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But relaxation of the languid frame, At length a generation more refined

By soft recumbency of outstretched limbs, Improved the simple plan ; made three legs four,

Was bliss reserved for happier days. So slow Gave them a twisted form vermicular,

The growth of what is excellent ; so hard And o'er the seat, with plenteous wadding stuffed, To attain perfection in this nether world. Induced a splendid cover, green and blue,

Thus first necessity invented stools, Yellow and red, of tapestry richly wrought

Convenience next suggested elbow-chairs, And woven close, or needle-work sublime.

And luxury the accomplished Sofa last. There might ye see the piony spread wide,

SLEEP AND THE SOFA ; NURSE ; COACHMAN ; CURATE ; CLERK. The full-blown rose, the shepherd and his lass,

Lapdog and lambkin with black staring eyes,
And parrots with twin cherries in their beak.

The nurse sleeps sweetly, hired to watch the sick,

Whom snoring she disturbs. As sweetly be, THE CHAIR INVENTED ; CANE AND LEATHER BOTTOMS. Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour, Now came the cane from India, smooth and bright His legs depending at the open door.

To sleep within the carriage more secure,
With nature's varnish ; severed into stripes,
That interlaced each other, these supplied

Sweet sleep enjoys the curate in his desk,

The tedious rector drawling o'er his head ; Of texture firm a lattice-work, that braced

And sweet the clerk below. But neither sleep The new machine, and it became a chair. But restless was the chair ; the back erect

Of lazy nurse, who snores the sick man dead ; Distressed the weary loins, that felt no ease ;

Nor his, who quits the box at midnight hour,

To slumber in the carriage more secure ;
The slippery seat betrayed the sliding part
That pressed it, and the feet hung dangling down,

Nor sleep enjoyed by curate in his desk ;
Anxious in vain to find the distant floor.

Nor yet the dozings of the clerk, are sweet, These for the rich : the rest, whom fate had placed

Compared with the repose the Sofa yields. In modest mediocrity, content

O may I live exempted (while I live With base materials, sat on well-tanned hides,

Guiltless of pampered appetite obscene) Obdurate and unyielding, glassy sinooth,

From pangs arthritic, that infest the toe With here and there a tuft of crimson yarn,

Of libertine excess. The Sofa suits Or scarlet crewel, in the cushion fixed,

The gouty limb, 't is true ; but gouty limb, If cushion might be called, what harder seemed

Though on a Sofa, may I never feel : Than the firm oak, of which the frame was formed.

THE RURAL WALK ; SHEEP ; LUNCH ; HIPS AND BERRIES ; THE No want of timber was then felt or feared

In Albion's happy isle. The lumber stood
Ponderous and fixed by its own massy weight.

For I have loved the rural walk through lanes
Of grassy swath, close cropped by nibbling sheep,

And skirted thick with intertexture firm

of thorny boughs ; have loved the rural walk But elbows still were wanting; these, some say, O’er hills, through valleys, and by rivers' brink, An alderman of Cripplegate contrived ;

E'er since a truant boy I passed my bounds, And some ascribe the invention to a priest,

To enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames ; Burly and big, and studious of his ease.

And still remember, nor without regret, But, rude at first, and not with easy slope

Of hours, that sorrow since has much endeared, Receding wide, they pressed against the ribs,

How oft, my slice of pocket store consumed, And bruised the side ; and, elevated high,

Still hungering, penniless, and far from home, Taught the raised shoulders to invade the ears.

I fed on scarlet hips and stony haws, Long time elapsed or e'er our rugged sires

Or blushing crabs, or berries, that emboss Complained, though incommodiously pent in,

The bramble, black as jet, or sloes austere. And ill at ease behind. The ladies first

Hard fare ! but such as boyish appetite 'Gan murmur, as became the softer sex.

Disdains not ; nor the palate, undepraved

By culinary arts, unsavory deems.

No Sofa then awaited my return ;
Ingenious fancy, never better pleased

Nor Sofa then I needed.
Than when employed to accommodate the fair,
Heard the sweet moan with pity, and devised

The soft settee ; one elbow at each end,
And in the midst an elbow it received.

Youth repairs United yet divided, twain at once.

