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THE APPROACH OF WINTER.
The Sun far southward bends his annual way,
The fruit ungather'd quits the naked spray,
No mark of vegetable life is seen,
No bird to bird repeats his tuneful call;
Save the dark leaves of some rude evergreen,
Save the lone red-breast on the moss-grown wall.
Where are the sprightly prospects Spring supplied, The may-flower'd hedges scenting every breeze;
The white flocks scattering o'er the mountain's side, The woodlarks warbling on the blooming trees?
Where is gay Summer's sportive insect train, That in green fields on painted pinions play'd?
The herd at morn wide pasturing o'er the plain,
Where is brown Autumn's evening mild and still,
What time the village peoples all the hill,
To former scenes our fancy thus returns,
To former scenes that little pleas'd when here!
Our Winter chills us, and our Summer burns,
To happier lands then restless fancy flies.
Where Indian streams through green savannahs flow;
Where brighter suns and ever tranquil skies
Let Truth these fairer, happier lands survey—
Or nature faints amid the blaze of day,
And one brown hue the sun-burnt plain deforms.
There oft, as toiling in the sultry fields,
Or homeward passing on the shadeless way,
His joyless life the weary labourer yields,
Who dreams of Nature, free from Nature's strife?
Who dreams of constant happiness below? The hope-fiush'd enterer on the stage of life;
The youth to knowledge unchastis'd by woe.
Tor me, long toil'd on many a weary road,
I find in Earth's bleak clime no bless'd abode,
For me, while Winter rages round the plains,
Not those more fraught with clouds, and winds, and rains,
O! whence this wondrous turn of mind our fate—
We ever murmur at our present state;
Why else, when heard in evening's solemn gloom,
Tolls some poor lifeless body to the tomb,
The voice of Reason thunders in my ear:
No more those nostrils breathe the vital air,
O Winter, o'er me hold thy dreary reign!
Spread wide thy skies in darkest horrors dress'd! Of their dread rage no longer I'll complain,
Nor ask an Eden for a transient guest.
Enough has Heaven indulg'd of joy below,
Enough has Heaven ordain'd of useful woe,
There is, who deems all climes, all seasons fair;
There is, who knows no restless passion's strife; Contentment, smiling at each idle'care;
Contentment, thankful for the gift of life!
She finds in Winter many a view to please;
The morning landscape fring'd with frost-work gay, The sun at noon seen through the leafless trees,
The clear calm ether at the close of day:
She marks th' advantage storms and clouds bestow,
When moist Aquarius pours the fleecy snow,
That makes th' impregnate glebe a richer harvest bear: She bids, for all, our grateful praise arise,
To Him whose mandate spake the world to form;
Gave Spring's gay bloom, and Summer's cheerful skies, And Autumn's corn-clad field, and Winter's sounding storm
THE TEMPESTUOUS EVENING,
There's grandeur in this sounding storm,
Beneath the blast the forests bend,