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Where the dark poppy flourish'd on the dry Here a grave Flora* scarcely deigns to bloom, And sterile soil, and mock'd the thin-set rye. Nor wears a rosy blush, nor sheds perfume ;
How lovely this !" the rapt Orlando said ; The few dull flowers that o'er the place are spread, * With what delight is labouring man repaid ! Partake the nature of their fenny bed ; The very lane has sweets that all admire,
Here on its wiry stem, in rigid bloom, The rambling suckling and the vigorous brier; Grows the salt lavender that lacks perfume ; See! wholesome wormwood grows beside the Here the dwarf sallows creep, the septfoil harsh, way,
And the soft slimy mallow of the marsh ; Where dew.press'd yet the dog-rose bends the Low on the ear the distant billows sound, spray ;
And just in view appears their stony bound; Fresh berbs the fields, fair shrubs the banks adorn, No hedge nor tree conceals the glowing sun, And snow-white bloom falls flaky from the thorn; Birds, save a watery tribe, the district shun, No fostering hand they need, no sheltering wall, Nor chirp among the reeds where bitter waters run They spring uncultured, and they bloom for all.” · Various as beauteous, Nature, is thy face,” The lover rode as hasty lovers ride,
Exclaim'd Orlando : “ all that grows has grace And reach'd a common pasture wild and wide ; All are appropriate ; bog, and marsh, and fen, Small black-legg'd sheep devour with hunger keen Are only poor to undiscerning men; The meagre herbage, fleshless, lank, and lean; Here may the nice and curious eye explore Such o'er thy level turf, Newmarket ! stray, How Nature's hand adorns the rushy moor; And there, with other black-legs find their prey : Here the rare moss in secret shade is found, He saw some scatter'd hovels, turf was piled Here the sweet myrtle of the shaking ground; In square brown stacks ; a prospect bleak and wild ! Beauties are these that from the view retire, A mill, indeed, was in the centre found,
But well repay th' attention they require ; With short sear herbage withering all around ; For these my Laura will her home forsake, A smith's black shed opposed a wright's long shop, And all the pleasures they afford partake." And join'd an inn where humble travellers stop, Again the country was enclosed, a wide
* Ay, this is nature,” said the gentle squire ; And sandy road has banks on either side ; * This ease, peace, pleasure, who would not admire? Where, lo! a hollow on the left appear'd, With what delight these sturdy children play, And there a gipsy tribe their tent had rear'd ; And joyful rustics at the close of day ;
"Twas open spread, to catch the morning sun, Sport follows labour, on this even space
And they had now their early meal begun, Will soon commence the wrestling and the race; When two brown boys just left their grassy seat, Then will the village maidens leave their home, The early traveller with their prayers to greet: And to the dance with buoyant spirits come; While yet Orlando held his pence in hand, No affectation in their looks is seen,
He saw their sister on her duty stand ; Nor know they what disguise or flattery mean; Some twelve years old, demure, affected, sly, Vor aught to move an envious pang they see, Prepared the force of early powers to try; Easy their service, and their love is free ; Sudden a look of languor he descries, Hence early springs that love, it long endures, And well-feign'd apprehension in her eyes ; And life's first comfort, while they live, ensures; Train'd, but yet savage, in her speaking face They the low roof and rustic comforts prize, He mark'd the features of her vagrant race ; Nor cast on prouder mansions envying eyes : When a light laugh and roguish leer express'd Sometimes the news at yonder town they hear, The vice implanted in her youthful breast : And learn what busier mortals feel and sear; Forth from the tent her elder brother came, Secure themselves, although by tales amazed, Who seem'd offended, yet forbore to blame Of towns bombarded, and of cities razed ; As if they doubted, in their still retreat, The very news that makes their quiet sweet, And their days happy; happier only knows
* The ditches of a len so near the ocean are lined with He on whom Laura her regard bestows."
