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To tread low-thoäghted Vice beneath their feet :
To sooth the throbbing passions into peace;
And woo lone Quiet in her silent walks.
Thus solitary, and in pensive guise,
Oft let me wander o'er the russet mead,
And through the sadden'd grove, where scarce is heard
One dying strain, to cheer the woodman's toil,
Haply some widow'd songster pours bis plaint,
Far, in faint warblings, through the tawny copse:
While congregated thrushes, linnets, larks,
And each wild throat, whose artless strains so late
Swell’d all the music of the swarming shades,
Robb’d of their taneful souls, now shivering sit
On the dead tree, a dull despondent flock;
With not a brightness waving o'er their plumes,
And nought save chattering discord in their note.
0, let not, aim'd from some inhuman eye,
The gun the music of the coming year
Destroy; and harmless, unsuspecting harm,
Lay the weak tribes a miserable prey,
In mingled murder, flattering on the ground !
The pale-descending year, yet pleasing still,
A gentler mood inspires; for now the leaf
Incessant rustles from the mournful grove;
Oft startling such as, studious, walk below,
And slowly circles through the waving air.
But should a quicker breeze amid the boughs
Sob, o'er the sky the leafy deluge streams;
Till, choked and matted with the dreary shower,
The forest-walks, at every rising gale,
Roll wide the wither'd waste, and wbistle bleak.
Fled is the blasted verdure of the fields ;
And, shrunk into their beds, the flowery race
Their sunny robes resign. E'en what remain'd
Of stronger fruits falls from the naked tree;
And woods, fields, gardens, orcbards, all around
The desolated prospect thrills the sonl.
He comes ! he comes! in every breeze the Power
Of philosophic Melancholy comes !
His near approach the sudden-starting tear,
The glowing cheek, the mild dejected air,
The soften'd feature, and the beating heart,
Pierced deep with many a virtuous pang, declare.
O'er all the soul his sacred influence breathes !
Inflames imagination ; through the breast
Infuses every tenderness; and far
Beyond dim earth exalts the swelling thought.
Ten thousand thousand fleet ideas, such
As never mingled with the valgar dream,
Crowd fast into the mind's creative eye.
As fast the correspondent passions rise,
As varied, and as high: Devotion raised
To rapture and divine astonishment;
The love of Nature, unconfined, and, chief,
Of human race; the large ambitious wish,
To make them bless'd; the sigh for suffering worth
Lost in obscurity; the noble scorn
Of tyrant pride; the fearless great resolve;
The wonder which the dying patriot draws,
Inspiring, glory through remotest time;
The' awaken'd throb for virtue and for fame;
The sympathies of love and friendship dear:
With all the social offspring of the heart.
Oh! bear me then to vast embowering shades,
To twilight groves, and visionary vales;
To weeping grottoes, and prophetic glooms;
Where angel forms athwart the solemn dusk
Tremendous sweep, or seem to sweep along;
And voices more than human, through the void
Deep sounding, seize the enthusiastic ear!
Or is this gloom too much? Then lead, ye powers,
That o'er the garden and the rural seat
Preside, which shining through the cheerful land
ID countless numbers bless'd Britannia sees;
0, lead me to the wide extended walks,
The fair majestic paradise of Stowe*!
Not Persian Cyrus on Ionia's shore
E'er saw such silvan scenes; such various art
By genius fired, such ardent genius tamed
* The seat of Lord Cobham.
By cool judicious art; that, in the strife,
All-beauteous Nature fears to be undone.
And there, O Pitt, thy country's early boast,
There let me sit beneath the shelter'd slopes,
Or in that Temple* where, in future times,
Thou well shalt merit a distinguishod name ;
And, with thy converse bless'd, catch the last smiles
Of Autumn beaming o'er the yellow woods.
While there with thee the enchanted round I walk,
The regulated wild, gay Fancy then
Will tread in thought the groves of attic land;
Will from thy standard taste refine her own,
Correct her pencil to the purest truth
Of Nature, or, the unimpassion'd shades
Forsaking, raise it to the human mind.
