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Innumerous mix'd them with the nursing mould, E'en love itself is bitterness of soul,
But who their virtues can declare? who pierce, Or, sunk to sordid interest, feels no more
Of life impatient, into madness swells;
Form'd infinitely various, vex the mind Of uncorrupted Man, nor blush'd to see With endless storm:whence, deeply rankling, grows The sluggard sleep beneath its sacred beam; The partial thought, a listless unconcern, For their light slumbers gently fumed away; Cold, and averting from our neighbour's good; And up they rose as vigorous as the sun, Then dark disgust, and hatred, winding wiles, Or to the culture of the willing glebe,
Coward deceit, and ruffian violence: Or to the cheerful tendance of the flock. At last, extinct each social feeling, fell Meantime the song went round; and dance and And joyless inhumanity pervades sport,
And petrifies the heart. Nature disturb'd Wisdom and friendly talk, successive, stole Is deem'd vindictive, to have chang'd her course. Their hours away: while in the rosy vale Hence, in old dusky time, a deluge came : Love breath'd his infant sighs, from anguish free, When the deep-cleft disparting orb, that arch'd And full replete with bliss; save the sweet pain, The central waters round, impetuous rush'd, That inly thrilling, but exalts it more.
With universal burst, into the gulf, Not yet injurious act, nor surly deed,
And o'er the high piled hills of fractured earth Was known among those happy sons of Heaven; Wide dash'd the waves, in undulation vast; For reason and benevolence were law.
Till, from the centre to the streaming clouds, Harmonious Nature too look'd smiling on. A shoreless ocean tumbled round the globe. Clear shone the skies, cool'd with eternal gales,
The Seasons since have, with severer sway, And balmy spirit all. The youthful sun Oppress'd a broken world: the Winter keen Shot his best rays, and still the gracious clouds Shook forth his waste of snows: and Summer shot Dropp'd fatness down; as o'er the swelling mead His pestilential heats. Great Spring, before, The herds and flocks, commixing, play'd secure. Green'd all the year; and fruits and blossoms This when, emergent from the gloomy wood, blush’d, The glaring lion saw, his horrid heart
In social sweetness, on the selfsame bough. Was meeken'd, and he join'd his sullen joy; Pure was the temperate air; an even calm For music held the whole in perfect peace: Perpetual reign'd, save what the zephyrs bland Soft sigh’d the flute; the tender voice was heard, Breathed o'er the blue expanse: for then nor storms Warbling the varied heart; the woodlands round Were taught to blow, nor hurricanes to rage ; Applied their choir; and winds and waters flow'd Sound slept the waters; no sulphureous glooms In consonance. Such were those prime of days. Swell'd in the sky, and sent the lightning forth; But now those white unblemish'd manners, While sickly ops and cold autumnal fogs whence
Hung not, relaxing, on the springs of life. The fabling poets took their golden age,
But now, of turbid elements the sport, Are found no more amid these iron times. From clear to cloudy tost, from hot to cold, These dregs of life! now the distemper'd mind And dry to moist, with inward-eating change, Has lost that concord of harmonious powers, Our drooping days are dwindled down to nought, Which forms the soul of happiness; and all Their period finish'd ere 'tis well begun. Is off the poise within: the passions all
And yet the wholesome herb neglected dies; Have burst their bounds; and reason half extinct, Though with the pure exhilarating soul Or impotent, or else approving, sees
Of nutriment and health, and vital powers, The foul disorder. Senseless, and deform'd, Beyond the search of art, 'tis copious blest. Convulsive anger storms at large; or pale,
For, with hot ravin fired, ensanguined man And silent, settles into fell revenge.
