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The subject proposed. Addressed to Mr. Onslow. A prospect of the fields ready for harvest. Reflections in praise of Industry raised by that view. Reaping. A tale relative to it. A barvest storm. Shooting and hunting, their barbarity. A ludicrous account of fox-hunting. A view of an orchard. Wall-fruit. A vineyard. A description of fogs, frequent in the latter part of Autumii: whence a digression, inquiring into the rise of fountaius and rivers. Birds of season considered, that now shift their habitation. The prodigious number of them that cover the northern and western isles of Scotland. Hence a view of the country. A prospect of the discoloured, fading woods. After a gentle dusky day, moonlight. Autumnal meteors. Morning: to which succeeds a calm, pure, sunshiny day, such as usually shuts up the season. The harvest being gathered in, the country dissolved in joy. The whole concludes with a panegyric on a philosophical country life.
digioua considinto the par
numbered, the rise
CROWN'D with the sickle and the wheaten sheaf,
While Autumn, nodding o'er the yellow plain,
Comes jovial on; the Doric reed once more,
Well pleased, I tune. Whate'er the wintry frost
Nitroas prepared; the various blossom'd Spring
Put in white promise forth; and Summer sups
Concocted strong, rush boundless now to view,
Fall, perfect all, and swell my glorious theme.
Onslow! tbe Muse, ambitious of thy name,
To grace, inspire, and dignify her song,
Would from the public voice thy gentle ear
A while engage." Thy noble care she knows,
The patriot virtues that distend thy thought,
Spread on thy front, and in thy bosom glow;
While listening senates hang npon thy tongue,
Devolving through the maze of eloquence
A roll of periods sweeter than her song.
But she too pants for public virtue, she,
Though weak of power, yet strong in ardent will,
Whene'er her country rushes on ber heart,
Assumes a bolder note, and fondly tries
To mix the patriot's with the poet's flame.
When the bright Virgin gives the beauteous days,
And Libra weighs in equal scales the year;
From heaven's high cope the fierce effulgence shook
Of parting Summer, a serener blue,
With golden light enliven'd, wide invests
The happy world. Attemper'd suns arise,
Sweet-beam'd, and shedding oft through lucid clouds
A pleasing calm; while broad, and brown, below
Extensive harvests bang the heavy head.
Rich, silent, deep, they stand; for not a gale
Rolls its light billows o'er the bending plain:
A calm of plenty! till the ruffled air
Falls from its poise, and gives the breeze to blow.
Rent is the fleecy mantle of the sky;
The clouds fly different; and the sudden son
By fits effulgent gilds the' illumined field,
And black by fits the shadows sweep along.
A gaily chequer'd heart-expanding view,
Far as the circling eye can shoot around,
Unbounded tossing in a flood of corn.
These are thy blessings, Industry! rough power! Whom labour still attends, and sweat, and pain; Yet the kind source of every gentle art, And all the soft civility of life: Raiser of humankind! by Nature cast, Naked, and helpless, out amid the woods And wilds, to rude inclement elements; With various seeds of art deep in the mind Implanted, and profusely pour'd around Materials infinite; but idle all.
Still unexerted, in the unconscious breast,
Slept the lethargic powers; Corruption still,
Voracions, swallow'd what the liberal hand
Of bounty scatter'd o'er the savage year:
And still the sad barbarian, roving, mix'd
With beasts of prey ; or for his acorn-meal
Fought the fierce tusky boar; a shivering wretch
Agbast and comfortless, when the bleak north,
With Winter charged, let the mix'd tempest fly,
Hail, rain, and snow, and bitter-breathing frost:
Then to the shelter of the hut he fled;
And the wild season, sordid, pined away.
For home he had not; home is the resort
Of love, of joy, of peace and plenty, where,
Supporting and supported, polish'd friends
And dear relations mingle into bliss.
