« ForrigeFortsett »
Your fate unmerited, once more rejoice
That yet a remnant of your race furvives.
How airy and how light the graceful arch,
Yet awful as the confecrated roof
Re-echoing pious anthems! while beneath
The chequer'd earth feems reftlefs as a flood
Brush'd by the wind. So fportive is the light
Shot through the boughs, it dances as they dance,
Shadow and funshine intermingling quick,
And darkning and enlightning, as the leaves
Play wanton, ev'ry moment, ev'ry spot.
And now with nerves new-brac'd and spirits chear'd
We tread the wildernefs, whofe well-roll'd walks
With curvature of flow and eafy sweep,
Deception innocent-give ample space
To narrow bounds. The grove receives us next;
Between the upright shafts of whose tall elms
difcern the threfher at his task.
Thump after thump, refounds the conftant flail,
That feems to fwing uncertain, and yet falls
Full on the deftin'd ear. Wide flies the chaff,
The rustling straw fends up a frequent mist
Of atoms fparkling in the noon-day beam.
Come hither, ye that press your beds of down
And fleep not: fee him fweating o'er his bread
Before he eats it.-'Tis the primal curfe,
But foften'd into mercy; made the pledge
Of chearful days, and nights without a groan.
By ceafelefs action, all that is, fubfifts.
Conftant rotation of th' unwearied wheel
That nature rides upon, maintains her health,
Her beauty, her fertility. She dreads
An inftant's pause, and lives but while she moves.
Its own revolvency upholds the world.
Winds from all quarters agitate the air,
And fit the limpid element for use,
Elfe noxious: oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams All feel the fresh'ning impulse, and are cleansed
By restless undulation; ev'n the oak
Thrives by the rude concuffion of the ftorm;
He seems indeed indignant, and to feel
Th' impreffion of the blast with proud difdain,
Frowning as if in his unconfcious arm
He held the thunder.
But the monarch owes
His firm ftability to what he fcorns, More fixt below, the more disturb'd above. The law by which all creatures elfe are bound, Binds man the lord of all. Himfelf derives No mean advantage from a kindred cause, From ftrenuous toil his hours of sweetest ease. The fedentary stretch their lazy length When custom bids, but no refreshment find, For none they need: the languid eye, the cheek Deserted of its bloom, the flaccid, fhrunk, And wither'd muscle, and the vapid soul, Reproach their owner with that love of reft To which he forfeits ev'n the rest he loves. Measure life
Not fuch th' alert and active.
By its true worth, the comforts it affords,
And theirs alone feems worthy of the name.
Good health, and its affociate in the most,
Good temper; fpirits prompt to undertake, '
And not foon spent, though in an arduous task;
The pow'rs of fancy and strong thought are theirs;
Ev'n age itself seems privileged in them
With clear exemption from its own defects.
A fparkling eye beneath a wrinkled front
The vet'ran fhows, and gracing a grey beard
With youthful fmiles, defcends toward the grave
Sprightly, and old almost without decay.
Like a coy maiden, eafe, when courted moft,
Fartheft retires-an idol, at whose shrine
Who oft'neft facrifice are favor'd leaft.
The love of Nature, and the scenes the draws
Is Nature's dictate. Strange! there should be found
Who felf-imprison'd in their proud faloons,
Renounce the odors of the open field
For the unfcented fictions of the loom.
Who fatisfied with only pencil'd scenes,
Prefer to the performance of a God
Th' inferior wonders of an artist's hand.
Lovely indeed the mimic works of art,
But Nature's works far lovelier. I admire-
None more admires the painter's magic skill,
Who fhews me that which I fhall never fee,
Conveys a distant country into mine,
And throws Italian light on English walls.
But imitative ftrokes can do no more
Than please the eye, fweet Nature ev'ry fenfe.
The air falubrious of her lofty hills,
The chearing fragrance of her dewy vales
And mufic of her woods-no works of man
May rival these; these all bespeak a power
Peculiar, and exclufively her own.
Beneath the open sky she spreads the feast;
'Tis free to all-'tis ev'ry day renew'd,
Who fcorns it, ftarves deservedly at home.