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When rushing from yon rustling spray,
It made them vanish all away.
I rouse me up, and on I rove,
'Tis more than time to leave the grove.
The sun declines, the evening breeze
Begins to whisper through the trees:
And, as I leave the sylvan gloom,
As to the glare of day I come,
An old man's smoky nest I see,
Leaning on an aged tree:
Whose willow walls, and furzy brow,
A little garden sway below.
Through spreading beds of blooming green,
Matted with herbage sweet, and clean,
A vein of water liinps along,
And makes them ever green and young.
Here he puffs upon his spade,
And digs up cabbage in the shade :
His tatter'd rags are sable brown,
His beard and hair are hoary grown:
The dying sap descends apace,
And leaves a wither'd hand and face.
Up * Grongar bill I labour now,
And catch at last his bushy brow.
Oh, how fresh, how pure the air !
Let me breathe a little here.
Where am I, Nature ? I descry
Thy magazines before me lie!
Temples ! --and towns!--and towers!--and woods !
And hills !--and vales!-and fields! --and floods!
Crowding before me, edg'd around
With naked wilds, and barren ground.
See, below, the pleasant dome,
The poet's pride, the poet's home,
Which the sun-beams shine upon,
To the even, from the dawn.
See her woods, where echo talks,
Her gardens trim, her terras walks,
Her wildernesses, fragrant brakes,
Her gloomy bowers, and shining lakes,
Keep, ye gods, this humble seat,
For ever pleasant, private, neat.
See yonder hill, uprising steep,
Above the river slow and deep:
It looks from hence a pyramid,
Beneath a verdant forest hid;
On whose high top there rises great,
The mighty remnant of a seat,
An old green tower, whose batter'd brove
Frowns upon the vale below.
Look upon that flowery plain,
How the sheep surround their swain,
How they crowd to hear his strain !
All careless with his legs across,
Leaning on a bank of moss,
He spends his empty hours at play,
Which fly as light as down away.
And there behold a bloomy mead,
A silver stream, a willow shade,
Beneath the shade of fisher stand,
Who, with the angle in his hand,
Swings the nibbling fry to land.
In blushes the descending sun
Kisses the streams, while slow they run;
And yonder hill remoter grows,
Or dusky clouds to interpose.
The fields are left, the labouring hind
His weary oxen does unbind;
And vocal mountains, as they low,
Re-echo to the vales below;
The jocund shepherds piping come,
And drive the herd before them home;
And now begin to light their fires,
Which send up smoke in curling spires !
While with light hearts all homeward tend,
To * Abergasney I descend.
But, oh! how bless'd would be the day,
Did I with Clio pace my way,
And not alone and solitary stray.
* The name of a seat belonging to the Author's brother,
TO MR. SAVAGE.
SON OF THE LATE EARL RIVERS.
SINK not, my friend, beneath misfortune's weight,
Pleas'd to be found intrinsically great.
Shame on the dull, who think the soul looks less,
Because the body wants a glittering dress.
It is the mind's for ever bright attire,
The inind's embroidery, that the wise admire!
That which looks rich to the gross vulgar eyes,
Is the fop's tinsel, which the grave despise.
Wealth dims the eyes of crowds, and while they gaze,
The coxcomb's ne'er discover'd in the blaze!
As few the vices of the wealthy see,
So virties are conceal'd by poverty.
Earl Rivers:- In that name how would'st thou shine?
Thy verse, how sweet! thy fancy, how divine!
Critics, and bards would, by their worth, be aw'd,
And all would think it merit to applaud.
But thou bast nought to please the vulgar eye,
No title hast, nor what might titles buy.
Thou wilt small praise, but much ill-nature find,
Clear to thy errors, to thy beauties blind;
And if, though few, they any faults can see,
How meanly bitter will cold censure be!
But since we all, the wisest of us, err,
Sure, 'tis the greatest fault to be severe.
A few, however, yet expect to find,
Among the misty millions of mankind,
Who proudly stoop to aid an injur'd cause,
And o'er the sneer of coxcombs force applause,
Who, with telt pleasure, see tair virtue rise,
And lift her upwards to the beckoning prize!
Or mark her labouring in the modest breast,
And honour her the more, the more deprest.
Thee, Savage, thee (the justly great) admire,
Thee, quick ning judgment's phlegm with fancie's fire!
Thee, slow to censure, earnest to commend,
An able critic but a willing friend.
AN EPISTLE TO A FRIEND IN TOWN.
Have my friends in the town, in the gay busy town
Forgot such a man as John Dyer?
Or heedless despise they, or pity the clown,
Whose bosom no pageantries fire ?
No matter, no matter, content in the shades-
(Contented?--why every thing charms me) Fall in tunes all adown the green steep, ye cascades,
Till hence rigid virtue alarms me. Till outrage arises, or misery needs
The swift, the intrepid avenger ; Till sacred religion or liberty bleeds,
Then mine be the deed, and the danger.
Alas! what a folly, that wealth and domain
We heap up in sin and in sorrow! Immense is the toil, yet the labour how vain!
Is not life to be over to-morrow?
Then glide on my moments, the few that I have,
Smooth-shaded, and quiet, and even ; While gently the body descends to the grave,
And the spirit arises to heaven,
William Shenstone, one of our most popular and pleasing poets, was born at Hales Owen in Shropshire, 1714. His father, a plain uneducated country gentleman, occupied his own farm; and finding his son discover a taste for learning, even in his infancy, did not check his predilection for books, though it is probable he saw little utility in such pursuits.
Shenstone's “ School Mistress,” is a grateful and elegant delineation of the old dame, who first taught him to read. Such was the delight he took in books, that it is recorded, while yet a child he was constantly importuning his fond mother to bring him something new; and when she could not gratify his desires of a book, she placed a piece of wood painted book-fashion under his pillow in order to soothe him to sleep.
Becoming an orphan before he reached his twelfth year, the care of his person and his property devolved on his grandfather and grandmother, and at last on Mr. Dolman of Brome, in Staffordshire, who after giving bim a suitable classical education at Hales Owen, and afterwards at Solihul, entered him as a gentleman commoner of Pembroke College, Oxford. At the university, he pursued his studies with much diligence, associating chiefly with young men of a literary turn, and ranking among his particular friends, Mr. Jago and the late ingenious and excellent Mr. Graves of Claverton near Bath.
In 1737, Shenstone published some poems, anonymously, and three years after, produced his “ Judgment of Hercules,” which was followed at intervals by various other compositions. Our poet, about this time, having a clear patrimonial estate of 3001. a year and upwards, then an important sum, visited London, Bath, and other public places, and enjoyed the liberal pleasures of an elegant mind. But his friend, Mr. Dolman, dying in 1745, the care of his estate fell on himself; and