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Inspiring vigour, liberty abroad
Walks, unconfin'd, ev'n to thy farthest cots,
And scatters plenty with unsparing hand.
Rich is thy soil, and merciful thy clime;
Thy streams unfailing in the summer's drought;
Unmatch'd thy guardian-oaks; thy vallies float
With golden waves: and on thy mountains flocks
Bleat numberless; while, roving round their sides,
Bellow the blackening herds in lusty droves.
Beneath thy meadows glow, and rise unquell'd
Against the mower's scythe. On every hand
Thy villas shine. Thy country teems with wealth;
And property assures it to the swain,
Pleas'd, and unwearied, in his guarded toil.
Full are thy cities with the sons of art; And trade and joy, in every busy street, Mingling are heard: ev'n Drudgery himself, As at the car he sweats, or dusty hews The palace-stone, looks gay. Thy crowded ports, Where rising masts an endless prospect yield, With labour burn, and echo to the shouts Of hurried sailor, as he hearty waves His last adieu, and, loosening every sheet, Resigns the spreading vessel to the wind.
Bold, firm, and graceful, are thy generous
By hardship sinew'd, and by danger fir'd,
Scattering the nations where they go; and first
Or on the listed plain, or stormy seas.
Mild are thy glories too, as o'er the plans
Of thriving peace thy thoughtful sires preside;
In genius, and substantial learning, high;
For every virtue, every worth renown'd;
Sincere, plain-hearted, hospitable, kind;
Yet, like the mustering thunder, when provok'd,
The dread of tyrants, and the sole resource
Of those that under grim oppression groan.
Thy sons of glory many! Alfred thine, In whom the splendour of heroic war, And more h roic peace, when govern'd well, Combine whose hallow'd names the virtuous saint, And his own Muses love; the best of kings! With him thy Edwards and thy Henrics shine, Names dear to fame; the first who deep impress'd On haughty Gaul the terrour of thy arms, That awes her genius still. In statesmen thou, And patriots, fertile. Thine a steady More, Who, with a generous, though mistaken zeal, Withstood a brutal tyrant's useful rage, Like Cato firm, like Aristides just, Like rigid Cincinnatus nobly poor,
A dauntless soul erect, who smil'd on death.
Frugal and wise, a Walsingham is thine;
A Drake, who made thee mistress of the deep,
And bore thy name in thunder round the world.
Then flam'd thy spirit high: but who can speak
The numerous worthies of the maiden reign?
In Raleigh mark their every glory mix'd;
Raleigh, the scourge of Spain ! whose breast with
The sage, the patriot, and the hero, burn'd.
Nor sunk his vigour, when a coward reign
The warrior fetter'd, and at last resign'd,
To glut the vengeance of a vanquish'd foc.
Than, active still and unrestrain'd, his mind
Explor'd the vast extent of ages past,
And with his prison-hours enrich'd the world;
Yet found no times, in all the long research,
So glorious, or so base, as those he prov'd,
In which he conquer'd, and in which he bled.
Nor can the Muse the gallant Sidney pass,
The plume of war! with early laurels crown'd,
The lover's myrtle, and the poet's bay.
A Hamden too is thine, illustrious land,
Wise, strenuous, firm, of unsubmitting soul,
Who stem'd the torrent of a downward age
To slavery prone, and bade thee rise again,
In all thy native pomp of freedom bold.
Bright at his call, thy age of men effulg'd,
Of men on whom late time a kindling eye
Shall turn, and tyrants tremble while they read.
Bring every sweetest flower, and let me strew
The grave where Russel lles; whose temper'd
With calinest cheerfulness for thee resign'd,
Stain'd the sad annals of a giddy reign;
Aiming at lawless power, though meanly sunk
In loose inglorious luxury. With him
His friend, the British Cassius', fearless bled;
Of high determin'd spirit, roughly brave,
ancient learning, to th' enlighten'd love Of ancient freedom warm'd. Fair thy renown In aweful sages and in noble bards, Soon as the light of dawning Science spread Her orient ray, and wak'd the Muses' song. Thine is a Bacon; hapless in his choice, Unfit to stand the civil storin of state, And through the smooth barbarity of courts, With firm, but pliant virtue, forward still To urge his course; him for the studious shade Kind Nature form'd, deep, comprehensive, clear, Exact, and elegant; in one rich soul, Plato, the Stagyrite, and Tully join'd. The great deliverer he! who from the gloom Of cloister'd monks, and jargon-teaching schools, Led forth the true Philosophy, there long Held in the magic chain of words and forins, And definitions void: he led her forth, Daughter of Heaven! that, slow-ascending still, Investigating sure the chain of things, With radiant finger points to Heaven again. The generous Ashley thine, the friend of man ; Who scann'd his nature with a brother's eye, His weakness prompt to shade to raise his aim, To touch the finer movements of the mind, And with the moral beauty charm the heart. Why need I name thy Boyle, whose pious scarch Amid the dark recesses of his works,
The great Creator sought? And why thy Locke,
Who made the whole internal world his own?
