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The western sun withdraws the shorten'd day; Magnificent and vast, are heaven and earth.
Nor visited by one directive ray,
But when half blotted from the sky her light, The meteor sits; and shows the narrow path,
The lengthen'd night elapsed, the Morning shines
The rigid hoar frost melts before his beam;
Of grass, the myriad dew-drops twinkle round.
Lies the still heaving hive! at evening snatch'd,
And, used to milder scents, the tender race,
Convolved, and agonizing in the dust.
And was it then for this you roam'd the Spring,
For this in Autumn search'd the blooming waste,
Awaiting renovation ? when obliged,
Must you destroy ? of their ambrosial food
Afford them shelter from the wintry winds;
Or, as the sharp year pinches, with their own
Now black, and deep, the night begins to fall, See where the stony bottom of their town
A helpless number, who the ruin'd state Their hollow moments undelighted all ?
To disappointment, and fallacious hope:
In herbs and fruits whatever greens the Spring, (As late, Palermo, was thy fate) is seized When heaven descends in showers or bends the By some dread earthquake, and convulsive hurld bough, Sheer from the black foundation, stench-involved, When Summer reddens, and when Autumn Into a gulf of blue sulphureous flame.
Hence every harsher sight! for now the day, Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies O'er heaven and earth diffused, grows warm, and Conceal'd, and fattens with the richest sap: high;
These are not wanting; nor the milky drove, Infinite splendour! wide investing all.
Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale; How still the breeze! save what the filmy thread Nor bleating mountains; nor the chide of streams, Of dew evaporate brushes from the plain. And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere How clear the cloudless sky? how deeply tinged Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade, With a peculiar blue! the ethereal arch
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay; How swell'd immense! amid whose azure throned Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song, The radiant sun how gay! how calm below Dim grottos, gleaming lakes, and fountain clear. The gilded earth! the harvest-treasures all Here too dwells simple Truth; plain Innocence Now gather'd in, beyond the rage of storms, Unsullied Beauty; sound unbroken Youth, Sure to the swain; the circling fence shut up;
Patient of labour, with a little pleased; And instant Winter's utmost rage defied. Truth ever blooming; unambitious Toil; While, loose to festive joy, the country round Calm Contemplation, and poetic Ease. Laughs with the loud sincerity of mirth,
Let others brave the flood in quest of gain,
Mad into tumult the seditious herd,
Delusive pomp and dark cabals, delight;
That restless men involve, hears, and but hears, Or floating loose, or stiff with mazy gold, At distance safe, the human tempest roar, The pride and gaze of fools! oppress him not? Wrapp'd close in conscious peace. The fall of kings, What though, from utmost land and sea purvey'd, The rage of nations, and the crush of states, For him each rarer tributary life
Move not the man, who, from the world escaped, Bleeds not, and his insatiate table heaps In still retreats and flowery solitudes, With luxury, and death? What though his bowl To Nature's voice attends, from month to month, Flames not with costly juice; nor sunk in beds, And day to day, through the revolving year; Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night, Admiring, sees her in her every shape; Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state? Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart; What though he knows not those fantastic joys Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more. That still amuse the wanton, still deceive! Hle, when young Spring protrudes the bursting A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain;
Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale And emulous to please him, calling forth
Are of the social, still, and smiling kind.
This is the life which those who fret in guilt, Or Hemus cool, reads what the Muse, of these, And guilty cities, never knew; the life, Perhaps, has in immortal numbers sung; Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt, Or what she dictates writes: and, oft an eye When Angels dwelt, and God himself, with Man! Shot round, rejoices in the vigorous year.
Oh Nature ! all-sufficient! over all ! When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world, Enrich me with the knowledge of thy works! And tempts the sickled swain into the field, Snatch me to Heaven; thy rolling wonders there, Seized by the general joy, his heart distends World beyond world, in infinite extent, With gentle throes; and, through the tepid gleams Profusely scatter'd o'er the blue immense, Deep musing, then he best exerts his song.
their motions, periods, and their laws E’en Winter wild to him is full of bliss. Give me to scan; through the disclosing deep The mighty tempest, and the hoary waste, Light my blind way: the mineral strata there; Abrupt and deep, stretch'd o'er the buried earth, Thrust, blooming, thence the vegetable world ; Awake to solemn thought. At night the skies, O'er that the rising system, more complex, Disclosed, and kindled, by refining frost, Of animals; and higher still, the mind, Pour every lustre on the exalted eye.
