Imágenes de páginas

Pleasure, or food, or secret safety, prompts; That nature's great command may be obeyed: Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive Indulged in vain. Sweet to the holly hedge Nestling repair, and to the thicket some; Some to the rude protection of the thorn Commit their feeble offspring; the cleft tree Offers its kind concealment to a few,

Their food its insects, and its moss their


Others apart, far in the grassy dale

Or roughening waste their humble texture


But most in woodland solitudes delight,
In unfrequented glooms or shaggy banks,
Steep and divided by a babbling brook,
Whose murmurs soothe them all the live-long

When by kind duty fix'd. Among the roots
Of hazel pendent o'er the plaintive stream,
They frame the first foundation of their

Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid, And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought

But restless hurry through the busy air,
Beat by unnumber'd wings. The swallow

The slimy pool, to build his hanging house
Intent and often from the careless back
Of herds and flocks a thousand tugging bills
Steal hair and wool; and oft, when unob-

Pluck from the barn a straw; till soft and warm,

Clean and complete, their habitation grows.

As thus the patient dam assiduous sits, Not to be tempted from her tender task Or by sharp hunger or by smooth delight, Though the whole loosen'd spring around her blows,

Her sympathising lover takes his stand

High on the opponent bank, and ceaseless sings

The tedious time away; or else supplies

Her place a moment, while she sudden flits To pick the scanty meal. The appointed


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Sustain'd alone by providential Heaven,
Oft as they, weeping, eye their infant train,
Check their own appetites, and give them all.
Nor toil alone they scorn; exalting love,
By the great Father of the spring inspired,
Gives instant courage to the fearful race,
And to the simple art. With stealthy wing,
Should some rude foot their woody haunts

Amid the neighbouring bush they silent drop,
And whirring thence, as if alarm'd, deceive
The unfeeling schoolboy. Hence around the

Of wandering swain the white-winged plover wheels

Her sounding flight, and then directly on,

In long excursion, skims the level lawn To tempt him from her nest. The wild-duck hence

O'er the rough moss, and o'er the trackless waste

The heath-hen flutters : pious fraud! to lead The hot-pursuing spaniel far astray.

James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.


But happy they! the happiest of their kind!

Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.

'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


Perfect esteem, enliven'd by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul;

Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,

With boundless confidence: for nought but love

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 of Heaven
Seclude their bosom-slaves, meanly possess'd
Of a mere, lifeless, violated form:
While those whom love cements in holy

And equal transport, free as Nature live,
Disdaining fear. What is the world to them,
Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all!
Who in each other clasp whatever fair
High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can

Something than beauty dearer, should they look

Or on the mind, or mind-illumined face;
Truth, goodness, honour, harmony, and love,
The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven.
Meantime a smiling offspring rises round,
And mingles both their graces. By degrees,
The human blossom blows; and every day,
Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm,
The father'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 th' enlivening spirit, and to fix
The generous purpose in the glowing breast.
Oh, speak the joy! ye whom the sudden tear
Surprises often, while you look around,
And nothing strikes your eye but sights of

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

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 remembrance


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.

James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.


Close in the covert of an hazel copse, Where winded into pleasing solitudes Runs out the rambling dale, young Damon


Pensive, and pierced with love's delightful


There to the stream that down the distant rocks

Hoarse-murmuring fell, and plaintive breeze that play'd

Among the bending willows, falsely he
Of Musidora's cruelty complain'd.

She felt his flame; but deep within her breast,

In bashful coyness, or in maiden pride,

The soft return conceal'd; save when it stole In sidelong glances from her downcast eye,

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A lucky chance, that oft decides the fate
Of mighty monarchs, then decided thine.
For, lo conducted by the laughing Loves,
This cool retreat his Musidora sought:
Warm in her cheek the sultry season glow'd;
And, robed in loose array, she came to bathe
Her fervent limbs in the refreshing stream.
What shall he do? In sweet confusion lost,
And dubious flutterings, he awhile remain'd:
A pure ingenuous elegance of soul,
A delicate refinement, known to few,
Perplex'd his breast, and urged him to retire :
But love forbade. Ye prudes in virtue,

