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W. I N T E R.
SEE, Winter comes, to rule the varied year,
To thee, the patron of her first effay, The Muse, O WILMINGTON! renews her song. Since has she rounded the revolving year : Skim'd the gay Spring ; on eagle-pinions borne, Attempted thro' the Summer-blaze to rise ; Then swept o'er Autumn with a shadowy gale; And now among the wintry clouds again, Roll'd in the doubling storm, she tries to foar; To swell her note with all the rushing winds; To suit her founding cadence to the floods; As is her theme, her numbers wildly great : Thrice happy! could she fill thy judging ear With bold description, and with manly thought. Nor art thou skill'd in awful schemes alone, And how to make a mighty people thrive ; But equal goodness, sound integrity, A firm unshaken uncorrupted soul Amid a sliding age, and burning strong, Not vainly blazing for thy country's weal, A steady fpirit regularly free; These, each exalting each, the statesman light Into the patriot; these, the public hope And eye to thee converting, bid the Muse Record what envy dares not flattery call.
Now when the cheerless empire of the sky To Capricorn the Centaur Archer yields, And fierce Aquarius, stains th' inverted year; Hung o'er the farthest verge of heaven, the sun Scarce spreads thro' ether the dejected day. Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot His struggling rays, in horizontal lines, Thro' the thick air ; as cloth'd in cloudy storm, Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky; And, foon-descending, to the long dark night, Wide-Shading all, the proftrate world resigns. Nor is the night unwish'd; while vital heat, Light, life, and joy, the dubious day forsake. Meantime, in fable cincture, shadows vast, Deep-ting'd and damp, and congregated clouds, And all the vapoury turbulence of heaven, Involve the face of things. Thus Winter falls, A heavy gloom oppressive o'er the world, Thro’ Nature shedding influence malign, And rouses up the feeds of dark disease. The soul of man dies in him, loathing life, And black with more than melancholy views. The cattle droop; and o'er the furrowed land, Fresh from the plough, the dun-discoloured locks, Untended spreading, crop the wholesome root.