« 上一頁繼續 »
W I N T E R.
Τ Η Ε Α R GU Μ Ε Ν Τ.
The subject proposed. Address to the earl of Wil
mington. First approach of Winter. According to the natural course of the season, various storms defcribed. Rain. Wind. Snow. The driving of the snows : a man perishing among them ; whence reflections on the wants and miseries of human life. The wolves descending from the Alps and Apennines. A winter evening described : as fpent by philofophers; by the country people; in the city. Frost. A view of Winter within the Polar Circle. A thaw. The whole concluding with moral reflections on a future ftate.
Trod the pure virgin-snows, myself as pure;
To thee, the patron of her first essay,
Now when the chearless empire of the sky To Capricorn the Centaur Archer yields, And fierce Aquarius ftains th’inverted year; Hung o'er the farthest verge of heaven, the sun Scarce spreads through æther the dejected day. 45 Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot His struggling rays, in horizontal lines, Through the thick air ; as, cloath'd in cloudy storm, Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the fouthern sky; And, soon-descending, to the long dark night,
50 Wide-shading all, the proftrate world resigns. Nor is the night unwish’d; while vital heat, Light, life, and joy, the dubious day forsake. Meantime, in sable cincture, shadows valt, Deep-ting'd and damp, and congregated clouds,
55 And all the vapoury turbulence of heaven, Involve the face of things. Thus Winter falls, A heavy gloom oppressive o'er the world, Through nature thedding influence malign, And rouses up the seeds of dark disease. The soul of man dies in him, loathing life, And black with more than melancholy views. The cattle droop; and o’er the furrow'd land, Fresh from the plough, the dun discolour'd flocks, Untended spreading, crop the wholesome root. Along the woods, along the moorish fens, Sighs the fad Genius of the coming storm ; And up among the loose disjointed cliffs, 'And fractur’d mountains wild, the brawling brook And cave, prefageful, send a hollow moan,
Resounding long in liftening Fancy's ear.
Then comes the father of the tempeft forth, Wrapt in black glooms. First joyless rains obfcure Drive through the mingling skies with vapour Dash on the mountain's brow, and shake the woods, 75 That grumbling wave below. Th' unfightly plain Lies a brown deluge; as the low-bent clouds Pour flood on flood, yet unexhausted still Combine, and deepening into night shut up The day's fair face. The wanderers of heaven, Each to his home, retire; save those that love To take their pastime in the troubled air, Or skimming futter round the dimply pool. The cattle from th' untasted fields return, And ask, with meaning lowe, their wonted stalls, 85 Or ruminate in the contiguous shade. Thither the houshold feathery people crowd, The crested cock, with all his female train, Pensive, and dripping; while the cottage-hind Hangs o'er th’enlivening blaze, and taleful there 90 Recounts his simple frolick: much he talks, And much he laughs, nor recks the storm that blows Without, and rattles on his humble roof.
Wide o'er the brim, with many a torrent swell’d, And the mix'd ruin of its banks o'erspread, 95 At last the rous'd-up river pours along : Resistless, roaring, dreadful, down it comes, From the rude mountain, and the mofly wild, Tumbling through rocks abrupt, and founding far; Then o'er the fanded valley floating spreads,
Calm, sluggish, filent; till again, constrain'd
Nature! great parent ! whose unceasing hand
aërial magazines reserv’d,
When from the pallid sky the sun descends, With many a spot, that o'er his glaring orb Uncertain wanders, stain'd; red fiery streaks Begin to flush around. The reeling clouds Stagger with dizzy poise, as doubting yet Which master to obey : while rising flow, Blank, in the leaden-colour'd east, the moon Wears a wan circle round her blunted horns. Seen through the turbid Auctuating air, The stars obtuse emit a shiver'd ray; Or frequent seem to shoot athwart the gloom, And long behind them trail the whitening blaze. Snatch'd in short eddies, plays the wither'd leaf ; 130