irregular patches of a coarse and stained lava; a muddy
sediment rests on the horse-tail and other perennial On rode Orlando, counting all the while
herbs, which in part conceal the shallowness of the The miles he pass'd, and every coming mile ; stream; a fat-leaved, pale-flowering scurvy grass, appears Like all attracted things, he quicker flies,
early in the year, and the razor-edged bulrush, in the T'he place approaching where th' attraction lies ; summer and autumn. The fen itself has a dark and sa. When next appear'd a dam—so call the place- line herbage; there are rushes and arrow head, and in Where lies a road confined in narrow space;
a few patches the flakes of the cotton grass are seen, but A work of labour, for on either side
more commonly the sea-aster, the dullest of that nume. Is level fen, a prospect wild and wide,
rous and hardy genus; a thrift, blue in flower, but
withering and reinaining withered, till the winter scatters With dikes on either hand by ocean's self supplied : it; the saltwort, both simple and shrubby; a few kinds Far on the right the distant sea is seen,
of grass changed by their soil and atmosphere, and low And salt the springs that feed the marsh between; plants of two or three denominations undistinguished in Beneath an ancient bridge, the straiten'd flood a general view of the scenery: such is the vegetation of Rolls through its sloping banks of slimy mud;
the fen when it is at a small distance from the ocean ; Near it a sunken boat resists the tide,
and in this case there arise from it effluvia strong and That frets and hurries to th' opposing side ;
peculiar, half saline, half-putrid, which would be consi.
dered by most people as offensive, and by some as dan. The rushes sharp, that on the borders grow,
gerous; but there are others to whom singularity of Bend their brown flow'rets to the stream below,
taste, or association of ideas, has rendered it agreeable Impure in all its course, in all its progress slow : and pleasant.
The young designer, but could only trace
“Gone to a friend, she tells me; I commend 'The looks of pity in the traveller's face :
Her purpose ; means she to a female friend? Within, the father, who from fences nigh
By Heaven, I wish she suffer'd half the pain Had brought the fuel for the fire's supply, Of hope protracted through the day in vain : Watch'd now the feeble blaze, and stood dejected by: Shall I persist to see th' ungrateful maid ? On ragged rug, just borrow'd from the bed, Yes, I will see her, slight her, and upbraid : And by the hand of coarse indulgence fed, What! in the very hour? She knew the time, In dirty patchwork negligently dress'd,
And doubtless chose it to increase her crime." Reclined the wife, an infant at her breast ;
Forth rode Orlando by a river's side, In her wild face some touch of grace remain'd, Inland and winding, smooth, and full, and wide, Of vigour palsied and of beauty stain'd;
That rollid majestic on, in one soft flowing tide ; Her blood-shot eyes on, her unheeding mate The bottom gravel, flowery were the banks, Were wrathful turn'd, and seem'd her wants to Tall willows, waving in their broken ranks ; state,
The road, now near, now distant, winding led Pursing his tardy aid-her mother there
By lovely meadows which the waters fed ; With gipsy slate engross’d the only chair ; He pass'd the way-side inn, the village spire, Solemn and dull her look; with such she stands, Nor stopp'd to gaze, to question, or admire ; And reads the milk-maid's fortune in her hands, On either side the rural mansions stood, Tracing the lines of life ; assumed through years, with hedge-row trees, and hills high-crown'd with Each feature now the steady falsehood wears;
wood, With hard and savage eye she views the food, And many a devious stream that reach'd the nobler And grudging pinches their intruding brood ;
flood. Last in the group, the worn-out grandsire sits "I hate these scenes,” Orlando angry cried, Neglected, lost, and living but by fits;
And these proud farmers! yes, I hate their pride Useless, despised, his worthless labours done, See! that sleek fellow, how he strides along, And half protected by the vicious son,
Strong as an ox, and ignorant as strong; Who half supports him ; he with heavy glance Can yon close crops a single eye detain Views the young ruffians who around him dance; But his who counts the profits of the grain? And, by the sadness in his face, appears
And these vile beans with deleterious smell, To trace the progress of their future years : Where is their beauty ? can a mortal tell ? Through what 'strange course of misery, vice. These deep fat meadows I detest ; it shocks deceit,
One's feelings there to see the grazing ox;Must wildly wander each unpractised cheat. For slaughter fatted, as a lady's smile What shame and grief, what punishment and pain, Rejoices man, and means his death the while. Sport of fierce passions, must each child sustain- Lo! now the sons of labour! every day Ere they like him approach their latter end, Employ'd in toil, and ver'd in every way; Without a hope, a comfort, or a friend !
Theirs is but mirth assumed, and they conceal, But this Orlando felt not ; Rogues," said he, In their affected joys, the ills they feel : “ Doubtless they are, hut merry rogues they be ; I hate these long green lanes ; there's nothing They wander round the land, and be it true, They break the laws—then let the laws pursue In this vile country but eternal green ; The wanton idlers; for the life they live
Woods! waters! meadows! Will they never end ? Acquit I cannot, but I can forgive.”
