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Patient of labour, with a little pleas’d;
Health ever-blooming ; unambitious toil;
Calm contemplation and poetic ease.
The fall of kings,
of nations, and the crush of states,
Move not the man, who, from the world escap'd,
In still retreats, and flowery folitudes,
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 her sweet emotions at his heart;
Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more.
-He, from all the stormy passions free
That restless men involve, hears, and but hears,
At distance fafe, the human tempeft roar,
Wrapt close in conscious peace.
keener tempests rise, and all the fields
Put on their winter robes of purest white. 'Tis brightness all ; save where the new snow melts Along the mazy current. Low the woods Bow their hoar head ; and, ere the languid sun Faint from the West emits his evening ray, Earth's universal face, deep hid, and chill, Is one wide dazzling waste, that buries wide The works of man. Drooping, the labourer ox
Stands cover'd o'er with fnow, and then demands
*The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven,
Tam’d by the cruel season, crowd around
The winnowing store, and claim the little boon
Which PROVIDENCE assigns them. One alone,
The red-breaft, sacred to the houshold gods,
Wisely regardful of th' embroiling sky,
In joyless fields and thorny thickets, leaves
His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man
His annual visit. Half-afraid, he first
Against the window beats; then, brisk, alights
On the warm hearth ; then, hopping o'er the floor,
Eyes all the smiling family alkance,
And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is :
Till more familjar grown, the table-crumbs
Attract his sender feet. The foodless wilds.
Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare,
'Tho' timorous of heart, and hard beset
By death in various forms, dark snares, and dogs
And more unpitying men, the garden seeks,
Urg'd on by fearless want. The bleating kind
Eye the bleak heaven, and next the glistening earth,
With looks of dumb despair: then, fad dispers'd,
Dig for the wither'd herb thro’ heaps of snow.
ON A MAN PERISHING IN THE SNOW.
AS thus the snows arise ; and foul, and fierce
All winter drives along the darken'd air ;
In his own loose revolving fields, the swain
Disaster'd stands ; sees other hills ascend,
Of unknown joyless brow, and other scenes,
Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain ;
Nor finds the river, nor the forest, hid
Beneath the farmless wild ; but wanders on
From hill to dale, still more and more astray,
Impatient flouncing thro' the drifted heaps,
Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts of home
Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth
In many a vain attempt. How finks his soul !
What black despair, what horror fills his heart!
When for the dulky spot, which fancy feign'd
His tufted cottage rising thro' the snow,
He meets the roughness of the middle waste,
Far from the track and blest abode of man;
Whilst round him night resistless closes fast,
And every tempest howling o'er his head,
Renders the savage wilderness more wild.
Then throng the busy shapes into his mind,
Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep,
A dire descent beyond the power of frost,
Of faithless bog's ; of precipices huge,
Smooth'd up with snow; and, what is land, unknown
What water, of the still unfrozen spring,
In the loose marsh, or folitary lake,
Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps; and down he links
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift,
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mixt with the tender anguish nature shoots
Thro' the wrung bosom of the dying man,
His wife, his children, and his friends'unseen.
In vain for him th' officious wife
The fire fair blazing, and the vestment warm ;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their fire,
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On
The deadly winter seizes ; fhuts up sense ;
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snow, a ftiffen'd corse,
Stretch'd out, and bleaching in the northern blast.
ON THE CRUELTY OF SUFFOCATING BEES WITH
H see where, robb’d and murder’d, in that pit
Lies the still heaving hive! at evening snatch'd, Beneath the cloud of guilt-concealing night, And fix'd o'er sulphur: while, not dreaming ill, The happy people in their waxen cells Sat tending public cares, and planning schemes Of temperance, for winter poor ; rejoic'd To mark, full flowing round, their copious stores. Sudden the dark oppressive steam afcends; And us'd to milder scents, the tender race, By thousands, tumble from their honey'd domes, Convolv'd, and agonizing in the duft.
And was it then for this you roam'd the Spring; Intent from flower to flower? for this
Ceaseless, the burning Summer-heats away?
For this in Autumn search'd the blooming waste,
Nor lost one funny gleam ? for this sad fate?
O man! tyrannic lord ! how long, how long,
Shall prostrate Nature groan beneath your rage,
Awaiting renovation? When oblig'd
Must you destroy ? Of their ambrofial food
not borrow; and, in just return,
Afford them shelter from the wintry winds?
Or, as the sharp year pinches, with their own
Again regale them on some smiling day?
See where the itony bottom of their town
Looks desolate, and wild ; with here and there
A helpless number, who the ruin'd state,
Survive, lamenting weak, cait out to death.
Thus a proud city, populous and rich,
Full of the works of peace, and high in joy,
At theatre or feaft, or sunk in sleep,
(As late, Palermo, was thy fate) is seiz'd
By some dread earthquake, and convulfive hurl'd
Sheer from the black foundation, stench-involv'd,
Into a gulf of blue fulphureous flame.
ON THE SUDDEN DEATH OF A FRIEND
PPEAR thou fightless minister of death,
“Go seek the spot where guiltless joys refide,
“ Seize :