LONDON: Printed for J. MILLAN, near Scotland-Yard, White-hall; and A. MILLAR, in the Strand. M.DCC.XXXV.


B. Picart delin. J. Clark sculp.

London, Printed for & sold by J. Millan near Whitehall.


Inscrib'd to the RIGHT HONOURABLE the Countess of Hertford.

(Price 1 s. 6 d.



Et nunc omnis Ager, nunc omnis parturit Arbos,
Nunc frondent Silvae, nunc formosissimus Annus.



LONDON. Printed for A. MILLAR, at Buchanan's, Head, over against St. Clement's Church in the Strand. M.DCC.XXXI.


The Subject propos'd. Inscribed to Lady HERT­FORD. This Season is described as it affects the various parts of Nature, ascending from the lower to the higher; and mixed with Di­gressions arising from the subject. Its influence on inanimate Matter, on Vegetables, on brute Animals, and last on Man; concluding with a Dissuasive from the wild and irregular passion of love, opposed to that of a purer and more reasonable kind.


And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud,
While music wakes around, veil'd in a shower
Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend.
O HERTFORD, fitted, or to shine in courts,
With unaffected grace; or walk the plain,
[Page 6] With INNOCENCE and MEDITATION join'd
In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
That thy own Season paints; when NATURE all
Is blooming, and benevolent like thee.
AND see where surly WINTER passes off,
Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts;
His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill,
The shatter'd forest, and the ravag'd vale:
While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch,
Dissolving snows in livid torrents lost,
The mountains lift their green heads to the sky.
As yet the trembling year is unconfirm'd,
And WINTER oft at eve resumes the breeze,
Chills the pale morn, and bids his driving sleets
[Page 7] Deform the day delightless; so that scarce
The Bittern knows the time, with bill ingulpht
To shake the sounding marsh; or from the shore
The Plovers theirs, to scatter o'er the heath,
And sing their wild notes to the listening waste.
AT last from ARIES rolls the bounteous sun,
And the bright BULL receives him. Then no more
Th' expansive atmosphere is cramp'd with cold,
But full of life, and vivifying soul,
Lifts the light clouds sublime, and spreads them thin,
Fleecy, and white, o'er all-surrounding heaven.
FORTH fly the tepid airs; and unconfin'd
Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays.
Joyous th' impatient husbandman perceives
[Page 8] Relenting nature, and his lusty steers,
Drives from their stalls, to where the well-us'd plow
Lies in the furrow loosen'd from the frost.
There, unrefusing to the harness'd yoke,
They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil,
Chear'd by the simple song, and soaring lark.
Meanwhile incumbent o'er the shining share
The master leans, removes th' obstructing clay,
Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe.
WHITE thro' the neighbouring fields the sower stalks
With measur'd step, and liberal throws the grain
Into the faithful bosom of the Ground.
The harrow follows harsh, and shuts the scene.
BE gracious, HEAVEN! for now laborious man
Has done his due. Ye fostering breezes, blow!
[Page 9] Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend!
And temper all, thou world-reviving sun,
Into the perfect year! Nor, ye who live
In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride,
Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear.
'Twas such as these the rural MARO sung,
To the full ROMAN court, in all its height
Of elegance and taste. The sacred plow
Employ'd the kings and fathers of mankind,
In antient times. And some, with whom compar'd
You're but the beings of a summer's day,
Have held the scale of justice, shook the lance
Of mighty war, then with descending hand,
Unus'd to little delicacies, seiz'd
The plow, and greatly independant liv'd.
YE generous BRITONS, cultivate the plow!
And o'er your hills, and long withdrawing vales,
Let AUTUMN spread his treasures to the sun,
Luxuriant, and unbounded. As the sea,
Far thro' his azure, turbulent extent,
Your empire owns, and from a thousand shores
Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports;
So with superior boon may your rich soil,
Exuberant, nature's better blessings pour
O'er every land, the naked nations cloath,
And be th' exhaustless granary of a world.
NOR thro' the lenient air alone, this change
Delicious breathes; the penetrative sun,
His force deep darting to the dark retreat
[Page 11] Of vegetation, sets the steaming power
At large, to wander o'er the verdant earth,
In various hues, but chiefly thee, gay GREEN!
Thou smiling NATURE's universal robe!
United light and shade! where the sight dwells
With growing strength, and ever-new delight!
FROM the moist meadow to the brown-brow'd hill,
Led by the breeze, the vivid verdure runs,
And swells, and deepens to the cherish'd eye.
The hawthorn whitens; and the juicy groves
Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees,
Till the whole leafy forest stands display'd,
In full luxuriance, to the sighing gales;
While the deer rustle thro' the twining brake,
[Page 12] And the birds sing conceal'd. At once array'd
In all the colours of the flushing year,
By NATURE's swift and secret-working hand,
The garden glows, and fills the liberal air
With lavish fragrance; while the promis'd fruit
Lies yet a little embryo, unperceiv'd,
Within its crimson folds. Now from the town
Buried in smoke, and sleep, and noisom damps,
Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields,
Where freshness breathes, and dash the lucid drops
From the bent bush, as thro' the fuming maze
Of sweet-briar hedges I pursue my walk;
Or taste the smell of dairy; or ascend
Some eminence, AUGUSTA, in thy plains,
And see the country far diffus'd around
One boundless blush, one white empurpled shower
[Page 13] Of mingled blossoms; where the raptur'd eye
Travels from joy to joy, and hid beneath
The fair profusion, yellow AUTUMN spies.
IF brush'd from RUSSIAN wilds a cutting gale
Rise not, and scatter from his foggy wings
The bitter mildew, or dry-blowing breathe
Untimely frost; before whose baleful blast,
The full-blown SPRING thro' all her foliage shrinks,
Into a smutty, wide-dejected waste.
For oft engender'd by the hazy north,
Myriads on Myriads, insect armies waft
Keen in the poison'd breeze; and wasteful eat
Thro' buds, and bark, into the blacken'd Core,
Their eager way. A feeble race! scarce seen,
Save by the prying eye? yet famine waits
[Page 14] On their corrosive course, and kills the year.
Sometimes o'er cities as they steer their flight,
Where rising vapour melts their wings away,
Gaz'd by th' astonish'd crowd, the horrid shower
Descends. And hence the skilful farmer chaff.
And blazing straw before his orchard burns;
Till, all involv'd in smoke, the latent foe
From every cranny suffocated falls;
Or onions, steaming hot, beneath his trees
Exposes, fatal to the frosty tribe:
Nor, from their friendly task, the busy bill
Of little trooping birds instinctive scares.
THESE are not idle philosophick dreams,
Full NATURE swarms with life. Th' unfaithful fen
In putrid steams emits the livid cloud
[Page 15] Of Pestilence. Thro' subterranean Cells,
Where searching sun-beams never found a way,
Earth animated heaves. The flowery leaf
Wants not its soft inhabitants. The stone,
Hard as it is, in every winding pore
Holds multitudes. But chief the forest-boughs,
Which dance unnumber'd to th' inspiring breeze,
The downy orchard, and the melting pulp
Of mellow fruit the nameless nations feed
Of evanescent Insects. Where the pool
Stands mantled o'er with green, invisible,
Amid the floating verdure millions stray.
Each liquid too, whether of acid taste,
Potent, or mild, with various forms abounds.
Nor is the lucid stream, nor the pure air,
Tho' one transparent vacancy they seem,
[Page 16] Devoid of theirs. Even animals subsist
On animals, in infinite descent;
And all so fine adjusted, that the loss
Of the least species would disturb the whole.
Stranger than this th' inspective glass confirms
And to the curious gives th' amazing scenes
Of lessening life; by WISDOM kindly hid
From eye, and ear of man: for if at once
The worlds in worlds enclos'd were push'd to light,
Seen by his sharpen'd eye, and by his ear
Intensely bended heard, from the choice cate,
The freshest viands, and the brightest wines,
He'd turn abhorrent, and in dead of night,
When silence sleeps o'er all, be stun'd with noise.
THE North-east spends his rage, and now shut up
Within his iron caves, th' effusive South
Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven
Breaths the big clouds with vernal showers distent.
At first a dusky wreath they seem to rise,
Scarce staining aether; but by fast degrees,
In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour sails
Along the loaded sky, and mingling thick
Sits on th' horizon round a settled gloom.
Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed,
Oppressing life, but lovely, gentle, kind,
And full of every hope, and every joy,
The wish of nature. Gradual sinks the breeze
Into a perfect calm; that not a breath
Is heard to quiver thro' the closing woods,
[Page 18] Or rustling turn the many-twinkling leaves
Of aspin tall. Th' uncurling floods, diffus'd
In glassy breadth, seem thro' delusive lapse
Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all,
And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks
Drop the dry sprig, and mute-imploring eye
The falling verdure. Hush'd in short suspense,
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
And wait th' approaching sign to strike at once
Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales,
And forests seem, expansive, to demand
The promis'd sweetness. Man superior walks
Amid the glad creation, musing praise,
And looking lively gratitude. At last
The clouds consign their treasures to the fields,
And, softly shaking on the dimply pool
[Page 19] Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow,
In large effusion o'er the freshen'd world,
'Tis scarce to patter heard, the stealing shower,
By such as wander thro' the forest-walks,
Beneath th' umbrageous multitude of leaves.
But who can hold the shade, while HEAVEN descends
In universal bounty, shedding herbs,
And fruits, and flowers, on NATURE's ample lap?
Imagination fir'd prevents their growth,
And while the verdant nutriment distills,
Beholds the kindling country colour round.
THUS all day long the full-distended clouds
Indulge their genial stores, and well-shower'd earth
Is deep enrich'd with vegetable life;
Till, in the western-sky, the downward sun
[Page 20] Looks out illustrious from amidst the flush
Of broken clouds, gay-shifting to his beam.
The rapid radiance instantaneous strikes
Th' illumin'd mountain thro' the forest streams,
Shakes on the floods, and in a yellow mist,
Far smoaking o'er th' interminable plain,
In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems.
Moist, bright, and green, the landskip laughs around.
Full swell the woods; their every musick wakes,
Mix'd in wild consort with the warbling brooks
Increas'd, th'unnumber'd bleatings of the hills,
The hollow lows responsive from the vales,
Whence blending all the sweeten'd zephyr springs.
Mean time refracted from yon eastern cloud,
Bestriding earth, the grand aethereal bow
Shoots up immense! and every hue unfolds,
[Page 21] In fair proportion running from the red,
To where the violet fades into the sky.
Here, mighty NEWTON, the dissolving clouds
Are, as they scatter round, thy numerous prism,
Untwisting to the philosophic eye
The various twine of light, by thee pursu'd
Thro' the white mingling maze. Not so the swain,
He wondering views the bright enchantment bend,
Delightful, o'er the radiant fields, and runs
To catch the falling glory; but amaz'd
Beholds th' amusive arch before him fly,
Then vanish quite away. Still night succeeds,
A soften'd shade, and saturated earth
Awaits the morning beam, to give again,
Transmuted soon by Nature's chymistry,
The blooming blessings of the former day.
THEN spring the living herbs, profusely wild,
O'er all the deep-green earth, beyond the power
Of BOTANIST to number up their tribes;
Whether he steals along the lonely dale
In silent search; or thro' the forest, rank
With what the dull incurious weeds account,
Bursts his blind way; or climbs the mountain rock,
Fir'd by the nodding verdure of its brow.
With such a liberal hand has NATURE flung
Their seeds abroad, blown them about in winds,
Innumerous mix'd them with the nursing mold,
The moistening current, and prolific rain.
BUT who their virtues can declare? Who pierce
With vision pure into these secret stores
Of life, and health, and joy? The food of man
[Page 23] While yet he liv'd in innocence, and told
A length of golden years, unflesh'd in blood,
A stranger to the savage arts of life,
Death, rapine, carnage, surfeit, and disease,
The lord, and not the tyrant of the world.
THEN the glad morning wak'd the gladden'd race
Of uncorrupted men, nor blush'd to see
The sluggard sleep beneath her sacred beam.
For their light slumbers gently fum'd away,
And up they rose as vigorous as the sun,
Or to the culture of the willing glebe,
Or to the chearful tendance of the flock.
Mean time the song went round; and dance, and sport,
Wisdom; and friendly talk successive stole
Their hours away. While in the rosy vale
[Page 24] Love breath'd his infant sighs, from anguish free,
Replete with bliss, and only wept for joy.
Nor yet injurious act, nor surly deed
Was known among these happy sons of heaven;
For reason and benevolence were law.
Harmonious nature too look'd smiling on.
Clean shone the skies, cool'd with eternal gales,
And balmy spirit all. The youthful sun
Shot his best rays; and still the gracious clouds
Drop'd fatness down; as o'er the swelling mead
The herds and flocks commixing play'd secure.
Which when, emergent from the gloomy wood,
The glaring lion saw, his horrid heart
Was meeken'd, and he join'd his sullen joy.
For musick held the whole in perfect peace:
Soft sigh'd the flute; the tender voice was heard,
[Page 25] Warbling the joyous heart; the woodlands round
Apply'd their quire; and winds and waters flow'd
In consonance. Such were these prime of days.
THIS to the POETS gave the golden age;
When, as they sung in elevated phrase,
The sailor-pine had not the nations yet
In commerce mix'd; for every country teem'd
With every thing. Spontaneous harvests wav'd,
Still in a sea of yellow plenty round.
The forest was the vineyard, where untaught
To climb, unprun'd and wild, the juicy grape
Burst into floods of wine. The knotted oak
Shook from his boughs the long transparent streams
Of honey, creeping thro' the matted grass,
Th' uncultivated thorn a ruddy shower
[Page 26] Of fruitage shed, on such as sat below,
In blooming ease, and from brown labour free,
Save what the copious gathering, grateful gave.
The Rivers foam'd with nectar; or diffuse,
Silent, and soft, the milky maze devolv'd.
Nor had the spongy, full-expanded fleece,
Yet drunk the TYRIAN dye. The stately ram
Shone thro' the mead, in native purple clad,
Or milder saffron; and the dancing lamb
The vivid crimson to the sun disclos'd.
Nothing had power to hurt the savage soul,
Yet untransfus'd into the tyger's heart,
Burn'd not his bowels, nor his gamesome paw
Drove on the fleecy partners of his play:
While from the flowery brake the serpent roll'd
His fairer spires, and play'd his pointless tongue.
BUT now whate'er these gaudy fables meant,
And the white minutes which they shadow'd out,
Are found no more amid those iron times,
Those dregs of life! in which the human mind
Has lost that harmony ineffable,
Which warms the soul of happiness; and all
Is off the poise within; the passions all
Have burst their bounds; and reason half extinct,
Or impotent, or else approving, sees
The foul disorder. Anger storms at large,
Without an equal cause; and fell revenge
Supports the falling rage. Close envy bites
With venom'd tooth; while weak, unmanly fear,
Full of frail fancies, loosens every power.
Even love itself is bitterness of soul,
[Page 28] A pleasing anguish pining at the heart.
Hope sickens with extravagance; and grief,
Of life impatient, into madness swells;
Or in dead silence wastes the weeping hours.
These, and a thousand mix'd emotions more,
From ever-changing views of good and ill,
Form'd infinitely various, vex the mind
With endless storm. Whence, inly-rankling, grows
The selfish thought, a listless inconcern,
Cold, and averting from our neighbour's good;
Then dark disgust, and malice, winding wiles,
Sneaking deceit, and coward villany:
At last deep-rooted hatred, lewd reproach,
Convulsive wrath, and thoughtless fury, quick
To deeds of vilest aim. Even nature's self
Is deem'd, vindictive, to have chang'd her course.
HENCE in old time, they say, a deluge came;
When the disparting orb of earth, that arch'd
Th' imprison'd deep around, impetuous rush'd,
With ruin inconceivable, at once
Into the gulph, and o'er the highest hills
Wide-dash'd the waves, in undulation vast:
'Till, from the centre to the streaming clouds,
A shoreless ocean tumbled round the globe.
THE SEASONS since, as hoar TRADITION tells,
Have kept their constant chase; the WINTER keen
Pour'd out his waste of snows; and SUMMER shot
His pestilential heats; great SPRING before
Green'd all the year; and fruits and blossoms blush'd
In social sweetness on the self-same bough.
[Page 30] Clear was the temperate air; an even calm
Perpetual reign'd, save what the zephyrs bland
Breath'd o'er the blue expanse; for then nor storms
Were taught to blow, nor hurricanes to rage;
Sound slept the waters: no sulphureous glooms
Swell'd in the sky, and sent the lightning forth:
While sickly damps, and cold autumnal fogs,
Sat not pernicious on the springs of life.
But now, from clear to cloudy, moist to dry,
And hot to cold, in restless change revolv'd,
Our drooping days are dwindled down to nought,
The fleeting shadow of a winter's sun.
AND yet the wholesome herb neglected dies
In lone obscurity, unpriz'd for food;
Altho' the pure, exhilerating soul
[Page 31] Of nutriment, and health, salubrious breathes,
By HEAVEN infus'd, along its secret tubes.
For, with hot ravine fir'd, ensanguin'd man
Is now become the lion of the plain,
And worse. The wolf, who from the nightly fold
Fierce-drags the bleating prey, ne'er drunk her milk,
Nor wore her warming fleece: nor has the steer,
At whose strong chest the deadly tyger hangs,
E'er plow'd for him. They too are temper'd high,
With hunger stung, and wild necessity,
Nor lodges pity in their shaggy breasts.
But MAN, whom NATURE form'd of milder clay,
With every kind emotion in his heart,
And taught alone to weep; while from her lap
She pours ten thousand delicacies, herbs,
And fruits, as numerous as the drops of rain,
[Page 32] And beams that gave them birth: shall he, fair form!
Who wears sweet smiles, and looks erect on heaven,
E'er stoop to mingle with the prowling herd,
And dip his tongue in blood? The beast of prey,
'Tis true, deserves the fate in which he deals.
Him, from the thicket, let the hardy youth
Provoke, and foaming thro' the awakened woods
With every nerve pursue. But you, ye flocks,
What have ye done? Ye peaceful people, what,
To merit death? You, who have given us milk
In luscious streams, and lent us your own coat
Against the winter's cold? Whose usefulness
In living only lies? And the plain ox,
That harmless, honest, guileless animal,
In what has he offended? He, whose toil,
Patient and ever-ready; clothes the land
[Page 33] With all the pomp of harvest; shall he bleed,
And wrestling groan beneath the cruel hands
Even of the clowns he feeds? And that perhaps
To swell the riot of the gathering feast,
Won by his labour? Thus the feeling heart
Would tenderly suggest: but 'tis enough,
In this late age, adventurous to have touch'd,
Light on the numbers of the SAMIAN sage.
High HEAVEN beside forbids the daring strain,
Whose wisest will has fix'd us in a state,
That must not yet to pure perfection rise.
BUT yonder breathing prospect bids the muse
Throw all her beauty forth, that daubing all
Will be to what I gaze; for who can paint
[Page 34] Amid his gay creation, hues like hers?
And can he mix them with that matchless skill,
And lay them on so delicately fine,
And lose them in each other, as appears
In every bud that blows? If fancy then
Unequal fails beneath the lovely task;
Ah what shall language do? Ah where find words
Ting'd with so many colours? And whose power
To life approaching, may perfume my lays
With that fine oil, these aromatic gales,
Which inexhaustive flow continual round?
YET, tho' successless, will the toil delight.
Come then, ye virgins, and ye youths, whose hearts
Have felt the raptures of refining love;
Oh come, and while the rosy-footed MAY
[Page 35] Steals blushing on, together let us walk
The morning dews, and gather in their prime
Fresh-blooming flowers, to deck the braided hair,
And the white bosom that improves their sweets.
SEE, where the winding vale her lavish stores,
Irriguous, spreads. See, how the lilly drinks
The latent rill, scarce oozing thro' the grass
Of growth luxuriant; or the humid bank
Profusely climbs. Turgent, in every pore
The gummy moisture shines; new lustre lends,
And feeds the spirit that diffusive round
Refreshes ail the dale. Long let us walk,
Where the breeze blows from yon extended field
Of blossom'd beans: ARABIA cannot boast
A fuller gale of joy than, liberal, thence
[Page 36] Breathes thro' the sense, and takes the ravish'd soul.
Nor is the meadow worthless of our foot,
Full of fresh verdure, and unnumber'd flowers,
The negligence of NATURE, wide, and wild;
Where undisguis'd by mimic ART, she spreads
Unbounded beauty to the boundless eye.
'Tis here that their delicious task the bees,
In swarming millions, tend. Around, athwart,
This way, and that, the busy nations fly,
Cling to the bud, and with inserted tube,
Its soul, its sweetness, and its manna suck.
The little chymist thus, all-moving HEAVEN
Has taught: and oft, of bolder wing, he dares
The purple heath, or where the wild-thyme grows,
And yellow loads him with the luscious spoil.
[Page 37] AT length the finish'd garden to the view
Its vistas opens, and its alleys green.
Snatch'd thro' the verdant maze, the hurried eye
Distracted wanders; now the bowery walk
Of covert close, where scarce a speck of day
Falls on the lengthen'd gloom, protracted darts;
Now meets the bending sky, the river now
Dimpling along, the breezy-ruffled lake,
The forest running round, the rising spire,
Th' aethereal mountain, and the distant main.
But why so far excursive? when at hand,
Along the blushing borders, dewy-bright,
And in yon mingled wilderness of flowers,
Fair-handed SPRING unbosoms every grace;
[Page 38] Throws out the snow-drop, and the crocus first,
The daily, primrose, violet darkly blue,
Dew-bending cowslips, and of nameless dyes
Anemonies, auriculas a tribe
Peculiar powder'd with a shining sand,
Renunculas, and iris many-hued.
Then comes the tulip-race, where beauty plays
Her gayest freaks: from family diffus'd
To family, as flies the father-dust,
The varied colours run; and while they BREAK
On the charm'd FLORIST's eye, he curious stands,
And new-flush'd glories all ecstatic marks.
Nor hyacinths are wanting, nor junquils
Of potent fragrance, nor narcissus white,
Nor stripe'd carnations, nor enamell'd pinks,
[...] [...]ower'd from every bush the damask-rose.
[Page 39] Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells,
With hues on hues expression cannot paint,
The breath of NATURE, and her endless bloom.
Of heaven and earth! ESSENTIAL PRESENCE, hail!
To THEE I bend the knee; to THEE my thoughts
Continual climb; who, with a master-hand,
Hast the great whole into perfection touch'd.
By THEE, the various vegetative tribes,
Wrapt in a filmy net, and clad with leaves,
Draw the live aether, and imbibe the dew.
By THEE dispos'd into congenial soils,
Stands each attractive plant, and sucks, and swells
The juicy tide; a twining mass of tubes.
At THY command, the vernal sun awakes
[Page 40] The torpid sap, detruded to the root
By wintry winds, that now, in fluent dance,
And lively fermentation, mounting, spreads
All this innumerous-colour'd scene of things.
ASCENDING from the vegetable world
To higher life, with equal wing ascend,
My panting Muse; and hark, how loud the woods
Invite you forth in all your gayest trim.
Lend me your song, ye nightingales! oh pour
The mazy-running soul of melody
Into my varied verse! while I deduce,
From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings,
The symphony of SPRING, and touch a theme
JUST as the spirit of love is sent abroad,
Warm thro' the vital air, and on their hearts
Harmonious seizes, the gay troops begin,
In gallant thought, to plume the painted wing;
And try again the long-forgotten strain,
At first faint-warbled. But no sooner grows
The soft infusion prevalent, and wide,
Than, all alive, at once their joy o'erflows
In musick unconfin'd. Up-springs the lark,
Shrill-voiced, and loud, the messenger of morn;
E'er yet the shadows fly, he mounted sings
Amid the dawning clouds, and from their haunts
Calls up the tuneful nations. Every copse
Thick-wove, and tree irregular, and bush
Bending with dewy moisture, o'er the heads
[Page 42] Of the coy quiristers that lodge within,
Are prodigal of harmony. The thrush
And wood-lark, o'er the kind-contending throng
Superior heard, run thro' the sweetest length
Of notes; when listening PHILOMELA deigns
To let them joy, and purposes, in thought
Elate, to make her night excel their day.
The black-bird whistles from the thorny brake;
The mellow bull-finch answers from the grove:
Nor are the linnets, o'er the flowering furze
Pour'd out profusely, silent. Join'd to these
Thousands beside, thick as the covering leaves
They warble under, or the nitid hues
That speck them o'er, their modulations mix
Mellifluous. The jay, the rook, the daw,
And each harsh pipe, discordant heard alone,
[Page 43] Here aid the consort: while the stock-dove breathes
A melancholy murmur thro' the whole.
'TIS love creates their gaiety, and all
This waste of musick is the voice of love;
Which even to birds, and beasts, the tender arts
Of pleasing teaches. Hence the glossy kind
Try every winning way inventive love
Can dictate, and in fluttering courtship pour
Their little souls before her. Wide around,
Respectful, first in airy rings they rove,
Endeavouring by a thousand tricks to catch
The cunning, conscious, half-averted glance
Of their regardless charmer. Should she seem
Softening the least approvance to bestow,
Their colours burnish, and by hope inspir'd
[Page 44] They brisk advance; then on a sudden struck
Retire disorder'd; then again approach;
And throwing out the last efforts of love,
In fond rotation spread the spotted wing,
And shiver every feather with desire.
CONNUBIAL leagues agreed, to the deep woods
They haste away, each as their fancy leads,
Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts;
That NATURE's great command may be obey'd,
Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive
Indulg'd in vain. Some to the holly-hedge
Nestling repair, and to the thicket some;
Some to the rude protection of the thorn
Resolve to trust their young. The clested tree
Offers its kind concealment to a few,
[Page 45] Their food its insects, and its moss their nests.
Others apart far in the grassy dale
Their humble texture weave. But most delight
In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks,
Steep, and divided by a babbling brook,
Whose murmurs sooth them all the live-long day,
When for a season fix'd. Among the roots
Of hazel, pendant o'er the plaintive stream,
They frame the first foundation of their domes,
Dry sprigs of trees, in artful manner laid,
And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought
But hurry hurry thro' the busy air,
Beat by unnumber'd wings. The swallow sweeps
The slimy pool, to build his hanging house
Ingeniously intent. Oft from the back
Of herds and flocks a thousand tugging bills
[Page 46] Pluck hair, and wool; and oft, when unobserv'd,
Steal from the barn the straw; till soft, and warm,
Clean, and compleat, their habitation grows.
As thus the patient dam assiduous sits,
Not to be tempted from her tender task,
Or by sharp hunger, or by smooth delight,
Tho' the whole loosen'd Spring around her blows,
Her sympathizing lover takes his stand
High on th'opponent bank, and ceaseless sings
The tedious time away; or else supplies
Her place a moment, while she sudden flits
To pick the scanty meal. Th' appointed time
With pious toil fulfill'd, the callow young
Warm'd, and expanded into perfect life,
Their brittle bondage break, and come to light,
[Page 47] A helpless family, demanding food
With constant clamour. Oh what passions then,
What melting sentiments of kindly care
Seize the new parents' hearts? Away they fly
Affectionate, and undesiring bear
The most delicious morsel to their young,
Which equally distributed, again
The search begins. So pitiful, and poor,
A gentle pair on providential HEAVEN
Cast, as they weeping eye their clamant train,
Check their own appetites, and give them all.
NOR is the courage of the fearful kind,
Nor is their cunning less, should some rude foot
Their woody haunts molest; stealthy aside
Into the centre of a neighbouring bush
[Page 48] They drop, and whirring thence alarm'd, deceive
The rambling school-boy. Hence around the head
Of traveller, the white-wing'd plover wheels
Her sounding flight, and then directly on
In long excursion skims the level lawn,
To tempt you from her nest. The wild-duck hence
O'er the rough moss, and o'er the trackless waste
The heath-hen flutters, as if hurt, to lead
The hot pursuing spaniel far astray.
BE not the muse asham'd, here to bemoan
Her brothers of the grove, by tyrant man
Inhuman caught, and in the narrow cage
From liberty confin'd, and boundless air.
Dull are the pretty slaves, their plumage dull,
Ragged, and all its brightning lustre lost;
[Page 49] Nor is that luscious wildness in their notes
That warbles from the beech. Oh then desist,
Ye friends of harmony! this barbarous art
Forbear, if innocence and musick can
Win on your hearts, or piety persuade.
BUT let not chief the nightingale lament
Her ruin'd care, too delicately fram'd
To brook the harsh confinement of the cage.
Oft when returning with her loaded bill,
Th' astonish'd mother finds a vacant nest,
By the hard hand of unrelenting clowns
Robb'd, to the ground the vain provision falls;
Her pinions ruffle, and low-drooping scarce
Can bear the mourner to the poplar shade;
Where, all abandon'd to despair, she sings
[Page 50] Her sorrows thro' the night; and, on the bough
Sad-sitting, still at every dying fall
Takes up again her lamentable strain
Of winding woe, till wide around the woods
Sigh with her song, and with her wail resound.
AND now the feather'd youth their former bounds
Ardent disdain, and weighing oft their wings,
Demand the free possession of the sky.
But this glad office more, and then dissolves
Parental love at once; for needless grown,
Unlavish WISDOM never works in vain.
'Tis on some evening, sunny, grateful, mild,
When nought but balm is breathing thro' the woods,
With yellow lustre bright, that the new tribes
Visit the spacious heavens, and look abroad
[Page 51] On NATURE's common, far as they can see,
Or wing, their range, and pasture. O'er the boughs
Dancing about, still at the giddy verge
Their resolution fails; their pinions still,
In loose libration stretch'd, the void abrupt
Trembling refuse: till down before them fly
The parent-guides, and chide, exhort, command,
Or push them off. The surging air receives
The plumy burden; and their self-taught wings
Winnow the waving element. On ground
Alighted, bolder up again they lead
Farther and farther on the lengthning flight;
Till vanish'd every fear, and every power
Rouz'd into life, and action in the void
Th' exoner'd parents see their soaring race,
And once rejoicing never know them more.
HIGH from the summit of a craggy cliff,
Hung o'er the green sea, grudging at its base,
The royal eagle draws his young, resolv'd
To try them at the sun. Strong-pounc'd, and bright
As burnish'd day, they up the blue sky wind,
Leaving dull sight below, and with fix'd gaze
Drink in their native noon: the father-king
Claps his glad pinions, and approves the birth.
AND should I wander to the rural fear,
Whose aged oaks, and venerable gloom,
Invite the noisy rook; with pleasure there,
I might the various polity survey
Of the mixt houshold kind. The careful hen
Calls all her chirping family around,
[Page 53] Fed, and defended by the fearless cock,
Whose breast with ardour flames, as on he walks
Graceful, and crows defiance. In the pond,
The finely-checker'd duck, before her train,
Rows garrulous. The stately-sailing swan
Gives out his snowy plumage to the gale,
And, arching proud his neck, with oary feet
Bears forward fierce, and beats you from the bank,
Protective of his young. The turkey nigh,
Loud-threatning, reddens; while the peacock spreads
His every-colour'd glory to the sun,
And swims in floating majesty along.
O'er the whole homely scene, the cooing dove
Flies thick in amorous chace, and wanton rolls
The glancing eye, and turns the changeful neck.
WHILE thus the gentle tenants of the shade
Indulge their purer loves, the rougher world
Of brutes below, rush furious into flame,
And fierce desire. Thro' all his lusty veins
The bull, deep-scorch'd, receives the raging fire.
Of pasture sick, and negligent of food,
Scarce seen, he wades among the yellow broom,
While o'er his brawny back the rambling sprays
Luxuriant shoot; or thro' the mazy wood
Dejected wanders, nor th' inticing bud
Crops, tho' it presses on his careless sense:
For, wrapt in mad imagination, he
Roars for the fight, and idly butting, feigns
A rival gor'd in every knotty trunk.
Such should he meet, the bellowing war begins;
[Page 55] Their eyes flash fury; to the hollow'd earth,
Whence the sand flies, they mutter bloody deeds,
And groaning vast th' impetuous battle mix:
While the fair heifer, redolent, in view
Stands kindling up their rage. The trembling steed,
With this hot impulse seiz'd in every nerve,
Nor hears the rein, nor heeds the sounding whip;
Blows are not felt; but tossing high his head,
And by the well-known joy, to distant plains
Attracted strong, all wild, he bursts away;
O'er rocks, and woods, and craggy mountains flies,
And neighing, on the aerial summit takes
Th' informing gale; then steep-descending, cleaves
The headlong torrents foaming down the hills,
Even where the madness of the straiten'd streams
[Page 56] Turns in black eddies round: Such is the force
With which his frantick heart, and sinews swell.
NOR, undelighted by the boundless SPRING,
Are the broad monsters of the boiling deep:
From the deep ooze, and gelid cavern rous'd,
They flounce, and tumble in unwieldy joy.
Dire were the strain, and dissonant, to sing
The cruel raptures of the savage kind:
How the red lioness, her whelps forgot
Amid the thoughtless fury of her heart;
The lank rapacious wolf; th' unshapely bear;
The spotted tyger, fellest of the fell;
And all the terrors of the LIBYAN swain,
By this new flame their native wrath sublim'd,
Roam the resounding waste in fiercer bands,
[Page 57] And growl their horrid loves. But this the theme
I sing, transported, to the BRITISH fair,
Forbids, and leads me to the mountain-brow,
Where sits the shepherd on the grassy turf,
Inhaling, healthful, the descending sun.
Around him feeds his many-bleating flock
Of various cadence; and his sportive lambs,
This way, and that, convolv'd in friskful glee,
Their little frolicks play. And now the race
Invites them forth; when swift the signal given,
They start away, and sweep the massy mound
That runs around the hill; the rampart once
Of iron war, in ancient barbarous times,
When disunited BRITAIN ever bled,
Lost in eternal broil; e'er yet she grew
To this deep-laid, indissoluble state,
[Page 58] Where WEALTH and COMMERCE lift their golden head,
And o'er our Labours, LIBERTY and LAW
Illustrious watch, the wonder of a world!
WHAT is this MIGHTY BREATH, ye curious say,
Which, in a language rather felt than heard,
Instructs the fowls of heaven; and thro' their breasts
These arts of love diffuses? What, but GOD?
Inspiring GOD! who boundless spirit all,
And unremitted energy pervades,
Adjusts, sustains, and agitates the whole.
He ceaseless works alone, and yet alone
Seems not to work, with such perfection fram'd
Is this complex, amazing scheme of things.
But tho' conceal'd, to every purer eye
[Page 59] Th' informing author in his work appears;
His grandeur in the heavens: the sun, and moon,
Whether that fires the day, or falling, this
Pours out a lucid softness o'er the night,
Are but a beam from him. The glittering stars,
By the deep ear of meditation heard,
Still in their midnight watches sing of him.
He nods a calm. The tempest blows his wrath,
Roots up the forest and o'erturns the main.
The thunder is his voice; and the red flash
His speedy sword of justice. At his touch
The mountains flame. He takes the solid earth,
And rocks the nations. Nor in these alone,
In every common instance GOD is seen;
And to the man who casts his mental eye
Abroad unnotic'd wonders rise. But chief
[Page 60] In thee, boon SPRING, and in thy softer scenes,
The SMILING GOD appears; while water, earth,
And air attest his bounty, which instils
Into the brutes this temporary thought,
And annual melts their undesigning hearts
Profusely thus in tenderness, and joy.
STILL let my song a nobler note assume,
And sing th' infusive force of SPRING on man;
When heaven and earth, as if contending, vie
To raise his being, and serene his soul,
Can he forbear to smile with NATURE? Can
The stormy passions in his bosom rowl,
While every gale is peace, and every grove
Is melody? Hence, from the bounteous walks
Of flowing SPRING, ye sordid sons of earth,
[Page 61] Hard, and unfeeling, of another's woe,
Or only lavish to yourselves; away.
But come, ye generous breasts, in whose wide thought,
Of all his works, CREATIVE BOUNTY, most,
Divinely burns; and on your open front,
And liberal eye, sits, from his dark retreat
Inviting modest want. Nor only fair,
And easy of approach; your active search
Leaves no cold wintry corner unexplor'd,
Like silent-working HEAVEN, surprizing oft
The lonely heart with unexpected good.
For you the roving spirit of the wind
Blows SPRING abroad; for you the teaming clouds
Descend in buxom plenty o'er the world;
And the sun spreads his genial blaze for you,
Ye flower of human race! In these green days,
[Page 62] Sad-pining sickness lifts her languid head;
Life flows afresh; and young-ey'd health exalts
The whole creation round. Contentment walks
The sunny glade, and feels an inward bliss
Spring o'er his mind, beyond the power of kings
To purchase. Pure serenity apace
Induces thought, and contemplation still.
By small degrees the love of nature works,
And warms the bosom; till at last arriv'd
To rapture, and enthusiastic heat,
We feel the present DEITY, and taste
The joy of GOD, to see a happy world.
'TIS HARMONY, that world-attuning power,
By which all beings are adjusted, each
To all around, impelling, and impell'd,
[Page 63] In endless circulation, that inspires
This universal smile. Thus the glad skies,
The wide rejoycing earth, the woods, the streams,
With every LIFE they hold, down to the flower
That paints the lowly vale, or insect-wing
Wav'd o'er the shepherd's slumber, touch the mind
To nature tun'd, with a light-flying hand,
Invisible; quick-urging, thro' the nerves,
The glittering spirits in a flood of day.
HENCE from the virgin's check, a fresher bloom
Shoots, less and less, the live carnation round;
Her lips blush deeper sweets; she breathes of youth;
The shining moisture swells into her eyes,
In brighter flow; her wishing bosom heaves
With palpitations wild; kind tumults seize
[Page 64] Her veins, and all her yielding soul is love.
From the keen gaze her lover turns away,
Full of the dear ecstatic power, and sick
With sighing languishment. Ah then, ye fair!
Be greatly cautious of your sliding hearts;
Dare not th' infectious sigh; the pleading eye,
In meek submission drest, deject, and low,
But full of tempting guile. Let not the tongue,
Prompt to deceive, with adulation smooth,
Gain on your purpos'd wills. Nor in the bower,
Where woodbines flaunt, and roses shed a couch,
While evening draws her crimson curtains round,
Trust your soft minutes with betraying man.
AND let th' aspiring youth beware of love,
Of the smooth glance beware; for 'tis too late,
[Page 65] When on his heart the torrent softness pours.
Then wisdom prostrate lies; and fading fame
Dissolves in air away: while the fond soul
Is wrapt in dreams of ecstacy, and bliss;
Still paints th' illusive form; the kindling grace;
Th' inticing smile; the modest-seeming eye,
Beneath whose beauteous beams, belying heaven,
Lurk searchless cunning, cruelty, and death:
And still, false-warbling in his cheated ear,
Her syren voice, enchanting, draws him on,
To guileful shores, and meads of fatal joy.
EVEN present in the very lap of love
Inglorious laid; while musick flows around,
Perfumes, and oils, and wine, and wanton hours,
Amid the roses fierce Repentance rears
[Page 66] Her snaky crest: a quick returning twinge
Shoots thro' the conscious heart; where honour still,
And great design against th' oppressive load
Of luxury, by fits, impatient heave.
BUT absent, what fantastick pangs arrous'd,
Rage in each thought, by restless musing fed,
Chill the warm cheek, and blast the bloom of life?
Neglected fortune flies; and sliding swift,
Prone into ruin, fall his scorn'd affairs.
'Tis nought but gloom around. The darken'd sun
Loses his light. The rosy-bosom'd SPRING
To weeping fancy pines; and yon bright arch
Of heaven, low-bends into a dusky vault.
All nature fades extinct; and she alone
Heard, felt, and seen, possesses every thought,
[Page 67] Fills every sense, and pants in every vein.
Books are but formal dulness, tedious Friends,
And sad amid the social band he sits,
Lonely and inattentive. From the tongue
Th' unfinish'd period falls: while, borne away
On swelling thought, his wafted spirit flies
To the vain bosom of his distant fair;
And leaves the semblance of a lover, fix'd
In melancholy site, with head declin'd,
And love-dejected eyes. Sudden he starts,
Shook from his tender trance, and restless runs
To glimmering shades, and sympathetick glooms,
Where the dun umbrage o'er the falling stream
Romantic hangs; there thro' the pensive dusk
Strays, in heart-thrilling meditation lost,
Indulging all to love: or on the bank
[Page 68] Thrown, amid drooping lillies, swells the breeze
With sighs unceasing, and the brook with tears.
Thus in soft anguish he consumes the day,
Nor quits his deep retirement, till the moon
Peeps thro' the chambers of the fleecy east,
Enlighten'd by degrees, and in her train
Leads on the gentle hours; then forth he walks,
Beneath the trembling languish of her beams,
With soften'd soul, and wooes the bird of eve
To mingle woes with his: or while the world,
And all the sons of care, lie hush'd in sleep,
Associates with the midnight shadows drear;
And, sighing to the lonely taper, pours
His idly-tortur'd heart into the page,
Meant for the moving messenger of love;
Where rapture burns on rapture, every line
[Page 69] With rising frenzy fir'd. But if on bed
Delirious flung, sleep from his pillow flies.
All night he tosses, nor the balmy power
In any posture finds; till the grey morn
Lifts her pale lustre on the paler wretch,
Exanimate by love: and then perhaps
Exhausted nature sinks a while to rest,
Still interrupted by distracted dreams,
That o'er the sick imagination rise,
And in black colours paint the mimick scene.
Oft with th' enchantress of his soul he talks;
Sometimes in crouds distress'd; or if retir'd
To secret-winding, flower-enwoven bowers,
Far from the dull impertinence of man,
Just as he, credulous, his thousand cares
Begins to lose in blind oblivious love,
[Page 70] Snatch'd from her yielded hand, he knows not how,
Thro' forests huge, and long untravel'd heaths
With desolation brown, he wanders waste,
In night and tempest wrapt; or shrinks aghast,
Back, from the bending precipice; or wades
The turbid stream below, and strives to reach
The farther shore; where succourless, and sad,
Wild as a Bacchanal she spreads her arms,
But strives in vain, borne by th' outragious flood
To distance down, he rides the ridgy wave,
Or whelm'd beneath the boiling eddy sinks.
Then a weak, wailing lamentable cry
Is heard, and all in tears he wakes, again
To tread the circle of revolving woe.
These are the charming agonies of love,
Whose misery delights. But thro' the heart
[Page 71] Should jealousy its venom once diffuse,
'Tis then delightful misery no more,
But agony unmix'd, incessant rage,
Corroding every thought, and blasting all
Love's paradise. Ye fairy prospects then
Ye beds of roses, and ye bowers of joy,
Farewell! Ye gleamings of departing peace,
Shine out your last! the yellow tinging plague
Internal vision taints, and in a night
Of livid gloom imagination wraps.
Ay then instead of love-enliven'd cheeks,
Of funny features, and of ardent eyes
With flowing raptures bright, dark looks succeed,
Suffus'd, and glaring with untender fire,
A clouded aspect, and a burning cheek,
[Page 72] Where the whole poison'd soul, malignant, sits,
And frightens love away. Ten thousand fears
Invented wild, ten thousand frantick views
Of horrid rivals, hanging on the charms
For which he melts in fondness, eat him up
With fervent anguish, and consuming pine.
In vain reproaches lend their idle aid,
Deceitful pride, and resolution frail,
Giving a moment's ease. Reflection pours,
Afresh, her beauties on his busy thought,
Her first endearments, twining round the soul,
With all the witchcraft of ensnaring love.
Strait the fierce storm involves his mind anew,
Flames thro' the nerves, and boils along the veins;
While anxious doubt distracts the tortur'd heart;
[Page 73] For even the sad assurance of his fears
Were peace to what he feels. Thus the warm youth,
Whom love deludes into his thorny wilds,
Thro' flowery-tempting paths, or leads a life
Of feaver'd rapture, or of cruel care;
His brightest aims extinguish'd all, and all
His lively moments running down to waste.
BUT happy they! the happiest of their kind!
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.
'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
[Page 74] Attuning all their passions into love;
Where friendship full-exerts his softest power,
Perfect esteem enliven'd by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul,
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,
With boundless confidence; for nought but love
Can answer love, and render bliss secure.
Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent
To bless himself, from sordid parents buys
The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
Well-merited, consume his nights and days:
Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love
Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel;
Let eastern tyrants from the light of heaven
Seclude their bosom-slaves, meanly possess'd
[Page 75] Of a meer, lifeless, violated form:
While those whom love cements, in holy faith,
And equal transport, free as nature, live,
Disdaining fear; for what's the world to them,
Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all!
Who in each other clasp whatever fair
High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish,
Something than beauty dearer, should they look
Or on the mind, or mind-illumin'd face,
Truth, goodness, honour, harmony, and love,
The richest bounty of indulgent HEAVEN.
Mean-time a smiling Offspring rises round,
And mingles both their graces. By degrees,
The human blossom blows; and every day,
Soft as it rolls along, shews some new charm,
[Page 76] The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom.
Then infant reason grows apace, and calls
For the kind hand of an assiduous care:
Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
To breathe th' inspiring spirit, and to plant
The generous purpose in the glowing breast.
Oh speak the joy! you whom the sudden tear
Surprizes often, while you look around,
And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss,
All various nature pressing on the heart,
Obedient fortune, and approving HEAVEN.
These are the blessings of diviner love;
And thus their moments fly. The seasons thus,
[Page 77] As ceaseleless round a jarring world they roll,
Still find them happy; and consenting SPRING
Sheds her own rosy garland on their head:
Till evening comes at last, cool, gentle, calm;
When after the long vernal day of life,
Enamour'd more, as soul approaches soul,
Together, down they sink in social sleep.

BOOKS Printed for, and Sold by A. MILLAR, at Buchanan's-Head, over-against St. Clement's Church in the Strand.

  • 1. GEorgii Buchanani Scoti, Poetarum sui seculi facile princi­pis, Opera omnia, ad optimorum codicum fidem summo studio recognita, & castigata: nunc primum in unum collecta ab innumeris fere mendis, quibus plerique omnes editiones antea scatebant, repurgata; ac variis insuper notis aliisque utilissimis accessionibus illustrata & aucta, folio, curante Tho. Ruddimanno, A. M. 2 Tom.
  • 2. Collections relating to the History of Mary Queen of Scot­land, containing a great number of original Papers, never be­fore printed: Also a few scarce Pieces reprinted, taken from the best copies, by the Learned and Judicious James Anderson Esq late Postmaster-General and Antiquary of Scotland. With an explanatory Index of the obsolete Words; and Preface, shewing the Importance of these Collections. In 4 Vol. on a fine imperial Paper, and a most beautiful Letter. 4to.

N. B. There's a second Edition printed on a smaller Paper.

  • 3. A System of Heraldry, Speculative and Practical: with the true Art of Blazon, according to the most approved Heralds in Europe. Illustrated with suitable Examples of armorial Figures and Atchievements of the most considerable Sirnames and Families in Scotland, &c. Together with historical and ge­nealogical Memorials relative thereto. By Alex. Nisbet Esq Folio.
  • 4. The Peerage of Scotland: Containing an historical and genealogical Account of the Nobility of that Kingdom. Collected from the publick Records of the Nation, the Charters, and other Writings of the Nobility, and from the most approved Histories. Folio.
  • 5. The Lives and Characters of the Officers of the Crown, and of the State in Scotland, from the beginning of the Reign of King David I. to the Union of the two Kingdoms. Collect­ed from the original Charters, Chartularies, authentick Re­cords, and the most approved Histories: With an Appendix containing several original Papers relating to the Lives, and referring to them. Both by George Crafurd Esq Folio.
  • [Page] 6. The History of the Church under the Old Testament, from the Creation of the World; with a particular Account of the State of the Jews before and after the Babylonish Captivi­ty, and down to the present Time: Wherein the Affairs and Learning before the Birth of Christ, are also illustrated. To which is subjoined a Discourse to promote the Conversion of the Jews to Christianity. Folio.
  • 7. The History of the Propagation of Christianity, and Over­throw of Paganism; wherein the Christian Religion is confir­med; the Rise and Progress of Heathen Idolatry is consider'd; the Overthrow of Paganism, and the spreading of Christianity in the several Ages of the New Testament Church is explain­ed; the present State of Heathens is enquired into, and Me­thods for their Conversion offer'd. Both by Robert Millar, A. M. The Third Edition, with Additions, Alterations, and a com­pleat Alphabetical Index. Two Vol. 8vo. ‘This Book is recommended by the Bishop of London, in his second Pastoral Letter, pag. 31. as written by a faith­ful and judicious Hand.’
  • 8. A Treatise of Musick, Speculative, Practical, and Hi­storical. By Alexander Malcolm. 8vo, with Cuts.
  • 9. A Vindication of the true Art of Self-Defence. With a Proposal to the Honourable Members of Parliament, for erect­ing a Court of Honour in Great Britain. Recommended to all Gentlemen, but particularly to the Soldiery. To which is an­nexed, A short but very useful Memorial for Sword-Men. By Sir Will Hope Bart. late Deputy-Governor of Edinburgh-Castle.
  • 10. The Seasons. A Hymn. A Poem to the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton. And Britannia, a Poem by Mr. Thomson. With Cuts; both in 4to and 8vo.
  • 11. The Tragedy of Sophonisba. Acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane; by his Majesty's Servants. Written by Mr. Thomson. Both in 4to and 8vo.
  • 12. Poems, 2 vol. in 12mo.
  • 13. The Ever-Green; being a Collection of Scots Poems wrote by the Ingenious before 160o. 2 vol. 12mo.
  • 14. The Tea-Table Miscellany, or a Collection of Scots Songs, 3 vol.
  • 15. The Gentle Shepherd; a Scots Pastoral Comedy.

N. B. The last four publish'd by Allan Ramsay.

  • 16. Eurydice a Tragedy. Acted at the Theatre Royal in Drury-Lane, by his Majesty's Servants.
  • 17. Philotas, a Tragedy. Acted at the Theatre-Royal in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields. Written by Philip Frowde Esq
  • [Page] 18. The Works of Mr. Henry Needler, consisting of original Poems, Translations, Essays, and Letters. Published by Mr. Duncombe. The 2d Edition.
  • 19. An Essay on the Education of a young British Nobleman, after he leaves the Schools. To which are added, some Obser­vations on the Office of an Ambassador. By a Person of Ho­nour. 2d Edition.
  • 20. The System of the Womb, with a particular Account of the Menses, independent of a Plethora: To which are subjoin'd, A few Observations relating to Cold, and its Effects upon the Body. By Thomas Simson, Chandos Professor of Medicine and Anatomy in the University of St. Andrews.
  • 21. Two Essays of Panegyricks on the last Words of Prince William of Orange, the Founder of the Government of the United Provinces. The first republished, with many conside­rable Additions. Inscribed to the late King. And the Second but now published, tho' inscribed to her Majesty many Years ago, when Princess of Wales. By a Gentleman of Middlesex.
  • 22. The Tea-Table; or, a Conversation between some polite Persons of both Sexes, at a Lady's Visiting-day: Wherein are represented the various Foibles and Affectations, &c. from the Character of an accomplish'd Beau, or a modern fine Lady; in­terspersed with several entertaining and instructive Stories. In two Parts. By Mrs. Eliza Haywood.
  • 23. A Discourse, proving that the Apostles were no Enthusi­asts. Wherein the Nature and Influence of Religious Enthusi­asm are impartially explained. With a Preface, containing some Reflections on a late Book, intitled, Christianity as Old as the Creation; and on what Mr. Woolston alledges with respect to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. By Archibald Campbell, S.T. P. (Author of the Enquiry into the Original of Moral Virtue, published by Dr. Innes.) The 2d Edition.
  • 24. The Regard due to Divine Revelation, and to Pretences to it considered. A Sermon preached before the Provincial Sy­nod of Dumfreis, at their Meeting in October, 1729. on 1 Thess. v. 20, 21. With a Preface, containing some Remarks on a Book lately published, intitled, Christianity as Old as the Creation. By Mr. Wallace.




LONDON: Printed for J. MILLAN, Bookseller, near Whitehall. M.DCC.XXXV. Price 1s. 6d.


The subject propos'd. Invocation. Address to Mr. DODINGTON. An introductory reflection on the motion of the heavenly bodies; whence the succession of the SEASONS. As the face of na­ture in this season is almost uniform, the pro­gress of the poem is a description of a sum­mer's day. Morning. A view of the sun-rising. Hymn to the sun. Forenoon. Rural prospects. Summer infects describ'd. Noon-day. A woodland retreat. A groupe of flocks and herds. A solemn grove. How it affects a contemplative mind. Transition to the pro­spect of a rich well-cultivated country; which introduces a panegyric on GREAT-BRITAIN. A digression on foreign summers. Storm of thunder and lightning. A tale. The storm over; a serene afternoon. Bathing. Sun-set. Evening. The whole concluding with the praise of Philosophy.


