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The ARGUMENT.

FORD

The subject proposed. Inscribed to the Countess of HART

The Season is described as it affeets the varia ous parts of Nature, ascending. from the lower to the higher ; with digresions arising from the subject. Its influence on inanimate Matter, on Vegetables, on brute Animals, and last on Man; concluding with a dissuas five from the wild and irregular passion of Love, opposed to that of a pure and happy kind.

S P R I N G

OME, gentle SPRING, ethereal Mildness, come,
And from the bofom of yon dropping cloud,

While music wakes around, veil'd in a shower Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend.

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O HARTFORD, fitted or to shine in courts
With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
With innocence and meditation join'd
In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
Which thy own Season paints; when Nature all
Is blooming and benevolent, like thee.

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And see, where surly WINTER passes off, Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts : His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill, The shattered forest, and the ravagéd vale ; While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch, 15

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Diffolving

Dissolving snows in livid torrents loft,
The mountains lift their green heads to the sky.

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As

yet the trembling year is unconfirm’d,
And WINTER oft at eve resumes the breeze,
Chills the pale morn, and bids his driving fleets
Deform the day delightless; fo that fcarce
The bittern knows his time, with bill ingulpht
To shake the founding marsh; or from the shore
The plovers when to scatter o'er the heath,
And fing their wild notes to the listening waste.

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At last from Aries rolls the bounteous fun, And the bright Bull receives him. Then no more Th' expanfive atmofphere is cramp'd with cold; But, full of life and vivifying soul, Lifts the light clouds sublime, and spreads them thin, 30 Fleecy and white, o'er all-surrounding heaven.

FORTH Ay the tepid airs; and unconfin’d, Unbinding earth, the moving foftness strays. Joyous, th' impatient husbandman perceives Relenting Nature, and his lusty steers

35 Drives from their stalls, to where the well-us'd plough

Lies in the furrow, loosened from the frost.
There, unrefusing, to the harness'd yoke
They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil,
Cheer'd by the simple song and soaring lark. 40
Meanwhile incumbent o’er the shining share
The master leans, removes th' obstructing clay,
Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe,

White thro' the neighbouring fields the lower stalks, With measur'd step; and liberal throws the grain 45 Into the faithful bofom of the ground: The harrow follows harsh, and shuts the scene.

Be gracious, HEAVEN! for now laborious Man Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow! Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend ! 50 And temper all, thou world-reviving sun, Into the perfect year! Nor ye who live In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride, Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear: Such themes as these the rural Maro sung

55 To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height Of elegance and taste, by Greece refin'd. In antient times, the sacred plough employ'd

The

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