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They lend their froulder, and begin their teil,
Checr'd by the fimpletong and soaring lark. 40 THE ARGUMENT,
Meanwhile incumbent o'er the fining thare
Tile master leans, removes th' obftructing clay, THE subjedt proposed. Inferibed to the Countess of Wirds the whole work, and 1.delung lays the
Hertford. The season is defcribed as it affef!s the glebe. various parts of Nuture, escending from the White through the neighbouring fields the fower kwer to the higher ; with digreions arising fialki from the subject. Its influence on inanimate mai- With realur'd fep, and lib'ral throws the grain lir, on vegetables, on brute animals, and last on Into the faithful botom of the ground: 46 man; concluding with a diffuasive from the wild The liarrow follows l.arth, and fruts the scene. and irregular passion of Love, opposed to that of B: gracious, Heaven! for row laborious mar a.pure and hapty kird.
Has done his part. Ye foliering breczes, blow! Ye loftening dows, ye tender towers, defcend !
50 NOME, gentle Spring ! ethereal Mildnes, And teinper all, thou world-reviving fun,
caine, And from the bolom of yon dropping cloud,
Into the perfect year. Nor ye who live While music wakes around, veil'd in a ihower
In luxury and care, in pomp and pride,
Think these loft themes unworthy of your ear : Of shadowing roles, on our plains descend. O Hertford! fitted or to thine in courts
Such themes as these the rural Maro fung
55 5 With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height With innocence and meditation join'd
Of elegance and taste, by Greecc refird. In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
In ancient times, the sacred plough employd Which thy own Season paints; when Nature all
The kings and awful fathers of mankind : Is blooming and benevolent, like thee.
And some, with whom compard your inferi
tribes And see where furly Winter passes off, Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blatts :
Are but the beings of a funner's day, His blasts obey, and quit the howling bill,
Have held the scale of empire, ruid the form The fhatter'd forest, and the ravag'd vale ;
Of nighty war; then, with unwcaried hand, While softer gales fucceed, at whose kind touch, The plough, and greatly independent liv’l,
Diselaining little delicacies, frized
65 Di Tolving frows in livid torrents loft, 16 The mountains lift their green heads to the sky,
Ye generous Dritons ! venerate the plough; As yet the trembling year is unconfirın’d,
And o'er your hills, and long withdrawing vales, And Winter oft at eve resumes the breeze,
Let Autumn spread his treasures to the fun,
Luxuriart and unbounded : as the sea,
Far through liis azure turbulent coinain,
Your empire owns, and from a thoufand mores To share the founding marsh; or from the shore
Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports ; The plovers when to Icatter o'er the heath,
So with superior toon may your rich toil, And sing their wild notes to the listening waste,
Exuberant, Naiure's better blessings pour At last from Aries rolls the bounteous Sun, 26
O'er every land, the naked nations cloth,
75 And the bright Bull receives him. Then no
And be the exhaufiless grauary of a world!
Nor only throngh the lenient air this change, Th’expansive atmosphere is cramp'd with cold ;
Delicious, breathes; the penetrative fun, Eut, full of life, and vivifying soul,
His force deep-darting to the dark retreat Lifts the light clouds sublime, and spreads them
Of vegetation, sets the steaming power So thin,
At large, to wander o'er the verdant earth,
30 Fleecy and white, o'er all-surrounding Heaven.
In various hues; but chiefly thee, gay Green! Forth fly the tepid Airs, and unconfin’d,
Thou smiling Nature's univerfal robe! Unbinding earth, the moving softness ftrays.
United light and shade! where the fight dwells oyous th' impatient husbandınan perceives
With growing strength, and ever-new delight. S; Relenting Nature, and bis lusty fteer's
From the moitt meadow to the wither'd hill,
35 Drives from their stalls, to where the well-us'd
Led by the breeze, the vivid verdure runs ; plough
And swells and deepens to the cherish'd cye. Lies in the furrow, loosen'd from the froft;
The hawthorn whitens; and the juicy groves There, unrefusing, to the harness'd yoke
Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees, go
Till the whole leafy foreft ftands display'd Is heard to quiver through the closing woods,
Or ruftliog turn the many twinkling leaves
The garden glows, and fills the liberal air Drop the dry sprig, and mute-imploring eye
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
And looking lively gratitude. At latt
175 Hurries from joy 10 joy, and hid beneath
The ftealing thower is scarce to patter heard
If, bruth'd from Rullian wilds, a cutting gale Beneath th' umbrageous multitude of leaves,
And, while the milky nutritive distils,
Thus all day long the full-distended clouds 185
In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems. 195
B2 patient, swains; these cruel-leeming winds Whence blending all the sweeten’d zephyr springs:
205 And, cheerlesa, drown the crude unriper'd year. To where the violet fades into the sky.
The north-east spends luis rage ; he now fhut up Here, awful Newton! the diffolving clouds
Form, fronting on the sun, thy show'ry prism,
Awaits the morning-beam, to give to light,
155 | The balmy treasures of the former day. 240
Then spring the living herbs, profusely wild, Desponding Fear, of feeble fancies full, O’er all the deep-green earth, beyond the power Weak aud unmanly, loosens every power. Gif botanisl to number up their tribes,
E'en Love itfelf is bitterness of foul, Whether he ficals along ihe lonely dale,
A pensive anguish pining at the heart; In filcut search, or bro'the forest, rank 225 Or, funk to fordid int'reft, feels no more With wisat the dull incurious weeds account, That noble wish, that never-cloy'd defire, 290 Burits his blind way, or climbs the mountain which, selfish joy disdaining, seeks alone Tird by the nodding verdure of its brow. [rock, To bless the dearer object of its fame. With such a lib'ral hand has Nature fung Hope fickens with extravagance; and Grief, Their seeds abroad, blown them about in winds, of life impatient, into madness swells, Innumerous mix'd them with the nursing mould, Or in dead filence waftes the weeping hours, 295 The moift'ning current, and prolific rain. These, and a thousand mixt emotions more,
But who their virtues can declare? wlo pierce, From ever-changing views of good and i!l, With vision pure, into there secret stores Form'd infinitely various, vex the mind [grows Of health, and life, and joy? the food of man, With endless storm ; whence, decply rankling, While yet he liv'd in innocence, and told 236 The partial thought, a listless unconcern, 300 A length of golden years, unficth'd in blood, Cold, and averting from our neighbour's good : A ftranger to the favage arts of life,
Then dark Disgut, and Hatred, winding Wiles, Death, rapine, carnage, surfeit, and disease; Coward Deceit, and ruffian Violence : The lord, and not the tyrant, of the world. 2.40 At last, extinet each social feeling fell, The first treth dawn then wak'd the gladden'd And joyless Inbumanity pervades
30.5 Of uncorrupted Man, nor blush'd to fee
[race And petrifies the heart. Nature, difturb'di, The fluggard fleep beneath its sacred beam: Is deem'o vindi&tive, to have chang'd her course. For their light flumbers gentiy fum'd away, Hence, in old dusky time, a deluge came; And up they rose as vig'rous as the sun,
245 When the deep-cleft disparting orb, that arch'd Or to the culture of the willing glebe,
The central waters round, impetuous rush'd, 31. Or to the cheerful 'tendance of the Hock.
With universal burst, into the gulf, Mean time the foug went round; and dance and And o’er the high-pild bills of fractur'd earth sport,
Wide dath'd the waves, in undulation valt, Wisdom and friendly talk, succeflive, stole Till, from the centre to the streaming clouds, Their hours away ; while in the rosy vale 250 A shoreless ocean tumbled round the globe
315 Love breath'd his infant fighs from anguish free, The seasons since have, with severer sway, And full replete with bliss, fave the sweet pain Oppress'd a broken world : the Winter keen That, inly thrilling, but exalts it more.
Shook forth his waste of snows, and Summer shot Nor yet injurious act nor surly deed
His peftilential heats. Great Spring before Was known among those happy fons of Heaven, Green’d all the year, and fruits and blossoms For reason and benevolence were law. 255 blunk'd, Harmonious Nature, too, look'd smiling on. In social sweetness, on the self-fame bough. 321 Clear shone the lies, coold with eternal gales, Pure was the temperate air; and even calm And balny spirit all. The youthful Sun Perpetual reign'd, save what the zephyrs bland Shiot bis bett rays; and still the gracious clouds Breath'd o'er the blue expanfe : for then nor Dropp'd fatness down, as o'er the swelling nead storms The herds and Hocks commixing play'd fecure. Were taught to blow nor hurricanes to rage : 325 This when, emergent froin the gloomy wood, Sound nept the waters ; no sulphureous glooms The glaring lion law, his horrid heart
Swelld in the sky, and sent the lightning forth ; Was meeken’l, and he join’d his fullen joy: 265 While fickly damps, and cold autumnal fogs, For mulc held the whole in perfect peace : Hung Dot relaxing on the springs of life. Soft ligh’l the Hute; the tender voice was heard, But now of turbid elements the sport, 330 Warbli:g the varieii heart; the woodlands round From clear to cloudy toss'd, from hot to cold, Apply'd their quire; and winds and waters flow'd And dry to moist, with inward-eating change Joi confonance. Such were those prime of days. Our drooping
days are dwindled down to nought, But now thole white unblemish'd manners, Ther period finish'd cre 'tis well begun. winence
And yet the wholesome herd neglected dies, The failing poets took their Golden Age, Tho' with the pure exhilarating soul Are found no more amid these iron times, hof nutriment and healtlı,' and vital powers, These dregs of life! Now the distemper'd mind | Beyord the search of Art, 'tis copious bleft : Has lott chat concord of harmonious powers 275 For, with hot ravine fir’dl, enfanguind Man Which forms the foul of happinels, and all Is now become the lion of the plain,
340 15 off the poife within: the pasions all
And worse. The wolf, woo from the nightly fold Have burit their bounds; and Reason, half ex- Fierce drags the bleating prey, ne'er drunk her Or impotent, or else approving, fees (tinct, milk,
The foul Jisorder. Senseless and deforor'd, 280 Nor wore her warming fleece ; nor has thc ftcer, Convulive Anger storms at large ; or, pale At whose strong chest the deadly tiger hangs, And silent, fetiles into fell revenge.
