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Their length and color from the locks they spare ; . Th' elastic spring of an unwearied foot That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the
fence, That play of lungs inhaling and again Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me, Mine have not pilfer'd yet ;, nor yet impair'd My relish of fair prospect ; scenes that sooth'd Or charm'd me young, no longer young, I find Still foothing and of power to charm me ftill. And witness, dear companion of my walks.. Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive Fat lock'd in mine, with pleasure such as love Confirm’d.by long experience of thy worth And well-tried virtues could alone inspireWitness a joy that thou hast doubled long. Thou know'st my praise of nature most sincere, And that my raptures are not conjur’d up To serve occasions of poetic pomp, . But genuine, and art partner of them all. How oft upon yon eminence, our pace Has llacken’d to a pause, and we have borne The ruffling wind scarce conscious that it blews While admiration feeding at the eye,
And fill unsated, dwelt upon the scene.
His lab’ring team that swery'd not from the track, . The sturdy fwain diminish'd to a boy!
Here Ouse, flow winding through a level plain
Displaying on its varied fide, the grace 1 Of hedge-row beauties numberless, square tow'r,
Tall spire, from which the sound of chearful bells Just undulates upon the list’ning ear ; Groves, heaths, and smoking villages remote. Scenes must be Leautiful which daily view'd Please daily, and whose novelty survives Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years. Praise justly due to those that I describe.
Nor rural fights alone, but rural sounds Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid Nature. Mighty winds That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading wood Of ancient growth, make music not unlike The dash of ocean on his winding more, And lull the spirit while they fill the mind; Unnumber'd branches waving in the blast, And all their leaves fast flutt'ring, all at once. Nor less composure' waits upon the roar Of distant floods, or on the softer voice Of neighb'ring fountain, or of rills that slip Through the cleft rock, and chiming as they fall Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length In matted grass, that with a livelier green Betrays the secret of their silent course. Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds, But animated Nature sweeter still, To sooth and satisfy the human ear. Ten thousand warblers chear the day, and one, The live-long night: nor these alone, whose notes Nice-finger'd art must emulate in vain, But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublimé In still repeated circles, screaming loud ; The jay, the pie, and ev'n' the boding owl
That hails the rising moon, have charms for me. · Sounds inharmonious in themselves and harsh,
Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns, And only there, please highly for their fake.
Peace to the artist, whose ingenious thought Devised the weather-house, that useful toy! Fearlefs of humid air and gathering rains. Forth steps the man, an emblem of myself, More delicate his tim'rous mate retires. When Winter soaks the fields, and female feet Too weak to struggle with tenacious clay, Or ford the rivulets, are best at home, The task of new discov’ries falls on me. At such a season and with such a charge Once went I forth, and found, till then unknown, A cottage, whither oft we fince repair : 'Tis perch'd upon the green-hill top, but close Environ'd with a ring of branching elms That overhang the thatch, itself unseen, Peeps at the vale below ; so thick beset With foliage of such dark redundant growth, I calls the low-roof'd lodge the peasant's neft. And hidden as it is, and far remote From such unpleasing sounds as haunt the ear In village or in town, the bay of curs Incessant, clinking hammers, grinding wheels, And infants clam'rous whether pleas'd or pain'd,
Oft have I wish'd the peaceful covet mine.
Not distant far, at length a colonade