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together let us tread The morning dews, and gather in their prime • Fresh blooming flowers, to grace thy braided hair.
The subject proposed. Inscribed to the Countess of Hertford.
The Season is described as it affects the various parts of Nature, ascending from the lower to the higher ; with digressions arising from the subject. Its influence on inani. mate Matter, on Vegetables, on brute Animals, and last on Man; concluding with a dissuasive from the wild and irregular passion of Love, opposed to that of a pure and happy kind.
COME, gentle SPRING, ethereal Mildness, come,
O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts
And see where surly WINTER passes off,
While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch,
As yet the trembling year is unconfirm'd,
At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun, :.
Forth fly the tepid airs; and unconfined, Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays. Joyous, the' impatient husbandman perceives Relenting Nature, and his lusty steers Drives from their stalls, to where the well used plough Lies in the furrow, loosen'd from the frost. There, unrefusing, to the harness'd yoke They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil, Cheer'd by the simple song and soaring lark. Meanwhile incumbent o'er the shining share The master leans, removes the obstructing clay, Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe.
While through the neighbouring fields the sower
stalks," With measured step; and liberal throws the grain Into the faithful bosom of the ground: The harrow follows harsh, and shuts the scene.'
Be gracious, Heaven! for now laborious man Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow; Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend ! And temper all, thou world-reviving sun, Into the perfect year! Nor ye who, live In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride, Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear : Such themes as these the rural Maro sung To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height Of elegance and taste, by Greece refined. In ancient times the sacred plough employ'd The kings and awful fathers of mankind : And some, with whom compared your insect-tribes Are but the beings of a summer's day, Have held the scale of empire, ruled the storm Of mighty war; then, with unwearied hand, Disdaining little delicacies, seized The plough, and greatly independent lived.
Ye generous Britons, venerate the plough! And o'er your hills, and long withdrawing vales, Let Autum spread his treasures to the sun, Luxuriant and unbounded : as the sea, Far through his azure turbulent domain, Your empire owns, and from a thousand shores"