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ARGUMENT OF THE FIFTH BOOK.
Afrosty morning.—The foddering of cattle.-The woodman and his dog.-The poultry-Whimfical effects of frost at a waterfall.--The Empress of Russia's palace of ice.—Amusements of monarchs — War, one of them.-Wars, whence.-And whence monarchy. The evils of it.-English and French loyalty contrasted.-The Bastile and a prisoner there.-Liberty the chief recommendation of this country.-Modern patriotism questionable, and why.—The perishable nature of the best human institutions.-Spiritual liberty not perishable.-The slavish state of man by nature.-Deliver him, Deist, if you can.-Grace must do it.-The respective merits of patriots and martyrs stated.Their different treatment.-Happy freedom of the man whom grace makes free.-His relish of the works of God.-Address to the Creator.
'Tis morning; and the fun, with ruddy orb
Afcending, fires the horizon; while the clouds,
That crowd away before the driving wind,
More ardent as the difk emerges more,
Refemble moft fome city in a blaze,
Seen through the leaflefs wood. His flanting ray
Slides ineffectual down the fnowy vale,
And, tinging all with his own rofy hue,
From every herb and every fpiry blade
Stretches a length of fhadow o'er the field.
Mine, fpindling into longitude immense,
In spite of gravity, and fage remark
That I myself am but a fleeting shade,
Provokes me to a smile. With eye askance
I view the muscular proportioned limb
Transformed to a lean fhank. The shapeless pair,
As they defigned to mock me, at my fide
Take ftep for ftep; and, as I near approach
The cottage, walk along the plastered wall,
Prepofterous fight! the legs without the man.
The verdure of the plain lies buried deep
Beneath the dazzling deluge; and the bents,
And coarfer grafs, upfpearing o'er the reft,
Of late unfightly and unfeen, now shine
Confpicuous, and in bright apparel clad,
And fledged with icy feathers, nod fuperb.
The cattle mourn in corners where the fence
Screens them, and feem half petrified to fleep
In unrecumbent fadnefs. There they wait
Their wonted fodder; not like hungering man,
Fretful if unfupplied; but filent, meek,
And patient of the flow-paced swain's delay.
He from the ftack carves out the accustomed load,
Deep-plunging, and again deep-plunging oft,
His broad keen knife into the folid mafs:
Smooth as a wall the upright remnant ftands,
With fuch undeviating and even force
He fevers it away: no needlefs care,
Left ftorms should overfet the leaning pile
Deciduous, or its own unbalanced weight.
Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcerned
The cheerful haunts of man, to wield the axe
And drive the wedge in yonder forest drear,
From morn to eve his folitary task.
Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears
And tail cropped short, half lurcher and half cur,
His dog attends him. Clofe behind his heel
Now creeps he flow; and now, with many a frisk
Wide-fcampering, fnatches up the drifted fnow
With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his fnout;
Then shakes his powdered coat, and barks for joy.
Heedlefs of all his pranks, the fturdy churl
Moves right toward the mark; nor ftops for aught,
But now and then with preffure of his thumb
To adjuft the fragrant charge of a short tube,
That fumes beneath his nofe: the trailing cloud
Streams far behind him, fcenting all the air.
Now from the rooft, or from the neighbouring pale,
Where, diligent to catch the first faint gleam
Of fmiling day, they goffiped fide by fide,
Come trooping at the housewife's well-known call
The feathered tribes domeftic. Half on wing,
And half on foot, they brush the fleecy flood,
Confcious and fearful of too deep a plunge.
The fparrows peep, and quit the sheltering eaves
To feize the fair occafion. Well they eye
The fcattered grain, and thievishly resolved
To escape the impending famine, often scared
As oft return, a pert voracious kind.
Clean riddance quickly made, one only care
Remains to each, the search of funny nook,
Or fhed impervious to the blaft. Refigned
To fad neceffity, the cock foregoes
His wonted ftrut; and wading at their head
With well-confidered fteps, seems to refent
His altered gait and ftateliness retrenched.
How find the myriads, that in fummer cheer
The hills and vallies with their ceaseless songs
Due fuftenance, or where subfift they now?
Earth yie'ds them nought; the imprisoned worm is fafe
Beneath the frozen clod; all feeds of herbs
Lie covered clofe; and berry-bearing thorns,
That feed the thrush, (whatever fome suppose)
Afford the fmaller minstrels no supply.
The long protracted rigour of the year,
Thins all their numerous flocks.
Ten thousand feek an unmolested end,
As inftin&t prompts; felf-buried ere they die.
The very rooks and daws forfake the fields,
Where neither grub, nor root, nor earth-nut, now
Repays their labour more; and perched aloft