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But when chill blust'ring winds, or driving rain,
Forbid my willing feet, be mine the hut,
That from the mountain's side
Views wilds, and swelling floods, And hamlets brown, and dim discover'd spires, And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil.
While Spring shall pour his show'rs, as oft he wont,
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy ling’ring light;
While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves;
Or winter, bell’wing through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes;
So long, sure found beneath thy Sylvan shed,
Shall Faney, Friendship, Science, rose-lipp'd Health,
Thy gentlest influence own,
And hymn thy fav’rite name! COLLINS.
SWEET daughter of a rough and stormy sire,
Hoar Winter's blooming child, delightful Spring !
Whose unshorn locks with leaves
And swelling buds are crown'd; From the green islands of eternal youth, (Crown'd with fresh blooms, and ever-springing shade)
Turn, hither turn thy step,
O thou, whose pow'rful voice,
More sweet than softest touch of Doric reed,
Or Lydian flute, can sooth the madding winds,
And through the stormy deep
Breathe thy own tender calm.
Thee, best belov'd! the virgin train await,
With songs, and festal rites, and joy to rove
Thy blooming wilds among,
And vales and downy lawns,
With untir'd feet; and cull thy earliest sweets
To weave fresh garlands for the glowing brow
Of him, the favour'd youth,
That prompts their whisper'd sigh. Unlock thy copious stores ; those tender show'rs That drop their sweetness on the infant buds,
And silent dews that swell
The milky ear's green stem, feed And call those winds, which through the whisp'ring boughs
With warm and pleasant breath
Salute the blowing flow'rs.
Now let me sit beneath the whitning thorn,
And mark thy spreading tints steal o'er the dale,
And watch with patient eye
Thy fair unfolding charms.
O Nymph! approach, while yet the temp’rate Sun,
With bashful forehead, through the cool moist air
Throws his young maiden beams,
And with chaste kisses woos
The Earth's fair bosom ; while the streaming veil
Of lucid clouds with kind and frequent shade
Protects thy modest blooms
From his severer blaze.
Sweet is thy reign, but short: the red dogstar
Shall scorch thy tresses ; and the mower's sithe
Thy greens, thy flow'rets all,
Remorseless shall destroy.
Reluctant shall I bid thee then farewell;
For O! not all that Autumn's lap contains,
Nor Summer's ruddiest fruits,
Can aught for thee atone,
Fair Spring! whose simplest promise more delights,
Than all their largest wealth, and through the heart
Each joy and new-born hope
With softest influence breathes.
DOMESTIC LOVE AND HAPPINESS.
O HAPPY they! the happiest of their kind !
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.
'T is not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnat'ral oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
Attuning all their passions into love;
Where Friendship full exerts her softest pow'r,
Perfect esteem, enliven'd by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul :
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,
With boundless confidence: for nought but love
Can answer love, and render bliss secure.
Let him, ungen'rous, who, alone intent
To bless himself, from sordid parents buys
The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
Well-merited, consume his nights and days;
Let barb'rous nations, whose inhuman love
Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel ;
Let eastern tyrants from the light of Heav'n
Seclude their bosom slaves, meanly possess'd
Of a mere lifeless, violated form:
While those whom love cements in holy faith,
And equal transport, free as nature live,
Disdaining fear. What is the world to them,
Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all,
Who in each other clasp whatever fair
High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish
Something than beauty dearer, should they look,
Or on the mind, or mind-illumin'd face;
Truth, goodness, honour, harmony, and love,
The richest bounty of indulgent Heav'n?
Meantime a smiling offspring rises round,
And mingles both their graces. By degrees
The human blossom blows; and every day,
Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm,
The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom.
Then infant reason grows apace, and calls
For the kind hand of an assiduous care.
Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
To breathe th’enliv’ning spirit, and to fix
The gen'rous purpose in the glowing breast.
O speak the joy ! ye whom the sudden tear
Surprises often, while you look around,
And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss;
All various nature pressing on the heart;
An elegant sufficiency, content,
Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease and alternate labour, useful life,
Progressive virtue, and approving Heav'n.
These are the matchless joys of virtuous love :
And thus their moments fly. The seasons thus,
As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll,
Still find them happy; and consenting Spring
Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads:
Till ev’ning comes at last, serene and mild ;
When, after the long vernal day of life,
Enamour'd more, as more resemblance swells
With many a proof of recollected love,
Together down they sink in social sleep;
Together freed, their gentle spirits fly
To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign.
THE PLEASURES OF RETIREMENT.
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 though the dome be wanting, whose proud gate
Each morning vomits out the sneaking crowd
Of flatt'rers false, and in their turn abus'd ?
Vile intercourse! What though the glitt'ring robe,
Of ev'ry hue reflected light can give,
Or floating loose, or stiff with mazy gold,
The pride and gaze of fools, oppress him not ?
What though, 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 though 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 though 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
From disappointment and fallacious hope:
Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich,
In herbs and fruits; whatever greens the Spring,
When Heav'n descends in show'rs, or bends the bough;
When Summer reddens, and when Autumnn beams;
Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies
Concealed, 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 stream,
And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere
Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade,
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay;