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Throws up a fteamy column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
Not fuch his evening, who with fhining face
Sweats in the crowded theatre, and, fqueezed
And bored with elbow-points through both his fides,
Out-fcolds the ranting actor on the ftage:
Nor his, who patient ftands till his feet throb,
And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath
Of patriots, bursting with heroic rage,
Or placemen, all tranquillity and fmiles,
This folio of four pages, happy work!
Which not ev'n critics criticife; that holds
Inquifitive attention, while I read,
Faft bound in chains of filence, which the fair,
Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break;
What is it, but a map of busy life,
Its fluctuations, and its vaft concerns?
Here runs the mountainous and craggy ridge,
That tempts ambition. On the fummit fee
The feals of office glitter in his eyes;
He climbs, he pants, he grasps them! At his heels,
Close at his heels, a demagogue afcends,
And with a dexterous jerk foon twifts him down, And wins them, but to lose them in his turn.
Here rills of oily eloquence in foft
Meanders lubricate the course they take;
The modeft fpeaker is afhamed and grieved
To engross a moment's notice, and yet begs,
Begs a propitious ear for his poor thoughts,
However trivial all that he conceives.
Sweet bafhfulness! it claims at least this praise;
The dearth of information and good fenfe,
That it foretells us always comes to pass.
Cataracts of declamation thunder here;
There forefts of no meaning spread the page,
In which all comprehenfion wanders loft ;
While fields of pleafantry amuse us there
With merry descants on a nation's woes.
The reft appears a wilderness of strange
But gay confufion; roses for the cheeks,
And lilies for the brows of faded age,
Teeth for the toothless, ringlets for the bald,
Heaven, earth, and ocean, plundered of their sweets,
Nectareous effences, Olympian dews,
Sermons, and city feafts, and favourite airs,
Ethereal journies, fubmarine exploits,
And Katterfelto, with his hair on end
At his own wonders, wondering for his bread.
'Tis pleasant through the loop-holes of retreat To peep at fuch a world; to fee the ftit
Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd;
To hear the roar fhe fends through all her gates
At a fafe diftance, where the dying found
Falls a foft murmur on the uninjured ear.
Thus fitting, and furveying thus at ease
The globe and its concerns, I feem advanced
To fome fecure and more than mortal height,
That liberates and exempts me from them all.
It turns fubmitted to my view, turns round
With all its generations; I behold
The tumult, and am ftill. The found of war
Has loft its terrors ere it reaches me;
Grieves, but alarms me not. I mourn the pride
And avarice, that make man a wolf to man;
Hear the faint echo of those brazen throats,
By which he speaks the language of his heart,
And fight, but never tremble at the found.
He travels and expatiates, as the bee
From flower to flower, fo he from land to land;
The manners, customs, policy, of all
Pay contribution to the ftore he gleans;
He fucks intelligence in every clime,
And spreads the honey of his deep research
At his return-a rich repaft for me.
He travels, and I too. I tread his deck,
Afcend his topmast, through his peering eyes
Difcover countries, with a kindred heart
Suffer his woes, and share in his escapes ;
While fancy, like the finger of a clock,
Runs the great circuit, and is ftill at home.
Oh Winter, ruler of the inverted year, Thy fcattered hair with fleet like afhes filled, Thy breath congealed upon thy lips, thy cheeks Fringed with a beard made white with other fnows Than those of age, thy forehead wrapt in clouds, A leafless branch thy fceptre, and thy throne A fliding car, indebted to no wheels, But urged by ftorms along its flippery way, I love thee, all unlovely as thou seemeft, And dreaded as thou art! Thou holdeft the fun A prifoner in the yet undawning eaft, Shortening his journey between morn and noon, And hurrying him, impatient of his stay, Down to the rofy weft; but kindly still Compenfating his lofs with added hours Of focial converse and inftructive ease, And gathering, at short notice, in one group The family difperfed, and fixing thought, Not lefs difperfed by day-light and its cares, I crown thee king of intimate delights, Fire-fide enjoyments, home-born happiness, And all the comforts, that the lowly roof
Of undisturbed retirement, and the hours
Of long uninterrupted evening, know.
No rattling wheels stop short before these gates;
No powdered pert proficient in the art
Of founding an alarm affaults thefe doors
Till the ftreet rings; no ftationary steeds
Cough their own knell, while, heedlefs of the found,
The tilent circle fan themselves, and quake:
But here the needle plies its bufy task,
The pattern grows, the well-depicted flower,
Wrought patiently into the fnowy lawn,
Unfolds its bofom; buds, and leaves, and fprigs,
And curling tendrils, gracefully disposed,
Follow the nimble finger of the fair;
A wreath, that cannot fade, of flowers, that blow
With most fuccefs when all befides decay.
The poet's or hiftorian's page by one
Made vocal for the amufement of the reft;
The sprightly lyre, whofe treasure of sweet sounds
The touch from many a trembling chord shakes out;
And the clear voice fymphonious, yet diftinct,
And in the charming ftrife triumphant ftill;
Beguile the night, and fet a keener edge
On female industry: the threaded feel
Flies fwiftly, and unfelt the task proceeds.
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