The varied scene of quick-compounded thought, A friend, a book, the stealing hours secure, And where the mixing passions endless shift; And mark them down for wisdom. With swift wing These ever open to my ravish'd eye; O'er land and sea imagination roams;
A search, the flight of time can ne'er exhaust! Or truth, divinely breaking on his mind, But if to that unequal; if the blood, Elates his being, and unfolds his powers; In sluggish streams about my heart, forbid Or in his breast heroic virtue burns.
That best ambition; under closing shades, The touch of kindred too and love he feels; Inglorious, lay me by the lowly brook, The modest eye, whose beams on his alone And whisper to my dreams. From Thee begin, Ecstatic shine; the little strong embrace Dwell all on Thee, with Thee conclude my song; Of prattling children, twined around his neck, And let me ncver, never stray from Thee!
The subject propneed. Address to the Earl of Wilntington. First approach of Winter. According to the natural course of the Season, various Suorms described. Rain. Wind. Snow. The driving of the Snows: a Man perishing anong them; whence reflections on the Wants and Miseries of Human Life. The Wolves descending from the Alps and Appe. ninen A Winter Evening described ; as spent by Philosophers; by the Country People; in the City. Frost. A view of Winter within the Polar Circle. A Thaw. The whole concluding with moral retlections on a Future State.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
comes alone, and unregarded by the world, may
hope for your notice and esteem. Happy if I can, SIR SPENCER COMPTON.
in any degree, merit this good fortune: as every
ornament and grace of polite learning is yours, Sir,
your single approbation will be my farne. The Author of the following Poem begs leave I dare not indulge my heart by dwelling on your to inscribe this, his first performance, to your name public character; on that exalted honour and inand patronage: unknown himself, and only intro- tegrity which distinguish you in that august asduced by the Muse, he yet ventures to approach sembly where you preside, that unshaken loyalty you, with a modest cheerfulness; for, whoever to your sovereign, that disinterested concern fur attempts to excel in any generous art, though he his people which shine out, united, in all your be
haviour, and finish the patriot. I am conscious A firm, unshaken, uncorrupted soul, of my want of strength and skill for so delicate an Amid a sliding age, and burning strong, undertaking; and yet, as the shepherd in his cot- Not vainly blazing for thy country's weal, tage may feel and acknowledge the influence of A steady spirit regularly free; the sun with as lively a gratitude as the great man These, each exalting each, the statesman light in his palace, even I may be allowed to publish my Into the patriot; these, the public hope sense of those blessings which, from so many pow. And eye to thee converting, bid the Muse erful virtues, are derived to the nation they adorn. Record what envy dares not flattery call.
I conclude with saying that your fine discern- Now when the cheerless empire of the sky ment and humanity, in your private capacity, are To Capricorn the Centaur Archer yields so conspicuous that, if this address is not received And fierce Aquarius stains the inverted year; with some indulgence, it will be a severe convic- Hung o'er the farthest verge of Heaven, the sun tion that what I have written has not the least Scarce spreads through ether the dejected day. share of merit.
Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot
His struggling rays, in horizontal lines,
Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky; Your most devoted and most faithful And, soon-descending, to the long dark night, humble Servant,
Wide-shading all, the prostrate world resigns. JAMES THOMSON. Nor is the night unwish’d; while vital heat,
Light, life, and joy, the dubious day forsake.
