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At last from Aries rolls the bounteous Sun,
And the bright Bull receives him. Then no more SPRING, 1728.
Th’expansive atmosphere is cramp'd with cold;
But, full of life and vivifying soul, (thin, Et nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbos, Lifts the light clouds“ sublime, and spreads them Nanc frondent sylvæ, nunc formosissimus annus. Fleecy and white, o'er all-surrounding heaven.
Virg. Forth fly the tepid airs; and unconfind,
Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays.
Joyous, th' impatient husbandman perceives the subject proposed. Inscribed to the countess Drives from their stalls, to where the well-us'd
Relenting Nature, and bis lusty stcers (plough, of Hertford.". The season is described as it lies in the furrow, loosen'd from the frost. affects the various parts of Nature, ascending There, unrefusing, to the harness'd yoke from the lower to the higher; with digressions They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil, arising from the subject. Its influence on in- Cheer'd by the simple song and soaring lark.) animate matter, on vegetables, on brute animals, Meanwhile incumbent o'er the shining share and, last, on man ; concluding with a dissuasive The master leans, removes th' obstructing clay, from the wild and irregular passion of love, Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe. opposed to that of a pure and happy kind.
White through the neighbouring field the sower
stalks, Come, gentle Spring, ethereal Mildness, come, With measur'd step; and liberal throws the grain And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud,
Into the faithful bosom of the ground: 'While music wakes around, veil'd in a shower
The harrow follows barsh, and shuts the scene. Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend.
Be gracious, Heaven! for now laborious man O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow! With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend ! With innocence and meditation join'd
And temper all, thou world-reviving Sun, In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
Into the perfect year! Nor ye who live Which thy own Season paints; when Nature all In luxury and ease, iu pomp and pride, Is blooming and benevolent, like thee.
Think these lost themes unworthy of your car: And see where surly Winter passes off,
Such themes as these the rural Maro sung Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts : To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill, Of elegance and taste, by Greece refin'd. The shatter'd forest, and the ravag'd vale; In ancient times, the sacred plough employ'd While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch, The kings, and aweful fathers of mankind: Dissolving snows in livid torrents lost,
And some, with whom compar'd your insect-tribos The mountains lift their green heads to the sky. Are but the beings of a summer's day,
· As yet the trembling year is unconfirm'd, Have held the scale of empire, ruld the storm
Far through his azure turbulent domain,
In endless train, would quench the summer-blaze, Your empire owns, and from a thousand shores And, cheerless, drown the crude unripened year. Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports ;
The north-east spends his rage; he now shut up So with superior boon may your rich soil,
Within his iron cave, th' effusive south Exuberant, Nature's better blessings pour Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of hearen O’er every land, the naked nations clothe, Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers distent. And be th' exhaustless granary of a world! At first a dusky wreath they seem to rise,
Nor only through the lenient air this change, Scarce staining cther; but hy swift degrees, Delicious, breathes; the penetrative Sun
In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour sails His force deep-darting to the dark retreat Along the loaded sky, and mingled Jeep Of vegetation, sets the steaming Power
Sits on th' horizon round a settled gloom: At large, to wander o'er the(vernant Earth) Not such as wintery-storms on mortals shed, In various hues; but chiefly thee, gay Green! Oppressing life; but lovely, gentle, kind, Thou smiling Nature's universal robe!
