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His inborn inextinguishable thirst
Of rural scenes, compensating his loss
By supplemental shifts the best he may ?
The most unfurnish'd with the means of life,
And they that never pass their brick-wall bound
To range the fields, and treat their lungs with ai
Yet feel the burning instinct ; over-head
Suspend their crazy boxes, planted thick,
And water'd duly. There the pitcher stands
A fragment, and the spoutless teapot there;
Sad witnesses how close-pent man regrets
The country, with what ardour he contrives
A peep at Nature, when he can no more.
Hail, therefore, patroness of health and ease,
And contemplation, heart-consoling joys,
And harmless pleasures, in the throng'd abode
Of multitudes unknown! hail, rural life!
Address himself who will to the pursuit
Of honours, or emolument, or fame;
I shall not add myself to such a chase,
Thwart his attempts, or envy his success.
Some must be great. Great offices will have
Great talents. And God gives to every man
The virtue, temper, understanding, taste,
That lifts him into life; and lets him fall
Just in the niche he was ordain'd to fill.
To the deliverer of an injured land
He gives a tongue to enlarge upon, a heart
To feel, and courage to redress her wrongs;
To monarchs dignity ; to judges sense ;
To artists ingenuity and skill;
To me an unambitious mind, content
In the low vale of life, that early felt
A wish for ease and leisure, and ere long
Found here that leisure and that ease I wish'd.
BOOK V.-THE WINTER MORNING WALK.
A frosty morning, 1—The foddering of cattle, 27—The wondman and his dog,
41—The poultry, 58—Whimsical effects of frost at a waterfall, 96—The Empress of Russia's palace of ice, 127—Amusements of monarchs, 177— War, one of them, 185—Wars, whence, 193—And whence monarchy, 230 —The evils of it, 242—English and French loyalty contrasted, 346—The Bastile, and a prisoner there, 379—Liberty the chief recommendation of this country, 446—Modern patriotism questionable, and why, 491—The perishable nature of the best human institutions, 509—Spiritual liberty not perishable, 538—The slavish state of man by nature, 581—Deliver him, Deist, if you can, 670—Grace must do it, 688—The respective merits of patriots and martyrs stated, 704— Their different treatment, 707, 718– Happy freedom of the man whom grace makes free, 733—His relish of the works of God, 779—Address to the Creator, 845.
'Tis morning; and the sun, with ruddy orb
Ascending, fires the horizon ; while the clouds,
That crowd away before the driving wind,
More ardent as the disk emerges more,
Resemble most some city in a blaze,
Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray
Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale,
And, tingeing all with his own rosy hue,
From every herb and every spiry blade
Stretches a length of shadow o'er the field.
Mine, spindling into longitude immense,
In spite of gravity, and sage remark
That I myself am but a fleeting shade,
Provokes me to a smile. With
With eye askance
I view the muscular proportion'd limb
Transform'd to a lean shank. The shapeless pair,
As they desigu'd to mock me, at my side
Take step for step; and, as I near approach
The cottage, walk along the plaster'd wall,
Preposterous sight! the legs without the man.
The verdure of the plain lies buried deep
Beneath the dazzling deluge ; and the bents,
And coarser grass, upspearing o'er the rest,
Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine
Conspicuous, and in bright apparel clad,
And, fledged with icy feathers, nod superb.
The cattle mourn in corners, where the fence
Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep
In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait
Their wonted fodder ; not like hungering man,
Fretful if unsupplied; but silent, meek,
And patient of the slow-paced swain's delay
He from the stack carves out the accustom'd loa
Deep plunging, and again deep plunging oft
His broad keen knife into the solid mass.
Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands,
With such undeviating and even force
He severs it away: no needless care,
Lest storms should overset the leaning pile
Deciduous, or its own unbalanced weight.
Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcern'd
The cheerful haunts of man; to wield the axe,
And drive the wedge, in yonder forest drear,
From morn to eve his solitary task.
Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears
And tail cropp'd short, half lurcher and half cur
His dog attends him. Close behind his heel
he slow; and now, with many a fris Wide scampering, snatches up the drifted snow With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout ;
Then shakes his powder'd coat, and barks for joy.
Heedless of all his pranks, the sturdy churl
Moves right toward the mark; nor stops for aught,
But now and then, with pressure of his thumb
To adjust the fragrant charge of a short tube,
That fumes beneath his nose : the trailing cloud
Streams far behind him, scenting all the air.
Now from the roost, or from the neighbouring pale
Where, diligent to catch the first faint gleam
Of smiling day, they gossipp'd side by side,
Come trooping at the housewife's well-known call
The feather'd tribes domestic. Half on wing,
And half on foot, they brush the fleecy flood,
Conscious and fearful of too deep a plunge.
The sparrows peep, and quit the sheltering eaves,
To seize the fair occasion ; well they eye
The scatter'd grain, and thievishly resolved
To escape the impending famine, often scared
As oft return, a pert voracious kind.
Clean riddance quickly made, one only care
Remains to each, the search of sunny nook,
Or shed impervious to the blast. Resign'd
To sad necessity, the cock foregoes
His wonted strut; and, wading at their head
With well-consider'd steps, seems to resent
His alter'd gait and stateliness retrench’d.
How find the myriads, that in summer cheer
The hills and valleys with their ceaseless songs,
Due sustenance, or where subsist they now?
Earth yields them nought : the imprison'd worm is safe 80
Beneath the frozen clod; all seeds of herbs
Lie cover'd close ; and berry-bearing thorns
That feed the thrush (whatever some suppose)
Afford the smaller minstrels no supply.
The long protracted rigour of the year
Thins all their numerous flocks. In chinks and
Ten thousand seek an unmolested end,
As instinct prompts, self-buried ere they die.
The very rooks and daws forsake the fields,
Where neither grub, nor root, nor earth-nut nov
Repays their labour more; and perch'd aloft
By the wayside, or stalking in the path,
Lean pensioners upon the traveller's track,
Pick up their nauseous dole, though sweet to th
Of voided pulse or half-digested grain.
The streams are lost amid the splendid blan
O’erwhelming all distinction. On the flood,
Indurated and fix'd, the snowy weight
Lies undissolved ; while silently beneath,
And unperceived, the current steals away.
Not so where, scornful of a check, it leaps
The mill-dam, dashes on the restless wheel,
And wantons in the pebbly gulf below :
No frost can bind it there ; its utmost force
Can but arrest the light and smoky mist
That in its fall the liquid sheet throws wide.
And see where it has hung the embroider'd ba
With forms so various, that no powers of art,
The pencil or the pen, may trace the scene !
Here glittering turrets rise, upbearing high
(Fantastic misarrangement !) on the roof
Large growth of what may seem the sparkling
And shrubs of fairy land. The crystal drops,
That trickle down the branches, fast congeal’d,
Shoot into pillars of pellucid length,
And prop the pile they but adorn'd before.
Here, grotto within grotto safe defies
The sunbeam : there, emboss'd and fretted wil