His wasted spirits quickly, by long toil So sit two kings of Brentford on one throne ; Incurring short fatigue ; and, though our years, And so two citizens, who take the air,

As life declines, speed rapidly away, Close packed, and smiling, in a chaise and one. And not a year but pilfers as he goes


Some youthful grace, that age would gladly keep, –
A tooth or auburn lock ; and by degrees
Their length and color from the locksthey spare ; —
The elastic spring of an unwearied foot,
That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the fence;
That play of lungs, inhaling and again
Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes
Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me, -
Mine have not pilfered yet, nor yet impaired
My relish of fair prospect ; scenes that soothed
Or charmed me young, no longer young, I find
Still soothing, and of power to charm me still.
And witness, dear companion of my walks,
Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive
Fast locked in mine, with pleasure such as love,
Confirmed by long experience of thy worth
And well-tried virtues, could alone inspire -
Witness a joy that thou hast doubled long.
Thou knowest my praise of nature most sincere,
And that my raptures are not conjured up
To serve occasions of poetic pomp,
But genuine, - and art partner of them all.

The dash of ocean on his winding shore,
And lull the spirit while they fill the mind ;
Unnumbered branches waving in the blast,
And all their leaves fast fluttering, all at once.
Nor less composure waits upon the roar
Of distant floods, or on the softer voice
Of neighboring fountain, or of rills that slip
Through the cleft rock, and, chiming as they fall
Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length
In matted grass, that with a livelier green
Betrays the secret of their silent course.
Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds,
But animated nature sweeter still,
To soothe and satisfy the human ear.
Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one
The live-long night: nor these alone, whose notes
Nice-fingered art must emulate in vain,
But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime
In still repeated circles, screaming loud,
The jay, the pie, and e'en the boding owl,
That hails the rising moon, have charms for me.
Sounds inharmonious in themselves, and harsh,
Yet heard in scenes where peace forever reigns,
And only there, please highly for their sake.



THE WEATHER-HOUSE TOY. Peace to the artist, whose ingenious thought Devised the weather-bouse, that useful toy ! Fearless of humid air and gathering rains, Forth steps the man — an emblem of myself! More delicate his timorous mate retires. When winter soaks the fields, and female feet, Too weak to struggle with tenacious clay, Or ford the rivulets, are best at home, The task of new discoveries falls on me.

How oft upon yon eminence our pace Has slackened to a pause, and we have borne The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew, While admiration, feeding at the eye, And still unsated, dwelt upon the scene. Thence, with what pleasure have we just discerned The distant plough slow moving, and beside His laboring team, that swerved not from the track, The sturdy swain diminished to a boy! Here Ouse, slow winding through a level plain Of spacious meads with cattle sprinkled o’er, Conducts the eye along his sinuous course Delighted. There, fast rooted in their bank, Stand, never overlooked, our favorite elms, That screen the herdsman's solitary hut ; While far beyond, and overthwart the stream, That, as with molten glass, inlays the vale, The sloping land recedes into the clouds ; Displaying on its varied side the grace Of hedge-row beauties numberless, square tower, Tall spire, from which the sound of cheerful bells Just undulates upon the listening car, Groves, heaths, and smoking villages, remote. Scenes must be beautiful, which daily viewed, Please daily, and whose novelty survives Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years : Praise justly due to those that I describe.


OF SOLITUDE. At such a season, and with such a charge, Once went I forth ; and found, till then unknown, A cottage, whither oft we since repair : "T is perched upon the green hill-top, but close Environed with a ring of branching elms, That overhang the thatch, itself unseen Peeps at the vale below; so thick beset With foliage of such dark redundant growth, I called the low-roofed lodge the Peasant's Nest. And hidden as it is, and far remote From such unpleasing sounds, as haunt the ear In village or in town, the bay of curs Incessant, clinking hammers, grinding wheels, And infants clamorous, whether pleased or pained, Oft have I wished the peaceful covert mine. Here, I have said, at least I should possess The poet's treasure, silence, and indulge The dreams of fancy, tranquil and secure. Vain thought! the dweller in that still retreat Dearly obtains the refuge it affords. Its elevated site forbids the wretch To drink sweet waters of the crystal well ; He dips his bowl into the weedy ditch, And, heavy laden, brings his beverage home,



Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds, Exhilarate the spirit, and restore The tone of languid nature. - Mighty winds, That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading wood Of ancient growth, make music not unlike

Far fetched and little worth ; nor seldom waits,
Dependent on the baker's punctual call,
To hear his creaking panniers at the door,
Angry and sad, and his last crust consumed.
So farewell envy of the Peasant's Nest !
If solitude make scant the means of life,
Society for me! thou seeming sweet,
Be still a pleasing object in my view ;
My visit still, but never mine abode.


