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A steady spirit regularly free ;
The crested cock, with all his female train,
SUNLIGHT IN DECEMBER. --THE DISMAL DAY DECLINING INTO
Now when the cheerless empire of the sky To Capricorn the Centaur Archer yields, And fierce Aquarius stains th' inverted year ; Hung o'er the furthest verge of heaven, the sun Scarce spreads through ether the dejected day. Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot His struggling rays, in horizontal lines, Through the thick air ; as clothed in cloudy storm, Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky ; And, soon descending, to the long dark night, Wide-shading all, the prostrate world resigns. Nor is the night unwished; while vital heat, Light, life, and joy, the dubious day forsake. Meantime, in sable cincture, shadows vast, Deep-tinged and damp, and congregated clouds, And all the vapory turbulence of heaven, Involve the face of things.
THE MELANCHOLY OF WINTER, - DISCONSOLATE LOOK OF
CATTLE. SOUNDS PORTENDING A WINTER STORY.
Thus Winter falls, A heavy gloom oppressive o'er the world, Through Nature shedding influence malign, And rouses up the seeds of dark disease. The soul of man dies in him, loathing life, And black with more than melancholy views. The cattle droop; and o'er the furrowed land, Fresh from the plough, the dun discolored flocks, Untended spreading, crop the wholesome root. Along the woods, along the moorish fens, Sighs the sad Genius of the coming storm ; And up among the loose disjointed cliffs, And fractured mountains wild, the brawling brook And cave, presa geful, send a hollow moan, Resounding long in listening Fancy's ear.
THE RIVER SWOLLEN BY THE WINTER RAINS. -- THE FRESHET.
Wide o'er the brim, with many a torrent swelled, And the mixed ruin of its banks o'erspread, At last the roused-up river pours along : Resistless, roaring, dreadful, down it comes From the rude mountain, and the mossy wild, Tumbling through rocks abrupt, and sounding far ; Then o'er the sanded valley floating spreads, Calm, sluggish, silent ; till again, constrained Between two meeting hills, it bursts away, Where rocks and woods o’erhang the turbid stream ; There gathering triple force, rapid, and deep, It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders
through. APOSTROPHE TO THE GRANDEURS OF NATURE ; WINDS. Nature ! great parent! whose unceasing hand Rolls round the seasons of the changeful year, How mighty, how majestio, are thy works! With what a pleasing dread they swell the soul, That sees astonished, and astonished sings ! Ye too, ye winds ! that now begin to blow With boisterous sweep, I raise my voice to you. Where are your stores, ye powerful beings ! say, Where your aerial magazines reserved, To swell the brooding terrors of the storm? In what far-distant region of the sky, Hushed in deep silence, sloop ye when 't is calm ? THE WINTER TEMPEST. — SIGNS OF ITS APPROACH; SUN;
CLOUDS ; STARS ; WIND ; HEIFER; TAPER. When from the pallid sky the sun descends, With many a spot, that o'er his glaring orb Uncertain wanders, stained ; red fiery streaks Begin to flush around. The reeling clouds Stagger with dizzy poise, as doubting yet Which master to obey ; while rising slow, Blank in the leaden-colored east, the moon Wears a wan circle round her blunted horns. Seen through the turbid fluctuating air, The stars obtuse emit a shivered ray ; Or frequent seem to shoot athwart the gloom, And long behind them trail the whitening blaze. Snatched in short eddies, plays the withered leaf ; And on the flood the dancing feather floats. With broadened nostrils to the sky upturned, The conscious heifer snuffs the stormy gale. E'en as the matron, at her nightly task, With pensive labor draws the flaxen thread, The wasted taper and the crackling flame Foretell the blast.
A WINTER RAIN-STORM ; THE PLAIN DELUGED ; EFFECTS ON
CATTLE ; POULTRY; THE COTTAGER HOUSED. Then comes the father of the tempest forth, Wrapt in black glooms. First joyless rains obscure Drive through the mingling skies with vapor foul; Dash on the mountain's brow, and shake the woods, That grumbling wave below. Th’unsightly plain Lies a brown deluge ; as the low-bent clouds Pour flood on flood, yet, unexhausted, still Combine, and, deepening into night, shut up The day's fair face. The wanderers of heaven, Each to his home, retire ; save those that love To take their pastime in the troubled air, Or skimming flutter round the dimply pool. The cattle from th' untasted fields return, And ask, with moaning low, their wonted stalls, Or ruminate in the contiguous shade. Thither the household feathery peo owd,
SIGNS OF A COMING TEMPEST AMONG THE BIRDS. - ROOKS ;
OWL ; CORMORANT ; HERN ; SEA-FOWL. - SIGNS FROM THE SEA-SHORE.
But chief the plumy race, The tenants of the sky, its changes speak.
Retiring from the downs, where all day long
THE WINTER TEMPEST ON THE OCEAN. -THE BALTIC.
VANITY OF HUMAN PURSUITS.
Where now, ye lying vanities of life! Ye ever-tempting, ever-cheating train! Where are you now? and what is your amount ? Vexation, disappointment, and remorse. Sad, sickening thought! and yet deluded man, A scene of crude disjointed visions passed, And broken slumbers, rises still resolved, With new-flushed hopes, to run the giddy round.
Then issues forth the storm with sudden burst, And hurls the whole precipitated air Down in a torrent. On the passive main Descends th' ethereal force, and with strong gust Turns from its bottom the discolored deep. Through the black night that sits immense around, Lashed into foam, the fierce conflicting brine Seems o'er a thousand raging waves to burn : Meantime the mountain-billows, to the clouds In dreadful tumult swelled, surge above surge, Burst into chaos with tremendous roar, And anchored navies from their stations drive, Wild as the winds, across the howling waste Of mighty waters : now th' inflated wave Straining they scale, and now impetuous shoot Into the secret chambers of the deep, The wintry Baltic thundering o'er their head. Emerging thence again, before the breath Of full-exerted heaven they wing their course, And dart on distant coasts ; if some sharp rock, Or shoal insidious, break not their career, And in loose fragments fling them floating round.
PRAYER FOR VIRTUE.
THE WINTER TEMPEST ON LAND. - ITS EFFECT ON TREES,
ETC. -THE SUCCEEDING CALM Nor less on land the loosened tempest reigns. The mountain thunders; and its sturdy sons Stoop to the bottom of the rocks they shade. Lone on the midnight steep, and all agbast, The dark wayfaring stranger breathless toils, And, often falling, climbs against the blast. Low waves the rooted forest, vexed, and sheds What of its tarnished honors yet remain ; Dashed down, and scattered, by the tearing wind's Assiduous fury, its gigantic limbs. Thus struggling through the dissipated grove, The whirling tempest raves along the plain; And on the cottage thatched, or lordly roof, Keen-fastening, shakes them to the solid base. Sleep frighted flies ; and round the rocking dome, For entrance eager, howls the savage blast. Then too, they say, through all the burdened air, Long groans are heard, shrill sounds, and distant
Father of light and life ! thou Good Supreme ! O teach me what is good ! teach me Thyself ! Save me from folly, vanity, and vice, From every low pursuit ! and feed my soul With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure ; Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss !
THE SNOW-STORM. – THE FIELDS ; THE OX; BIRDS. The keener tempests rise : and fuming dun From all the livid east, or piercing north, Thick clouds ascend ; in whose capacious womb A vapory deluge lies, to snow congealed ; Heavy they roll their fleecy world along, And the sky saddens with the gathered storm. Through the hushed air the whitening shower
descends, At first thin wavering ; till at last the flakes Fall broad, and wide, and fast, dimming the day With a continual flow. The cherished fields Put on their winter-robe of purest white. 'T is 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 wild dazzling waste, that buries wide The works of man. Drooping, the laborer ox Stands covered o'er with snow, and then demands The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven, Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around The winnowing store, and claim the little boon Which Providence assigns them.
THE ROBIN RED-BREAST IN A SNOW-STORM ; THE HARE ; Then throng the busy shapes into his mind
Of covered pits unfathomably deep,
A dire descent! beyond the power of frost ;
Smoothed up with snow; and what is land unknown, In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves
What water of the still unfrozen spring,
Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death ; And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is : Mixed with the tender anguish Nature shoots Till, more familiar grown, the table-crumbs
Through the wrung bosom of the dying man, Attract his slender feet. The foodless wilds
His wife, his children, and his friends unseen. Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare, In vain for him th' officious wife prepares Though timorous of heart, and hard beset
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm ;
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snows a stiffened corse,
Stretched out, and bleaching in the northern blast. Baffle the raging year, and fill their pens
INDIFFERENCE OF PLEASTRE-SEEKERS TO HTMAN MISERY. — With food at will ; lodge them below the storm,
VARIOUS FORMS OF WRETCHEDNESS NOTED. And watch them strict; for from the bellowing east,
Ah ! little think the gay licentious proud, In this dire season, oft the whirlwind's wing
Whom pleasure, power, and afluence surround; Sweeps up the burden of whole wintry plains
They who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth, At one wide waft, and o'er the hapless flocks,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste ; Hid in the hollow of two neighboring hills,
Ah ! little think they, while they dance along, The billowy tempest whelms; till, upward urged,
How many feel, this very moment, death, The valley to a shining mountain swells,
And all the sad variety of pain. Tipped with a wreath high-curling in the sky.
