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ARGUMENT of the FOURTH Book.

The post comes in.--The news-paper is read.-The

world contemplated at a distance.Address to Winter --The rural amusements of a winter evening compared with the fashionable ones.--Address to evening.A brown Audy.-Fall of snow in the evening. The waggoner.

A poor family piece.The rural thief.

Public houses. —The multitude of them censured.-The farmer's daughter, what me was.-What she is.- I be fimplicity of country manners almost loft.-Causes of the change.-Defertion of the country by the riche-Neglect of magistrates. The militia principally in fault.The new recruit and his transformation.-- Reflection on bodies corporate.-The love of rural objects natural to all, and never to be totally extinguished.

T H E

TA S K.

Β Ο Ο Κ

IV.

THE WINTER EVENING.

HARK! 'tis the twanging horn ! o'er yondes

bridge That with its wearisome but needful length Beltrides the wintry flood, in which the moon. Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright; He comes, the herald of a noisy world, With spatter'd boots, strapp'd waist, and frozen

locks, News from all nations lumb'ring at his back. True to his charge, the close-pack'd load behind, Yet careless what he brings, his one concern Is to conduct it to the deftin'd inn, And having dropp'd th' expected bag---pass on.

He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch,
Cold and yet chearful : messenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to fome,
To him indiff'rent whether grief or joy.
Houses in ashes, and the fall of stocks,
Births, deaths, and marriages, epistles wet
With tears, that trickled down the writers' cheeks,
Fast as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charg’d with am'rous fighs of abfent fwains,
Or nymphs responsive, equally affect
His horse and him, unconscious of them all.
But oh th' important budget ! usher'd in
With such heart-shaking music, who can say
What are its tidings ? have our troops awak'd?
Or do they still, as if with opium drugg’d,
Snore to the murmurs of th' Atlantic wave?
Is India free? and does she wear her plum'd
And jewell?d turban with a smile of peace,
Or do we grind her stilli? The grand debate,
The popular harangue, the tart reply,
The logic, and the wisdom, and the wit,
And the loud laugh-I long to know them all;
I burn to set th' imprifon'd wranglers free,
And give them voice and utt'rance once again.

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud hiffing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,

That

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