Let Newton, pure Intelligence, whom God
To mortals lent, to trace his boundless works
From laws sublimely simple, speak thy fame
In all philosophy. For lofty sense, ·
Creative fancy, and inspection keen
Through the deep windings of the human heart,
Is not wild Shakespeare thine and Nature's boast ✈
Is not each great, each amiable Muse
Of classic ages in thy Milton mnet?
A genius universal as his theme;
Astonishing as Chads, as the bloom
Of blowing Eden fair, as Heaven sublime.
Nor shall my verse that elder bard forget,
The gentle Spencer, Fancy's pleasing son ;
Who, like a copious river, pour'd his song
O'er all the mazes of enchanted ground:
Nor thee, his ancient master, laughing sage,,
Chaucer, whose native manners-painting verse,
1 Algernon Sidney. 2 Anthony Ashley Cooper, ezel of Shaftesbury.
Well-moraliz'd, shines through the gothic cloud
Of time and language o'er thy genius thrown.
May my song soften, as thy daughters I,
Britannia, hail! for beauty is their own,
The feeling heart, simplicity of life,
And elegance, and taste: the faultless form,
Shap'd by the hand of harmony; the cheek,
Where the live crimson, through the native white
Soft-shooting, o'er the face diffuses bloom,
And every nameless grace; the parted lip,
Like the red rose-bud moist with morning-dew,
Breathing delight; and, under flowing jet,
Or sunny ringlets, or of circling brown,
The neck slight-shaded, and the swelling breast;
The look resistless, piercing to the soul,
And by the soul inform'd, when drest in love
She sits high-smiling in the conscious eye.
Island of bliss! amid the subject seas,
That thunder round thy rocky coasts. set up,
At once the wonder, terrour, and delight,
Of distant nations; whose remotest shores
Can soon be shaken by thy naval arm;
Not to be shook thyself, but all assaults
Bafiling, as thy hoar cliffs the loud sea-wave.
O Thou! by whose almighty nod the scale
Of Empire rises, or alternate falls,
Send forth the saving Virtues round the land,
In bright patrol: white Peace, and social Love;
The tender looking Charity, intent,
On gentle deeds, and shedding tears through
Undaunted Truth, and dignity of mind; [smiles;
Courage compos'd, and keen; sound Temperance,
Healthful in heart and look; clear Chastity,
With blushes reddening as she moves along,
Disorder'd at the deep regard she draws;
Rough Industry; Activity untir'd,
With copious life inforin'd, and all awake:
While in the radiant front superior shines
That first paternal virtue, public zeal;
Who throws o'er all an equal wide survey,
And, ever musing on the common weal,
Still labours glorious with some great design.
All ether softening, sober Evening takes
Her wonted station in the middle air;
A thousand shadows at her beck. First this
She sends on Earth; then that of deeper dye
Steals soft behind; and then a deeper still,
In circle following circle, gathers round,
To close the face of things. A fresher gale
Begins to wave the wood, and stir the stream,
Sweeping with shadowy gust the fields of corn;
While the quail clamours for bis running mate.
Wide o'er the thistly lawn, as swells the breeze,
A whitening shower of vegetable down
Amusive floats. The kind impartial care
Of Nature nought disdains: thoughtful to feed
Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year,
From field to field the feather'd seeds she wings.
His folded flock secure, the shepherd home
Hies, merry-hearted; and by turns relieves
The ruddy milk-maid of her brimming pail;
The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart,
Unknowing what the joy-mixt anguish means,
Sincerely loves, by that best language shown
Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds.
Onward they pass, o'er many a panting height
And valley sunk, and unfrequented; where
At fall of eve the Fairy people throng,
In various game, and revelry, to pass
The summer night, as village-stories tell.
