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Rural Odes for Ipril.


Hope waits upon the flowery prime. --- WALLER.

Reluctant shall I bid thee then farewell ;
For, O! not all that Autumn's lap contains,

Nor Summer's ruddiest fruits,

Can aught for thee atone,
Fair Spring! whose simplest promise more delights
Than all their largest wealth, and through the heart

Each joy and new-born hope
With softest influence breathes.

Sweet daughter of a rough and stormy sire,
Hoar Winter's blooming child, delightful Spring!

Whose unshorn locks with leaves

And swelling buds are crowned ; From the green islands of eternal youth [shade), (Crowned with fresh blooms, and ever springing

Turn, bither turn thy step,

O thou, whose powerful voice,
More sweet than softest touch of Doric reed,
Or Lydian flute, can soothe the madding winds,

And through the stormy deep

Breathe thy own tender calm. Thee, best beloved ! the virgin train await With songs and festal rites, and joy to rove

Thy blooming wilds among,

And vales and dewy lawns,
With untired feet; and cull thy earliest sweets
To weave fresh garlands for the glowing brow

Of him, the favored youth

That prompts their whispered sigh. Unlock thy copious stores ; those tonder showers That drop their sweetness on the infant buds,

And silent dews that swell

The milky ear's green stem, And feed the flowering osier's early shoots ; And call those winds, which through the whispering

With warm and pleasant breath [boughs,

Salute the blowing flowers. Now let me sit beneath the whitening thorn, And mark thy spreading tints steal o’er the dale ;

And watch with patient eye

Thy fair unfolding charms. O nymph, approach ! while yet the temperate sun, With bashful forehead, through the cool moist air,

Throws his young maiden beams,

And with chaste kisses woos
The earth's fair bosom ; while the streaming veil
Of lucid clouds, with kind and frequent shade,

Protects thy modest blooms
From his severer blaze.

All day the low-hung clouds have dropt

Their gamered fulness down ;
All day that soft, gray mist hath wrapt

Hill, valley, grove, and town.
There has not been a sound to-day

To break the calm of nature ;
Nor motion, I might almost say,

Of life, or living creature ; -
Of waving bough, or warbling bird,

Or cattle faintly lowing ;
I could have half believed I heard

The leaves and blossoms growing.
I stood to hear - I love it well-

The rain's continuous sound ;
Small drops, but thick and fast they fell,

Down straight into the ground.
For leafy thickness is not yet

Earth's naked breast to screen, Though every dripping branch is set

With shoots of tender green. Sure, since I looked at early morn,

Those honeysuckle buds
Have swelled to double growth ; that thorn

Hath put forth larger studs.
That lilac's cleaving cones have burst,

The milk-white flowers revealing ;
Even now, upon my senses first

Methinks their sweets are stealing.
The very earth, the steamy air,

Is all with fragrance rife;
And grace and beauty everywhere

Are flushing into life.
Down, down they come — those fruitful stores !

Those earth-rejoicing drops !
A momentary deluge pours,

Then thins, decreases, stops.
And ere the dimples on the stream

Have circled out of sight,
Lo! from the west, a parting gleam

Breaks forth of amber light. *

Sweet is thy reign, but short : the red dog-star
Shall scorch thy tresses, and the mower's scythe

Thy greens, thy fowerets all,
Remorseless shall destroy.






Spirit of Beauty ! the air is bright
With the boundless flow of thy mellow light;
The woods are ready to bud and bloom,
And are weaving for Summer their quiet gloom ;
The tufted brook reflects, as it flows,
The tips of the half-unopened rose ;
And the early bird, as he carols free,
Sings to his little love and thee.

I COME, I come ! ye have called me long,
I come o'er the mountains with light and song ;
Ye may trace my step o'er the wakening earth,
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass.
I have breathed on the south, and the chestnut-flowers
By thousands have burst from the forest-bowers :
And the ancient graves, and the fallen fanes,
Are veiled with wreaths on Italian plains.
But it is not for me, in my hour of bloom,
To speak of the ruin or the tomb !
I have passed o'er the hills of the stormy north,
And the larch has hung all his tassels forth,
The fisher is out on the sunny sea,
And the reindeer bounds through the pasture free ;
And the pine has a fringe of softer green,
And the moss looks bright where my step has been.
I have sent through the wood-paths a gentle sigh,
And called out each voice of the deep-blue sky,
From the night-bird's lay through the starry time,
In the groves of the soft Hesperian clime,
To the swan's wild note by the Iceland lakes,
When the dark fir-bough into verdure breaks.
From the streams and founts I have loosed the chain;
They are sweeping on to the silvery main,
They are flashing down from the mountain brows,
They are flinging spray on the forest boughs,
They are bursting fresh from their sparry caves,
And the earth resounds with the joy of waves.

See how the clouds, as they feetly pass,
Throw their shadowy veil on the darkening grass ;
And the pattering showers and stealing dews,
With their starry gems and skyey hues,
From the oozy meadow, that drinks the tide,
To the sheltered le on the mountain side,
Wake to a new and fresher birth
The tenderest tribes of teeming earth,
And scatter with light and dallying play
Their earliest flowers on the Zephyr's way.

He comes from the mountain's piny steep,
For the long boughs bend with a silent sweep,
And his rapid steps have hurried o'er
The grassy hills to the pebbly shore ;
And now, on the breast of the lonely lake,
The waves in silvery glances break,
Like a short and quickly rolling sea,
When the gale first feels its liberty,
And the flakes of foam, like coursers, run,
Rejoicing beneath the vertical sun.

He has crossed the lake, and the forest heaves,
To the sway of his wings, its billowy leaves,
And the downy tufts of the meadow fly
In snowy clouds, as he passes by,
And softly beneath his noiseless tread
The odorous spring-grass bends its head ;
And now he reaches the woven bower,
Where he meets his own beloved flower,
And gladly his wearied limbs repose,
In the shade of the newly-opening rose.

Come forth, 0 ye children of gladness, come!
Where the violets lie may now be your home.
Ye of the rose-cheek and dew-bright eye,
And the bounding footstep, to meet me fly ;
With the lyre, and the wreath, and the joyous lay,
Come forth to the sunshine, I may not stay.
Away from the dwellings of careworn men,
The waters are sparkling in wood and glen ;
Away from the chamber and dusky hearth,
The young leaves are dancing in breezy mirth ;
Their light stems thrill to the wild-wood strains,
And Youth is abroad in my green domains.
The summer is hastening, on soft winds borne ;
Ye may press the grape, ye may bind the corn ;

I depart to a brighter shore
Ye are marked by care, ye are mine no more.
I go where the loved who have left you dwell,
And the flowers are not Death's — fare ye well,

farewell !


WHEN the warm sun, that brings Seed-time and harvest, has returned again, 'T is sweet to visit the still wood, where springs

The first flower of the plain.

I love the season well When forest glades are teeming with bright forms, Nor dark and many-folded clouds foretell

The coming-in of storms.

PERCIVAL'S “SPRING.” Again the infant flowers of Spring Call thee to sport on thy rainbow wing

From the earth's loosened mould The sapling draws its sustenance, and thrives : Though stricken to the heart with winter's cold,

The drooping tree revives.

The softly-waroled song Comes through the pleasant woods, and colored wings Are glancing in the golden sun along

The forest openings.

And when bright sunset fills The silver woods with light, the green slope throws Its shadows in the hollows of the hills,

And wide the upland glows.

And when the day is gone,
In the blue lake the sky o'erreaching far
Is hollowed out, and the moon dips her horn,

And twinkles many a star.

Inverted in the tido Stand the gray rocks, and trembling shadows throw, And the fair trees look over, side by side,

And see themselves below.

Sweet April !- many a thought
Is wedded unto thee, as hearts are wed ;
Nor shall they fail, till to its autumn brought

Life's golden fruit is shed.



0! who can speak his joys when spring's young

morn, From wood and pasture, opened on his view ! When tender green buds blush upon the thorn, And the first primrose dips its leaves in dew : Each varied charm how joyed would he pursue, Tempted to trace their beauties through the day ; Gray-girdled eve and morn of rosy hue

Have both beheld him on his lonely way,
Far, far remote from boys, and their unpleasing play.

Sequestered nature was his heart's delight;
Him would she lead through wood and lonely plain,
Searching the pooty from the rushy dike;
And while the thrush sang her long-silenced strain,
He thought it sweet, and mocked it o'er again ;
And while he plucked the primrose in its pride,
He pondered o'er its bloom 'tween joy and pain ;

And a rude sonnet in its praise he tried,
Where nature's simple way the aid of art supplied.

The freshened landscapes round his routes unfurled, The fire-tinged clouds above, the woods below, Each met his eye a new-revealing world, Delighting more as more he learned to know; Each journey sweeter, musing to and fro. Surrounded thus, not Paradise more sweet ; Enthusiasm made his soul to glow;

His heart with wild sensations used to beat ;
As nature seemly sang, his mutterings would repeat.

Upon a molehill oft he dropped him down,
To take a prospect of the circling scene,
Marking how much the cottage roof's thatch brown
Did add its beauty to the budding green
Of sheltering trees it humbly peeped between;

The stone-rocked wagon with its rumbling sound ; The windmill's sweeping sails at distance seen;

And every form that crowds the circling round, Where the sky, stooping, seems to kiss the meeting

ground. And dear to him the rural sports of May, When each cot-threshold mounts its hailing bough, And ruddy milkmaids weave their garlands gay, Upon the green to crown the earliest cow; When mirth and pleasure wear a joyful brow ; And join the tumult, with unbounded glee, The humble tenants of the pail and plough :

He loved "old sports,' by them revived, to see, But never cared to join in their rude revelry.

O'er brook-banks stretching, on the pasture-sward He gazed, far distant from the jocund crew ; 'T was but their feats that claimed a slight regard ; 'T was his — his pastimes lonely to pursue Wild blossoms creeping in the grass to view, Scarce peeping up the tiny bent as high, Betinged with glossy yellow, red, or blue,

Unnamed, unnoticed but by Lubin's eye, (die. That like low genius sprang, to bloom their day and

0, who can tell the sweets of May-day's morn
To waken rapture in a feeling mind ;
When the gilt east unveils her dappled dawn,
And the gay woodlark has its nest resigned,
As slow the sun creeps up the hill behind ;
Morn reddening round, and daylight's spotless hue,
As seemingly with rose and lily lined ;

While all the prospect round beams fair to view, Like a sweet opening flower with its unsullied dew!

Ah ! often brushing through the dripping grass,
Has he been seen to catch this early charm,
Listening the ‘love-song' of the healthy lass
Passing with milk-pail on her well-turned arm;
Or meeting objects from the rousing farm —
The jingling plough-teams driving down the steep,
Wagon and cart; and shepherd-dogs' alarm,

Raising the bleatings of unfolding sheep,
As o'er the mountain top the red sun ’gins to peep.

Nor could the day's decline escape his gaze ;
He loved the closing as the rising day,
And oft would stand to catch the setting rays,
Whose last beams stole not unperceived away ;
When, hesitating like a stag at bay,
The bright, unwearied sun seemed loath to drop,
Till chaos' night-hounds hurried him away,

And drove him headlong from the mountain top, And shut the lovely scene, and bade all nature stop.

With contemplation's stores his mind to fill,
O doubly happy would he roam as then,
When the blue eve crept deeper round the hill,
While the coy rabbit ventured from his den,
And weary labor sought his rest again ;
Lone wanderings led him baply by the stream,
Where unperceived he 'joyed his hours at will,

Musing the cricket twittering o'er its dream,
Or watching o'er the brook the moonlight's dancing




And high her tuneful track pursues Mid the dim rainbow's scattered hues.

WITH dalliance rude young Zephyr woos Coy May. Full oft with kind excuse The boist'rous boy the fair denies, Or with a scornful smile complies.

Mindful of disaster past, And shrinking at the northern blast, The sleety storm returning still, The morning hoar and evening chill ; Reluctant comes the timid Spring. Scarce a bee, with airy ring, Murmurs the blossomed boughs around, That clothe the garden's southern bound : Scarce a sickly, straggling flower Decks the rough castle's rifted tower : Scarce the hardy primrose peeps From the dark dell's entangled steeps : O'er the field of waving broom Slowly shoots the golden bloom : And, but by fits, the furze-clad dale Tinctures the transitory gale ; While from the shrubb’ry's naked maze, Where the vegetable blaze Of Flora's brightest 'broidery shone, Every checkered charm is flown ; Save that the lilac hangs to view Its bursting gems in clusters blue.

Where, in venerable rows,
Widely waving oaks enclose
The moat of yonder antique hall,
Swarm the rooks with clam'rous call ;
And, to the toils of nature true,
Wreath their capacious nests anew.

Musing through the lawny park,
The lonely poet loves to mark
How various greens in faint degrees
Tinge the tall groups of various trees :
While, careless of the changing year,
The pine cerulean, never sere,
Towers distinguished from the rest,
And proudly vaunts her winter vest.

Within some whispering, osier isle,
Where Glym's low banks neglected smile ;
And each trim meadow still retains
The wintry torrent's oozy stains :
Beneath a willow long forsook,
The fisher seeks his customed nook ;
And, bursting through the crackling sedge,
That crowns the current's caverned edge,
He startles from the bordering wood
The bashful wild-duck's early brood.

O'er the broad downs, a novel race,
Frisk the lambs, with faltering pace,
And with eager bleatings fill
The foss that skirts the beaconed hill.

Scant along the ridgy land The beans their new-born ranks expand : The fresh-turned soil with tender blades Thinly the sprouting barley shades : Fringing the forest's devious edge, Half-robed appears the hawthorn hedge ; Or to the distant eye displays Weakly green its budding sprays.

The swallow, for a moment seen, Skims in haste the village green : From the gray moor, on feeble wing, The screaming plovers idly spring : The butterfly, gay-painted, soon Explores a while the tepid noon, And fondly trusts its tender dyes To fickle suns and flatt'ring skies.

His freeborn vigor yet unbroke
To lordly man's usurping yoke,
The bounding colt forgets to play,
Basking beneath the noontide ray,
And stretched among the daisies, pride
Of a green dingle's sloping side ;
While far beneath, where Nature spreads
Her boundless length of level meads,
In loose luxuriance taught to stray,
A thousand tumbling rills inlay
With silver veins the vale, or pass
Redundant through the sparkling grass.

Yet in these presages rude,
Midst her pensive solitude,
Fancy, with prophetic glance,
Sees the teeming months advance ;
The field, the forest, green and gay,
The dappled slope, the tedded hay;
Sees the reddening orchard blow,
The harvest wave, the vintage flow;
Sees June unfold his glossy robe
Of thousand hues o’or all the globe ;
Sees Ceres grasp her crown of corn,
And plenty load her ample horn.

Fraught with a transient, frozen shower, If a cloud should haply lower, Sailing o'er the landscape dark, Mute on a sudden is the lark ; But when gleams the sun again O'er the pearl-besprinkled plain, And from behind his watery veil Looks through the thin-descending hail, She mounts, and, lessening to the sight, Salutes the blithe return of light,

Dodsley's “Agriculture.”



Exhausted, waits the culture of the plough,
To renovate her powers. 'Tis now, intent
On honest gain, the cautious husbandman
Surveys the country round, solicitous
To fix his habitation on a soil
Propitious to his hopes and to his cares.

The proposition. — Address to the Prince of Wales. — Invo

cation to the genius of Britain. - Husbandry to be encouraged, as it is the source of wealth and plenty. Advice to landlords, not to oppress the farmer. - The farmer's three great virtues. - His instruments of husbandry. - His servants. — Description of a country.statute. ' - Episode of the fair milk-maid. — The farm-yard described. - The pleasures of a rural life. — Address to the great, to study agriculture. — An allegory, attempting to explain the theory of vegetation.




Of culture and the various fruits of earth,
[Of social commerce, of the nobler arts,
Which polish and adorn the life of man ;']
Objects demanding the supreme regard
Of that exalted monarch who sustains
The sceptre of command o'er Britain's sons ;
The muse, disdaining idle themes, attempts
To sing. O thou, Britannia's rising hope !
The favorite of her wishes ! Thou, O prince !
On whom her fondest expectations wait,
Accept the verse : and, to the humblest voice
That sings of public virtue, lend an ear.

O ye, whom fortune in her silken robe Enwraps benign ; whom plenty's bounteous hand Hath favored with distinction ! O look down, With smiles indulgent, on his new designs ! Assist his useful works, facilitate His honest aims : nor in exaction's gripe Enthral the endeavoring swain. Think not his toils Were meant alone to foster you in ease And pampered indolence ; nor grudge the meed Which Heaven in mercy gives to cheer the hand, The laboring hand of useful industry. Be yours the joy to propagate content ; With bounteous Heaven coöperate, and reward The poor man's toil, whence all your riches spring. As in a garden, the enlivening air Is filled with odors, drawn from those fair flowers Which by its influence rise ; so in his breast Benevolent, who gives the swains to thrive, Reflected live the joys his virtues lent.

INVOCATION TO THE GENICS OF BRITAIN. Genius of Britain ! pure intelligence ! Guardian, appointed by the One Supreme, With influential energy benign To guide the weal of this distinguished isle ; 0, wake the breast of her aspiring son ! Inform his numbers, aid his bold design, Who, in a daring flight, presumes to mark The glorious track her monarch should pursue.


MENDED TO GOVERNMENTAL CARE. From cultivation, from the useful toils Of the laborious hind, the streams of wealth And plenty flow. Deign, then, illustrious youth ! To bring the observing eye, the liberal hand, And with a spirit congenial to your birth, Regard his various labors through the year : So shall the laborer smile, and you improvo The happy country you are born to rule.


INDUSTRY. But come, young farmer, though by fortune fixed On fields luxuriant, where the fruitful soil Gives labor hope ; where sheltering shades arise, Thick fences guard, and bubbling fountains flow; Where arable and pasture duly mix; Yet, ere thy toils begin, attend the muse, And catch the moral lessons of her song. Be frugal and be blest ; frugality Will give thee competence ; thy gains are small, Too small to bear profusion's wasteful hand. Make temperance thy companion, so shall health Sit on thy brow, invigorating thy frame To every useful work. And if to these Thou happily shalt join one virtue more, The love of industry, the glowing joy Felt from each new improvement; then fair peace, With modest neatness in her decent garb, Shall walk around thy dwelling; while the great, Tired with the vast fatigue of indolence, Filled with disease by luxury and sloth, Impatient curse the dilatory day, And look with envy on thy happier state.

WINTER; THE TIME TO CHOOSE A FARM. The year declining, now hath left the fields Divested of their honors, the strong glebe

1 The author's original design was to have written a poem entitled “ Public Virtue,' in three books : Ist, Agriculture ; 21, Commerce ; 3d, Arts. The first book was all that he ever executed.

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