their scanty fare, a blackening train 
Of clamorous rooks tliick-urgc their weary flight, 
And seek the closing: shelter of the grove. 142 

Assiduous, in his bower, the wailing owl 
Plies his sad song. The cormorant on high 
Wheels from the deep, and screams along the land. 
Loud shrieks the soaring hern ; and with wild wing 
The circling sea-fowl cleave the flaky clouds ; 
Ocean, unequal pressed, with broken tide 
And blind commoticm heaves ; while from the shore. 
Eat into caverns by the restless wave, 150 

And forest-rustling mountain, comes a voice, 
That solemn sounding bids the world prepare. 
Then issues forth the storm with sudden burst, 
And hurls the- whole precipitated air 
Down in a torrent. On the passive main 
Descends th' ethereal force, and with strong gust 
Turns from its bottom the discoloured deep. 
Through the black niyht that sits immense around, 
Lashed into foam, the fierce conflicting brine 
Seems o'er a thousand raging waves to burn : 160 
Meantime the mountain-billows, to the clouds 
In dreadful tumult swelled, surge above surge, 
Burst into chaos with tremendous roar, 
And anchored navies from their stations drive. 
Wild as the winds across the howling waste 
Of mighty waters : now Ih' inflated wave 
Straining they scale, and now impetuous shoot 


WINTER. 175 

Into the secret chambers of the deep, 

The wintry Baltic thunderinsj o'er their head. 

Emerging tlieiice a^ain before the breath 170 

Of full-exerted heaven they wing their course, 

And dart on distant coasts, if some sharp rock 

Or shoal insidious break not their career, 

And in loose fragments fling them floating round. 

Nor less on land the loosened tempest reigns. 
The mountain thunders ; and its st\irdy sons 
Stoop to the bottom of the rocks they shade. 
Lone on the midnight steep, and all aghast, 
The dark way-faring stranger breathless toils, 
And often falling, climbs against the blast. 180 

Low waves the rooted forest, vexed, and sheds 
What of its tarnished honours yet remain ; 
Dashed down and scattered, by the tearing wind's 
Assiduous fury. Us gigantic limbs. 
Thus struggling through the dissipated grove, 
The whirling tempest raves along the plain ; 
And on the cottage thatched, or lordly roof. 
Keen-fastening, shakes them to the solid base. 
Sleep frighted flies ; and nmnd the rocking dome, 
For entrance eager, howls the savage blast. 190 
Then too, they say, through all the burdened air, 
Long groans are heard, shrill sounds, and distant 

That, uttered by the demon of the night, 
Warn the devoted wretch of wo and death. 

Huge Uproar lords it wide. The clouds commixed 

176 WINTER. 

With stars swift gliding sweep along the sky, 

All Nsture reels. Till Nature's King who oft 

Amid tempestuous darkness dwells Jilone, 

And on the wings of the careering wind 

Walks dreadfully serene, commands a calm ; 200 

Then straight air, sea, and earth are hushed at once. 

As yet 'tis midnight deep. The weary cbuds, 
Slow-meeting, mingle into solid gloom. 
Now, while the drowsy world lies lost in sleep, 
Let me associate with the serious Night, 
And Contemplation her sedate compeer ; 
Let me shake off th' intrusive cares of day, 
And lay the meddling senses all aside. 

Where now, ye lying vanities of life ! 
Ye ever-tempting, ever-cheating train ! 210 

Where are you now ? and what is your amount ? 
Vexation, disappointment and remorse. 
Sad, sickening thought ! and yet deluded man, 
A scene of crude disjointed visions past, 
And broken slumbers, rises still resolved. 
With new-flushed hopes, to run the giddy round. 

Father of light and life, thou Good Supreme I 
O teach me what is good, teach me Thyself: 
Save me from folly, vanity, and vice. 
From every low pursuit, and feed my soul 220 

With knowledge, cons(;ious peace, and virtue pure, 
Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss ! 

The keener tempests rise : and fuming dun 
From all the livid east, or piercing north. 

WINTER. 177 

Thick clouds ascend, m whose capacious womb 
A vapoury deluge lies, to snow congealed, 
Heavy they roll their fleecy world along, 
And the sky saddens with the gathered storm. 
Through the hushed air the whitening shower de- 
At first thin wavering ; till at last the flakes 230 
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 239 
The works of man. Drooping, the labourer ox 
Stands covered o'er with snow, and then demands 
The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven, 
Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around 
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 250 

Against the window beats ; then, brisk, alights 
On the warm hearth ; then hopping o'er the floor, 

178 WINTER. 

Eyes all the smiling' family askance, 
Ai»(l pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is : 
'Till, more foniiliar grown, the table-crumbs 
Attract his tender feet. The foodless wilds 
Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare 
Thoug-h timorous of heart and hard beset 
By death in various forms, dark snares, and dogs, 
And more unpitying men, the garden seeks, 260 
Urged on by fearless Want. The bleating kind 
Eye the bleak heaven, and nextthe glisteningearth. 
With looks of dumb despair; then, sad-dispersed, 
Dig for the withered herb through heaps of snow. 