Say, ye severest, what would you have done?
Meantime, this fairer nymph than ever blest
Arcadian stream, with timid eye around
The banks surveying, stripp'd her beauteous

To taste the lucid coolness of the flood.
Ah, then not Paris on the piny top
Of Ida panted stronger, when aside
The rival goddesses the veil divine
Cast unconfined,, and gave him all their

Than, Damon, thou; as from the snowy leg,

And slender foot, th' inverted silk she drew; As the soft touch dissolved the virgin zone; And, through the parting robe the alternate breast,

With youth wild-throbbing, on thy lawless


In full luxuriance rose. But, desperate youth,

How durst thou risk the soul-distracting view,

As from her naked limbs, of glowing white, Harmonious swell'd by Nature's finest hand, In folds loose-floating fell the fainter lawn; And fair-exposed she stood, shrunk from herself,

With fancy blushing, at the doubtful breeze Alarm'd and starting like the fearful fawn? Then to the flood she rush'd; the parted flood

Its lovely guest with closing waves received;
And every beauty softening, every grace
Flushing anew, a mellow lustre shed:

As shines the lily through the crystal mild;
Or as the rose amid the morning dew,
Fresh from Aurora's hand, more sweetly


While thus she wanton'd, now beneath the


But ill-conceal'd; and now with streaming locks,

That half-embraced her in a humid veil,
Rising again, the latent Damon drew

Such maddening draughts of beauty to the soul,

As for awhile o'erwhelm'd his raptured thought

With luxury too daring. Check'd, at last,
By love's respectful modesty, he deem'd
The theft profane, if aught profane to love
Can e'er be deem'd; and, struggling from the

With headlong hurry fled: but first these lines,

Traced by his ready pencil, on the bank With trembling hand he threw: "Bathe on, my fair,

Yet unbeheld, save by the sacred eye

Of faithful love: I go to guard thy haunt,
To keep from thy recess each vagrant foot,
And each licentious eye." With wild sur-

As if to marble struck, devoid of sense,
A stupid moment motionless she stood:
So stands the statue that enchants the world,
So bending tries to veil the matchless boast,
The mingled beauties of exulting Greece.
Recovering, swift she flew to find those robes
Which blissful Eden knew not; and, array'd
In careless haste, th' alarming paper snatch'd.
But, when her Damon's well-known hand she

Her terrors vanish'd, and a softer train
Of mixt emotions, hard to be described,
Her sudden bosom seized: shame void of guilt,
The charming blush of innocence, esteem
And admiration of her lover's flame,
By modesty exalted: even a sense
Of self-approving beauty stole across
Her busy thought. At length, a tender calm
Hush'd by degrees the tumult of her soul;
And on the spreading beech, that o'er the


Incumbent hung, she with the sylvan pen
Of rural lovers this confession carved,
Which soon her Damon kiss'd with weeping

"Dear youth sole judge of what these verses mean,

By fortune too much favour'd, but by love, Alas! not favour'd less, be still as now Discreet the time may come you need not fly."

James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.

868.-A SUMMER MORNING. With quicken'd step Brown night retires: young day pours in


And opens all the lawny prospect wide.
The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top,
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the

Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents shine;

And from the bladed field the fearful hare Limps awkward; while along the forest glade

The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze
At early passenger. Music awakes
The native voice of undissembled joy;
And thick around the woodland hymns arise.
Roused by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd

His mossy cottage, where with peace he dwells;

And from the crowded fold, in order, drives His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn. James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.


Low walks the sun, and broadens by degrees, Just o'er the verge of day. The shifting clouds

Assembled gay, a richly gorgeous train,
In all their pomp attend his setting throne.
Air, earth, and ocean smile immense. And


As if his weary chariot sought the bowers
Of Amphitrite, and her tending nymphs,
(So Grecian fable sung) he dips his orb;
Now half immersed; and now a golden curve
Gives one bright glance, then total dis-


Confess'd from yonder slow-extinguish'd clouds,

All ether softening, sober evening takes
Her wonted station in the middle air;

A thousand shadows at her beck. First


She sends on earth; then that of deeper dye
Steals soft behind; and then a deeper still,
In circle following circle, gathers round,
To close the face of things. A fresher gale
Begins to wave the wood, and stir the

Sweeping with shadowy gust the fields of


While the quail clamours for his running mate.

Wide o'er the thistly lawn, as swells the breeze,

A whitening shower of vegetable down
Amusive floats. The kind impartial care
Of nature nought disdains: thoughtful to

Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year, From field to field the feather'd seeds she wings.

His folded flock secure, the shepherd home Hies merry-hearted; and by turns relieves The ruddy milkmaid of her brimming pail; The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart —

Unknowing what the joy-mix'd anguish


Sincerely loves, by that best language shown
Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds.
Onward they pass o'er many a panting

And valley sunk, and unfrequented; where
At fall of eve the fairy people throng,
In various game and revelry, to pass
The summer night, as village stories tell.
But far about they wander from the grave
Of him whom his ungentle fortune urged
Against his own sad breast to lift the hand
Of impious violence. The lonely tower
Is also shunn'd; whose mournful chambers

So night-struck fancy dreams-the yelling ghost.

Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge, The glowworm lights his gem; and through the dark

A moving radiance twinkles. Evening yields
The world to night; not in her winter robe
Of massy Stygian woof, but loose array'd
In mantle dun. A faint erroneous ray,
Glanced from the imperfect surfaces of

Flings half an image on the straining eye; While wav'ring woods, and villages, and streams,

And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long retain'd

The ascending gleam, are all one swimming


Uncertain if beheld. Sudden to heaven Thence weary vision turns; where, leading soft

The silent hours of love, with purest ray Sweet Venus shines; and from her genial rise,

When daylight sickens till it springs afresh, Unrivall'd reigns, the fairest lamp of night. James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.


The lovely young Lavinia once had friends; And Fortune smiled, deceitful, on her birth. For, in her helpless years deprived of all, Of every stay, save Innocence and Heaven, She, with her widow'd mother, feeble, old, And poor, lived in a cottage, far retired Among the windings of a woody vale; By solitude and deep surrounding shades, But more by bashful modesty, conceal'd. Together thus they shunn'd the cruel scorn Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet From giddy passion and low-minded pride: Almost on Nature's common bounty fed; Like the gay birds that sung them to repose, Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare. Her form was fresher than the morning rose,

When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd and pure,

As is the lily, or the mountain snow.
The modest virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground dejected, darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers;
Or when the mournful tale her mother told,
Of what her faithless fortune promised once,
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy


Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair-proportion'd on her polish'd limbs,
Veil'd in a simple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp of dress; for loveliness
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is when unadorn'd adorn'd the most.
Thoughtless of Beauty, she was Beauty's self,
Recluse amid the close-embowering woods.
As in the hollow breast of Apennine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills
A myrtle rises, far from human eye,
And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the

So flourish'd blooming, and unseen by all,
The sweet Lavinia; till, at length, compell'd
By strong Necessity's supreme command,
With smiling patience in her looks, she went
To glean Palemon's fields. The pride of


Palemon was, the generous, and the rich;
Who led the rural life in all its joy
And elegance, such as Arcadian song
Transmits from ancient uncorrupted times;
When tyrant custom had not shackled man,
But free to follow nature was the mode.
He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes
Amusing, chanced beside his reaper-train
To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye;
Unconscious of her power, and turning quick
With unaffected blushes from his gaze:
He saw her charming, but he saw not half
The charms her downcast modesty conceal'd.
That very moment love and chaste desire
Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown;
For still the world prevail'd, and its dread

Which scarce the firm philosopher can scorn,
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field:
And thus in secret to his soul he sigh'd.
"What pity! that so delicate a form,
By beauty kindled, where enlivening sense
And more than vulgar goodness seem to dwell,
Should be devoted to the rude embrace
Of some indecent clown! She looks, methinks,
Of old Acasto's line; and to my mind
Recalls that patron of my happy life,
From whom my liberal fortune took its rise;
Now to the dust gone down; his houses, lands,
And once fair-spreading family, dissolved.
'Tis said that in some lone obscure retreat,
Urged by remembrance sad, and decent pride,
Far from those scenes which knew their better

His aged widow and his daughter live,
Whom yet my fruitless search could never

Romantic wish! would this the daughter were!"