But far about they wander from the grave
Of him, whom his ungentle fortune urg'd
Against his own sad breast to lift the hand
Of impious violence. The lonely tower
Is also shunn'd; whose mournful chambers hold,
So night-struck fancy dreams, the yelling ghost.
Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge,
The glow-worm lights his gem; and through the
A moving radiance twinkles. Evening yields
The world to Night; not in her winter-robe
Of massy Stygian woof, but loose array'd
In mantle dun. A faint erroneous ray,
Glanc'd from th' imperfect surfaces of things,
Flings half an image on the straining eye:
While wavering woods, and villages, and streams,
And rocks, and mountains-tops, that long retain'd
Th' ascending gleam, are all one swimming scene,
Uncertain if beheld. Sudden to Heaven
Thence weary vision turns; where, leading soft
The silent hours of love, with purest ray
Sweet Venus shines; and from her genial rise,
When day-light sickens till it springs afresh,
Unrivall'd reigns, the fairest lamp of night.
As thus th' effulgence tremulous I drink,
With cherish'd gaze, the lambent lightnings shoot
Across the sky; or horizontal dart
In wondrous shapes: by fearful murmuring crowds
Portentous deem'd. Amid the radiant orbs,
That more than deck, that animate the sky,
The life-infusing suns of other worlds;
Lo! from the dread immensity of space
Returning with accelerated course,
The rushing comet to the Sun descends;
And as he sinks below the shading Earth,
With awful train projected o'er the Heavens,
The guilty nations tremble. But, above
Those superstitious horrours that enslave
The fond sequacious herd, to mystic faith
And blind amazement prone, the enlighten'd few,
Whose godlike minds philosophy exalts,
To him the long review of order'd life
Is inward rapture, only to be felt.
Confess'd from yonder slow-extinguish'd clouds, The glorious stranger hail. They feel a joy
Low walks the Sun, and broadens by de grees,
Just o'er the verge of day. The shifting clouds
Assembled gay, a richly-gorgeous train,
In all their pomp attend his setting throne.
Air, Earth, and Ocean smile immense. And now,
As if his weary chariot sought the bowers
Of Amphitrite, and her tending nymphs,
(So Grecian fable sung) he dips his orb;
Now half-immers'd; and now a golden curve
Gives one bright glance, then total disappears.
For ever running an enchanted round,
Passes the day, deceitful, vain, and void;
As fleets the vision o'er the formful brain,
This moment hurrying wild the impassion'd soul,
'The next in nothing lost. 'Tis so to him,
The dreamer of this Earth, an idle blank:
A sight of horrour to the cruel wretch,
Who, all day long in sordid pleasure roll'd,'
Himself an useless load, has squander'd vile,
Upon his scoundrel train, what might have
A drooping family of modest worth. [cheer'd
But to the generous still-improving mind,
That gives the hopeless heart to sing for joy,
Diffusing kind beneficence around,
Boastless, as now descends the silent dew;
Divinely great; they in their powers exult,
That wondrous force of thought, which mounting
This dusky spot, and measures all the sky;
While, from his far excursion though the wilds
Of barren ether, faithful to his time,
They see the blazing wonder rise anew,
In seeming terrour clad, but kindly bent
To work the will of all-sustaining Love:
From his huge vapoury train perhaps to shake
Reviving moisture on the numerous orbs,
Through which his long ellipsis winds; perhaps
To lend new fuel to declining suns,
To light up worlds, and feed th' eternal fire.
With thee, serene Philosophy, with thee,
And thy bright garland, let ine crown my song!
Effusive source of evidence, and truth!
A lustre shedding o'er th' ennobled mind,
Stronger than summer-noon; and pure as that,
Whose mild vibrations soothe the parted soul,
New to the dawning of celestial day.
Hence through her nourish'd powers, enlarg'd by
She springs aloft, with elevated pride,
Above the tangling mass of low desires,
That bind the fluttering crowd: and, angel-wing'd,
The heights of science and of virtue gains,
Where all is calm and clear; with Nature round,
Or in the starry regions, or th' abyss,
To Reason's and to Fancy's eye display'd:
The first up-tracing, from the dreary void,
The chain of causes and effects to Him,
The world-producing Essence, who alone
Possesses being; while the last receives
The whole magnificence of Heaven and Earth,
And every beauty, delicate or bold,
Obvious or more remote, with livelier sense,
Diffusive painted on the rapid mind.
Tutor'd by thee, hence Poetry exalts
Her voice to ages; and informs the page
With music, image, sentiment, and thought,
Never to die! the treasure of mankind!