Now shepherds, to your helpless charge be kind. 
Baffle the raging year, and fill their pens 
With food at will ; lod^e them below the storm. 
And watch them strict ; for from the bellowing east, 
In this dire season, oft the whirlwind's wing 
Sweeps up the burden of whole wintry plains 270 
At one wide waft, and o'er the hapless flocks, 
Hid in the hollow of two neighbouring hills. 
The billowy tempest whelms ; till upwards urged, 
The valley to a shining mountain swells, 
Tipt with a wreath high curling in the sky, 

As thus the snows arise, and, foul and fierce, 
All winter drives along the darkened air, 
In his own loose-revolving fields the swain 
Disaslered stands, sees other hills ascend, 
Of unknown joyless brow ,• and other scenes, 280 
Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain : 

WINTER. 179 

Nor finds the river, nor the forest, hid 
Beneath the formless wild ; but wanders on 
From hill to dale, still more and more astray ; 
Impatient flouncing through the drifted heaps. 
Stung with the thoughts of home ; the thoughts of 

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 290 
His tufted cottage rising through the snow, 
He meets the roughness of the middle waste, 
Far from the trace 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, unfafhomably deep, 
A dire descent I beyond the power of frost ; 
Of faithless bogs ; of precipices huge, 300 

Smoothed up with snow ; and what is land un- 
What water, of the still unfrozen spring. 
In the loose marsh or solitary lake. 
Where the fresh fountain 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 

189 WINTER. 

Through the wrung bosom of the dying man, 

His wife, his children, and his friends unseen. 310 

In vain for him th' officious wife prepares 

Tlie 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 I 

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 corse, 320 

Stretched out and bleaching m the northern blast. 

Ah little think the gay licentious proud 
Whom pleasure, power and affluence surround, 
They who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth, 
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste, — 
Ah little think they, while they dance along. 
How many sink in the devouring flood 
Or more devouring flame ; how many bleed, 330 
By shameful variance betwixt man and man ; 
How many pine in want, and dungeon glooms, 
Shut from common air and common use 
Of their own limbs : how many drink the cap 
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread 
Of misery ; sore pierced by wintry winds, 
How many shrink into the sordid hut 
Of cheerless poverty ; how many shake 
With all the fiercer tortures of the mind, 

WINTER. 181 

Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse, 340 
Whence tumbled headlong from the height of lifej 
They furnish matter for the tragic muse ; 
E'en in the vale where Wisdom loves to dvrell. 
With Friendship, Peace, and Contemplation joined 
How many, racked with honest passions, droop 
In deep retired distress ; how many stand 
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends, 
And point the parting anguish. Thought fond man 
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills 
That one incessant struggle render life, 350 

One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate. 
Vice in his high career would stand appalled, 
And heedless rambling Impulse learn to think ; 
The conscious heart of Charity would warm, 
And her wide wish Benevolence dilate ; 
The social tear would rise, the social sigh ; 
And into clear perfection, gradual bliss, 
Refining still, the social passions work 

And here can I forget the generous band,* 
Who, touched with human wo, redressive searched 
Into the horrors of the gloomy jail, 361 

Unpitied, and unheard, where Misery moans 
Where Sickness pines, where Thirst and Hunger 

And poor Misfortune feels the lash of Vice. 
While in the land of liberty, the land 
Whose every street and public meeting glow 
• The Jail Coramitteej in the year 173. 

182 WINTER. 

With open freedom, little tyrants raged, 

Snatched tlie lean morsel from the starving- moath, 

Tore from cold wintr>- limbs the scattered weed, 

E'en robbed them of the last of comforts, sleep, 370 

The free-bom Briton to the dungeon chained, 

Or, as the lust of cruelty prevailed. 

At pleasure marked him Tfith inglorious stripes, 

And crushed oat lives, by secret barbarous ways 

That for their cotinrr\- would have toiled or bled. 

O great design I if executed well, 

With patient care, and wisdom-tempered zeal. 

Ye sons of mercy, yet resume the search. 

Drag forth the legal monsters into light, 

Wrench from their hands oppression's iron rod, 380 

And bid the cruel fesir the pains they give. 

Much still untouched remains ; in this rank age, 

Much is the patriot's weeding hand required. 

The toils of law (what dark insiduous men 

Have cumbrous added to perplex the truth. 

And lengthen simple justice into trade). 

How glorious were the day that saw these broke, 

And every man within the reach of right I 

By wintry famine roused, from all the tnct 
Of horrid mountains which the shining Alps, 390 
And wavy Apenuine and Pvrenees, 
j Branch out stupendous into distant lands, 
I Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave, 

i Burning for blood, bony, and gaunt, and grim, 
Assembling wolves in raging troops deaceod ; 

wi X T E a . 183 

And, pouring o'er tlie country, bear along'. 

Keen as the noRh-vrind sweeps tas glossy snow. 

All is their prize. They fasten on the steed, 

Press him to earth, and pierce his niighty heart. 

Nor can the b'oll his awful front defend, 400 

Or shake the murdering savages away. 

Rapaci'jus, at the mothers throat they fly, 

Aad tear the screaming infant from her breast. 

The gi->diike face of man avails him nought. 

E'en beauty, force divine ! at who^ bright glance 

The generous lion stands in softened g^ze. 

Here bleeds, a hapless undistinguished prey. 

But if, apprised of the severe attack, 

The country be shut up, lured by the scent. 

On churchjrards drear (inhuman to relate !} 410 

The disappointed prowlers faU, and dig 

The shrouded body from the grave, o'er which, 

Mixed with foul shades, and frighted ghosts, they 

Among those hilly regions where embraced 
In peaceful vales the happy Gnsons dwell. 
Oft. rushing sudden from the loaded cl:i&. 
Mountains of snow their gathering terrors roll. 
From steep to steep, loud-thundering down they 

A wintry waste in dire commotion all ; 419 

And herds, and flocks, and travellers, and swains. 
And sometimes whole brigades of marching troops 


184 WINTER. 

Or hamlets sleeping in the dead of night, 

Are deep beneath the smothering ruin whelmed. 

Now all amid the rigours of the year, 
In the wild depth of winter, while without 
The ceaseless winds blow ice, be my retreat 
Between the groaning forest and the shore 
Beat by the boundless multitude of waves, 
A rural, sheltered, solitary scene, 
Where ruddy fire and beaming tapers join 430 

To cheer the gloom. There studious let me sit, 
And hold high converse with the mighty dead. 
Sages of ancient time, as gods revered, 
As gods beneficent, who bless'd mankind 
With arts, with arms, and humanised a world. 
Roused at th' inspiring thought, I throw aside 
The long-lived volume ; and, deep-musing, hail 
The sacred shades that slowly-rising pass 
Before my wondering eyes. First Socrates, 
Who, firmly good in a corrupted state, 440 

Against the rage of tyrants single stood, 
Invincible, calm Reason's holy law, 
That voice of God within th' attentive mind, 
Obeying, fearless, or in life, or death: 
Great moral teacher I wisest of mankind, 
Solon the next, who built his common weal 
On equity's wide base, by tender laws 
A lively people curbing, yet undamped 
Preserving still that quick peculiar fire 
Whence in the laurelled field of finer arts, 450 

b — O 

WINTER. 185 

And of bold freedom, they unequalled shon*., 

The pride of smiling^ Greece and human kincJ. 

Lycurgus then, who bowed beneath the fo:ce 

Of strictest discipline, severely wise, 

All human passions. Following him, I sd, 

As at Thermopylse he glorious fell. 

The firm devoted chief* who proved ty d'^-eds 

Tlie hardest lesson which the other ta'ight, 

Then Aristides lifts his honest front, 459 

Spotless of heart, to whom th' unf.attcriny vcxe 

Of freedom gave the nobleat n?me of Jjst, 

In pure majestic poverty revere''.. 

Who, e'en his glory to his country's weal 

Submitting, swelled a haughty rival'st fame. 

Reared by hi^ care, of softer ray appears 

Cimon, sweet-souleu, whose genius, rising strong, 

Shook off the load of young debauch, abroad 

The sccurge of Persian pride, at home the friend 

Of every wor'.h and every splendid art, 

Modest anil simple in the pomp of wealth. 470 

Then the last worthies of declining Greece, 

Late called to glory, in unequal times. 

Pensive, appear. The fair Corinthian boast 

Timoleon, happy temper I mild and firm. 

Who wept the brother while the tyrant bled ; 

And, equal to the best, the The ban pair,t 

Whose virtues, in heroic concord joined, 

* Leoniilas. t Themistocles. 

J PelepiJas and EpeminonJas. 

100 WINTER. 

Their country raised to freedom, empire, fame. 

He too with whom Athenian honour sunk, 

And left a mass of sordid lees behind, 480 

Phocion the Good, in public life severe, 

To virtue still inexorably firm ; 

But when, beneath his low illustrious roof, 

Sweet Peace and happy Wisdom smoothed his brow 

Not Friendship softer was, nor Love more kind. 

And he, the last of old Lycurgus' sons. 

The generous victim to that vain attempt 

To save a rotten state, Agis, who saw 

E'en Sparta's self to servile avarice sunk. 

The two Achaian heroes close the train : 490 

Aratus, who awhile relumed the soul 

Of fondly lingering Liberty in Greece ; 

And he her darling, as her latest hope, 

The gallant Philopoemen, who to arms 

Turned the luxurious pomp he could not cure ; 

Or toiling in his farm a simple swain, 

Or, bold and skilful, thundering in the field. 

Of rougher front, a mighty people come, 
A race of heroes, m those virtuous times 
Which knew no stain, save that with partial flame 
Their dearest country they too fondly loved : 501 
Her better founder first, the light of Rome, 
Numa, who softened her rapacious sons : 
Servius the king, who laid the solid base 
On which o'er earth the vast republic spread. 
Then the great consuls venerable rise : 

WINTER. 187 

The public father* who the private quelled, 

As on the dread tribunal sternly sad ; 

He whom his thankless country could not lose, 

CamiUus, only vengeful to her foes ; 510 

Fabricius, scorner of all conquering gold ; 

And Cincinnatus, awful from the plough. 

Thy willing victim,t Carthage, bursting loose 

From all that pleading Nature could oppose, 

From a whole city's tears, by rigid faith 

Imperious called, and Honour's dire command ; 

Scipio, the gentle chief, humanely brave. 

Who soon the race of spotless glory ran, 

And, warm in youth, to the poetic shade 

With Friendship and Philosophy retired ; 520 

TuUy, whose powerful eloquence awhile 

Restrained the rapid fate of rushing Rome ; 

Unconquer'd Cato, virtuous in extreme ; 

And thou, unhappy Brutus, kind of heart, 

Whose steady arm, by awful virtue urged. 

Lifted the Roman steel against thy friend : 

Thousands besides the tribute of a verse 

Demand : but who can count the stars of heaven T 

Who sing their influence on this lower world ? 

Behold who yonder comes, in sober state, 530 
Fair, mild, and strong, as is a vernal sun : 
'Tis Phcebus' self, or else the Mantuan Swain I 
Great Homer too appears, of daring wing 
Parent of song ! and, equal by his side, 
* Marcus Junius Brutus. t Regulus. 


100 WINTER. 

The British muse ; joined hand in hand they walk, 

Darkling-, full up the middle steep to fame. 

Nor absent are those shades whose skilful touch 

Pathetic drew th' impassioned heart, and charmed 

Transported Athens with the moral scene ; 

Nor those who, tuneful, waked th' enchanting- lyre. 

First of your kind I society divine ! 541 

Still visit thus my nights, for you reserved, 
And mount my soaring soul to thoughts like yours. 
Silence, thou lonely power ! the door be thine ; 
See on the hallowed hour that none intrude, 
Save a few chosen friends, who sometimes deign 
To bless my humble roof, witk sense refined, 
Learning digested well, exalted faith. 
Unstudied wit, and humour ever gay. 
Or from the muses' hill will Pope descend, 550 
To raise the sacred hour, to bid it smile. 
And with the social spirit warm the heart? 
For, though not sweeter his own Homer sings. 
Yet is his life the more endearing song. 

Where art thou, Hammond ? thou, the darling 
The friend and lover of the tuneful throng ! 
Ah why, dear youth, in all the blooming prime 
Of vernal genius, where disclosing fast 
Each active worth, each manly virtue lay. 
Why wert thou ravished from our hope so soon 1 560 
What now avails that noble thirst of fame 
Which stung thy fervent breast, that treasured store 

WINTER. 189 

Of knowledge, early gained, that eager zeal 
To serve thy country, glowing in the band 
Of youthful patriots, who sustain her name ? 
What now, alas ! that life-diffusing charm 
Of sprightly wit, that rapture for the muse, 
That heart of friendship, and that soul of joy, 
Which bade with softest hght thy virtues smile ? 
Ah I only showed to check our fond pursuits, 570 
And teach our humbled hopes that life is vain I 

Thus in some deep retirement would I pass 
The wiater-glooms, with friends of pliant soul 
Or blithe, or solemn, as the theme inspired. 
With them would search if Nature's boundless frame 
Was called, late-rising, from the void of night, 
Or sprung eternal from th' eternal Mind, 
Its life, its laws, its progress, and its end. 
Hence larger prospects of the beauteous whole 
Would, gradual, open on our opening minds ; 580 
And each diffusive harmony unite 
In full perfection to th' astonished eye. 
Then would we try to scan the moral world. 
Which, though to us it seems embroiled, moves on 
In higher order, fitted and impelled 
By Wisdom's finest hand, and issuing all 
In general good. The sage historic muse 
Should next conduct us through the deeps of time, 
Show us how empire grew, declined, and fell. 
In scattered states, what makes the nations smile. 
Improves their soil, and gives them double suns, 591 

190 W I N T K JK . I 

And why they pine beneath the brightest skies, I 

In Nature's richest lap. As thus we talked | 

Our hearts would burn within us, would inhale 

That portion of divinity, thut ray 

Of purest heaven, which lights the public soul 

Of patriots and of heroes. But if doomed, 

In powerless humble fortune to repress 

These ardent risings of the kindling soul, 

Then, e'en superior to ambition, we 600 

Would learn the private virtues : how to glide 

Through shades and plains, along the smoothest 

Of rural life, or, snatched away by Hope, 
Through the dim sjiaoes of futurity 
With earnest eye anticipate those scenes 
Of happiness and wonder, where the mind, 
In endless growth and infinite ascent, 
Rises from state to state and world to world. 
But, when with these the serious thought is foiled. 
We, shifting for relief, would play the shapes 610 
Of frolic Fancy, and incessant form 
Those rapid pictures, that assembled train 
Of fleet ideas, never joined before. 
Whence lively Wit excites to gay surprise. 
Or folly-painting Humour, grave himself. 
Calls laughter forth, deep-shaking every nerve. 

Meantime the village rouses up the fire ; 
While well-attested, and as well believed, 
Heard solemn, goes the goblin story round, 


WINTER. 191 

Till superstitious horror creeps o'er all. 620 

Of, frequent in the sounding hall, they wake 

, The rural gambol. Rustic mirth goes round ; 
The simple joke that takes the shepherd's heart, 

i Easily pleased ; the long loud laugh, sincere ; 

j The kiss, snatched hasty from the side-long maid, 

I On purpose guardless, or pretending sleep : 

1 The leap, the slap, the haul, and, shook to notes 
Of native music, the respondent dance. 
Thus jocund fleets with them the winter-night. 

The city swarms intense. The public haunt, 630 
Full of each theme, and warm with mixed discourse 
Hums indistinct. The sons of riot flow 
Down the loose stream of false enchanted joy, 
To swift destruction. On the rankled soul 
The gaming fury falls ; and in one gulf 
Of total ruin, honour, virtue, peace, 
Friends, families, and fortune, headlong sink. 
Up-springs the dance along the lighted dome, 
Mixed, and evolved, a thousand sprightly ways. 
The glittering court effuses every pomp ; 640 

The circle deepens ; beamed from gaudy robes, 
Tapers, and sparkling gems, and radiant eyes, 
A soft effulgence o'er the palace waves ; 
While, a gay insect in his summer-shine, 
The fop, light-fluttering, spreads his mealy wings. 
Dread o'er the scene, the ghost of Hamlet stalks ; 
Othello rages ; poor Monimia mourns ; 

I And Belvidera pours her soul in love. 

O ■ — ( 

192 WINTER. 

Terror alarms the breast ; the comely tear 
Steals o'et the cheek : or else the comic muse 650 
Holds to the world a picture of itself, 
And raises sly the fair impartial lau^h. 
Sometimes she lifts her sti'ain, and {)aints the scenes 
Of beauteous life ; whate'er can deck mankind, 
Or charm the heart, in generous Bevil* showed. 

O thott whose wisdom, Solid yet refined, 
Whose patriot virtues, and consummate skill 
To touch the finer springs that move the world, 
Joined to whate'er the graces can bestow, 
And all Apollo's anim.ating fire. 660 

Give thee, with pleasing dignity, to shine 
At once the guardian, ornament, and joy, 
Of pohshed life. Permit the rural muse, 
O Chesterfield ! to grace with thee her song-. 
Ere to the shades again she humbly flies. 
Indulge her fond ambition, in thy train 
(For every muse has in thy train a place) 
To mark thy various full-accomplished mind, 
To mark that spirit which, with British scorn. 
Rejects th' allurements of corrupted power, — 670 
That elegant politeness, which excels. 
E'en in the judgment of presumptuous France, 
The boasted manners of her shining court, — 
That wit, the vivid energy of sense. 
The truth of Nature, which, with Attic point, 

* A character in " The Conscious Lovers," written by Sir 
Richard Steele. 

WINTER. 193 

And kind well-tempered satire, smoothly keen, 

Steals through the soul, and without pain corrects. 

Or, rising- thence with yet a brighter flame, 

O let me hail thee on some glorious day. 