When, strict enquiring, from herself he found

She was the same, the daughter of his friend, Of bountiful Acasto; who can speak

The mingled passions that surprised his heart, And through his nerves in shivering transport ran?

Then blazed his smother'd flame, avow'd, and bold;

And, as he view'd her, ardent, o'er and o'er, Love, gratitude, and pity, wept at once. Confused, and frighten'd at his sudden tears, Her rising beauties flush'd a higher bloom, As thus Palemon, passionate and just, Pour'd out the pious rapture of his soul.

"And art thou then Acasto's dear remains ? She, whom my restless gratitude has sought So long in vain? O Heavens! the very


The soften'd image of my noble friend,
Alive his every look, his every feature,
More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than Spring!
Thou sole surviving blossom from the root
That nourish'd up my fortune! say, ah where,
In what sequester'd desert, hast thou drawn
The kindest aspect of delighted Heaven?
Into such beauty spread, and blown so fair;
Though poverty's cold wind, and crushing

Beat keen and heavy on thy tender years?
O let me now, into a richer soil,
Transplant thee safe! where vernal suns, and


Diffuse their warmest, largest influence;
And of my garden be the pride and joy!
Ill it befits thee, oh! it ill befits
Acasto's daughter, his whose open stores,
Though vast, were little to his ampler heart,
The father of a country, thus to pick
The very refuse of those harvest-fields,
Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy.
Then throw that shameful pittance from thy

But ill applied to such a rugged task;

The fields, the master, all, my fair, are thine; If to the various blessings which thy house Has on me lavish'd, thou wilt add that bliss, That dearest bliss, the power of blessing thee!"

Here ceased the youth, yet still his speaking


Express'd the sacred triumph of his soul,
With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love,
Above the vulgar joy divinely raised.
Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm
Of goodness irresistible, and all

In sweet disorder lost, she blush'd consent.
The news immediate to her mother brought,
While, pierced with anxious thought, she pined


The lonely moments for Lavinia's fate; Amazed, and scarce believing what she heard, Joy seized her wither'd veins, and one bright gleam

Of setting life shone on her evening hours: Not less enraptured than the happy pair; Who flourish'd long in tender bliss, and rear'd A numerous offspring, lovely like themselves, And good, the grace of all the country round. James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.


Defeating oft the labours of the year, The sultry south collects a potent blast. At first, the groves are scarcely seen to stir Their trembling tops, and a still murmur


Along the soft-inclining fields of corn.
But as th' aërial tempest fuller swells,
And in one mighty stream, invisible,
Immense, the whole excited atmosphere
Impetuous rushes o'er the sounding world:
Strain'd to the root, the stooping forest pours
A rustling shower of yet untimely leaves,
High-beat, the circling mountains eddy in,
From the bare wild, the dissipated storm,
And send it in a torrent down the vale.
Exposed, and naked, to its utmost rage,
Through all the sea of harvest rolling round,
The billowy plain floats wide; nor can evade,
Though pliant to the blast, its seizing force;
Or whirl'd in air, or into vacant chaff
Shook waste. And sometimes too a burst of

Swept from the black horizon, broad, descends

In one continuous flood. Still over head
The mingling tempest weaves its gloom, and


The deluge deepens; till the fields around
Lie sunk and flatted, in the sordid wave.
Sudden, the ditches swell; the meadows

Red, from the hills, innumerable streams
Tumultuous roar; and high above its banks
The river lift; before whose rushing tide,
Herds, flocks, and harvest, cottages, and

Roll mingled down; all that the winds had spared

In one wild moment ruin'd; the big hopes
And well-earn'd treasures of the painful year.
Fled to some eminence, the husbandman
Helpless beholds the miserable wreck
Driving along: his drowning ox at once
Descending, with his labours scatter'd round,
He sees;
and instant o'er his shivering


Comes Winter unprovided, and a train
Of claimant children dear. Ye masters,

Be mindful of the rough laborious hand,
That sinks you soft in elegance and ease;
Be mindful of those limbs in russet clad,

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