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In that blest moment Nature, throwing wide
THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.
The Argument. Bells at a distance.—Their effect.— \ fine noon in winter.—i-A sheltered walk.—Meditation better than books.—Our familiarity with the course of nature makes it appear less wonderful than it is.— The transformation that spring effects in a shrubbery described.—A mistake concerning the course of nature corrected.—God maintains it by an unremitted act.—The amusements fashionable at this hour of the day reproved.—Animals happy, a delightful sight.—Origin of cruelty to animals—That it is a great crime proved from scripture.—That proof illustrated by a tale.—A line drawn between the lawful and unlawful destruction of them.— Their good and useful properties insisted on.— Apology for the encomiums bestowed by the author on animals.—Instances of man's extravagant praise of man.—The groans of the creation shall have an end.—A view taken of the restoration of nil things.—An invocation and an invitation of him who shall bring it to pass.—The retired man vindicated from the charge of uselessness.—Conclusion.
Ihrre is in souls a sympathy with sounds, \acl a* the mind is pitched the ear is pleased
With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave, ^
A father, whose authority, in show
When most severe, and mustering all its force,
Was but the graver countenance of love;
Whose favour, like the clouds of spring, might lower,
And utter now and then an awful voice,
But had a blessing in its darkest frown,
Threatening at once and nourishing the plant.
We loved, but not enough, the gentle hand,
That reared us. At a thoughtless age, allured
By every gilded folly we renounced
His sheltering side, and wilfully forewent
That converse, which we now in rain regret.
How gladly would the man recall to life
The boy's neglected sire! a mother too,
That softer friend, perhaps more gladly still,
Might he demand them at the gates of death.
Sorrow has, since they went, subdued and tamed
The playful humour; he could now endure,
(Himself grown sober in the vale of tears)
And feel a parent's presence no restraint.
But not to understand a treasure's worth
Till time has stolen away the slighted good,
Is cause of half the poverty we feel,
And makes the world the wilderness it is.
The few that pray at all pray oft amiss,
And, seeking grace to improve the prize they hold,
Would urge a wiser suit than asking more.
VOL. II. P
The night was winter in his roughest mood; The morning sharp and clear. But now at noon Upon the southern side of the slant hills, And where the woods fence off the northern blast, The season smiles, resigning all its rage, And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue Without a cloud, and white without a speck The dazzling splendour of the scene below. Again the harmony comes over the vale; And through the trees I view the embattled tower, Whence all the music. I again perceive The soothing influence of the wafted strains, And settle in soft musings as I tread The walk, still verdant, under oaks and elms, Whose outspread branches overarch the glade. The rcof, though moveable through all its length As the wind sways it, has yet well sufficed, And intercepting in their silent fall The frequent flakes, has kept a path for me. No noise is here, or none that hinders thought. The redbreast warbles still, but is content With slender notes, and more than half suppressed Pleased with his solitude, and flitting light From spray to spray, wherever he rests he shakes From many a twig the pendant drops of ice, That tinkle in the withered leaves below. Stillness, accompanied with sounds so soft,