When to the listening senate, ardent crowd 680 

Britannia's sons to hear her pleaded cause. 

Then, dressed by thee, more amiably fair, 

Truth the soft robe of mild persuasion wears : 

Thou to assenting Reason giv'st again 

Her own enlightened thoughts ; called from the heart 

Th' obedient passions on thy voice attend ; 

And e'en reluctant Party feels awhile 

Thy gracious power, as through the varied maze 

Of eloquence, now smooth, now quick, now strong, 

Profound and clear, you roll the copious flood. 690 

To thy loved haunt return, my happy muse ; 
For now, behold, the joyous vsrinter-days, 
Frosty, succeed ; and through the blue serene 
For sight too fine, th' ethereal nitre flies, 
Killing infectious damps, and the spent air 
Storing afresh wifh elemental life. 
Close crowds the shining atmosphere, and binds 
Our strengthened bodies in its cold embrace. 
Constringent ; feeds and animates our blood ; 
Refmes our spirits, through the new-strung nerves 
In swifter sallies darting to the brain, 701 

Where sits the soul, intense, collected, cool, 
Bright as the skies and as the season keen. 

1 AU Nature feels the renovating force 


194 WINTER. 

Of winter, only to the thoughtless eye 

Id ruin seen. The frost-concocted glebe 

Draws in abundant vegetable soul, 

And gathers vigour for the coming year. 

A stronger glow sits on the lively cheek 

Of ruddy Fire, and luculent along 710 

The purer rivers flow ; their sullen deeps, 

Transparent, open to the shepherd's gaze. 

And murmur hoarser at the fixing frost. 

What art thou, frost 1 and whence are thy keen 
Derived, thou secret all-invading power. 
Whom e'en th' illusive fluid cannot fly T 
Is not thy potent energy, unseen. 
Myriads of little salts, or hooked, or shaped 
Like double wedges, and diffused immense 
Through water, earth, and ether? Hence at eve. 
Steamed eager from the red horizon round, 721 
With the fierce rage of Winter deep suffused. 
An icy gale, oft shifting, o'er the pool 
Breathes a blue film, and in its mid career 
Arrests the bickering stream. The loosened ice, 
Let down the flood, and half dissolved by day, 
Rustles no more ; but to the sedgy bank 
Fast grows, or gathers round the pointed stone, 
A crystal pavement, by the breath of heaven 
Cemented firm ; till, seized from shore to shore, 
The whole imprisoned river growls below. 731 

Loud rings the frozen earth, and hard reflects 



WINTER. 195 

A double noise ; while, at his evening watch, 
The village dog deters the nightly thief ; 
The heifer lows ; the distant water-fall 
Swells in the breeze ; and, with the hasty tread 
Of traveller, the hollow-sounding plain 
Shakes from afar. Tlie full ethereal round, 
Infinite worlds disclosing to the view, 
Shines out intensely keen ; and, all one cope 740 
Of starry glitter, glows from pole to pole. 
From pole to pole the rigid influence falls, 
Through the still night, incessant, heavy, strong, 
And seizes Nature fast. It freezes on ; 
Till Morn, late rising o'er the drooping world, 
Lifts her pale eye unjoyous. Then appears 
The various labour of the silent night : 
Prone from the dripping eave, and dumb cascade, 
^Vhose idle torrents only seem to roar. 
The pendent icicle ; the frost-work fair, 750 

Where transient hues, and fancied figures rise ; 
Wide-spouted o'er the hill, the frozen brook, 
A livid tract, cold-gleaming on the mom ; 
The forest bent beneath the plumy wave ; 
And by the frost refined the whiter snow, 
Encrusted hard, and sounding to the tread 
Of early shepherd, as he pensive seeks 
His pining flock, or from the mountain top, 
Pleased with the slippery surface, swift descends. 
On blithesome frohcs bent, the youthful swains. 
While every work of man is laid at rest, 761 


196 WINTER. 

Fond o'er the river crowd, in various sport 
And revelry dissolved ; where mixing glad, 
Happiest of all the train ! the raptured boy 
Lashes the whirling top. Or, where the Rhine 
Branched out in many a long- canal extends, 
From every province swarming, void of care. 
Batavia rushes forth ; and as they sweep. 
On sounding skates, a thousand different ways, 
In circling poise, swift as the winds, along, 770 
The then gay land is maddened all to joy. 
Nor less the northern courts, wide o'er the snow, 
Pour a new pomp. Eager, on rapid sleds. 
Their vigorous youth in bold contention wheel 
The long-resounding course. Meantime, to raise 
The manly strife, with highly blooming charms. 
Flushed by the season, Scandinavia's dames 
Or Russia's buxom daughters glow around. 

Pure, quick, and sportful, is the wholesome day ; 
But soon elapsed. The horizontal sun, 780 

Broad o'er the south, hangs at his utmost noon. 
And ineffectual, strikes the gelid cliff; 
His azure gloss the mountain still maintains. 
Nor feels tlie feeble touch. Perhaps the vale 
Relents awhile to the reflected ray ; 
Or from the forest falls the clustered snow, 
Myriads of gems, that in the waving gleam 
Gay twinkle as they scatter. Thick around 
Thunders the sport of those who with the gun, 
And dog impatient bounding at the shot, 790 

WINTER. 19/ 

Worse than the season desolate the fields ; 
And, addin<j to the ruins of the year, 
Distress the footed or the feathered game. 

But what is this? Our infant Winter sinks, 
Divested of its grandeur, should our eye 
Astonished shoot into the frigid zone, 
Where, for relentless months, continual Night 
Holds o'er the glittering waste her starry reign. 