Their highest honour, and their truest joy!
Without thee what were unenlighten'd man?
A savage roaming through the woods and wilds,
In quest of prey; and with th' unfashion'd fur
Rough-clad; devoid of every finer art,
And elegance of life. Nor happiness
Domestic, mix'd of tenderness and care,
Nor moral excellence, nor social bliss,
Nor guardian law were his; nor various skill
To turn the furrow, or to guide the tool
Mechanic; nor the heaven-conducted prow
Of navigation bold, that fearless braves
The burning line, or dares the wintery pole;
Mother severe of infinite delights!
Nothing, save rapine, indolence, and guile,
And woes on woes, a still-revolving train!
Whose horrid circle had made human life
Than non-existence worse: but, taught by thee,
Ours are the plans of policy and peace;
To live like brothers, and conjunctive all
Embellish life. While thus laborious crowds
Ply the tough oar, Philosophy directs
The ruling helm; or like the liberal breath
Of potent Heaven, invisible, the sail
Swells out, and bears th' inferior world along.
Nor to this evanescent speck of Earth Poorly confin'd, the radiant tracts on high Are her exalted range; intent to gaze Creation through; and, from that full complex
Of never-ending wonders, to conceive
Of the Sole Being right, who spoke the word,
And Nature mov'd complete. With inward view,
Thence on th' ideal kingdom swift she turns
Her eye; and instant, at her powerful glance,
Th' obedient phantoms vanish or appear;
Compound, divide, and into order shift,
Each to his rank, from plain perception up
To the fair forms of Fancy's fleeting train:
To reason then, deducing truth from truth;
And notion quite abstract; where first begins
The world of spirits, action all, and life
Unfetter'd, and unmixt. But here the cloud,
So wills Eternal Providence, sits deep.
Enough for us to know that this dark state,
In wayward passions lost, and vain pursuits,
This infancy of Being, cannot prove
The final issue of the works of God,
By boundless love and perfect wisdom form'd, And ever rising with the rising mind.
THE subject proposed. Addressed to Mr. Onslow. A prospect of the fields ready for harvest. Reflections in praise of industry raised by that view. Reaping. A tale relative to it. A harvest-storm. Shooting and hunting, their barbarity. A ludicrous account of fox-hunting. A view of an orchard. Wall-fruit. A vineyard. A description of fogs, frequent in the latter part of Autumn: whence a digression, inquiring into the rise of fountains and rivers. Birds of season considered, that now shift their habitation. The prodigious number of them that cover the northern and western isles of Scotland. Hence a view of the country. A prospect of the discoloured, fading woods. After a gentle dusky day, moon-light. Autumnal meteors. Morning: to which succeeds a calm, pure, sun-shiny day, such as usually shuts up the season. The harvest being gathered in, the country dissolved in joy. The whole concludes with a panegyric on a philosophical country life.
CROWN'D with the sickle and the wheaten sheaf, While Autumn, nodding o'er the yellow plain, Comes jovial on: the Doric reed once more, Well pleas'd, I tune. Whate'er the Wintery frost
Nitrous prepar'd; the various-blossom'd Spring Put in white promise forth; and Summer suns Concocted strong, rush boundless now to view, Full, perfect all, and swell my glorious theme.
Onslow! the Muse, ambitious of thy name, To grace, inspire, and dignify her song, Would from the public voice thy gentle ear A while engage. Thy noble care she knows, The patriot virtues that distend thy thought, Spread on thy front, and in thy bosom glow; While listening senates hang upon thy tongue Devolving through the maze of eloquence A roll of periods sweeter than her song.
But she too pants for public virtae; she
Though weak of power, yet strong in ardent will,
Whene'er her country rushes on her heart,
Assuines a bolder note, and fondly tries
To mix the patriot's with the poet's flame.
When the bright Virgin gives the beauteous days,
And Libra weighs in equal scales the year;
From Heaven's high cope the fierce effulgence
Of parting Summer, a serener blue,
With golden light enliven'd, wide invests
The happy world. Attemper'd suns arise,
Sweet-beam'd, and shedding oft through lucid clouds
A pleasing calm; while broad, and brown, below,
Extensive harvests haug the heavy head.
Rich, silent, deep, they stand; for not a gale
Rolls its light billows o'er the bending plain:
A calm of plenty! till the ruffled air
Falls from its poise, and gives the breeze to blow.