Or if hereafter she, with juster hand,
Sball draw the tragic scene, instruct her, thou,
To mark the varied movements of the heart,
What every decent character requires,
And every passion speaks : 0, through her strain
Breathe thy pathetic eloquence! that moulds
The' attentive senate, charms, persuades, exalts,
Of honest Zeal the’ indignant lightning throws,
And shakes Corruption on her venal throne.
While thus we talk, and through Elysian vales
Delighted rove, perhaps a sigh escapes :
What pity, Cobham, thou thy verdant files
Of order'd trees shouldst here inglorious range,
Instead of squadrons flaming o'er the field,
And long embattled hosts! when the proud foe,
The faithless vain disturber of mankind,
Insulting Gaul, has roused the world to war;
When keen, once more, within their bounds to press
Tbose polish'd robbers, those ambitious slaves,
The British youth would hail thy wise command,
Thy temper'å ardour, and thy veteran skill.
The western sun withdraws the shorten'd day;
And humid Evening, gliding o'er the sky,
* The Temple of Virtue in Stowe Gardens.
In her chill progress, to the ground condensed
The vapoars throws. Where creeping waters ooze,
Where marshes stagnate, and where rivers wind,
Claster the rolling fogs, and swim along
The dask y mantled lawn. Meanwhile the Moon
Fall-orb’d, and breaking through the scatter'd clouds,
Shows ber broad visage in the crimson east.
Turn’d to the sun direct, her spotted disk,
Where mountains rise, umbrageous dales descend,
And caverns deep, as optic tube descries,
A smaller earth, gives us his blaze again,
Void of its flame, and sheds a softer day.
Now through the passing cloud she seems to stoop,
Now up the pure cerulean rides sublime.
Wide the pale delage floats, and streaming mild
O’er the skied mountain to the shadowy vale,
Wbile rocks and floods reflect the quivering gleam,
The whole air whitens with a boundless tide
Of silver radiance, trembling round the world.
But when, balf blotted from the sky, her light,
Fainting, permits the starry fires to burn
With keener lustre through the depth of heaven;
Or near extinct her deaden’d orb appears,
And scarce appears, of sickly beamless white;
Oft in this season, silent from the north
A blaze of meteors shoots; ensweeping first
The lower skies, they all at once converge
High to the crown of heaven, and all at once
Relapsing quick, as quickly reascend,
And mix and thwart, extinguish and renew, .
All ether coursing in a maze of light.
From look to look, contagious through the crowd,
The panic rans, and into wondrous shapes
The appearance throws: armies in meet array,
Throng'd with aerial spears and steeds of fire,
Till tbe long lines of full extended war
In bleeding fight commix'd, the sanguine flood
Rolls a broad slaughter o'er the plains of heaven.
As thus they scan the visionary scene,
On all sides swells the superstitious din,
Incontinent; and busy frenzy talks
Of blood and battle; cities overturn’d,
And late at night in swallowing earthquake sunk,
Or hideous wrapp'd in fierce ascending flame;
Of sallow famine, inundation, storm:
Of pestilence, and every great distress;
Empires subversed, when ruling fate has struck
The' unalterable hour: e'en Nature's self
Is deem'd to totter on the brink of time.
Not so the man of philosophic eye,
And inspect sage;. the waving brightness he .
Curious surveys, inquisitive to know
The causes and materials, yet anfix'd,
Of this appearance beautiful and new.
Now black and deep the night begins to fall,
A shade immense. Sunk in the quenching gloom,
Magnificent and vast, are heaven and earth.
Order confounded lies; all beauty void;
Distinction lost; and gay variety
One universal blot: such the fair power
Of light, to kindle and create the whole.
Drear is the state of the benighted wretch,
Who then, bewilder'd, wanders through the dark,
Full of pale fancies and chimeras huge ;
Nor visited by one directive ray,
From cottage streaming or from airy hall.
Perbaps impatient as he stambles on,
Struck from the root of slimy rusbes, blue,
The wildfire scatters round, or gather'd trails
A length of flame deceitful o'er the moss:
Whither decoy'd by the fantastic blaze,
Now lost and now renew'd, he sinks absorb'd,
Rider and horse, amid the miry gulf:
While still, from day to day, bis piping wise
And plaintive children bis return await,
In wild conjecturè lost. At other times,
Sent by the better genius of the night,
Innoxious, gleaming on the horse's mane,