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We rove, delighted with the beauteous scene,
Or up the gently rising hill ascend,
Or climb the steeper heights with labouring steps;
Sweet labour, where fatigue is overpaid
By such a prospect, such delights as these ;
Peace, heavenly peace, triumphant in the soul,
And the dear voice of friendship in the ear;
The laughing vallies, and the grove-crown'd hills,
And universal nature smiling round,
All gay, all happy.... how the distant town
Sinks from our view ; low in a vale it lies,
Half hid in woods : hail, lovely shades! the seat
Of contemplation and retirement sweet ;
But for a while, farewell, we bid adieu,
Till the fair star of evening calls us home
To the lov'd spot where God and Paulus dwell,
And science and religion call their own.
The wide spread heath, the waving forest crowns
The distant prospect ; hills o'er hills ascend
Sublimely grand, and kiss the bending skies,
While the clear river draws its humid train
In soft meanders thro' the verdant meads ;
Diffusing health and fruitfulness around.
Here might we dwell, and with astonish'd eyes
Behold creation in her fairest dress :
Here might we dwell, and with admiring hearts
Adore the God whose boundless glories shine
Above, beneath, around : but objects new
Invite us....then adieu ye grove-crown'd hills,
The wide spread heath, the river's humid train,
And humble Enfield, dwelling in the vale....
Lo! as we turn, fresh wonders rise in view,
Enamellid meadows spangled o'er with gold,
Or green with corn just rising in the ear ;
While gentle zephyr, on his silken wings,
Bears the rich fragrance of the new-mown hay.
And see, in yonder field a rural train
With sprightly vigor, active diligence,
Pursue their wholesome toil : they toss and turn
The tender grass, that ripens as it lies
In the bright splendors of the lamp of day;
Placid and cheerful as a summer's eve :
And lest their spirits fail before the hour
Of eve proclaim their pleasant labors o'er,
They chat, they smile, and with united voice
They speed the lagging moments with a song:
But say, Philander, who is that
appears Lord of the pastures ; on a goodly steed He sits, but with a melancholy air Surveys unmov'd the beauties of the scene, And clad in sable colour'd weeds of woe? 'Tis Clio, late the happy, late the bless'd, If aught below the skies can bear the name Of bliss or happiness; but ah! 'twas frail ! A fleeting joy! death, with an envious frown, High réar'd a fatal dart, and lodg'd it deep In his Lucinda's bosom; in her tomb Lies Clio’s bliss : in vain the charming spring And rose-crown'd summer smile, in vain for him 'Ten thousand sweets arise; his sadden'd heart Cheerless remains : so Jacob mourn'd his son, And the sweet Psalmist his lov'd Jonathan.
See, down the hill's slope side, a traveller pass ;
A weak old man, infirm with age and care ;
Tott'ring and slow, his aspect spare and mean
Awakes the tend'rest pow'rs of sympathy.
Ah, feeble age! and must thou groan beneath
Th' oppressive wallet, and penurious want ?
But soft....methinks, upon a nearer view,
'Tis Graspall's little soul inspires that frame
So lank and meagre ; let compassion wipe
Her tearful eye, and indignation rise,
Gen'rous displeasure, 'gainst the meanest sin,
The meanest passion ; sordid love of gold.
Graspall counts o'er his bags, but not enjoys
The treasures they contain ; forbid to use
Life's cordial sweets, by avarice forbid ;
He counts his thousands, and he yet is poor.
See how the sprightly boy with nimble feet
Trips lightly on, still singing as he goes;
His heart is blithe, content sits smiling there,
While ruddy health with bright vivacity
Glows in his cheek, and sparkles in his eye.
Now to the summit of the hill arriv'd,
How fair a prospect opens to our view !
The flow'ry vale beneath, the gurgling brook
Whose gentle murmurs soothe the list’ning ear :
On either hand the chequer'd meads that rise
Or fall, in hill or dell, as best dispos’d
By the great Maker's hand, in that bless'd day
When angels sung creation's nighty work
To harps of gold....See thro' the distant woods
A glassy lake appear; how smooth, how calm,
Unruffled by a breeze : the vale invites,
Let us descend and taste its humble charms.
Soft be our steps, and watchful be our eyes,
Lest with a thoughtless mind and heedless feet
We crush the busy tribes that swarm around,
And bury millions in a foot of sand.
“ Go to the ant, thou sluggard," saith the wise,
“ And in her school learn prudence :" how they toil;
Pleas'd with the prospect of a sunny day,
They quit their cities, and to labor throng
In num'rous armies, wise to gather food,
The bounties which the God of providence
From his all-gracious hand scatters around,
Amply to fill their winter's magazines ;
That when the low'ring skies and driving storms
Confine them to their little earthly cells,
The free community may feel no want,
But live in plenty, tho' without the sun.
Here let us sit, beneath this aged oak, Whose wide spread branches shade the gentle stream: Whose waters, softly dowing, scarce forbid The trav'ller's foot to reach the distant side. Hark! how the nightingale and robin pour Their softest notes, their sweetest music forth To entertain us, from the neighb'ring grove. The cuckoo too his constant theme repeats ; Ah, welcome stranger! my enraptur'd ear Shall listen to thy voice with more delight Than all the feather'd choristers beside. But while the airy serenade proceeds,
Come, gentle friends, and let us join the lay ;
Let hill and valley sing, and all the race
Of creatures join in one harmonious song,
To hail the glorious God, whose fiat call'd
Creation forth from the chaotic womb
Of night and darkness to illustrious birth;
And bade it shine a noble universe,
Worthy the mighty builder. Raise we still
A higher note, a more triumphant strain }
Jesus, the mighty builder of the skies,
Who calls the earth the footstool of his throne,
Bow'd his majestic head on Calvary,
And cry'd, “ 'Tis finish'd :" then redemption rose;
Redemption all triumphant, all divine.
Let his redeem'd exult, with boundless joy,
Sing the Creator, the Redeemer God.
High let their songs arise and pierce the clouds,
And join the hallelujahs of the skies,
Where our Immanuel reigns enthron’d in light,
The God of glory and the God of grace.
Farewell, sweet fields, thou gurgling brook, adieu ! And all ye airy warblers' of the grove : The setting sun adorns the western clouds With gay magnificence, and the cool eve With her fair rising star calls us away To other scenes, still pleasing, still serene ; For beauteous is the spot where Paulus dwells, And humble Enfield, dwelling in the vale, Partakes the bounties of her Maker's hand In rich profusion. See her spires arise,