Rent is the fleecy mantle of the sky;
The clouds fly different; and the sudden Sun
By fits effulgent gilds th' illumin'd field,
Aud black by fits the shadows sweep along.
A gaily-checker'd heart-expanding view,
Far as the circling eye can shoot around,
Unbounded tossing in a flood of corn.
These are thy blessings, Industry! rough power;
Whom labour still attends, and sweat, and paiu;
Yet the kind source of every gentle art,
And all the soft civility of life:
Raiser of human-kind! by Nature cast,
Naked, and helpless, out amid the woods
And wilds, to rude inclement elements;
With various seeds of art deep in the mind
Implanted, and profusely pour'd around
Materials infinite; but idle all.
Still unexerted, in th' unconscious breast,
Slept the lethargic powers; corruption still,
Voracious, swallow'd what the liberal hand
Of bounty scatter'd o'er the savage year:
And still the sad barbarian, roving, mix'd
With beasts of prey; or for his acorn-meal
Fought the fierce tusky boar; a shivering wretch!
Aghast, and comfortless, 'when the bleak north,
With Winter charg'd, let the mix'd tempest fly.
Hail, rain, and snow, and bitter-breathing frost:
Then to the shelter of the hut he fled;
And the wild season, sordid, pin'd away.
For home he had not; home is the resort
Of love, of joy, of peace and plenty, where,
Supported and supporting, polish'd friends,
And dear relations mingle into bliss
But this the rugged savage never felt,
Ev'n desolate in crowds; and thus his days
Roll'd heavy, dark, and unenjoy'd along :
A waste of time: till Industry approach'd,
And rous'd him from his miserable sloth:
His faculties unfolded; pointed out
Where lavish Nature the directing hand
Of Art demanded; show'd him how to raise
His feeble force by the mechanic powers,
To dig the mineral from the vaulted Earth,
On what to turn the piercing rage of fire,
On what the torrent, and the gather'd blast;
Gave the tall ancient forest to his axe;
Taught him to chip the wood, and hew the stone,
Till by degrees the finish'd fabric rose;
Tore from his limbs the blood-polluted fur,
And wrapt them in the woolly vestment warm,
Or bright in glossy silk, and flowing lawn;
With wholesome viands fill'd his table, pour'd
The generous glass around, inspir'd to wake
The life-refining soul of decent wit:
Nor stopp'd at barren bare necessity;
But, still advancing bolder, led him on
To pomp, to pleasure, elegance, and grace;
And, breathing high ambition through his soul,
Set science, wisdom, glory, in his view,
And bade him be the Lord of all below.
Then gathering men their natural powers combin'd,
And form'd a public; to the general good
Submitting, aiming, and conducting all.
For this the patriot-council met, the full,
The free, and fairly represented whole;
For this they plann'd the holy guardian laws,
Distinguish'd orders, animated arts,
And, with joint force Oppression chaining, set
Imperial Justice at the helm; yet still
To them accountable; nor slavish dream'd
That toiling millions must resign their weal,
And all the honey of their search, to such
As for themselves alone themselves have rais'd.
Hence every form of cultivated life In order set, protected, and inspir'd, Into perfection wrought. Uniting all Society grew numerous, high, polite, And happy. Nurse of art! the city rear'd In beauteous pride her tower-encircled head; And, stretching street on street, by thousands drew, From twining woody haunts, or the tough yew To bows strong-straining, her aspiring sons.
Then Commerce brought into the public walk The busy merchant; the big warehouse built; Rais'd the strong crane; choak'd up the loaded
With foreign plenty; and thy stream, O Thames
Large, gentle, deep, majestic, king of floods!
Chose for his grand resort. On either hand,
Like a long wintery forest, groves of masts
Shot up their spires; the bellying sheet between
Possess'd the breezy void; the sooty hulk
Steer'd sluggish on; the splendid barge along
Row'd, regular, to harmony; around,
The boat, light skimming, stretch'd its oary wings;
While deep the various voice of fervent toil
From bank to bank increas'd; whence ribb'd with oak
To bear the British thunder, black, and bold,
The roaring vessel rush'd into the main.
Then too the pillar'd dome, magnitûc, heav'd Its ample roof; and Luxury within Pour'd out her glittering stores; the canvass smooth, With glowing life protuberant, to the view Embodied rose; the statue seen'd to breathe, And soften into flesh, beneath the touch Of forming art, imagination-flush'd.