Bat this the rugged savage never felt,
E'en desolate in crowds; and thus his days
Rollid heavy, dark, and unenjoy'd along:
A waste of time! till Industry approach'd,
And roused him from bis miserable sloth;
His faculties unfolded; pointed out
Where lavish Nature the directing hand
Of Art demanded; show'd him how to raise
His feeble force by the mechanic powers,
To dig the mineral from the vaulted earth;
On wbat to turn the piercing rage of fire ;
On what the torrent, and the gather'd blast;
Gave the tall ancient forest to his axe;
Taught him to chip the wood, and hew the stone
Till by degrees the finish'd fabric rose;
Tore from his limbs the blood-polluted fur,
And wrapp'd them in the woolly vestment warm,
Or bright in glossy silk and flowing lawn;
With wholesome viands fill'd his table; pour'd
The generous glass around, inspired to wake
The life-refining soul of decent wit:
Nor stopp'd at barren bare necessity;
But still advancing bolder, led him on
To pomp, to pleasure, elegance, and grace;
And, breathing high ambition through his soul,
Set science, wisdom, glory, in his view,
And bade bim be the Lord of all below.
Then gathering men their natural powers combined,
And form'd a Public: to the general good
Submitting, aiming, and conducting all.
For this the Patriot-Council met, the full,
The free, and fairly represented Whole;'
For this they plann'd the holy guardian laws,
Distinguish'd orders, animated arts, .
And with joint force Oppression chaining, set
Imperial Justice at the helm; yet still
To them accountable: nor, slavisb, dream'd
That toiling millions must resign their weal,
And all the boney of their search, to such
As for themselves alone themselves have raised.
Hence every form of cultivated life In order set, protected, and inspired, Into perfection wrought. Uniting all, Society grew numerous, high, polite, And happy. Nurse of art! the city rear'd In beauteous pride her tower-encircled head; And, stretching street on street, by thousands drew, From twining woody haunts, or the tough yew To bows strong-straining, her aspiring sons.
Then commerce brought into the public walk The busy merchant; the big warehouse bailt; Raised the strong crane; choked up the loaded street With foreign plenty; and thy stream, O Thames, Large, gentle, deep, majestic, king of floods ! Chose for his grand resort. On either hand, Like a long wintry forest, groves of masts Shot up their spires; the bellying sheet between Possess'd the breezy void: the sooty bulk Steer'd sluggish on; the splendid barge along Row'd, regular, to harmony; around, The boat, light-skimming, stretch'd its oary wings; While deep the various voice of fervent toil
From bank to bank increased ; whence ribb'd with oak,
To bear the British thunder, black, and bold,
The roaring vessel rusli'd into the main.
Then too the pillar'd dome, magnific, heaved
Its ample roof; and Luxury within
Pour'd out her glittering stores : the canvass smooth,
With glowing life protuberant, to the view
Embodied rose; the statue seem'd to breathe,
And soften into fesh, beneath the touch
Of forming art, imagination flash'd.
All is the gift of Industry; whate'er
Exalts, embellishes, and renders life
Delightful. Pensive Winter cheer'd by him
Sits at the social fire, and happy hears
The' excluded tempest idly rave along;
His harden'd fingers deck the gaudy Spring;
Without him Summer were an arid waste;
Nor to the' Autumnal months could thus transmit
Those full, mature, immeasurable stores,
That, waving round, recall my wandering song.
Soon as the morning trembles o'er the sky,
And, unperceived, unfolds the spreading day;
Before the ripen'd field the reapers stand,
In fair array, each by the lass he loves,
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate
By nameless gentle offices her toil.
At once they stoop and swell the lasty sheaves;
While through their cheerful band the rural talk,
The rural scandal, and the rural jest,
Fly harmless, to deceive the tedious time,
And steal anfelt the sultry hours away.
Behind the master walks, builds ap the shocks;
And, conscious, glancing oft on every side
His sated eye, feels bis heart beave with joy.
The gleaners spread around, and here and there,
Spike after spike, their scanty barvest pick.
Be not too narrow, husbandmen! but fling
From the full sheaf, woth charitable stealth,
The liberal handful. Think, oh grateful think!
How good the God of Harvest is to you;