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For oft, engender'd by the hazy north,
Myriads on myriads, insect armies warp
Keen in the poison'd brecze; and wasteful eat,
Thro' buds and bark, into the blacken'd core,
Their eager way. A feeble race ! yet oft
The sacred sons of vengeance; on whose course
Corrosive famine waits, and kills the year. X
To check this plague, the skilful farmer chaff,
And blazing ftraw, before his orchard burns ;
Till, all involv'd in smoke, the latent foe
From every cranny
suffocated falls :
Or scatters o'er the blooms the pungent duft
pepper, fatal to the frosty tribe :
Or, when th' envenom'd leaf begins to curl,
With sprinkled water drowns them in their neft ;
Nor, while they pick them up with busy bill,
The little trooping birds unwisely scares.
Be patient, swains; these cruel-feeming winds
Blow not in vain. Far hence they keep repress'd
Those deep'ning clouds on clouds, surcharg'd with rain,
That o'er the vast Atlantic hither borne,
In endless train, would quench the summer-blaze,
And, cheerless, drown the crude unripen'd year.
The north-east spends his
he now shut up Within his iron cave, th' effusive south
Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers diftent.
At first a dusky wreath they seem to rise,
Scarce staining ether ; but by swift degrees,
In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour fails
Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep
Sits th' horizon round a settled gloom :
Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed,
Opprefling life ; but lovely, gentle, kind,
And full of every hope and every joy,
The wish of Nature. Gradual finks the breeze
Into a perfect calm ; that not a breath
Is heard to quiver thro' the closing woods,
Or rustling turn the many twinkling leaves
Of alpin tall. Th' uncurling floods, diffus'd
In glaffy breadth, seem thro' delusive lapse
Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all,
And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks
Drop the dry sprig, and mute-imploring eye.
The falling verdure. Hush'd in short fufpence,
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off ;
And wait th' approaching sign to strike, at once,
Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales,
And forests seem, impatient, to demand
The promis'd sweetness. Man superior walks
Amid the glad creation, musing praise,
And looking lively gratitude. At last,
The clouds consign their treasures to the fields ;
And, softly shaking on the dimpled pool
Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow,
In large effufion, o'er the freshen'd world.
The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard,
By such as wander thro' the forest walks,
Beneath the umbrageous multitude of leaves.
But who can hold the shade, while Heaven descends
In univerfal bounty, shedding herbs,
And fruits, and flowers, on Nature's ample lap?
Swift fancy fir'd anticipates their growth ;
And, while the milky nutriment distils,
Beholds the kindling country colour round.
Thus all day long the full-diftended clouds
Indulge their genial stores, and well-shower'd earth
Is deep enrich'd with vegetable life;
Till, in the western sky, the downward fun
Looks out, effulgent, from amid the flush
Of broken clouds, gay, shifting to his beam.
The rapid radiance instantaneous strikes
Th' illumin'd mountain, thro' the forest streams,
Shakes on the floods, and in a yellow mist,
Far smoking o'er th' interminable plain,
In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems.
Moist, bright, and green, the landscape laughs around.
Full swell the woods; their very music wakes,
Mix'd in wild concert with the warbling brooks
Increas'd, the distant bleatings of the hills,
And hollow lows responsive from the vales,
Whence blending all the sweeten’d zephyr springs.
Mean time, refracted from yon caftern cloud,
Beftriding earth, the grand ethereal bow
immenfe ; and every hue unfolds,
In fair proportion running from the red,
To where the violet fades into the sky.
Here, awful Newton, the diffolving clouds
Form, fronting on the sun, thy showery prism;
And to the fage-instructed eye unfold
The various twine of light, by the disclos'd
From the white mingling maze.
Not so the boy ;
He wondering views the bright enchantment bend,
Delightful, o'er the radiant fields, and runs
To catch the falling glory ; but amaz’d
Beholds the amusive arch before him fly,
Then vanish quite away. Still night succeeds,
A soften'd shade, and saturated earth
Awaits the morning-beam, to give to light,
Rais'd thro' ten thousand different plastic tubes,
The balmy treasures of the former day.
Then spring the living herbs, profusely wild,
O’er all the deep-green earth, beyond the power
Of botanist to number up their tribes :
Whether he fteals along the lonely dale,
In filent search ; or thro' the forest, rank
With what the dull incurious weeds account,
Bursts his blind way; or climbs the mountain-rock,
Fir'd by the nodding verdure of its brow.
With such a liberal hand has Nature flung
Their feeds abroad, blown them about in winds,
Innumerous mix'd them with the nursing mold,
The moistening current, and prolific rain.
But who their virtues can declare? who pierce,
With vision pure, into these secret stores
Of health, and life, and joy ? the food of Man,
While yet he liv'd in innocence, and told
A length of golden years; unflesh'd in blood,
A stranger to the savage arts of life,
Death, rapine, carnage, surfeit, and disease ;
The lord, and not the tyrant, of the world.
The first fresh dawn then wak'd the gladden'd race
Of uncorrupted Man, nor blush'd to fee
The sluggard sleep beneath its facred beam: