His wafted fpirits quickly, by long toil

Incurring fhort fatigue; and though our years
As life declines, fpeed rapidly away,

And not a year but pilfers as he goes

Some youthful grace that age would gladly keep,
A tooth or auburn lock, and by degrees

Their length and colour from the locks they fpare;
Th' elastic spring of an unwearied foot

That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the fence,
That play of lungs, inhaling and again
Refpiring freely the fresh air, that makes
Swift pace or steep afcent no toil to me,
Mine have not pilfer'd yet; nor yet impair'd
My relish of fair profpect; fcenes that footh'd
Or charm'd me young, no longer young, I find
Still foothing, and of power to charm me still.
And witness, dear companion of my walks,
Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive
Fast lock'd in mine, with pleasure fuch as love,
Confirm'd by long experience of thy worth


And well-tried virtues, could alone infpire-
Witness a joy that thou haft doubled long.
Thou know'ft my praise of nature most fincere,
And that my raptures are not conjur'd up
To ferve occafions of poetic pomp,

But genuine, and art partner of them all.
How oft upon yon eminence our pace

Has flacken'd to a paufe, and we have borne
The ruffling wind, fcarce confcious that it blew,
While admiration feeding at the eye,

And still unfated, dwelt upon the scene.

Thence with what pleasure have we just difcern'd
The distant plough flow-moving, and beside
His lab'ring team, that fwerv'd not from the track,
The sturdy swain diminish'd to a boy!

Here Oufe, flow winding through a level plain
Of spacious meads with cattle fprinkled o'er,
Conducts the eye along his finuous course
Delighted. There, faft rooted in their bank
Stand, never overtook'd, our fav'rite elms,


That screen the herdfman's folitary hut;

While far beyond, and overthwart the ftream
That as with molten glafs inlays the vale,

The floping land recedes into the clouds;
Displaying on its varied fide the


Of hedge-row beauties numberlefs, fquare tow'r,
Tall spire, from which the found of chearful bells
Juft undulates upon the lift'ning ear;

Groves, heaths, and fmoaking villages remote.
Scenes must be beautiful which daily view'd
Please daily, and whofe novelty furvives
Long knowledge and the fcrutiny of years.
Praise justly due to those that I describe.

Nor rural fights alone, but rural sounds
Exhilarate the spirit, and restore

The tone of languid Nature, Mighty winds,
That fweep the fkirt of fome far-fpreading wood
Of ancient growth, make mufic not unlike

The dafh of ocean on his winding shore,


And lull the spirit while they fill the mind;
Unnumber'd branches waving in the blaft,
And all their leaves faft flutt'ring, all at once.
Nor lefs compofure waits upon the roar
Of distant floods, or on the fofter voice
Of neighb'ring fountain, or of rills that flip
Through the cleft rock, and chiming as they fall
Upon loose pebbles, lose themfelves at length
In matted grafs, that with a livelier green
Betrays the fecret of their filent course,
Nature inanimate employs fweet founds,

But animated Nature sweeter still,

To foothe and fatisfy the human ear.

Ten thousand warblers chear the day, and one

The live-long night: nor these alone, whofe notes

Nice-finger'd art must emulate in vain,

But cawing rooks, and kites that swim fublime
In ftill repeated circles, screaming loud;

The jay, the pie, and ev'n the boding owl

That hails the rifing moon, have charms for me.


Sounds inharmonious in themselves and harsh,

Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns, And only there, please highly for their fake.

Peace to the artist, whofe ingenious thought
Devis'd the weather-house, that useful toy!
Fearless of humid air and gathering rains
Forth steps the man, an emblem of myself,
More delicate his tim'rous mate retires.

When Winter soaks the fields, and female feet,
Too weak to struggle with tenacious clay,
Or ford the rivulets, are beft at home,

The task of new difcov'ries falls on me.

At fuch a feason and with fuch a charge

Once went I forth, and found, till then unknown, A cottage, whither oft we fince repair :

'Tis perch'd upon the green-hill top, but close
Environ'd with a ring of branching elms

That overhang the thatch, itself unfeen
Peeps at the vale below; fo thick befet

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