« PreviousContinue »
Is dreary, fo with him all seasons please.
Though winter had been none, had man been
And earth be punished for its tenant's sake,
Yet not in vengeance; as this smiling sky,
So foon fucceeding such an angry night,
And these diffolving snows, and this clear stream
Recov'ring fast its liquid music, prove.
Who then, that has a mind well ftrung and
To contemplation, and within his reach
A scene fo friendly to his fav’rite task,
Would waste attention at the chequer'd board,
His host of wooden warriors to and fro
Marching and counter-marching, with an eye
As fixt as marble, with a forehead ridg'd
And furrow'd into storms, and with a hand
Trembling, as if eternity were hung
In balance on his conduct of a pin?
Nor envies he aught more their idle sport,
Who pant with application mifapplied
To trivial toys, and, pushing iv'ry balls
Across the velvet level, feel a joy
Akin to rapture, when the bawble finds
Its destin'd goal, of difficult access.
Nor deems he wiser him, who gives his noon
To Miss, the Mercer's plague, from shop to shop
Wand'ring, and litt'ring with unfolded filks
The polith'd counter, and approving none,
Or promising with smiles to call again.
Nor him, who by his vanity seduc'd,
And sooth'd into a dream that he discerns
The diff'rence of a Guido from a daub,
Frequents the crowded auction. Station's there
As duly as the Langford of the show,
With glass at eye, and catalogue in hand,
And tongue accomplish'd in the fulsome cant
And pedantry that coxcombs learn with ease;
Oft as the price-deciding hammer falls
He notes it in his book, then raps his box,
Swears 'tis a bargain, rails at his hard fate
That he has let it pass—but never bids.
Here, unmolested, through whatever fign
The fun proceeds, I wander. Neither mift,
Nor freezing sky, nor sultry, checking me,
Nor stranger intermeddling with my joy.
Evin in the spring and play-time of the year
That calls th' unwonted villager abroad
With all her little ones, a sportive train,
To gather king-cups in the yellow mead,
And prink their hair with daisies, or to pick
A cheap but wholesome fallad from the brook,
These shades are all my
The tim'rous hare,
Grown fo familiar with her frequent guest,
Scarce shuns me; and the stock-dove, unalarm’d,
Sits cooing in the pine-tree, nor suspends
His long love-ditty for my near approach.
Drawn from his refuge in some lonely elm
That age or injury has hollow'd deep,
Where, on his bed of wool and matted leaves,
He has outflept the winter, ventures forth
To frisk awhile, and balk in the warm fun,
The squirrel, flippant, pert, and full of play:
He fees me, and at once, swift as a bird,
Ascends the neighb'ring beech ; there whisks his
And perks his ears, and stamps and scolds aloud,
With all the prettiness of feign'd alarm,
And anger insignificantly fierce.
The heart is hard in nature, and unfit For human fellowship, as being void Of fympathy, and therefore dead alike To love and friendship both, that is not pleas'd With fight of animals enjoying life, Nor feels their happiness augment his own. The bounding fawn that darts across the glade When none pursues, through mere delight of
heart, And spirits buoyant with excess of glee ; The horse as wanton, and almost as fleet, That skims the spacious meadow at full speed, Then stops and snorts, and, throwing high his
heels, Starts to the voluntary race again ; The very kine that gambol at high noon,
The total herd receiving first from one
That leads the dance, a summons to be gay,
Though wild their strange vagaries, and uncouth
Their efforts, yet resolv'd with one consent
To give such act and utt'rance as they may
To extasy too big to be fupprefs’d-
These, and a thousand images of bliss,
With which kind nature graces ev'ry scerie,
Where cruel man defeats not her design,
Impart to the benevolent, who wish
All that are capable of pleasure, pleas'd,
A far superior happiness to theirs,
The comfort of a reasonable joy.
Man scarce had ris'n, obedient to his call
Who form'd him from the dust, his future grave,
When he was crown'd as never king was fince.
God set the diadem upon his head,
And angel choirs attended. Wond'ring stood
The new-made monarch, while before him passid,
All happy, and all perfect in their kind,
The creatures, fummon'd from their various haunts
To see their fov'reign, and confess his fway :
Vast was his empire, absolute his pow'r,
Or bounded only by a law whose foree
'Twas his sublimest privilege to feel
And own, the law of universal love.
He rul'd with meekness, they obey'd with joy;
No cruel purpose lurk'd within his heart,
And no distrust of his intent in theirs.
So Eden was a scene of harmless sport,
Where kindness on his part who ruld the whole
Begat a tranquil confidence in all,
And fear as yet was not, nor cause for fear.
But sin marr'd all
and the revolt of
That source of evils, not exhausted yet,
Was punish'd with revolt of his from him.
Garden of God, how terrible the change
Thy groves and lawns then witness’d! ev'ry heart,
Each animal of ev'ry name, conceiv'd
A jealousy and an instinctive fear,
And, conscious of some danger, either fled
Precipitate the loath'd abode of man,
Or growld defiance in such angry fort,
As taught him too to tremble in his turn.
Thus harmony and family accord
Were driv’n from Paradise ; and in that hour
The seeds of cruelty, that since have swellid
To such gigantic and enormous growth,
Were sown in human nature's fruitful foil.
Hence date the perfecution and the pain
That man inflicis on all inferior kinds,
Regardless of their plaints. To make him sport,
Or his base gluttony, are causes good
And juft, in his account, why bird and beast
Should suffer torture, and the streams be dy'd
With blood of their inhabitants impal'd.