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About bis chequer'd sides I wind,
And leave his brooks and meads behind;
And groves and grottos, where I lay,
And vistas shooting beams of day.
Wide and wider spreads the vale,
As circles on a smooth canal:
The mountains round, unhappy fate,
Sooner or later, of all height !
Withdraw their summits from the skies,
And lessen as the others rise.
Still the prospect wider spreads,
Adds a thousand woods and meads;
Still it widers, widens still,
And sinks the newly-risen bill.
Now I gain the mountain's brow;
What a landscape lies below!
No clouds, no vapours intervene;
But the gay, the open scene
Does the face of nature show
In all the hues of heaven's bow;
And, swelling to embrace the light,
Spreads around beneath the sight.
old castles on the cliffs arise,
Proudly tow'ring in the skies ;
Rushing from the woods, the spires
Seem from bence ascending fires :
Half his beams Apollo sheds
On the yellow mountain-heads,
Gilds the fleeces of the flocks,
And glitters on the broken rocks.
Below me trees unnumber'd rise,
Beautiful in various dyes :
The gloomy pine, the poplar blue,
The yellow beech, the sable yew !
The slender fir that taper grows,
The sturdy oak with broad spread boughs
And, beyond the purple grove,
Haunt of virtue, peace, and love!
Gaudy as the op'ning dawn,
Lies a long and level lawn,
On which a dark hill, steep and high,
Holds and charms the wand'ring eye.
Deep are his feet in Towy's flood;
His sides are cloth'd with waving wood;
And ancient towers crown his brow,
That cast an awful look below;
Whose ragged walls the ivy creeps,
And with her arms from falling keeps .
So both a safety from the wind,
In mutual dependence, find.
'Tis now the raven's bleak abode,
'Tis now th' apartment of the toad;
And there the fox securely feeds,
And there the pois'nous adder breeds,
Conceal'd in ruins, moss, and weeds ;)
While, ever and anon, there falls
A heap of hoary moulder'd walls.
Yet time has seen, that lifts the low,
And level lays the lofty brow,
Has seen this broken pile complete, )
Big with the vanity of state :
But transient is the smile of fate!
A little rule, a little sway,
A sun-beam in a winter's day,
Is all the proud and mighty have,
Between the cradle and the grave.
And see the rivers, how they run
Tbro' woods and meads, in shade and sun !
Sometimes swift, sometimes slow,
Wave succeeding wave, they go
A various journey to the deep,
Like human life to final sleep.
Thus is nature's vesture wrought,
To instruct our wand'ring thought ;
Thus she dresses green and gay ;
To disperse our cares away.
Ever charming, ever new,
When will the landscape tire the view ?
The fountain's fall, the river's flow,
The woody valleys, warm and low;
The windy summit, wild and high,
Roughly rushing on the sky;
The pleasant seat, the ruin'd tow'r,
The naked rock, the shady bow'r;
The town and village, dome and farm,)
Each gives each a double charm,
As pearls upon an Ethiop's arm.
See on the mountain's southern side,
Where the prospect opens wide,
Where the evening gilds the tide,
How close and small the hedges lie!
What streaks of meadows cross the eye!
A step methinks, may pass the stream;
So little distant dangers seem :
So we mistake the future's face,
Ey'd through hope's deluding glass,
As yon summits soft and fair,
Clad in colours of the air,
Which to those who journey near,
Barren, brown, and rough appear:
Still we tread the same coarse way ;
The present's still a cloudy day.
0 may 1 with myself agree,
And never covet what I see!
Content me with a humble shade,
My passions tam'd, my wishes laid ;
For while our wishes widely roll,
We bapish quiet from the soul :
'Tis thus the busy beat the air,
And misers gather wealth and care.
Now, ev'n now, my joys run high,
As on the mountain turf I lie ;
While the wanton Zephyr sings,
And in the vale perfumes his wings :
While the waters murmur deep ;
While the shepherd charms his sheep;
While the birds onbounded fly,
And with music fill the sky;
Now, ev'n now, my joys run high.