There through the prison of unbounded wilds. 
Barred by the hand of Nature from escape, 800 
Wide roams the Russian exile. Nought around 
Strikes his sad eye but deserts lost in snow, 
And heavy-loaded groves, and solid floods 
That stretch athwart the solitary waste 
Their icy horrors to the frozen main. 
And cheerless towns far distant, never blessed, 
Save when its annual course the caravan 
Bends to the golden coast of rich Cathay,* 
With news of human kind. Yet there life glows ; 
Yet cherished there, beneath the shining waste, 810 
The furry nations harbour : tipt with jet, 
Fair ermines, spotless as the snows they press ; 
Sables, of glossy black ; and dark embrowned, 
Or beauteous freaked with many a mingled hue, 
Thousand besides, the costly pride of courts. 
There, warm together pressed, the trooping deer ' 
Sleep on the new-fallen snows ; and, scarce his head 
Raised o'er the heapy wreath, the branching elk 
* The old name for China. 

lyo WINTER. 

Lies slumbering sullen in the white abyss. 
The ruthless hunter wants nor dogs nor toils, 820 
Nor with the dread of sounding bows he drives 
The fearful flying race ; with ponderous clubs, 
As weak against the mountain-heaps they push 
Their beating breast in vain, and piteous bray. 
He lays them quivering on th' ensanguined snows, 
And with loud shouts rejoicing bears them home. 
There through the piny forest half absorpt. 
Rough tenant of these shades, the shapeless bear, 
With dangling ice all horrid, stalks forlorn ; 
Slow-paced, and sourer as the storms increase, 
He makes his bed beneath th' inclement drift, 831 
And with stern patience, scorning weak complaint, 
Hardens his heart against assailing want. 

Wide o'er the spacious regions of the north. 
That see Bootes urge his tardy wain 
A boisterous race, by frosty Caurus* pierced, 
Who little pleasure know and fear no pain, 
Prolific swarm. They once relumed the flame 
Of lost mankind in polished slavery sunk, 
Drove martial horde on horde, t with dreadful sweep. 
Resistless rushing o'er th' enfeebled south, 841 
And gave the vanquished world another form. 
Not such the sons of Lapland : wisely they 
Despise th' insensate barbarous trade of war ; 
They ask no more than simple Nature gives ; 

• The north-west wind, 
t The wandering Scythian clans. 

WINTER. 199 

They love their mountains and enjoy their storms. 

No false desires, no pride-created wants, 

Disturb the peaceful current of their time, 

And through the restless ever-tortured maze 

Of pleasure, or ambition, bid it rage, 850 

Their rein-deer form their riches. These their tents. 

Their robes, their beds, and all their homely wealth 

Supply, their wholesome fare and cheerful cups. 

Obsequious at their call, the docile tribe 

Yield to the sled their necks, and whirl them swift 

O'er hill and dale, heaped into one erpanse 

Of marbled snow, as far as eye can sweep 

With a blue crust of ice unbounded glazed. 

By dancing meteors then, that ceaseless shake 

A waving blaze refracted o'er the heavens, 860 

And vivid moons, and stars that keener play 

With doubled lustre from the glossy waste, 

E'en in the depth of polar night they find 

A wondrous day, enough to light the chase, 

Or guide their daring steps to Finland fairs. 

Wished Spring returns ; and from the hazy south, 

While dim Aurora slowly moves before, 

The welcome sun, just verging up at first, 

By small degrees extends the swelling curve, 

Till seen at last for gay rejoicing months, 870 

Still round and round his spiral course he winds, 

And, as he nearly dips his flaming orb. 

Wheels up again, and reasceuds the sky, 

In that glad season, from the lakes and floods, 

200 WINTER. 

Where pure Niemi's* fairy mountains rise, 

And fringed with roses Tengliot rolls his stream, 

They draw the nopious fry. With these at eve, 

They cheerful loaded to their tents repair, 

Where, all day long in useful cares employed, 

Their kind unblemished wives the fire prepare. 880 

Thrice happy race I by poverty secured 

From legal plunder and rapacious power, 

In whom fell interest never yet has sown 

The seeds of vice, whose spotless swains ne'er knew 

Injurious deed, nor, blasted by the breath 

Of faithless Love, their blooming daughters wo. 

Still pressing on, beyond Tomea's lake. 
And Hecla flaming through a waste of snow, 
And furthest Greenland, to the pole itself. 
Where, failing gradual, life at length goes out, 890 
The muse expands her solitary flight. 
And, hovering o'er the wild stupendous scene, 
Beholds new seas beneath another sky.t 
Throned in his palace of cerulean ice, 

• M. de Maupertuis, in his book on the " Figure of the 
Earth," after having described the beautil'ul lake and moun- 
tain of Niemi in Lapland, says, "From this heig-ht we had 
opportunity several times to see those vapours rise from the 
lake which the people of the country call Haltios, and which 
they deem to be the guardian spirits of the mountains. We 
had been frighted with stories of bears that haunted this 
place, but saw none. It seems rather a place of resort for 
fairies and genii than bears." 

T The same author observes, " I was surprised to see upon 
the banks of this river (the Tenglio) roses of as lively a red 
as any that are in our gardens." 

I The other hemisphere. 



Here Winter holds his unrejnicing court, 
And through his airy hall the loud misrule 
Of driving tempest is forever heard ; 
Here the grim tp-ant meditates his wrath ; 
Here arms his winds with all subduing frost, 
Moulds his fierce hail, and treasures up his snows, 
With which he now oppresses half the globe. 901 
Thence winding eastward to the Tartar's coast, 
She sweeps the howling margin of the main, 
Where undissolving from the first of time. 
Snows swell on snows amazing to the sky. 
And icy mountains high on mountains piled 
Seem to the shivering sailor from afar. 
Shapeless and white, an atmosphere of clouds. 
Projected huge and horrid o'er the surge, 
Alps frown on Alps ; or rushing hideous down, 910 
As if old Chaos were again returned, 
Wide-rend the deep, and shake the solid pole. 
Ocean itself no longer can resist 
The binding fury ; but, in all its rage 
Of tempest shaken by the boundless frost, 
Is many a fathom to the bottom chained. 
And bid to roar no more — a bleak expanse, 
Shagg'd o'er with wavy rocks, cheerless, and void 
Of every life, tliat from the dreary mouths 
Flies conscious southward. Miserable they 920 
Who here, entangled in the gathering ice, 
Take their last look of the descending sun ; 
While full of death, and fierce with tenfold frost. 

aoa WINTER. 

Tlie long long night, incumbent o'er their heads, 

Falls horrible. Such was the Briton's* fate. 

As with first prow (what have not Briton's dared I) 

He for the passage sought, attempted since 

So much in vain, and seeming to be shut 

By jealous Nature with eternal bars. 

In these fell regions, in Arzina caught, 930 

And to the stony deep his idle ship 

Immediate sealed, he with his hapless crew, 

Each full exerted at his several task. 

Froze into statues ; to the cordage glued 

The sailor and the pilot to the helm. 

Hard by these shores, where scarce his freezing 
Rolls the wild Oby, live the last of men ; 
And half enhvened by the distant sun. 
That rears and ripens man, as well as plants, 
Here human nature wears its rudest form. 940 

Deep from the piercing season sunk in caves, 
Here by dull fires, and with unjoyous cheer. 
They waste the tedious gloom. Immersed in furs, 
Doze the gross race. Nor sprightly jest, nor song. 
Nor tenderness they know ; nor aught of life 
Beyond the kindred bears that stalk without. 
Till Morn at length, her roses drooping all, 
Sheds a long twilight brightening o'er their fields, 
And calls the quivered savage to the chase. 

* Sir Hugh Wilioughby, sent by qu«en Elizabeth to discoTW 
the north-east passage. 

WINTER. 203 

What cannot active government perform, 950 
New-moulding man 1 Wide-stretching from these 

A people savage from remotest time, 
A huge neglected empire, one vast mind. 
By heaven inspired, from Gothic darkness called. 
Immortal Peter I first of monarchs I He 
His stubborn country tamed, her rocks, her fens, 
Her floods, her seas, her ill-submitting sons ; 
And, while the fierce barbarian he subdued, 
To more exalted soul he raised the man. 
Ye shades of ancient heroes, ye who toiled 960 
Through long successive ages to build up 
A labouring plan of state, behold at once 
The wonder done I behold the matchless prince 
Who left his native throne, where reigned till then 
A mighty shadow of unreal power, 
Who greatly spurned the slothful pomp of courts, 
And, roaming every land, in every port 

His sceptre laid aside, with glorious hand 

Unwearied pl)nng the mechanic tool, 

Gathered the seeds of trade, of useful arts, 970 

Of civil wisdom, and of martial skill. 

Charged with the stores of Europe, home he goes I 

Then cities rise amid th' illumined waste I 

O'er joyless deserts smiles the rural reign ; 

Far-distant flood to flood is social joined ; 

Th' astonished Euxine hears the Baltic roar ; 

Proud navies ride on seas that never foamed 

204 WINTER. 

With daring keel before ; and armies stretch 
Each way their dazzling files, repressing here 
The frantic Alexander of the north, 980 

And awing there stem Othman's shrinking sons. 
Sloth flies the land, and Ignorance, and Vice, 
Of old Dishonour proud ; it glows around, 
Taught by the royal hand that roused the whole, 
One scene of arts, of arms, of rising trade ; 
For what his wisdom planned, and power enforced, 
More potent still, his great example showed. 

Muttering, the winds at eve, with blunted point, 
Blow hollow-blustering from the south. Subdued, 
The frost resolves into a trickling thaw. 990 
Spotted the mountains shine ; loose sleet descends, 
And floods the country round. The rivers swell. 
Of bonds impatient. Sudden from the hills, 
O'er rocks and woods, in broad brown cataracts, 
A thousand snow-fed torrents shoot at once ; 
And where they rush the wide-resounding plain 
Is left one slimy waste. Those sullen seas 
That washed th' ungenial pole will rest no more 
Beneath the shackles of the mighty north. 
But rousing all their waves, resistless heave. 1000 
And hark ! the lengthening roar continuous runs 
Athwart the rifted deep, at once it bursts 
And piles a thousand mountains to the clouds. 
Ill fares the bark, with trembling wretches charg'd, 
That, tost amid the floating fragments, moors 
Beneath the shelter of an icy isle, 

WINTER. 205 

While night o'erwhelms the sea and Horror looks 
More horrible. Can human force endure 
Th' assembled mischiefs that besiege them round 1 
Heart-gnawing Hunger, fainting Weariness, 1010 
The roar of winds and waves, the crush of ice, 
Now ceasing, now renewed with louder rage, 
And in dire echoes bellowing round the main. 
More to embroil the deep, Leviathan 
And his unwieldy train, in dreadful sport, 
Tempest the loosened brine, while through the 

Far from the bleak inhospitable shore. 
Loading the winds, is heard the hungry howl 
Of famished monsters, there awaiting wrecks. 
Yet Providence, that ever-waking eye, 1020 

Looks down with pity on the feeble toil 
Of mortals lost to hope, and lights them safe 
Through all this dreary labyrinth of fate. 