Is now become the lion of the plain, Base envy withers at another's joy,
And worse. The wolf, who from the nightly fold And hates that excellence it can not reach. Fierce drags the bleating prey, ne'er drunk her Desponding fear, of feeble fancies full, Weak and unmanly, loosens every power. Nor wore her warming fleece: nor has the steer,
Al whose strong chest the deadly tiger hangs, Just in the dubious point, where with the pool E'er plough'd for him. They too are temper'd high, Is mix'd the trembling stream, or 'where it boils With hunger stung and wild necessity;
Around the stone, or from the hollow'd bank
Reverted plays in undulating flow,
And as you lead it round in artful curve,
With eye attentive mark the springing game. She pours ten thousand delicacies, herbs, Straight as above the surface of the flood And fruits, as numerous as the drops of rain They wanton rise, or urged by hunger leap, Or beams that gave them birth : shall he, fair form! Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook: Who wears sweet smiles, and looks erect on Hea- Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank, ven,
And to the shelving shore slow dragging some, E'er stoop to mingle with the prowling herd, With various hand proportion'd to their force. And dip his tongue in gore? The beast of prey, If yet too young, and easily deceived, Blood-stain'd, deserves to bleed: but you, ye flocks, A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod What have you done; ye peaceful people, what, Him, piteous of his youth and the short space To merit death ? you, who have given us milk He has enjoy'd the vital light of Heaven, In luscious streams, and lent us your own coat Soft disengage, and back into the stream Against the Winter's cold ? and the plain ox, The speckled captive throw. But should you lure That harmless, honest, guileless animal,
From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots In what has he offended ? he, whose toil, Of pendant trees, the monarch of the brook, Patient and ever ready, clothes the land
Behoves you then to ply your finest art. With all the pomp of harvest ; shall he bleed, Long time he, following cautious, scans the fly; And struggling groan beneath the cruel hands And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft E'en of the clown he feeds ? and that, perhaps,
The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear. To swell the riot of the autumnal feast,
At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun Won by his labour? Thus the feeling heart Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death, Would tenderly suggest : but 'tis enough,
With sullen plunge. At once he darts along, In this late age, adventurous, to have touch'd Deep-struck, and runs out all the lengthened line; Light on the numbers of the Samian sage.
Then seeks the farthest ooze, the sheltering weed, High Heaven forbids the bold presumptuous strain, The cavern'd bank, his old secure abode; Whose wisest will has fixed us in a state And flies aloft, and flounceš round the pool, That must not yet to pure perfection rise. Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand,
Now when the first foul torrent of the brooks, That feels him still, yet to his furious course Swell'd with the vernal rains, is ebb'd away,
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now And, whitening, down their mossy-tinctured stream Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage : Descend the billowy foam: now is the time, Til floating broad upon his breathless side, While yet the dark-brown water aids the guile,
And to his fate abandon'd, to the shore To tempt the trout. The well-dissembled fly, You gaily drag your unresisting prize. The rod fine-tapering with elastic spring,
Thus pass the temperate hours; but when the Snatch'd from the hoary steed the floating line, And all thy slender watry stores prepare.
Shakes from his noon-day throne the scattering But let not on thy hook the tortured worm,
clouds, Convulsive, twist in agonizing folds ;
Even shooting listless langour through the deeps; Which, by rapacious hunger swallow'd deep, Then seek the bank where flowering elders crowd, Gives, as you tear it from the bleeding breast Where scatter'd wild the lily of the vale Of the weak helpless uncomplaining wretch, Its balmy essence breathes, where cowslips hang Harsh pain and horror to the tender hand. The dewy head, where purple violets lurk,
When with his lively ray the potent sun With all the lowly children of the shade: Has pierced the streams, and roused the finny-race, Or lie reclined beneath yon spreading ash, Then, issuing cheerful, to thy sport repair ; Hung o'er the steep; whence, borne on liquid Chief should the western breezes curling play,
wing, And light o’er ether bear the shadowy clouds, The sounding culver shoot; or where the hawk, High to their fount, this day, amid the hills, High, in the beetling cliff, his eyry builds. And woodlands warbling round, trace up the There let the classic page thy fancy lead brooks;
Through rural scenes, such as the Mantuan The next, pursue their rocky-channel'd maze,
swain Down to the river, in whose ample wave Paints in the matchless harmony of song. Their little najads love to sport at large. Or catch thyself the landscape, gliding swift
Athwart imagination's vivid eye:
At length the finish'd garden to the view Or by the vocal woods and waters lullid, Its vistas opens, and its alleys green And lost in lonely musing, in the dream, Snatch'd through the verdant maze, the hurried Confused, of careless solitude, where mix Ten thousand wandering images of things, Distracted wanders; now the bowery walk Soothe every gust of passion into peace; Of covert close, where scarce a speck of day All but the swellings of the soften'd heart, Falls on the lengthen'd gloom, protracted sweeps: That waken, not disturb, the tranquil mind. Now meets the bending sky; the river now
Behold yon breathing prospect bids the Muse Dimpling along, the breezy ruffled lake, Throw all her beauty forth. But who can paint The forest darkening round, the glittering spire, Like Nature? Can imagination boast, The ethereal mountain, and the distant main. Amid its gay creation, hues like hers?