FROM yonder fields of aether fair disclos'd,
Child of the Sun! illustrious Summer comes
In pride of youth, and felt thro' Nature's depth.
He comes, attended by the fultry Hours,
And ever-fanning Breezes, on his way;
While, from his ardent look, the turning Spring
Averts her blushful face; and earth, and skies,
All-smiling, to his hot dominion leaves.
Hence, let me haste into the mid-wood shade,
Where scarce a sun-beam wanders thro' the gloom;
[Page 4] And on the dark-green grass, beside the brink
Of haunted stream that by the roots of oak
Rowls o'er the rocky channel, lie at large,
And sing the glories of the circling year.
Come, Inspiration! from thy hermit seat
By mortal seldom found: may fancy dare,
From thy fix'd serious muse, and raptur'd eye
Shot on surrounding heaven, to steal one look,
Creative of the poet, every power
Exalting to an extasy of soul.
And thou, the muse's honour! and her friend!
In whom the human graces all unite:
Pure light of mind, and tenderness of heart;
Genius, and wisdom; the gay social sense,
By decency chastiz'd; goodness and wit,
In seldom-meeting harmony combin'd;
Unblemish'd honour, and an active zeal,
For Britain's glory, Liberty, and Man;
O Dodington! attend my rural song,
[Page 5] Stoop to my theme, inspirit every line,
And teach me to deserve thy best applause.
With what a perfect world-revolving power
Were first th' unwieldy planets launch'd along
Th' illimitable void! Thus to remain,
Amid the flux of many thousand years,
That oft has swept the busy race of men,
And all their labour'd monuments away,
Unresting, changless, matchless, in their course;
To night and day, with the delightful round
Of Seasons, faithful; not excentric once:
So pois'd, and perfect is the vast machine.
When now no more th' alternate Twins are fir'd,
And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze,
Short is the doubtful empire of the night;
And soon, observant of approaching day,
The meek-ey'd morn appears, mother of dews!
At first faint-gleaming in the dappled east:
Till far o'er aether shoots the trembling glow;
[Page 6] And, from before the lustre of her face,
White break the clouds away. With tardy step,
Brown night retires. Young day pours in apace,
And opens all the lawny prospect wide.
The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top
Swell on the eye, and brighten with the dawn.
Blue thro' the dusk the smoaking currents shine;
And from the bladed field the fearful hare
Limps aukward; while along the forest glade
The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early passenger. Musick awakes,
The native voice of undissembled joy;
And thick around the woodland hymns arise.
Rous'd by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves
His mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells;
And from the crowded fold in order drives
His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn.
Falsly luxurious, will not man awake,
And, starting from the bed of sloth, enjoy
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour,
[Page 7] To meditation due, and sacred song.
And is there ought in sleep can charm the wise?
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half
The fleeting moments of too short a life?
Total extinction of th' enlighten'd soul!
Or else to feverish vanity alive,
Wilder'd, and tossing thro' distemper'd dreams?
Who would in such a gloomy state remain,
Longer than nature craves; when every Muse,
And every blooming Pleasure wait without,
To bless the wildy-devious morning walk?
But yonder comes the powerful king of day,
Rejoycing in the east. The lessening cloud,
The kindling azure, and the mountain's brim
Tipt with aetherial gold, his near approach
Betoken glad: and now apparent all,
Aslant the dew-bright earth, and colour'd air,
He looks in boundless majesty abroad;
And sheds the shining day, that burnish'd plays
On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering streams,
[Page 8] High-gleaming from afar. Prime chearer Light!
Of all material beings first, and best!
Efflux divine! Nature's resplendent robe!
Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt
In unessential gloom; and thou, red Sun,
In whose wide circle worlds of radiance lie,
Exhaustless Brightness, may I sing of thee!
Who would the blessings, first and last, recount,
That in a full effusion from thee flow,
As soon might number, at the height of noon,
The rays that radiate from thy cloudless sphere,
A universal glory darting round.
'Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force,
As with a chain indissoluble bound.
Thy system rolls entire; from the far bourne
Of slow-pac'd Saturn to the scarce seen disk
Of Mercury, lost in excessive blaze.
Informer of the planetary train!
Without whose vital and effectual glance,
They wou'd be brute, uncomfortable mass,
And not as now the green abodes of life!
How many forms of being wait on thee!
Inhaling gladness; from th' unfetter'd mind,
By thee sublim'd, to that day-living race,
The mixing myriads of thy setting beam.
The vegetable world is also thine,
Parent of Seasons! from whose rich-stain'd rays,
Reflected various, various colours rise:
The freshening mantle of the youthful year;
The wild embroidery of the watry vale;
With all that chears the sense, and charms the heart.
The branching grove thy lusty product stands,
Diffus'd, and deep; to quench the summer noon,
And crowd a shade for the retreating swain,
When on his russet fields you look direct.
Fruit is thy bounty too, with Juice replete,
Acid, or mild; and from thy ray receives
A flavour, pleasing to the taste of man.
By thee concocted blushes; and, by thee
Fully matur'd, into the verdant lap
Of Industry the mellow plenty falls.
Extensive harvests wave at thy command;
And the bright ear, consolidate by thee,
Bends unwitholding to the reaper's hand.
Even Winter speaks thy power; whose every blast,
O'ercast with tempest, or severely sharp
With breathing frost, is eloquent of thee,
And makes us languish for thy vernal gleams.
Shot to the bowels of the teeming earth,
The ripening ore confesses all thy power.
Hence Labour draws his tools; hence waving War
Flames on the day; hence busy Commerce binds
The round of nations in a golden chain;
And hence the sculptur'd palace, sumptuous, shines
With glittering silver, and refulgent gold.
Th' unfruitful rock itself impregn'd by thee,
In dark retirement, forms the lucid stone;
Collected light, compact; that polish'd bright,
And all its native lustre let abroad,
Shines proudly on the bosoms of the fair.
At thee the ruby lights his deepening glow,
A bleeding radiance, grateful to the view.
From thee the saphire, solid aether, takes
His hue cerulean; and, of evening tinct,
The purple-streaming amethyst is thine.
With thy own smile the yellow topaz burns.
Nor deeper verdure dies the robe of Spring,
When first she gives it to the southern gale,
Than the green emerald shows. But, all combin'd,
Thick thro' the whitening opal play thy beams;
Or, flying several from its surface, form
A trembling variance of revolving hues,
As the site varies in the gazer's hand.
The very dead creation, from thy touch,
Assumes a mimic life. By thee refin'd,
In brisker measures, the relucent stream
Frisks o'er the mead. The precipice abrupt,
Projecting horror on the blacken'd flood,
Softens at thy return. The desart joys
Wildly, thro' all his melancholy bounds.
Rude ruins glitter; and the briny deep,
Seen from some pointed promontory's top,
Reflects, from every fluctuating wave,
A glance extensive as the day. But these,
And all the much transported muse can sing,
Are to thy beauty, dignity, and use,
Unequal far, great delegated source,
Of light, and life, and grace, and joy below!
How shall I then attempt to sing of him,
Who, Light Himself, in uncreated light
Invested deep, dwells awfully retir'd
From mortal eye, or angel's purer ken;
Whose single smile has, from the first of time,
Fill'd, over-flowing, all those lamps of heaven,
That beam for ever thro' the boundless sky:
But, should he hide his face, th' astonish'd sun,
And all th' extinguish'd stars, would loosening reel,
Wide from their spheres, and chaos come again.
And yet, was every faultering tongue of man,
Almighty Poet! silent in thy praise;
Thy matchless works in each exalted line,
And all the full harmonic universe,
Would vocal, or expressive, thee attest,
The cause, the glory, and the end of all!
To me be nature's volume wide display'd;
And to peruse the broad illumin'd page,
Or, haply catching inspiration thence,
Some easy passage, raptur'd, to translate,
My sole delight; as thro' the falling glooms
Pensive I muse, or with the rising day
On fancy's eagle-wing excursive soar.
Fierce-flaming up the heavens, the piercing sun
Melts into limpid air the high-rais'd clouds,
And morning mists, that hover'd round the hills
In party-colour'd bands; till all unveil'd
The face of nature shines, from where earth seems,
Far-stretch'd around, to meet the bending sphere.
Half in a blush of clustering roses lost,
Dew-dropping coolness to the shade retires;
And tyrant heat, dispreading thro' the sky,
By sharp degrees, his burning influence reigns
On man, and beast, and herb, and tepid stream.
Who can unpitying see the flowery race,
Shed by the morn, their new-flush'd bloom resign,
Before th' unbating beam? So fade the fair,
When fevers revel thro' their azure veins.
But one, the follower of the sun, they say,
Sad when he sets shuts up her yellow leaves.
Weeping all night; and, when he warm returns,
Points her enamour'd bosom to his ray.
Home, from his morning task, the swain retreats;
His flock before him stepping to the fold:
While the full-udder'd mother lows around
The chearful cottage then expecting food,
The food of innocence, and health! The daw,
The rook and magpie, to the grey-grown oaks
(That the calm village, in their verdant arms,
Sheltering, embrace) direct their lazy flight;
Where on the mingling boughs they sit embower'd,
All the hot noon, till cooler hours arise.
Faint, underneath, the homely fowls convene;
And, in a corner of the buzzing shade,
The house dog, with th' employless grey-hound, lies,
Outstretch'd, and sleepy. In his slumbers one
Attacks the nightly thief, and one exults
O'er hill and dale; till, waken'd by the wasp,
They bootless snap. Nor shall the muse disdain
To let the little noisy summer-race
Live in her lay, and flutter thro' her song,
Not mean, tho' simple; to the sun ally'd,
From him their high descent, direct, they draw.
Wak'd by his warmer ray, the reptile young
Come wing'd abroad; by the light air upborn,
Lighter, and full of life. From every chink,
And secret corner, where they slept away
The wintry glooms, by myriads, all at once,
Swarming, they pour: green, speckled, yellow, grey,
Black, azure, brown; more than th' assisted eye
Of poring virtuoso can discern.
Ten thousand forms! Ten thousand different tribes!
People the blaze. To sunny waters some
By fatal instinct fly; where on the pool
They, sportive, wheel; or, sailing down the stream,
Are snatch'd immediate by the springing Trout,
Often beguil'd. Some thro' the green-wood glade
Delight to stray; there lodg'd, amus'd, and fed,
In the fresh leaf. Luxurious, others make
The meads their choice, and visit every flower,
And every latent herb; but careful still
To shun the mazes of the sounding bee,
As o'er the blooms he sweeps. Some to the house,
The fold, and dairy, hungry, bend their flight;
[Page 17] Sip round the pail, or taste the curdling cheese:
Oft, inadvertent, by the boiling stream
Are pierc'd to death; or, weltering in the bowl,
With powerless wings around them wrapt, expire.
But chief to heedless flies the window proves
A constant death; where, gloomily retir'd,
The villain spider lives, cunning, and fierce,
Mixture abhorr'd! Amid a mangled heap
Of carcasses, in eager watch he sits,
O'erlooking all his waving snares around.
Within an inch the dreadless wanderer oft
Passes, as oft the ruffian shows his front.
The prey at last ensnar'd, he dreadful darts,
With rapid glide, along the leaning line;
And, fixing in the fly his cruel fangs,
Strides backward grimly pleas'd: the fluttering wing,
And shriller sound declare extream distress,
And ask the helping, hospitable hand.
Echoes the living surface of the ground;
Nor undelightful is the ceaseless hum,
To him who muses thro' the woods at noon;
Or drowsy shepherd, as he lies reclin'd,
With half-shut eyes, beneath the floating shade
Of willows grey, close-crouding o'er the brook.
Let no presuming impious railer tax
Creative Wisdom, as if ought was form'd
In vain, or not for admirable ends.
Shall little, haughty ignorance pronounce
His works unwise; of which the smallest part
Exceeds the narrow vision of his mind?
Thus on the concave of a sounding dome,
On swelling columns heav'd, the pride of art!
Wanders a critic fly; his feeble ray
Extends an inch around, yet blindly bold
He dares dislike the structure of the whole.
And lives the man, whose universal eye
Has swept at once th' unbounded scheme of things;
Mark'd their dependance so, and firm accord,
[Page 19] As with unfaultering accent to conclude
That This availeth nought? Has any seen
The mighty chain of beings, lessening down
From Infinite Perfection to the brink
Of dreary Nothing, desolate abyss!
Recoiling giddy thought: or with sharp glance,
Such as remotely-wafting spirits use,
Beheld the glories of the little world?
Till then alone let zealous praise ascend,
And hymns of heavenly wonder, to that Power,
Whole wisdom shines as lovely on our minds,
As on our smiling eyes his servant-sun.
Thick in yon stream of light, a thousand ways,
Upwards and downwards, thwarting, and convolv'd,
The quivering kingdoms sport; with tempest-wing,
Till Winter sweeps them from the face of day.
Even so luxurious men, unheeding, pass
An idle summer-life in fortune's shine,
A season's glitter! In soft-circling robes,
Which the hard hand of Industry has wrought,
[Page 20] The human insects glow; by Hunger fed,
And chear'd by toiling Thirst, they rowl about
From toy to trifle, vanity to vice;
Till blown away by Death, Oblivion comes
Behind, and strikes them from the book of life.
Now swarms the village o'er the jovial mead;
The rustic youth, brown with meridian toil,
Healthful, and strong; full as the summer-rose
Blown by prevailing suns, the blooming maid,
Half-naked, swelling on the sight, and all
Her kindled graces burning o'er her cheek.
Even stooping age is here; and infant-hands
Trail the long rake, or with the fragrant load
O'ercharg'd, amid the soft oppression roll.
Wide flies the tedded grain; all in a row
Advancing broad, or wheeling round the field,
They spread the tawny Harvest to the sun,
That casts refreshful round a rural smell:
Or, as they rake the green-appearing ground,
And drive the dusky wave along the mead,
[Page 21] Rises the russet hay-cock thick behind,
In order gay. While heard from dale to dale,
Waking the breeze, resounds the blended voice
Of happy labour, love, and social glee.
'Tis raging noon; and, vertical, the sun
Shoots thro' th' expanding air a torrid gleam.
O'er heaven and earth, far as the darted eye
Can pierce, a dazling deluge reigns; and all
From pole to pole is undistinguish'd blaze.
Down to the dusty earth the sight, o'erpower'd,
Stoops for relief; but thence ascending streams,
And keen reflection pain. Burnt to the heart
Are the refreshless fields; their arid hue
Adds a new fever to the sickening soul:
And o'er their slippery surface wary treads
The foot of thirsty pilgrim, often dipt
In a cross rill, presenting to his wish
A living draught: he seels before he drinks!
Echo no more returns the sandy sound
Of sharpening scythe; the mower, sinking, heaps
[Page 22] O'er him the humid hay, with flowers perfum'd;
And scarce a chirping grashopper is heard
Thro' the dumb mead. Distressful nature pants.
The desart reddens; and the stubborn rock,
Split to the center, sweats at every pore.
The very streams look languid from afar;
Or, thro' the fervid glade, impetuous hurl
Into the shelter of the crackling grove.
All-conquering heat, oh intermit thy wrath!
And on my throbbing temples potent thus
Beam not so hard! Incessant still you flow,
And still another fervent flood succeeds,
Pour'd on the head profuse. In vain I sigh,
And restless turn, and look around for night;
Night is far off; and hotter hours approach.
Who can endure! the too resplendent scene
Already darkens on the dizzy sight,
And double objects dance; unreal sounds
Sing deep around; a weight of sultry dew
Hangs deathful on the limbs; shiver the nerves;
[Page 23] The supple sinews sink; and on the heart,
Misgiving, horror lays his heavy hand.
Thrice happy he! that on the sunless side
Of a romantic mountain, forest-crown'd,
Beneath the whole collected shade reclines:
Or in the gelid caverns, woodbine-wrought,
And fresh bedew'd with ever-spouting streams,
Sits coolly calm; while all the world without,
Unsatisfy'd, and sick, tosses in noon.
Emblem instructive of the virtuous man,
Who keeps his temper'd mind serere, and pure,
And all his passions aptly harmoniz'd,
Amid a jarring world, with vice inflam'd.
Welcome, ye shades! ye bowery thickets, hail!
Ye lofty pines! ye venerable oaks!
Ye ashes wild, resounding o'er the steep!
Delicious is your shelter to the soul,
As to the hunted hart the sallying spring,
Or stream full-flowing, that his swelling sides
Laves, as he floats along the herbag'd brink.
[Page 24] Cold thro' the nerves, your pleasing comfort glides;
The heart beats glad; the fresh-expanded eye,
And ear resume their watch; the sinews knit;
And life shoots swift thro' every lighten'd limb.
All in th' adjoining brook, that shrills along
The vocal grove, now fretting o'er a rock,
Now scarcely moving thro' a reedy pool,
Now starting to a sudden stream, and now
Gently diffus'd into a limpid plain;
A various groupe the herds and flocks compose;
Rural confusion! On the grassy bank
Some ruminating lie; while others stand
Half in the flood, and often bending sip
The circling surface. In the middle droops
The strong laborious ox, of honest front,
Which incompos'd he shakes; and from his sides
The troublous insects lashes with his tail,
Returning still. Amid his subjects safe,
Slumbers the monareh-swain; his careless arm
Thrown round his head on downy moss sustain'd;
[Page 25] Here laid his scrip, with wholesome viands fill'd;
And there his sceptre-crook, and watchful dog.
Light fly his slumbers, if perchance a flight
Of angry hornets fasten on the herd;
That startling scatters from the shallow brook,
In search of lavish stream. Tossing the foam,
They scorn the keeper's voice, and scour the plain,
Thro' all the bright severity of noon;
While, from their labouring breasts, a hollow moan
Proceeding, runs low-bellowing round the hills.
Oft in this season too the horse provok'd,
While his big sinews, full of spirits, swell,
Trembling with vigour, in the heat of blood,
Springs the high fence; and o'er the field effus'd,
Darts on the gloomy flood, with steady eye,
And heart estrang'd to fear: his nervous chest,
Luxuriant, and erect, the seat of strength!
Bears downth' opposing stream: quenchless his thirst,
He takes the river at redoubled draughts;
And with wide nostrils, snorting, skims the wave.
Still let me pierce into the midnight depth
Of yonder grove, of wildest, largest growth;
That, high embowering in the middle air,
Nods o'er the mount beneath. At every step,
Solemn, and slow, the shadows blacker fall,
And all is awful, silent gloom around.
These are the haunts of meditation, these
The scenes where antient Bards th' inspiring breath,
Extatic felt, and, from this world retir'd,
Convers'd with angels, and immortal forms,
On heavenly errants bent: to save the fall
Of virtue strugling on the brink of vice;
In waking whispers, and repeated dreams,
To hint pure thought, and warn'd the favour'd soul,
For future tryals fated to prepare;
To prompt the Poet, who devoted gives
His muse to better themes; to sooth the pangs
Of dying Saints; and from the Patriot's breast,
(Backward to mingle in detested war,
But foremost when engag'd) to turn the death;
[Page 27] And numberless such offices of love,
Daily, and nightly, zealous to perform.
Shook sudden from the bosom of the sky,
A thousand shapes or glide athwart the dusk,
Or stalk majestick on. Arous'd, I feel
A sacred terror, and severe delight,
Creep thro' my mortal frame; and thus, methinks,
Those accents murmur'd in th' abstracted ear,
Pronounce distinct. " Be not of us afraid,
" Poor kindred man, thy fellow-creatures, we
" From the same Parent-Power our beings drew,
" The, same our Lord, and laws, and great pursuit.
" Once some of us, like thee, thro' stormy life,
" Toil'd, tempest-beaten, e'er we could attain
" This holy calm, this harmony of mind,
" Where purity and peace immingle charms.
" Then fear us not; but with responsive song,
" Oft in these dim recesses, undisturb'd
" By noisy folly, and discordant vice,
" Of nature sing with us, and nature's God.
[Page 28] " And frequent at the middle waste of night,
" Or all day long, in desarts still, are heard,
" Now here, now there, now wheeling in mid-sky,
" Around, or underneath, aerial sounds,
" Sent from angelic harps, and voices join'd.
" A happiness bestow'd by us, alone,
" On contemplation, or the hallow'd ear
" Of Poet, swelling to seraphic strain. "
Thus up the Mount, in visionary muse,
I stray, regardless whither; till the stun
Of a near fall of water every sense
Wakes from the charm of thought: swift-shrinking back,
I stand aghast, and view the broken scene.
Smooth to the shaggy brink a spreading flood
Rolls fair and placid; till collected all,
In one big glut, as sinks the shelving ground,
Th' impetuous torrent, tumbling down the steep,
Thunders and shakes th' astonish'd country round.
Now a blue watry sheet; anon dispers'd,
[Page 29] A hoary mist; then gathered in again,
A darted stream aslant the hollow rock,
This way, and that tormented; dashing thick,
From seep to seep, with wild, infracted course,
And restless roaring to the humble vale.
With the rough prospect tir'd, I turn my gaze,
Where, in long vista, the soft-murmuring main
Darts a green lustre, trembling thro' the trees;
Or to yon silver-streaming threads of light,
A showery radiance, beaming thro' the boughs.
Invited from the rock, to whose dark cliff
He clings, the steep-ascending eagle soars,
With upward pinions thro' th' attractive gleam:
And, giving full his bosom to the blaze,
Gains on the sun; while all the feathery race,
Smote with afflictive noon, disorder'd droop,
Deep in the thicket; or, from bower to bower
Responsive, force an interrupted strain.
The stock-dove only thro' the forest cooes,
Mournfully hoarse; oft ceasing from his plaint,
[Page 30] Short interval of weary woe! again
The sad idea of his murder'd mate,
Struck from his side by savage fowler's guile,
Across his fancy comes; and then resounds
A louder song of sorrow thro' the grove.
Beside the dewy border let me sit,
All in the freshness of the humid air;
There on that rock by Nature's chissel carv'd
An ample chair, moss-lin'd, and over head
By flowering umbrage shaded; where the bee
Strays diligent, and with th' extracted sweet
Of honey-suckle loads his little thigh.
And what a various prospect lies around!
Of hills, and vales, and woods, and lawns, and spires,
And towns betwixt, and gilded streams; till all
The stretching landskip into smoak decays.
Happy Britannia! where the Queen of arts,
Inspiring vigour, Liberty abroad
[Page 31] Walks thro' the land of Heroes, unconfin'd
And scatters plenty with unsparing hand.
Rich is the soil, and merciful the skies;
Thy streams unfailing in the summer's drought;
Unmatch'd thy guardian-oaks; thy vallies float
With golden waves; and on thy mountains flocks
Bleat, numberless; while, roving round their sides,
Bellow the blackening herds in lusty droves.
Beneath, thy meadows flame, and rise unquell'd,
Against the mower's scythe. On every hand,
Thy villas shine. Thy country teems with wealth,
And Property assures it to the swain,
Pleas'd, and unweary'd, in his certain toil.
Full are thy cities with the Sons of art;
And trade, and joy, in every busy street,
Mingling are heard: even Drudgery himself,
As at the car he sweats, or dusty hews
The palace-stone, looks gay. Thy crouded ports,
Where rising masts an endless prospect yield,
[Page 32] With labour burn, and echo to the shouts
Of hurry'd sailor, as he hearty waves
His last adieu, and loosening every sheet,
Resigns the spreading vessel to the wind.
Bold, firm, and graceful, are thy generous youth,
By hardship sinew'd, and by danger fir'd,
Scattering the nations where they go; and first,
Or in the listed plain, or wintry seas.
Mild are thy glories too, as o'er the plans
Of thriving peace thy thoughtful sires preside;
In genius, and substantial learning high;
For every virtue, every worth renown'd,
Sincere, plain-hearted, hospitable, kind;
Yet like the mustering thunder when provok'd;
The dread of tyrants, and the sole resource
Of such as under grim oppression groan.
Thy sons of glory many! thine a More,
As Cato firm, as Aristides just,
Like rigid Cincinnatus nobly poor,
[Page 33] A dauntless soul, erect, who smil'd on death.
Frugal, and wise, a Walsingham is thine;
A Drake, who made thee mistress of the deep,
And bore thy name in thunder round the world.
Then flam'd thy spirit high; but who can speak
The numerous worthies of the maiden reign?
In Raleigh mark their every glory mix'd,
Raleigh, the scourge of Spain! whose breast with all
The sage, the patriot, and the hero burn'd.
Nor sunk his vigour, when a coward-reign
The warrior fetter'd, and at last resign'd,
To glut the vengeance of a vanquish'd foe.
Then deep thro' fate his mind retorted saw,
And with his prison-hours enrich'd the world;
Yet found no times, in all the long research,
So glorious, or so base, as those he prov'd,
In which he conquer'd, and in which he bled.
A Hambden thine, of unsubmitting soul;
Who stemm'd the torrent of a downward age,
To slavery prone; and bade thee rise again,
In all thy native pomp of Freedom fierce.
[Page 34] Nor can the muse the gallant Sidney pass,
The plume of war! with every lawrel crown'd,
The lover's myrtle, and the poet's bay.
Nor him of later name, firm to the cause
Of Liberty, her rough determin'd friend,
