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The air salubrious of her lofty hills, i
The cheering fragrance of her dewy vales;
And music of her woods--no works of man
May rival these ; these all bespeak a power
Peculiar, and exclusively her own.
Beneath the open sky she spreads the feast;
'Tis free to all’tis every day renewed;
Who scorns it starves deservedly at home.
He does not scorn it, who, imprisoned long
In some unwholesome dungeon, and a prey
To sallow sickness, which the vapours, dank,
And clammy, of his dark abode have bred,
Escapes at last to liberty and light :
His cheek recovers soon its healthful hue;
His eye relumines its extinguished fires ;
He walks, he leaps, he runs-is winged with joy,
And riots in the sweets of every breeze,
He does not scorn it, who has long endured
A fever's agonies, and fed on drugs.
Nor yet the mariner, his blood inflamed
With acrid salts; his very heart athirst
To gaze at nature in her green array,
Upon the ship's tall side he stands, possessed
With visions prompted by intense desire:
Fair fields appear below, such as he left
Far distant, such as he would die to find
He seeks them headlong, and is seen no more.
The spleen is seldom felt where Fiora reigns ; The lowering eye, the petulence, the frown, And sullen sadness, that overshade, distort, And mar, the face of beauty, when no cause For such immeasurable woe appears, These Flora banishes, and gives the fair Sweet smiles, and bloom less transient than her own. It is the constant revolution, stale And tasteless, of the same repeated joys, That palls and satiates, and makes languid life A pedlar's pack, that bows the bearer down. Health suffers, and the spirits ebb; the heart Recoils from its own choice at the full feast Is famished-finds no music in the song, No smartness in the jest; and wonders why, Yet thousands still desire to journey on, 'Though halt, and weary of the path they tread. The paralytic, who can hold her cards, But cannot play them, borrows a friend's hand To deal and shuffle, to divide and sort Her mingled suits and sequences; and sits, Spectatress both and spectacle, a sad And silent cypher, while her proxy plays.. Others are dragged into the crowded room Between supporters; and, once seated, sit, Through downright inability to rise, Till the stout bearers lift the corpse again,
These speak a loud memento. Yet even those
Themselves love life, and cling to it, as he
That overhangs a torrent to a twig.
They love it, and yet loath it; fear to die,
Yet scorn the purposes for which they live.
Then wherefore not renounce them ? No--the dread,
The slavish dread of solitude, that breeds
Reflection and remorse, the fear of shame,
And their inveterate habits, all forbid.
Whom call we gay? That honour has been long
The boast of mere pretenders to the name.
The innocent are gay—the lark is gay,
That dries his feathers, saturate with dew,
Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams
Of day-spring overshoot his humble, nest.
The peasant too, a witness of his song,
Himself a songster, is as gay as he.
But save me from the gaiety of those,
Whose head-aches nail them to a noon-day bed;
And save me too from their's, whose haggard eyes
Flash desperation, and betray their pangs
For property stripped off by cruel chance ;
From gaiety, that fills the bones with pain,
The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with woe.
The eartha was made so various, that the mind
Of desuitory man, studious of change,
And pleased with novelty, might be indulged.
Prospects, however lovely, may be seen
Till half their beauties fade; the weary sight,
Too well acquainted with their smiles, slides off
Fastidious, seeking less familiar scenes.
Then snug enclosures in the sheltered vale, - Where frequent hedges intercept the eye,
Delight us; happy to renounce awhile,
Not senseless of its charms, what still we love,
That such short absence may endear it more.
Then forests, or the savage rock, may please,
That hides the sea-mew in his hollow clefts
Above the reach of man. His hoáry head,
Conspicuous many a league, the mariner
Bound homeward, and in hope already there,
Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist
A girdle of half withered shrubs he shows,
And at his feet the baffled billows die.
The common, overgrown with fern, and rough
\Vith prickly gorse, that shapeless and deformed
And dangerous to the touch, has yet its bloom,
And decks itself with ornaments of gold,
Yields no unpleasing ramble; there the turf
Smells fresh, and rich in odoriferous herbs
And fungous fruits of earth, regales the sense
With luxury of unexpected sweets.
There often wanders one, whom better days
Saw better clad, in cloak of satin trimmed
With lace, and hat with splendid ribband bound.
A serving maid was she, and fell in love
With one who left her, went to sea, and died.
Her fancy followed him through foaming waves
To distant shores; and she would sit and weep
At what a sailor suffers; fancy too
Delusive most where warmest wishes are,
Would oft anticipate his glad return,
And dream of transports she was not to know.
She heard the doleful tidings of his death
And never smiled again ! and now she roams
The dreary waste; there spends the livelong day, i
And there, unless when charity forbids,
The livelong night. A tattered apron hides,
Worn as a cloak, and hardly hides, a gown
More tattered still; and both but ill conceal
A bosom heaved with never ceasing sighs.
She begs an idle pin of all she meets,
And hoards them in her sleeve; but needful food,
Though pressed with hunger oft, or comelier clothes,
Though pinched with cold, asks never.-Kate is
I see a column of slow rising smoke (crazed.
Overtop the lofty wood, that skirts the wild,
A vagabond and useless tribe there eat
Their miserable meal. A kettle, slung
Between two poles upon a stick transverse,