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In worlds inclos'd should on his senses burst,
From cates ambrofial, and the nectar'd bowl,
He would abhorrent turn; and in dead night,
When silence sleeps o'er all, be stunn'd with noise.
Let no presuming impious railer tax
Creative Wisdom, as if aught was form'd
In vain, or not for admirable ends.
Shall little haughty ignorance pronounce
His works unwise, of which the fmallest part
Exceeds the narrow vision of her mind ?
As if upon a full proportion's dome,
On swelling columns heav'd, the pride of art!
A critic-fly, whofe feeble ray scarce spreads
An inch around, with blind prefumption bold,
Should dare to tax the structure of the whole.
And lives the Man, whose universal eye
Has swept at once th’unbounded fcheme of things;
Mark'd their dependence fo, and firm accord,
As with unfaultering accent to conclude
That This availeth nought? Has any feen
The mighty chain of beings, lessening down
From INFINITE PERFECTION to the brink
Of dreary Nothing, defolate abyss!
From which aftonifh'd thought, recoiling, turns ?
Till then alone let zealous praise afcend,
And hymns of holy wonder, to that Power,
Whose wisdom shines as lovely on our minds,
As on our smiling eyes his servant-fun.
Thick in yon stream of light, a thousand ways,
Upward, and downward, thwarting, and convolv'd,
The quivering nations sport; till, tempeft-wing’d,
Fierce Winter sweeps them from the face of day.
Even so luxurious Men, unheeding, pass
An idle summer life in fortune's shine,
A season's glitter! Thus they flutter on
From toy to toy, from vanity to vice;
Till, blown away by death, oblivion comes
Behind, and strikes them from the book of life.
Now swarms the village o'er the joyful mead:
The rustic youth, brown with meridian toil,
Healthful and strong ; full as the summer-rose
Blown by prevailing suns, the ruddy maid,
Half naked, swelling on the fight, and all
Her kindled graces burning o'er her cheek.
Even stooping age is here; and infant-hands
Trail the long rake, or, with the fragrant load
O'ercharg'd, amid the kind oppression roll.
Wide flies the tedded grain ; all in a row
Advancing broad, or wheeling round the field,
They spread their breathing harvest to the sun
That throws refreshful round a rural smell :
Or, as they rake the green-appearing ground;
And drive the dusky wave along the mead,
The tuffet hay-cock rises thick behind,
In order gáy: While heard from dale to dale;
Waking the breeze, resounds the blended voice
Of happy labour, love, and social glee.
Or rushing thence, in one diffusive band,
They drive the troubled flocks, by many a dog
Compell’d, to where the mazy-running brook
Forms a deep pool; this bank abrupt and high,
And That fair spreading in a pebbled shore.
Urg'd to the giddy brink, much is the toil,
The clamour much, of men, and boys, and dogs,
Ere the soft fearful people to the flood
Commit their woolly fides. And oft the swain,
On some impatient seizing, hurls them in :
Embolden'd then, nor hesitating more,
Fast, faft, they plunge amid the flashing wave,
And panting labour to the farthest shore.
Repeated this, till deep the well-wash'd fleece
Has drunk the flood, and from his lively haunt
The trout is banish'd by the fordid stream;
Heavy, and dripping, to the breezy brow
Slow move the harmless race: where, as they spread
Their swelling treasures to the funny ray,
Inly disturb’d, and wondering what this wild
Outrageous tumult means, their loud complaints
The country fill ; and, toss'd from rock to rock,
Inceffant bleatings run around the hills.
At last, of snowy white, the gathered flocks
Are in the wattled pen innumerous press’d,
Head above head : and, rang'd in lufty rows
The shepherds fit, and whet the founding shears.
The housewife waits to roll her feecy stores,
With all her gay-drest maids attending round.
One, chief, in gracious dignity enthron'd, · Shines o'er the reft, the pastoral queen, and rays
Her smiles, sweet-beaming, on her shepherd-king ;
While the glad circle round them yield their fouls.
To festive mirth, and wit that knows no gall.
Meantime, their joyous talk goes on apace :
Some mingling stir the melted tar, and some,
Deep on the new-fhorn vagrant's heaving fide,
To ftamp his master's cypher ready stand;
Others the unwilling wether drag along ;
And, glorying in his might, the sturdy boy
Holds by the twisted horns th’ indignant ram.
Behold where bound, and of its robe bereft,
By needy Man, that all-depending lord,
How meek, how patient, the mild creature lies!
What foftness in its melancholy face,
What dumb complaining innocence appears!
Fear not, ye gentle tribes, 'tis not the knife
Of horrid slaughter that is o'er you wav'd;
No, 'tis the tender swain's well-guided shears,
Who having now, to pay his annual care,
Borrowed your fleece, to you a cumbrous load,
Will send you bounding to your hills again.
A simple scene! yet hence BRITANNIA sees
Her solid grandeur rise : hence she commands
Th'exalted stores of every brighter clime,
The treasures of the Sun without his
Hence, fervent all, with culture, toil, and arts,
Wide glows her land: her dreadful thunder hence
Rides o'er the waves sublime, and now, even now,
Impending hangs o'er Gallia's humbled coaft;
Hence rules the circling deep, and awes the world.
'Tis raging Noon; and, vertical, the Sun Darts on the head direct his forceful
O'er heaven and earth, far as the ranging eye
Can sweep, a dazzling deluge reigns; and all
From pole to pole is undistinguish'd blaze.
In vain the fight, dejected to the ground,
Stoops for relief; thence hot-ascending fteams