The British Brutus; whose united blood
With Rnssel, thine, thou patriot wise, and calm,
Stain'd the sad annals of a giddy reign;
Aiming at lawless power, tho' meanly sunk
In loose inglorious sloth. High thy renown
In Sages too, far as the sacred light
Of science spreads, and wakes the muses' song.
Thine is a Bacon form'd of happy mold,
When Nature smil'd, deep, comprehensive, clear,
Exact, and elegant; in one rich soul,
Plato, the Stagyrite, and Tully join'd.
The generous * Ashley thine, the friend of man;
Who scann'd his nature with a brother's eye,
His weakness prompt to shade, to raise his aim,
To touch the finer movements of the mind,
[Page 35] And with the moral Beauty charm the heart.
What need I name thy Boyle, whose pious search
Still sought the great Creator in his works,
By sure experience led? And why thy Locke,
Who made the whole internal world his own?
Let comprehensive Newton speak thy fame,
In all philosophy. For solemn song,
Is not wild Shakespear nature's boast, and thine?
And every greatly amiable muse
Of elder ages in thy Milton met?
His was the treasure of two thousand years,
Seldom indulg'd to man; a god-like mind,
Unlimited, and various, as his Theme;
Astonishing as Chaos; as the bloom
Of blowing Eden fair; foft as the talk
Of our grand Parents, and as Heaven sublime.
May my song soften as, thy daughters, I,
Britannia, hail! for beauty is their own,
The feeling heart simplicity of life,
And elegance, and taste: the faultless form,
[Page 36] Shap'd by the hand of Harmony; the cheek,
Where the live crimson, thro' the native white
Soft-shooting, o'er the face diffuses bloom,
And every nameless grace; the parted lip,
Like the red rose-bud, moist with morning-dew,
Breathing delight; and, under flowing jet,
Or sunny ringlets, or of circling brown,
The neck slight-shaded, and the swelling breast;
The look resistless, piercing to the soul,
And by the soul inform'd, when, drest in love,
She sits high smiling in the conscious eye.
Island of bliss! amid the suject seas,
That thunder round thy rocky coasts, set up,
At once the wonder, terror, and delight,
Of distant nations; whose remotest shore
Can soon be shaken by thy naval arm;
Not to be shook thyself, but all assaults
Baffling, like thy hoar cliffs the loud sea-wave.
O Thou! by whose almighty Nod the scale
Of empire rises, or alternate falls,
[Page 37] Send forth the saving Virtues round the land,
In bright patrol: white Peace, and social Love;
The tender-looking Charity, intent
On gentle deeds, and shedding tears thro' smiles;
Undaunted Truth, and Dignity of mind;
Courage compos'd, and keen; sound Temperance,
Healthful in heart and look; clear Chastity,
With blushes reddening as she moves along,
Disorder'd at the deep regard she draws;
Rough Industry; Activity untry'd,
With copious life inform'd, and all awake:
While, in the radiant front, superior shines
That first paternal Virtue, public Zeal,
Who casts o'er all an equal, wide survey,
And ever musing on the common weal,
Stll labours glorious with some brave design.
Thus far transported by my country's love,
Nobly digressive from my theme, I've aim'd
To sing her praises in ambitious verse;
While, slightly to recount, I simply meant,
[Page 38] The various summer-horrors, which infest
Kingdoms that scorch below severer suns:
Kingdoms on which, direct, the flood of day
Oppressive falls, and gives the gloomy hue,
And feature gross; or worse, to ruthless deeds,
Wan jealousy, red rage, and fell revenge,
Their hasty spirit prompts. Ill-fated race!
Altho' the treasures of the sun be theirs,
Rocks rich in gems, and mountains big with mines;
Whence, over sands of gold, the Niger rolls
His amber wave; while on his balmy banks,
Or in the spicy Abyssinian vales,
The citron, orange, and pomegranate, drink
Intolerable day, yet in their coats
A cooling juice contain. Peaceful beneath,
Leans the huge elephant; and in his shade
A multitde of beauteous creatures play,
And birds of bolder note rejoice around.
And oft amid their aromatic groves,
Touch'd [...] the torch of noon, the gummy bark,
[Page 39] Smouldering, begins to roll the dusky wreath.
Instant, so swift the ruddy ruin spreads,
A cloud of incense shadows all the land;
And, o'er a thousand thundering trees at once,
Riots with lawless rage the running blaze:
But ciefly should fomenting winds assist,
And doubling blend the circulating waves
Of flame tempestuous; or directly on,
Far-streaming, drive them thro' the forest's length.
But other views await; where heaven above
Glows like an arch of brass; and all below,
The brown-burnt earth a mass of iron lies;
Of fruits, and flowers, and every verdure spoilt;
Barren, and bare, a joyless, weary waste;
Thin-cottag'd; and in time of trying need,
Abandon'd by the vanish'd brook; like one
Of fading fortune by his treacherous friend.
Such are thy horrid desarts, Barca; such
Zaara, thy hot inhospitable sands;
[Page 40] Continuous rising often with the blast,
Till the sun sees no more; and unknit earth,
Shook by the south into the darken'd air,
Falls in new hilly kingdoms o'er the waste.
Hence late expos'd (if distant fame says true)
A smother'd city from the sandy wave
Emergent rose; with olive-fields around,
Fresh woods, reclining herds, and silent flocks,
Amusing all, and incorrupted seen.
For by the nitrous penetrating salts,
Mix'd copious with the sand, pierc'd, and preserv'd,
Each object hardens gradual into stone,
Its posture fixes, and its colour keeps.
The statue-folk, within, unnumber'd croud
The streets, in various attitudes surpriz'd
By sudden fate, and live on every face
The passions caught, beyond the sculptor's art.
Here leaning soft, the marble-lovers stand,
Delighted even in death; and each for each
Feeling alone, with that expressive look,
[Page 41] Which perfect Nature only knows to give.
And there the father agonizing bends
Fond o'er his weeping wife, and infant train
Aghast, and trembling, tho' they know not why.
The stiffen'd vulgar stretch their arms to heaven,
With horror starting; while in council deep
Assembled full, the hoary-headed sires
Sit sadly-thoughtful of the public fate.
As when old Rome, beneath the raging Gaul,
Sunk her proud turrets resolute on death,
Around the Forum sat the grey divan
Of Senators, majestic, motionless,
With ivory-staves, and in their awful robes
Dress'd like the falling fathers of mankind;
Amaz'd, and shivering, from the solemn sight
The red barbarians shrunk, and deem'd them Gods.
'Tis here that Thirst has fix'd his dry domain;
And walks his wide, malignant round, in search
Of pilgrim lost; or on the * Merchant's tomb
[Page 42] Triumphant sits, who for a single cruise
Of unavailing water paid so dear:
Nor could the gold his hard associate save.
Here the green serpent gathers up his train,
In orbs immense; then darting out anew,
Progressive, rattles thro' the wither'd brake;
And, rolling frightful, guards the scanty fount,
If fount there be: or of diminsh'd size,
But mighty mischief, on th' unguarded swain
Steals, full of rancour. Here the savage race
Roam, licens'd by the shading hour of blood.
And foul misdeed, when the pure day has shut
His sacred eye. The rabid tyger then,
The fiery panther, and the whisker'd pard,
(Bespeckled fair, the beauty of the waste)
In dire divan, surround their shaggy King,
Majestic, stalking o'er the burning sand,
With planted step; while an obsequious croud
Of grinning forms at humble distance wait.
These all together join'd from darksome caves,
[Page 43] Where o'er gnaw'd bones they slumber'd out the day,
By supreme hunger smit, and thirst intense,
At once their mingling voices raise to Heaven;
And with imperious and repeated roars,
Demanding food, the wilderness resounds,
From Atlas eastward to the frighted Nile.
Unhappy he! who from the first of joys,
Society, cut off, is left alone
Amid this world of death. Ceaseless he sits,
Sad on the jutting eminence, and views
The rowling main, that ever toils below;
Still fondly forming in the farthest verge,
Where the round aether mixes with the wave,
Ships, dim-discover'd, dropping from the clouds.
At evening, to the setting sun he turns
A mournful eye, and down his dying heart
Sinks helpless; while the wonted roar is up,
And hiss continual thro' the tedious night.
Yet here, even here, into these black abodes
Of monstors, unappall'd, from stooping Rome,
[Page 44] And haughty Caesar, Liberty retir'd,
With Cato leading thro' Numidian wilds:
Disdainful of Campania's fertile plains,
And all the green delights of Italy;
When for them she must bend the servile knee,
And fawning take the blessings once her own.
What need I mention those inclement skies,
Where frequent, o'er the sickening city, Plague,
The fiercest son of Nemesis divine,
Collects a close, incumbent night of death;
Uninterrupted by the living winds,
Forbid to blow a wholesome breeze; and stain'd
With many a mixture, by the sun suffus'd,
Of angry aspect? Princely Wisdom then
Dejects his watchful eye; and from the hand
Of drooping Justice, ineffectual, falls
The sword, and balance. Mute the voice of Joy;
And hush'd the murmur of the busy world.
Empty the streets, with uncouth verdure clad,
And rang'd at open noon by beasts of prey,
[Page 45] And birds of bloody beak. The sullen door
No visit knows, nor hears the wailing voice
Of fervent Want. Even soul-attracted friends,
And relatives endear'd for many a year,
Savag'd by woe, forget the social tye,
The close engagement of the kindred heart;
And, sick in solitude, successive die,
Untended, and unmourn'd. While to compleat
The scene of desolation, wide around,
Denying all retreat, the grim guards stand,
And give the flying wretch a better death.
Much of the force of foreign Summers still,
Of growling hills that shoot the pillar'd flame,
Of earthquake, and pale famine, could I sing;
But equal scenes of horror call me home.
For now, slow-settling, o'er the lurid grove,
Unusual darkness broods; and growing gains
The broad possession of the sky, surcharg'd
With wrathful vapour, from the damp abrupt,
Where sleep the mineral generations, drawn.
[Page 46] Thence nitre, sulphur, vitriol, on the day
Steam, and fermenting in yon baleful cloud,
Extensive o'er the world a reddening gloom!
In dreadful promptitude to spring, await
The high command. A boding silence reigns
Dread thro' the dun expanse, save the dull sound,
That from the mountain, previous to the storm,
Rowls o'er the trembling earth, disturbs the flood,
And stirs the forest-leaf without a breath.
Prone, to the lowest vale, th' aerial tribes
Descend: the tempest-loving raven scarce
Dares wing the dubious dusk. In rueful gaze
The cattle stand, and on the scouling heavens
Cast a deploring eye; by man forsook,
Who to the crouded cottage hies him fast,
Or seeks the shelter of the downward cave.
'Tis dumb amaze, and listening terror all;
When to the quicker eye the livid glance
Appears far south, emissive thro' the cloud;
And, by the powerful breath of God inflate,
[Page 47] The thunder raises his tremendous voice;
At first low-muttering; but at each approach,
The lightnings flash a larger curve, and more
The noise astounds: till over head a sheet
Of various flame discloses wide, then shuts
And opens wider, shuts and opens still
Expansive, wrapping aether in a blaze.
Follows the loosen'd, aggravated roar,
Enlarging, deepening, mingling, peal on peal
Crush'd horrible, convulsing heaven and earth.
Down comes a deluge of sonorous hail,
In the white, heavenly magazines congeal'd;
And often fatal to th' unshelter'd head
Of man, or rougher beast. Wide-rent the clouds
Pour a whole flood; and yet, its rage unquench'd,
Th' inconquerable lightning struggles thro',
Ragged, and sierce, or in red whirling balls,
And strikes the shepherd, as he shuddering sits,
Presaging ruin, mid the rocky clift.
His inmost marrow feels the gliding flame;
[Page 48] He dies; and, like a statue grim'd with age,
His live dejected posture still remains;
His russet sing'd, and rent his hanging hat;
Against his crook his sooty cheek reclin'd;
While, whining at his feet, his hals-slung'd dog,
Importunately kind, and fearful, pats
On his insensate master for relief.
Black from the stroak, above, the mountain-pine,
A leaning shatter'd trunk, stands scath'd to heaven,
The talk of future ages; and, below,
A lifeless groupe the blasted cattle lie:
Here the soft flocks, with that same harmless look,
They wore alive, and ruminating still,
In fancy's eye; and there the frowning bull,
And ox half-rais'd. A little further, burns
The guiltless cottage; and the haughty dome
Stoops to the base. In one immediate flash,
The forest falls; or, flaming out, displays
The savage-hunts, unpierc'd by day before,
Scar'd is the mountain's brow; and from, the cliff
[Page 49] Tumbles the smitten rock. The desart shakes,
And gleams, and grumbles, thro' his deepest dens.
Guilt dubious hears, with deeply-troubled thought;
And yet not always on the guilty head
Falls the devoted flash. Young Celadon
And his Amelia were a matchless twain:
With equal virtue form'd, and equal grace,
The same, distinguish'd by their sex alone:
Hers the mild lustre of the blooming morn,
And his the radianee of the risen day.
They lov'd. But such their guileless passion was,
As in the dawn of time alarm'd the heart
Of Innocence, and undissembling Truth.
'Twas friendship, heighten'd by the mutual wish,
Th' enchanting hope, and sympathetick glow,
Struck from the charmsul eye. Devoting all
To love, each was to each a dearer self;
Supremely happy in th' awaken'd power
Of given joy. Alone, amid the shades,
[Page 50] Still in harmonious intercourse they liv'd
The rural day, and talk'd the flowing heart,
Or sigh'd, and look'd unutterable things.
Thus pass'd their life, a clear united stream,
By care unrnffled; till in evil hour
The tempest caught them on the tender walk,
Heedless how far. Her breast presageful heav'd
Unwonted sighs, and stealing oft a look
Of the big gloom, on Celadon her eye
Fell tearful, wetting her disorder'd cheek.
In vain assuring love, and confidence
In heaven repress'd her fear; it grew, and shook
Her frame near dissolution. He perceiv'd
Th' unequal conflict, and as angels look
On dying saints, his eyes compassion shed,
With love illumin'd high. " Fear not, he said,
" Fair innocence! thou stranger to offence,
" And inward storm! He, who yon skies involves
" In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee,
" With full regard. O'er thee the secret shaft
[Page 51] "That wastes at midnight, or th' undreaded hour
" Of noon, flies hurtless; and that very voice,
" Which thunders terror thro' the conscious heart,
" With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine.
" 'Tis safety to be near thee sure, and thus
" To clasp perfection! " From his void embrace,
(Mysterious heaven!) that moment, in a heap
Of pallid ashes fell the beauteous maid.
But who can paint the lover, as he stood,
Struck by severe amazement, hating life,
Speechless, and fix'd in all the death of woe!
So, faint resemblance, on the marble-tomb,
The well-dissembl'd mourner stooping stands,
For ever silent, and for ever sad.
As from the face of heaven the shatter'd clouds
Tumultuous rove, th' interminable blue,
Delightful swells into the general arch,
That copes the nations. Nature from the storm
Shines out afresh; and thro' the lighten'd air
A higher lustre and a clearer calm,
[Page 52] Diffusive, tremble; while, as if in sign
Of danger past, a glittering robe of joy,
Set off abundant by the level ray,
Inverts the fields, yet dropping from distress.
'Tis beauty all, and grateful song around,
Joyn'd to the low of kine, and numerous bleat
Of flocks thick-nibbling thro' the clover'd vale.
And shall the hymn be marr'd by thankless man,
Most-favour'd; who with voice articulate
Should lead the chorus of this lower world?
Shall ho, so soon forgetful of the hand
That hush'd the thunder, and expands the sky,
After the tempest puff his idle vows,
And a new dance of vanity begin,
Scarce e'er the pant forsake the feeble heart?
Chear'd by the setting beam, the sprightly youth
Speeds to the well-known pool, whose crystal depth
A sandy bottom shews. A while he stands
Gazing th' inverted landskip, half afraid
[Page 53] To meditate the blue profound below;
Then plunges headlong down the circling flood.
His ebon tresses, and his rosy cheek
Instant emerge; and thro' the flexile wave,
At each short breathing by his lip repell'd,
With arms and legs according well, he makes,
As humour leads, an easy-winding path;
While, from his polish'd sides, a dewy light
Effuses on the pleas'd spectators round.
'Twas then beneath a secret-waving shade,
Where winded into lovely solituctes
Runs out the rambling dale that Damon sat,
Thoughtful, and fix'd in philosophic muse:
Damon, who still amid the savage woods,
And lonely lawns, the force of beauty scorn'd,
Firm, and to false philosophy devote.
The brook ran babling by; and sighing weak,
The breeze among the bending willows play'd:
When Sacharissa to the cool retreat,
With Amoret, and Musidora stole.
[Page 54] Warm in their cheek the sultry season glow'd;
And, rob'd in loose array, they came to bathe
Their fervent limbs in the refreshing stream.
Tall, and majestic, Sacharissa rose,
Superior treading, as on Ida's top
(So Grecian bards in wanton fable sung)
High-shone the sister and the wife of Jove.
Another Pallas Musidora seem'd,
Meek-ey'd, sedate, and gaining every look
A surer conquest of the sliding heart.
While, like the Cyprian goddess, Amoret,
Delicious dress'd in rosy-dimpled smiles,
And all one softness, melted on the sense.
Nor Paris panted stronger, when aside
The rival-goddesses the veil divine
Cast unconfin'd, and gave him all their charms,
Than, Damon, thou, the stoick now no more,
But man deep-felt, as from the snowy leg,
And slender foot, th' inverted silk they drew;
As the soft touch dissolv'd the virgin-zone;
And, thro' the parting robe, th' alternate breast,
[Page 55] With youth wild-throbbing, on thy lawless gaze
Luxuriant rose. Yet more enamour'd still,
When from their naked limbs of glowing white,
In folds loose-floating felt the fainter lawn;
And fair expos'd they stood, shrunk from themselves;
With fancy blushing; at the doubtful breeze
Arous'd, and starting, like the fearful fawn.
* So stands the statue that enchants the world,
Her full proportions such, and bashful so
Bends ineffectual from the roving eye.
Then to the flood they rush'd; the plunging fair
The parted flood with closing waves receiv'd;
And, every beauty softening, every grace
Flushing afresh, a mellow lustre shed:
As shines the lilly thro' the crystal mild;
Or as the rose amid the morning-dew
Puts on a warmer glow. In various play,
While thus they wanton'd; now beneath the wave,
But ill conceal'd; and now with streaming locks
[Page 56] Rising again; the latent Damon drew
Such draughts of love and beauty to the soul,
As put his harsh philosophy to flight,
The joyless search of long-deluded years;
And Musidora fixing in his heart,
Inform'd, and humaniz'd him into man.
This is the purest exercise of health.
The kind refresher of the summer-heats;
Nor when, the brook pellucid, Winter keens,
Would I weak-shivering linger on the brink.
Thus life redoubles, and is oft preserv'd
By the bold swimmer, in the swift illapse
Of accident disasterous. Hence the limbs
Knit into force; and the same Roman arm,
That rose victorious o'er the conquer'd earth,
First learn'd, while tender, to subdue the wave.
Even from the body's purity the mind
Receives a secret, sympathetic aid.
Low walks the sun, and broadens by degrees,
Just o'er the verge of day. The rising clouds,
That shift perpetual in his vivid train,
Their watry mirrors, numberless, oppos'd,
Unfold the hidden riches of his ray;
And chase a change of colours round the sky.
'Tis all one blush from east to west! and now,
Behind the dusky earth, he dips his orb;
Now half immers'd; and now a golden curve
Gives one faint glimmer, and then disappears.
For ever running an enchanted round,
Passes the day, deceitful, tedious, void;
As fleets the vision o'er the formful brain,
This moment hurrying all th' impassion'd soul,
The next in nothing lost. 'Tis so to him,
The dreamer of this earth, a chearless blank:
A sight of horror to the cruel wretch;
Who, rowling in inhuman pleasure deep,
The whole day long has made the widow pine;
[Page 58] And snatch'd the morsel from her orphan's mouth.
To give his dogs. But to the tuneful mind,
Who makes the hopeless heart to sing for joy,
Diffusing kind beneficence around,
Boastless, as now descends the silent dew;
To him the long review of order'd life
Is inward rapture, only to be felt.
Confess'd from yonder slow-extinguish'd clouds,
All aether saddening, sober Evening takes
Her wonted station in the middle air;
A thousand Shadows at her beck. First This
She sends on earth; then That of deeper die
Steals soft behind; and then a Deeper still,
In circle following circle, gathers round,
To close the face of things. A fresher breeze
Begins to wave the wood, and stir the stream,
Sweeping with shadowy gust the fields of corn;
While the quail clamours for his running mate.
His folded flock secure, the shepherd home
Hies, merry-hearted; and by turns relieves
[Page 59] The ruddy milk-maid of her brimming pail;
The Beauty, whom perhaps his witless heart,
Unknowing what the joy-mixt anguish means,
Loves fond, by the sincerest language shown
Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds.
Onward they pass, o'er many a panting height,
And valley sunk, and unfrequented; where
At fall of eve the fairy people throng,
In various game, and revelry to pass
The summer-night, as village-stories tell.
But far about they wander from the grave
Of him, whom his ungentle fortune urg'd
Against himself to lift the hated hand
Of violence; by men cast out from life,
And after death, to which they drove his hope,
Into the broad way side. The ruin'd tower
Is also shunn'd; whose hoary chambers hold,
So night-struck fancy dreams, the yelling ghost.
Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge,
The glow-worm lights his lamp; and, thro' the dark,
[Page 60] Twinkles a moving gem. On Evening's heel,
Night follows fast; not in her winter-robe
Of massy stygian woof, but loose array'd
In mantle dun. A faint erroneous ray,
Glanc'd from th' imperfect surfaces of things,
Flings half an image on the straining eye.
While wavering woods, and villages, and streams,
And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long retain'd
Th' ascending gleam, are all one swimming scene,
Doubtful if seen: whence sudden Vision turns
To heaven; where Venus, in the sterry front,
Shines eminent; and from her genial rise,
When day-light sickens, till it springs afresh,
Sheds influence on earth, to love, and life,
And every form of vegetation kind.
As thus th' effulgence tremulous I drink,
With glad peruse, the lambent lightnings shoot
A-cross the sky; or horizontal dart
O'er half the nations, in a minute's space,
Conglob'd, or long. Astonishment succeeds,
And silence, e'er the various talk begin.
The vulgar stare; amazement is their joy,
And mystic faith, a fond sequacious herd!
But scrutinous Philosophy looks deep,
With piercing eye, into the latent cause;
Nor can she swallow what she does not see.
With thee, serene Philosophy! with thee,
And thy high praises, let me crown my song!
Effusive source of evidence, and truth!
A lustre shedding o'er th' ennobled mind,
Stronger than summer-noon; and pure as that,
Whose mild vibrations sooth the parted soul,
New to the dawning of coelestial day.
Hence thro' her nourish'd powers, enlarg'd by thee,
She soaring spurns, with elevated pride,
The tangling mass of cares, and low desires,
That bind the fluttering croud; and, angel-wing'd,
The heights of Science, and of Virtue gains,
Where all his calm and clear; with Nature round
Or in the starry regions, or th' abyss,
To Reason's, and to fancy's eye display'd:
[Page 62] The First up-tracing from the vast inane,
The chain of causes and effects to Him,
Who, all-sustaining, in himself, alone
Possesses Being; while the Last receives
The whole magnificence of heaven and earth.
And every beauty, delicate or bold,
Obvious or more remote, with livelier sense,
A world swift-painted on th' attentive mind.
Tutor'd by thee, hence Poetry exalts
Her voice to ages; and informs the page
With music, image, sentiment, and thought,
Never to die! the treasure of mankind,
Their highest honour, and their truest joy!
Without thee what were unassisted man?
A savage roaming thro' the woods and wilds,
In quest of prey; and with th' unfashion'd furr
Rough-clad; devoid of every honest art,
And elegance of life. Nor home, nor joy
Domestick, mix'd of tenderness and care,
[Page 63] Nor moral excellence, nor social bliss,
Nor law were his; nor property; nor swain,
To turn the furrow; nor mechanic hand
Harden'd to toil; nor sailor bold; nor trade,
Mother severe of infinite delights!
Nothing, save rapine, indolence, and guile,
And woes on woes, a still-revolving train!
Whose horrid circle had made human life
Than non-existence worse. But taught by thee
Ours are the plans of policy, and peace;
To live like brothers, and conjunctive all
Embellish life. While thus laborious crouds
Ply the tough oar, Philosophy directs,
Star-led, the helm; or like the liberal breath
Of urgent heaven, invisible, the sails
Swells out, and bears th' inferior world along.
Nor to this evanescent speck of earth
Poorly confin'd, the radiant tracts on high
Are her exalted range; intent to gaze
Creation thro'; and, from that full complex
[Page 64] Of never-ending wonders, to conceive
Of the sole Being right, who spoke the word,
And nature mov'd compleat. With inward view,
Thence on th' ideal kingdom swift she turns
Her eye; and instant, at her virtual glance,
Th' obedient phantoms vanish or appear;
Compound, divide, and into order shift,
Each to his rank, from plain perception up
To notion quite abstract; where first begins
The world of spirits, action all, and life
Immediate, and unmix'd. But here the cloud,
So wills Eternal Providence, sits deep.
Enough for us we know that this dark state,
In wayward passions lost, and vain pursuits,
This infancy of being, cannot prove
The final issue of the works of God;
By Love and Wisdom inexpressive form'd,
And ever rising with the rising mind.
The END.




