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Calm, and intrepid, in the very throat
Of sulphurous war, on Tenier's dreadful field.
Nor less the palm of peace inwreathes thy brow:
For, powerful as thy sword, from thy rich tongue,
Persuasion flows, and wins the high debate ;
While mix'd in thee combine the charm of youth,
The force of manhood, and the depth of age.
Thee, Forbes, too, whom every worth attends,
As truth sincere, as weeping friendship kind,
Thee, truly generous, and in silence great,
Thy country feels thro' her reviving arts,
Plann'd by thy wisdom, by thy soul inform’d;
And feldom has she known a friend like thee.
But see the fading many-colour'd woods,
Shade deepening over shade, the country round
Imbrown; a crowded umbrage, dusk, and dun,
Of every hue, from wan declining green
To sooty dark. These now the lonesome Muse,
Low-whispering, lead into their leaf-ftrown walks,
And give the season in its latest view.
Meantime, light-shadowing all, a sober calm
Fleeces unbounded ether: whose least wave
Stands tremulous, uncertain where to turn
The gentle current : while illumin’d wide,
The dewy-skirted clouds imbibe the sun,
And thro' their lucid veil his softened force
Shed o'er the peaceful world. Then is the time,
For those whom wisdom and whom Nature charm,
To steal themselves from the degenerate crowd,
And foar above this little scene of things;
To tread low-thoughted vice beneath their feet;
To footh the throbbing passions into peace;
And woo lone Quiet in her filent walks.
Thus solitary, and in pensive guise,
Oft let me wander o'er the russet mead,
And thro' the saddened grove, where scarce is heard
One dying strain to cheer the woodman's toil.
Haply fome widowed fongster pours his plaint,
Far, in faint warblings, thro’ the tawny copse.
While congregated thrushes, linnets, larks,
And each wild throat, whose artless strains fo late
Swell'd all the music of the swarming shades,
Robb’d of their tuneful souls, now shivering sit
On the dead tree, a dull defpondent flock;
With not a brightness waving o'er their plumes,
And nought fave chattering discord in their note.
O let not, aim'd from some inhuman eye,
The gun the mufic of the coming year
Destroy; and harmless, unsuspecting harm,
Lay the weak tribes a miserable prey,
In mingled murder, Auttering on the ground !
The pale descending year, yet pleasing still,
A gentler mood inspires; for now the leaf
Inceflant rustles from the mournful
Oft startling such as, ftudious, walk below,
And slowly circles thro' the waving air.
But should a quicker breeze amid the boughs
Sob, o'er the sky the leafy deluge streams;
Till chok’d, and matted with the dreary shower,
The forest-walks, at every rising gale,
Roll wide the wither'd waste, and whistle bleak.
Flęd is the blasted verdure of the fields ;
And, shrunk into their beds, the flowery race
Their funny robes refign. Even what remain'd
Of stronger fruits falls from the naked tree;
And woods, fields, gardens, orchards, all around
The desolated prospect thrills the soul.
He comes! he comes ! in every breeze the Power
Of Philosophic MELANCHOLY comes !
His near approach the sudden-Itarting tear,
The glowing cheek, the mild dejected air,
The softened feature, and the beating heart,
Pierc'd deep with many a virtuous pang, declare.
O'er all the soul his sacred influence breathes !
Inflames imagination ; thro' the breast
Infuses every tenderness; and far
Beyond dim earth exalts the swelling thought.
Ten thousand thousand fleet ideas, such
As never mingled with the vulgar dream,
Crowd fast into the Mind's creative eye.
As fast the correspondent pafsions rise,
As varied, and as high: Devotion rais’d
To rapture, and divine astonishment;
The love of Nature unconfin'd, and, chief,
Of human race; the large ambitious wish,
To make them bleft; the figh for suffering worth
Lost in obscurity; the noble scorn
Of tyrant-pride; the fearless great resolve ;
The wonder which the dying patriot draws,
Inspiring glory thro' remotest time;
Th' awakened throb for virtue, and for fame :
The fympathies of love, and friendship dear;
With all the social Offspring of the heart.
Oh bear me then to vaft embowering shades,
To twilight groves, and visionary vales;
To weeping grottoes, and prophetic glooms ;
Where angel forms athwart the solemn dusk,
Tremendous sweep, or seem to sweep along;
And voices more than human, thro' the void
Deep-founding, seize th' enthufiaftic ear!
Or is this gloom too much? Then lead, ye powers,
That o'er the garden and the rural seat
Preside, which shining thro' the cheerful land
In countless numbers blest BRITANNIA fees;
O lead me to the wide-extended walks,
The fair majestic paradise of STOWE !*
Not Persian Cyrus on Ionia's shore
E’er saw such filvan scenes ; such various art
By genius fir'd, such ardent genius tam'd
By cool judicious art; that, in the strife,
All-beauteous Nature fears to be outdone.
And there, O Pitt, thy country's early boast,
There let me fit beneath the sheltered slopes,
Or in that Temple + where, in future times,
Thou well shalt merit a distinguish'd name;
And, with thy converse bleft, catch the last smiles
Of Autumn beaming o'er the yellow woods.
While there with thee th’inchanted round I walk,
The regulated wild, gay Fancy then
Will tread in thought the groves of Attic Land;
# The seat of the Lord Viscount Cobham.
f The Temple of Virtue in Stow.Gardens.