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The sturdy swain diminish'd to a boy!
Here Ouse, Now winding through a level plain
Of spacious meads with cattle fprinkled o’er,
Conducts the eye along its finuous course
Delighted. There, faft rooted in their bank,
Stand, never overlook’d, our fav’rite elnis,
That screen the herdsman's solitary hut ;
While far beyond, and overthwart the stream
That, as with molten glass, inlays the vale,
The floping land recedes into the clouds;
Displaying on its varied side the grace
Of hedge-row beauties numberless, square tow'r,
Tall spire, from which the found of cheerful bells
Juft undulates upon the list'ning ear,
Groves, heaths, and smoking villages, remote.
Scenes must be beautiful, which, daily view'd,
Please daily, and whose novelty survives
Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years.
Praise justly due to those that I describe.
Nor rural lights alone, but rural sounds, Exhilerate 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 The dash of ocean on his winding shore,
And lull the fpirit while they fill the mind;
Unnumber'd branches waving in the blast,
And all their leaves falt Autt'ring, all at once.
Nor less composure waits upon the roar
Of distant floods, or on the softer voice
Of neighb'ring fountain, or of rills that flip
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 filent course.
Natare inanimate employs sweet founds,
But animated nature sweeter still,
To sooth and satisfy the human ear.
Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one
The livelong night: nor these alone, whose notes
Nice finger'd art must emulate in vain,
But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime
In still repeated circles, screaming loud,
The jay, the pie, and even the boding owl,
That hails the rising moon, have charms for me.
Sounds in harmonious in themselves and harsh,
Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns,
And only there, please highly for their fake.
Peace to the artist, whose ingenious thought Devis'd the weather-house, that useful toy!
Fearless of humid air and gathering rains,
Forth steps the man--an emblem of myseif !
More delicate, his tim'rous 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 discov'ries falls on me.
At such a season, and with such a charge,
Once went I forth; and found, till then uokoowa,
A cottage, whether oft we since repair :
'Tis perch'd upon the green-bill top, but close
Environ'd 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 call'd the low-roof'd lodge the peasant's nell.
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
Inceffant, clinking hammers, grinding wheels,
And infants clam'rous whether pleas’d or pain’d,
Oft have I wish'd the peaceful covert mine.
Here, I have said, at least I should poffefs
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 fcite forbids the wretch
To drink sweet waters of the crystal well i
He dips his bowl into the weedy ditch,
And, heavy.laden, brings his bev'rage home,
Far fetch'd and little worth ; nor seldom waits,
Dependant on the baker's punctual call,
To hear his creaking pannier's at the door,
Angry and fad, and his last crust consum'd,
So farewell envy of the peasant's nejl!
If solitude make fcant 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
Monument of ancient talte,
Now scorn'd, 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 bow'rs, enjoy'd at noon
The gloom and coolness of declining day.
We bear our shades about us; felf-depriv'd
Of other screen, the thin umbrella spread,
And range an Indian waste without a tree,
Thanks to * Benevėlus-he spares me yet These chesnuts rang'd in corresponding lines; And, though himself so polish'd, still reprives The obsolete prolixity of shade.
Descending now (but cautious, left too fast) A sudden steep, upop a rustic bridge We pass a gulf, in which the willows dip Their pendant boughs, stooping as if to drink. Hence, ankle-deep in moss and flow'ry thyme, We mount again, and feel at ev'ry step Our foot half sunk in hillocks green and soft, Rais'd 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 mon
onumental pile, That may
record the mischiefs he has done.
The summit gain'd, behold the proud alcove That crowns it ! yet not all its pride secures The grand retreat from injuries impress'd By rural carvers, who with knives deface The panpels, leaving an obscure, rude name,