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The sun's meridian disk, and at the back
Enjoy close shelter, wall, or reeds, or hedge
Impervious to the wind. First he bids spread
Dry fern or litter'd hay, that may imbibe
Th' ascending damps ; then leisurely impose,
And lightly, shaking it with agile hand
From the full fork, the faturated ftraw.
What longest binds the closest, forms secure
The shapely fide, that as it rises takes,
By just degrees, an overhanging breadth,
Shelt'ring the base with its projected eaves.
Th' uplifted frame, compact at ev'ry joint,
And overlaid with clear translucent glass,
He settles next upon the sloping mount,
Whose sharp declivity shoots off secure
From the dash'd pane the deluge as it falls.
He shuts it close, and the first labour ends.
Thrice must the voluble and restless earth
Spin round upon her axle, ere the warmth,
Slow gathering in the midst, through the square
Diffus'd, attain the surface : when, behold !
A pestilent and most corrosive steam,
Like a grofs fog Baotian, rising fast,
And fast condens'd upon the dewry fash,
Alks egress; which obtain'd, the overcharg'd
And drench'd conservatory breathes abroad,
In volumes wheeling flow, the vapour dank,
And purified, rejoices to have lost
Its foul inhabitant. But to affuage
Th' impatient fervour which it firft conceives
Within its reeking bosom, threat’ning death
To his young hopes, requires discreet delay.
Experience, flow preceptress, teaching oft
The way to glory by miscarriage foul,
Must prompt him, and admonish how to catch
Th’ auspicious moment, when the temper'd
Friendly to vital motion, may afford
Soft fomentation, and invite the feed.
The seed, selected wisely, plump, and smooth,
And glofly, he commits to pots of size
Diminutive, well fill'd with well-prepar'd
And fruitful foil, that has been treasur'd long,
And drank no moisture from the dripping clouds :
These, on the warm and genial earth that hides
The smoking manure, and o'erspreads it all,
He places lightly, and as time fubdues
The rage of fermentation, plunges deep
In the soft medium, till they stand immers'd.
Then rise the tender germs, upstarting quick,
And spreading wide their spongy lobes, at firft
Pale, wan, and livid, but assuming soon,
If fann'd by balmy and nutritious air,
Strain'd through the friendly mats, a vivid green.
Two leaves produc'd, two rough indented leaves,
Cautious, he pinches from the second stalk
A pimple, that portends a future fprout,
And interdicts its growth. Thence straight fuc-
The branches, sturdy to his utmost wish,
Prolific all, and harbingers of more.
The crowded roots demand enlargement now,
And transplantation in an ampler space.
Indulg'd in what they wish, they foon fupply
Large foliage, overshadowing golden flowers,
Blown on the summit of th' apparent fruit.
These have their fexes, and when summer shines
The bee transports the fertilizing meal
From flow'r to flow'r, and ev'n the breathing air
Wafts the rich prize to its appointed use.
Not so when winter scowls. Affiftant art
Then acts in nature's office, brings to pass
The glad espousals, and insures the crop.
Grudge not, ye rich, (since luxury must have His dainties, and the world's more num'rous half Lives by contriving delicates for you) Grudge not the cost. Ye little know the cares, The vigilance, the labour, and the skill, That day and night are exercis’d, and hang Upon the ticklish balance of suspense, That he may garnish your profuse regales
With summer fruits brought forth by wintry suns.
Ten thousand dangers lie in wait to thwart
The process. Heat and cold, and wind and
Moisture and drought, mice, worms, and swarm-
Minute as duft and numberless, oft work
Dire disappointment that admits no cure,
And which no care can obviate. It were long,
Too long, to tell th' expedients and the shifts
Which he that fights a season so severe
Devises, while he guards his tender trust,
And oft, at last, in vain. The learn'd and wife
Sarcastic would exclaim, and judge the song
Cold as its theme, and, like its theme, the fruit
Of too much labour, worthless when produc'd.
Who loves a garden, loves a green-house too.
Unconscious of a less propitious clime,
There blooms exotic beauty, warm and snug,
While the winds whistle and the snows defcend.
The spiry myrtle with unwith'ring leaf
Shines there and flourishes. The golden boast
Of Portugal and western India there,
The ruddier orange and the paler lime,
Peep through their polish'd foliage at the storm,
And seem to smile at what they need not fear.
Th’amomum there with intermingling flow'rs
And cherries hangs her twigs. Geranium boasts
Her crimson honours, and the spangled beau,
Ficoides, glitters bright the winter long.
All plants, of ev'ry leaf, that can endure
The winter's frown, if screen'd from his shrewd
Live there and prosper. Those Ausonia claims,
Levantine regions these ; th' Azores fend
Their jeffamine, her jeffamine remote
Caffraia ; foreigners from many lands,
They form one social shade, as if conven'd
By magic summons of th’Orphean lyre.
Yet just arrangement, rarely brought to pass
But by a master's hand, disposing well
The gay diversities of leaf and flow'r,
Muft lend its aid t'illustrate all their charms,
And dress the regular yet various scene.
Plant behind plant aspiring, in the van
The dwarfish, in the rear retir'd, but still
Sublime above the reft, the statelier stand.
So once were rang’d the sons of ancient Rome,
A nobler show! while Roscius trod the stage ;
And so, while Garrick, as renown'd as he,
The sons of Albion ; fearing each to lose
Some note of Nature's music from his lips,
And covetous of Shakespeare's beauty, feen
In ev'ry flash of his far-beaming eye.
Nor taste alone and well-conrriv'd display
Suffice to give the marshall'd ranks the grace