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The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue, And polyanthus of unnumbered dyes ; The yellow wall-flower, stained with iron brown ;
And lavish stock that scents the garden round :
From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed Anemones; auriculas, enriched
Wrapt in a filmy net, and clad with leaves, Draw the live ether, and imbibe the dew: By Thee disposed into congenial soils, Stands each attractive plant, and sucks and swells
The juicy tide, a twining mass of tubes. At Thy command the vernal sun awakes The torpid sap, detruded to the root
With shining meal o'er all their velvet By wintry winds, that now in fluent dance,
First-born of Spring, to Summer's musky The cheerful cottage, then expecting food,
To Thee I bend the knee; to Thee my Attacks the nightly thief, and one exults thoughts
Continual climb, who with a master-hand Hast the great whole into perfection touched.
By Thee the various vegetative tribes,
O'er hill and dale; till wakened by the wasp,
They starting snap. Nor shall the Muse disdain
To let the little noisy summer-race
Live in her lay, and flutter thro' her song: Not mean though simple; to the sun allied,
From him they draw their animating fire.
Wak'd by his warmer ray, the reptile
Come wing'd abroad; by the light air upborne,
Lighter, and full of soul. From every chink,
And secret corner, where they slept away The wintry storms; or rising from their tombs,
To higher life; by myriads, forth at once, Swarming they pour; of all the varied
Their beauty-beaming parent can disclose. Ten thousand forms! ten thousand different tribes!
People the blaze. To sunny waters some By fatal instinct fly; where on the pool They, sportive, wheel; or, sailing down the stream,
Are snatched immediate by the quick-eyed trout,
Or darting salmon. Through the greenwood glade
Some love to stray; there lodged, amused, and fed,
In the fresh leaf. Luxurious, others make The meads their choice, and visit every flower,
And every latent herb: for the sweet task,
To propagate their kinds, and where to
They meet their fate; or, weltering in the bowl,
With powerless wings around them wrapt, expire.
[LAVINIA: A MODERN RUTH.]
The lovely young Lavinia once had friends;
And Fortune smiled, deceitful, on her birth;
For, in her helpless years deprived of all,
Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would
From giddy passion and low-minded pride: Almost on Nature's common bounty fed; Like the gay birds that sung them to repose,
Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare. Her form was fresher than the morning
When the dew wets its leaves; unstained and pure,
As is the lily, or the mountain snow. The modest virtues mingled in her eyes, Still on the ground dejected, darting all In what soft beds, their young yet undis- Their humid beams into the blooming closed, Employs their tender care. Some to the Or when the mournful tale her mother house, told,
The fold, and dairy, hungry, bend their Of what her faithless fortune promised flight;
Sip round the pail, or taste the curdling Thrilled in her thought, they, like the dewy cheese:
Oft, inadvertent, from the milky stream
Of evening shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair-proportioned on her polished And thus in secret to his soul he sighed :
Veiled in a simple robe, their best attire, Beyond the pomp of dress; for loveliness Needs not the foreign aid of ornament, But is, when unadorned, adorned the most. Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's self,
'What pity! that so delicate a form, By beauty kindled, where enlivening sense And more than vulgar goodness seem to dwell,
Should be devoted to the rude embrace Of some indecent clown! She looks, methinks,
Of old Acasto's line; and to my mind Recalls that patron of my happy life, From whom my liberal fortune took its rise ;
Recluse amid the close-embowering woods.
So flourished blooming, and unseen by all, The sweet Lavinia; till, at length, compelled
By strong Necessity's supreme command, With smiling patience in her looks she
And once fair-spreading family, dissolved. 'Tis said that in some lone obscure retreat, Urged by remembrance sad, and decent pride,
Far from those scenes which knew their better days,
To glean Palemon's fields. The pride of His aged widow and his daughter live, swains Whom yet my fruitless search could never find.
Palemon was, the generous, and the rich;
But free to follow nature was the mode. He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes Amusing, chanced beside his reaper-train To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye; Unconscious of her power, and turning quick
With unaffected blushes from his gaze : He saw her charming, but he saw not half The charms her downcast modesty concealed.
That very moment love and chaste desire Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown; For still the world prevailed, and its dread laugh,
Which scarce the firm philosopher can
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field:
Romantic wish! would this the daughter were !'
