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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 ol

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

but a name?

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 Spectators rude,

Poor in estate, of manners base, men of the multitude,

Have souls which never yet have risen, and therefore 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 outward 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.

XXIX.
THE HAUNTED TREE.

TO .

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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