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Grass and flowers Quiet treads,
On the meads, and mountain-heads,
Along with Pleasure, close allied,
Ever by each other's side:
And often, by the murmuring rill,
Hears the thrush, while all is still,
Within the groves of Grongar Hill.

GEORGE BERKELEY

VERSES ON THE PROSPECT OF PLANTING

ARTS AND LEARNING IN AMERICA

The Muse, disgusted at an age and clime

Barren of every glorious theme,
In distant lands now waits a better time,

Producing subjects worthy fame:

In happy climes where from the genial sun

And virgin earth such scenes ensue,
The force of art in nature seems outdone,

And fancied beauties by the true:

In happy climes, the seat of innocence,

Where nature guides and virtue rules,
Where men shall not impose for truth and sense

The pedantry of courts and schools.

There shall be sung another golden age,

The rise of empire and of arts,
The good and great inspiring epic rage,

The wisest heads and noblest hearts.

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Not such as Europe breeds in her decay;

Such as she bred when fresh and young,
When heavenly flame did animate her clay,

By future poets shall be sung.

Westward the course of empire takes its way;

The four first acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama with the day;

Time's noblest offspring is the last.

JAMES THOMSON

THE SEASONS

FROM WINTER

[HARDSHIPS AND BENEVOLENCE] The keener tempests come; and, fuming dun From all the livid east or piercing north, Thick clouds ascend, in whose capacious womb A vapoury 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; 'Tis 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 labourer-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. One alone, The redbreast, sacred to the household gods, Wisely regardful of th' embroiling sky, In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves

His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man
His annual visit: half-afraid, he first
Against the window beats; then brisk alights
On the warm hearth; then, hopping o'er the floor,
Eyes all the smiling family askance,
And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is,
Till, more familiar grown, the table-crumbs
Attract his slender feet. The foodless wilds
Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare,
Though timorous of heart and hard beset
By death in various forms-dark snares, and dogs,
And more unpitying men,—the garden seeks,
Urged on by fearless want. The bleating kind
Eye the black heaven, and next the glistening earth,
With looks of dumb despair; then, sad dispersed,
Dig for the withered herb through heaps of snow.

Now, shepherds, to your helpless charge be kind:
Baffle the raging year, and fill their pens
With food at will; lodge them below the storm,
And watch them strict, for from the bellowing east,
In this dire season, oft the whirlwind's wing
Sweeps up the burthen of whole wintry plains
At one wide waft, and o'er the hapless flocks,
Hid in the hollow of two neighbouring hills,
The billowy tempest whelms, till, upward urged,
The valley to a shining mountain swells,
Tipped with a wreath high-curling in the sky.

As thus the snows arise, and foul and fierce
All Winter drives along the darkened air,
In his own loose-revolving fields the swain
Disastered stands; sees other hills ascend,
Of unknown, joyless brow, and other scenes,
Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain;
Nor finds the river nor the forest, hid
Beneath the formless wild, but wanders on
From hill to dale, still more and more astray,
Impatient flouncing through the drifted heaps,
Stung with the thoughts of home. The thoughts of home
Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth
In many a vain attempt. How sinks his soul,
What black despair, what horror fills his heart,
When, for the dusky spot which fancy feigned

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His tufted cottage rising through the snow,
He meets the roughness of the middle waste,
Far from the track and blest abode of man,
While round him night resistless closes fast,
And every tempest, howling o'er his head,
Renders the savage wilderness more wild !
Then throng the busy shapes into his mind
Of covered pits unfathomably deep
(A dire descent!), beyond the power of frost;
Of faithless bogs; of precipices huge,
Smoothed up with snow; and—what is land unknown,
What water of the still unfrozen spring,
In the loose marsh or solitary lake,
Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps; and down he sinks
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift,
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mixed with the tender anguish nature shoots
Through the wrung bosom of the dying man-
His wife, his children, and-his friends unseen.
In vain for him th' officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire,
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife nor children more shall he behold,
Nor friends nor sacred home: on every nerve
The deadly Winter seizes, shuts up sense,
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snows a stiffened corse,
Stretched out and bleaching in the northern blast.

Ah, little think the gay licentious proud
Whom pleasure, power, and afiluence surround;
They who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;
Ah, little think they, while they dance along,
How many feel, this very moment, death
And all the sad variety of pain:
How many sink in the devouring flood,
Or more devouring flame; how many bleed,
By shameful variance betwixt man and man;
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
Of misery; sore pierced by wintry winds,
How many shrink into the sordid hut
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,
They furnish matter for the tragic Muse;
Even in the vale, where wisdom loves to dwell,
With friendship, peace, and contemplation joined,
How many, racked with honest passions, droop
In deep retired distress; how many stand
Around the deathbed of their dearest friends,
And point the parting anguish. Thought fond man
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills,
That one incessant struggle render life,
One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate,
Vice in his high career would stand appalled,
And heedless rambling impulse learn to think;
The conscious heart of charity would warm,
And her wide wish benevolence dilate;
The social tear would rise, the social sigh;
And into clear perfection, gradual bliss,
Refining still, the social passions work.

FROM SUMMER [LIFE'S MEANING TO THE GENEROUS MIND] Forever running an enchanted round, Passes the day, deceitful vain and void, As fleets the vision o'er the formful brain, This moment hurrying wild th' impassioned soul, The next in nothing lost. 'Tis so to him, The dreamer of this earth, an idle blank; A sight of horror to the cruel wretch, Who all day long in sordid pleasure rolled, Himself an useless load, has squandered vile, Upon his scoundrel train, what might have cheered A drooping family of modest worth.

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