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Shot through the boughs, it dances as they dance.
Shadow and sunshine intermingling quick,
And dark’ning and enlight'ning, as the leaves
Play wanton, ev'ry moment, ev'ry spot. [cheer'd,
And now, with nerves new-brac'd and spirits
We tread the wilderness, where well-roll’d walks,
With curvature of slow and easy sweep—
Deception innocent—give ample space
To narrow bounds. e grove receives us next;
Between the upright shafts of whose tall elms
We may discern the thresher at his task.
Thump after thump resounds the constant flail,
That seems to swing uncertain, and yet falls
Full on the destin’d ear. Wide flies the chaff,
The rustling straw sends up a frequent mist
Of atoms sparkling, in the noon day beam.
Çome hither, ye that press your beds of down,
And sleep not; see him sweating o'er his bread
Before he eats it. 'Tis the primal curse,
But soften’d into mercy; made the pledge
Of cheerful days, and nights without a groan.
... By ceaseless action all that is subsists.
Constant rotation of th’ unwearied wheel,
That Nature rides upon, maintains her health,
Her beauty, her fertility. She dreads
An instant's pause, and lives but while she moves.
Its own revolvency upholds the world.
Winds from all quarters agitate the air,
And fit the limpid element for use,
Else noxious; oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams,
All feel the fresh'ning impulse, and are cleans'd
By restless undulation: een the oak
Thrives by the rude concussion of the storm:
He seems indeed indignant, and to feel
Th’ impression of the blast with proud disdain,
Frowning, as if in his unconscious arm
He held the thunder: but, the monarch owes
His firm stability to what he scorns,
More fix’d below, the more disturb’d above.
The law, by which all creatures else are bound,
Binds man the lord of all. Himself derives
No mean advantage from a kindred cause,
From strenuous toil his hours of sweetest ease.
The sedentary stretch their lazy length
When Custom bids, but no refreshment find,
For none they need; the languid eye, the cheek
Deserted of its bloom, the flaccid, shrunk,
And wither'd muscle, and the vapid soul,
Reproach their owner with that love of rest,
To which he forfeits e'en the rest he loves.
Not such th' alert and active. Measure life
By its true worth, the comfort it affords,
And theirs alone seems worthy of the name.
Good health, and, its associate in the most,
Good temper; spirits prompt to undertake,
And not soon spent, d. in an arduous task;
The powers of fancy and strong thought are theirs;
E’en age itself seems privileg'd in them
With clear exemption from its own defects.
A sparkling eye beneath a wrinkled front
The vet’ran shows, and, gracing a gray beard
With youthful smiles, descends towards the grave
Sprightly and old almost without decay.
#. a coy maiden, Ease, when courted most,
Farthest retires—an idol, at whose shrine
Who oft'nest sacrifice are favour’d least.
The love of Nature, and the scenes she draws,
Is Nature's dictate. Strange! there should be found
Who, self-imprison'd in their proud saloons,
Renounce the odours of the open field
For the unscented fictions of the loom;
Who. satisfied with only pencill'd scenes,
Prefer to the performance of a God
Th’ inferior wonders of an artist's hand!
Lovely indeed the mimic works of Art;
But Nature's works far lovelier. I admire,
None more admires, the painter's magic skill,
Who shows me that which I shall never see,
Conveys a distant country into mine,
And throws Italian light on English walls:
But imitative strokes can do no more
Than please the eye-sweet Nature's ev'ry sense.
The air salubrious of her lofty hills,
The cheering fragrance of her dewy vales,
And music of her woods—no works of man
May rival these, these all bespeak a pow'r
Peculiar, and exclusively her own.
Beneath the open sky she spreads the feast;
'Tis free to all—'tis ev’ry day renew’d;
Who scorns it starves deservedly at home.
He does not scorn it, who, imprison'd long
In some unwholesome dungeon, and a prey
To sallow sickness, which the vapours, dank
And clammy, of his dark abode have bred,
Escapes at last to liberty and light;
His cheek recovers soon its healthful hue;
His eye relumines its extinguish’d fires;
He walks, he leaps, he runs—is wing’d with joy,
And riots in the sweets of ev'ry breeze.
He does not scorn it, who has long endur'd
A fever's agonies and fed on drugs.
Nor yet the mariner, his blood inflam'd
With acrid salts: his very heart athirst,
To gaze at Nature in her green array,
Upon the ship's tall side he stands, possess'd
ith visions prompted by intense desire;
Fair fields appear below such as he left
Far distant, such as he would die to find—
He seeks them headlong, and is seen no more.
* The spleen is seldom felt where Flora reigns;
The low'ring eye, the petulance, the frown,
And sullen sadness, that o’ershade, distort,
nd mar the face of beauty, when no cause
or such immeasurable woe appears,
These Flora banishes, and gives the fair, Sweet smiles, and bloom less transient than her own. It is the constant revolution, stale And tasteless, of the same repeated joys, That palls and satiates, and makes languid life A pedlar's pack, that bows the bearer down. Health suffers, and the spirits ebb, the heart Recoils from its own choice—at the full feast Is famish’d—finds no music in the song, No smartness in the jest; and wonders why. Yet thousands still desire to journey on, Though halt, and weary of the path they tread. The paralytic, who can hold her cards, But cannot play them, borrows a friend's hand To deal .."shuffle, to divide and sort Her mingled suits and sequences; and sits, Spectatress both and spectacle, a sad And silent cipher, while her proxy plays. Others are dragg’d into the .." room Between supporters; and, once seated, sit, Through downright inability to rise, Till the stout bearers lift the corpse again. These speak a loud memento. Yet e'en these Themselves love life, and cling to it, as he, That overhangs a torrent to a twig. They love it, and yet loath it; fear to die, Yet scorn the purposes for which they live. Then wherefore not renounce them? No-the dread, The slavish dread of solitude, that breeds Reflection and remorse, the fear of shame, And their invet’rate habits, all forbid. Whom call we gay? That honour has been long The boast of mere pretenders to the name. The innocent are gay—the lark is gay, That dries his feathers, saturate with dew, Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams Of dayspring overshoot his humble nest. The peasant too, a witness of his song,
Himself a songster, is as gay as he.
But save me from the gaiety of those,
Whose headachs nail them to a noonday bed;
And save me too from theirs, whose haggard eyes
Flash desperation, and betray their pangs
For property stripp'd off by cruel chance;
From gaiety, that fills the bones with pain,
The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with woe.
The earth was made so various, that the mind
Of desultory man, studious of change,
And pleased with novelty, might be indulg’d.
Prospects, however i. , may be seen
Till half their beauties fade; the weary sight, - .
Too well acquainted with their smiles, slides off
Fastidious, seeking less familiar scenes.
Then snug enclosures in the shelter'd vale,
Where frequent hedges intercept the eye,
Delight us; happy to renounce a while,
Not senseless of its charms, what still we love,
That such short absence may endear it more.
Then forests, or the savage rock, may please,
That hides the sea-mew in his hollow clefts
Above the reach of man. His hoary head,
Conspicuous many a league, the mariner
Bound homeward, and in hope already there,
Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist,
A girdle of half-wither'd shrubs i. shows,
And at his feet the baffled billows die.
The common, overgrown with fern, and rough
With prickly gorse, that, shapeless and deform’d,
And dang'rous to the touch, has yet its bloom,
And decks itself with ornaments of gold,
Yields no unpleasing ramble; there the turf
Smells fresh, and, rich in odorif'rous herbs
And fungous fruits of earth, regales the sense
With luxury of unexpected sweets.
There often wanders one, whom better days
Saw better clad, in cloak of satin trimm'd