Meantime, in sable cincture, shadows vast,
Deep-tinged and damp, and congregated clouds,
And all the vapoury turbulence of Heaven, See, Winter comes, to rule the varied year, Involve the face of things. Thus Winter falls, Sullen and sad, with all his rising train; A heavy gloom oppressive o'er the world, Vapours, and clouds, and storms. Be these my Through Nature shedding influence malign, theme,
And rouses up the seeds of dark disease, These! that exalt the soul to solemn thought, The soul of man dies in him, loathing life, And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms, And black with more than melancholy views. Congenial horrors, hail! with frequent foot, The cattle droop; and o'er the furrow'd land, Pleased have I, in my cheerful morn of life, Fresh from the plough, the dun discolour'd flocks, When nursed by careless Solitude I lived, Untended spreading, crop the wholesome root. And sung of Nature with unceasing joy, Along the woods, along the moorish fens, Pleased have I wander'd through your rough do- Sighs the sad Genius of the coming storm; main;
And up among the loose disjointed cliffs, Trod the pure virgin-snows, myself as pure; And fractured mountains wild, the brawling brook Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst; And cave, presageful, send a hollow moan, Or seen the deep-fermenting tempest brew'd, Resounding long in listenign Fancy's ear. In the grim evening sky. Thus pass'd the time, Then comes the father of the tempest forth, Till through the lucid chambers of the south Wraptin black glooms. First joyless rains obscure, Look'd out the joyous Spring, look'd out, and Drive through the mingling skies with vapour foul, smiled.
Dash on the mountain's brow, and shake the woods, To thee, the patron of her first essay, That grumbling wave below. The unsightly plain The Muse, O Wilmington! renews her song. Lies a brown deluge; as the low-bent clouds Since has she rounded the revolving year: Pour flood on flood, yet unexhausted still Skimm'd the gay Spring; on eagle-pinions borne, Combine, and deepening into night, shut up Attempted through the Summer-blaze to rise; The day's fair face. The wanderers of Heaven, Then swept o'er Autumn with the shadowy gale; Each to his home, retire; save those that love And now among the wintry clouds again, To take their pastime in the trouble] air, Roll'd in the doubling storm she tries to soar; Or skimming flutter round the dimply pool. To swell her note with all the rushing winds; The cattle from the untasted fields return, To suit her sounding cadence to the floods; And ask, with meaning low, their wonted stalls, As is her theme, her numbers wildly great: Or ruminate in the contiguous shade. Thrice happy could she fill thy judging ear
Thither the household feathery people crowd, With bold description, and with manly thought. The crested cock, with all his female train, Nor art thou skill'd in awful schemes alone, Pensive, and dripping; while the cottage-hind And how to make a mighty people thrive ; Hangs o'er the enlivening blaze, and taleful there But equal goodness, sound integrity,
Recounts his simple frolic: much he talks,
And much he laughs, nor recks the storm that blows Eat into caverns by the restless wave,
Wide o'er the brim, with many a torrent swellid, That solemn sounding bids the world prepare.
From the rude mountain, and the mossy wild, Descends the ethereal force, and with strong gust Sites Tumbling through rocks abrupt, and sounding far; Turns from its bottom the discolour'd deep.
Then o'er the sanded valley floating spreads, Through the black night that sits immense around, en Calm, sluggish, silent; till again, constrain'd Lash'd into foam, the fierce confiicting brine
Between two meeting hills, it bursts away, Seems o'er a thousand raging waves to burn:
And anchor'd navies from their stations drive,
Of full exerted Heaven they wing their course,
Or shoal insidious break not their career,
Nor less at hand the loosen'd tempest reigns.
When from the pallid sky the sun descends, Stoop to the bottom of the rocks they shade.
What of its tarnish'd honours yet remain;
The whirling tempest raves along the plain;
With stars swift gliding sweep along the sky. They pick'd their scanty fare, a blackening train, All Nature reels. Till Nature's King, who oft Of clamorous rooks thick urge their weary flight Amid tempestuous darkness dwells alone, And seek the closing shelter of the grove; And on the wings of the careering wind Assiduous, in his bower, the wailing owl Walks dreadfully serene, commands a calm; Plies his sad song. The cormorant on high Then straight, air, sea, and earth are hush'd at Wheels from the deep, and screams along the land. Loud shrieks the soaring hern; and with wild wing As yet ’tis midnight deep. The weary clouds, The circling seafowl cleave the flaky clouds. Slow meeting, mingle into solid gloom. Ocean, unequal press’d, with broken tide Now, while the drowsy world lies lost in sleep, And blind commotion heaves; while from the shore, Let me associate with the serious Night,