And full of every hope and every joy, United light and shade! where the sight dwells The wish of Nature. Gradual sinks the breeze With growing strength, and ever-new delight. Into a perfect calm; that not a breath
From the moist meadow to the wither'd hill, Is heard tu quiver through the closing woods, led by the breeze, the vivid verdure runs, Or rustling turn the many twinkling leaves And swells, and deepens, to the cherish'd eye. Of aspin tall. Tu'uncurling floods, diffus'd The hawthorn whitens: and the juicy groves In glassy breadth, seem through delusive lapse Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees,
Forgetful of their course. "Tis silence all, Till the whole leafy forest stands display'd,
And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks In full luxuriance to the sighing gales;
Drop the dry sprig, and, mute-imploring, eye Where the deer rustle through the twining brake, The falling verdure. Hush'd in short suspense, And the birds sing conceal'd. At once array'd The plumy people streak their wings with oil, In all the colours of the flushing year,
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off; By Nature's swift and secret-working hand, And wait th' approaching sign to strike, at once, The garden glows, and fills the liberal air Into the general choir. Evin mountains, vales, With lavish fragrance; while the promis'd fruit And forests seem, impatient, to demand Lies yet a little embryo, unperceiv'd
The promis'd sweetness. Man superior walks Within its crimson folds. Now from the town Amid the glad creation, musing praise, Buried in smoke, and sleep, and noisome damps, And looking lively gratitude. At last, Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields, [drops | The clouds consign their treasures to the fields; Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling And, softly sbaking on the dimpled pool From the bent bush, as through the verdant maze Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow, Of sweet-briar hedges I pursue my walk;
In large effusion, o'er the freshen'd world. Or taste the smell of dairy; or ascend
The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard, Some eminence, Augusta, in thy plains,
By such as wander through the forest walks, And see the country, far diffus'd around,
Beneath th' unbrageous multitude of leaves. One boundless blush, one white-empurpled shower But who can hold the shade, while Heaven descends Of mingled blossoms; where the raptur'd eye In universal bounty, shedding herbs, Hurries from joy to joy, and, hid beneath And fruits and flowers, on Nature's ample lap? The fair profusion, yellow Autumn spies.
Swift fancy fir'd anticipates their growth; If, brush'd from Russian wilds, a cutting gale And, while the milky nutriment distils, Rise not, and scatter from his humid wings Beholds the kindling country colour round. The clammy mildew; or, dry-blowing, breathe Thus all day long the full-distended clouds Untimely frost; before whose baleful blast Indulge their genial stores, and well-shover'd earth The full-blown Spring through all her foliage Is deep-enrich'd with vegetable life; Jnyless and dead, a wide-dejected waste. (shrinks, Till, in the western sky, the downward Sun For oft, engender'd by the bazy north,
Looks out, effulgent, from amid the fush Myriads on myriads, insect armies waft
Of broken clouds, gay-shifting to his beam. Keen in the poison'd breeze; and wasteful eat, The rapid radiance instantaneous strikes Through buds and bark, into the blacken'd core, Th’illumin’d mountain, through the forest streams, Their eager way. A feeble race! yet oft Shakes on the floods, and in a yellow mist, The sacred sons of vengeance ! on whose course Far smoking o'er th' interminable plain, Corrosive famine waits, and kills the year. In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems. To check this plague the skilful farmer chaff, Moist, bright, and green, the landscapelaughs around. And blazing straw, before his orchard burns; Full swell the woods; their very music wakes, Till, all involv'd in smoke, the latent foe
Mix'd in wild concert with the varbling brooks From every cranny suffocated falls:
Increas'd, the distant bleatings of the hills, Or scatters o'er the blooms the pungent dust And hollow.lows responsive from the sales, Of pepper, fatal to the frosty tribe :
Whence blending all the sweeten'd zepbyr springs Or, when th' envenom'd leaf begins to curl, Mean time refracted from yon eastern cloud, With sprinkled water drowns them in their nest; Bestriding Earth, the grand ethereal box Nor, while they pick them up with busy bill, Shoots up immense; and every bue unfolds, The little trooping birds unwisely scares.
In fair proportion running from the red, Be patient, swains; these cruel-seeming winds To where the violet fades into the sky. Blow not in vain Far hence they keep repress'd Here, awful Newton, the dissolving clonds Those deepening clouds on clouds, surcharg'd with Form, fronting on the Sun, thy showery priem, That, o'er the vast Atlantic hither borne, (rain, I And to the sage-jostructed ege unfold
The rarious twine of light, by thee disclos'd The foul disorder. Senseless, and deform'd,
And hates that excellence it cannot reach.