'Tis done I dread Winter spreads his latest glooms 
And reigns tremendous o'er the conquered year. 
How dead the vegetable kingdom lies I 
How dumb the tuneful ! Horror wide extends 
His desolate domain. Behold, fond man I 
See here thy pictured life ; pass some few years. 
Thy flowering spring, thy summer's ardent 
strength, 1030 

Thy sober autumn fading into age, 
And pale concluding winter comes at last, 
And shuts the scene. Ah I whither now are fled 

. 3 

206 WINTER. 

Those dreams of greatness — those unsolid hopes 
Of happiness — those longings after fame — 
Those restless cares — those busy bustling days — 
Those gay-spent, festive nights — those veering 

Lost betM'een good and ill, that shared thy life^ 
All now are vanished I Virtue sole survives, 
Immortal never-failing friend of man, 1040 

His guide to happiness on high. And see I 
'Tis come, the glorious mom ! the second birth 
Of heaven, and earth I Awakening Nature hears 
The new-creating word, and starts to life, 
In every heightened form, from pain and death 
For ever free. The great eternal scheme, 
Involving all, and in a perfect whole 
Uniting, as the prospect wider spreads. 
To Reason's eye refined clears up apace. 
Ye vainly wise I ye blind presumptuous I now, 1050 
Confounded in the dust, adore that Power 
And Wisdcm oft arraigned : see now the cause 
Why unassuming Worth in secret lived, 
And died neglected, — why the good man's share 
In life was gall and bitterness of soul,— ^ 
Why the lone widow and her orphans pined 
In starving solitude, while Luxury 
In palaces lay straining her low thought 
To form unreal wants, — why heaven-born Truth, 
And Moderation fair, wore the red marks 1060 

Of superstition's scourge, — why licensed Pain, 


A HYMN. 207 

That cruel spoiler, that eniboaomed foe, 
Embittered all our bliss. Ye gumi distressed, 
Ye noble few \vho here unbending stand 
Beneath life's pressure, yet bear up awhile ; 
And what your hounded view, which only saw 
A little part, deemed evil is no more ; 
The stiirms of wintry time will quickly pass, 
And one unbounded spring encircle all. 1069 


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 sun 
Shoots full perfection ihrough the swelling year ; 
! And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks ; 
And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve. 
By brooks and groves, in hollow- whispering gales. 
Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined, 
And spreads a common feast for all that lives. 
In Winter awful Thou I with clouds and storms 
Around Thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolled. 
Majestic darkness ! on the whirlwind's wing 
Riding sublime, Thou bidd'st the world adore, 
And humblest Nature with thy northern blast. 
J — O 

208 A H y M N . 

Mysterious round I what skill, what force divine, 
Deep felt, in these appear I a simple train, 
Yet so delightful mixed, with such kind art, 
Such beauty and beneficence combined, 
Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade, 
And all so forming- a harmonious whole, 
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still. 
But wandering oft, with brute unconscious gaze, 
Man marks not Thee, marks not the mighty hand, 
That, ever-busy, wheels the silent spheres ; 
Works in the secret deep ; shoots, steaming, thence 
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the Spring ; 
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day ; 
Feeds every creature ; hurls the tempest forth ; 
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves. 
With transport touches all the springs of life. 

Nature, attend ! join, every living soul 
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky, 
In adoration join ; and, ardent, raise 
One general song ! To Him, ye vocal gales, 
Breathe soft, whose Spirit in your freshness 

breathes : 
Oh, talk of Him in solitary glooms I 
Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving pine 
Fills the brown shade with a religious awe. 
And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar. 
Who shake th' astonished world, lift high to heaven 
Th' impetuous song, and say from whom you rage. 
His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills ; 
And let me catch it as I muse along. 
Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound, — 
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze 
Along the vale, — and thou, majestic main, 
A secret world of wonders in thyself; — 
Sound His stupendous praise ; whose greater voice 
Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall. 

A HYMN. 209 

Soft-roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and 

In mingled clouds to Him ; whose sun exalts. 
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil 

Ye forests, bend, ye harvests, wave to Ilim ; 
Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart, 
As home he goes beneath the joyous moon. 
Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep 
Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams, 
Ye constellations, while your angels strike, 
Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre. 
Great source of day ! best image here belov? 
Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide. 
From world to world, the vital ocean round. 
On Nature write with every beam His praise. 
The thunder rolls : be hushed the prostrate world ; 
While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn. 
Bleat out afresh, ye hills : ye mossy rocks. 
Retain the sound : the broad responsive low. 
Ye valleys, raise ; for the Great Shepherd reigns, 
And his unsuffering kingdom j'et will come. 
Ye woodlands all, awake : a boundless song 
Burst from the groves I and when the restless day, 
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep, 
Sweetcstof birds, sweet Philomela, charm 
The list'ning shades, and teach the night His 

Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles, 
At once the head, the heart, and tongue of all, 
Crown the great hymn ! In swarming cities vast, 
Assembled men, to the deep organ join 
The long-resounding voice, oft breaking clear. 
At solemn pauses, through the swelling bass ; 
And, as each mingling flame increases each. 
In one united ardour rise to heaven. 
i Or if you rather choose the rural shade, 


210 A HYMN. 

And find a fane in every sacred grove ; 
There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's lay, 
The proniptiu? Seraph, and the poet's lyre, 
Still sing the God of Seasons, as they roll I 
For me, when I forget the darling theme, 
Whether the blossom blows, the Summer ray 
Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams, 
Or Winter rises in the black'ningeast ; 
Be my tongue mute, may Fancy paint no more. 
And, deaa to joy, forget my heart to beat ! 

Should fate command me to the farthest verge 
Of the green earth, to distant barbarous climes. 
Rivers unknown to song ; where first the sun 
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam 
Flames on th' Atlantic isles ; 'tis nought to me : 
Since God is ever present, ever felt. 
In the void waste as in the city full ; 
And where He vital breathes there must be joy. 
When e'en at last the solemn hour shall come. 
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds, 
I cheerful will obey ; there, with new powers, 
WiU nsing wonders sing : I cannot go 
Where Universal Love not smiles around, 
Sustainiug all yon orbs, and all their suns ; 
From seeming Evil still educing Good, 
And better thence agaia, and better still. 
In infinite progression. But I lose 
Myself in Him, in Light Ineffable ! 
Come then, expressive Silence, muse His praise. 




Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process. 
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 
Treatment Date: March 2009 



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