« VorigeDoorgaan »
Begins to wave the wood, and stir the stream,
Sweeping with shadowy gust the fields of corn;
While the quail clamors 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 naught disdains: thoughtful to feed
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 brirnming pail;
The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart-
Unknowing what the joy-mix'd anguish means
Sincerely loves, by that best language shown
Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds.
Onward they pass o'er many a panting height,
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 hold
So night-struck Fancy dreams—the yelling ghost.
Say then, where lurk the vast eternal springs,
That, like creating Nature, lie conceald
From mortal eye, yet with their lavish stores
Refresh the globe, and all its joyous tribes ?
O, thou pervading Genius, given to man,
To trace the secrets of the dark abyss,
O, lay the mountains bare! and wide display
Their hidden structures to th' astonish'd view!
Strip from the branching Alps their piny load;
The huge encumbrance of horrific woods
From Asian Taurus, from Imaus stretch'd
Athwart the roving Tartar's sullen bounds!
Give opening Hæmus to my searching eye,
And high Olympus pouring many a stream!
0, from the sounding summits of the north,
The Dofrine Hills, through Scandinavia rollid,
The farthest Lapland and the frozen main;
From lofty Caucasus, far-seen by those
Who in the Caspian and black Euxine toil;
From cold Riphæan Rocks, which the wild Russ
Believes the stony girdle of the world;
And all the dreadful mountains, wrapt in storm,
Whence wide Siberia draws her lonely floods;
O, sweep th' eternal snows! Hung o'er the deep,
That ever works beneath his sounding base,
Bid Atlas, propping heaven, as poets feign,
His subterranean wonders spread! unveil
The miny caverns, blazing on the day,
Of Abyssinia's cloud-compelling cliffs,
And of the bending Mountains of the Moon !
O'ertopping all these giant sons of earth,
Let the dire Andes, from the radiant line
Stretch'd to the stormy seas that thunder round
The southern pole, their hideous deeps unfold!
Amazing scene! Behold! the glooms disclose:
I see the rivers in their infant beds!
Deep, deep I hear them, laboring to get free!
A MAN PERISHING IN THE SNOWS OF WINTER.
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 formless wild; but wanders on From hill to dale, still more and more astray; Impatient flouncing through the drifted heaps, Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts of home Rush on his nerves, and call their vigor forth In many a vain attempt. How sinks his soul! What black despair, what horror fills his heart! When for the dusky spot, which fancy feign'd His tufted cottage rising through the snow, He meets the roughness of the middle waste, Far from the track, and blest abode of man: While 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 bogs; 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 solitary lake, Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils. These check his fearful steps; and down he sinks Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift, Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death, Mix'd with the tender anguish nature shoots Through the wrung bosom of the dying manHis wife, his children, and his friends unseen. In vain for him th' officious wife prepares The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm; In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire,
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve
The deadly Winter seizes; shuts up sense;
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snow, a stiffen'd corse-
Stretch'd out, and bleaching in the northern blast.
THE VARIOUS SUFFERINGS IN WINTER.
Ah! little think the gay, licentious proud,
Whom pleasure, power, and affluence surround;
They, who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;
Ah! little think they, while they dance along,
How many feel, this very moment, death
And all the sad variety of pain.
How many sink in the devouring flood,
Or more devouring flame. How many bleed,
By shameful variance betwixt man and man.
How many pine in want and dungeon glooms;
Shut from the common air, and common use
Of their own limbs. How many drink the cup
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
Of misery. Sore pierced by wintry winds,
How many shrink into the sordid hut
Of cheerless poverty. How many shake
With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse ;
Whence tumbled headlong from the height of life,
They furnish matter for the tragic muse.
Ev'n in the vale, where wisdom loves to dwell,
With friendship, peace, and contemplation join'd,
How many, rack’d with honest passions, droop
In deep retired distress. How many stand
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends,
And point the parting anguish. Thought fond man
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills,
That one incessant struggle render life
One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate,
Vice in his high career would stand appallid,
And heedless rambling impulse learn to think;
The conscious heart of charity would warm,
And her wide wish benevolence dilate;
And social tear would rise, the social sigh;
And into clear perfection, gradual bliss,
Refining still, the social passions work.
MORAL OF THE SEASONS. 'Tis done !—Dread Winter spreads his latest glooms, And reigns tremendous o'er the conquer'd year. How dead the vegetable kingdom lies !
How dumb the tuneful! horror wide extends
His desolate domain. Behold, fond man!
See here thy pictured life; pass some few years,
Thy flowering Spring, thy Summer's ardent strength,
Thy sober Autumn fading into age,
And pale concluding Winter comes at last,
And shuts the scene. Ah! whither now are fled
Those dreams of greatness ? those unsolid hopes
Of happiness ? those longings after fame?
Those restless cares? those busy bustling days?
Those gay-spent, festive nights ? those veering thoughts,
Lost between good and ill, that shared thy life?
All now are vanish’d! Virtue sole survives,
Immortal, never-failing friend of man,
His guide to happiness on high. And see!
'Tis come, the glorious morn! the second birth
Of heaven and earth! Awakening Nature hears
The new-creating word, and starts to life,
In every heighten’d form, from pain and death
For ever free. The great eternal scheme,
Involving all, and in a perfect whole
Uniting, as the prospect wider spreads,
To reason's eye refined, clears up apace.
Ye vainly wise! ye blind presumptuous! now,
Confounded in the dust, adore that Power
And Wisdom oft arraign'd: see now the cause,
Why unassuming worth in secret lived,
And died, neglected: why the good man's share
In life was gall and bitterness of soul:
Why the lone widow and her orphans pined
In starving solitude while luxury,
In palaces, lay straining her low thought
To form unreal wants : why heaven-born truth,
And moderation fair, wore the red marks
Of superstition's scourge: why licensed pain,
That cruel spoiler, that embosom'd foe,
Imbitter'd all our bliss. Ye good distress'd!
Ye noble few! who here unbending stand
Beneath life's pressure, yet bear up a while,
And what your bounded view, which only saw
A little part, deem'd evil is no more:
The storms of wintry time will quickly pass,
And one unbounded Spring encircle all.
These, as they change, Almighty Father, these
Are but the varied God. The rolling year
Is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love.
Wide flush the fields; the softening air is balm;
Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles:
And every sense and every heart is joy.
Then comes thy glory in the Summer months,
With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun
Shoots full perfection through the swelling year;
And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks
And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve,
By brooks and groves in hollow-whispering gales.
Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined,
And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
In Winter awful thou! with clouds and storms
Around thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rollid,
Majestic darkness! On the whirlwind's wing
Riding sublime, thou bidst the world adore,
And humblest nature with thy northern blast.
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Deep-felt, in these appear! a simple train,
Yet so delightful mix'd, with such kind art,
Sucn beauty and beneficence combined;
Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade;
And all so forming an harmonious whole,
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wandering oft, with rude unconscious gaze,
Man marks not thee, marks not the mighty hand
That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres;
Works in the secret deep; shoots steaming thence
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the spring;
Flings from the sun direct the flaming day;
Feeds every creature; hurls the tempest forth,
And, as on earth this grateful change revolves,
With transport touches all the springs of life.
Nature, attend ! join, every living soul Beneath the spacious temple of the sky, In adoration join; and, ardent, raise One general song! To Him, ye vocal gales, Breathe soft, whose spirit in your freshness breathes : Oh talk of Him in solitary glooms! Where o'er the rock the scarcely waving pine Fills the brown shade with a religious awe. And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar, Who shake th' astonish'd world, lift high to heaven Th’ impetuous song, and say from whom you rage. His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills; And let me catch it as I muse along. Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound; Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze Along the vale; and thou, majestic main, A secret world of wonders in thyself, Sound his stupendous praise,—whose greater voice Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall. Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers, In mingled clouds to Him,-whose sun exalts, Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil pants Ye forests, bend; ye harvests, wave to Him; Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart, As home he goes beneath the joyous moon. Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams, Ye constellations, while your angels strike,