'Tis a vile prospect. Gone to see a friend !" This said, a portion from his purse was thrown, Still on he rode! a mansion fair and tall And every heart seem'd happy like his own. Rose on his view—the pride of Loddon Hall :
He hurried forth, for now the town was nigh-Spread o'er the park he saw the grazing steer, “ The happiest man of mortal men am I.” The full-fed steed, the herds of bounding deer : Thou art! but change in every state is near, On a clear stream the vivid sunbeams play'd, (So while the wretched hope, the blest may fear ;) Through noble elms, and on the surface made “Say, where is Laura ?"_"That her words must That moving picture, checker'd light and shade ; show,"
Th' attended children, there indulged to stray, A lags replied ; " read this, and thou shalt know!" | Enjoy'd and gave new beauty to the day; " What, gone!"-her friend insisted-forced to Whose happy parents from their room were seen
Pleased with the sportive idlers on the green. Is vex'd, was teased, could not refuse her !-No?" Well!” said Orlando, " and for one so bless'd, " But you can follow." Yes ?” “The miles are A thousand reasoning wretches are distress'd ;
Nay, these so seeming glad, are grieving like the The way is pleasant; will you come ? Adieu !
rest: Thy Laura !"--"No! I feel I must resign
Man is a cheat-and all but strive to hide The pleasing hope, thou hadst been here, if mine : Their inward misery by their outward pride. A lady was it? Was no brother there?
What do yon lofty gates and walls contain, But why should I afflict me if there were ?" But fruitless means to soothe unconquer'd pain? “The way is pleasant."-"What to me the way? The parents read each infant daughter's smile, I cannot reach her till the close of day.
Form’d to seduce, encouraged to beguile; My dumb companion! is it thus we speed ? They view the boys unconscious of their fate, Not I from grief nor thou from toil art freed; Sure to be tempted, sure to take the bait ; Still art thou doom'd to travel and to pine, These will be Lauras, sad Orlandos these For my vexation—What a fate is mine!
There's guilt and grief in all one hears and sees
Our traveller, labouring up a hill, look'd down And last the heath with all its various bloom, Upon a lively, busy, pleasant town;
And the close lanes that led the traveller home. All he beheld were there alert, alive,
Then could these scenes the former joys renew ? The busiest bees that ever stock'd a hive : Or was there now dejection in the view ? A pair were married, and the bells aloud
Nor one or other would they yield—and why? Proclaim'd their joy, and joyful seem'd the crowd ; The mind was absent, and the vacant eye And now proceeding on his way, he spied, Wander'd o'er viewless scenes, that but appear'd Bound by strong ties, the bridegroom and the to die.
Seem they grave or learned ?
Why, so didst thou-Seem they religious ? Foreshow distress, and only grief excite;
Why, so didst thou ; or are they spare in diet, And for these cheerful friends, will they behold Free from gross passion, or of mirth or anger, Their wailing brood in sickness, want, and cold ; Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood, And his proud look, and her soft languid air
Garnish'd and deck'd in modest compliment, Will—but I spare you-go, unhappy pair!"
Not working with the eye without the ear, And now approaching to the journey's end,
And but with purged judgment trusting neither ? His anger fails, his thoughts to kindness tend,
Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem.
Henry V. act ii. sc. 2. He less offended feels, and rather fears t'offend : Now gently rising, hope contends with doubt,
Better I were distract, And casts a sunshine on the views without;
So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs, And still reviving joy and lingering gloom
And woes by strong imagination lose
The knowledge of themselves. Alternate empire o'er his soul assume ;
Lear, act iv. sc. 6. Till, long perplex'd, he now began to find The softer thoughts engross the settling mind: GENIUS! thou gift of Heaven! thou light divine ! He saw the mansion, and should quickly see Amid what dangers art thou doom'd to shine! His Laura's self-and angry could he be ? Oft will the body's weakness check thy force, No! the resentment melted all away.
Oft damp thy vigour, and impede thy course; ** For this my grief a single smile will pay," And trembling nerves com pel thee to restrain Our traveller cried ; "and why should it offend, Thy nobler efforts, to contend with pain ; That one so good should have a pressing friend? Or Want (sad guest!) will in thy presence come, Grieve not, my heart! to find a favourite guest And breathe around a melancholy gloom ; Thy pride and boast-ye selfish sorrows, rest; To life's low cares will thy proud thought confine, She will be kind, and I again be blest."
And make her sufferings, her impatience, thine. While gentler passions thus his bosom sway'd, "Evil and strong, seducing passions prey He reach'd the mansion, and he saw the maid ; On soaring minds, and win them from their way; " My Laura!"_" My Orlando! this is kind ; Who then to vice the subject spirits give, In truth I came persuaded, not inclined:
And in the service of the conqueror live; Our friends' amusement let us now pursue,
Like captive Samson making sport for all And I to-morrow will return with you.”