When, strict inquiring, from herself he found
She was the same, the daughter of his friend,
Of bountiful Acasto, who can speak The mingled passions that surprised his heart,
And through his nerves in shivering transport ran?
Then blazed his smothered flame, avowed, and bold;
And as he viewed her, ardent, o'er and o'er,
Love, gratitude, and pity, wept at once. Confused and frightened at his sudden tears,
Her rising beauties flushed a higher bloom, As thus Palemon, passionate and just, Poured out the pious rapture of his soul.
'And art thou, then, Acasto's dear remains?
She, whom my restless gratitude has sought,
So long in vain? Oh, heavens ! the very
The softened image of my noble friend, Alive his every look, his every feature, More elegantly touched. Sweeter than Spring!
Thou sole surviving blossom from the root That nourished up my fortune! Say, ah where,
In what sequestered desert hast thou drawn The kindest aspect of delighted Heaven? Into such beauty spread, and blown so fair;
Though poverty's cold wind, and crushing rain,
Beat keen and heavy on thy tender years? Oh! let me now into a richer soil Transplant thee safe, where vernal suns
Diffuse their warmest, largest influence;
Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm Of goodness irresistible, and all
In sweet disorder lost, she blushed consent. The news immediate to her mother brought,
While, pierced with anxious thought, she pined away
The lonely moments for Lavinia's fate; Amazed, and scarce believing what she heard,
Joy seized her withered veins, and one bright gleam
Of setting life shone on her evening hours: Not less enraptured than the happy pair; Who flourished long in tender bliss, and reared
A numerous offspring, lovely like themselves,
And good, the grace of all the country round.
[AN EMBLEM OF THE END of life.] 'Tis done! dread WINTER spreads his latest glooms,
And reigns tremendous o'er the conquered
Then throw that shameful pittance from How dead the vegetable kingdom lies!
But ill applied to such a rugged task;
The fields, the master, all, my fair, are thine;
If to the various blessings which thy house Has on me lavished, thou wilt add that bliss,
How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide
His desolate domain. Behold, fond Man! See here thy pictured life; pass some few years,
Thy flowering Spring, thy Summer's ardent strength,
That dearest bliss, the power of blessing Thy sober Autumn fading into age, thee!' And pale concluding Winter comes at last,
Here ceased the youth: yet still his And shuts the scene. Ah! whither now
Those restless cares? those busy bustling And what your bounded view, which only days?
Those gay-spent, festive nights? those A little part, deemed Evil is no more:
Lost between good and ill, that shared thy life?
All now are vanished! virtue sole survives, Immortal never-failing friend of man,
His guide to happiness on high. And see!
And one unbounded Spring incircle all.
'Tis come, the glorious morn! the second The keener tempests come: and fuming birth
Of heaven and earth! awakening Nature hears
The new-creating word, and starts to life, In every heightened form, from pain and
For ever free. The great eternal scheme,
Confounded in the dust, adore that
And wisdom oft arraign'd: see now the cause,
Why unassuming worth in secret lived, And died, neglected: why the good man's share
In life was gall and bitterness of soul: Why the lone widow and her orphans pined
In starving solitude; while Luxury,
In palaces, lay straining her low thought, To form unreal wants: why heaven-born truth,
And moderation fair, wore the red marks Of superstition's scourge: why licensed pain,
That cruel spoiler, that embosom'd foe, Imbittered all our bliss. Ye good distressed!
Ye noble few! who here unbending stand Beneath life's pressure, yet bear up a while,
From all the livid east, or piercing north, Thick clouds ascend; in whose capacious womb
A vapoury deluge lies, to snow congealed, Heavy they roll their fleecy world along ; And the sky saddens with the gathered
Through the hushed air the whitening shower descends,
At first thin wavering; till at last the flakes
Fall broad, and wide, and fast, dimming the day,
With a continual flow. The cherished fields
Put on their winter-robe of purest white. 'Tis brightness all; save where the new snow melts
Along the mazy current. Low the woods, Bow their hoar head; and, ere the languid sun
Faint from the west emits his evening-ray, Earth's universal face, deep hid, and chill, Is one wild dazzling waste, that buries wide
The works of man.
Stands covered o'er with snow, and then demands
The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven,
Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around The winnowing store, and claim the little