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O Nymph, approach ! while yet the temperate sua. With, bashful forehead, thro' the cool moist air
Throws his young maiden beams ,
And with chaste kisses woos
The earth's fair bosom; while the streaming veil Of lucid clouds with kind and'frequent shade
Protects thy modest blooms
From his severer blaze ,
Sweet is thy reign, but short; the red Dog-star Shall scorch thy tresses , and the mower's scythe
Thy greens , thy flow'rets all f
Remorseless shall destroy.
Reluctant shall I bid t hce then farewell;
For O! not all that Autumn's lap enntains,
Nor Summer's ruddiest iruits ,
Can aught for thee attone.
Fair Spring! whose simplest promise more delights
Than all their largest wealth, and thro' the heart
Each joy and new-born hope
With softest iniluence breathes.
Chap. X XV I I.
Domestic Love and Happiness.
Happy they ! the happiest of their kind! Whom gentler stars unite , and in one fate Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings bUnd. Tis not the coarser tie of human laws , Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind , That binds their peace , but harmony itself, Attuning all their passions into love; Where Friendship full exerts her softest power: Perfect esteem , enliven'd by desire Ineffable, and sympathy of soul } Thought meeting thought , and will proven I i si g
will, With boundless confidence : for nought but lov« Can answer love , and render bliss secure.
Let him, ungenerous, who alone, intent
To bless himself, from sordid parents buys
The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
Well-merited , consume his nights and days:
Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love
Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel;
Let eastern tyrants from the light ol heaven
Seclude their bosom-slaves, meauly possess'd
Of a mere lifeless, violated form:
While those whom love cements in holy faith „
And equal transport, free as nature live ,
Disdaining fear. What is the world to them r
Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all?
Who in each other clasp whatever fair
High fancy forms , and lavish hearts can wish;
Something than beauty dearer, should they look
Or on the mind , or mind-illumin' d face;
Truth , Goodness , Honour, Harmony , and Love ,
The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven.
Mean-time a smiling offspring rises round,.
And Mingles both their graces. By degrees,
The human blossom blows -r and every day ,
Soft as it rolls along, shews some new charm,.
The lather's lustre , and the mother's bloom.
Then infant Reason grows apace, and calls
For the kind hand of an assiduous care*.
Delightful task! to rear the tender Thought ,
To teach the young Idea how to shoot-,
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
To breathe enlivening spirit, and to fix
The generous purpose in the glowing breast ,
Oh I speak the joy ! ye whom the sudden tear
Surprises often , while you, look around ,
And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss J
All various nature pressing on the heart:
An elegant sufficiency, content,
Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease and alternate labour, useful life,
Progressive virtue , and approving Heaven.
These are the matchless joys of virtuous love;
And thus their moments fly. The Seasons thus,
As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll,
Still find them happy ; and consenting Spring
Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads:
Till evening comes at last, serene and mild:
When after the long vernal day of life ,
Enamour'd more , as more resemblance swells ,
With many a proof of recollected love ,
Together down they sink in social sleep;
Together freed , their gentle spirits fly
To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign.
The Pleasures of Retirement.
knew he but his happiness I of men. The happiest he, who far from public rage , Deep in the vale, with a choice few retir'd Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life. What tho' the dome be wanting, whose proud
gate , Each morning vomits out the sneaking crowd Of flatl'rers false , and in their turn abus'd? Vile intercourse! What tho' the glittering robe. Of every hue reflected light can give , Or floated loose , or stiff with mazy gold, The pride and gaze of fools, oppress him not? What tho', from utmost land and sea purvey'd , For him each rarer tributary life Bleeds not, and his insatiate table heapsWith luxury and death? What tho' his bowl Flames not with costly juice ; nor sunk in beds Oft of gay Care , he tosses out the night, Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state? What tho' he knows not those fantastic joys . That still amuse the 'wanton , still deceive; A face , of pleasure but a heart of pain; Their tallow moments undelighted all I Sure peace is his; a solid life , estrnng'd To disappointment and fallacious hope:
Rich in Content, in Nature's bounty rich ,
In kerbs and fruits; whatever greens the spring,
When heaven descends in show'is ; or bends the
When summer reddens, and when automn beams;
Or in the wiut'ry glebe -whatever lies
Com i.al'ii, and fattens with the richest sap:
These are not wanting: nor the milky drove ,
Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale:
Nor bleating mountains; nor the chide of streams,
And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere
Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade,
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay;
Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song,
Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountain clear.
Here too dwells simple Truth ; plain Innocence;
Unsullied Beauty ; sound unbroken Youth,
Patient of labour .with a little pleas'd;
Health ever blooming; unambitious Toil;
Calm Contemplation , and poetic Ease.
The rage of nations, and the crush of states . Move not the man , who , from the world escap'd, In still retreats , and tfow'ry solitudes , To Nature's voice attends , from month to month, And day to day, thro' the revolving year; Admiring, sees her in her every shape; Feels all Tier sweet emotions at his heart; Takes what she lib'ral gives, nor thinks of more. He, when young spring protrudes the barsting
gems , Marks the first bud , and sucks the healthful gal« Into his freshen'd soul; her genial hours He full enjoys; and not a beauty blows, And not an opening blossom, breathes in vain. In Summer he, beneath the living shade Such as o'er frigid Tempe wont to w*ve , Or Hemus coof, reads what the Muse, of these Perhaps, has in immortal numbers sung; Or what she dictates , writes: and oft an eye Shot round , rejoices in the vigorous year. When Automa's yellow lustre gilds the world
And tempts the sickled swain into the field ,
Seiz'd by the general joy his heart distends
With gentle throes; and thro' the tepid gleams
Deep musing, then he best exerts his song.
Even Winter wild to him is full of bliss:
The mighty tempest, and the hoary waste,
Abrupt, and deep , stretch'd o'er the bmried earth
Awake to solemn thought. At night the skies ,
Disclos'd and kindled by refining frost,
Pour ev'ry lustre on th' exalted eye.
A friend , a book, the stealing hours secure,
And mark them down for wisdom. With swift
O'er land and sea the imagination roams 5
Or Truth divinely breaking on his mind ,
Hiatus his being, and unfolds his powers;
Or in his breast heroic virt»e burns.
The touch of kindred too and love he feels;
The modest eye, whose beams on his alone
Ecstatic shine: the little , strong embrace
Of prattling children , twisted round his neck ,
And emulous to please him , calling forth
The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay,
Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scorns t
For happiness and true philosophy
Are of the social, still, and smiling kind.
This is the life which those who fret in guilt,
And guilty cities, never knew: the life ,
Led by primeval ages , uncorrupt,
When Angels dwelt, and God himself, with man!
J7 Rom heav'n my strains begin ; from heaT'n
The flame of Genius to the human breast,
And love and beauty, and poetic joy
And inspiration. Ere the radiant sun