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Thou smiling Nature's universal robe!
85 With growing strength, and ever-new delight.
FROM the moist meadow to the withered
hill, Led by the breeze, the vivid verdure runs, And swells, and deepens, to the cherish'd eye. The hawthorn whitens; and the juicy gro
90 Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees, Till the whole leafy forest stands display'd, In full luxuriance, to the sighing gales; Where the deer rustle thro' the twining brake, And the birds sing conceal'd. At once ar
95 In all the colours of the flushing year, By Nature's swift and secret-working hand, The garden glows, and fills ihe liberal air With lavish fragrance;. while the promis'd
fruit Lies yet a little embryo, unperceiv'd, Within its crimson folds. Now from the town Buried in smoke, and sleep, . and noisome
damps, Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields, Where freshness breathes, and dash the trems
From the bent bush, as thro' the verdant.
105 Of sweet-briar hedges I pursue my walk; Or taste the smell of dairy; or ascend Some eminence, AUGUSTA, in thy plains, And see the country, far diffus'd around, One boundless blush, one white-empurpled
110 Of mingled blossoms; where the raptur'd eye Hurries from joy to joy, and, hid beneath The fair profusion, yellow Autumn spies.
If, brush'd from Russian wilds, a cutting
gale Rise not and scatter from his humid wings
115 Tlie clammy mildew; or, dry-blowing, breathe Untimely frost; before whose baseful blast The full-blown spring thro? all her foliage
shrinks, Joyless and dead, a wide-dejected waste. For oft, - engender'd by the hazy north, 120 Myriads on myriads, insect-armies waft Keen in the poison’d breeze; and wasteful
eat, Thro' budo and bark, into the blackened
core, Their cagter way. A feeble race! yet oft
The sacred sons of vengeance! on whose
125 Corrosive famine waits, and kills the year, To check this plague the skilful farmer chaff, And blazing straw, before his orchard burns; Till, all involv'd in smoke, the latent foe From every cranny suffocated falls : Or scatters o'er the blooms the pungent
dust Of pepper, fatal to the frosty tribe: Or, when th’chtenom'd leaf begins to
curl, With sprinkled water drowns them in their
nest; Nor, while they pick them up with busy
135 The little trooping birds unwisely scares.
Be patient; swains; these cruel-seeming
winds Blow not in vain. Far hence they keep, re
press'd Those deepening clouds on clouds, surcharg'd:
with rain, *That oer the vast Atlantic hither borné, 140 In endless train: would quench the summer
iblaze, And, fhearless, drown the crude unripened The north-east spends his rage; he noroi
up Within his iron cave, th' effusive south Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of
145 Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers
distent, At first a dusky wreath they seem to rise, Scarce staining aether; but by fast degrees, In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour sails Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep 150 Sits on th' horizon round a settled gloom. Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed, Oppressing life; but lovely, gentle, kind, And full of every hope and every joy, The wish of Nature, Gradual sinks the
155 Into a perfect calm; that not a breath Is heard to quiver thro’ the closing woo ds, Or rustling turn the many-twinkling leaves Of. aspin tall. Th’uncurling floods, diffus'd In glassy breadth, seem thro' delusive lapse 160 Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all, And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks Drop the dry sprig, and mute-imploring eye The falling verdure. Hush'd in short suspence, The plumy people streak their wings with
165 To throw the lucid moisture trickling olf;
And wait th' approaching sign to strike, at
once, Into the general choir.
Man superior walks
180 In universal bounty , shedding herbs, And fruits, and flowers, on Nature's ample.
Swift fancy fir’d anticipates their growth;
Thus all day long the full-distended clouds