LONDON: Printed by N. BLANDFORD, for J. MILLAN, Bookseller near Whitehall. MDCCXXX. (Price 1s. 6d.)




The subject propos'd. Address to Mr. ONSLOW. A prospect of the fields ready for harvest. Reaping. A tale. A harvest storm. Shooting and hunting, their barbarity. A ludicrous account of fox-hunting. A view of an orchard. Wall-fruit. A vineyard. A description of fogs, frequent in the [...] part of AUTUMN: whence a digression, enquiring into the rise of fountains, and rivers. Birds of season consi­dered, that now shift their habitation. The prodigious number of them that cover the nor­thern and western isles of SCOTLAND. Hence a view of the country. A prospect of the dIscoloured, fading woods. After a gentle dusky day, moon-light. Autumnal meteors. Morning: to which succeeds a calm, pure, sun-shiNe day, such as usually shuts up the season. The harvest being gathered in, the country dissolv'd in joy. The whole concludes with a panegyric on a philosophical country life.


CROWN'D with the sickle, and the wheaten shear,
While Autumn, nodding o'er the yellow plain,
Comes jovial on; the doric reed once more,
Well-pleas'd, I tune. Whate'er the wintry frost
Nitrous prepar'd; the various-blossom'd Spring
Put in white promise forth; and Summer-Suns
Concocted strong, rush boundless now to view,
Full, perfect all, and swell my glorious theme.
[...] [...]
Onslow! the muse, ambitious of thy name,
To grace, inspire, and dignify her song,
Would from the public voice thy gentle ear
A while engage. Thy noble cares she knows,
The patriot-virtues that distend thy thought,
Spread on thy front, and in thy conduct glow;
While listening senates hang upon thy tongue,
Devolving thro' the maze of eloquence
A rowl of periods, sweeter than her song.
But she too pants for public virtue, she,
Tho' weak of power, yet strong in ardent will,
Whene'er her country rushes on her heart,
Assumes a bolder note, and fondly tries
To mix the patriot's with the poet's flame.
When the bright Virgin gives the beauteous days,
And Libra weighs in equal scales the year;
From heaven's high cope the fierce effulgence shook
Of parting Summer, a serener blue,
[Page 7] With golden light irradiate, wide invests
The happy world. Attemper'd suns arise,
Sweet-beam'd, and shedding oft thro' lucid clouds
A pleasing calm; while broad, and brown, below,
Unbounded harvests hang the heavy head.
Rich, silent, deep, they stand; for not a gale
Rolls its light billows o'er the bending plain;
A calm of plenty! till the ruffled air
Falls from its poise, and gives the breeze to blow.
Rent is the fleecy mantle of the sky;
The clouds fly different; and the sudden sun
By fits effulgent gilds th' illumin'd field,
And black by fits the shadows sweep along.
A gayly checker'd, wide-extended view,
Far as the circling eye can shoot around,
Convolv'd, and tossing in a flood of corn.
These are thy blessings Industry! rough Power!
Whom Labour still attends, and Sweat, and Pain;
Yet the kind source of every gentle art,
[Page 8] And all the soft civility of life:
Raiser of human kind! by Nature cast,
Naked, and helpless, out amid the woods,
And wilds, to rude inclement elements;
With various powers of deep efficiency
Implanted, and profusely pour'd around
Materials infinite; but idle all.
Still unexerted, in th' unconscious breast,
Slept the lethargic powers; Corruption still,
Voracious, swallow'd what the liberal hand
Of Bounty scatter'd o'er the savage year.
And still the sad barbarian, roving, mix'd
With beasts of prey; or for his acron-meal
Fought the fierce tusky boar: a shivering wretch!
Aghast, and comfortless, when the red north,
With winter charg'd, let the mixt tempest fly,
Hail, rain, and snow, and bitter-breathing frost.
Then to the shelter of the hut he fled;
And the wild season, sordid, pin'd away.
For home he had not; home is the resort
[Page 9] Of love, of joy, of peace, and plenty, where,
Supporting and supported, polish'd friends,
And dear relations mingle into bliss.
But this the rugged savage never felt,
Even desolate in crouds; and thus his days
Roll'd heavy, dark, and unenjoy'd along;
A waste of time! till Industry approach'd,
And rous'd him from his miserable sloth;
His faculties unfolded; pointed out,
Where lavish Nature the directing hand
Of Art demanded; shew'd him how to raise
His feeble force by the mechanic powers,
To dig the mineral from the vaulted earth,
On what to turn the piercing rage of fire,
On what the torrent, and the gather'd blast;
Gave the tall antient forest to his ax;
Taught him to chip the wood, and hew the stone,
Till by degrees the finish'd fabric rose;
Tore from his limbs the blood-polluted fur,
And wrapt them in the woolly vestment warm,
[Page 10] Or bright in glossy silk, and flowing lawn;
With wholesome viands fill'd his table, pour'd
The generous glass around, inspir'd, to wake
The life-refining soul of decent wit:
Nor stopp'd at barren, bare necessity;
But still advancing bolder, led him on,
By hardy patience, and experience slow,
To pomp, to pleasure, elegance, and grace;
And breathing high ambition thro' his soul,
Set science, wisdom, glory in his view,
And bad him be the Lord of all below.
Then gathering men their natural powers combin'd,
And form'd a Public; to the general good
Submitting, aiming, and conducting all.
For this the Patriot-Council met, the full,
The free, and fairly represented Whole,
For this devis'd the holy guardian laws,
Distinguish'd orders, animated Arts,
And with joint force Oppression chaining, set
[Page 11] Imperial Justice at the helm; yet still
To them accountable: nor slavish dream'd
That toiling millions must resign their weal,
And all the honey of their search, to such
As for themselves alone themselves have rais'd.
Hence every form of cultivated life
In order set, protected, and inspir'd,
Into perfection wrought. Uniting all,
Society grew numerous, high, polite,
And happy. Nurse of art! the city rose;
And stretching street on street by thousands led,
From twining woody haunts, and the tough yew
To bows strong-straining, her aspiring sons.
'Twas nought but labour, the whole dusky groupe
Of clustering houses, and of mingling men,
Restless design, and execution strong.
In every street the sounding hammer ply'd
His massy task; while the corrosive file,
In flying touches, form'd the fine machine.
Then Commerce brought into the public walk
The busy Merchant; the big ware-house built;
Rais'd the strong crane; choak'd up the loaded street
With foreign plenty; and on thee, thou Thames,
Large, gentle, deep, majestic, king of floods!
Than whom no river heaves a fuller tide,
Seiz'd for his grand resort. On either hand,
Like a long wintry forest, groves of masts
Shot up their spires; the bellying sheet between
Possess'd the breezy void; the sooty hulk
Steer'd sluggish on; the splendid barge along
Row'd, regular, to harmony; around,
The boat, light-skimming, stretch'd its oary wings;
While deep the various voice of fervent toil
From bank to bank increas'd; whence ribb'd with oak,
To bear the British thunder, black, and bold,
The roaring vessel rush'd into the main.
Then too the pillar'd dome, magnific, heav'd
His ample roof; and Luxury within
Pour'd out her glittering stores. The canvas smooth,
With glowing life protuberant, to the view
Embodied rose. The statue seem'd to breathe,
And soften into flesh, beneath the touch
Of forming art, imagination-flush'd.
All is the gift of Industry; whate'er
Exalts, embellishes, and renders life
Delightful. Pensive Winter chear'd by him
Sits at the social fire, and happy hears
Th' excluded tempest idly rave along.
His harden'd fingers deck the gaudy Spring.
Without him Summer were an arid waste;
Nor to th' autumnal months could thus transmit
These full, mature, immeasurable stores,
That, waving round, recal my wandering song.
Soon as the morning trembles o'er the sky,
And, unperceiv'd, unfolds the spreading day;
Before the ripen'd field the reapers stand,
In fair array; each by the lass he loves,
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate
By nameless gentle offices her toil.
At once they stoop, and swell the lusty sheaves;
While, bandied round and round, the rural talk,
The rural scandal, and the rural jest
Fly hearty, to deceive the tedious time,
And chearly steal the sultry hours away.
Behind the master walks, builds up the shocks;
And, conscious, glancing oft this way and that
His sated eye, feels his heart heave with joy.
The gleaners spread around, and here and there,
Spike after spike, their sparing harvest pick.
Be not too narrow, husband-men! but fling
From the full sheaf, with charitable stealth,
The liberal handful. Think, oh grateful think!
[Page 15] How good the God of harvest is to you;
Who pours abundance o'er your flowing fields;
While these unhappy partners of your kind
Wide-hover round you, like the fowls of heaven,
And ask their humble dole. The various turns
Of fortune ponder; that your sons may want
What now, with hard reluctance, faint, ye give.
The lovely young Lavinia once had friends;
And fortune smil'd, deceitful, on her birth.
For in her helpless years depriv'd of all,
Of every stay, save innocence and Heaven,
She with her widow'd mother, feeble, old,
And poor, liv'd in a cottage, lost far up
Amid the windings of a woody vale;
Safe from the cruel, blasting arts of man;
Almost on Nature's common bounty fed,
Like the gay birds that sung them to repose,
Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare.
Her form was fresher than the morning-rose,
[Page 16] When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd, and pure,
As is the lilly, or the mountain snow.
The modest virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground deject, and darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers:
Or when the stories that her mother told,
Of what her faithless fortune flatter'd once,
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy star
Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair-proportion'd on her polish'd limbs,
Veil'd in a simple robe; for loveliness
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is when unadorn'd adorn'd the most.
Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's self,
Recluse among the woods; if city-dames
Will deign their faith. And thus she went compell'd
By strong necessity, with as serene,
And pleas'd a look as patience can put on,
To glean Palaemon's fields. The pride of swains
Palaemon was, the generous, and the rich,
[Page 17] Who led the rural life in all its joy,
And elegance, such as Arcadian song
Transmits from antient, incorrupted times;
When tyrant custom had not shackled man,
And free to follow nature was the mode.
He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes
Amusing, chanc'd beside his reaper-train
To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye;
Unconscious of her power, and turning quick
With unaffected blushes from his gaze.
He saw her charming, but he saw not half
The charms her down-cast modesty conceal'd.
That very moment love and chast desire
Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown;
For still the world prevail'd, and its dread laugh
Which scarce the firm philosopher can scorn,
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field:
And thus in secret to his soul he sigh'd.
What pity! that so delicate a form,
By beauty kindled, and harmonious shap'd,
Where sense sincere, and goodness seem'd to dwell,
Should be devoted to the rude embrace
Of some indecent clown? She looks, methinks,
Of old Acasto's line; and to my mind
Recalls that patron of my happy life,
From whom my liberal fortune took its rise;
Now to the dust gone down; his houses, lands,
And once fair-spreading family dissolv'd.
I've heard that, in some waste obscure retreat,
Urg'd by remembrance sad, and decent pride,
Far from those scenes which knew their better days,
His aged widow and his daughter live;
Whom yet my fruitless search could never find.
Romantic wish, would this the daughter were!
When, strict enquiring, from herself he found
She was the same, the daughter of his friend,
[Page 19] The bountiful Acasto; who can speak
The mingling passion that surpriz'd his heart,
And thro' his nerves in shivering transport ran?
Then blaz'd his smother'd flame, avowed, and bold;
And as he run her, ardent, o'er and o'er,
Love, gratitude, and pity wept at once.
Confus'd, and frighten'd at his sudden tears,
Her rising beauties flush'd a higher bloom,
As thus Paleemon, passionate, and just,
Pour'd out the pious rapture of his soul.
And art thou then Acasto's dear remains?
She, whom my restless gratitude has sought
So long in vain? Oh yes! the very same,
The soften'd image of my noble friend,
Alive, his every feature, every look,
More elegantly touch'd. Fairer than spring!
Thou sole surviving blossom from the root,
That nourish'd up my fortune, say, ah where,
In what unsmiling desart, hast thou drawn
[Page 20] The kindest aspect of delighted heaven?
Into such beauty spread? and blown so white?
Tho' poverty's cold wind, and crashing rain,
Beat keen, and heavy, on thy tender years.
O let me now, into a richer soil,
Transplant thee safe! where vernal suns, and showers,
Diffuse their warmest, largest influence;
And of my garden be the pride, and joy!
It ill befits thee, oh it ill befits
Acasto's daughter, his, whose open stores,
Tho' vast, were little to his ampler heart,
The father of a country, thus to pick
The very refuse of those harvest-fields,
His bounty taught to gain, and right enjoy.
Then throw that shameful pittance from thy hand,
But ill apply'd to such a rugged task;
With harvest shining all these fields are thine;
And, if my wishes may presume so far,
Their master too, who then indeed were blest,
To make the daughter of Acasto so.
Here ceas'd the youth: yet still his speaking eye
Express'd the sacred triumph of his soul,
With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love,
Above the vulgar joy divinely rais'd.
Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm
Of goodness irresistible, and all
In sweet disorder lost, she blush'd consent.
The news immediate to her mother brought,
While, pierc'd with anxious thought, she pin'd away
The lonely moments for Lavinia's fate;
Amaz'd, and scarce believing what she heard,
Joy seiz'd her wither'd veins, and one bright gleam
Of setting life shone on her evening-hours:
Not less enraptur'd than the happy pair;
Who flourish'd long in mutual bliss, and rear'd
A numerous offspring, lovely like themselves,
And good, the grace of all the country round.
Defeating oft the labours of the year,
The sultry south collects a potent blast.
At first, the groves are scarcely seen to stir
Their trembling tops; and a still murmur runs
Along the soft-inclining fields of corn.
But as th' aereal tempest fuller swells;
And in one mighty stream, invisible,
Immense, the whole excited atmosphere,
Impetuous rushes o'er the sounding world;
Strain'd to the root, the stooping forest pours
A rustling shower of yet untimely leaves.
High-beat, the circling mountains eddy in,
From the bare wild, the dissipated storm,
And send it in a torrent down the vale.
Expos'd, and naked, to its utmost rage,
Thro' all the sea of harvest rolling round,
The billowy plain boils wide; nor can evade,
Tho' plyant to the blast, its seizing force;
Or whirl'd in air, or into vacant chaff
[Page 23] Shook waste. And sometimes too a burst of rain,
Swept from the black horizon, broad, descends
In one continuous flood. Still over head
The glomerating tempest grows, and still
The deluge deepens; till the fields around
Ly sunk, and flatted, in the sordid wave.
Sudden, the ditches swell; the meadows swim.
Red, from the hills, innumerable streams
Tumultuous roar; and high above its banks
The river lift; before whose weighty rush,
Herds, flocks, and harvests, cottages, and swains,
Roll mingled down; all that the winds had spar'd,
In one wild moment ruin'd, the big hopes,
And well-earn'd treasures of the painful year.
Fled to some eminence, the husbandman,
Helpless beholds the miserable wreck
Driving along, his drowning ox at once
Descending, with his labours scatter'd round,
He sees; and instant o'er his shivering thought
Comes winter unprovided, and a train
[Page 24] Of clamant children dear. Ye masters, then
Be mindful of the rough laborious hand,
That sinks you soft in elegance, and ease;
Be mindful of those limbs, in russet clad,
Whose toil to yours is warmth, and graceful pride;
And oh be mindful of that sparing board,
Which covers yours with luxury profuse,
Makes your glass sparkle, and your sense rejoice!
Nor cruelly demand what the deep rains,
And all-involving winds have swept away.
Here the rude clamour of the sportsman's joy,
The gun thick-thundering, and the winded horn,
Would tempt the muse to ling the rural game.
How, in his mid-career, the spaniel struck,
Stiff, by the tainted gale, with open nose,
Out-stretch'd, and finely sensible, draws full,
Fearful, and cautious, on the latent prey;
As in the sun the circling covey bask
Their varied plumes, watchful, and every way
[Page 25] Thro' the rough stubble turn'd the secret eye.
Caught in the meshy snare, in vain they beat
Their useless wings, intangled more and more:
Nor on the surges of the boundless air,
Tho' borne triumphant, are they safe; the gun,
Glanc'd just, and sudden, from the fowler's eye,
O'ertakes their sounding pinions; and again,
Immediate, brings them from the towering wing,
Dead to the ground; or drives them else disperst,
Wounded, and wheeling various, down the wind.
These are not subjects for the peaceful muse,
Nor will she stain her spotless theme with such; Then most delighted, when she smiling sees
The whole mix'd animal creation round
Alive, and happy. 'Tis not joy to her,
This falsely chearful, barbarous game of death;
This rage of pleasure, which the restless youth
Awakes, impatient, with the gleaming morn;
When beasts of prey retire, that all night long,
[Page 26] Urg'd by necessity, had roam'd the dark;
As if their conscious ravage shun'd the light,
Asham'd. Not so the steady tyrant man,
Who with the thoughtless insolence of power
Inflam'd, beyond the most infuriate rage
Of the worst monster that e'er howl'd the waste,
For sport alone takes up the cruel tract,
Amid the beamings of the gentle days.
Upbraid us not, ye wolves! ye tygers fell!
For hunger kindles you, and lawless want;
But lavish fed, in Nature's bounty roll'd,
To laugh at anguish, and rejoice in blood,
Is what your horrid bosoms never knew.
Poor is the triumph o'er the timid Hare!
Shook from the corn, and now to some lone seat
Retir'd: the rushy fen; the ragged furz,
Stretch'd o'er the stony heath; the stubble chapt;
The thistly lawn; the thick, intangled broom;
Of the same friendly hue, the wither'd fern;
[Page 27] The fallow ground laid open to the sun,
Concoctive; and the nodding sandy bank,
Hung o'er the mazes of the mountain-brook.
Vain is her best precaution; tho' she sits
By Nature rais'd to take the horizon in;
And head couch'd close betwixt her hairy feet,
In act to spring away. The scented dew
Betrays her early labyrinth; and deep,
In scatter'd, sullen openings, far behind,
With every breeze she hears the coming storm.
But nearer, and more frequent, as it loads
The sighing gale, she springs amaz'd, and all
The savage soul of game is up at once:
The pack full-opening, varions; the shrill horn,
Resounded from the hills; the neighing steed,
Wild for the chace; and the loud hunter's shout;
O'er a weak, harmless, flying creature, all
Mix'd in mad tumult, and discordant joy.
[Page 28] The Stag too, singled from the herd, where long
He rang'd the branching monarch of the shades,
Before the tempest drives. At first in speed,
He, sprightly, puts his faith; and, fear-arous'd,
Gives all his swift, aereal soul to flight.
Against the breeze he darts, that way the more
To leave the lessening, murderous cry behind.
Deception short! tho' fleeter than the winds
Blown o'er the keen-air'd mountain by the north,
He bursts the thickets, glances thro' the glades,
And plunges deep into the wildest wood.
If slow, yet sure, adhesive to the tract
Hot-steaming, up behind him comes again
Th' inhuman rout, and from the shady depth
Expel him, circling thro' his every shift.
He sweeps the forest oft; and sobbing sees
The glades, mild-opening to the golden day;
Where, in kind contest, with his butting friends
He went to struggle, or his loves enjoy.
[Page 29] Oft in the full-descending flood he tries
To lose the scent, and lave his burning sides;
Oft seeks the herd; the watchful herd alarm'd,
With quick consent, avoid th' infectious maze.
What shall he do? His once so vivid nerves,
So full of buoyant soul, inspire no more
The fainting course; but wrenching, breathless toil,
Sick, seizes on his heart: he stands at bay;
And puts his last weak refuge in despair.
The big round tears run down his dappled face;
He groans in anguish; while the growling pack,
Blood-happy, hang at his fair, jutting chest,
And mark his beauteous checquer'd sides with gore.
Of this enough. But if the silvan youth
Whose fervent blood boils into violence,
Must have the chace; behold, despising flight,
The rous'd-up lyon, resolute, and slow,
Advancing full on the protended spear,
And coward-band, that circling wheel aloof.
[Page 30] Slunk from the cavern, and the troubled wood,
See the grim wolf; on him his shaggy foe
Viudictive fix, for murder is his trade:
And, growling horrid, as the brindled boar
Grins near destruction, to the monster's heart
Let the dart lighten from the nervous arm.
These Britain Knows not; give, ye Britons, then
Your sportive fury, pityless, to pour
Loose on the sly destroyer of the flock.
Him, from his craggy winding haunts unearth'd,
Let all the thunder of the chace pursue.
Throw the broad ditch behind you; o'er the hedge
High-bound, resistless; nor the deep morass
Refuse, but thro' the shaking wilderness
Pick your, nice way; into the perilous flood
Bear fearless, of the raging instinct full;
And as you ride the torrent, to the banks
Your triumph sound sonorous, running round,
From rock to rock, in circling echo tost;
[Page 31] Then snatch the mountains by their woody tops;
Rush down the dangerous steep; and o'er the lawn,
In fancy swallowing up the space between,
Pour all your speed into the rapid game.
For happy he! who tops the wheeling chace;
Has every maze evolv'd, and every guile
Disclos'd; who knows the merits of the pack;
Who saw the villain seiz'd, and dying hard,
Without complaint, tho' by an hundred mouths
At once tore, mercyless. Thrice happy he!
At hour of dusk, while the retreating horn
Calls them to ghostly halls of grey renown,
With woodland honours grac'd; the fox's fur,
Depending decent from the roof; and spread
Round the drear walls, with antick figures fierce,
The stag's large front: he then is loudest heard,
When the night staggers with severer toils;
And their repeated wonders shake the dome.
But first the fuel'd chimney blazes wide;
The tankards foam; and the strong table groans
Beneath the smoaking sirloin, stretch'd immense
From side to side; on which, with fell intent,
They deep incision make, and talk the while
Of England's glory, ne'er to be defac'd,
While hence they borrow vigour: or amain
Into the pasty plung'd, at intervals,
If stomach keen can intervals allow,
Relating how it ran, and how it fell.
Then sated Hunger bids his brother Thirst
Produce the mighty bowl; the mighty bowl,
Swell'd high with fiery juice, steams liberal round
A potent gale, reviving as the breath
Of Maia, to the love-sick shepherdess,
On violets diffus'd, while soft she hears
Her panting shepherd stealing to her arms,
Nor wanting is the brown october, drawn,
Mature, and perfect, from his dark retreat
[Page 33] Of thirty years; and now his honest front
Flames in the light refulgent, nor asham'd
To vie it with the vineyard's best produce.
Perhaps a while, amusive, thoughtful Whisk
Walks gentle round, beneath a cloud of smoak,
Wreath'd, fragrant, from the pipe; or the quick dice,
In thunder leaping from the box, awake
The sounding gammon: while romp-loving miss
Is haul'd about, in gallantry robust.
At last these puling idlenesses laid
Aside, frequent, and full, the dry divan
Close in firm circle; and set, ardent, in
For serious drinking. Nor evasion sly,
Nor sober shift is to the puking wretch
Indulg'd askew; but earnest, brimming bowls
Lave every soul, the table floating round,
And pavement, faithless to the fuddled foot.
Thus as they swim in mutual swill, the talk,
Vociferate at once by twenty tongues,
[Page 34] Reels fast from theme to theme; from horses, hounds,
To church, or mistress, politicks, or ghost,
In endless mazes, intricate, perplext.
Mean-time, with sudden interruption, loud,
Th' impatient catch bursts from the joyous heart.
That moment touch'd is every kindred soul;
And, opening in a full-mouth'd Cry of joy,
The laugh, the slap, the jocund curse goes round;
While, from their slumbers shook, the kennel'd hounds
Mix in the music of the day again.
As when the tempest, that has vex'd the deep
The dark night long, falls murmuring towards morn;
So their mirth gradual sinks. Their feeble tongues,
Unable to take up the cumbrous word,
Ly quite disslov'd. Before their maudlin eyes,
Seen dim, and blue, the double tapers dance,
Like the sun wading thro' the misty sky.
Then, sliding sweet, they drop. O'erturn'd above
Lies the wet, broken scene; and stretch'd below,
Each way, the drunken slaughter; where astride
[Page 35] The lubber Power himself triumphant sits,
Slumbrous, inclining still from side to side,
And steeps them, silent all, in sleep till morn.
But if the rougher sex by this red sport
Are hurry'd wild, let not such horrid joy
E'er stain the bosom of the British Fair.
Far be the spirit of the chace from them!
Uncomely courage, unbeseeming skill,
To spring the fence, to rein the prancing steed,
The cap, the whip, the masculine attire,
In which they roughen to the sense, and all
The winning softness of their sex is lost.
Made up of blushes, tenderness, and fears,
In them 'tis graceful to dissolve at woe;
With every motion, every word, to wave
Quick o'er the kindling cheek the ready blush;
And from the smallest violence to shrink,
Unequal, then the loveliest in their fears;
And by this silent adulation, soft,
[Page 36] To their protection more engaging man.
O may their eyes no miserable sight,
Save weeping lovers, see! a nobler game,
Thro' love's enchanting wiles pursu'd, yet fled,
In chace ambiguous. May their tender limbs
Float in the loose simplicity of dress!
And fashion'd all to harmony, alone,
Know they to seize the captivated soul,
In rapture warbled from the radiant lip;
To teach the lute to languish; with smooth step,
Disclosing motion in its every charm,
To swim along, and swell the mazy dance;
To train the foliage o'er the snowy lawn;
To play the pencil, turn th' instructive page;
To give new flavour to the fruitful year,
And heighten Nature's dainties; in their race
To rear their graces into second life;
To give society its highest taste;
Well-order'd home man's best delight to make;
And by submissive wisdom, modest skill,
[Page 37] With every kinder, care-elusive art,
To raise the glory, animate the joys,
And sweeten all the toils of human life;
This be the female dignity, and praise.
Ye swains, now hasten to the hazel-bank;
Where, down yon dale, the wildly-winding brook
Falls hoarse from steep to steep. In close array
Fit for the thickets, and the tangling shrub,
Ye virgins, come. For you their latest song
The woodlands raise; the cluster'd nut for you
The lover finds amid the secret shade;
Or, where they burnish on the topmost bough,
With active vigour crushes down the tree;
Or shakes them ripe from the resigning husk,
A glossy shower, and of an ardent brown,
As are the ringlets of Melinda's hair:
Melinda form'd with every grace compleat,
Yet these neglecting, above beauty wise,
And far transcending such a vulgar praise.
Hence from the busy, joy-resounding fields,
In cheerful error, let us tread the maze
Of Autumn, unconfin'd; and vital taste
The breath of orchard big with bending fruit.
Obedient to the breeze, and beating ray,
From the deep-loaded bough a mellow shower,
Incessant melts away. The juicy pear
Lies, in a soft profusion, scatter'd round.
A various sweetness swells the gentle race;
In species different, but in kind the same,
By Nature's all-refining hand prepar'd,
Of temper'd sun, and water, earth, and air,
In ever-changing composition mixt.