Not distant far, a length of colonnade
Invites us. Monument of ancient taste,
Now scorned, but worthy of a better fate.
Our fathers knew the value of a screen
From sultry suns : and, in their shaded walks
And long-protracted bowers, enjoyed at noon
The gloom and coolness of declining day.
We bear our shades about us ; self-deprived
Of other screen, the thin umbrella spread,
And range an Indian waste without a tree.
Thanks to Benevolusi- he spares me yet
These chestnuts ranged in corresponding lines ;
And, though himself so polished, still reprieves
The obsolete prolixity of shade.

Descending now (but cautious lest too fast)
A sudden steep, upon a rustic bridge
We pass a gulf, in which the willows dip
Their pendent boughs, stooping as if to drink.
Hence, ankle deep in moss and flowery thyme,
We mount again, and feel at every step
Our foot half sunk in hillocks green and soft,
Raised by the mole, the miner of the soil.
He, not unlike the great ones of mankind,
Disfigures earth : and, plotting in the dark,
Toils much to earn a monumental pile,
That may record the mischiefs he has done.

The summit gained, behold the proud alcove
That crowns it! yet not all its pride secures
The grand retreat from injuries impressed
By rural carvers, who with knives deface
The panels, leaving an obscure, rude name,
In characters uncouth, and spelled amiss.
So strong the zeal t' immortalize himself
Beats in the breast of man, that e'en a few,
Few transient years, won from the abyss abhorred
Of blank oblivion, seem a glorious prize,
And even to a clown.

The middle field ; but, scattered by degrees,
Each to his choice, soon whiten all the land.
There from the sunburnt hay-field homeward creeps
The loaded wain ; while, lightened of its charge,
The wain that meets it passes swiftly by :
The boorish driver leaning o'er his team
Vociferous, and impatient of delay.
Nor less attractive is the woodland scene,
Diversified with trees of every growth,
Alike, yet various. Here the gray smooth trunks
Of ash, or lime, or beech, distinctly shine,
Within the twilight of their distant shades ;
There, lost behind a rising ground, the wood
Seems sunk, and shortened to its topmost boughs.

No tree in all the grove but has its charms,
Though each its hue peculiar ; paler some,
And of a wannish gray ; the willow such,
And poplar, that with silver lines his leaf,
And ash far-stretching his umbrageous arm ;
Of decper green the elm ; and deeper still,
Lord of the woods, the long-surviving oak.
Some glossy-leaved, and shining in the sun,
The maple, and the beech of oily nuts
Prolific, and the lime at dewy eve
Diffusing odors ; nor unnoted pass
The sycamore, capricious in attire,
Now green, now tawny, and, ere autumn yet
Have changed the woods, in scarlet honors bright.

O'er these, but far beyond (a spacious map
Of hill and valley interposed between),
The Ouse, dividing the well-watered land,
Now glitters in the sun, and now retires,
As bashful, yet impatient to be seen.

Hence the declivity is sharp and short,
And such the reäscent ; between them weeps
A little Naiad her impoverished urn
All summer long, which winter fills again.


The folded gates would bar my progress now, But that the lord of this enclosed demesne, Communicative of the good he owns, Admits me to a share ; the guiltless eye Commits no wrong, nor wastes what it enjoys. Refreshing change! where now the blazing sun ? By short transition we have lost his glare, And stepped at once into a cooler clime. Yet, fallen avenues ! once more I mourn Your fate unmerited, once more rejoice That yet a remnant of your race survives. How airy and how light the graceful arch, Yet awful as the consecrated roof Reèchoing pious anthems ! while beneath The checkered earth seems restless as a flood Brushed by the wind. So sportive is the light


Now roves the eye ; And posted on this speculative height, Exults in its command. The sheepfold here Pours out its fleecy tenants o'er the glebe. At first, progressive as a stream, they seek

1 John Courtney Throckmorton, Esq., of Weston Underwood

1 See the foregoing note.



Shot through the boughs, it dances as they dance. Good temper ; spirits prompt to undertake,
Shadow and sunshine intermingling quick,

And not soon spent, though in an arduous task ;
And darkening and enlightening, as the leaves The powers of fancy and strong thought are theirs ;
Play wanton, every moment, every spot. [cheered, E'en age itself seems privileged in them,
And now,

with nerves new-braced and spirits With clear exemption from its own defects. We tread the wilderness, whose well-rolled walks, A sparkling eye beneath a wrinkled front With curvature of slow and easy sweep

The veteran shows, and, gracing a gray beard Deception innocent - give ample space

With youthful smiles, descends towards the grave To narrow bounds.

