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The history of the following production, is brielly this. A lady, fond of blank verso, demanded a poem of that kind from the author, and gave him the Sora for a subject. He obeyed ; and, having much leisure, connected another subject with it; and pursuing tho train of thought to which his situation and turn of mind led him, brought forth, at length, instead of tho trifle which he at first intended, a scrious affair-a Volume"

In the poem on the sudjout of Education, he would be very sorry to stand suspected of having aimed his censure at any particular school. His objections are such as naturally apply themselves to schools in goneral. If there were not, as for the most part thero is, wilful neglect in those who manage them, and an oņission even of such discipline as they are suscepti.

ble of, the owjects are yet too numerous for minuto attention : and the aching hearts of ten thousand parents, mourning under the bittores, of all disappointments, attest the truth of the allegation. His quarrel, therefore, is with the mischief at large, and not with any particular instance of it.

CONTENTS.

15€

its 155

Tux, Task, in Six books.

Page Book 1. Th, Sofa,

7 II. The Time-piece,

29 III. The Garden,

52* IV. The Winter Evening,

76 V. The Winter Morning Walk,

98 VI. The Winter Walk at noon,

123 Epistle to Joseph Hill, Esq. Tirocinium: or, a Review of Schools, To the Reverend Mr. Newton,

180 + On the Receipt of my Mother's Picture out (A Norfolk,

181 Friendship,

185 The Moralizer corrected,

191 Catharina,

193 The Faithful Bird,

195 The Needless Alarm,

196 Boadicea,

200 Heroism,

202 On a mischievous Bull, which the Owner of į him sold at the Author's instance,

205 Annus Memorablis, 1789. Written in comme

moration of his majesty's happy's reco.
very,

206 Hymn for the use of the Sunday School at Ol.

208

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ney,

THE TASK.

BOOK I.

THE SOFA.

ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST BOOK. Distorica. deduction of seats, from the Stool to the Sofa-A

Schoolboy's ramble-A walk in thecountry-The scene described -Rural sounds as well as sights delightful-Another walkMistake concerning the charms of solitude corrected-Colonnades commended--Alcove, and the view from it-The wildernessThe grove-The thresher- The necessity and benefit of exercise - The works of nature superiour to, and in some instances inimitable by, art-The wearisomeness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure-Change of scene sometimes expedient-A common described, and the character of crazy Kate intro-lucedGipsies—The blessings of civilized life---That state most favourable to virtue-The South Sea islanders compassionated, but chiefly Omai-His present state of mind supposed-Civilized life friendly to virtue, but not great cities-Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their due praisc, but censured-Fête champêtre-The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of dissipation and effeminacy upon our public measures.

5

I SING the Sofa. I, who lately sang
Truth, Hope, and Charity," and touch'd with awe
The solemn chords, and, with a trembling hand,
Escap'd with pain from that advent'rous flight,
Now seek repose upon an humbler theme;
The theme, though humble, yet august and proud
Th’occasion--for the fair commands the song.

Time was, when clothing, sumptuous or for uso,
Save their own painted skins, our sires had none
As vet black breeches were not; satin smooth,
Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile :
The hardy chief, upon the rugged rock
Washid by the sea, or on the gravelly bank

* See l'oems Voi. 1.

10

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