So fares it with those wide-projected heaps
Of apples, which the lusty-handed year,
Innumerous, o'er the blushing orchard shakes.
A various spirit, fresh, delicious, keen,
Dwells in their gelid pores; and, active, points
The piercing cyder for the thirsty tongue:
[Page 39] Thy native theme, and boon inspirer too,
Phillips, facetious bard, the second thou
Who nobly durst, in rhyme-unfetter'd verse,
With British freedom sing the British song;
How, from Silurian vats, high-sparkling wines
Foam in transparent floods; some strong, to cheer
The wintry revels of the labouring hind;
And tasteful some, to cool the summer-hours.
In this glad season, while his last, best beams
The sun sheds equal o'er the meeken'd day;
Oh lose me in the green, majestic walks
Of, Dodington! thy seat, serene, and plain;
Where simple Nature reigns; and every view,
Diffusive, spreads the pure Dorsetian downs,
In boundless prospect, yonder shagg'd with wood;
Here rich with harvest; and there white with flocks.
Mean time the grandeur of thy lofty dome,
Far-splendid, seizes on the ravish'd eye.
New beauties rise with each revolving day;
[Page 40] New columns swell; and still the fresh spring finds
New plants to quicken, and new groves to green.
Full of thy genius all! the muses seat;
Where in the secret bower, and winding walk
They twine the bay for thee. Here oft alone,
Fir'd by the thirst of thy applause, I court
Th' inspiring breeze; and meditate the book
Of Nature, ever-open; aiming thence,
Heart-taught like thine, to learn the moral song.
And, as I steal along, the sunny wall,
Where Autumn basks, with fruit empurpled deep,
My theme still urges in my vagrant thought;
Presents the downy peach; the purple plumb,
With a fine blueish mist of animals
Clouded; the ruddy nectarine; and dark,
Beneath his ample leaf, the luscious fig.
The vine too here her curling tendrils shoots;
Hangs out her clusters, swelling to the south;
And scarcely wishes for a warmer sky.
Turn we a moment Fancy's rapid flight
To vigorous soils, and climes of fair extent;
Where, by the potent sun elated high,
The vineyard heaves refulgent on the day;
Spreads o'er the vale; or up the mountain climbs,
Profuse; and drinks amid the sunny rocks,
From cliff to cliff encreas'd, the heighten'd blaze.
Low bend the gravid boughs. The clusters clear,
Half thro' the foliage seen, or ardent flame,
Or shine transparent; while perfection breathes
White o'er the turgent film the living dew.
As thus they brighten with exalted juice,
Touch'd into flavour by the mingling ray;
The rural youth and virgins o'er the field,
Each fond for each to cull th' autumnal prime,
Exulting rove, and speak the vintage nigh.
Then comes the crushing swain; the country floats,
And foams unbounded with the mashy flood;
That by degrees fermented, and refin'd,
[Page 42] Round the rais'd nations pours the cup of joy:
The Claret smooth, deep as the lip we press,
In sparkling fancy, while we drain the bowl;
The mellow-tasted Burgundy; and quick,
As is the wit it gives, the bright Champaign.
Now by the cool, declining year condens'd,
Descend the copious exhalations, check'd
As up the middle sky unseen they stole,
And roll the doubling sogs around the hill.
No more the mountain, horrid, vast, sublime,
Who pours a sweep of rivers from his sides;
And deep betwixt contending kingdoms lays
The rocky, long division; while aloft,
His piny top is, lessening, lost in air:
No more his thousand prospects fill the view
With great variety; but in a night
Of gathering vapour, from the bassled sense,
Sink dark, and total. Nor alone immerst;
The huge dusk, gradual, swallows up the plain.
[Page 43] Vanish the woods. The dim-seen river seems
Sullen, and slow, to rowl the misty wave.
Even in the height of noon opprest, the sun
Sheds weak, and blunt, his wide-refracted ray;
Whence glaring oft with many a broaden'd orb
He frights the nations. Indistinct on earth,
Seen thro' the turbid air, beyond the life,
Objects appear; and, wilder'd, o'er the waste,
The shepherd stalks gigantick. Till at last
Wreath'd close around, in deeper circles still
Successive floating, sits the general fog
Unbounded o'er the world; and mingling thick,
A formless, grey confusion covers all.
As when of old (so sung the hebrew bard)
Light, uncollected, thro' the Chaos urg'd
Its infant way; nor Order yet had drawn
His endless train forth from the dubious gloom.
These roving mists, that constant now begin
To smoak along the hilly country, these,
[Page 44] With mighty rains, the skill'd in nature say,
The mountain-cisterns fill, those grand reserves
Of water, scoop'd among the hollow rocks;
Whence gush the streams, the ceaseless fountains play,
And their unfailing stores the rivers draw.
But is this equal to the vast effect?
Is thus the Volga fill'd? the rapid Rhine?
The broad Euphrates? all th' unnumber'd floods,
That large refresh the fair-divided earth;
And, in the rage of summer, never cease
To send a thundering torrent to the main?
What tho' the sun draws from the steaming deep
More than the rivers pour? How much again,
O'er the vext surge, in bitter-driving showers,
Frequent returns, let the wet sailor say:
And on the thirsty down, far from the burst
Of springs, how much, to their reviving fields,
And feeding flocks, let lonely shepherds sing.
But sure 'tis no weak, variable cause,
[Page 45] That keeps at once ten thousand thousand floods,
Wide-wandering o'er the world, so fresh, and clear,
For ever flowing, and for ever full.
And thus some sages, deep-exploring, teach:
That, where the hoarse, innumerable wave,
Eternal, lashes the refounding shore;
Suck'd thro' the sandy Stratum, every way,
The waters with the sandy Stratum rise;
Amid whole angles infinitely strain'd,
They leave each saline particle behind,
And clear, and sweeten, as they soak along.
Nor stops the restless fluid, mounting still,
Tho' here and there in lowly plains it springs,
But to the mountain courted by the sand,
That leads it darkling on in faithful maze,
Far from the parent-main, it boils again
Fresh into day; and all the glittering hill
Is bright with spouting rills. The vital stream
Hence, in its subterranean passage, gains,
From the wash'd mineral, that restoring power,
[Page 46] And salutary virtue, which anew
Strings every nerve, calls up the kindling soul
Into the healthful cheek, and joyous eye:
And whence, the royal maid, Amelia blooms
With new-flush'd graces; yet reserv'd to bless,
Beyond a crown, some happy prince; and shine,
In all her mother's matchless virtues drest,
The Carolina of another land.
While Autumn scatters his departing gleams,
Warn'd of approaching winter, gather'd, play
The swallow-people; and tost wide around,
O'er the calm sky, in convolution swift,
The feather'd eddy floats. Rejoycing once,
E're to their wintry slumbers they retire;
In clusters clung, beneath the mouldering bank,
And where the cavern sweats, as sages dream.
Or rather into warmer climes convey'd,
With other kindred birds of season, there
They twitter cheerful, till the vernal months
[Page 47] Invite them welcome back: for, thronging, now Innumerous wings are in commotion all.
Where the Rhine loses his majestic force
In Belgian plains, won from the raging deep
By diligence amazing, and the strong,
Unconquerable hand of Liberty,
The stork-assembly meets; for many a day,
Consulting deep, and various, e're they take
Their plumy voyage thro' the liquid sky.
And now their rout design'd, their leaders chose,
Their tribes adjusted, clean'd their vigorous wings;
And many a circle, many a short essay
Wheel'd round and round, in congregation full,
The figur'd flight ascends; and, riding high
Th' aerial billows, mixes with the clouds.
Or where the Northern ocean, in vast whirls,
Boils round the naked, melancholy isles
Of farthest Thule, and th' Atlantic surge
[Page 48] Pours in among the stormy Hebrides;
Who can recount what transmigrations there
Are annual made? What nations come and go?
And how the living clouds on clouds arise?
Infinite wings! till all the plume-dark air,
And white resounding store are one wild cry
Here the plain, harmless native his small flock,
And herd diminutive of many hues,
Tends on the little island's verdant swell,
The shepherd's sea-girt reign; or, to the rocks
Dire-clinging, gathers his ovarious food;
Or sweeps the fishy shore; or treasures up
The plumage, riling full, to form the bed
Of luxury. And here a while the muse,
High-hovering o'er the broad cerulean scene,
Sees Caledonia, in romantic view:
Her airy mountains, from the gelid main,
Invested with a keen, diffusive sky,
Breathing the soul acute; her forests huge,
[Page 49] Incult, robust, and tall, by Nature's hand
Planted of old; her azure lakes between,
Pour'd out extensive, and of watry wealth
Full; winding deep, and green, her fertile vales;
With many a cool, translucent, brimming flood
Wash'd lovely, from the Tweed, pure parent-stream,
To where the north-inflated tempest foams
O'er Orca, or Betubium's highest peak.
Nurse of a people, in misfortune's school
Train'd up to hardy deeds; soon visited
By Learnings, when before the Gothic rage
She took her western flight. A generous race
Of unsubmitting spirit, wise, and brave,
Who still thro' bleeding ages struggled hard,
To hold a hapless, undiminish'd state;
Too much in vain! Hence of ignoble bounds
Impatient, and by tempting glory borne
O'er every land, for every land their life
Has flow'd profuse, their piercing genius plan'd,
And swell'd the pomp of peace their faithful toil.
[Page 50] As from their own clear north, in radiant streams,
Bright over Europe bursts the Boreal Morn.
Oh is there not some patriot, in whose power
That best, that godlike luxury is plac'd,
Of blessing thousands, thousands yet unborn,
Thro' late posterity? some, large of soul!
To cheer dejected industry? to give
A double harvest to the pining swain?
And teach the labouring hand the sweets of toil?
How, by the finest art, the native robe
To weave; how, white as hyperborean snow,
To form the lucid lawn; with venturous oar,
How to dash wide the billow; nor look on,
Shamefully passive, while Batavian fleets
Defraud us of the glittering, finny swarms,
That heave our friths, and croud upon our shores;
How all-enlivening trade to rouse, and wing
The prosperous sail, from every growing port,
Unchalleng'd, round the sea-incircled globe;
[Page 51] And thus united Britain Britain make
Intire, th' imperial Mistress of the deep.
Yes, there are such. And full on thee, Argyle,
Her hope, her stay, her darling, and her boast,
From her first patriots, and her heroes sprung,
Thy fond, imploring country turns her eye:
In thee, with all a mother's triumph, sees
Her every virtue, every grace combin'd,
Her genius, wisdom, her politest turn,
Her pride of honour, and her courage try'd,
Calm, and intrepid, in the very throat
Of sulphurous war, on Tenier's dreadful field,
While thick around the deadly tempest flew.
And when the trumpet, kindling war no more,
Pours not the flaming squadrons o'er the field;
But, fruitful of fair deeds, and mutual faith,
Kind peace unites the jarring world again;
Let the deep olive thro' thy laurels twine.
For, powerful as thy sword, from thy rich tongue
[Page 52] Persuasion flows, and wins the high debate:
While mix'd in thee combine the charm of youth,
The force of manhood, and the depth of age.
Thee, Forbes, too, whom every worth attends,
As Truth sincere, as weeping Friendship kind,
Thee, truly generous, and in silence great,
Thy country feels thro' her reviving arts,
Plan'd by thy wisdom, by thy soul inform'd;
And seldom has she felt the friend like thee.
But see the fading, many-colour'd woods,
Shade deepening over shade, the country round
Imbrown; a crowded umbrage, dusk, and dun,
Of every hue, from wan, declining green
To sooty dark. These now the lonesome muse,
Low-whispering, lead into their leaf-strown walks,
And give the Season in its latest view.
Mean-time, light-shadowing all, a sober calm
Fleeces unbounded ether; whose least wave
[Page 53] Stands tremulous, uncertain where to turn
The gentle current: while illumin'd wide,
The dewy-skirted clouds imbibe the sun,
And thro' their uvid pores his temper'd force
Shed o'er the peaceful world. Then is the time,
For those whom Wisdom, and whom Nature charm,
To steal themselves from the degenerate crowd,
And soar above this little scene of things;
To tread low-thoughted vice beneath their feet;
To sooth the throbbing passions into peace;
And woo lone Quiet in her silent walks.
Thus solitary, and in pensive guise,
Oft let me wander o'er the russet mead,
And thro' the sadden'd grove, where scarce is heard
One dying strain, to cheer the woodman's toil.
Haply some widow'd songster pours his plaint
Far, in saint warblings, thro' the tawny copse.
While congregated thrushes, linnets, larks,
And each wild throat, whose artless strains so late
[Page 54] Swell'd all the music of the swarming shades,
Robb'd of their tuneful souls, now shivering sit
On the dead tree, a dull, despondent flock!
With not a brightness waving o'er their plumes,
And nought save chattering discord in their note,
O let not, aim'd from some inhuman eye,
The gun the music of the coming year
Destroy; and harmless, unsuspecting harm,
Lay the weak tribes, a miserable prey!
In mingled murder, fluttering on the ground.
The pale, descending year, yet pleasing still,
A gentler mood inspires; for now the leaf
Incessant rustles from the mournful grove,
Oft starting such as, studious, walk below,
And slowly circles thro' the waving air.
But should a quicker breeze and the boughs
Sob, o'er the sky the leafy rain streams;
Till choak'd, and matted with the dreary shower,
The forest-walks, at every rising gale,
[Page 55] Roll wide the wither'd waste, and whistle bleak.
Fled is the blasted verdure of the fields;
And, shrunk into their beds, the flowery race
Their sunny robes resign. Even what remain'd
Of bolder fruits falls from the naked tree;
And woods, fields, gardens, orchards, all around
The desolated prospect thrills the soul.
He comes! he comes! in every breeze the Power
Of philosophic Melancholy comes!
His near approach the sudden-starting tear,
The glowing cheek, the mild dejected air,
The soften'd feature, and the beating heart,
Pierc'd deep with many a secret pang, declare.
O'er all his soul his sacred influence breathes;
In all the bosom triumphs, all the nerves;
Inflames imagination; thro' the sense
Infuses every tenderness; and far
Beyond dim earth exalts the swelling thought.
Ten thousand thousand fleet ideas, such
[Page 56] As never mingled with the Vulgar's dream,
Croud fast into the mind's creative eye.
As fast the correspondent passions rise,
As varied, and as high: devotion rais'd
To rapture, and divine astonishment.
The love of Nature unconfin'd, and chief
Of human kind; the large, ambitious wish,
To make them blest; the sigh for suffering worth,
Lost in obscurity; th' indignant scorn
Of mighty pride; the fearless, great resolve;
The wonder that the dying patriot draws,
Inspiring glory thro' remotest time;
Th' arousing pant for virtue, and for fame;
The sympathies of love, and friendship dear;
With all the social offspring of the heart.
Oh bear me then to vast, embowering shades!
To twilight groves, and visionary vales!
To weeping grottoes, and prophetic glooms!
Where angel-forms athwart the solemn dusk,
[Page 57] Tremendous sweep, or seem to sweep along;
And voices more than human, thro' the void
Deep-sounding, seize th' enthusiastic ear.
And now the western sun withdraws the day;
And humid evening, gilding o'er the sky,
In her chill progress, to the ground condens'd
Th' ascending vapour throws. Where waters ooze,
Where marshes stagnate, and where rivers wind,
Cluster the rolling fogs, and swim along
The dusky-mantled lawn. Mean-while the moon
Full-orb'd, and breaking thro' the scatter'd clouds,
Shews her broad visage in the crimson'd east.
Turn'd to the sun direct, her spotted disk,
(Where mountains rise, umbrageous dales descend,
And oceans roll, as optic tube descries)
A lesser earth gives all his blaze again,
Void of its flame, and sheds a softer day.
Now thro' the passing cloud she seems to stoop,
Now up the pure cerulean rides sublime.
[Page 58] Wide the pale deluge floats; and streaming mild
O'er the sky'd mountain to the shadowy vale,
While rocks, and floods reflect the quivering gleam,
The whole air whitens with a boundless tide
Of silver radiance, trembling round the world.
But when, half-blotted from the sky, her light,
Fainting, permits the starry fires to burn,
With keener lustre thro' the depth of heaven;
Or quite extinct, her deaden'd orb appears,
And scarce appears, of sickly, beamless white:
Oft in this season, silent from the north
A blaze of meteors shoots, ensweeping first
The lower skies, then all at once converge
High to the crown of heaven, and all at once
Relapsing quick, as quickly reascend,
And mix, and thwart, extinguish, and renew,
All ether coursing in a maze of light.
From look to look, contagious thro' the crowd,
The Pannic runs, and into wondrous shapes
Th' appearance throws: armies in meet array,
Throng with aerial spears, and steeds of fire;
Till the long lines of full-extended war
In bleeding fight commixt, the sanguine flood
Rowls a broad slaughter o'er the plains of heaven.
As thus they scan the visionary scene,
On all sides swells the superstitious din,
Incontinent; and busy frenzy talks
Of blood and battle; cities over-turn'd,
And, late at night, in swallowing earthquake sunk,
Or painted hideous with ascending flame;
Of sallow famine, inundation, storm;
Of pestilence, and every great distress;
Empires subvers'd, when ruling fate has struck
Th' unalterable hour: even Nature's self
Is deem'd to totter on the brink of time.
Not so the man of philosophic eye,
[Page 60] And inspect sage; the waving brightness he
Curious surveys, inquisitive to know
The causes, and materials, yet unfix'd,
Of this appearance beautiful, and new.
Now black, and deep, the night begins to fall,
A solid shade, immense. Sunk in the gloom
Magnificent, and vast, are heaven and earth.
Order confounded lies; all beauty void;
Distinction lost; and gay variety
One universal blot: such the fair power
Of Light, to kindle, and create the whole.
Drear is the state of the benighted wretch,
Who then, bewilder'd, wanders thro' the dark,
Full of pale fancies, and chimeras huge;
Nor visited by one directive ray,
From cottage streaming, or from airy hall.
Perhaps impatient as he stumbles on,
Struck from the root of slimy ruses, blue,
The wild-fire scatters round, or gathertd trails
[Page 61] A length of flame deceitful o'er the moss;
Whither decoy'd by the fantastic blaze,
Now sunk and now renew'd, he's quite absorpt,
Rider and horse into the miry gulph:
While still, from day to day, his pining wife,
And plaintive children his return await,
In wild conjecture lost. At other times,
Sent by the better Genius of the night,
Innoxious, gleaming on the horse's mane,
The meteor sits; and shews the narrow path,
That winding leads thro' pits of death, or else
Instructs him how to take the dangerous ford.
The lengthen'd night elaps'd, the morning shines
Serene, in all her dewy beauty bright,
Unfolding fair the last Autumnal day.
And now the mounting sun dispels the fog;
The rigid hoar-frost melts before his beam,
And hung on every spray, on every blade
Of grass, the myriad dew-drops twinkle round.
Ah see where robb'd, and murder'd, in that pit,
Lies the still heaving hive; at evening snatch'd,
Beneath the cloud of guilt-concealing night,
And whelm'd o'er sulphur: while, undreaming ill,
The happy people, in their waxen cells,
Sat tending publick cares, and planning schemes
Of temperance, for winter poor; rejoic'd
To mark, full-flowing round, their copious stores,
Sudden the dark, oppressive steam ascends:
And, us'd to milder scents, the tender race,
By thousands, tumble from their honey'd domes,
Convolv'd, and agonizing in the dust.
And was it then for this ye roam'd the spring,
Intent from flower to flower? for this ye toil'd
Ceaseless the burning summer-heats away?
For this in Autumn search'd the blooming waste,
Nor lost one sunny gleam? for this sad sate?
O man! tyrannic lord! how long, how long,
Shall prostrate nature groan beneath your rage,
[Page 63] Awaiting renovation? When oblig'd,
Must you destroy? Of their ambrosial food
Can you not borrow? and in just return,
Afford them shelter from the wintry winds;
Or, as the sharp year pinches, with their own
Again regale them on some smiling day?
Hard by, the stony bottom of their town
Looks desolate, and wild; with here and there
A helpless number, who the ruin'd state
Survive, lamenting weak, cast out to death.
Thus a proud city, populous, and rich,
Full of the works of peace, and high in joy,
At theatre, or feast, or sunk in sleep,
(As late, Palermo, was thy fate) is seiz'd
By some dread earthquake, and convulsive hurld,
Sheer from the black foundation, stench-involv'd,
Into a gulph of blue, sulphureous flame.
Hence every harsher sight! for now the day,
O'er heaven and earth diffus'd, grows warm, and high,
[Page 64] Infinite splendor! wide investing all.
How still the breeze! save what the filmy threads
Of dew evaporate brushes from the plain.
How clear the cloudless sky! how deeply ting'd
With a peculiar blue! th' ethereal arch
How swell'd immense! amid whose azure thron'd
The radiant sun how gay! how calm below
The gilded earth! the harvest-treasures all
Now gather'd in, beyond the rage of storms,
Sure to the swain; the circling sence shut up;
And instant Winter bid to do his worst.
While loose to festive joy, the country round
Laughs with the loud sincerity of mirth,
Care shook away. The toil-invigorate youth,
Not needing the melodious impulse much,
Leaps wildly graceful, in the lively dance.
Her every charm abroad, the village-toast,
Young, buxom, warm, in native beauty rich,
Darts not-unmeaning looks; and, where her eye
Points an approving smile, with double force,
[Page 65] The cudgel rattles, and the struggle twists.
Age too shines out; and, garrulous, recounts
The feats of youth. Thus they rejoyce; nor think
That, with to-morrow's fun, their annual toil
Begins again the never-ceasing round.
Oh knew he but his happiness, of men
The happiest he! who far from public rage,
Deep in the vale, with a choice few retir'd,
Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life.
What tho' the dome be wanting, whose proud gate
Each morning vomits out the sneaking crowd
Of flatterers false, and in their turn abus'd,
Vile intercourse! What tho' the glittering robe,
Of every hue reflected light can give,
Or floating loose, or stiff with mazy gold,
The pride, and gaze of fools! oppress him not.
What tho' from utmost land, and sea, purvey'd,
For him each rarer, tributary life
Bleeds not, and his insatiate table heaps
[Page 66] With luxury, and death. What tho' his wine
Flows not from brighter gems; nor sunk in beds,
Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night;
Or, thoughtless, sleeps at best in idle state.
What tho' depriv'd of these fantastic joys,
That stiil amuse the wanton, still deceive;
A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain;
Their hollow moments undelighted all.
Sure peace is his; a solid life, estrang'd
To disappointment, and fallacious hope;
Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich,
In herbs, and fruits; whatever greens the Spring,
When heav'n descends in show'rs; or bends the bough,
When Summer reddens, and when Autumn beams;
Or in the Wintry glebe whatever lies
Conceal'd, and fattens with the richest sap;
These are not wanting; nor the milky drove,
Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale;
Nor bleating mountains; nor the chide of streams,
And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere
[Page 67] Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade,
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay:
Nor aught beside of prospect, grove, or song,
Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountain clear.
Here too lives simple truth; plain innocence;
Unsully'd beauty; sound, unbroken youth,
Patient of labour, with a little pleas'd;
Health ever-blooming; unambitious toil;
Calm contemplation, and poetic ease.
Let others brave the flood, in quest of gain,
And beat, for joyless months, the gloomy wave.
Let such as deem it glory to destroy,
Rush into blood; the sack of cities seek;
Unpierc'd, exulting in the widow's wail,
The virgin's shriek, and infant's trembling cry.
Let some far-distant from their native soil,
Urg'd, or by want, or harden'd avarice,
Find other lands beneath another sun.
Let This thro' cities work his ardent way,
[Page 68] By legal outrage, and establish'd guile,
The social sense extinct; and That ferment
Mad into tumult the seditious herd,
Or melt them down to slavery. Let These
Insnare the wretched in the toils of law,
Fomenting discord, and perplexing right,
An iron race! and Those of fairer front,
But equal inhumanity, in courts,
And slippery pomp delight, in dark cabals;
Wreathe the deep bow, diffuse the lying smile,
And tread the weary labyrinth of state.
While He, from all the stormy passions free,
That restless men involve, hears, and but hears,
At distance safe, the human tempest roar,
Wrapt close in conscious peace. The fall of kings,
The rage of nations, and the crush of states
Move not the man, who, from the world escap'd,
In still retreats, and flowery solitudes,
To Nature's voice attends, from day to day,
And month to month, thro' the revolving Year;
[Page 69] Admiring, sees her in her every shape:
Feels all her fine emotions at his heart;
Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more.
He, when young Spring protrudes the bursting gems,
Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale
Into his freshen'd soul; her genial hours
He quite enjoys; and not a beauty blows,
And not an opening blossom breathes in vain.
In Summer he, beneath the living shade,
Such as from frigid Tempe wont to fall,
Or Haemus cool, reads what the muse, of these
Perhaps, has in immortal numbers sung;
Or what she dictates writes; and, oft an eye
Shot round, rejoyces in the vigorous year.
When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world,
And tempts the sickled swain into the sield,
Seiz'd by the general joy, his heart distends
With gentle throws; and thro' the tepid gleams
Deep-musing, then the best exerts his song.
Even Winter wild to him is full of bliss.
[Page 70] The mighty tempest, and the hoary waste,
Abrupt, and deep, stretch'd o'er the bury'd earth,
Awake to solemn thought. At night the skies,
Disclos'd, and kindled, by refining frost,
Pour every lustre on th' astonish'd eye.
A friend, a book, the stealing hours secure,
And mark them down for wisdom. With swift wing,
O'er land, and sea, imagination roams;
Or truth, divinely breaking on his mind,
Elates his being, and unfolds his powers;
Or in his breast heroic virtue burns.
The touch of love, and kindred too he feels,
The modest eye, whose beams on his alone
Extatic shine; the little, strong embrace
Of prattling children, twin'd around his neck,
And emulous to please him, calling forth
The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay,
Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scorns;
For happiness, and true philosophy
Still are, and have been of the smiling kind.
[Page 71] This is the life which those who fret in guilt,
And guilty cities, never knew; the life,
Led by primaeval ages, incorrupt,
When God himself, and Angels dwelt with men!
Oh Nature! all-sufficient! over all!
Enrich me with the knowledge of thy works!
Snatch me to heaven; thy rolling wonders there,
World beyond world, in infinite extent,
Profusely scatter'd o'er the void immense,
Shew me; their motions, periods, and their laws,
Give me to scan; thro' the disclosing deep
Light my blind way: the mineral Strata there;
Thrust, blooming, thence the vegetable world;
O'er that rising system, more complex,
Of animals; and higher still, the mind,
The varied scene of quick-compounded thought,
And where the mixing passions endless shift;
These ever open to my ravish'd eye;
A search, the flight of time can ne'er exhaust!
[Page 72] But if to that unequal; if the blood,
In sluggish streams about my heart, forbids
That best ambition; under closing shades,
Inglorious, lay me by the lowly brook,
And whisper to my dreams. From Thee begin,
Dwell all on Thee, with Thee conclude my song;
And let me never, never stray from Thee!
The END.

