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Rural Ode for January.

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STROPHE. Let thy horrors chill their soul,

Winter, the crowd may fear thy power ;

Wisdom spurns thy mad control,
She starts not when thy tempests lower.

Maid, enlarge my opening mind,
Teach me thy pleasures and thy bliss to find;
Raise me above their hopes and foolish fear,

Who shrink when wintry storms appear. Are there no joys but those which Spring affords?

Say, shall not Nature please on every view? Summer prepares the loved autumnal hoards ;

But bas not surly Winter charms for you? Canst thou not still adore that awful God, Who midnight darkness wreathes, and pours his

storms abroad?

WINTER. A PINDARIC ODE, BY W. JEXKS, D.D.; WRITTEN JANGARY,

1796, ÆT. st£, 17. STROPHE. Wrapt in joyless night and storm,

Far in the frozen north, his throne

Winter holds, terrific form,
Nor glimmering beam of day has known.

Waiting the desired command,
His angry ministers, on either hand,

Shrill icy blasts, tempest, and hail, and
Mingle above, around, below. (snow,
Chaos delights to hear their riot loud,

Sees here established her perennial way ; While thro' the midnight, throne-involving cloud,

A voice thus forces its resistless way ; Seek, Powers tumultuous, dignified employ ; Go, wreak your rage on man, each blissful scene

destroy!' ANTISTROPHE. All obey, and shouts, that tear

The vaulted heavens, his mandate hail ;

They for destined joy prepare,
And, shadowing all, in darkness sail.

Lo! the dreaded, hideous train
Satiate their vengeance on the prostrate main,
On beauteous earth, by kinder seasons drest,

While terror seizes every breast.
Now all around a dreary waste appears ;

No more the verdant prospect charms the eye,
Nature, o'erwhelmed, seems sunk in icy years ;

The child of sorrow heaves a pitying sigh. Yet, holding stern their course, the cheering day, And gladness, peace, and hope, they frighten far away. EPode. This is thy dreaded sway,

Such terrors, Winter, thine.
Lo ! Superstition rears her gorgon head,

Her glaring eyeballs shine,

Darting a thrilling ray,
And rouse to vulgar view the sheeted dead.

On the midnight whirlwind tost,

See the spectres, shadowy, pale ! Heard you that feeble, hollow-sounding wail ? The rocking tempest howls ; their shrieks are lost.

Fear chills the beating heart. Each dreary pause
Hears the sad tale go round the village fire ;
Attention checks the voice. Dread silence awos
The mind ; while fears related fears inspire.

Hark! I hear. Sure they are near,
The spirits of tempestuous night ;
On the gale, behold them sail !

Heaven preserve my aching sight!
O that again those peace-clad days were known,
When o'er our happy plains the gun's mild radiance

shone.'

ANTISTROPHE. Calm and studious may I sit,

By the dim taper's glimmering ray,

Musing on airy forms, that flit
In roused imagination's day.

Or the blooming portraits view,
By history's pencil painted, fair, yet true.
May these direct wild Emulation's dart,

And pour instruction on the heart.
Display, 0 maid, to my enraptured sight

Fair Freedom, in her Grecian robes arrayed:
Paint Glory's sons, demanding ardent fight,

And foul barbaric ignorance dismayed. Recall to view each patriot's sacred name, Who fought, and, dying, swelled the loud-tongued

trump of Fame.

EPode. Nor be forgot the band,

Who wisdom brought from heaven ;
Their praise the enduring lip of Time shall sing.

To minds like theirs is given

To bless their native land,
And spurn dull earth, on philosophic wing.

Thus the imperial eagle soars.

While gazing crowds below admire, He bares his broad breast meridian fire, Exerting all his cloud-surmounting powers.

Oft may I wander o'er poetic plains,

With bards of eldest time high converse hold; Oft too may Fancy's wildly-warbled strains Rouse, calm, direct the passion-moulded soul.

Such joys for me, till when I see
Fair-blooming Spring bedeck the fields ;
Fly then Despair, and sullen Care,

Even gloomy Winter pleasure yields.
Despondency Heaven ne'er for man designed,
But framed each season's change to rouse and teach

his mind.

Cowper's "Winter Ebening."

ARGUMENT.

