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Holds multitudes. But chief the forest-boughs,
LET NO presuming impious railer tax
A critic-fly, whose feeble ray scarce spreads
335 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, 340 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
345 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 jovial mead: The rustic youth, brown with meridian toil, 350 Healthful, and strong; full as the summer-rose Blown by prevailing suns, the ruddy maid, Half naked, swelling on the sight, and all Her kindled graces burning o'er her cheek. Even stooping age is here; and infant-hands
355 Trail the long rake, or, with the fragrant load O’ercharg'd, amid the kind oppression roll. Wide fies the tedded grain; all in a row Advancing broad, or wheeling round the field, They spread the breathing harvest to the sun, That throws refresh ful round a rural smell: Or, as they rake the green-appearing ground, And drive the dusky wave along the mead, The ruffet hay-cock rises thick behind, In order gay. While heard from dale to dale, 365 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 Compellid, to where the mazy-running brook 370 Forms a deep pool: this bank abrupt and high, And That fair-fpreading in a pebbled shore. Urg'd to the giddy brink, much is the tail, The clamour much of men, and boys, and dogs,
Ere the soft fearful people to the flood
375 Commit their woolly fides. And oft the fwain, On some impatient seizing, hurls them in: Embolden'd then, nor hesitating more, Fast, fast, they plunge amid the flashing wave, And panting labour to the farther shore.
380 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 ftream; Heavy, and dripping, to the breezy brow Slow-move the harmlefs 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, tofs'd from rock to rock, Inceffant bleatings run around the hills. 390 At last, of snowy white, the gather'd 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 fleecy stores, 395 With all her gay-dreft maids attending round. One, chief, in gracious dignity inthron'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 souls 400 To festivę mirth, and wit that knows no gall. Meantime, their joyous task goes on apace :
Some mingling ftir the melted tar, and some,
A simple scene! yet hence BRITANNIA fees 420 Her folid grandeur rise: hence she commands Th' exalted stores of every brighter clime, The treasures of the Sun without his rage: Hence, fervent all, with culture, toil, and arts, Wide glows her land: her dreadful thunder hence 425 Rides o'er the waves fublime, and now, even now, Impending hangs o'er Gallia's humbled coast; Hence rules the circling deep, and awes the world.