How many sink in the devouring flood,
Or more devouring flame. How many bleed, THE WAYFARER LOST IN THE SNOW.-- HIS WRETCHED FATE; HOME ; WIFE ; CHILDREN ; FRIENDS.
By shameful variance betwixt man and man. As thus the snows arise ; and foul, and fierce,
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 Disastered stands ; sees other hills ascend,
Of misery. Sore pierced by wintry winds, Of unknown joyless brow; and other scenes,
How many shrink into the sordid hut Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain :
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, Impatient flouncing through the drifted heaps,
They furnish matter for the tragic Muse ; Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts of
E'en in the vale where Wisdom loves to dwell, home
With Friendship, Peace, and Contemplation joined, Rush on his nerves, and call their vigor forth
How many, racked with honest passions, droop In many a vain attempt. How sinks his soul !
| In deep retired distress. How many stand What black despair, what horror fills his heart !
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends, When for the dusky spot, which fancy feigned
And point the parting anguish.
Thought fond man While round him night resistless closes fast,
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills, And every tempest, howling o'er his head,
That one incessant struggle render life Renders the savage wilderness more wild.
! One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fato,
GOOD EFFECTS OF SYMPATHY.
THE BENEVOLENT JAIL COMMITTEE. - IMPRISONMENT FOR
LEGAL REFORM URGED.
Vice in his high career would stand appalled, E'en beauty, force divine ! at whose bright glance
Here bleeds, a hapless undistinguished prey.
But if, apprised of the severe attack, The social tear would rise, the social sigh ;
The country be shut up, lured by the scent, And into clear perfection, gradual bliss,
On church-yards drear (inhuman to relate !)
The disappointed prowlers fall, and dig
Mixed with foul shades and frighted ghosts, they And here can I forget the generous band,
howl. Who, touched with human woe, redressive searched Into the horrors of the gloomy jail ?
Among those hilly regions, where embraced Unpitied, and unheard, where misery moans, In peaceful vales the happy Grisons dwell ; Where sickness pines, where thirst and hunger burn, Oft, rushing sudden from the loaded cliffs, And poor misfortune feels the lash of vice.
Mountains of snow their gathering terrors roll. While in the land of Liberty, the land
From steep to steep, loud-thundering down they come, Whose every street and public meeting glow A wintry waste in dire commotion all ; With open freedom, little tyrants raged ;
And herds, and flocks, and travellers, and swains, Snatched the lean morsel from the starving mouth; And sometimes whole brigades of marching troops, Tore from cold wintry limbs the tattered weed ; Or hamlets sleeping in the dead of night, E'en robbed them of the last of comforts, sleep ; Are deep beneath the smothering ruin whelmed. The free-born Briton to the dungeon chained,
THE WINTER HOMESTEAD; ITS PROPER LOCATION. - STUDY Or, as the lust of cruelty prevailed,
OF HISTORY. At pleasure marked him with inglorious stripes ;
Now, all amid the rigors of the year, And crushed out lives, by secret barbarous ways,
In the wild depth of Winter, while without That for their country would have toiled or bled.
The ceaseless winds blow ice, be my retreat,
Between the groaning forest and the shore
Beat by the boundless multitude of waves,
Where ruddy fire and beaming tapers join
To cheer the gloom. There studious let me sit, Wrench from their hands oppression's iron rod, And hold high converse with the mighty dead ; And bid the cruel feel the pains they give.
Sages of ancient time, as gods revered, Much still untouched remains ; in this rank age, As gods beneficent, who blessed mankind Much is the patriot's weeding hand required. With arts, with arms, and humanized a world. The toils of law (what dark insidious men Have cumbrous added to perplex the truth,
Roused at the inspiring thought, I throw aside And lengthen simple justice into trade)
The long-lived volume ; and, deep-musing, hail How glorious were the day that saw these broke,
The sacred shades, that slowly-rising pass And every man within the reach of right!
Before my wondering eyes. First Socrates, PACKS OF WOLVES; THEIR RAVAGES ; THE HORSE ; BULL; Who, firmly good in a corrupted state, MOTHER AND INFANT ; BURIED CORPSES.