A poor

The post comes in. The newspaper is read. The world

contemplated at a distance. Address to Winter. The rural amusements of a winter evening compared with the fashionable ones. Address to Evening. A brown study. Fall of snow in the evening.

The wagoner. family piece. The rural thief. Public houses. The multitude of them censured. The farmer's daughter : what she was, what she is. The simplicity of country manners almost lost. Causes of the change. Desertion of the country by the rich. Neglect of magistrates. The militia principally in fault. The new recruit and his transformation. Reflection on bodies corporate. The love of rural objects natural to all, and never to be totally extinguished.

Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
Not such his evening, who with shining face
Sweats in the crowded theatre, and, squeezed
And bored with elbow-points through both his sides,
Outscolds the ranting actor on the stage :
Nor his, who patient stands till his feet throb,
And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath
Of patriots, bursting with heroic rage,
Or placemen, all tranquillity and smiles.

THE NEWSPAPER DESCRIBED. - A MAP OF LIFE.
This folio of four pages, happy work !
Which not even critics criticize ; that holds
Inquisitive attention, while I read,
Fast bound in chains of silence, which the fair,
Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break ;
What is it, but a map of busy life,
Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns ?
Here runs the mountainous and craggy ridge
That tempts ambition.

THE POLITICAL ASPIRANT. -THE SUPPLE DEMAGOGUE.

THE MAIL. THE POSTMAN AND HIS BUDGET.
Hark ! 't is the twanging horn o'er yonder bridge,
That with its wearisome but needful length
Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon
Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright;
He comes, the herald of a noisy world, [locks ;
With spattered boots, strapped waist, and frozen
News from all nations lumbering at his back.
True to his charge, the close-packed load behind,
Yet careless what he brings, his one concern
Is to conduct it to the destined inn;
And, having dropped the expected bag, pass on.
He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch,
Cold and yet cheerful : messenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to some ;
To him indifferent whether grief or joy.
Houses in ashes, and the fall of stocks,
Births, deaths, and marriages, epistles wet
With tears, that trickled down the writer's cheeks
Fast as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charged with amorous sighs of absent swains,
Or nymphs responsive, equally affect
His horse and him, unconscious of them all.

THE NEWS,' FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC.
But, 0, the important budget ! ushered in
With such heart-shaking music, who can say
What are its tidings ? have our troops awaked ?
Or do they still, as if with opium drugged,
Snore to the murmurs of the Atlantic wave ?
Is India free? and does she wear her plumed
And jewelled turban with a smile of peace,
Or do we grind her still? The grand debate,
The popular harangue, the tart reply,
The logic, and the wisdom, and the wit,
And the loud laugh I long to know them all ;
I burn to set the imprisoned wranglers free,
And give them voice and utterance once again.

On the summit see
The seals of office glitter in his eyes ;
He climbs, he pants, he grasps them !

his heels,
Close at his heels, a demagogue ascends,
And with a dexterous jerk soon twists him down,
And wins them, but to lose them in his turn.

THE POLITICIAN'S MOCK MODESTY.

Here rills of oily eloquence in soft Meanders lubricate the course they take ; The modest speaker is ashamed and grieved To engross a moment's notice ; and yet begs, Begs a propitious ear for his poor thoughts, However trivial all that he conceives. Sweet bashfulness ! it claims at least this praise ; The dearth of information and good sense, That it foretells us, always come to pass.

VARIED CONTENTS OF THE NEWSPAPER. --A MEDLEY.

Cataracts of declamation thunder here ; There forests of no meaning spread the page, In which all comprehension wanders lost; While fields of pleasantry amuse us there With merry descants on a nation's woes. The rest appears a wilderness of strange But gay confusion ; roses for the cheeks, And lilies for the brows, of faded age;

THE COMFORTABLE WINTER EVENING FIRESIDE. THE

THEATRE. PARLIAMENT. Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,

Teeth for the toothless, ringlets for the bald,
Heaven, earth, and ocean, plundered of their sweets,
Nectareous essences, Olympian dews,
Sermons, and city feasts, and favorite airs,
Ethereal journeys, submarine exploits,
And Katerfelto,' with his hair on end
At his own wonders, wondering for his bread.
A PEEP AT THE WORLD FROM THE LOOP-HOLES OF A COUNTRY

Shortening his journey between morn and noon,
And hurrying him, impatient of his stay,
Down to the rosy west ; but kindly still
Compensating his loss with added hours
Of social converse and instructive case,
And gathering, at short notice, in one group,
The family dispersed, and fixing thought,
Not less dispersed by daylight and its cares.
I crown thee king of intimate delights,
Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness,
And all the comforts that the lowly roof
Of undisturbed retirement, and the hours
Of long-uninterrupted evening, know.