Marble statues in the Garden of Versailes 7 foot high.



LONDON: Printed for J. MILLAN, Bookseller, near Whitehall. Price 1 s. 6 d. M.DCC.XXXIV.


The subject proposed. Address to Lord WILMINGTON. First approach of WINTER. According to the natural order of the season, va­rious storms described. Rain. Wind. Snow. The driving of the snows: a Man perishing among them. A short digression into RUSSIA. The wolves in ITALY. A winter-evening de­scribed, as spent by Philosophers; by the Coun­try, People; in the City. Frost. Its effects within the polar circle. Athaw. The whole concluding with philosophical reflections on a future state.


SEE Winter comes, to rule the varied year,
Sullen, and sad, with all his rising train,
Vapours, and Clouds, and Storms. Be these my theme,
These, that exalt the soul to solemn thought,
And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms!
Cogenial horrors, hail! with frequent foot,
Pleas'd have I, in my chearful morn of life,
When nurs'd by careless Solitude I liv'd,
And sung of Nature with unceasing joy,
Pleas'd have I wander'd thro' your rough domain;
Trod the pure virgin-snows, my self as pure
[Page 4] Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst;
Or seen the deep, fermenting tempest brew'd
In the red evening-sky. Thus pass'd the time,
Till thro' the lucid chambers of the south
Look'd out the joyous Spring, look'd out, and smil'd
To thee, the patron of her first essay,
The muse, O Wilmington! renews her song.
Since has she rounded the revolving Year;
Skim'd the gay Spring; on eagle-pinions borne,
Attempted thro' the Summer-blaze to rise;
Then swept o'er Autumn with the shadowy gale,
And now among the Wintry clouds again,
Roll'd in the doubling storm, she tries to soar;
To swell her note with all the rushing winds;
To suit her sounding cadence to the floods;
As is her theme, her numbers wildly great:
Thrice happy! could she fill thy judging ear
With bold description, and with manly thought.
For thee the Graces smooth; thy softer thoughts
The Muses tune; nor art thou skill'd alone
[Page 5] In awful schemes, the management of states,
And how to make a mighty people thrive:
But equal goodness; sound integrity;
A firm, unshaken, uncorrupted soul,
Amid a sliding age; and burning strong,
Not vainly blazing, for thy country's weal,
A steady spirit, regularly free;
These, each exalting each, the statesman light
Into the patriot; and, the publick hope
And eye to thee converting, bid the muse
Record what envy dares not flattery call.
When Scorpio gives to Capricorn the sway,
And fierce Aquarius fouls th' inverted year;
Retiring to the verge of heaven, the sun
Scarce spreads o'er other the dejected day.
Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot
His struggling rays, in horizontal lines,
Thro' the thick air; as at dull distance seen,
Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky;
And, soon descending, to the long dark night,
[Page 6] Wide-shading all, the prostrate world resigns.
Nor is the night unwish'd; while vital heat,
Light, life, and joy the dubious day forsake.
Mean-time, in sable cincture, shadows vast,
Deep-ting'd, and damp, and congregated clouds,
And all the vapoury turbulence of Heaven
Involve the face of things. Thus Winter falls,
A heavy gloom oppressive o'er the world,
Thro' nature shedding influence malign,
And rouses all the seeds of dark disease.
The soul of man dies in him, loathing life,
And black with horrid views. The cattle droop
The conscious head; and o'er the furrow'd land,
Red from the plow, the dun discolour'd flocks,
Untended spreading, crop the wholesome root.
Along the woods, along the moorish fens.
Sighs the sad genius of the coming storm;
And up among the loose, disjointed cliffs,
And fractur'd mountains wild, the brawling brook,
And cave, presageful, send a hollow moan,
Resounding long in listening fancy's ear.
Then comes the father of the tempest forth,
Striding the gloomy blast. First rains obscure
Drive thro' the mingling skies with vapour vile;
Dash on the mountain's brow, and shake the woods,
That grumbling wave below. Th' unsightly plain
Lies a brown deluge; as the low-bent clouds
Pour flood on flood, yet unexhausted still
Combine, and deepening into night shut up
The day's fair face. The wanderers of heaven,
Each to his home, retire; save those that love
To take their pastime in the troubled air,
Or skimming flutter round the dimply pool.
The Cattle from th' untasted fields return,
And ask, with meaning lowe, their wonted stalls,
Or ruminate in the contiguous shade.
Thither the houshold, feathery people crowd,
The crested cock, with all his female train,
Pensive, and wet. Mean-while the cottage-swain
Hangs o'er th' enlivening blaze, and taleful there
Recounts his simple frolick: much he talks.
[Page 8] And much he laughs, nor recks the storm that blows
Without, and rattles on his humble roof.
Wide o'er the brim, with many a torrent swell'd,
And the mix'd ruins of its banks o'erspread,
At last the rous'd-up river pours along,
Resistless, roaring; dreadful down it comes
From the chapt mountain, and the mossy wild,
Tumbling thro' rocks abrupt, and sounding far;
Then o'er the sanded valley floating spreads,
Calm, sluggish, silent; till again constrain'd,
Betwixt two meeting hills it bursts away,
Where rocks, and woods o'erhang the turbid stream;
There gathering triple force, rapid, and deep,
It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders thro'.
Nature! great parent! whose continual hand
Rolls round the seasons of the changeful year,
How mighty, how majestie are thy works!
With what a pleasing dread they swell the soul!
That sees astonish'd! and astonish'd sings!
[Page 9] Ye too, ye winds! that now begin to blow,
With boisterous sweep, I raise my voice to you.
Where are your stores, ye subtil beings! say,
Where your aerial magazines reserv'd,
Against the day of tempest perilous?
In what far-distant region of the sky,
Hush'd in dead silence, sleep you when 'tis calm?
Late in the lowring sky, red, fiery streaks
Begin to flush about; the reeling clouds
Stagger with dizzy poise, as doubting yet
Which master to obey: while rising slow,
Blank in the leaden-colour'd east, the moon
Wears a wan circle round her sully'd orb.
The stars obtuse emit a shivering ray;
Snatch'd in short eddies plays the fluttering straw;
Loud shrieks the soaring hern; and, skreaming wild,
The circling sea-fowl rise; while from the shore,
Eat into caverns by the restless wave,
And forest-rustling mountain, comes a voice,
That solemn-sounding bids the world prepare.
[Page 10] Then issues forth the storm, with mad controul,
And the thin fabrick of the pillar'd air
O'erturns at once. Prone, on the passive main,
Descends th' ethereal force, and with strong gust
Turns from the bottom the discolour'd deep.
Thro' the loud night, that bids the waves arise,
Lash'd into foam, the fierce, conflicting brine
Seems, as it sparkles, all around to burn.
Mean-time whole oceans, heaving to the clouds,
And in broad billows rolling gather'd seas,
Surge over surge, burst in a general roar,
And anchor'd navies from their stations drive,
Wild as the winds athwart the howling waste
Of mighty waters. Now the hilly wave
Straining they scale, and now impetuous shoot
Into the secret chambers of the deep,
The full-blown Baltick thundering o'er their head.
Emerging thence again, before the breath
Of all-exerted heaven they wing their course,
And dart on distant coasts; if some sharp rock,
Or sand insidious break not their career,
[Page 11] And in loose fragments fling them floating round.
Nor raging here alone unrein'd at sea,
To land the tempest bears; and o'er the cliff,
Where screams the sea-mew, foaming unconfin'd,
Fierce swallows up the long-resounding shore.
The mountain growls; and all its sturdy sons
Stoop to the bottom of the rocks they shade.
Lone on its midnight side, and all aghast,
The dark, way-faring stranger breathless toils,
And, often falling, climbs against the blast.
Low waves the rooted forest, vex'd, and sheds
What of its tarnish'd honours yet remain;
Dash'd down, and scatter'd, by the tearing wind's
Assiduous fury, its gigantic limbs.
Thus struggling thro' the dissipated grove,
The whirling tempest raves along the plain;
And on the cottage thatch'd, or lordly roof,
Keen-fastening, shakes them to the solid base.
Sleep frighted flies; and round the rocking dome,
For entrance eager, howls the savage blast.
[Page 14] Heavy they roll their fleecy world along;
And the sky saddens with the gather'd storm.
Thro' the hush'd air the whitening shower descends,
At first thin-wavering; till at last the flakes
Fall broad, and wide, and fast, dimming the day,
With a continual flow. Sudden the fields
Put on their winter-robe, of purest white.
'Tis brightness all; save where the new snow melts,
Along the mazy stream. The leafless woods
Bow their hoar Heads. And, ere the languid sun
Faint from the west emits his evening ray,
Earth's universal face, deep-hid, and chill,
Is one wild, dazzling waste. The labourer-ox
Stands cover'd o'er with snow, and then demands
The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven,
Tam'd by the cruel season, crowd around
The winnowing store, and claim the little boon
That Providence allows. The Red-breast sole,
Wisely regardful of th' embroiling sky,
In joyless fields, and thorny thickets, leaves
His shivering fellows, and to trusted man
His annual visit pays. New to the dome
[Page 15] Against the window beats, then brisk alights
On the warm hearth, and hopping o'er the floor
Eyes all the smiling Family askance,
And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is;
Till more familiar grown, the table-crumbs
Attract his slender feet. The foodless wilds
Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare,
Tho' timorous of heart, and hard beset
By death in various forms, dark snares, and dogs,
And more unpitying men, the garden seeks,
Urg'd on by fearless want. The bleating kind
Eye the bleak heaven, and next the glistening earth,
With looks of dumb despair; then sad, dispers'd,
Dig for the whither'd herb thro' heaps of snow.
Now, shepherds, to your helpless charge be kind,
Baffle the raging year, and fill their pens
With food at will; lodge them below the storm,
And watch them strict: for from the bellowing east,
In this dire season, oft the whirlwind's wing
Sweeps up the burthen of whole wintry plains
[Page 16] In one wide waft, and o'er the hapless flocks,
Hid in the hollow of two neighbouring hills,
The billowy tempest whelms; till upwards urg'd,
The valley to a shining mountain swells,
Tript with a wreath, high-curling in the sky.
As thus the snows arise; and foul, and fierce,
All winter drives along the darken'd air;
In his own loose-revolving fields, the swain
Disaster'd stands; sees other hills ascend
Of unknown joyless brow; and other scenes,
Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain:
Nor finds the river, nor the forest, hid
Beneath the white abrupt; but wanders on
From hill to dale, still more and more astray:
Impatient flouncing thro' the drifted heaps,
Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts of home
Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth
In many a vain effort. How sinks his soul!
What black despair, what horror fills his heart!
When for the dusky spot, that fancy feign'd
[Page 17] His tufted cottage rising thro the snow,
He meets the roughness of the middle waste,
Far from the tract, and blest abode of man:
While round him night resistless closes fast,
And every tempest, howling o'er his head,
Renders the savage wilderness more wild.
Then throng the busy shapes into his mind,
Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep,
A dire descent! beyond the power of frost,
Of faithless boggs; of precipices huge,
Smooth'd up with snow; and, what is land unknown,
What water, of the still unfrozen eye,
In the loose marsh, or solitary lake,
Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps; and down he sinks
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift,
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mix'd with the tender anguish nature shoots
Thro' the wrung bosom of the dying man,
His wife, his children, and his friends unseen.
In vain for him th' officious wife prepares
[Page 18] The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling rack, demand their sire,
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve,
The deadly winter seizes; shuts up sense;
And, o'er his stronger vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snows, a stiffen'd corse, Unstretch'd, and bleaching in the northern blast.
Ah little think the gay licentious proud,
Whom pleasure, power, and affluence surround;
They, who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;
Ah little think they, while they dance along,
How many feel this very moment, death
And all the sad variety of pain.
How many sink in the devouring flood,
Or more devouring flame. How many bleed,
By shameful variance betwixt man and man.
[Page 19] How many pine in want, and dungeon glooms;
Shut from the common air, and common use
Of their own limbs. How many drink the cup
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
Of misery. Sore pierc'd by wintry winds,
How many shrink into the fordid hut
Of chearless poverty. How many shake
With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse;
Whence tumbled headlong from the height of life,
They furnish matter for the tragic muse.
Even in the vale, where Wisdom loves to dwell,
With Friendship, Peace, and Contemplation join'd,
How many, rackt with honest passions, droop
In deep retir'd distress. How many stand
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends,
Like wailing pensive ghosts awaiting theirs,
And point the parting pang. Thought but fond man
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills,
That one incessant struggle render life,
One scene of toil, of anguish, and of fate,
[Page 20] Vice in his high career would stand appall'd,
And heedless rambling impulse learn to think;
The conscious heart of Charity would warm,
And his wide wish Benevolence dilate;
The social tear would rise, the social sigh;
And into clear perfection, gradual bliss,
Refining still, the social passions work.
And here can I forget the generous few,
Who, touch'd with human woe, redressive sought
Into the horrors of the gloomy jail?
Unpitied, and unheard, where Misery moans;
Where Sickness pines; where Thirst and Hunger burn,
And poor Misfortune feels the lash of Vice.
While in the land of liberty, the land
Whose every street, and public meeting glows
With open freedom, little tyrants rag'd:
Snatch'd the lean morsel from the starving mouth;
Tore from cold, wintry limbs the tatter'd robe;
Even robb'd them of the last of comforts, sleep;
The free-born Briton to the dungeon chain'd,
[Page 21] Or, as the lust of cruelty prevail'd,
At pleasure mark'd him with inglorious stripes;
And crush'd out lives, by various nameless ways,
That for their country would have toil'd, or bled.
Hail patriot-band! who, scorning secret scorn,
When Justice, and when Mercy led the way,
Dragg'd the detected monsters into light,
Wrench'd from their hand Oppression's iron rod,
And bade the cruel feel the pains they gave.
Yet stop not here, let all the land rejoice,
And make the blessing unconfin'd, as great.
Much still untouch'd remains; in this rank age,
Much is the patriot's weeding hand requir'd.
The toils of law, (what dark insidious men
Have cumbrous added to perplex the truth,
And lengthen simple justice into trade)
Oh glorious were the day! that saw these broke,
And every man within the reach of right.
Yet more outragious is the season still,
A deeper horror, in Siberian wilds;
[Page 22] Where Winter keeps his unrejoicing court,
And in his airy hall the loud misrule
Of driving tempest is for ever heard.
There thro' the ragged woods absorpt in snow,
Sole tenant of these shades, the shaggy bear,
With dangling ice all horrid, stalks forlorn;
Slow-pac'd and sourer as the storms increase,
He makes his bed beneath the drifted snow;
And, scorning the complainings of distress.
Hardens his heart against assailing want.
While tempted vigorous o'er the marble waste.
On sleds reclin'd, the furry Russian sits;
And, by his rain-deer drawn, behind him throws
A shining kingdom in a winter's day.
Or from the cloudy Alps, and Appenine,
Capt with grey mists, and everlasting snows;
Where nature in stupendous rain lies,
And from the leaning rock, on either side,
Gush out those streams that classic song renowns:
Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave!
[Page 23] Burning for blood! bony, and ghaunt, and grim!
Assembling wolves in torrent troops descend;
And, pouring o'er the country, bear along,
Keen as the north-wind sweeps the glossy snow.
All is their prize. They fasten on the steed,
Press him to earth, and pierce his mighty heart.
Nor can the bull his awful front defend.
Or shake the murdering savages away.
Rapacious, at the mother's throat they fly
And tear the screaming infant from her breast.
The godlike face of man avails him nought.
Even beauty, force divine! at whose bright glance
The generous lyon stands in soften'd gaze,
Here bleeds, a hapless, undistinguish'd prey.
But if, appriz'd of the severe attack,
The country be shut up, lur'd by the scent,
On church-yards drear (inhuman to relate!)
The disappointed prowlers fall, and dig
The shrowded body from the tomb; o'er which,
Mix'd with foul shades, and frighted ghosts, they howl.
[Page 24] Now, all amid the rigours of the year,
In the wild depth of Winter, while without
The ceaseless winds blow ice, be my retreat,
Between the groaning forest and the shore,
Beat by a boundless multitude of waves,
A rural, shelter'd, solitary, scene;
Where ruddy fire and beaming tapers join,
To chase the cheerless gloom. There let me sit,
And hold high converse with the mighty dead;
Sages of antient time, as gods rever'd,
As gods beneficent, who blest mankind
With arts, and arms, and humaniz'd a world.
Rous'd at th' inspiring thought, I throw aside
The long-liv'd volume; and, deep-musing, hail
The sacred shades, that slowly-rising pass
Before my wondering eyes.—First Socrates,
Whose simple question to the folded heart
Stole unperceiv'd, and from the maze of thought
Evolv'd the secret truth—a god-like man!
Solon the next, who built his common-weal
[Page 25] On equity's wide base. Lycurgus then,
Severely good; and him of rugged Rome,
Numa, who soften'd her rapacious sons.
Cimon sweet-soul'd, and Aristides just;
With that attemper'd * Hero, mild, and firm,
Who wept the brother while the tyrant bled.
Unconquer'd Cato, virtuous in extreme.
Scipio, the human warrior, gently brave;
Who soon the race of spotless glory ran,
And, warm in youth, to the po [...]tic shade,
With friendship, and philosophy, retir'd.
And, equal to the best, the Theban twain,
Who, single rais'd their country into fame.
Thousands behind, the boast of Greece and Rome,
Whom Virtue owns, the tribute of a verse
Demand; but who can count the stars of heaven?
Who sing their influence on this lower world?
But see who yonder comes! in sober state,
Fair, mild, and strong, as is a vernal sun:
[Page 26] 'Tis Phoebus self, or else the Mantuan swain!
Great Homer too appears, of daring wing,
Parent of song! and equal by his side,
The British muse; join'd hand in hand they walk,
Darkling, full up the middle steep to fame.
Nor absent are those tuneful Shades, I ween,
Taught by the Graces, whose inchanting touch
Shakes every passion from the various string;
Nor those, who solemnize the moral scene.
First of your kind! society divine!
Still visit thus my nights, for you reserv'd,
And mount my soaring soul to deeds like yours.
Silence, thou lonely power! the door be thine;
See on the hallow'd hour that none intrude,
Save Lycidas the friend, with sense refin'd,
Learning digested well, exalted faith,
Unstudy'd wit, and humour ever gay.
Or from the muses hill will Pope descend,
To raise the sacred hour, to make it smile,
And with the social spirit warm the heart:
[Page 27] For tho' not sweeter his own Homer sings,
Yet is his life the more endearing song.
Thus in some deep retirement would I pass
The winter-glooms, with friends of various turn,
Or blithe, or solemn, as the theme inspir'd:
With them would search, if this unbounded frame
Of nature rose from unproductive night,
Or sprung eternal from th' eternal Cause,
Its springs, its laws, its progress and its end.
Hence larger prospects of the beauteous whole
Would gradual open on our opening minds;
And each diffufive harmony unite,
In full perfection, to th' astonish'd eye.
Thence would we plunge into the moral world;
Which, tho' more seemingly perplex'd, moves on
In higher order; fitted, and impell'd,
By Wisdom's finest hand, and issuing all
In universal good. Historic truth
Should next conduct thro' the deeps of time:
Point us how empire grew, revolv'd, and fell,
[Page 28] In scatter'd states; what makes the nations smile,
Improves their soil, and gives them double suns;
And why they pine beneath the brightest skies,
In nature's richest lap. As thus we talk'd,
Our hearts would burn within us, would inhale
That portion of divinity, that ray
Of purest heaven, which lights the glorious flame
Of patriots, and of heroes. But if doom'd,
In powerless humble fortune, to repress
These ardent risings of the kindling soul;
Then, even superior to ambition, we
Would learn the private virtues; how to glide
Thro' shades and plains, along the smoothest stream
Of rural life: or snatch'd away by hope,
Thro' the dim spaces of futurity,
With earnest eye anticipate those scenes
Of happiness, and wonder; where the mind,
In endless growth and infinite ascent,
Rises from state to state, and world to world.
And when with these the serious soul is foil'd,
We, shifting for relief, would play the shapes
[Page 29] Of frolic fancy; and incessant form
Unnumber'd pictures, fleeting o'er the brain.
Yet rapid still renew'd, and pour'd immense
Into the mind, unbounded without space:
The great, the new, the beautiful; or mix'd,
Burlesque, and odd, the risible and gay;
Whence vivid Wit, and Humour, droll of face,
Call laughter forth, deep-shaking every nerve.
Mean-time the village rouzes up the sire;
While well attested, and as well believ'd,
Heard solemn, goes the goblin-story round;
Till superstitious horror creeps o'er all.
Or, frequent in the sounding hall, they wake
The rural gambol. Rustic mirth goes round:
The simple joke that takes the shepherd's heart,
Easily pleas'd; the long loud laugh, sincere;
The kiss, snatch'd hasty from the sidelong maid,
On purpose guardless, or pretending sleep;
The leap, the slap, the haul; and, shook to notes
[Page 30] Of native music, the respondent dance.
Thus jocund fleets with them the winter-night.
The city swarms intense. The public haunt,
Full of each theme, and warm with mixt discourse,
Hums indistinct. The sons of riot flow
Down the loose stream of false inchanted joy,
To swift destruction. On the rankled soul
The gaming fury falls; and in one gulph
Of total ruin, honour, virtue, peace,
Friends, families, and fortune headlong sink.
Rises the dance along the lighted dome,
Mix'd, and evolv'd, a thousand sprightly ways.
The glittering court effuses every pomp;
The circle deepens; rain'd from radiant eyes,
A soft effulgence o'er the palace waves:
While, thick as insects in the summer-shine,
The fop, light-fluttering, spreads his mealy wings.
Dread o'er the scene the ghost of Hamlet stalks;
Othello rages; poor Monimia mourns;
[Page 31] And Belvidera pours her soul in love.
Assenting terror shakes; the silent tear
Steals o'er the cheek: or else the comic Muse
Holds to the world the picture of itself,
And raises sly the fair impartial laugh.
Clear frost succeeds; and thro' the blue serene,
For sight too fine, th' ethereal nitre flies:
Killing infectious damps, and the spent air
Storing afresh with elemental life.
Close crowds the shining atmosphere; and binds
Our strengthen'd bodies in its cold embrace,
Constringent; feeds, and animates our blood;
Refines our spirits, thro' the new-strung nerves,
In swifter fallies darting to the brain;
Where sits the soul, intense, collected cool,
Bright as the skies, and as the season keen.
All nature feels the renovating force
Of Winter only to the thoughtless eye
In desolation seen. The vacant glebe
Draws in, abundant vegetable soul,
[Page 32] [...] [...]athers vigour for the coming year.
A strong glow sits on the lively cheek
Of ruddy fire: and luculent along
The purer rivers flow; their sullen deeps,
Amazing, open to the shepherd's gaze,
And murmur hoarser at the fixing frost.
What art thou, Frost? and whence are thy keen stores
Deriv'd, thou secret all-invading Power,
Whom even th' illusive fluid cannot fly?
Is not thy potent energy, unseen,
Myriads of little salts, or hook'd, or shap'd
Like double wedges, and diffus'd immense
Thro' water, earth and ether? Hence at eve,
Steam'd eager from the red horizon round,
With the still rage of Winter deep suffus'd,
An icy gale, oft shifting, o'er the pool
Breathes a blue film, and in its mid career
Arrests the bickering stream. The loosen'd ice,
Let down the flood, and half-dissolv'd by day,
Rustles no more; but to the sedgy bank
[Page 33] Fast grows, or gathers round the pointed stone,
A crystal pavement, by the breath of heaven
Cemented firm; till seiz'd from shore to shore,
The whole detruded river growls below.
Loud rings the frozen earth, and hard reflects
A double noise; while, at his evening watch,
The village-dog deters the nightly thief;
The heifer lows; the distant water-fall
Swells in the breeze, and, with the hasty tread
Of traveller, the many sounding plain
Shakes from afar. The full ethereal round,
Infinite worlds disclosing to the view,
Shines out intensely keen; and, all one cope
Of starry glitter, glows from pole to pole.
From pole to pole the rigid influence falls,
Thro' the still night, incessant, heavy, strong,
And seizes nature fast. It freezes on;
Till morn, late rising o'er the drooping world,
Lifts her pale eye unjoyous. Then appears
The various labour of the silent night:
Prone from the dripping eave, and dumb cascade,
[Page 34] Whose idle torrents only seem to roar,
The pendant isicle; the frost-work fair,
Where transient hues, and fancy'd figures rise;
The liquid kingdom all to solid turn'd;
Wide-spouted o'er the brow, the frozen brook,
A livid tract, cold gleaming on the morn;
The forest bent beneath the plumy wave;
And by the frost refin'd the whiter snow,
Incrusted hard, and sounding to the tread
Of early shepherd, as he pensive seeks
His pining flock, or from the mountain-top,
Pleas'd with the slippery surface, swist descends.
On blithesome frolicks bent, the youthful swains,
While every work of man is laid at rest,
Fond o'er the river rush, and shuddering view
The doubtful deeps below. Or where the lake
And long canal the cerule plain extend,
The city pours her thousands, swarming all,
From every quarter; and, with him who slides;
Or skating sweeps, swift as the winds, along,
[Page 35] In circling poise; or else disorder'd falls,
His feet, illuded, sprawling to the sky,
While the laugh rages round; from end to end,
Encreasing still, resounds the crowded scene.
Pure, quick, and sportful, is the wholesome day;
But soon elaps'd. The horizontal sun,
Broad o'er the south, hangs at his utmost noon;
And, ineffectual, strikes the gelid cliff.
The mountain still his azure gloss maintains,
Nor feels the feeble touch. Perhaps the vale
Relents a while to the reflected ray;
Or from the forest falls the cluster'd snow,
Myriads of gem, that, by the breeze diffus'd,
Gay-twinkle thro' the gleam. Heard thick around,
Thunders the sport of those, who, with the gun,
And dog impatient bounding at the shot,
Worse than the season, desolate the fields;
And, adding to the ruins of the year,
Distress the footed, or the feather'd game.
But what is this? these infant tempests what?
The mockery of Winter: should our eye
Astonish'd shoot into the frozen zone;
Where more than half the joyless year is night;
And, failing gradual, life at last goes out.
There undissolving, from the first of time,
Snows swell on snows amazing to the sky;
And icy mountains there, on mountains pil'd,
Seem to the shivering sailor from afar,
Shapeless, and white, an atmosphere of clouds.
Projected huge, and horrid, o'er the main,
Alps frown on Alps; or rushing hideous down,
As if old Chaos was again return'd,
Shake the firm pole, and make an ocean boil.
Whence heap'd abrupt along the howling shore,
And into various shapes (as fancy leans)
Work'd by the wave, the crystal pillars heave,
Swells the blue portico, the gothic dome
Shoots fretted up; and birds, and beasts, and men,
Rise into mimic life, and sink by turns.
[Page 37] The restless deep itself cannot resist
The binding fury; but in all its rage
Of tempest taken by the boundless frost,
Is many a fathom to the bottom chain'd,
And bid to roar no more: a bleak expanse,
Shagg'd o'er with wavy rocks, chearless, and void
Of every life, that from the dreary months
Flies conscious southward. Miserable they!
Who, here entangled in the gathering ice,
Take their last look of the descending sun;
While, full of death, and fierce with tenfold frost,
The long long night, incumbent o'er their head,
Falls horrible. Such was the * Briton's fate,
As with first prow, (What have not Britons dar'd!)
He for the passage sought, attempted since
So much in vain, and seeming to be shut
By jealous nature with eternal bars.
In these fell regions, in Arzina caught,
And to the stony deep his idle ship
[Page 38] Immediate seal'd, he with his hapless crew,
Each full exerted at his several task,
Froze into statues; to the cordage glued
The sailor, and the pilot to the helm.
Hard by these shores, the last of mankind live;
And, scarce enliven'd by the distant sun,
(That rears and ripens man, as well as plants)
Here Human Nature just begins to dawn.
Deep from the piercing season sunk in caves,
Here by dull fires, and with unjoyous chear,
They wear the tedious gloom. Immers'd in furs,
Lie the gross race. Nor sprightly jest, nor song,
Nor tenderness they know; nor ought of life,
Beyond the kindred [...]ears that stalk without.
Till long-expected morning looks at length
Faint on their fields (where Winter reigns alone)
And calls the quiver'd savage to the chase.
Muttering, the winds at eve, with hoarser voice
Blow blustering from the south. The frost subdu'd,
[Page 37] Gradual, resolves into a trickling thaw.
Spotted the mountains shine; loose sleet descends,
And floods the country round. The rivers swell,
Impatient for the day. Broke from the hills,
O'er rocks and woods, in broad brown cataracts,
A thousand snow-fed torrents shoot at once;
And, where they rush, the wide-resounding plain
Is left one slimy waste. Those sullen seas,
That wash th' ungenial pole, will rest no more
Beneath the shackles of the mighty north;
But, rousing all their waves, resistless heave—
And hark! the lengthening roar continuous runs
Athwart the rifted main: at once it bursts,
And piles a thousand mountains to the clouds.
Ill fares the bark, the wretch's last resort,
That, lost amid the floating fragments, moors
Beneath the shelter of an icy isle,
While night o'erwhelms the sea, and horror looks
More horrible. Can human force endure
Th' assembled mischiefs that besiege them round:
Heart-gnawing hunger, fainting weariness,
[Page 40] The roar of winds and waves, the crush of ice,
Now ceasing, now renew'd with louder rage,
And in dire echoes bellowing round the main.
More to embroil the deep, Leviathan,
And his unwieldy train, in horrid sport,
Tempest the loosen'd brine; while thro' the gloom;
Far, from the bleak inhospitable shore,
Loading the winds, is heard the hungry howl
Of famish'd monsters, there awaiting wrecks.
Yet Providence, that ever-waking eye,
Looks down with pity on the fruitless toil
Of mortals lost to hope, and lights them safe,
Thro' all this dreary labyrinth of fate.
'Tis done!—dread Winter has subdu'd the year,
And reigns tremendous o'er the desart plains.
How dead the vegetable kingdom lies!
How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends
His solitary empire. Here, fond man!
Behold thy pictur'd life; pass some few years,
Thy flowering Spring, thy Summer's ardent strength,
[Page 41] Thy sober Antumn fading into age,
And pale concluding Winter comes at last,
And shuts the scene. Ah! whither now are fled,
Those dreams of greatness? those unsolid hopes
Of happiness? those longings after fame?
Those restless cares? those busy bustling days?
Those gay-spent, festive nights? those veering thoughts,
Lost between good and ill, that shar'd thy life?
All now are vanish'd! Virtue sole survives,
Immortal, mankind's never-failing friend,
His guide to happiness on high.—And fee!
'Tis come, the glorious morn! the second birth
Of heaven, and earth! Awakening nature hears
The new-creating word, and starts to life,
In every heighten'd form, from pain and death
For ever free. The great eternal scheme,
Involving all, and in a perfect whole
Uniting, as the prospect wider spreads,
To reason's eye refin'd clears up apace.
Ye vainly wise! ye blind presuming! now,
Confounded in the dust, adore that Power,
[Page 42] And Wisdom oft arraign'd: see now the cause,
Why unassuming Worth in secret liv'd,
And dy'd, neglected: why the good man's share
In life was gall, and bitterness of soul:
Why the lone widow, and her orphans pin'd,
In starving solitude; while Luxury,
In palaces, lay prompting his low thought,
To form unreal wants: why heaven-born Truth,
And Moderation fair, wore the red marks
Of Superstition's scourge: why licens'd Pain,
That cruel spoiler, that embosom'd foe,
Imbitter'd all our bliss. Ye good distrest!
Ye noble few! who here unbending stand
Beneath life's pressure, yet a little while,
And what you reckon evil is no more;
The storms of Wintry time will quickly pass,
And one unbounded SPRING encircle all.