But why so far excursive? when at hand, Or can it mix them with that matchless skill, Along these blushing borders, bright with dew, And lose them in each other, as appears And in yon mingled wilderness of flowers, In every bud that blows? If fancy then Fair-handed spring unbosoms every grace; Unequal fails beneath the pleasing task,
Throws out the snowdrop and the crocus first; Ah, what shall language do? Ah, where find the daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue, words
And polyanthus of unnumber'd dyes; Tinged with so many colours; and whose power, The yellow wall-flower, stain'd with iron brown; To life approaching, may perfume my lays And lavish stock that scents the garden round: With that fine oil, those aromatic gales,
From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed, That inexhaustive flow continual round? Anemones; auriculas, enriched
Yet, though successless, will the toil delight. With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves; Come then, ye virgins and ye youths, whose hearts And full ranunculas, of glowing red. Have felt the raptures of refining love;
Then comes the tulip-race; where Beauty plays And thou, Amanda, come, pride of my song! Her idle freaks; from family diffused Form'd by the Graces, loveliness itself!
To family, as flics, the father-dust, Come with those downcast eyes, sedate and sweet, The varied colours run; and, while they break Those looks demure, that deeply pierce the soul, On the charm'd eye, the exulting florist marks, Where, with the light of thoughtful reason mix’d, With secret pride, the wonders of his hand. Shines lively fancy and the feeling heart: No gradual bloom is wanting; from the bud, Oh come! and while the rosy-footed May Firstborn of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes: Steals blushing on, together let us tread
Nor hyacinths, of purest virgin white, The morning dews, and gather in their prime Low-bent, and blushing inward; nor jonquils, Fresh-blooming flowers, to grace thy braided hair, of potent fragrance; nor Narcissus fair, And thy loved bosom that improves their sweets. As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still;
See, where the winding vale its lavish stores, Nor broad carnations, nor gay-spotted pinks; Irriguous, spreads. See, how the lily drinks Nor, shower'd from every bush, the damask-rose. The latent rill, scarce oozing through the grass, Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells, Of growth luxuriant; or the humid bank, With hues 'on hues expression can not paint, In fair profusion, decks. Long let us walk, The breath of Nature, and her endless bloom. Where the brecze blows from yon extended field Hail, Source of Being! Universal Soul Of blossom'd beans. Arab
can not boast
Of Heaven and earth! Essential Presence, hail! A fuller gale of joy, than, liberal, thence To Thee I bend the knee; to Thee my thoughts, Breathes through the sense, and takes the ravished Continual, climb; who, with a master-hand, soul.,
Hast the great whole into perfection touched. Nor is the mead unworthy of thy foot, By Thee the various vegetative tribes, Full of fresh verdure, and unnumber flowers, Wrapt in a filmy net, and clad with leaves, The negligence of Nature, wide, and wild; Draw the live ether, and imbibe the dew: Where, undisguised by mimic Art, she spreads By Thee disposed into congenial soils, Unbounded beauty to the roving eye.