All is the gift of Industry; whate'er Exalts, embellishes, and renders life Delightful. Pensive Winter cheer'd by him Sits at the social fire, and happy hears Th' excluded tempest idly rave along; His harden'd fingers deck the gaudy Spring; Without him Summer were an arid waste; Nor to th' Autumnal months could thus transmit Those full, mature, immeasurable stores, That, waving round, recall my wandering song.
Soon as the morning trembles o'er the sky, And, upperceiv'd, unfolds the spreading day ; Before the ripen'd field the reapers stand, In fair array; cach by the lass he loves,
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate
By nameless gentle offices her toil.
At once they stoop and swell the lusty sheaves;
While through their cheerful band the rural talk,
The rural scandal, and the rural jest,
Fly harmless, to deceive the tedious time,
And steal unfelt the sultry hours away.
Behind the master walks, builds-up the shocks;
And, conscious, glancing oft on every side
His sated cye, feels his beart heave with joy.
The gleaners spread around, and here and there,
Spike after spike, their scanty harvest pick.
Be not too narrow, husbandmen; but fling
From the full sheaf, with charitable stealth,
The liberal handful. Think, ob, grateful think!
How good the God of Harvest is to you;
Who pours abundance o'er your flowing fields;
While these unhappy partners of your kind
Wide-hover round you like the fowls of Heaven,
And ask their humble dole. The various turns
Of fortune ponder; that your sons may want
What now, with hard reluctance, faint, ye give.
The lovely young Lavinia once had friends;
And Fortune smil'd, deceitful, on her birth.
For, in her helpless years depriv'd of all,
Of every stay, save Innocence and Heaven,
She, with her widow'd mother, feeble, old,
And poor, liv'd in a cottage, far retir'd
Among the windings of a woody vale;
By solitude and deep surrounding shades,
But more by bashful modesty, conceal'd.
Together thus they shunn'd the cruel scorn
Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet
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 rose,
When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd and
As is the lily, or the mountain snow.
The modest virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground dejected, darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers:
Or when the mournful tale her mother told,
Of what her faithless fortune promis'd once,
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy star
Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair-proportion'd on her polish'd limbs,
Veil'd in a simple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp of dress; for loveliness
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is when unadorn'd adorn'd the most.
Thoughtless of beauty, she was Beauty's self,
Recluse amid the close-embowering woods.
As in the hollow breast of Appennine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills
A myrtle rises, far from human eye,
And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild;
So flourish'd blooming, and unseen by all,
The sweet Lavinia; till, at length, compell'd
By strong Necessity's supreme command,
With smiling patience in her looks, she went
To glean Palemon's fields. The pride of swains
Palemon was, the generous, and the rich;
Who led the rural life in all its joy
And elegance, such as Arcadian song
Transmits from ancient uncorrupted times;
When tyrant custom had not shackled man,
But free to follow nature was the mode.
He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes
Amusing, chanc'd 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 conceal'd.
That very moment love and chaste desire
Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown;
For still the world prevail'd, and its dread laugh,
Which scarce the firm philosopher can scorn,
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field:
And thus in secret to his soul he sigh'd.
"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; Now to the dust gone down; his houses, lands, And once fair-spreading family, dissolv'd. 'Tis said that in some lone obscure retreat, Urg'd by remembrance sad, and decent pride, Far from those scenes which knew their better His aged widow and his daughter live, Whom yet my fruitless search could never find. 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 surpris'd his heart, And through his nerves in shivering transport ran? Then blaz'd his smother'a flame, avow'd, and bold; And as he view'd her, ardent, o'er and o'er, Love, gratitude, and pity, wept at once. Confus'd, and frighten'd at his sudden tears, Her rising beauties flush'd a higher bloom, As thus Palemon, passionate and just, Pour'd 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? O, Heavens! the very same, The soften'd image of my noble friend, Alive his every look, his every feature, More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than Spring! Thou sole surviving blossom from the root That nourish'd up my fortune! say, ah where, In what sequester'd 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? O let me now, into a richer soil, [showers, Transplant thee safe! where vernal suns, and Diffuse their warmest, largest influence ; And of my garden be the pride, and joy! Ill it befits thee, oh, it ill befits Acasto's daughter, his whose open stores, Though vast, were little to his ampler heart, The father of a country, thus to pick The very refuse of those harvest-fields, Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy. Then throw that shameful pittance from thy hand, But ill apply'd 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 lavish'd, thou wilt add that bliss, That dearest bliss, the power of blowsing thee "**