RETREAT.

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'T is pleasant through the loop-holes of retreat
To peep at such a world ; to see the stir
Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd ;
To hear the roar she sends through all her gates
At a safe distance, where the dying sound
Falls a soft murmur on the uninjured ear.
Thus sitting, and surveying thus at ease
The globe and its concerns, I seem advanced
To some secure and more than mortal height,
That liberates and exempts me from them all.
THE RURAL PHILOSOPHER RETAINS HUMAN SYMPATHIES, WITH-

OUT BEING BETRAYED BY HUMAN PASSIONS.
It turns submitted to my view, turns round
With all its generations ; I behold
The tumult, and am still. The sound of war
Has lost its terrors ere it reaches me ;
Grieves, but alarms me not. I mourn the pride
And avarice, that make man a wolf to man;
Hear the faint ocho of those brazen throats,
By which he speaks the language of his heart,
And sigh, but never tremble at the sound.

VOYAGES AND TRAVELS AT HOME.
He travels and expatiates, as the bee
From flower to flower, so he from land to land ;
The manners, customs, policy, of all
Pay contribution to the store he gleans ;
He sucks intelligence in every clime,
And spreads the honey of his deep research
At his return — a rich repast for me.
He travels, and I too. I tread his deck,
Ascend his topmast, through his peering eyes
Discover countries, with a kindred heart
Suffer his woes, and share in his escapes ;
While fancy, like the finger of a clock,
Runs the great circuit, and is still at home.

APOSTROPHE TO WINTER.
O Winter, ruler of the inverted year,
Thy scattered hair with sleet-like ashes filled,
Thy breath congealed upon thy lips, thy cheeks
Fringed with a beard made white with other snows
Than those of age, thy forehead wrapped in clouds,
A leafless branch thy sceptre, and thy throne
A sliding car, indebted to no wheels,
But urged by storms along its slippery way,
I love thee, all unlovely as thou seem'st,
And dreaded as thou art !

READING ALOUD TO THE FAMILY CIRCLE ; MUSIC.

The poet's or historian's page by one Made vocal for the amusement of the rest ; The sprightly lyre, whose treasure of sweet sound The touch from many a trembling chord shakes out; And the clear voice symphonious, yet distinct, And in the charming strife triumphant still ; Beguile the night, and set a keener edge On female industry : the threaded steel Flies swiftly, and unfelt the task proceeds.

THE RURAL SUPPER.

The volume closed, the customary rites Of the last meal commence. A Roman meal ; Such as the mistress of the world once found Delicious, when her patriots of high note, Perhaps by moonlight, at their humble doors, And under an old oak's domestic shade, Enjoyed, spare feast ! a radish and an egg.

FAMILY CONVERSATION. MIRTH CIASTENED BY PIETY.

WINTER A SOVEREIGN DISPENSER OF HOME PLEASURES ; WIN

TER EVENINGS.

Thou hold'st the sun A prisoner in the yet undawning east,

Discourse ensues, not trivial, yet not dull, Nor such as with a frown forbids the play Of fancy, or proscribes the sound of mirth : Nor do we madly, like an impious world, Who deem religion frenzy, and the God That made them an intruder on their joys, Start at His awful name, or deem His praise A jarring note.

1 A famous juggler and conjurer of the day.

PROVIDENCES ESPECIALLY IN OUR SPIRITUAL PROGRESS.

But truce with censure. Roving as I rove, Where shall I find an end, or how proceed ?

Themes of a graver tone, Exciting oft our gratitude and love, While we retrace with Memory's pointing wand, That calls the past to our exact review, The dangers we have 'sca ped, the broken snare, The disappointed foe, deliverance found Unlooked for, life preserved, and peace restored, Fruits of omnipotent, eternal Love. O evenings worthy of the gods ! exclaimed The Sabine bard. O evenings, I reply, More to be prized and coveted than yours, As more illumined, and with nobler truths, That I, and mine, and those we love, enjoy.