E’er plough'd for him. They, too, are temper'd Bate Envy withers at another's joy,
high, And hates that excellence it cannot reach.
With hunger ftung and wild necessity,
Nor lodges pity in their shaggy breaft:
They wanton rise, or, urg'd by hunger, leap, But Mail, whon Nature form’d of milder clay, Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook ; With every kind emotion in his heart,
Some lightly tolling to the grassy bank, And taught alone to weep, while from her lap 350 And to the ihelving Inore low-dragging fome, She pours ten thousand delicacies, herbs
With various hand, proportion’d to their force, And fruits as num'rous as the drops of rain, If yet too young, and easily deceiv'd, Or beams that gave them birth ; Mall he, fair A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod, 43-5 Form!
[heaven, Him, piteous of his youth, and the mort spuce Who wears sweet smiles, and looks erect on He has enjoy'd the vital ligiit of Heaven, E'er ftoop to mingle with the prowling herd, 355 Soft disengage, and back into the stream And dip his tongue in gore? The beast of prey, The speckled captive throw : but should you lure Blood-itain'd, deserves to bleed ; but ye, ye From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots Flocks!
Of pendant trees, the monarch of the brook, 421 What have ye done ? ye peaceful People ! what Behoves you then to ply you finest art, To merit death? ye, who have given us milk Long time he, following cautious, scans the fiy, In luscious streams, and lent us your own coat And oitatiempts to seize it, but as oft' Against the Winter's cold? And the plain ox, The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear :
425 That harmless, honett, guileless animal! At last, while liaply o'er the shaded fun In what has he oftended? he, whole toil,
Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death Patient, and ever ready, clothes the land
With fullen plunge : at once he darts along, With all the pomp of harvest, fall he bleed, 365 Deep ftruck, and runs out all the lengtheird line, And, struggling, groan beneath the cruel hands Then seeks the farthest ooze, the 1.eltering weerl, E'en of the clown he feeds ? and that, perhaps, The cavern'd bank, his old secure abode,
431 To swell the riot of th' autumnal feast,
And Hies aloft, and tlounces round the pool, Won by his labour? Thus the feeling heart Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand, Would tenderly suggest; but'tis enough, 370 That feels himn ftill, yet to his furious course In this late age, advent'rous, to have touch'd Gives way, you, now retiring, following now, Light ou the numbers of the Samian sage : Across the fiream, exhauft his idle rage;
436 High Heaven forbids the bold presumptuous Till, floating broad upon his breathless £de, Whose wiseft will has fix'd us in a state [itrain, And to his fate abandon'd, to the shore That must not yet to pure perfection rise. 375 You gayly drag your unrelifting prize, 439
Now, when the firit foul torrent of the brooks, Thus pass the temperate hours; but when the fun Sweli'd with the vernal rains, is ebb'd away, Shakes from his noon-day throne the scatteriag And, whitening, down their mosiy-tinétur'u
E'en shooting listless languor thro' the deaps, Descends the billowy foam, now is the time, Then seek the bank where flowering elders crowd, While yet the dark-brown water aids the guile, Where scatter'd wild the lily of the vale To tempt the trout. The well-difTembled ty, Its balmy esence breathes, where cow sips hang The rod fine-tapering with elastic fpring, The dewy head, where purple violets lurk, 445 Snatch'd from the hoary stued the floating line, With all the lowly children of the shade ; , And all thy fender wat’ry stores prepare.
Or lie reclin'd Leneath yon' spreading ath, But let not on thy hook the tortyr'd worm, 395 Hung o'er the steep; whence, borne on liquid Convulfve, twist in agonizing folds,
wing, Which, by rapacious hunger swallowed deep, The founding culver shoots; or where the hawk, Gives, as you tear it from the bleeding breait High in the iscelling cliff, his airy builds :
450 Of the weak, helpless, uncomplaining wretch, There let the clailic page thy fancy lead Harsh pain and horror to the tender hand. 390 Thro' rural scenes, such as the Mantuan swain
When with his lively ray the potentsua Paints in the matchless harmony of song : Has piere'd the streams, and rous'd the finny race, Or catch thyself the landscape, gilding swift 455 Then, issuing chearful, to thy sport repair : Athwart Imagination's vivid eye : Chie thould the Western breezes curling play, Or by the vocal woods and waters lullid, And light o'er æther bear the Thadowy clouds. And lost in lonely nusing, in the dreain High to the front, this day, amid the hills 395 Confus'd of careless folitude, where mix And woodlands warbling round, trace up the Ten thousand wandering images of things, 460 brooks ;
Soothe every guft of pallion into peace, The next, pursue their rocky-channel'd maze All but the twellings of the sosten'd heart, Down to the river, in whose ample wave That waken, not difturb, the tranquil mind. Their little Naiads love to sport at large.
