Page images

And they that never pass their brick-wall bounds
To range the fields and treat their lungs with air, .
Yet feel the burning instinct: over-head
Suspend their crazy boxes, planted thick,
And water'd duly. There the pitcher stands
A fragment, and the spoutless tea-pot there ;
Sad witnesses how close-pent man regrets
The country, with what ardor he contrives
A peep at nature, when he can no more.

Hail, therefore, patroness of health, and ease,
And contemplation, heart-consoling joys,
And harmless pleasures, in the throng'd abode
Of multitudes unknown! hail, rural life!
Address himself who will to the pursuit
Of honors, or emoluments, or fame;
I shall not add myself to such a chase,
Thwart his attempts, or envy his success.
Some must be great. Great offices will have
Great talents. And God gives to every man
The virtue, temper, understanding, taste,
That lifts him into life, and lets him fall
Just in the niche he was ordain'd to fill.
To the deliv’rer of an injur'd land
He gives a tongue t' enlarge upon, an heart .
To feel, and courage to redress her wrongs;
To monarchs dignity; to judges sense;
To artists ingenuity and skill;
To me an unambitious mind, content.
In the low vale of life, that early felt
A wish for ease and leisure, and ere long
Found here that leisure and that ease I wish’d.

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

ARGUDIENT OF THE FIFTH BOOK. A frosty morning.... The foddering of cattle.... The woodman and

his dog... The poultry.... Whimsical effects of frost at a water. fall.... The Empress of Russia's palace of ice...Amusements of monarchs....War, one of them.... Wars, whence....And whence monarchy.... The evils of it....English and French loyalty contrasted.... The Bastile, and a prisoner there... Liberty the chief recommendation of this country....Modern patriotism questionable, and why.... The perishable nature of the best human institutions.r. Spiritual liberty not perishable.... The slavish state of man by nature.... Deliver him, Deist, if you can....Grace must do it.... The respective merits of patriots and martyrs stated.... Their different treatment.... Happy freedom of the man whom grace makes free... His relish of the works of God....Address to the Creator,




I is morning; and the sun, with ruddy orb Ascending, fires th' horizon; while the clouds,

That crowd away before the driving wind, More ardent, as the disk imerges more, Resembles most some city in a blaze, Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale, And, tinging all with his own rosy hue, From ev'ry herb and ev'ry spiry blade, Stretches a length of shadow o'er the field. Mine, spindling into longitude immense, In spite of gravity, and sage remark That I myself am but a fleeting shade, Provokes me to a smile. With eye askance, I view the muscular proportion'd limb Transform’d to a lean shank. The shapeless pair, As they design'd to mock me, at my side Take step for step; and, as I near approach The cottage, walk along the plaster'd wall, Prepost'rous sight! the legs without the man. The verdure of the plain lies buried deep

Beneath the dazzling deluge: and the bents,
And coarser grass, upspearing o'er the rest,
Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine
Conspicuous, and, in bright apparel clad,
And fledg'd with icy feathers, nod superb.
The cattle mourn in corners, where the fence
Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep
In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait
Their wonted fodder; not like hung'ring man,
Fretful if unsupplied; but silent, meek,
And patient of the slow-pac'd swain's delay.
He from the stack carves out th' accustom'd load,
Deep plunging, and again deep plunging oft,
His broad keen knife into the solid mass :
Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands,
With such undeviating and even force
He severs it away: no needless care,
Lest storms should overset the leaning pile
Deciduous, or its own unbalanc'd weight.
Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcern'd
The cheerful haunts of man; to wield the ase
And drive the wedge, in yonder forest drear,
From morn to eve, his solitary task.
Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears
And tail cropp'd short, half lurcher and half cur....
His dog attends him. Close behind his heel
Now creeps he slow, and now with many a frisk,
Wide-scamp'ring, snatches up the drifted snow
With iv'ry teeth, or ploughs it with his snout:
Then shakes his powder'd coat, and barks for joy.
Heedless of all his pranks, the sturdy churl :
Moves right toward the mark; nor stops for aught,

« PreviousContinue »