Stands each attractive plant, and sucks, and swells Here their delicious task the fervent bees, The juicy tide; a twining mass of tubes. In swarming millions, tend: around, athwart, At Thy command the vernal sun awakes Through the soft air, the busy nations fly, The torpid sap, detruded to the root Cling to the bud, and, with inserted tube, By wintry winds; that now in fluent dance, Suck its pure essence, its ethereal soul; And lively fermentation, mounting, spreads And oft, with bolder wing, they soaring dare All this innumerous-colour'd scene of things. The purple heath, or where the wild thyme grows, As rising from the vegetable world And yellow load them with the luscious spoil
. My theme ascends, with equal wing ascend,
My panting Muse; and hark, how loud the woods Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts;
Indulged in vain. Some to the holly-hedge
Nestling repair, and to the thicket some; From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings, Some to the rude protection of the thorn The symphony of Spring, and touch a theme Commit their feeble offspring. The cleft tree Unknown to fame,-the passion of the groves.
Offers its kind concealment to a few, When first the soul of love is sent abroad, Their food its insects, and its moss their nests. Warm through the vital air, and on the heart Others apart far in the grassy dale, Harmonious seizes, the gay troops begin, Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave. In gallant thought, to plume the painted wing; But most in woodland solitudes delight, And try again the long-forgotten strain, In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks, At first faint-warbled. But no sooner grows
Steep, and divided by a babbling brook, The soft infusion prevalent, and wide,
Whose murmurs sooth them all the live-long day, Than, all alive, at once their joy o'erflows When by kind duty fix'd. Among the roots In music unconfined. Up-springs the lark,
Of hazel, pendent o'er the plaintive stream, Shrill-voiced, and loud, the messenger of morn; They frame the first foundation of their domes; Ere yet the shadows fly, he mounted sings Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid, Amid the dawning clouds, and from their haunts And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought Calls up the tuneful nations. Every copse
But restless hurry through the busy air, Deep-tangled, tree irregular, and bush
Beat by unnumber'd wings. The swallow sweeps Bending with dewy moisture, o'er the heads The slimy pool, to build his hanging house Of the coy quiristers that lodge within,
Intent. And often, from the careless back Are prodigal of harmony. The thrush
Of herds and flocks, a thousand tugging bills And wood-lark, o'er the kind-contending throng
Pluck hair and wool; and oft, when unobserved, Superior heard, run through the sweetest length Steal from the barn a straw: till soft and warm, Of notes; when listening Philomela deigns
Clean and complete, their habitation grows. To let them joy, and purposes, in thought As thus the patient dam assiduous sits, Elate, to make her night excel their day. Not to be tempted from her tender task, The black-bird whistles from the thorny brake; Or by sharp hunger, or by smooth delight, The mellow bullfinch answers from the grove: Though the whole loosen'd Spring around her Nor are the linnets, o'er the flowering furze
blows, Pour'd out profusely, silent. Join'd to these Her sympathizing lover takes his stand Innumerous songsters, in the freshening shade High on the opponent bank, and ceaseless sings Of new-sprung leaves, their modulations mix The tedious time away; or else supplies Mellifluous. The jay, the rook, the daw, Her place a moment, while she sudden flits And each harsh pipe, discordant heard alone, To pick the scanty meal. The appointed time Aid the full concert: while the stock-dove breathes With pious toil fulfill'd, the callow young, A melancholy murmur through the whole. Warm'd and expanded into perfect life, 'Tis love creates their melody, and all
Their brittle bondage break, and come to light, This waste of music is the voice of love;
A helpless family, demanding food That even to birds, and beasts, the tender arts With constant clamor: O what passions then, Of pleasing teaches. Hence the glossy kind What melting sentiments of kindly care, Try every winning way inventive love On the new parents seize! Away they fly Can dictate, and in courtship to their mates Affectionate and undesiring, bear Pour forth their little souls. First, wide around, The most delicious morsel to their young; With distant awe, in airy rings they rove, Which equally distributed, again Endeavouring by a thousand tricks to catch The search begins. Even so a gentle pair The cunning, conscious, half-averted glance By fortune sunk, but form'd of generous mould, Of the regardless charmer. Should she seem And charm'd with cares beyond the vulgar breast, Softening the least approvance to bestow, In some lone cot amid the distant woods, Their colours burnish, and by hope inspired, Sustain'd alone by providential Heaven, They brisk auvance; then, on a sudden struck, Oft, as they weeping eye their infant train, Retire disorder'd; then again approach;
Check their own appetites, and give them all. In fond rotation spread the spotted wing,
Nor toil alonc they scorn: exalting love, And shiver every feather with desire.
By the grcat Father of the Spring inspired, Connubial leagues agreed, to the deep woods Gives instant courage to the fearful race, They haste away, all as their fancy leads, And to the simple art. With stealthy wing,
Should some rude foot their woody haunts molest, Alighted, bolder up again they lead,
High from the summit of a craggy cliff, To tempt him from her nest. The wild-duck, hence, Hung o'er the deep, such as amazing frowns O'er the rough moss, and o'er the trackless waste On utmost Kilda's* shore, whose lonely race The heath-hen flutters, pious fraud! to lead Resign the setting sun to Indian worlds, The hot pursuing spaniel far astray.
The royal eagle draws his vigorous young, Be not the muse ashamed, here to bemoan Strong-pounced, and ardent with paternal fire. Her brothers of the grove, by tyrant Man Now fit to raise a kingdom of their own, Inhuman caught, and in the narrow cage
He drives them from his fort, the towering seat, From liberty confined, and boundless air. For ages, of his empire; which, in peace, Dull are the pretty slaves, their plumage dull, Unstained he holds, while many a league to sea Ragged, and all its brightening lustre lost; He wings his course, and preys in distant isles. Nor is that sprightly wildness in their notes, Should I my steps turn to the rural seat, Which, clear and vigorous, warbles from the beach. Whose lofty elms, and venerable oaks, O then ye friends of love and love-taught song, Invite the rook, who high amid the boughs Spare the soft tribes, this barbarous art forbear; In early Spring, his airy city builds, If on your bosom innocence can win,
And ceaseless caws amusive; there, well pleased, Music engage, or piety persuade.
I might the various polity survey But let not chief the nightingale lament Of the mix'd household kind. The careful hen Her ruin'd care too delicately framed
Calls all her chirping family around, To brook the harsh confinement of the cage. Fed and defended by the fearless cock; Oft when, returning with her loaded bill, Whose breast with ardour flames, as on he walks, The astonish'd mother finds a vacant nest, Graceful, and crows defiance. In the pond, By the hard hand of unrelenting clowns The finely checkerd duck, before her train, Robbed, to the ground the vain provision falls; Rows garrulous. The stately-sailing swan Her pinions ruffle, and low-drooping scarce Gives out his snowy plumage to the gale; Can bear the mourner to the poplar shade; And, arching proud his neck, with oary feet Where, all abandoned to despair, she sings Bears forward fierce, and guards his osier-isle, Her sorrows through the night; and, on the bough, Protective of his young. The turkey nigh, Sole-sitting, still at every dying fall
Loud-threatening, reddens; while the peacock Takes up again her lamentable strain
spreads Of winding wo; till, wide around, the woods His every-colour'd glory to the sun, Sigh to her song, and with her wail resound.
And swims in radiant majesty along. But now the feather’d youth their former bounds, O'er the whole homely scene, the cooing dove Ardent, disdain; and, weighing oft their wings, Flies thick in amorous chase, and wanton rolls Demand the free possession of the sky:
The glancing eye, and turns the changeful neck. This one glad office more, and then dissolves While thus the gentle tenants of the shade Parental love at once, now needless grown. Indulge their purer loves, the rougher world Unlavish wisdom never works in vain.
Of brutes, below, rush furious into flame, 'Tis on some evening, sunny, grateful, mild, And fierce desire. Through all his lusty veins When nought but balm is breathing through the The bull, deep-scorch'd, the raging passion feels. woods,
Of pasture sick, and negligent of food,
Their eyes flash fury; to the hollow'd earth,
• The farthest of the western islands of Scotland.