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Laughs with the loud sincerity of mirth,

Shook to the wind their cares. The toil-strung youth,
By the quick sense of music taught alone,
Leaps wildly graceful in the lively dance.
Her every charm abroad, the village-toast,
Young, buxom, warm, in native beauty rich,
Darts not unmeaning looks; and, where her eye
Points an approving smile, with double force,
The cudgel rattles, and the wrestler twines.
Age too shines out; and, garrulous, recounts
The feats of youth. Thus they rejoice; nor think
That, with to-morrow's sun, their annual toil
Begins again the never-ceasing round.

O knew he but his happiness, of men
The happiest he; who, far from public rage,
Deep in the vale, with a choice few retir'd,
Drinks the pure pleasures of the Rural Life.
What tho' the dome be wanting, whose proud gate,
Each morning, vomits out the sneaking crowd
Of flatterers false, and in their turn abus'd?
Vile intercourse! What tho' the glittering robe,
Of every hue reflected light can give,

Or floating 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 tosses 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 sap:
These are not wanting; nor the milky drove,
Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale;
Nor bleating mountains, nor the chide of streams,
And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere
Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade,
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay;
Nor ought besides of prospect, grove, or song,
Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountain clear.
Here too dwells simple truth; plain innocence;
Unsullied beauty; sound unbroken youth,
Patient of labour, with a little pleas'd;
Health ever blooming; unambitious toil;
Calm contemplation, and poetic ease.

Let others brave the flood in quest of gain,
And beat, for joyless months the glomy wave.
Let such as deem it glory to destroy,
Rush into blood, the sack of cities seek;
Unpierc'd, exulting in the widow's wail,
The virgin's shriek, and infant's trembling cry.
Let some, far distant from their native soil,
Urg'd or by want, or hardened avarice,
Find other lands beneath another sun.
Let this through cities work his eager way,
By legal outrage and establish'd guile,
The social sense extinct; and that ferment
Mad into tumult the seditious herd,
Or melt them down to slavery. Let these
Insnare the wretched in the toils of law,
Fomenting discord, and perplexing right,
An iron race! and those of fairer front
But equal inhumanity, in courts,
Delusive pomp, and dark cabals, delight;
Wreathe the deep bow, diffuse the lying smile,
And tread the weary labyrinth of state.
While he, from all the stormy passions free

That restless Men involve, hears, and but hears,
At distance safe, the human tempest roar,
Wrapt close in conscious peace. The fall of kings,
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' the 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 freshened soul; her genial hours
He full enjoys; and not a beauty blows,
And not an opening blossom breathes in vain.
In Summer he, beneath the living shade,
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 what she 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 throes; and thro' the tepid gleams
Deep musing, then he best exerts his song.
Even Winter wild to him is full of bliss.
The mighty tempest, 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,
Pour every lustre on th' exalted eye.
A friend, a book, the stealing hours secure,
And mark them down for wisdom. With swift wing,
O'er land and sea imagination roams;
Or truth, divinely breaking on his mind,
Elates his being, and unfolds his powers;
Or in his breast heroic virtue burns;

The touch of kindred too and love he feels;
The modest eye, whose beams on his alone
Ecstatic shine; the little strong embrace
Of prattling children, twin'd around his neck,
And emulous to please him, calling forth
The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay,
Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scorns;
For happiness and true philosophy

Are of the social still, and smiling kind.
This is the life which those who fret in guilt,
And guilty cities, never knew; the life,
Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt,

When angels dwelt, and God himself, with Man!
Nature! all-sufficient! over all!

Inrich me with the knowledge of thy works!
Snatch me to heaven; thy rolling wonders there,
World beyond world, in infinite extent,
Profusely scattered o'er the blue immense,
Shew me; their motions, periods, and their laws,
Give me to scan; thro' the disclosing deep
Light my blind way; the mineral strata there;
Thrust, blooming, thence the vegetable world;
O'er that the rising system, more complex,
Of animals; and higher still, the mind,

The varied scene of quick-compounded thought,
And where the mixing passions endless shift;
These ever open to my ravish'd eye;

A search, the flight of time can ne'er exhaust!
But if to that unequal; if the blood,

In sluggish streams about my heart, forbid
That best ambition; under closing shades,
Inglorious, lay me by the lowly brook,

And whisper to my dreams. From Thee begin, Dwell all on Thee, with Thee conclude my song; And let me never, never stray from Thee!

WINTER.

THE ARGUMENT.

The subject proposed.-Address to the Earl of Wilmington.-First approach of Winter.-According to the natural course of the season, various storms described.-Rain.-Wind.-Snow.-The driving of the snows: a man perishing among them; whence reflections on the wants and miseries of human life.-The wolves descending from the Alps and Appenines.-A winter-evening describ ed: as spent by philosophers; by the country people; in the city.-Frost.-A view of winter within the polar circle.-A thaw.-The whole concluding with moral reflections on a future state.

SEE, Winter comes, to rule the varied year,
Sullen and sad, with all his rising train;

Vapours, and Clouds, and Storms. Be these my theme,
These! that exalt the soul to solemn thought,
And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms!
Congenial horrors, hail! with frequent foot,
Pleas'd have I, in my cheerful morn of life,
When nurs'd by careless solitude I liv'd,
And sung of Nature with unceasing joy,
Pleas'd have I wander'd thro' your rough domain;
Trod the pure virgin snows, myself as pure;
Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst;
Or seen the deep fermenting tempest brew'd,
In the grim evening sky. Thus pass'd the time,
Till thro' the lucid chambers of the south

Look'd out the joyous Spring, look'd out, and smil'd.

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