FASHIONABLE FOLLIES. - A SIMILE. As he that travels far oft turns aside To view some rugged rock or mouldering tower, Which seen delights him not ; then coming home Describes and prints it, that the world may know How far he went for what was nothing worth ; So I, with brush in hand and palette spread, With colors mixed for a far different use, Paint cards, and dolls, and every idle thing, That fancy finds in her excursive flights.

DESCRIPTIVE APOSTROPHE TO EVENING, -TIE EVENING STAR.

THE MOON.

THE THEATRE NOT NECESSARY TO THE ENJOYMENT OF TIIE

WIXTER EVENING.

Is Winter hideous in a garb like this? Needs he the tragic fur, the smoke of lamps, The pent-up breath of an unsavory throng, To thaw him into feeling ; or the smart And snappish dialogue, that flippant wits Call comedy, to prompt him with a smile ? The self-complacent actor, when he views (Stealing a sidelong glance at a full house) The slope of faces from the floor to the roof (As if one master-spring controlled them all), Relaxed into a universal grin, Sees not a countenance there that speaks of joy Half so refined or so sincere as ours.

Come, Evening, once again, season of peace ! Return, sweet Evening, and continue long! Methinks I see thee in the streaky west, With matron step slow moving, while the Night Treads on thy sweeping train ; one hand employed In letting fall the curtain of repose On bird and beast, the other charged for man With sweet oblivion of the cares of day : Not sumptuously adorned, not needing aid, Like homely-featured Night, of clustering gems; A star or two, just twinkling on thy brow, Suffices thee ; save that the moon is thine No less than hers, not worn indeed on high With ostentatious pageantry, but set With modest grandeur in thy purple zone, Resplendent less, but of an ampler round.

CARDS UNNECESSARY. THE WINGS OF TIME.

CALM COMPOSURE THE GIFT OF EVENIXG. THE LIGHTED

DRAWING-ROOM.

Cards were superfluous here, with all the tricks That idleness has ever yet contrived To fill the void of an unfurnished brain, To palliate dulness, and give time a shove. Time, as he passes us, has a dove's wing, Unsoiled, and swift, and of a silken sound; But the world's time is time in masquerade ! Theirs, should I paint him, has his pinions fledged With motley plumes ; and, where the peacock shows His azure eyes, is tinctured black and red With spots quadrangular of diamond form, Ensanguined hearts, clubs typical of strife, And spades, the emblem of untimely graves.

DICE. - BILLIARDS. - FASHION. What should be and what was an hour-glass once, Becomes a dice-box, and a billiard-mace Well does the work of his destructive scytho. Thus decked, he charms & world whom fashion

blinds To his true worth, most pleased when idle most ; Whose only happy are their wasted hours.

Como, then, and thou shalt find thy votary calm.
Or make me so. Composure is thy gift :
And, whether I devote thy gentle hours
To books, to music, or the poet's toil,
To weaving nets for bird-alluring fruit,
Or twining silken threads round ivory reels,
When they command whom man was born to please,
I slight thee not, but make thee welcome still.

Just when our drawing-rooms begin to blaze
With lights, by clear reflection multiplied
From many a mirror, in which he of Gath,
Goliah, might have seen his giant bulk
Whole without stooping, towering crest and all,
My pleasures too begin.

THE PRECOCIOUSLY FASHIONABLE MISS.

PARLOR TWILIGIIT. - VISIONS IN THE EMBERS; SIGXS ON THX

SOOT.

But me perhaps The glowing hearth may satisfy a while With faint illumination, that uplifts The shadows to the ceiling, there by fits Dancing uncouthly to the quivering flame. Not undelightful is an hour to mo So spent in parlor twilight : such a gloom Suits well the thoughtful or unthinking mind, The mind contemplative, with some new theme Pregnant, or indisposed alike to all. Laugh ye, who boast your more mercurial powers,

Even misses, at whose age their mothers wore The backstring and the bib, assume the dress Of womanhood, fit pupils in the school Of card-devoted time ; and night by night, Placed at some vacant corner of the board, Learn every trick, and soon play all the game.

It seems the part of wisdom, and no sin
Against the law of love, to measure lots
With less distinguished than ourselves ; that thus
We

may with patience bear our moderate ills, And sympathize with others suffering more.