Behold yon' breathing prospect bids the Muse Just in the dubious point, where with the pool Throw all her beauty forth. But who can paint Is mix'd the trembling stream, or where it boils Like Nature ? Can Imagination boast, 465 Around the stone, or from the hollow'd bank Amid its gay creation, hues like her's ? Reverted plays in undulating flow,
Or can it mix them with that matchless skill, There throw, nice judging, the delusive fiy, 405 | And lose tien io each other, as appears And, as you lead it round in artful curve, In every bud that blows? If Fancy, then, 470 With eye attentive mark the springing game, Unequal fails beneath the plealing talki, Straight as above the surface of the food
Ah! what Mall Language do? ah! where find, The daisy, primrose; violet, darkly blue'; words
And Polyanthus, of unnumber'd dies ; Ting'd with so many colours, and whose power, The yellow wallflower, 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, 475 From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed, That inexhaustive flow continual round?
Anemonies; auriculas, enrich'd Yet, tho' fuccessful, will the toil delight. With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves ; Come then, ye Virgins and ye Youths! whose And full ranunculas, of glowing red. 535 hearts
Then comes the tulip race, where Beauty plays Have felt the raptures of refining love ;
Her idle freaks ; from family diffusd And thou, Amanda, come, pride of my song! 480 To family, as flies tlie father-duft, Form'd by the Graces, Loveliness itself!
The varied colours run, and wbile they break Come with those downcast eyes, sedate and on the charmi'deye, th’exulting florist marks, sweet,
With secret pride, the wonders of his hand. 540 Those looks demure, that decply pierce the foul, No gradual bloom is wanting frohi the bud, Where, with the light of thoughtful reason First born of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes; mix'd,
Nor hyacinths, of purelt virgin white;
446 Stcals blushing on, together let us tread
As o'er the fabled fountain hanging ftill; The morning-dews; and gatlier, in their prime, Nor, broad carnations, nor gay spotted pinks ; Fresh blooming flowers, to grace the braided Nor Mower'd from every buih, the dainak rofe. hair. Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells,
550 And thy lov'd bosom, that improves their With hues on hues expression cannot paint, sweets,
490 The breath of Nature, and her endless bloni,
Haft the great whole into perfection touch'd. Where the breeze blows from yon' extended By Thee the various vegetative tribes, field
Wrapt in a filmy net, and clad with leaves, Of blossom'd benns: Arabia cannot boast
Draw the live æther, and imbibe the dew : sno A fuller gale of joy than, lib'ral, thence
By Thee dispos’d into congenial foils, Breathes thro' the fenfe, and takes the ravith'd Stands each attractive plant, and fucks and swells foul.
The juicy tide, a twining mafs of tubes. Nor is the mead unworty of thy foot, · 500 At thy copimard the vernal fun awakes Full of fresh verdure’and unnunber'd Howers, The torpid sap, detruded to the root 565 The negligence of Nature, wide and wild, By wintry winds, that now in fuent dance Whsre, undisguis'd by mimic Art, the spreads And lively fermentation mounting, spreads Unbounded beauty to the roving eye.
All this innumerous colourd scene of thitigs, Here their delicious task the forveot becs, 505 As rising from the vegetable world Ja swarming millions, tend : around, athwart, Mly theme ascends, with equal wing ascends 570 Thro' the foft air, the busy nations fly,
My panting Mufe! and bark! how loud the woods Cling to the bud, and with inserted tube
Invite you forth in all your gayest trim. Suek its pure eflence, its ethereal foul;
Lend me your song, ye Nightingales ! oh! pour And ot with holder wing they foaring dare 510 The mazy-running foul of Melody The purple heath, or where the wild thyme Into my varied verse! while I deduce, 575 grows,
From the firit note the holiow cuckow angs, And yellow load them with the luscious fpoil. The symphony of Spring, and touch a the me
At length the finih'd garden to the view Unknown to fame, The pallion of the groves. Its vistas opers, and its alleys green,
When first the soul of Love is fent abroad Snatch'd thro' the verdant maze, the hurried Warm thro' the vital air, and on the heart eye
515 Harmonious feizes, the guy troops begin,