Who fear'd their strength, and glory in their fall. Like man entranced, the happy lover stood- Genius, with virtue, still may lack the aid "As Laura wills, for she is kind and good : Implored by humble minds and hearts afraid ; Ever the truest, gentlest, fairest, best
May leave to timid souls the shield and sword As Laura wills, I see her and am blest."
of the tried faith, and the resistless word ;
When left by honour, and by sorrow spent,
The nobler powers that once exalted high
And strength of mind but stronger madness make. The mind was fillid, was happy, and the eye When Edward Shore had reach'd his twentieth Roved o'er the fleeting views, that but appear'd to year, die.
He felt his bosom light, his conscience clear, Alone Orlando on the morrow paced
Applause at school the youthful hero gain'd, The well-known road; the gipsy tent he traced ; And trials there with manly strength sustain'd: The dam high-raised, the reedy dikes between, With prospects bright upon the world he came, The scaiter'd hovels on the barren green,
Pure love of virtue, strong desire of fame : The burning sand, the fields of thin-set rye, Men watch'd the way his lofty mind would take, Mock'd by the useless Flora, blooming by ; And all foretold the progress he would make.
Boast of these friends, to older men a guide, Yet was he studious, serious, moral, grave, Proud of his parts, but gracious in his pride, No passion's victim, and no system's slave ; He bore a gay good nature in his face,
Vice he opposed, indulgence he disdain'd, And in his air were dignity and grace ;
And o'er each sense in conscious triumph reign'd. Dress that became his state and years he wore, Who often reads will sometimes wish to write, And sense and spirit shone in Edward Shore. And Shore would yield instruction and delight:
Thus while admiring friends the youth beheld, A serious drama he design'd, but found
A deep and solemn story he would try,
And he would lastly be the nation's guide, Rejecting trade, a while he dwelt on laws, But, studying, fail'd to fix upon a side ; “But who could plead, if unapproved the cause ?" Fame he desired, and talents he possess'd, A doubting, dismal tribe physicians seem'd; But loved not labour, though he could not rest, Divines o'er texts and disputations dream'd; Nor firmly fix the vacillating mind, War and its glory he perhaps could love,
That, ever working, could no centre find.
Our hero thought no deed should gain applause, The Nile forth rushing on his glorious race ;
In his own room, and with his books around, But that some statute tells us to refrain ?
His lively mind its chief employment found; The grosser herd in ties like these we bind, Then idly busy, quietly employ'd, In virtue's freedom moves th' enlighten'd mind." And, lost to life, his visions were enjoy'd ; " Man's heart deceives him," said a friend. “Of Yet still he took a keen, inquiring view course,"
Of all that crowds neglect, desire, pursue ; Replied the youth, “but, has it power to force ? And thus abstracted, curious, still serene, Unless it forces, call it as you will,
He, unemploy'd, beheld life's shifting scene ; It is but wish and proneness to the ill.”
Still more averse from vulgar joys and cares, "Art thou not tempted ?”—“ Do I fall ?” said Shore. Still more unfitted for the world's affairs. “The pure have fallen.”_" Then are pure no more: There was a house where Edward ofttimes went, While reason guides me, I shall walk aright, And social hours in pleasant trilling spent; Nor need a steadier hand, or stronger light; He read, conversed and reason'd, sang and play'd, Nor this in dread of awful threats, design'd And all were happy while the idler stay'd ; For the weak spirit and the grovelling mind; Too happy one, for thence arose the pain, But that, engaged by thonghts and vicws sublime, Till this engaging trifler came again. I wage tree war with grossness and with crime." But did he love? We answer, day by day, Thus look'd he proudly on the vulgar crew,
The loving feet would take th' accustom'd way, Whom statutes govern, and whom fears subdue. The amorous eye would rove as is in quest
Faith, with his virtue, he indeed profess'd, or something rare, and on the mansion rest; But doubts deprived his ardent mind of rest; The same soft passion touch'd the gentle tongue, Reason, his sovereign mistress, fail'd to show
And Anna's charms in tender notes were sung ; Light through the mazes of the world below; The ear, too, seem'd to feel the common flame, Questions arose, and they surpass'd the skill Soothed and delighted with the fair one's name : or his sole aid, and would be dubious still; And thus as love each other part possess'd, These to discuss he sought no common guide, The heart, no doubt, its sovereign power confess'd. But to the doubters in his doubts applied ;
Pleased in her sight, the youth required no more; When all together might in freedom speak, Nor rich himself, he saw the damsel poor; And their loved fruth with mutual ardour seek. And he too wisely, nay, too kindly loved, Alas! though men who feel their eyes decay, To pain the being whom his soul approved. Take more than common paing to find their way, Yet, when for this they ask each other's aid,
* Fasil was a rebel chief, and Michael the general of Their mutual purpose the more delay'd : the royal army in Abyssinia, when Mr. Bruce visited that Of all their doubts, their reasoning clear'd not one, country. In all other respects their characters were Still the same spots were present in the sun ;
nearly similar. They are both represented as cruel and Still the same scruples haunted Edward's mind,
treacherous; and even the apparently strong distinction Who found no rest, nor took the means to find.
