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Raging abroad, and the rough wind, endear
The silence and the warmth enjoy'd within.
I saw the woods and fields, at clofe of day,
A variegated show; the meadows green,
Though faded ; and the lands, where lately war'd
The golden harvest of a mellow brown,
Upturn'd so lately by the forceful share.
I saw far off the weedy fallows smile
With verdure not unprofitable, graz’d
By flocks, fast feeding and selecting each
His fav'rite herb; while all the leafless groves,
That skirt th' horizon, wore a fable hue,
Scarce notic'd in the kindred dusk of eve.
To-morrow brings a change, a total change!
Which even now, though filently perform’d,
And slowly, and by most unfelt, the face
Of universal nature undergoes,
Fast falls a fleecy show'r: the downy flakes
Descending, and, with never-ceasing lapfe,
Softly alighting upon all below,
Affimilate all objects. Earth receives
Gladly the thick’ning mantle, and the green
And tender blade, that fear'd the chilling blaft,
Escapes unhurt beneath fo warm a veil.
In fuch a world, so thorny, and where none
Finds happiness unblighted, or, if found,
Without some thistly forrow at its fide,
It seems the part of wisdom, and no fin
Against the law of love, to measure lots
With less distinguish'd than ourselves, that thus
We may with patience bear our mod'rate ills,
And sympathize with others, fuff'ring more.
In fares the travller now, and he that stalks
In pond'rous boots beside his reeking team.
The wain goes heavily, impeded fore
By congregated loads adhering close
To the clogg’d wheels; and in its sluggish pace,
Noiseless, appears a moving hill of snow.
The toiling steeds expand the noftril wide,
While ev'ry breath, by respiration strong
Forc'd downward, is consolidated foon
Upon their jutting chefts. He, form'd to bear
The pelting brunt of the tempestuous night,
With half-fhut eyes, and pucker'd cheeks, and
Presented bare against the storm, plods on.
One hand secures his hat, fave when with both
He brandishes his pliant length of whip,
Resounding oft, and never heard in vain.
Oh happy! and, in my account, denied
That fenfibility of pain with which
Refinement is endu'd, thrice happy thou.
Thy frame, robust and hardy, feels indeed
The piercing cold, but feels it unimpair'd.
The learned finger never need explore
Thy vig'rous pulse, and the unhealthful East,
That breath-s the fron, ani searches ev'ry bone
Ofthe infrm, is wholesome air to thee.
Thy days roil on exempt from houíhold care;
Thy waggon is thy wife; and the poor beasts
That drag the dull companion to and fro,
Thine helpless charge, dependent on thy care.
Ah, treat them kindly! rude as thou appear'ft,
Yet show that thou hast mercy, which the great
With needless hurry whirld from place to place
Humane as they would seem, not always show.
Poor, yet industrious, modest, quiet, neat,
Such claim compassion in a night like this,
And have a friend in ev'ry feeling heart.
Warm’d, while it lasts, by labour, all day long
They brave the season, and yet find at eve,
Ill clad and fed but-fparely, time to cool.
The frugal housewife trembles when the lights
Her scanty stock of brush-wood, blazing clear,
But dying foon, like all terreftrial joys.
The few small embers left the nurses well,
And while her infant race, with outspread hands
And crowded knees, fit cow'ring o'er the sparks,
Retires, content to quake, so they be warm’d.
The man feels leaft, as more inur'd than she
To winter, and the current in his veins
More briskly mov'd by his severer toil ;
Yet he too finds his own distress in theirs.
The taper soon extinguish'd, which I saw
Dangled along at the cold finger's end
Just when the day declin'd, and the brown loaf
Lodgʻd on the shelf, half eaten without fauce
Of sav'ry cheese, or butter costlier still,
Sleep seems their only refuge : for, alas !
Where penury is felt the thought is chain'd,
And sweet colloquial pleasures are but few.
With all this thrift they thrive not.
Ingenious parfimony takes, but just
Saves the small inventory, bed and stool,
Skillet and old carv'd chest, from public sale.
They live, and live without extorted alms
From grudging hands, but other boast have none
To footh their honest pride, that fcorns to beg;
Nor comfort else, but in their mutual love.
I praise you much, ye meek and patient pair,
For ye are worthy; chusing rather far
A dry but independent cruft, hard earn'd,
And eaten with a figh, than to endure
The rugged frowns and insolent rebuffs
Of knaves in office, partial in the work
Of diftribution ; lib'ral of their aid
To clam'rous importunity in rags,
But-oft-times deaf to suppliants, who would blush
To wear a tatter'd garb however coarse,
Whom famine cannot reconcile to filth ;
These ask with painful shyness, and refus'd
Because deserving, filently retire.
But be ye of good courage. Time itself
Shall much befriend you. Time shall give in-
And all your num'rous progeny, well-train'd
But helpless, in few years shall find their hands,
And labour too. Meanwhile
shall not want What, conscious of your virtues, we can spare, Nor what a wealthier than ourselves may send. I mean the man, who, when the distant poor Need help, denies them nothing but his name.
But poverty, with most who whimper forth, Their long complaints, is self-inflicted woe; Th' effect of laziness or fottish wafte. Now goes the nightly thief prowling abroad For plunder ; much solicitous how beft He may compensate for a day of floth, By works of darkness and nocturnal wrong. Woe to the gard'ner's pale, the farmer's hedge Plash'd neatly, and secur'd with driven stakes Deep in the loamy bank. Uptorn by strength, Refiftlefs in fo bad a cause, but lame To better deeds, he bundles up the spoil, An ass's burthen, and, when laden most And heaviest, light of foot steals fast away. Nor does the boarded hovel better guard The well-ftack'd pile of riven logs and roots From his pernicious force. Nor wil he leave Unwrench'd the door, however well fecur'd, Vol. II.