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W I N T E R.



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.

EE, Winter comes, to rule the varied

Sullen and fad, with all his rising train :
Vapours, and Clouds, and Storms. Be these my theme,
These! that exalt the soul to folemn thought,
And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms! s
Congenial horrors, hail! with frequent foot,
Pleas'd have I, in my chearful morn of life,
When nurs’d by careless solitude I liv’d,
And sung of Nature with unceasing joy,
Pleas'd have I wander'd through your rough domain ;



Trod the pure virgin-snows, myself as pure;
Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst;
Or seen the deep fermenting tempest brew'd,
In the grim evening sky. Thus pass’d the time,
Till through the lucid chambers of the south 15
Look'd out the joyous Spring, look'd out, and simild.

To thee, the patron of her first essay,
The Muse, O Wilmington! renews her song.
Since has she rounded the revolving year:
Skiin'd the gay Spring; on eagle-pinions borne,
Attempted through the Summer-blaze to rise;
Then swept o’er Autumn with the shadowy gale;
And now among the wintery clouds again,
Roll'd in the doubling storm, she tries to soar;
To swell her note with all the rushing winds;
To suit her founding cadence to the floods;
As is her theme, her numbers wildly great:
Thrice happy! could she fill thy judging ear
With bold description, and with manly thought.
Nor art thou skill'd in awful schemes alone,
And how to make a mighty people thrive :
But equal goodness, found integrity,
A firm unshaken uncorrupted soul
Amid a sliding age, and burning strong,
Not vainly blazing for thy country's weal,

A steady spirit regularly free;
These, each exalting each, the statesman light
Into the patriot; these, the public hope
And eye to thee converting, bid the Muse
Record what envy dares not flattery call.

40 Now

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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,

70 Resounding





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,




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Calm, sluggish, filent; till again, constrain'd
Between two meeting hills, it bursts away,
Where rocks and woods o’erhang the turbid stream;
There gathering triple force, rapid, and deep,
It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders through.

Nature! great parent ! whose unceasing hand
Rolls round the seasons of the changeful year,
How mighty, how majestic, are thy works !
With what a pleasing dread they swell the soul !
That sees astonish'd! and astonish'd fings!
Ye too, ye winds! that now begin to blow,
With boisterous sweep, I raise my voice to you.
Where are your stores, ye powerful beings! say,

aërial magazines reserv’d,
To fwell the brooding terrors of the storm ? 115
In what far-distant region of the sky,
Hulh'd in deep silence, sleep ye when 'tis calm ?

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




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