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For the unfcented fictions of the loom.
Who satisfied with only pencild scenes,
Prefer to the performance of a God
Th'inferior wonders of an artist's hand.
Lovely indeed the mimic works of art,
But Nature's works far lovelier. I admire-----
None more admires the painter's magic skill,
Who shews me that which I shall never fee,
Conveys a distant country into mine,
And throws Italian light on English walls.
But imitative strokes can do no more
Than please the eye, sweet Nature ev'ry sense.
The air falubrious of her lofty hills,
The chearing fragrance of her dewy vales
And music of her woods no works of man
May rival these ; these all bespeak a power
Peculiar, and exclusively her own.
Beneath the open sky she spreads the feast;
'Tis free to all—'tis ev'ry day renew'd,
Who scorns it, starves defervedly at home.
He does not scorn it, who imprison'd long
In some unwholesome dungeon, and a prey
To fallow fickness, which the vapours dank
And clammy of his dark abode have bred,
Escapes at last to liberty and light.
His cheek recovers foon its healthful hue,
relumines its extinguish'd fires, He walks, he leaps, he runs-is wing’d with joy,
And riots in the sweets of ev'ry breeze.
He does not scorn it, who has long endur'd
A fever's agonies, and fed on drugs.
Nor yet the mariner, his blood inflamed
With acrid salts ; his very heart athirst
To gaze at Nature in her green array.
Upon the ship's tall side he stands, poffefs'd
With visions prompted by intense desire;
Fair fields appear below, such as he left
Far distant, such as he would die to find
He seeks them headlong, and is seen no more.
The spleen is feldom felt where Flora reigns;
The low'ring eye, the petulance, the frown,
And sullen sadness that o'ershade, distort,
And mar the face of beauty, when no cause
For fuch immeasurable woe appears,
Thefe Flora banishes, and gives the fair
Sweet smiles and bloom less, transient than her
It is the constant revolution ftale
And tasteless, of the same repeated joys,
That palls and satiates, and makes languid life:
A pedlar's pack, that bows the bearer down.
Health suffers, and the spirits ebb.; the heart
Recoils from its own choice-at the full feast
Is famith'd finds no music in the song,
No smartness in the jest, and wonders why.
Yet thousands ftill desire to journey on,
Though halt and weary of the path they tread.
The paralytic who can hold her cards
But cannot play them, borrows a friend's hand
To deal and shuffle, to divide and sort
Her mingled suits and sequences, and sits
Spectatress both and spectacle, a sad
And filent cypher, while her proxy plays.
Others are dragg’d into the crowded room
Between supporters, and once feated, fit
Through downright inability to rise,
'Till the stout bearers lift the corpse again :
These speak a loud memento. Yet ev'n these
Themselves love life, and cling to it, as he
That overhangs a torrent, to a twig.
They love it, and yet loath it; fear to die,
Yet scorn the purposes for which they live.
Then wherefore not renounce them? No-the
The slavish dread of solitude, that breeds
Reflection and remorse, the fear of shame,
And their invet'rate habits, all forbid.
Whom call we gay? That honour has been
The boast of mere pretenders to the name.
The innocent are gay-the lark is gay
That dries his feathers faturate with dew
Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams
Of day-spring overshoot his humble nest.
The peasant too, a witness of his song,
Himself a fongster, is as gay as he.
But fave me from the gaiety of those
Whose head-aches nail them to a noon-day bed;
And save me too from theirs whose haggard eyes
Flash desperation, and betray their pangs
For property stripp'd off by cruel chance;
From gaiety that fills the bones with pain,
The mouth with blafphemy, the heart with woe.
The earth was made so various, that the mind
Of defultory man, studious of change,
And pleas’d with novelty, might be indulged.
Prospects however lovely may be seen
'Till half their beauties fade; the weary fight,
Too well acquainted with their smiles, slides off
Fastidious, seeking less familiar scenes.
Then snug inclosures in the shelter'd vale,
Where frequent hedges intercept the eye,
Delight us, happy to renounce awhile,
Not senseless of its charms, what ftill we love,
That such short absence
endear it more.
Then forests, or the savage rock may please,
That hides the sea-mew in his hollow clefts
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-wither'd shrubs he shows,
And at his feet the bafiled billows die.
The common overgrown with fern, and rough
With prickly gorse, that shapeless and deform’d
And dang'rous to the touch, has yet its bloom,
And decks itself with ornaments of gold,
Yields no unpleasing ramble ; there the turf
Smells fresh, and rich in odorif'rous herbs
And fungous fruits of earth, regales the sense
With luxury of unexpected sweets.
There often wanders one, whom better days
Saw better clad, in cloak of fattin trimm'd
With lace, and hat with fplendid ribband bound.
A serving maid was she, and fell in love
With one who left her, went to sea and died.
Her fancy followed him through foaming waves
To distant shores, and she would sit and weep
At what a failor suffers ; fancy too
Delufive most where warmest wishes are,
Would oft anticipate his glad return,
And dream of transports she was not to know.
She heard the doleful tidings of his death,
And never smild again. And now she roams
The dreary waste; there spends the livelong day,
And there, unless when charity forbids,
The livelong night. A tatter'd apron hides,
Worn as a cloak, and hardly hides a gown
More tatter'd still; and both but ill conceal
A bosom heaved with never-ceasing fighs.