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Its plumy burden ; and their self-taught wings
Winnow the waving element. On ground
Alighted, bolder up again they lead,
Farther and farther on, the lengthening flight';
Till vanish'd every fear, and every power
Rous'd into life and action, light in air
Th’acquitted parents see their foaring race,
And once rejoicing never know them more.
High from the summit of a craggy cliff,
Hung o'er the deep, such as amazing frowns
On utmost Kilda's * fhore, whose lonely race
Relign the setting fun to Indian worlds,
The royal eagle draws his vigorous young,
Strong pounc'd, and ardent with paternal fire.
Now fit to raise a kingdom of their own,
He drives them from his fort, the towering seat,
For ages, of his empire ; which, in peace,
Unstain’d he holds, while many a league to sea
He wings his course, and preys in diftant illes.
my steps turn to the rural seat,
Whose lofty elms, and venerable oaks,
Invite the rook, who high amid the boughs,
In early Spring, his airy city builds,
* The farthest of the western inands of Scotland.
And ceaseless caws amusive; there, well-pleas’d,
I might the various polity survey
Of the mix'd household kind. The careful hen
Calls all her chirping family around,
Fed and defended by the fearless cock ;
Whose breast with ardour flames, as on he walks,
Graceful, and crows defiance. In the pond,
The finely-checker'd duck, before her train,
Rows garrulous. The stately-failing swan
Gives out his snowy plumage to the gale;
And, arching proud his neck, with oary feet
Bears forward fierce, and guards his ofier-ifle,
Protective of his young. The turkey nigh,
Loud-threatening, reddens; while the peacock spreads
His every-colour'd glory to the sun,
And swims in radiant majesty along.
O'er the whole homely scene, the cooing dove
Flies thick in amorous chace, and wanton rolls
The glancing eye, and turns the changeful neck.
While thus the gentle tenants of the shade
Indulge their purer loves, the rougher world
Of brutes, below, rush furious into flame,
And fierce desire. Thro' all his lusty veins
The bull, deep-scorch'd, the raging passion feels.
Of pasture fick, and negligent of food,
Scarce feen, he wades among the yellow broom,
While o'er his ample fides the rambling sprays
Luxuriant shoot; or thro' the mazy
Dejected wanders, nor th' inticing bud
Crops, tho' it preffes on his careless sense.
And oft, in jealous mad’ning fancy wrapt,
He seeks the fight; and, idly-butting, feigns
His rival gor'd in every knotty trunk.
Him should he meet, the bellowing war begins :
flash fury ; to the hollow'd earth,
Whence the fand flies, they mutter bloody deeds,
And groaning deep, th' impetuous battle mix :
While the fair heifer, balmy-breathing, near,
Stands kindling up their rage. The trembling steed,
With this hot impulse seiz’d in every nerve,
Nor heeds the rein, nor hears the founding thong;
Blows are not felt; but toffing high his head,
And by the well-known joy to diftant plains
Attracted strong, all wild he bursts away ;
O'er rocks, and woods, and craggy mountains flies;
And, neighing, on the aërial fummit takes
Th’exciting gale; then, steep-descending, cleaves
The headlong torrents foaming down the hills,
Even where the madness of the straiten’d stream
Turns in black eddies round : such is the force
With which his frantic heart and sinews swell.
Nor undelighted by the boundless Spring
Are the broad monsters of the foaming deep :
From the deep ooze and gelid cavern rous’d,
They flounce and tumble in unwieldy joy.
Dire were the strain, and dissonant, to sing
The cruel raptures of the favage kind :
How by this flame their native wrath sublim'd,
They roam, amid the fury of their heart,
The far-resounding waste in fiercer bands,
And growl their horrid loves. But this the theme
I fing, enraptur'd, to the British Fair,
Forbids, and leads me to the mountain-brow,
Where fits the shepherd on the grassy turf,
Inhaling, healthful, the descending sun.
Around him feeds his many-bleating flock,
Of various cadence; and his sportive lambs,
This way and that convolv'd, in friskful glee,
Their frolicks play, And now the sprightly race
Invites them forth ; when swift, the signal given,
They start away, and sweep the maffy mound
That runs around the hill; the rampart once
Of iron war, in ancient barbarous times,
When disunited Britain ever bled,
Loft in eternal broil : ere yet she grew
To this deep-laid indiffoluble state,
Where Wealth and Commerce lift their golden heads;
And o’er our labours, Liberty and Law,
Impartial, watch; the wonder of a world!
What is this mighty Breath, ye sages, say,
That, in a powerful language, felt not heard,
Instructs the fowls of heaven; and thro' their breast
These arts of love diffuses? What, but God?
Inspiring God! who boundless Spirit all,
And unremitting Energy, pervades,
Adjusts, fustains, and agitates the whole.
He ceaseless works alone ; and yet alone
Seems not to work: with such perfection fram'd
Is this complex stupendous scheme of things.
But, tho' conceal'd, to every purer eye
Th’informing Author in his works appears :
Chief, lovely Spring, in thee, and thy soft scenes,
The SMILING God is seen ; while water, earth,
And air atteft his bounty, which exalts
The brute creation to this finer thought,
And annual melts their undefigning hearts
Profusely thus in tenderness and joy.
Still let my song a nobler note assume,
And fing th' infufive force of Spring on Man;