Desponding fear, of feeble fancies full,
Ev'n love itself is bitterness of soul,
That noble wish, that never cloy'd desire,
Hope sickens with extravagance; and grief,
Of lite impatient, into madness swells;
Form'd infinitely various, vex the mind
Then dark disgust, and hatred, winding wiles, But who their virtues can declare? who pierce, Coward deceit, and ruffian violence; With vision pure, into these secret stores, At last, extinct each social feeling, fell Of health, and life, and joy? The food of man, And joyless inhumanity pervades While yet he liv'd in innocence, and told
And petritics the heart. Nature disturbid A length of golden years ; unflesh'd in blood, Is deem'd, vindictive, to have chang'd her course, A stranger to the savage arts of life,
Hence, in old dusky time, a deluge came : Death, rapine, carnage, surfeit, and disease; When the deep-cleft disparting orb, that arch'd The lord, and not the tyrant, of the world. The central waters round, impetuous rush'd,
The first fresh dawn then wak'd tlie glaulden'd With universal burst, into the gulph,
A shoreless ocean tumbled round the globe.
The Seasons since hare, with severer sway, Or to the cheerful tendance of the flock.
Oppress'd a broken world: the Winter keen Meantime the song went round; and dance and sport, Shook forth his waste of snows; and Summer shot Wisdom and friendly talk, successive, stole His pestilential heats. Great Spring, before, Their hours away; while in the rosy vale
Green'd all the year; and fruits and blossoms Love breath'd his infant sighs, from anguish free,
blush'd, And full replete with bliss; save the sweet pain, In social sweetness, on the self-sa me bough. That, inly thrilling, but exalts it more.
Pure was the teinperate air; and even calm Nor yet injurious act, nor surly deed,
Perpetual reign'd, save what the zephyrs bland Was known among those happy sons of Heaven ; Breath'd o'er the blue expanse: for then nor storms For reason and benevolence were law.
Were taught to blow, nor hurricanes to rage; Harmonious Nature too look'd smiling on.
Sound slept the waters; no sulphureous glooms Clear shone the skies, cool’d with eternal gales, Swelld in the sky, and sent the lightning forth; And balmy spirit all. The youthful Sun
While sickly damps, and cold autumnal fogs, Shot his best rays, and still the gracious clouds Hung not, relaxing, on the springs of life. Drop'd fatness down ; as o'er the swelling mead, But now, of turbid elements the sport, The herds and flocks, commixing, play'd secure. From clear to cloudy tost, from hot to cold, This when, emergent from the gloomy wood, And dry to moist, with inward-eating change, The glaring lion saw, his horrid heart
Our drooping days are dwindled down to nought, Was meeken'd, and he join'd his sullen joy, Their period finish'd ere 'tis well begun. For music held the whole in perfect peace :
And yet the wholesome herb neglected dies; Soft sigh'd the Oute; the tender voice was heard, Though with the pure exhilarating soul Warbling the varied heart; the woodlands round Of nutriment and health, and vital powers, Apply'd their quire; and winds and waters flow'd Beyond the search of art, 'tis copious blest. In consonance. Such were those prime of days. For, with hot ravine fir’d, ensanguin'd man
But now those white unblemish'd manners, whence Is now becoine the lion of the plain, The fabling poets took their golden age,
The wolf, who from the nightly fold Are found no more amid these iron times,
Fierce drags the bleatiog prey, ne'er drunk her milk, These dregs of life! Now the distemper'd mind Nor wore her warming fleece: nor has the steer, Has lost that concord of harmonious powers, At whose strong chest the deadly tiger hangs, Which forms the soul of happiness; and all E’er plough'd for him. They too are teinper'd high, Is off the poise within : the passions all
With hunger stung and wild necessity, Have burst their bounds; and reason, half extinct, Nor lodges pity in their shaggy breast. Or impotent, or else approving, sees
But Man, whom Nature form'd of milder clay.