Sprightly, and old almost without decay.

Like a coy maiden, ease, when courted most, The grove receives us next;

Furthest retires — an idol, at whose shrine Between the upright shafts of whose tall elms

Who oftenest sacrifice are favored least. We may discern the thresher at his task.

SUPERIORITY OF NATURE TO ART. Thump after thump resounds the constant flail,

The love of Nature, and the scenes she draws, That seems to swing uncertain, and yet falls

Is Nature's dictate. Strange! there should be found, Full on the destined ear. Wide flies the chaff,

Who, self-imprisoned in their proud saloons, The rustling straw sends up a frequent mist

Renounce the odors of the open field Of atoms, sparkling in the noonday beam.

For the unscented fictions of the loom ;
Come hither, ye that press your beds of down,

Who, satisfied with only pencilled scenes,
And sleep not ; see him sweating o'er bis bread
Before he eats it. — 'T is the primal curse,

Prefer to the performance of a God

The inferior wonders of an artist's hand ! But softened into mercy ; made the pledge

Lovely indeed the mimio works of Art; Of cheerful days, and nights without a groan.

But Nature's works far lovelier. I admire, PERPETCAL ACTIVITY IN NATURE. - UTILITY OF WINDS. - None more admires, the painter's magic skill,

Who shows me that which I shall never see, By ceaseless action all that is subsists.

Conveys a distant country into mine, Constant rotation of the unwearied wheel,

And throws Italian light on English walls : That nature rides upon, maintains her health,

But imitative strokes can do no more Her beauty, her fertility. She dreads

Than please the eye — sweet Nature's every sense. An instant's pause, and lives but while she moves.

The air salubrious of her lofty hills, Its own revolvency upholds the world.

The cheering fragranee of her dewy vales, Winds from all quarters agitate the air,

And music of her woods — no works of man And fit the limpid element for use,

May rival these ; these all bespeak a power Else noxious : oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams,

Peculiar, and exclusively her own. All feel the freshening impulse, and are cleansed

Beneath the open sky she spreads the feast ; By restless undulation : e'en the oak

'T is free to all — 't is every day renewed ; Thrives by the rude concussion of the storm :

Who scorns it starves deservedly at home. He seems indeed indignant, and to feel The impression of the blast with proud disdain, ENJOYMENT OF NATURE BY THE RELEASED PRISONER; THE Frowning, as if in his unconscious arm

CONVALESCENT ; BY THE MARINER CRAZED WITH THE LONGHe held the thunder : but the monarch owes His firm stability to what he scorns,

He does not scorn it, who, imprisoned long More fixed below, the more disturbed above.

In some unwholesome dungeon, and a prey
To sallow sickness, which the vapors, dank

And clammy, of his dark abode have bred,
The law, by which all creatures else are bound, Escapes at last to liberty and light :
Binds man, the lord of all. Himself derives His cheek recovers soon its healthful hue ;
No mean advantage from a kindred cause,

His eye relumines its extinguished fires ;
From strenuous toil his hours of sweetest ease. He walks, he leaps, he runs — -is winged with joy,
The sedentary stretch their lazy length

And riots in the sweets of every breeze. When custom bids, but no refreshment find,

He does not scorn it, who has long endured For none they need : the languid eye, the cheek A fever's agonies, and fed on drugs ; Deserted of its bloom, the flaccid, shrunk,

Nor yet the mariner, his blood inflamed
And withered muscle, and the vapid soul,

With acrid salts : his very heart athirst,
Reproach their owner with that love of rest, To gaze at nature in her green array,
To which he forfeits e'en the rest he loves.

Upon the ship's tall side he stands, possessed
Not such the alert and active. Measure life With visions prompted by intense desire :
By its true worth, the comforts it affords,

Fair fields appear below. such as he left
And theirs alone seems worthy of the name.

