Page images

Shakes from his ‘noon-day throne the scattering
Even shooting lifless languorthro' the deeps: (clouds,
Then seek the bank where Aowering elders croud,
Where scatter'd wild the lily of the vale

Its balmy eflence breathes, where cow Nips hang
The dewy head, where purple v olets lurk,
With all the lowly children of the shade :
Orlic reclin'd beneath yon spreading, ash, 449
Hung o'er the steep; whence borne on liquid wing,
The sounding culver shoots ; or where the hawk,
High, in the beetling cliff, his airy builds.
There let the clasic page thy fancy lead
Thro' rural scenes; such has the Mantuan suain
Paints in the matchless harmony of song.

Or catch thyself the landkip, giiding swift
Athwart imagination's vivid eye :
Or by the vocal woods and waters lull'd,
And lost in lonely muling, in a dream,
Confus’d, of careless solitude, where mix

Ten thousand wandering images of things,
Soothe every gust of passion into peace ;
All but the swellings of the soften'd heart,
That waken, not disturb the tranquil mind. 464.

Behold yon breai hing prospect bids the Muse
Throw all her beauty forth. But who can paint
Lke Nature? Can imagination boast,
Amid its gay creation, hues like her's ?
Or can it mix them with that matchless skill,
And lose them in each other, as appears
In every bud that blnws? If fancy then
Unequal fails beneath the pleasing task,
Ah, what shall language do ? Ah, where find words
Ting'd with so many colours; and whole power,
To life approaching, may perfume my lays 475
With that fine oil, those aromatic gales,
That inexhaustive flow continual round?

Yet, tho' successless, will the toil delight.
Come then, ye virgins and ye youths, whose hearts
Have felt the raptures of refining love ;

And thou, Amanda, come, pride of my song!
Form’d by the graces, loveliness itself;
Come with those downcast cyes, sedate and sweet,





[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ing Those looks demure, that deeply pierce the soul, dsy Where, with the light of thoughtful reason mix'd, Shines lively fancy and the feeling heart :

486 45 Oh come! and while the rosy-footed May

Steals blushing 911, together let us tread
The morning-dews, and gather in their prime

Fresh-bloom ng flowers, to grace thy braided hair, 149 And thy lov'd bolom that improves their sweets. 491 15, Sec, where the winding valè its lavish stores,

Irriguous, spreads. See, how the lily drinks
The latent riil, scarce oozing thro* the grass,
Of growth luxuriant ; or the humid bank, 495

In fair profufion, decks. Long let us walk,
55 Where the breeze blows from yon extended field

Of bloffom'd beans, Arabia cannot boast
A fuller gale of joy than, liberal,.thence
Breathes thro' the sense, and takes the ravilhi'd soul.
Nor is the mead unworthy of thy font,

501 L60 Full of freih verdure, and unnumber'd Aowers,

The negligence of Nature, wide, and wild ;
Where undisguis'd by mimic Art, the spreads

Unbounded beauty to the roving eye. .505 _64

Here their delicious talk the fervent bees,
In (warming millions, tend: around, athwart,
Thro' the soft air, the busy nations fly,
Cling to the bud, and, with inserted tube,
Suck its pure essence, its ethereal soul:

And oft, with bolder wing, they soaring dare
The purple heath, or where the wild thyme grows,
And yellow load them with the luscious spoil,

At length the finish'd garden to the view
Its vistas opens, and its allcys green.

Snatch'd thro' the vesdant maze, the hurried cye
Dittracted wanders ; now the bowery walk
Of covert close, where scarce a speck of day,
Falls on the lengthen'd gloom, protracted sweeps :
Now meets the bend'ng fky: the river now $20
Dimpling along, the breezy-ruffled lake
The forest darkening round, the glittering spire,
Th'ethereal mountain, and the distant main.
But why so far excursive? when at hand,
Along these vlushing burders, bright with dew, 525


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

And in yon mivgled wilderness of Howers,
Fair handed Spring unbosoms every grace;
Throws out the snow-drop, and the crocus first;
The daily, primrose, violet darkly blue,
And polyanthus of unnumber'd d es ;

The yellow wall-flower, stain’d with iron brown:
And lavish Itock that scents the garden round.
From the soft w ng of vernal breezes Thed,
Anemonies; auriculas, enrich'd
With thining mealo'er all their velvet leaves j 535
And full ranunculas, of growing red.
Then comes the tulip-race, where beauty plays
Her idle freaks; from family diffus'd
To family, as flies the father-duff,
The varied colours run; and, while they break 540
On the charm'd eye, th' exulting florist marks,
With secret pride, the wonders of his hand.
No gradual bloom is wanting; from the bud,
First-born of Siring, to. Sammer's musky tribes :
Nor nyacinths of purest virgin white,
Low-bent, and blushing in ward; nor jonquils, 545
Of potent fragrance; nor Narcissus fair,
As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still;
Nor broad carnations; nor gay-spoited pinks;
Nor, Aower'd from every bush, the damalk-rose.
Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells,

With hues on hues expreffion cannot paint,
The breath of Nature, and her endless bloom.

Hail, Source of Being! universal Soul
Of Heaven and earth ! Effential Presence, hail !
To Thee I bend the knee; to Thee my thoughts,
Continual, climb; who, with a master-hand, 556
Hast the great whole into perfection touch'd.
By Thee the various vegetative tribes,
Wrapt in a filmy net, and clad with leaves,
Draw the live ether, and imbibe the dew :
By Thee dispos'd into congenial foils,
Stands each'attractive plant, and fucks, and swells
The juicy tide; a twining mass of tubes.
At Thy command the vernal fun awakes
The torpid fas, detruded to the root

565 By wintry winds; that now in fluent dance,


[ocr errors][merged small]


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

And lively fermentation, mounting, spreads
All this innumerous colour'd scene of things.

As rising from the vegetable world
My theme aicends, with equal wing ascend, 570
My panting Muse; and hark how loud the woods
Invite you forth in all your gayest trim.
Lend me your fong, ye nightingales ! oh pour
The mazy-running foul of melody
Into my varied verse! while I deduce, $75
From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings,
The symphon v of Spring, and touch a theme
Unknown to fame, ibe Passion of the groves.

When first the soul of love is sent abroad,
Warm thro' the vital air, and on the heart

Harmonious seizes, the gay troops begin,
In gallant thought, to plume the painted wing ;
And try again the long forgotten strain,
At first faint-warbled. But no looner grows
The soft infusion prevalent, and wide, 585
Than, all alive, at once their joy o'erflows
In mụsic uncontin'd. Up-springs the fark,
Shrill voice, and loud, the messenger of morn;
Ere yet the shadows fly, he mounted sings
Amid the dawning clouds, and from their haunts
Calls up the tuneful nations. Every copse 591
Deep-tangled, tree irregular, and bush
Bending with dewy moisture, o'er the heads
Of the coy quirifters that lodge wiihin,
Are prodigal of harmony. The thrush 595
And woodlark, o'er the kind contending throng
Superior heard, run throʻthe sweetest length
Of notes; when listening Philomela deigns
To let them joy, and purposes, in thought
Elate, to make her night excel their day. 600
The black-bird whistles from the thorny braké;
The mellow bullfinch answers from the grove;
Nor are the linnets, o'er the flowering furze.
Pour’d our profusely, silent. Join'd to these
Innumerous fongsters, in the freshenirg thade 605
Of new-sprung leaves, their modulations mix
Melliluous. The jay, the rook, the daw,
And each harth pipe discordant heard alone,

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Na OF TL HE Hie The


[merged small][ocr errors]

Aid the full concert: while the stock-dove breathe
A melancholy murmur thro' the whole.

*Tis love creates their melody, and all
This waste of music is the voice of love;
That even to birds, and beaits, the tender arts
Of pleasing teaches. Hence the gloily kind
Try every winning way inventive love
Can dictate, and in courtship to their mates
Pour forth their little fouls. First, wide around,
With distant awe, in airy rings they rove,
Endeavouring by a thousand tricks to catch
The cunning, conscious, half-averted glance 620
Of their regardless charmer. Should she seem
Softening the least approvance to bestow,
Their colours burnish, and by hope inspir’d,
They brisk advance; then, on a sudden ftruck,
Retire disorder'd; then again approach ;
In fond rotation spread the spotted wing,
And shiver every feather with desire.

Connubial Icagues agreed, to the deep woods
They hafte away, and all their fancy leads,
Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts; 630
That Nature's great command may be ohey'd :
Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive,
Indulg'd in vain. Some to the holly-hedge
Neitling repair, and to the thicket some;
Some to the rude protection of the thorn
Commit their feeble offspring : The cleft tree
Offers its kind concealment to a few,
Their food its ivseets, and its moss their nests.
Others apart far in the grassy dale,
Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave.
But molt in woodland folitudes delight, 641
In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks,
Steer, and divided by a babbling brook,
Whose murmurs footh them all the live-long day.
When by kind duty fix'd Among the roots
Of hazel, pendant o'er the plaintive stream,
They frame the first foundation of their domes ;
Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid,
And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought
But restless hurry thro' the busy air,


[ocr errors][ocr errors]


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »