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In herbs and fruits; whatever greens the Spring, When heaven descends in showers; or bends the bough When Summer reddens, and when Autumn beams; Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies
1261 Conceald, and fattens with the richest fap: These are not wanting ; nor the milky drove, Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale ; Nor bleating mountains; nor the chide of streams, And hum of bees, inviting sleep fincere
1266 Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade, Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay; Nor ought besides of prospect, grove, or song, Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountain clear. 1270 Here too dwells simple truth ; plain innocence; Unfullied beauty; found unbroken youth, Patient of labour, with a little pleas’d; Health ever blooming ; unambitious toil ; Calm contemplation, and poetic ease.
LET others brave the flood in quest of gain, And beat, for joyless months, the gloomy wave. Let such as deem it glory to destroy, Rush into blood, the lack of cities seek; Unpierc'd, exulting in the widow's wail, 1280
The virgin's shriek, and infant's trembling cry.
1301 Move not the Man, who, from the world escap'd, In still retreats, and flowery solitudes, To Nature's voice attends, from month to month,
And day to day, thro' the revolving year ; 1305 Admiring, sees her in her every shape ; Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart; Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more. He, when young Spring protrudes the bursting gems, Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale 1310 Into his freshened soul ; her genial hours He full enjoys; and not a beauty blows, And not an opening blossom breathes in vain. In Summer he, beneath the living shade, Such as o'er frigid Tempe wont to wave, 1315 Or Hemus cool, reads what the Muse, of these Perhaps, has in immortal numbers fung; Or what she dictates writes ; and, oft an eye Shot round, rejoices in the vigorous year. When Autumn's yellow luftre gilds the world, 1320 And tempts the fickled swain into the field, Seiz’d by the general joy, his heart distends With gentle throws; and, thro' the tepid gleams Deep musing, then he best exerts his fong. Even Winter wild to him is full of bliss.
1325 The mighty tempeft, and the hoary waste, Abrupt, and deep, stretch'd o'er the buried earth, Awake to folemn thought, At night the skies,
Disclos'd, and kindled, by refining frost,
whose beams on his alone Extatic shine ; the little strong embrace Of pratling children, twin'd around his neck, 1340 And emulous to please him, calling forth The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay, Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scorns ; For happiness and true philosophy Are of the social still, and smiling kind. 1345 This is the life which those who fret in guilt, And guilty cities, never knew ; the life, Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt, When angels dwelt, and God himself, with Man!
OH NATURE ! all-sufficient! over all ! Inrich me with the knowledge of thy works !
Snatch me to heaven ; thy rolling wonders there,
eye ; A search, the fight of time can ne'er exhaust ! But if to that unequal; if the blood,
1365 In sluggith streams about my heart, forbid That best ambition; under closing fhades, Inglorious, lay me by the lowly brook, And whisper to my dreams. From Thee begin, Dwell all on THEE, with THEE conclude my song; And let me never never stray from Thee ! 1371