of loyal and rebellious is in a great measure set aside
when we are informed that Fasil was an open enemy, But though with shaken faith, and slave to fame, and Michael an insolent and ambitious controller of the Vain and aspiring on the world he came ;
royal person and family.
A serious friend our cautious youth possessid, In silence saw the glowing landscape fade,
Or, sitting, sang beneath the arbour's shade :
And none beheld him careless or unclean ; Deist and atheist callid ; for few agreed
Or watch'd him sleeping : we indeed have heard What were his notions, principles, or creed ; Of sleeping beauty, and it has appeard ; His mind reposed not, for he hated rest,
'Tis seen in infants ; there indeed we find Bat all things made a query or a jest;
The features soften'd by the slumbering mind ; Perplex'd himself, he ever sought to prove But other beauties, when disposed to sleep, That man is doom'd in endless doubt to rove; Should from the eye of keen inspector keep; Himself in darkness he professid to be,
The lovely nymph who would her swain surprise And would maintain that not a man could see. May close her mouth, but not conceal her eyes ;
The youthful friend, dissentient, reason'd still Sleep from the fairest face some beauty takes, of the soul's prowess, and the subject will; And all the homely features homelier makes ; Of virtue's beauty, and of honour's force,
So thought our wife, beholding with a sigh And a warm zeal gave life to his discourse : Her sleeping sponse, and Edward smiling by. Since from his feelings all his fire arose,
A sick relation for the husband sent,
The friend, indulging a sarcastic smile, Nor fear'd the youthful pair, for he had seen
Yet lo! this cautious man, so coolly wise. So judged the husband, and with judgment true,
For neither yet the guilt or danger knew. And her he married : Edward at the view
What now remain'd ? but they again should play Bade to his cheerful visits long adieu ;
Th' accustom'd game, and walk th' accustom'd But haply err'd, for this engaging bride
way ; No mirth suppress'd, but rather cause supplied : With careless freedom should converse or read, And when she saw the friends, by reasoning long, And the friend's absence neither fear nor heed ; Confused if right, and positive if wrong,
But rather now they seem'd confused, constrain'd With playful speech and smile, that spoke delight, Within their room still restless they remain'd, She made them careless both of wrong or right. And painfully they feli, and knew each other This gentle damsel gave consent to wed,
paind. With school, and school-day dinners in her head : Ah! foolish men! how could ye thus depend, She now was promised choice of daintiezt food, One on himself, the other on his friend? And costly dress, that made her sovereign good ; The youth with troubled eye the lady saw, With walks on hilly heath to banish spleen, Yet fell too brave, too daring to withdraw; And summer visits when the roads were clean. While she, with tuneless hand the jarring keys All these she loved, to these she gave consent, Touching, was not one moment at her ease : And she was married to her heart's content. Now would she walk, and call her friendly guide,
Their manner this ; the friends together read, Now speak of rain, and cast her cloak aside ; Till books a cause for disputation bred ;
Seize on a book, unconscious what she read,
Painful it is to dwell on deeds of shame;
And, (all too late !) the fallen hero fled.
Then felt the youth, in that seducing time, If mild the evening, in the fields they stray'd, How feebly honour guards the heart from crime : And their own flock with partial eye survey'd ; Small is his native strength; man needs the stay, But of the husband, to indulgence prone, The strength imparted in the trying day; Resumed his book, and bade them walk alone. For all that honour brings against the force
Do, my kind Edward! I must take mine ease, Of headlong passion, aids its rapid course; Name the dear girl the planets and the trees ; Its slight resistance but provokes the fire, Tell her what warblers pour their evening song, As wood-work stops the flame, and then conveys What insects flutter, as you walk along;
it higher. Teach her to fix the roving thoughts, to bind The husband came; a wife by guilt made bold The wandering sense, and methodize the mind.” Had, meeting, soothed him, as in days of old ; This was obey'd ; and oft when this was done, But soon this fact transpired; her strong distress, They calmly gazed on the declining sun ; And his friend's absence, left him naught to guess.