Against the rage of tyrants single stood,
Invincible ! calm reason's holy law,
Obeying, fearless, or in life, or death :
Great moral teacher ! wisest of mankind !
Solon the next, who built his common weal
On equity's wide base ; by tender laws Keen as the north-wind sweeps the glossy snow.
A lively people curbing, yet undamped ; All is their prize. They fasten on the steed,
Preserving still that quick peculiar fire, Press him to earth, and pierce his mighty heart.
Whence in the laurelled field of finer arts, Nor can the bull his awful front defend,
And of bold freedom, they unequalled shone,
The pride of smiling Greece, and humankind.
Lycurgus then, who bowed beneath the force The godlike face of man avails him naught.
Of strictest discipline, severely wise, 1 The Jail Committee, in the year 1729.
All human passions. Following him, I see,
THE MIGHTY DEAD.-SOCRATES.
LYCURGUS. - LEONIDAS.
As at Thermopylæ he glorious fell,
ARISTIDES. Then Aristides lifts his honest front; Spotless of heart, to whom the unflattering voice Of Freedom gave the noblest name of Just; In pure majestic poverty revered ; Who, e'en his glory to his country's weal Submitting, swelled a haughty rival's 2 fame.
Servius the king, who laid the solid base
REGULUS. SCIPIO. CICERO.-- CATO. - BRUTUS.
CIMON Reared by his care, of softer ray appears Cimon, sweet-souled ; whose genius, rising strong, Shook off the load of young debauch ; abroad The scourge of Persian pride, at home the friend Of every worth and every splendid art ; Modest, and simple, in the pomp of wealth.
TIMOLEON. - PELOPIDAS. - EPAMINOXDAS.
Then the last worthies of declining Greece, Late called to glory, in unequal times, Pensive, appear. The fair Corinthian boast, Timoleon, happy temper! mild, and firm, Who wept the brother while the tyrant bled. And, equal to the best, the Theban pair,3 Whose virtues, in heroic concord joined, Their country raised to freedom, empire, fame.
He too, with whom Athenian honor sunk,
AGIS. -- ARATUS. - PHILOPEMEN.
Thy willing victim,2 Carthage, bursting loose From all that pleading Nature could oppose, From a whole city's tears, by rigid faith Imperious called, and Honor's dire command ; Scipio, the gentle chief, humanely brave, Who soon the race of spotless glory ran, And, warm in youth, to the poetic shade With Friendship and Philosophy retired ; Tully, whose powerful eloquence a while Restrained the rapid fate of rushing Rome ; Unconquered Cato, virtuous in extreme ; And thou, unhappy Brutus, kind of heart, Whose steady arm, by awful virtue urged, Listed the Roman steel against thy friend : Thousands besides the tribute of a verse Demand ; but who can count the stars of heaven? Who sing their influence on this lower world?
VIRGIL. - HOMER AND THE GRECIAN WRITERS. Behold, who yonder comes ! in sober state, Fair, mild, and strong, as is a vernal sun : 'T is Phæbus' self, or else the Mantuan swain ! Great Homer too appears, of daring wing, Parent of song! and, equal by his side, The British Muse ; joined hand in hand they walk, Darkling, full up the middle steep to fame. Nor absent are those shades, whose skilful touch Pathetic drew the impassioned heart, and charmed Transported Athens with the moral scene ; Nor those who, tuneful, waked the enchanting lyre.
THE SOCIETY OF THE WISE. - FRIENDS. - POPE. First of your kind ! society divine ! Still visit thus my nights, for you reserved, And mount my soaring soul to thoughts like yours. Silence, thou lonely power ! the door be thine ; See on the hallowed hour that none intrude, Save a few chosen friends, who sometimes deign To bless my humble roof, with sense refined, Learning digested well, exalted faith, Unstudied wit, and humor ever gay. Or from the Muses' hill will Pope descend, To raise the sacred hour, to bid it smile, And with the social spirit warm the heart? For though not sweeter his own Homer sings, Yet is his life the more endearing song.
A TRIBUTE TO MR. HAMMOND. Where art thou, Hammond ? thou, the darling
THE ROMANS. - NOMA.- SERVICS. - BRUTUS. -CAMILLUS.
FABRICICS. - CINCINNATUS.
Of rougher front, a mighty people come ! A race of heroes ! in those virtuous times Which knew no stain, save that with partial flame Their dearest country they too fondly loved : Her better Founder first, the light of Rome, Numa, who softened her rapacious sons ;