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Come, gentle Spring, ethereal mildness, come,
And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud,
While music wakes around, veiled in a shower
Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend.

O Hertford ! fitted or to shine in courts
With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
With innocence and meditation joined
In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
Which thy own season paints, when Nature all
Is blooming and benevolent, like thee.

And see where surly Winter passes off,
Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts:
His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill,
The shattered forest, and the ravaged vale;
While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch,
Vissolving snows in livid torrents lost,
The mountains lifts their green heads to the sky.

As yet the trembling year is unconfirmed,
And Winter oft at eve resumes the breeze,
Chills the pale morn, and bids his driving sleets
Deform the day delightless: so that scarce
The bittern knows his time, with bill ingulfed,
To shake the sounding marsh; or from the shore
The plovers, when to scatter o'er the heath,
And sing their wild notes to the listening waste.

At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun,
And the bright Bull receives him. Then no more
The expansive atmosphere is cramped with cold;
But, full of life and vivifying soul,
Lifts the light clouds sublime, and spreads them thin,
Fleecy, and white, o'er all-surrounding heaven.

Forth fly the tepid airs; and unconfined,
Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays.
Joyous, the impatient husbandman perceives
Relenting Nature, and his lusty steers
Drives from their stalls, to where the well-used plough
Lies in the furrow loosened from the frost.
There, unrefusing, to the harnassed yoke
They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil,
Cheered by the simple song and soaring lark.
Meanwhile incumbent o'er the shining share
The master leans, removes th’ obstructing clay
Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe,

While through the neighbouring fields the sower stalks
With measured step, and, liberal, throws the grain
Into the faithful bosom of the
The harrow follows harsh, and shuts the scene,



Be gracious, Heaven ! for now laborious man Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow! Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend ! And temper all, thou world reviving sun, Into the perfect year! Nor ye who live In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride, Think these lost 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 refined.

In ancient times the sacred plough employed The kings and awful fathers of mankind : And some, with whom compared your insect-tribes Are but the beings of a summer's day, Have held the scale of empire, ruled the storm Of mighty war; then, with unwearied hand, Disdaining little delicacies, seized The plough, and greatly independent lived.

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 through 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 soil, Exuberant, Nature's better blessings pour O'er

every land, the naked nations clothe, And be th' exhaustless granary of a world!

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She lent against the armed man,

The statue of the armed knight:
She stood and listened to my lay,

Amid the lingering light.
Few sorrows hath she of her own,

My hope ! my joy! my Genevieve !
She loves me best whene'er I sing

The songs that make her grieve. I played a soft and doleful air ;

I sang an old and moving story-
An old rude song, that suited well

That ruin, wild and hoary.
She listened with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace
For well she knew, I could not choose

But gaze upon her face.
I told her of the knight that wore

Upon his shield a burning brand :
And that for ten long years he wooed

The lady of the land.
I told her how he pind : and ah!

The deep, the low, the pleading tone,
With which I sang another's love,

Interpreted my own.
She listened with a flitting blush,

With downcast eyes and modest grace; And she forgave me that I gaz'd

Too fondly on her face.
But when I told the cruel scorn,

That craz'd the bold and lovely knight; And that he crossed the mountain woods,

Nor rested day nor night.
That sometimes from the savage den,

And sometimes from the darksome shade And sometimes starting up at once,

In green and sunny glade.
There came and looked him in the face

An angel beautiful and bright:
And that he knew it was a fiend,

This miserable knight!
And that, unknowing what he did,

He leap'd amid a murderous band,
And sav'd from outrage worse than death,

The lady of the land ! And how she wept and clasp'd his knees :

And how she tended him in vain ; And ever strove to expiate

The scorn that craz'd his brain,


And that she nurs'd him in a cave :

And how his madness went away,
When on the yellow forest leaves,

A dying man he lay.
His dying words—but when I reach'd

That tend'rest strain of all the ditty,
My falt'ring voice and pausing harp,

Disturbed her soul with pity.
All impulses of soul and sense,

Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve :
The music, and the doleful tale,

The rich and balmy eve :
And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,

An undistinguishable throng ;
And gentle wishes long subdued

Subdued and cherished long.
She wept with pity and delight,

She blush'd with love and virgin shame;
And, like the murmur of a dream,

I heard her breathe my name.
Her bosom heav'd—she stept aside,

As conscious of my look she stept,
Then suddenly, with timorous eye,

She fled to me and wept.
She half enclos'd me with her arms;

She press'd me with a meek embrace ;
And bending back her head, look'd up,

And gaz'd upon my face.
'Twas partly lovem 'twas partly fear-

And partly 'twas a bashful art,
That I might rather feel than see

The swelling of her heart.
I calm'd her fears, and she was calm ;

And told her love with virgin pride ;
And so I won my Genevieve,

My bright and beauteous bride !



LEAVE now our streets, and in yon plain behold
Those pleasant seats for the reduced and old;
A merchant's gift, whose wife and children died,
When he to saying all his powers applied ;


He wore his coat till every thread was bare,
And fed his body with the meanest fare.
He had a female cousin, who with care
Walk'd in his steps and learn'd of him to spare ;
With emulation and success they strove,
Improving still, still seeking to improve,
As if that useful knowledge they would gain-
How little food would human life sustain :

pauper came their table's crumbs to crave,
Scraping they lived, but not a scrap they gave:
When beggars saw the frugal merchant pass,
It moved their pity, and they said, “ Alas!
Hard is thy fate, my brother," and they felt
A beggar's pride as they that pity dealt:
The dogs, who learn of man to scorn the poor,
Bark'd him away from every decent door;
While they who saw him bare, but thought him rich,
To show respect or scorn, they knew not which.

But while our merchant seem'd so base and mean, He had his wanderings, sometimes, “not unseen;" To give in secret was a favourite act, Yet more than once they took him in the fact : Haunts have been traced to which he nightly went, And serious sums in private pleasures spent ; Oft has he cheer'd the wretched, at a rate For which he daily might have dined on plate ; He has been seen-his hair all silver-white, Shaking and shining—as he stole by night, To feed unenvied on his still delight. A two-fold taste he had ; to give and spare, Both were his duties, and had equal care ; It was his joy, to sit alone and fast, Then send a widow and her boys repast : Tears in his eyes would, spite of him, appear. But he from other eyes has kept the tear : All in a wintry night from far he came, To soothe the sorrows of a suffering dame; Whose husband robb’d him, and to whom he meant A lingering, but reforming punishment : Home then he walk'd, and found his anger rise, When fire and rush-light met his troubled eyes ; But these extinguish'd, and his


addrest To Heaven in hope, he calmly sank to rest.

His seventieth year was past, and then was seen A building rising on the Northern Green, There was no blinding all his neighbours' eyes, Or surely no one would have seen it rise : Twelve rooms contiguous stood, and six were near, There men were placed, and sober matrons here; There were behind, small useful gardens made, Benches before, and trees to give them shade;

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