That never felt a stupor, know no pause,
Nor need one ; I am conscious, and confess,
Fearless, a soul that does not always think.
Me oft has fancy ludicrous and wild
Soothed with a waking dream of houses, towers,
Trees, churches, and strange visages, expressed
In the red cinders, while with poring eye
I gazed, myself creating what I saw.
Nor less amused have I quiescent watched
The sooty films, that play upon the bars
Pendulous, and foreboding in the view
Of superstition, prophesying still, [proach.
Though still deceived, some stranger’s near ap-

REVERY A REPOSE OF THE MIND.
'Tis thus the understanding takes repose
In indolent vacuity of thought,
And sleeps, and is refreshed. Meanwhile the face
Conceals the mood lethargic with a mask
Of deep deliberation, as the man
Were tasked to his full strength, absorbed and lost.
Thus oft, reclined at ease, I lose an hour
At evening, till at length the freezing blast,
That sweeps the bolted shutter, summons home
The recollected powers; and snapping short
The glassy threads with which the fancy weaves
Her brittle toils, restores me to myself.

TRAVELLING THROUGH THE SNOW.
Ill fares the traveller now, and he that stalks
In ponderous boots beside his reeking team.
The wain goes heavily, impeded sore
By congregated loads adhering close
To the clogged wheels ; and in its sluggisha pics
Noiseless appears a moving hill of snow.
The toiling steeds expand the nostril wide,
While every breath, by respiration strong
Forced downward, is consolidated soon
Upon their jutting chests.
THE TEAMSTER; BLEST WITH HARDIHOOD.

He, formed to bear
The pelting brunt of the tempestuous night,
With half-shut eyes, and puckered cheeks, and teeth
Presented bare against the storm, plods on.
One hand secures his hat, save when with both
He brandishes his pliant length of whip,
Resounding oft, and never heard in vain.
O happy! and in my account denied
That sensibility of pain, with which
Refinement is endued, thrice happy thou !
Thy frame, robust and hardy, feels indeed
The piercing cold, but feels it unimpaired.
The learned finger never need explore
Thy vigorous pulse ; and the unhealthful East,
That breathes the spleen, and searches every bore
Of the infirm, is wholesome air to thee.

COMFORT WITHIN ; THE STORM WITHOUT. - SCENERY BEFORE

THE FIRST SNOW. How calm is my recess, and how the frost, Raging abroad, and the rough wind, endear The silence and the warmth enjoyed within ! I saw the woods and fields at close of day A variegated show; the meadows green, Though faded ; and the lands, where lately waved The golden harvest, of a mellow brown, Upturned so lately by the forceful share. I saw far off the weedy fallows smile With verdure not unprofitable, grazed By flocks, fast feeding, and selecting each His favorite herb ; while all the leafless groves That skirt the horizon wore a sable huo, Scarce noticed in the kindred dusk of eve.

UCMANITY TO TEAMS IX WINTER. Thy days roll on exempt from household care ; Thy wagon is thy wife ; and the poor beasts, That drag the dull companion to and fro, Thine helpless charge, dependent on thy care, Ah, treat them kindly! rude as thou appear'st, Yet show that thou hast mercy! which the great, With needless hurry whirled from place to place, Humane as they would seem, not always show.

THE FIRST SNOW-STORM.

TIE COTTAGE LABORERS IN WINTER. THEIR SCANTY FCEL.

To-morrow brings a change, a total change ! Which even now, though silently performed, And slowly, and by most unfelt, the faco Of universal nature undergoes. Fast falls a fleecy shower : the downy flakes Descending, and with never-ceasing lapse, Softly alighting upon all below, Assimilate all objects. Earth receives Gladly the thickening mantle ; and the green And tender blade, that feared the chilling blast, Escapes unhurt beneath so warm a veil.

Poor, yet industrious, modest, quiet, neat, Such claim compassion in a night like this, And have a friend in every feeling heart. Warmed, while it lasts, by labor, all day long They brave the season, and yet find at eve, Ill clad and fed but sparely, time to cool. The frugal housewife trembles when she lights Fler scanty stock of brushwood, blazing clear, But dying soon, like all terrestrial joys. The few small embers left she nurses well ; And, while her infant race, with outspread bands, And crowded knees, sit cowering o'er the sparks, Retires, content to quake, so they be warmed.

The man feels least, as more inured than she | To Winter, and the current in his veins

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