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XXVIII.

STAR-GAZERS.

What crowd is this? what have we here! we must

not pass it by; A Telescope upon its frame, and pointed to the sky: Long is it as a Barber's Pole, or Mast of little Boat, Some little Pleasure-skiff, that doth on Thames's

waters float.

The Show-man chooses well his place, 'tis Leicester's

busy Square; . And he's as happy in his night, for the heavens are : blue and fair ; Calm, though impatient, is the Crowd; each is ready

with the fee, And envies him that's looking - what an insight

must it be!

Yet, Show-man, where can lie the cause ? Shall

thy Implement have blame, A Boaster, that when he is tried, fails, and is put

to shame ? Or is it good as others are, and be their eyes in

fault ? Their eyes, or minds ? or, finally, is this resplendent

Vault?

Is nothing of that radiant pomp so good as we have

here? Or gives a thing but small delight that never can

be dear? The silver Moon with all her Vales, and Hills of

mightiest fame, Do they betray us when they're seen ? and are they

but a name?

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Or is it rather that Conceit rapacious is and strong, And bounty never yields so much but it seems to

do her wrong? | Or is it, that when human Souls a journey long

have had, And are returned into themselves, they cannot but

be sad ?

Or must we be constrained to think that these Spec.

tators rude, Poor in estate, of manners base, men of the mul.

titude, Have souls which never yet have risen, and there.

fore prostrate lie ? No, no, this cannot be — Men thirst for power and

majesty! :

Does, then, a deep and earnest thought the blissful

mind employ Of him who gazes, or has gazed ? a grave and

steady joy, That doth reject all shew of pride, admits no out

ward sign, Because not of this noisy world, but silent and

divine !

Whatever be the cause, 'tis sure that they who pry

and pore Seem to meet with little gain, seem less happy than

before : One after One they take their turns, nor have I one

espied That doth not slackly go away, as if dissatisfied.

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Those silver clouds collected round the sun
His mid-day warmth abate not, seeming less
To overshade than multiply his beams
By soft reflection - grateful to the sky,
To rocks, fields, woods. Nor doth our human sense
Ask, for its pleasure, screen or canopy
More ample than that time-dismantled Oak
Spreads o'er this tuft of heath: which now, attired
In the whole fulness of its bloom, affords
As beautiful a couch as e'er on earth
Was fashioned; whether by the hand of Art,
, That Eastern Sultan, amid flowers enwrought

On silken tissue, might diffuse his limbs
In languor; or, by Nature, for repose
Of panting Wood-nymph weary of the chace.
O Lady! fairer in thy Poet's sight
Than fairest spiritual Creature of the groves,
Approach - and, thus invited, crown with rest

The noon-tide hour :- though truly some there are
Whose footsteps superstitiously avoid
This venerable Tree; for; when the wind '
Blows keenly, it sends forth a creaking sound
(Above the general roar of woods and crags)
Distinctly heard from far — a doleful note !
As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deemed)
The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed
Some bitter wrong. Nor is it unbelieved,
By ruder fancy, that a troubled Ghost
Haunts this old Trunk ; lamenting deeds of which
The flowery ground is conscious. But no wind
Sweeps now along this elevated ridge ;
Not even a zephyr stirs ; – the obnoxious Tree
Is mute, - and, in his silence, would look down
On thy reclining form with more delight
Than his Coevals, in the sheltered vale
Seem to participate, the whilst they view
Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads
Vividly pictured in some glassy pool,
That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying stream!

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