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COME, gentle Spring, ethereal Mildness, come,
And from the bofom of yon dropping cloud,
While music wakes around, veil'd in a shower
Of fhadowing roses, on our plains descend.
O HARTFORD, fitted or to shine in courts
With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
With innocence and meditation join'd
In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
Which thy own Season paints ; when Nature all
1: blooming and benevolent, like thee.
And see where furly Winter passes off,
Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts :
His blafts obey, and quit the howling hill,
The shatter'd forest, and the ravag'd vale ;
While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch,
Dissolving snows in livid torrents loft,
The mountains lift their green heads to the sky.
As yet the trembling year is unconfirm'd,
And Winter oft at eve resumes the breeze,
Chills the pale morn, and bids his driving fleets
Deform the day delightless; so that scarce
The bittern knows his time, with bill ingulph'd
To shake the founding marsh ; or from the shore
The plovers when to scatter o'er the heath,
And fing their wild notes to the listening waste.
At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun,
And the bright Bull receives him. Then no more
Th' expanfive atmosphere is cramp'd with cold ;
But, full of life and vivifying foul,
Lifts the light clouds sublime, and spreads them thin,
Fleecy and white, o'er all furrounding heaven.
Forth fy the tepid airs; and unconfin’d, Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays. Joyous, th' impatient husbandman perceives Relenting Nature, and his lusty fteers Drives from their stalls, to where the well-us'd 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 th' obftructing clay, Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe.
While thro' the neighb'ring fields the fower ftalks, With measur’d step, and liberal throws the grain Into the faithful bofom 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 foftening dews, ye tender showers, descend! And temper all, thou world-reviving fun, Into the perfect year! Nor ye who live In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride, Think these loft 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 refin'd. In ancient times, the sacred plough employ'd The kings, and awful fathers of mankind : And some, with whom compar'd your infect-tribes Are but the beings of a summer's day, Have held the scale of empire, ruld the storm Of mighty war; then, with unweary'd hand, Disdaining little delicacies, seiz'd The plough, and greatly independent liv'd.
Ye generous BRITONS, venerate the plough; And o’er your hills, and long withdrawing vales, Let Autumn spread his treasures to the sun,
Luxuriant and unbounded : as the sea,
Far thro' his azure turbulent domain,
Your empire owns, and from a thousand shores
Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports ;
So with superior boon may your rich foil,
Exuberant, Nature's better blessings pour
O’er ev'ry land, the naked nations clothe,
And be th' exhaustless granary of a world !
Nor only thro' the lenient air this change,
Delicious, breathes ; the penetrative sun,
His force deep-darting to the dark retreat
Of vegetation, fets the steaming Power
At large, to wander o’er the vernant earth,
In various hues; but chiefly thee, gay Green!
Thou smiling Nature's universal robe !
United light and shade! where the fight dwells
With growing strength, and ever-new delight.
From the moist meadow to the wither'd hill, Led by the breeze, the vivid verdure runs, And swells, and deepens, to the cherish'd eye. The hawthorn whitens ; and the juicy groves Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees, Till the whole leafy forest stands display'd, In full luxuriance to the fighing gales ; Where the deer rustle thro' the twining brake,
And the birds fing conceald. At once array'd
In all the colours of the flushing year,
By Nature's swift and secret-working hand,
The garden glows, and fills the liberal air
With lavish fragrance ; while the promis'd fruit
Lies yet a little embryo, unperceiv'd,
Within its crimfon folds. Now from the town
Buried in smoke, and sleep, and noisome damps,
Oft let me wander o’er the dewy fields,
Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling drops
From the bent bush, as thro' the verdant maze
Of sweet-briar bedges I pursue my walk ;
Or taste the smell of dairy ; or ascend
Some eminence, AUGUSTA, in thy plains,
And see the country, far diffus’d around,
One boundless blush, one white-empurpled shower
Of mingled blossoms; where the raptur'd eye
Hurries from joy to joy, and, hid beneath
The fair profufion, yellow Autumn spies.
If, brush'd from Ruffian wilds, a cutting gale
Rise not, and scatter from his humid wings
The clammy mildew; or, dry-blowing, breathe
Untimely frost; before whose baleful blast
The full-blown Spring thro' all her foliage shrinks,
Joyless and dead, a wide-dejected waste.