With every kind emotion in his heart,
The speckled captive throw. But should you lure And taught alone to weep; while from her lap From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots She pours ten thousand delicacies, herbs,
Of pendent trees, the monarch of the brook, And fruits, as numerous as the drops of rain Behoves you then to ply your finest art. Or beams that gave them birth : shall he, fair form! Long tiine he, following cautious, scans the fly; Who wears sweet smiles, and looks erect on Heaven, And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft E'er stoop to mingle with the prowling herd, The dimpled water speaks his jealous fcar. And dip his tongue in gore? The beast of prey, At last, while haply o'er the shaded Sun Blood-stain'd, deserves to bleed: but you, ye flocks, | Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death, What have ye done; ye peaceful people, what, With sullen plange. At once be darts along, To merit death you, who have given us milk Deep-struck, and runs out all the lengthen'd line: In luscious streams, and lent us your own coat Then seeks the farthest ooze, the sheltering wedd, Against the winter's cold? And the plain ox, The cavern'd bank, his old secure abode; That harmless, honest, guileless animal,
And flies aloft, and flounces round the pool, In what has he offended ? he, whose toil,
Indignant of the guile. With yielding band, Patient and ever ready, clothes the land
That feels him still, yet to his furious course With all the pomp of harvest : shall be bleed, Gives way, you, now retiring, following now, And struggling groan beneath the cruel hands Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage: Ev'n of the clown he feeds ? and that, perhaps, Till floating broad upon his breathless side, To swell the riot of th' autumnal feast,
And to his fate abandon'd, to the shore Won by his labour? Thus the feeling heart You gaily drag your unresisting prize. Would tenderly suggest : but 'tis enough,
Thus pass the temperate hours : but when the Sun In this late age, adventurous, to have touch'd Shakes from his noon-day throne the scattering Light on the numbers of the Samian sage.
clouds, High Heaven forbids the bold presumptuous strain, Ev’n shooting listless languor through the derps ; Whose wisest will bes fix'd us in a state
Then seek the bank where flowering elders croad, That inust not yet to pure perfection rise.
Where scatter'd wild the lily of the vale Now when the first foul torrent of the brooks, Its balmy essence breathes, where cowslips hang Swell'd with the vernal rains, is ebb’d away, The dewy head, where purple violets lark, And, whitening, down their mossy-tinctur'd stream With all the lowly children of the shade : Descends the billowy foam: now is the time, Or lie reclin'd beneath yon spreading ash, While yet the dark brown water aids the guile, Hung o'er the steep; whence, borne on liquid sing, To tempt the trout. The well-dissembled fly, The sounding culver shoots; or where the hawk, The rod fine-tapering with elastic spring,
High, in the beetling cliff, his aëry builds. Snatch'd from the hoary steed the floating line, . There let the classic page the fancy lead And all thy slender wat'ry stores prepare.
Through rural scenes, such as the Mantuan swain But let not on thy hook the tortur'd worm, Paints in the matchless harmony of song: Convulsive, twist in agonizing folds ;
Or catch thyself the landscape, gliding swift
When with his lively ray the potent Sun Ten thousand wandering images of things,
Or can it mix them with that matchless skill, Their little Naïads love to sport at large.
And lose them in each other, as appears Just in the dubions point, where with the pool In every bud that blows? If fancy then Is mix'd the trembling stream, or where it boils Unequal fails beneath the pleasing task, Around the stone, or from the hollow'd bank Ah, what shall language do? ah, where find words Reverted plays in undulating flow,
Ting'd with so many colours; and whose power, There throw, nice jndging, the delusive fly; To life approaching, may perfume my lays And as you lead it round in artful curve,
With that fine oil, those aromatic gales With eye attentive mark the springing game. That inexhaustive flow continual round? Straight as above the surface of the flood
Yet, though successless, will the toil delight. They wanton rise, or urg'd by hunger leap, Come then, ye virgins and ye youths, whose hearts Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook : Have felt the raptures of refining love ; Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank,
And thou, Amanda, come, pride of my song! And to the shelving shore, slow-dragging some, Form'd by the Graces, loveliness itself! With various hand proportion’d to their force. Come with those downcast eyes, sedate and sweet, If yet too young, and easily deceivid,
Those looks demure, that deeply pierce the soul, A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod, Where, with the light of thoughtful reason mix'd, Him, piteous of his youth and the short space Shives lively fancy and the feeling heart: He has enjoy'd the vital light of Heaven,
() come! and while the rosy-footed May Soft disengage, and back into the stream
Steals blushing on, together let us tread
The morning dews, and gather in their prime. By thee the various vegetative tribes,
See where the winding vale its lavish stores, By thec dispos'd into congenial soils,
And lively forinentation, moimting, spreads A fuller yalc of joy, tban, liberal, thence, All this innumerous-colour'd scene of things. Breaths through the sense, and takes the rarish'd As rising from the vegetable world Nor is the niead unworthy of thy foot, (soul. My theme ascends, with equal wing ascend, Full of fresh verdure, and unnunber'd flowers, My panting Muse; and hark how lond the woods "The negligence of Nature, wide, and wild ; Invite you forth in all your gayest trim. Where, undisguis'd by mimic Art, she spreads Leid me your song, ye nightingales ! oh! pour tinbounded beauty to the roving eye:
The inazy-running soul of melody
Into iny varied verse! while I deduce,
Through the soft air, the busy nations fly, The symphony of Spring, and touch a theme
When first the soul of love is sent abroad, And oft, with bolder wing, they soaring dare Warm through the vital air, and on the beart The purple heath, or where the wild thyme grows, Harmonious sizes, the gay troops begin, And yellow load them with the luscious spoil.. In gallant thought to prove the painted wing; At length the finish'd garden to the view
Aud try again the long-forgotten strain, Its vistas opens, and its alleys green.
At first faint-warbled. But nó soorer grows Snatch'd through the verdant maze, the hurriel eye The soft infusion prevalent and wide, Distracted wanders ; now the bowcry'walk Than, all alive, at once their joy o'erflows Of covert close, where scare a speck of day In music unconfin'd Up-springs the lark, Falls on the lengthen'd gloom, protracted sweeps: Shrill-voic'd, and loud, the messenger of morn ; Now meets the bendirg sky; the river now Ere yet the shadows fly, he inounted sings Diinpled along, the breezy ruffled lake,
Imid the dawning clouds, and from their haunts
Bending with dewy moisture, o'er the heads
Are prodigal of harmony. The thrush
Of nofes; when listening Philomela deigns And polyanthus of unnumber'd dyes;
To let them joy, end purposes, in thought The yellow wall-fower, staju'd with iron-brown; Elate, to make her night excel their day. And lavish stock'that scents the garden round: The black-bird whistles from the thorny brake; From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed, The mellow bulfinch answers from the grove : Aocmonies ; àuriculas, enrich'd
Nor are the linnets, o'er the flowering furze With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves ; Pour'd out profusely, silent. Join'd to these And full ranunculas of glowing red.
Innumerous songsters, in the freshening shade Then comes the tulip-race, where beauty plays Of new-sprung leaves, their modulations mix Her idle freaks ; from family diffusd
Mellifluous. The jay, the rook, the daw, To family, as fies the father dust,
And each harsh pipe, discordant heard alone, The varied colours run: and while they break Aid the full concert: while the stock-dove breathes On the charm'd eye, th' exulting florist marks, A melancholy murmur through the whole. With secret pride, the wonders of his hand, 'Tis love creates their melody, and all No gradual bloom is wanting ; from the bud, This waste of music is the voice of love; First-born of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes : That ev'n to birds, and beasts, the tender arts Nor hyacinths, of pur-st virgin white,
Of pleasing teaches. Hence the glossy kind Low-bent, and blushing inward; nor jonquils, Try every winning way inventive love of potent fragrance; nor Narcissus fair,
Can dictate, and in courtship to their mates As O'er the fabled mountain hanging still ; Pour forth their little souls. First, wide around, Nor broad carnations, nor gay-spotted pinks ; With distant awe, in airy rings they rove, Nor, shower'd from every bush, the damask-rose. Endeavouring by a thousand tricks to catch Infinite nuinbers, delicacies, smells,
The cunning, conscious, half-averted glance With hues on hues expression cannot paint, Of their regardless charmer. Should she seem The breath of Nature and her endless bloom. Softening the least approvance to bestow, Hail, source of Being! Universal soul
Their colours burnish, and, by hope inspir'd, Of Heaven and Earth! essential Presence, hail ! They brisk advance; then, on a sudden struck, To thec I bend the knee; to thee my thoughts, Retire disorder'd; then again approach ; Continual climb; who, with a master-hand, In fond rotation spread the spotted wing, Hast the great whole into perfection touch'd. And shiver every feather with desire.