Be full, ye courts! be great who will.
Search for peace with all your skill ,
Open wide the lofty door,
Seek her on the marble floor: '
In vain ye search, she is not there;
In vain ye search the domes of care !
Grass and flow'rs quiet treads,
On the meads and mountain-heads,
Along with pleasure close allied,
Ever by each other's side;
And often, by the murm’ring rill,
Hears the thrush, while all is still
Within the groves of Grongar Hill.)
SECTION v. Description of a parish poor-house. BEHOLD yon house that holds the parish poor, Whose walls of mud scarce bear the broken door! There, where the putrid vapours flagging play, . And the dull wheel hums doleful thro' the day; There children dwell who know no parents' care; Parents, who know no children's love, dwell there; Heart-broken matrons on their joyless bed, Forsaken wives, and mothers never wed; Dejected widows with unbecded tears, 1 And crippled age with more than childhood fears ; The lame, the blind, and, far the happiest they ! The moping idiot, and the madman gay.
Here too the sick their final doom receive, Here brought, amid the scenes of grief, to grieve : Where the loud groans from some sad chamber flow, Mix'd with the clamours of the crowd below; Here sorrowing they each kindred sorrow scan, And the cold cbarities of man to man : Whose laws indeed for ruin'd age provide, And strong compulsion plucks the scrap from pride ; But still that scrap is bought with many a sigh, And pride embitters what it can't deny.
Say, ye oppress'd by some fantastic woes, Some jarring nerve that baffles your repose ; Who press the downy couch, while slaves advance With timid eye, to read the distant glance ; Who with sad pray’rs the weary doctor tease To name the nameless ever-new disease ; Who with mock-patience dire complaints endure, Which real pain, and that alone, can cure ; How would you bear in real pain to lie, Despis’d, neglected, left alone to die? How would you bear to draw your latest breath, Where all that's wretched paves the way for death ?
Such is that room which one rude beam divides, And naked rafters form the sloping sides ; Where the vile bands that bind the thatch are seen; And lath and mud are all that lie between ; Save one dull pane, that, coarsely patch'd, gives way To the rude tempest, yet excludes the day:
Here, on a matted flock, with dust o'erspread,
The drooping wretch reclines his languid head.
For him no hand the cordial cup applies,
Nor wipes the tear that stagnates in his eyes ;
No friends with soft discourse his pain beguile,
Nor promise hope till sickness wears a smile.
A Summer Evening's Meditation. "One sun by day, by night ten thousand shine."...Young. 'Tis past! the sultry tyrant of the south Has spent his short-livd rage. More grateful hours Move silent on. The skies no more repel The dazzled sight; but, with mild maiden beams Of temper'd light, invite the cherish'd eye To wander o'er their sphere ; where, hung aloft, Dian's bright crescent, like a silver bow New strung in heav'n, lifts high its beamy horns, Impatient for the night, and seems to push Her brother down the sky. Fair Venus shines. E'en in the eye of day; with sweetest beam Propitious shines, and shakes a trembling flood Of soften'd radiance from her dewy locks. The shadows spread apace ; while meeken'd eve, Her cheek yet warm with blushes, slow retires Thro' the Hesperian gardens of the west, And shuts the gates of day. 'Tis now the hour When contemplation, from her sunless haunts, The cool damp grotto, or the lonely depth Of unpierc'd woods, where, wrapt in silent shade, She mus'd away the gaudy hours of noon, And fed on thoughts unripen'd by the sun, Moves forward ; and with radiant finger points To yon blue concave, swell’d by breath divine, Where, one by one, the living eyes of heav'n Awake, quick kindling o'er the face of ether One boundless blaze ; ten thousand trembling fires, And dancing lustres, where th' unsteady eye, Restless and dazzled, wanders unconfin'd O’er all this field of glories : spacious field, And worthy of the Master! he whose hand, With hieroglyphics elder than the Nile,