THESE, as they change, Almighty Fa­ther! these,
Are but the varied God. The rolling Year
Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
Thy Beauty walks, Thy Tenderness and Love.
Wide-flush the fields; the softening air is balm;
Echo the mountains round; the forests live;
[Page 44] And every sense, and every heart is joy.
Then comes thy glory in the Summer-months,
With light, and heat, severe. Prone, then thy Sun
Shoots full perfection thro' the swelling year.
And oft thy voice in awful thunder speaks;
And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve,
By brooks and groves, in hollow-whispering gales.
A yellow-floating pomp, thy Bounty shines
In Autumn unconfin'd. Thrown from thy lap,
Profuse o'er nature, falls the lucid shower
Of beamy fruits; and, in a radiant stream,
Into the stores of steril Winter pours.
In Winter dreadful Thou! with clouds and storms
Around Thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest roll'd,
Horrible blackness! On the whirlwind's wing,
Riding sublime, Thou bid'st the world be low,
And humblest nature with thy northern blast.
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Deep-felt, in these appear! a simple train,
Yet so harmonious mix'd, so fitly join'd,
[Page 45] One following one in such inchanting sort,
Shade, unperceiv'd, so softening into shade,
And all so forming such a perfect whole,
That as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wondering oft, with brute unconscious gaze,
Man marks Thee not, marks not the mighty hand,
That, ever-busy, wheels the silent spheres;
Works in the secret deep; shoots, steaming, thence
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the Spring;
Flings from the sun direct the flaming Day;
Feeds every creature; hurls the Tempest forth;
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves,
With transport touches all the springs of life.
Nature, attend; join every living soul,
Beneath the spacious temple of the sky,
In adoration join; and, ardent, raise
An universal Hymn! to Him, ye gales,
Breathe soft; whose spirit teaches you to breathe.
Oh talk of Him in solitary glooms!
Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely-waving pine
[Page 46] Fills the brown void with a religious awe.
And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar,
Who shake th' astonish'd world, lift high to heaven
Th' impetuous song, and say from whom you rage.
His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills;
And let me catch it as I muse along.
Ye headlong torrents, rapid, and profound;
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze
Along the vale; and thou, majestic main,
A secret world of wonders in thyself,
Sound His tremendous praise; whose greater voice
Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall,
Roll up your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers,
In mingled clouds to Him; whose sun elates,
Whose hand perfumes you, and whose pencil paints
Ye forests, bend; ye harvests, wave to Him:
Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart,
Homeward, rejoycing with the joyous moon.
Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep
Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams,
Ye constellations, while your angles strike,
[Page 47] Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre.
Great source of day! best image here below
Of thy creator, ever darting wide,
From world to world, the vital ocean round,
On nature write with every beam his praise.
The thunder rolls: be hush'd the prostrate world;
While cloud to cloud returns the dreadful hymn.
Bleat out afresh, ye hills; ye mossy rocks,
Retain the sound: the broad responsive low,
Ye vallies, raise; for the great Shepherd reigns;
And yet again the golden age returns.
Wildest of creatures, be not silent here;
But, hymning horrid, let the desart roar.
Ye woodlands all, awake: a general song
Burst from the groves; and when the restless day,
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep,
Sweetest of birds! sweet Philomela, charm
The listening shades; and thro' the midnight hour;
Trilling, prolong the wildly-luscious note;
That night, as well as day, may vouch His praise.
Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles;
[Page 48] At once the head, the heart, and mouth of all,
Crown the great Hymn! in swarming cities vast,
Concourse of men, to the deep organ join
The long-resounding voice, oft-breaking clear,
At solemn pauses, thro' the swelling base;
And, as each mingling frame encreases each,
In one united ardor rise to heaven.
Or if you rather chuse the rural shade,
To find a fane in every sacred grove;
There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's chaunt,
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre,
Still sing the God of Seasons, as they roll.
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the Blossom blows, the Summer-Ray,
Russets the plain, delicious Autumn gleams;
Or Winter rises in the reddening east;
Be my tongue mute, may fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat.
Should fate command me to the farthest verge
Of the green earth, to hostile barbarous climes,
[Page 49] Rivers unknown to song; where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on th' Atlantic isles; 'tis nought to me;
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste, as in the city full;
Rolls the same kindred Seasons round the world,
In all apparent, wise, and good in all;
Since He sustains, and animates the whole;
From seeming evil still educes good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression.—But I lose
Myself in Him, in light ineffable!
Come then, expressive Silence, muse his praise.
The END.

A POEM Sacred to the MEMORY of Sir ISAAC NEWTON.

SHALL the great Soul of Newton quit this earth,
To mingle with his stars; and every muse,
Astonish'd into silence, shun the weight
Of honours due to his illustrious name?
[Page 52] But what can man?—Even now the sons of light,
In strains high-warbled to seraphic lyre,
Hail his arrival on the coast of bliss.
Yet am not I deterr'd, tho' high the theme,
And sung to harps of angels, for with you,
Ethereal Flames! ambitious, I aspire
In Nature's general symphony to joyn.
And what new wonders can ye show your guest!
Who, while on this dim spot, where mortals toil
Clouded in dust, from Motion's simple laws,
Could trace the secret hand of Providence,
Wide-working thro' this universal frame.
Have ye not listen'd while he bound the Suns,
And Planets to their spheres! th' unequal task
Of human kind till then. Oft had they roll'd
O'er erring Man the year, and oft disgrac'd
The pride of schools, before their course was known
Full in its causes and effects to him,
All-piercing sage! who sat not down and dream'd
[Page 53] Romantic schemes, defended by the din
Of specious words, and tyranny of names;
But, bidding his amazing mind attend,
And with heroic patience years on years
Deep-searching, saw at last the System dawn,
And shine, of all his race, on him alone.
What were his raptures then! how pure! how strong!
And what the triumphs of old Greece and Rome,
By his diminish'd, but the price of boys
In some small fray victorious! when instead
Of shatter'd parcels of this earth usurp'd
By violence unmanly, and sore deeds
Of cruelty and Blood, Nature herself
Stood all subdu'd by him, and open laid
Her every latent glory to his view.
All intellectual eye, our solar Round
First gazing thro', he by the blended power
Of Gravitation and Projection saw
The whole in silent harmony revolve.
From unassisted vision hid, the Moons
[Page 54] To chear remoter planets numerous pour'd,
By him in all their mingled tracts were seen.
He also fix'd the wandering Queen of Night,
Whether she wanes into a scanty orb,
Or, waxing broad, with her pale shadowy light,
In a soft deluge overflows the sky.
Her every motion clear-discerning, He
Adjusted to the mutual Main, and taught
Why now the mighty mass of water swells
Resistless, heaving on the broken rocks
And the full river turning; till again
The tide revertive, unattracted, leaves
A yellow waste of idle sands behind.
Then breaking hence, he took his ardent flight
Thro' the blue Infinite; and every Star,
Which the clear concave of a winter's night
Pours on the eye, or astronomic tube,
Far-stretching, snatches from the dark abyss,
Or such as farther in successive skies
To fancy shine alone, at his approach
[Page 55] Blaz'd into Suns, the living centre each
Of an harmonious system: all combin'd,
And rul'd unerring by that single power,
Which draws the stone projected to the ground.
O unprofuse magnificence divine!
O Wisdom truly perfect! thus to call
From a few causes such a scheme of things,
Effects so various, beautiful, and great,
An universe compleat! and, O belov'd
Of heaven! whose well-purg'd penetrative eye,
The mystic veil transpiercing, inly scann'd
The rising, moving, wide-establish'd frame.
He, first of men, with awful wing pursu'd
The Comet thro' the long Eliptic curve,
As round innumerous worlds he wound his way;
Till, to the forehead of our evening sky
Return'd, the blazing wonder glares anew,
And o'er the trembling nations shakes dismay.
The heavens are all his own; from the wild rule
Of whirling Vortices, and circling Spheres,
To their first great simplicity restor'd.
The schools astonish'd stood; but found it vain
To keep at odds with demonstration strong,
And, unawaken'd, dream beneath the blaze
Of truth. At once their pleasing visions sled,
With the gay shadows of the morning mix'd,
When Newton rose, our philosophie sun.
Th' aerial flow of Sound was known to him,
From whence it first in wavy circles breaks,
Till the touch'd organ takes the meaning in.
Nor could the darting Beam, of speed immense,
Escape his swift pursuit, and measuring eye.
Even Light itself, which every things displays,
Shone undiscover'd, till his brighter mind
Untwisted all the shining robe of day;
And, from the whitening undistinguish'd blaze,
Collecting every ray into his kind,
[Page 57] To the charm'd eye educ'd the gorgeous train
Of Parent-Colours. First the flaming Red
Sprung vivid forth; the tawny Orange next;
And next delicious Yellow; by whose side
Fell the kind beams of all-refreshing Green.
Then the pure Blue, that swells autumnal skies,
Ethereal play'd; and then, of sadder hue,
Emerg'd the deepen'd Indico, as when
The heavy-skirted evening droops with frost.
While the last gleamings of refracted light
Dy'd in the fainting Violet away.
These, when the clouds distil the rosy shower,
Shine out distinct adown the watry bow;
While o'er our heads the dewy vision bends
Delightful, melting on the fields beneath.
Myriads of mingling dies from these result,
And myriads still remain—Infinite source
Of beauty, ever-flushing, ever-new!
Did ever poet image ought so fair,
Dreaming in whispering groves, by the hoarse brook!
[Page 58] Or prophet, to whose rapture heaven descends!
Even now the setting sun and shifting clouds,
Seen, Greenwich, from thy lovely heights, declare
How just, how beauteous the refractive Law.
The noiseless Tide of Time, all bearing down
To vast Eternity's unbounded sea
Where the green islands of the happy shine,
He stemm'd alone; and to the source (involv'd
Deep in primaeval gloom) ascending, rais'd
His lights at equal distances, to guide
Historian, wilder'd on his darksome way.
But who can number up his labours? who
His high discoveries sing? when but a few
Of the deep-studying race can stretch their minds
To what he knew: in fancy's lighter thought,
How shall the muse then grasp the mighty theme?
What wonder thence that his Devotion swell'd
Responsive to his knowledge! for could he,
[Page 59] Whose piercing mental eye diffusive saw
The finish'd University of things,
In all its order, magnitude, and parts,
Forbear incessant to adore that Power
Who fills, sustains, and actuates the whole.
Say, ye who best can tell, ye happy few,
Who saw him in the softest lights of life,
All un-with-held, indulging to his friends
The vast unborrow'd treasures of his mind,
Oh speak the wondrous man! how mild, how calm,
How greatly humble, how divinely good;
How firm establish'd on eternal truth;
Fervent in doing well, with every nerve
Still pressing on, forgetful of the past,
And panting for perfection: far above
Those little cares, and visionary joys,
That so perplex the fond impassion'd heart
Of ever-cheated, ever-trusting man.
This, Conduit, from thy rural hours we hope;
As thro' the pleasing shade, where Nature pours
[Page 70] Her every sweet, in studious ease you walk;
The social passions smiling at thy heart,
That glows with all the recollected sage.
And you, ye hopeless gloomy-minded tribe,
You who, unconscious of those nobler flights
That reach impatient at immortal life,
Against the prime endearing pivilege
Of Being dare contend, say, can a soul
Of such extensive, deep, tremendous powers,
Enlarging still, be but a finer breath
Of spirits dancing thro' their tubes awhile,
And then for ever lost in vacant air?
But hark! methinks I hear a warning voice,
Solemn as when some awful change is come,
Sound thro' the world—" 'Tis done!—The measure's full;
" And I resign my charge.—Ye mouldering stones,
That build the towering pyramid, the proud
Triumphal arch, the monument effac'd
[Page 71] By ruthless ruin, and whate'er supports
The worshipp'd name of hoar antiquity,
Down to the dust! what grandeur can ye boast
While Newton lifts his column to the skies,
Beyond the waste of time—Let no weak drop
Be shed for him. The virgin in her bloom
Cut off, the joyous youth, and darling child,
These are the tombs that claim the tender tear,
And Elegiac song. But Newton calls
For other notes of gratulation high,
That now he wanders thro' those endless worlds
He here so well descried, and wondering talks,
And hymns their author with his glad compeers.
O Britain's boast! whether with angels thou
Sittest in dread discourse, or fellow-blest,
Who joy to see the honour of their kind;
Or whether, mounted on cherubic wing,
Thy swift career is with the whirling orbs,
Comparing things with things, in rapture lost,
And grateful adoration, for that light
[Page 62] So plenteous ray'd into thy mind below,
From Light Himself; Oh look with pity down
On human-kind, a frail erroneous race!
Exalt the spirit of a downward world!
O'er thy dejected country chief preside,
And be her Genius call'd! her studies raise,
Correct her manners, and inspire her youth.
For, tho' deprav'd and sunk, she brought thee forth,
And glories in thy name; she points thee out
To all her sons, and bids them eye thy star:
While in expectance of the second life,
When Time shall be no more, thy sacred dust
Sleeps with her kings, and dignifies the scene.
The END.

Written in the Year 1719.

—Et tantas audetis tollere Moles?
Quos Ego—sed motos praestat componere fluctus.
Post mihi non simili Poena commissa luetis.
Maturate fugam, Regique haec dicite vestro:
Non illi Imperium Pelagi, Saevumque Tridentem,
Sed mihi sorte datum.—


AS on the sea-beat shore Britannia sat,
Of her degenerate sons the faded fame,
Deep in her anxious heart, revolving sad:
Bare was her throbbing bosom to the gale,
That hoarse, and hollow, from the bleak surge blew;
Loose flow'd her tresses; rent her azure robe.
Hung o'er the deep from her majestic brow
She tore the laurel, and she tore the bay.
[Page 65] Nor ceas'd the copious grief to bathe her cheek;
Nor ceas'd her sobs to murmur to the Main.
Peace discontented nigh, departing, stretch'd
Her dove-like wings. And War, tho' greatly rous'd,
Yet mourn'd his fetter'd hands. While thus the Queen
Of nations spoke; and what she said the Muse
Recorded, faithful, in unbidden verse.
Even not yon sail, that, from the sky-mixt wave,
Dawns on the sight, and wafts the Royal Youth,
A freight of future glory to my shore;
Even not the flattering view of golden days,
And rising periods yet of bright renown,
Beneath the Parents, and their endless line
Thro' late revolving time, can sooth my rage;
While, unchastis'd, the insulting Spaniard dares
Infest the trading flood, full of vain War
Despise my Navies, and my Merchants seize;
As, trusting to false peace, they fearless roam
The world of waters wild, made, by the toil,
And liberal blood of glorious ages, mine:
[Page 66] Nor bursts my sleeping thunder on their head.
Whence this unwonted patience? this weak doubt?
This tame beseeching of rejected peace?
This meek forbearance? this unnative fear,
To generous Britons never known before?
And fail'd my Fleets for this; on Indian tides
To float, unactive, with the veering winds?
The mockery of war! while hot disease,
And sloth distemper'd, swept off burning crowds,
For action ardent; and amid the deep,
Inglorious, sunk them in a watry grave.
There now they lie beneath the rowling flood,
Far from their friends, and country unaveng'd;
And back the weeping war-ship comes again,
Dispirited, and thin; her sons asham'd
Thus idly to review their native shore;
With not one glory sparkling in their eye,
One triumph on their tongue. A passenger,
The violated Merchant comes along;
That far-sought wealth, for which the noxious gale
He drew, and sweat beneath Equator suns,
[Page 67] By lawless force detain'd; a force that soon
Would melt away, and every spoil resign,
Were once the British lyon heard to roar.
Whence is it that the proud Iberian thus,
In their own well-asserted element,
Dares rouze to wrath the Masters of the Main?
Who told him, that the big incumbent war
Would not, ere this, have roll'd his trembling ports
In smoaky ruin? and his guilty stores,
Won by the ravage of a butcher'd world,
Yet unatton'd, sunk in the swallowing deep,
Or led the glittering prize into the Thames?
There was a time (Oh let my languid sons
Resume their spirit at the rouzing thought!)
When all the pride of Spain, in one dread fleet,
Swell'd o'er the lab'ring surge; like a whole heaven
Of clouds, wide-roll'd before the boundless breeze.
Gaily the splendid Armament along
Exultant plough'd, reflecting a red gleam,
As sunk the sun, o'er all the flaming vast;
[Page 68] Tall, gorgeous, and elate; drunk with the dream
Of easy conquest; while their bloated war,
Stretch'd out from sky to sky, the gather'd force
Of ages held in its capacious womb.
But soon, regardless of the cumbrous pomp,
My dauntless Britons came, a gloomy few,
With tempest black, the goodly scene deform'd,
And laid their glory waste. The bolts of fate
Resistless thunder'd thro' their yielding sides;
Fierce o'er their beauty blaz'd the lurid flame;
And seiz'd in horrid grasp, or shatter'd wide,
Amid the mighty waters, deep they sunk.
Then too from every promontory chill,
Rank fen, and cavern where the wild wave works,
I swept confederate winds, and swell'd a storm.
Round the glad isle, snatch'd by the vengeful blast,
The scatter'd remnants drove; on the blind shelve,
And pointed rock, that marks the indented shore,
Relentless dash'd, where loud the Northern Main
Howls thro' the fractur'd Caledonian isles.
Such were the dawnings of my liquid reign;
But since how vast it grew, how absolute,
Even in those troubled times, when dreadful Blake
Aw'd angry Nations with the British Name,
Let every humbled state, let Europe say,
Sustain'd, and ballanc'd, by my naval arm.
Ah what must these immortal spirits think
Of your poor shifts? These, for their country's good,
Who fac'd the blackest danger, knew no fear,
No mean submission, but commanded peace.
Ah how with indignation must they burn?
(If ought, but joy, can touch etherial breasts)
With shame? with grief? to see their feeble sons
Shrink from that empire o'er the conquer'd feas,
For which their wisdom plan'd, their councils glow'd,
And their veins bled thro' many a toiling age.
Oh first of human blessings! and supreme!
Fair Peace! how lovely, how delightful thou!
By whose wide tie, the kindred sons of men,
[Page 70] Like brothers live, in amity combin'd,
And unsuspicious faith; while honest toil
Gives every joy, and to those joys a right,
Which idle, barbarous Rapine but usurps.
Pure is thy reign; when, unaccurs'd by blood,
Nought, save the sweetness of indulgent showers,
Trickling distils into the vernant glebe;
Instead of mangled carcasses, sad-seen,
When the blythe sheaves lie scatter'd o'er the field,
When only shining shares, the crooked knife,
And hooks imprint the vegetable wound;
When the land blushes with the rose alone,
The falling fruitage, and the bleeding vine.
Oh, Peace! thou source, and soul of social life;
Beneath whose calm, inspiring influence,
Science his views enlarges, Art refines,
And swelling Commerce opens all her ports;
Blest be the Man divine, who gives us Thee!
Who bids the trumpet hush his horrid clang,
Nor blow the giddy nations into rage;
Who sheaths the murderous blade; the deadly gun
[Page 71] Into the well-pil'd armory returns;
And, every vigour from the work of death,
To grateful industry converting, makes
The country flourish, and the city smile.
Unviolated, him the virgin sings;
And him the smiling mother to her train.
Of him the shepherd, in the peaceful dale,
Chaunts; and, the treasures of his labour sure,
The husbandman of him, as at the plough,
Or team, he toils. With him the sailor sooths,
Beneath the trembling moon, the midnight wave;
And the full city, warm, from street to street,
And shop to shop, responsive, rings of him.
Nor joys one land alone; his praise extends
Far as the sun rolls the diffusive day;
Far as the breeze can bare the gifts of peace,
Till all the happy nations catch the song.
What would not Peace! the Patriot bear for thee?
What painful patience? What incessant care?
What mixt anxiety? What sleepless toil?
[Page 72] Even from the rash protected what reproach?
For he thy value knows; thy friendship he
To human nature: but the better thou,
The richer of delight, sometimes the more
Inevitable War, when russian force
Awakes the fury of an injur'd state.
Then the good easy man, whom reason rules;
Who, while unhurt, knew nor offence, nor harm,
Rouz'd by bold insult, and injurious rage,
With sharp, and sudden check, th' astonish'd sons
Of violence confounds; firm as his cause,
His bolder heart; in awful justice clad;
His eyes effulging a peculiar fire:
And, as he charges thro' the prostrate war,
His keen arm teaches faithless men, no more
To dare the sacred vengeance of the just.
And what, my thoughtless sons, should fire you more,
Than when your weil-earn'd empire of the deep
The least beginning injury receives?
What better cause can call your lightning forth?
[Page 73] Your thunder wake? Your dearest life demand?
What better cause, than when your country sees
The sly destruction at her vitals aim'd?
For oh it much imports you, 'tis your all,
To keep your Trade intire, intire the force,
And honour of your Fleets; o'er that to watch,
Even with a hand severe, and jealous eye.
In intercourse be gentle, generous, just,
By wisdom polish'd, and of manners fair;
But on the sea be terrible, untam'd,
Unconquerable still: let none escape,
Who shall but aim to touch your glory there.
Is there the man, into the lyon's den
Who dares intrude, to snatch his young away?
And is a Briton seiz'd? and seiz'd beneath
The slumbring terrors of a British Fleet?
Then ardent rise! Oh great in vengeance rise;
O'erturn the proud, teach rapine to restore:
And as you ride sublimely round the world,
Make every vessel stoop, make every state
At once their welfare and their duty know.
[Page 74] This is your glory; this your wisdom; this
The native power for which you were design'd
By fate, when fate design'd the firmest state,
That e'er was seated on the subject sea;
A state, alone, where Liberty should live,
In these late times, this evening of mankind,
When Athens, Rome, and Carthage are no more,
The world almost in slavish sloth dissolv'd.
For this, these rocks around your coast were thrown;
For this, your oaks, peculiar harden'd, shoot
Strong into sturdy growth; for this, your hearts
Swell with a sullen courage, growing still
As danger grows; and strength, and toil for this
Are liberal pour'd o'er all the fervent land.
Then cherish this, this unexpensive power,
Undangerous to the publick ever prompt,
By lavish Nature thrust into your hand:
And, unencumber'd with the bulk immense
Of conquest, whence huge empires rose and fell,
Self-crush'd, extend your reign from shore to shore,
Where-e'er the wind your high behests can blow,
[Page 75] And fix it deep on this eternal base.
For should the sliding fabrrick once give way,
Soon slacken'd quite, and past recovery broke,
It gathers ruin as it rolls along,
Steep-rushing down to that devouring gulph,
Where many a mighty empire buried lies.
And should the big redundant flood of Trade,
In which ten thousand thousand Labours join
Their several currents, till the boundless tide
Rolls in a radiant deluge o'er the land,
Should this bright stream, the least inflected, point
Its course another way, o'er other lands
The various treasure would resistless pour,
Ne'er to be won again; its antient tract
Left a vile channel, desolate, and dead,
With all around a miserable waste.
Not Egypt, were, her better heaven, the Nile
Turn'd in the pride of flow; when o'er his rocks,
And roaring cataracts, beyond the reach
Of dizzy vision pil'd, in one wide flash
An Ethiopian deluge foams amain;
[Page 76] (Whence wond'ring fable trac'd him from the sky)
Even not that prime of earth, where harvests crowd
On untill'd harvests, all the teeming year,
If of the fat o'erflowing culture robb'd,
Were then a more uncomfortable wild,
Steril, and void; than of her trade depriv'd,
Britons, your boasted isle: her Princes sunk;
Her high-built honour moulder'd to the dust;
Unnerv'd her force; her spirit vanish'd quite;
With rapid wing her riches fled away;
Her unfrequented ports alone the sign
Of what she was; her Merchants scatter'd wide;
Her hollow shops shut up; and in her streets,
Her fields, woods, markets, villages, and roads,
The cheerful voice of labour heard no more.
Oh let not then waste Luxury impair
That manly soul of toil, which strings your nerves,
And your own proper happiness creates!
Oh let not the soft, penetrating plague
[Page 77] Creep on the free-born mind! and working there,
With the sharp tooth of many a new-form'd want,
Endless, and idle all, eat out the heart
Of Liberty; the high conception blast;
The noble sentiment, the impatient scorn
Of base subjection, and the swelling wish
For general good, erazing from the mind:
While nought save narrow Selfishness succeeds,
And low design, the sneaking passions all
Let loose, and reigning in the rankled breast.
Induc'd at last, by scarce-perceiv'd degrees,
Sapping the very frame of government,
And life, a total dissolution comes;
Sloth, ignorance, dejection, flattery, fear,
Oppression raging o'er the waste he makes;
The human being almost quite extinct;
And the whole state in broad Corruption sinks.
Oh shun that gulph: that gaping ruin shun!
And countless ages roll it far away
From you, ye heaven-belov'd! may Liberty,
[Page 78] The light of life! the sun of human kind!
Whence Heroes, Bards, and Patriots borrow flame,
Even where the keen depressive North descends,
Still spread, exalt, and actuate your powers!
While slavish Southern climates beam in vain.
And may a publick spirit from the Throne,
Where every Virtue sits, go copious forth
Live o'er the land! the finer Arts inspire;
Make thoughtful Science raise his pensive head,
Blow the fresh Bay, bid Industry rejoice,
And the rough Sons of lowest Labour smile.
As when, profuse of Spring, the loosen'd West
Lifts up the pining year, and balmy breathes
Youth, life, and love, and beauty o'er the world.
But haste we from these melancholly shores,
Nor to deaf winds, and waves, our fruitless plaint
Pour weak; the country claims our active aid;
That let us roam; and where we find a spark
Of publick virtue, blow it into flame.
And now my sons, the sons of freedom! meet
[Page 79] In awful senate; thither let us fly;
Burn in the Patriot's thought, flow from his tongue
In fearless truth; myself, transform'd, preside,
And shed the spirit of Britannia round.
This said; her fleeting form, and airy train,
Sunk in the gale; and nought but ragged rocks
Rush'd on the broken eye; and nought was heard
But the rough cadence of the dashing wave.
The END.

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