Far distant, such as he would die to find ; Good health, and, its associate in the most,

He seeks them headlong, and is seen no more..



And mar,


THE SEA-CLIFF ; THE QUIET, INLAND VALE. The spleen is seldom felt where Flora reigns ; The earth was made so various, that the mind The lowering eye, the petulance, the frown,

Of desultory man, studious of change, And sullen sadness, that o'ershade, distort,

And pleased with novelty, might be indulged. the face of beauty, when no cause

Prospects, however lovely, may be seen For such immeasurable woe appears,

Till half their beauties fade ; the weary sight, These Flora banishes, and gives the fair

Too well acquainted with their smiles, slides off Sweet smiles, and bloom less transient than her own. Fastidious, seeking less familiar scenes. It is the constant revolution, stale

Then snug enclosures in the sheltered vale, And tasteless, of the same repeated joys,

Where frequent hedges intercept the eye, That palls and satiates, and makes languid life Delight us ; happy to renounce a while, A pedler's pack, that bows the bearer down.

Not senseless of its charms, what still we love, Health suffers, and the spirits ebb ; the heart That such short absence may endear it more. Recoils from its own choice - at the full feast Then forests, or the savage rock, may please, Is famished - finds no music in the song,

That hides the sea-mew in his hollow clefts
No smartness in the jest ; and wonders why.

Above the reach of man. His hoary head,
Conspicuous many a league, the mariner

Bound homeward, and in hope already there,

Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist

A girdle of half-withered shrubs he shows, Yet thousands still desire to journey on,

And at his feet the baffled billows die. Though halt, and weary of the path they tread.

The common, overgrown with fern, and rough The paralytic, who can hold her cards,

With prickly gorse, that shapeless and deformed, But cannot play them, borrows a friend's hand

And dangerous to the touch, bas yet its bloom, To deal and shuffle, to divide and sort

And decks itself with ornaments of gold, Her mingled suits and sequences ; and sits,

Yields no unpleasing ramble ; there the turf Spectatress both and spectacle, a sad

Smells fresh, and rich in odoriferous herbs And silent cipher, while her proxy plays.

And fungous fruits of earth, regales the sense Others are dragged into the crowded room

With luxury of unexpected sweets.
Between supporters ; and, once seated, sit,
Through downright inability to rise,
Till the stout bearers list the corpse again.
These speak a loud momento. Yet even these

There often wanders one, whom better days Themselves love life, and cling to it, as he

Saw better clad, in cloak of satin trimmed That overbangs a torrent to a twig.

With lace, and hat with splendid riband bound. They love it, and yet loathe it; fear to die,

A serving maid was she, and fell in love

With one who left her, went to sea, and died. Yet scorn the purposes for which they live. Then wherefore not renounce them! No, the dread,

Her fancy followed him through foaming waves The slavish dread of solitude, that breeds

To distant shores ; and she would sit and weep Reflection and remorse, the fear of shame,

At what a sailor suffers ; fancy too,

Delusive most where warmest wishes are, And their inveterate habits, all forbid.

Would oft anticipate his glad return,

And dream of transports she was not to know. THE TRULY GAY. - THE LARK. –THE PEASANT. - THE FASH

She heard the doleful tidings of his death

And never smiled again ! and now she roams Whom call we gay? That honor has been long

The dreary waste ; there spends the live-long day, The boast of mere pretenders to the name.

And there, unless when charity forbids, The innocent are gay - the lark is gay,

The live-long night. A tattered apron hides, That dries his feathers, saturate with dew,

Worn as a cloak, and hardly hides, a gown Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams

More tattered still ; and both but ill conceal Of day-spring overshoot his humble nest.

A bosom heaved with never-ceasing sighs. The peasant too, a witness of his


She begs an idle pin of all she meets, Himself a songster, is as gay as he.

And hoards them in her sleeve ; but needful food, But gave me from the gayety of those,

Though pressed with hunger oft, or comelier clothes, Whose headaches nail them to a noonday bed ;

Though pinched with cold, asks never. – Kate is And save me too from theirs, whose haggard eyes

crazed. Flash desperation, and betray their pangs

For property stripped off by cruel chance ;
From gayety, that fills the bones with pain,

I see a column of slow-rising smoke
The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with woe. O’ertop the lofty wood that skirts the wild.



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