« ForrigeFortsett »
Seek and obtain, and often find unsong?
Tell me, and I will tell thee, what is to
Oh, friendly to the best pursuiis oi maa,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
Domestic lise in rural leisure passed
Few know thy value, and few taste thy sweets,
Though many boast thy favours, and afect
To understand and choose thee for their own.
But foolish man foregoes his proper bliss
Even as his first progenitor, and quits,
Though placed in Paradise, (for earth has still
Some traces of her youthful beauty left,)
Substantial happiness for transient joy.
Scenes formed for contemplation, and to nurse
The growing seeds of wisdom ; that suggest
By every pleasing image they present
Reflections such as meliorate the heart,
Compose the passions and exalt the mind,
Scenes such as these, 'tis his supreme delight
To fill with riot and defile with blood.
Should some contagion kind to the poor brutes
We persecute, annihilate the tribes
That draw the sportsman over hill and dale
Fearless, and rapt away from all his cares;
Should never game-fowl hatch her eggs again,
Nor baited hook deceive the fish's eye ;
Could pageantry and dance and feast and song
Be quelled in all our summer-month retreats;
llow many self-deluded nymphs and swains
Who dream they have a taste for fields and groves,
Would find them hideous nurseries of the spleen,
And crowd the roads, impatient for the town!
They love the country, and none else, who seek
For their own sake its silence and its shade;
Delights which who would leave, that has a heart
Susceptible of pity, or a mind
Cultured and capable of sober thought,
For all the savage din of the swift pack
And clamours of the field ? detested sport,
That owes its pleasures to another's pain,
That feeds upon the sobs and dying shrieks
Of harmless nature, dumb, but yet endued
With eloquence that agonies inspire
Of silent tears and heart-distending sighs !
Vain tears, alas ! and sighs that never find
A corresponding tone in jovial souls.
Well,- one at least is safe. One sheltered hare
las never heard the sanguinary yell
Of cruel man, exulting in her woes.
Innocent partner of my peaceful home,
Whom ten long years' experience of my care
Has made at last familiar, she has lost
“Well,-one at least is safe. One sheltered hare
Has never heard the sanguinary yell
Of cruel man exulting in her woes."
Much of her vigilant instinctive dread,
Not needful here, beneath a roof like mine.
Yes,—thou mayst eat thy bread, and lick the hand
That feeds thee; thou mayst frolic on the floor
At evening, and at night retire secure
To thy straw-couch, and slumber unalarmed.
For I have gained thy confidence, have pledged
All that is human in me, to protect
Thine unsuspecting gratitude and love.
If I survive thee I will dig thy grave,
And when I place thee in it, sighing say,
I knew at least one hare that had a friend.
How various his employments, whom the world
Calls idle, and who justly in return
Esteems that busy world an idler too !
Friends, books, a garden, and perhaps his pen,
Delightful industry enjoyed at home,
And nature in her cultivated trim
Dressed to his taste, inviting him abroad:-
Can he want occupation who has these ?
Will he be idle who has much to enjoy ?
Me therefore, studious of laborious ease,
Not slothful ; happy to deceive the time
Not waste it; and aware that human life
Is but a loan to be repaid with use,
When He shall call his debtors to account,
From whom are all our blessings, business finds
Even here. While sedulous I seek to improve,
At least neglect not, or leave unemployed
The inind he gave me ; driving it, though slack
Too oft, and much impeded in its work
By causes not to be divulged in vain,
To its just point the service of mankind.
He that attends to his interior self,
That has a heart and keeps it, has a mind
That hungers and supplies it, and who seeks
A social, not a dissipated life,
Has business ; feels himself engaged to achieve
No unimportant, though a silent task.
A life all turbulence and noise may seem
To him that leads it, wise and to be praised ;
But wisdom is a pearl with most success
Sought in still water, and beneath clear skies.
He that is ever occupied in storms,
Or dives not for it, or brings up instead,
Vainly industrious, a disgraceful prize.
The morning finds the self-sequestered man Fresh for his task, intend what task he
may. Whether inclement seasons recommend His warm but simple home, where he enjoys With her who shares his pleasures and his heart, Sweet converse, sipping calm the fragrant lymph
Which neatly she prepares ; then to his book
Well chosen, and not sullenly perused
In selfish silence, but imparted oft
As aught occurs that she may smile to hear
Or turn to nourishment digested well.
Or if the garden with its many cares,
All well repaid, demand him, he attends
The welcome call, conscious how much he hand
Of lubbard labour needs his watchful eye,
Oft loitering lazily if not o'erseen,
Or misapplying his unskilful strength.
Nor does he govern only or direct,
But much performs himself; no works indeed
That ask robust tough sinews bred to toil,
Servile employ,—but such as may amuse,
Not tire, demanding rather skill than force.
Proud of his well-spread walls, he views his trees
That meet, (no barren interval between,)
With pleasure more than even their fruits afford,
Which, save himself who trains them, none can feel.
These therefore are his own peculiar charge ;
No meaner hand may discipline the shoots,
None but his steel approach them. What is weak,
Distempered, or has lost prolific powers
Impaired by age, his unrelenting hand
Dooms to the knife. Nor does he spare the soft
And succulent that feeds its giant growth
But barren, at the expense of neighbouring twigs
Less ostentatious, and yet studded thick
With hopeful gems. The rest, no portion lest
That may disgrace his art, or disappoint
Large expectation, he disposes neat
At measured distances, that air and sun
Admitted freely may afford their aid,
And ventilate and warm the swelling buds.
Hence summer has her riches, autumn hence,
And hence even winter fills his withered hand
With blushing fruits, and plenty not his own.
Fair recompense of labour well bestowed
And wise precaution, which a clime so rude
Makes needful still, whose spring is but the child
Of churlish winter, in her froward moods
Discovering much the temper of her sire.
For ost, as if in her the stream of mild
Maternal nature had reversed its course,
She brings her infants forth with many smiles,
But once delivered, kills them with a frown.
He therefore, timely warned, himself supplies
Her want of care, screening and keeping warm
The plenteous bloom, that no rough blast may sweep
His garlands from the boughs. Again, as oft
As the sun peeps and vernal airs breathe mild,