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Qr scatters o'er the blooms the pungent duft 132
The north-east fpends his rage; 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 distent. At first a dusky wreath they seem to rise, Scarce ftaļning æther; but by fwift degrees, In heaps on heaps, the doubling vapour fails Along the loaded sky, and mingling deep Sits on th' horizon round a settled gloom : 150 Not such as wintery-storms on mortals shed, Oppressing life; but lovely, gentle, kind, And full of every hope and every joy, The with of Nature. Gradual sinks the breeze Into a perfect calm; that not a breath
155 Is heard to quiver through the closing woods, Or ruftling turn the many twinkling leaves Of aspin tall. Th' uncurling floods, diffus'd In glaffy breadth, seem through delufive lapse
Forgetful of their course. 'Tis filence all, 160
175 The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard, By such as wander through the forest walks, Beneath th’ umbrageous multitude of leaves. But who can hold the shade, while Heaven descends la universal bounty, shedding herbs,
180 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 185 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 Aush
Of broken clouds, gay-shifting to his bezm. 190
213 Then vanish quite away. Still night fucceeds, A fuften'd shade, and saturated earth Awaits the morning-beam, to give to light, Rais'd through ten thousand different plastick 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 botanists to number up their tribes : Whether he steals along the lonely dale, In filent search; or through the forest, rank 225 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 seeds abroad, blown them about in winds, 230 Innumerous mix’d them with the pursing 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, 235 While yet he liv'd in innocence, and told A length of golden years; unflesh'd in blood, A stranger to the favage arts of life, Death, rapine, carnage, surfeit, and disease ; The lord, and not the tyrant, of the world. 240
The first fresh dawn then wak’d the gladden'd race Of uncorrupted man, nor blush'd to see The sluggard sleep beneath its sacred beam : For their light slumbers gently fum'd away; And up they rose as vigorous as the sun,
245 Or to the culture of the willing glebe, Or to the chearful tendance of the flock. Meantime the song went round; and dance and sport, Wisdom and friendly talk, fuccessive, stole.
Their hours away; while in the rofy vale
275 Which forms the soul of happiness;, and all. Is off the poise within : the paffions all Have burst their bounds; and reason, half extinct, Or impotent, or else approving, fees