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Sweet is thy reign, but short; the red dog-star
Shall scorch thy'tresses, and the mower's scythe
Thy greens, thy flow'rets all,
Remorseless shall destroy.
Reluctant shall I bid thee then farewel ;
For O, not all that Autumn's lap contains,
Nor Summer's ruddieft fruits,
Can aught for thee atone,
Fair Spring! whose fimplest promise more delights
Than all their largest wealth, and thro' the heart
Each joy and new born hope
With softest influence breathes.
CHA"P. XXVII. DOMESTIC LOVE AND HAPPINESS.
HAPPY they! the happiest of their kind!
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.
"Tis not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
Attuning all their passions into love;
Where friendship full exerts her foftest power,
Perfect esteem, enliven’d by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul ;
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,
With boundless confidence : for nought but love
Can answer love, and render bliss secure.
Let him, ungenerous, who alone, intent
To bless himself, from fordid parents buys
The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
Well-merited, consume his nights and days:
Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love
Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel ;
Let eastern tyrants from the light of Heaven
Seclude their bosom-flaves, meanly poffess’d
Of a mere lifeless, violated form:
While those whom love cements in holy faith,
And equal transport, free as nature live,
Disdaining fear. What is the world to them,
Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all ?
Who in each other clasp whatever fair
High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish;
Something than beauty dearer, should they look
Or on the mind, or mind-illumin’d face; :
Truth, goodness, honour, harmony and love,
The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven.
Mean-time a smiling offspring rises round,
And mingles both their graces. By degrees,
The human bloffom blows; and every day,
Soft as it rolls along, shews some new charm,
The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom, :
Then infant reason grows apace, and calls..
For the kind hand of an affiduous care.
Delightful tak! to rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
To breathe th’enlivening spirit, and to fix
The generous purpose in the glowing breast.
Oh speak the joy! ye whom the sudden tear
Surprizes often, while you' look around,
And nothing strikes your eye but fights of bliss; .
All various Nature prefing on the heart :
An elegant sufficiency, content,
Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease and alternate labour, useful life,
Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven.
These are the matchless joys of virtuous love;
And thus their moments fly. The Seasons thus,
As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll,
Still find them happy; and consenting Spring
Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads:
Till evening comes at laft, serene and mild ;
When after the long vernal day of life,
Enamour'd more, as more remembrance swells
With many a proof of recollected love,
Together down they fink in social sleep;
Together freed, their gentle spirits fly
To fcenes where love and bliss immortal reign.
THE PLEASURES OF RETIREMENT.
KNE W he but his happiness, of men
The happiest he! who far from public rage,
Deep in the vale, with a choice few retird,
Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life.
What tho' the dome be wanting, whose proud gate,
Each morning, vomits out the sneaking croud
Of Hatterers false, and in their turn abus'd ?
Vile intercourie! What tho' the glittering robe,
Of every hue reflected light can give, Or floated loose, or stiff with mazy gold, The pride and gaze of fools! oppress him not ?. What tho', from utmost land and sea purvey'd, For him each rarer tributary life ; Bleeds not, and his insatiate table heaps With luxury, and death? What tho? his bowl Flames not with costly juice; nor sunk in beds Oft of gay care, he toffes out the night, Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state? What tho' he knows not those fantastic joys, . That still amuse the wanton, still deceive; A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain ; Their hollow moments undelighted all? Sure peace is his; a solid life estrang'd To disappointment, and fallacious hope: Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich, In herbs and fruits; whatever greens the Spring, When heaven descends in showers; or bends the bough · When Summer reddens, and when Autumn beams; Or in the wint'ry glebe whatever lies Conceal'd and fattens with the richest fap: These are not wanting ; nor the milky drove, Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale : , Nor bleating mountains; nor the chide of (treams, And hum of bees, inviting sleep fincere Into the guiltless breaft, beneath the shade, Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay; Nor aught befides of prospect, grove, or song, Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountain clear. Here too dwells simple truth; plain innocence; Unsullied beauty ; found unbroken youth,
Patient of labour, with a little pleas’d;
Health ever blooming; unambitious toil;
Calm contemplation, and poetic ease.
The rage of nations, and the crush of states,
Move not the man, who, from the world escap'd,'. .'
In still retreats, and flowery solitudes,
To Nature's voice attends, from month to month,
And day to day, thro?ithe revolving year;... ::
Admiring, sees her in her every shape;
Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart;
Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more.
He, when young Spring protrudes the bursting gems,
Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale,
Into his freshen'd soul; her genial hours
He full enjoys; and not a beauty blows,
And not an opening blossom breathes, in vain.
In suminer he, beneath the living fhade,
Such as o'er frigid: Tempe wont to wave,
Or Hemus cool, reads what the Muse, of these
Perhaps, has in immortal numbers sung;
Or whatı ihe dictates writes: and, oft an eye
Shot round, rejoices in the vigorous year.
When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world,
And tempts the sickled swain into the field,
Seiz'd by the general joy, his heart distends
With gentle throws; and, thro' the tepid gleams
Deep musing, then he best exerts his song.
Even Winter wild to him is full of bliss :
The mighty tempeft, and the hoary waste,
Abrupt, and deep, stretch'd o'er the buried earth
Awake to solemn thought. At night the skies,
Disclos'd, and kindled, by refining frost, .