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THE TASK.

BOOK VI.

Bells at a distanceTheir effect.--A fine noon in

winter. -A sheltered walk. -Meditation better than

books.Our familiarity with the course of nature makes it appear less wonderful than it is.--The transformation that spring effects in a shrubbery de scribed.--A mistake concerning the course of nature corrected.God maintains it by an unremitted act. -The amusements fashionable at this hour of the day reproved.--Animals happy, a delightful sight.Origin of cruelty to animals.That it is a great crime proved from Scripture.That proof illustrated by a tale.A line drawn between the lawful and unlawful destruction of them.Their good and useful properties insisted on.— Apology for the encomiums bestowed by the author on animals. Instances of man's extravagant praise of man.The groans of the creation shall have an end.— A view taken of the restoration of all things.--An invocation and an invitation of Him who shall bring it to pass.-The retired man vindicated from the charge of uselessness.— Conclusion.

THE TA S K.

BOOK VI.

THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.

There is in souls a sympathy with sounds,
And as the mind is pitch'd the ear is pleas'd
With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies.
How soft the music of those village bells,
Falling at intervals

upon
In cadence sweet, now dying all away,
Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
With easy force it opens

all the cells Where Mem’ry slept. Wherever I have heard A kindred melody, the scene recurs,

the ear

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And with it all it's pleasures and it's pains.
Such comprehensive views the spirit takes,
That in a few short moments I retrace
(As in a map

the
voyager

his course)
The windings of my way through many years.
Short as in retrospect the journey seems,
It seem'd not always short; the rugged path, 20
And prospect oft so dreary and forlorn,
Mov’d many a sigh at it's disheart'ning length.
Yet feeling present evils, while the past
Faintly impress the mind, or not at all,
How readily we wish time spent revok’d,
That we might try the ground again, where once
(Through inexperience, as we now perceive)
We miss'd that happiness we might have found!
Some friend is gone, perhaps, his son's best friend,
A father, whose authority, in show
When most severe, and mustring all it's force,
Was but the graver countenance of love;
Whose favour, like the clouds of spring, mightlow'r,

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And utter now and then an awful voice,
But had a blessing in it's darkest frown,
Threat’ning at once and nourishing the plant.
We lov’d, but not enough, the gentle hand,
That rear'd us. At a thoughtless age, allur’d
By ev'ry gilded folly, we renounc'd
His shelt’ring side, and wilfully forewent
That converse, which we now in vain regret.
How gladly would the man recall to life
The boy's neglected sire! a mother too,
That softer friend, perhaps more gladly still,
Might he demand them at the gates of death. .
Sorrow has, since they went, subdu'd and tam’d
The playful humour; he could now endure,
(Himself grown sober in the vale of tears)
And feel a parent's presence no restraint.
But not to understand a treasure's worth,
Till time has stol'n away the slighted good,
Is cause of half the poverty we feel,
And makes the World the wilderness it is,

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