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INVENTION OF THE STUFFED SEAT.
But relaxation of the languid frame, At length a generation more refined
By soft recumbency of outstretched limbs, Improved the simple plan ; made three legs four,
Was bliss reserved for happier days. So slow Gave them a twisted form vermicular,
The growth of what is excellent ; so hard And o'er the seat, with plenteous wadding stuffed, To attain perfection in this nether world. Induced a splendid cover, green and blue,
Thus first necessity invented stools, Yellow and red, of tapestry richly wrought
Convenience next suggested elbow-chairs, And woven close, or needle-work sublime.
And luxury the accomplished Sofa last. There might ye see the piony spread wide,
SLEEP AND THE SOFA ; NURSE ; COACHMAN ; CURATE ; CLERK. The full-blown rose, the shepherd and his lass,
The nurse sleeps sweetly, hired to watch the sick,
Whom snoring she disturbs. As sweetly be, THE CHAIR INVENTED ; CANE AND LEATHER BOTTOMS. Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour, Now came the cane from India, smooth and bright His legs depending at the open door.
To sleep within the carriage more secure,
Sweet sleep enjoys the curate in his desk,
The tedious rector drawling o'er his head ; Of texture firm a lattice-work, that braced
And sweet the clerk below. But neither sleep The new machine, and it became a chair. But restless was the chair ; the back erect
Of lazy nurse, who snores the sick man dead ; Distressed the weary loins, that felt no ease ;
Nor his, who quits the box at midnight hour,
To slumber in the carriage more secure ;
Nor sleep enjoyed by curate in his desk ;
Nor yet the dozings of the clerk, are sweet, These for the rich : the rest, whom fate had placed
Compared with the repose the Sofa yields. In modest mediocrity, content
O may I live exempted (while I live With base materials, sat on well-tanned hides,
Guiltless of pampered appetite obscene) Obdurate and unyielding, glassy sinooth,
From pangs arthritic, that infest the toe With here and there a tuft of crimson yarn,
Of libertine excess. The Sofa suits Or scarlet crewel, in the cushion fixed,
The gouty limb, 't is true ; but gouty limb, If cushion might be called, what harder seemed
Though on a Sofa, may I never feel : Than the firm oak, of which the frame was formed.
THE RURAL WALK ; SHEEP ; LUNCH ; HIPS AND BERRIES ; THE No want of timber was then felt or feared
For I have loved the rural walk through lanes
And skirted thick with intertexture firm
of thorny boughs ; have loved the rural walk But elbows still were wanting; these, some say, O’er hills, through valleys, and by rivers' brink, An alderman of Cripplegate contrived ;
E'er since a truant boy I passed my bounds, And some ascribe the invention to a priest,
To enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames ; Burly and big, and studious of his ease.
And still remember, nor without regret, But, rude at first, and not with easy slope
Of hours, that sorrow since has much endeared, Receding wide, they pressed against the ribs,
How oft, my slice of pocket store consumed, And bruised the side ; and, elevated high,
Still hungering, penniless, and far from home, Taught the raised shoulders to invade the ears.
I fed on scarlet hips and stony haws, Long time elapsed or e'er our rugged sires
Or blushing crabs, or berries, that emboss Complained, though incommodiously pent in,
The bramble, black as jet, or sloes austere. And ill at ease behind. The ladies first
Hard fare ! but such as boyish appetite 'Gan murmur, as became the softer sex.
Disdains not ; nor the palate, undepraved
By culinary arts, unsavory deems.
No Sofa then awaited my return ;
Nor Sofa then I needed.
YOUTH AND MELLOW AGE. -ELASTICITY. - FRIENDSHIP. -
Youth repairs United yet divided, twain at once.
His wasted spirits quickly, by long toil So sit two kings of Brentford on one throne ; Incurring short fatigue ; and, though our years, And so two citizens, who take the air,
As life declines, speed rapidly away, Close packed, and smiling, in a chaise and one. And not a year but pilfers as he goes
SYMPATHY IN THE LOVE OF NATURE.
Some youthful grace, that age would gladly keep, –
The dash of ocean on his winding shore,
RTRAL SIGHTS; MOVING PLOCGN ; THE OLSE; CATTLE ; ELMS;
HCT ; HEDGE-ROWS; TOWER ; BELFRY AND SPIRE ; GROVES ; VILLAGES.
THE WEATHER-HOUSE TOY. Peace to the artist, whose ingenious thought Devised the weather-bouse, that useful toy ! Fearless of humid air and gathering rains, Forth steps the man — an emblem of myself! More delicate his timorous 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 discoveries falls on me.
How oft upon yon eminence our pace Has slackened to a pause, and we have borne The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew, While admiration, feeding at the eye, And still unsated, dwelt upon the scene. Thence, with what pleasure have we just discerned The distant plough slow moving, and beside His laboring team, that swerved not from the track, The sturdy swain diminished to a boy! Here Ouse, slow winding through a level plain Of spacious meads with cattle sprinkled o’er, Conducts the eye along his sinuous course Delighted. There, fast rooted in their bank, Stand, never overlooked, our favorite elms, That screen the herdsman's solitary hut ; While far beyond, and overthwart the stream, That, as with molten glass, inlays the vale, The sloping land recedes into the clouds ; Displaying on its varied side the grace Of hedge-row beauties numberless, square tower, Tall spire, from which the sound of cheerful bells Just undulates upon the listening car, Groves, heaths, and smoking villages, remote. Scenes must be beautiful, which daily viewed, Please daily, and whose novelty survives Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years : Praise justly due to those that I describe.
THE PEASANT'S XEST. - ADVANTAGES AND INCONVENIENCES
OF SOLITUDE. At such a season, and with such a charge, Once went I forth ; and found, till then unknown, A cottage, whither oft we since repair : "T is perched upon the green hill-top, but close Environed 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 called the low-roofed lodge the Peasant's Nest. 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 Incessant, clinking hammers, grinding wheels, And infants clamorous, whether pleased or pained, Oft have I wished the peaceful covert mine. Here, I have said, at least I should possess 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 site forbids the wretch To drink sweet waters of the crystal well ; He dips his bowl into the weedy ditch, And, heavy laden, brings his beverage home,
RURAL SOUNDS ; MUSIC OF THE WINDS AND WATERS ; RILLS ;
MUSIC AND NOISES OF THE BIRDS.
Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds, Exhilarate 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
Far fetched and little worth ; nor seldom waits,
THE DOCBLE ROW OF CHESTNUT-TREES.
Not distant far, a length of colonnade
THE RUSTIC BRIDGE. THE MOLE AND HIS PLOTS.
THE LOOK-OCT.-CHEAP IMMORTALITY.
The middle field ; but, scattered by degrees,
MAPLE ; BEECH ; LIME; SYCAMORE.
Hence the declivity is sharp and short,
THE TIROCKMORTON ESTATE. AVENUES OF TREES.
The folded gates would bar my progress now, But that the lord of this enclosed demesne, Communicative of the good he owns, Admits me to a share ; the guiltless eye Commits no wrong, nor wastes what it enjoys. Refreshing change! where now the blazing sun ? By short transition we have lost his glare, And stepped at once into a cooler clime. Yet, fallen avenues ! once more I mourn Your fate unmerited, once more rejoice That yet a remnant of your race survives. How airy and how light the graceful arch, Yet awful as the consecrated roof Reèchoing pious anthems ! while beneath The checkered earth seems restless as a flood Brushed by the wind. So sportive is the light
AN ENGLISH PROSPECT DESCRIBED ; SCENERY AROUND OLNEY ; SHEEP ; HAY-CAKT ; WOODLANDS ; ASH, LIME, BEECH.
Now roves the eye ; And posted on this speculative height, Exults in its command. The sheepfold here Pours out its fleecy tenants o'er the glebe. At first, progressive as a stream, they seek
1 John Courtney Throckmorton, Esq., of Weston Underwood
1 See the foregoing note.
THE THRESHER. LABOR.
Shot through the boughs, it dances as they dance. Good temper ; spirits prompt to undertake,
And not soon spent, though in an arduous task ;
with nerves new-braced and spirits With clear exemption from its own defects. We tread the wilderness, whose well-rolled walks, A sparkling eye beneath a wrinkled front With curvature of slow and easy sweep
The veteran shows, and, gracing a gray beard Deception innocent - give ample space
With youthful smiles, descends towards the grave To narrow bounds.
Sprightly, and old almost without decay.
Like a coy maiden, ease, when courted most, The grove receives us next;
Furthest retires — an idol, at whose shrine Between the upright shafts of whose tall elms
Who oftenest sacrifice are favored least. We may discern the thresher at his task.
SUPERIORITY OF NATURE TO ART. Thump after thump resounds the constant flail,
The love of Nature, and the scenes she draws, That seems to swing uncertain, and yet falls
Is Nature's dictate. Strange! there should be found, Full on the destined ear. Wide flies the chaff,
Who, self-imprisoned in their proud saloons, The rustling straw sends up a frequent mist
Renounce the odors of the open field Of atoms, sparkling in the noonday beam.
For the unscented fictions of the loom ;
Who, satisfied with only pencilled scenes,
Prefer to the performance of a God
The inferior wonders of an artist's hand ! But softened into mercy ; made the pledge
Lovely indeed the mimio works of Art; Of cheerful days, and nights without a groan.
But Nature's works far lovelier. I admire, PERPETCAL ACTIVITY IN NATURE. - UTILITY OF WINDS. - None more admires, the painter's magic skill,
Who shows me that which I shall never see, By ceaseless action all that is subsists.
Conveys a distant country into mine, Constant rotation of the unwearied wheel,
And throws Italian light on English walls : That nature rides upon, maintains her health,
But imitative strokes can do no more Her beauty, her fertility. She dreads
Than please the eye — sweet Nature's every sense. An instant's pause, and lives but while she moves.
The air salubrious of her lofty hills, Its own revolvency upholds the world.
The cheering fragranee of her dewy vales, Winds from all quarters agitate the air,
And music of her woods — no works of man And fit the limpid element for use,
May rival these ; these all bespeak a power Else noxious : oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams,
Peculiar, and exclusively her own. All feel the freshening impulse, and are cleansed
Beneath the open sky she spreads the feast ; By restless undulation : e'en the oak
'T is free to all — 't is every day renewed ; Thrives by the rude concussion of the storm :
Who scorns it starves deservedly at home. He seems indeed indignant, and to feel The impression of the blast with proud disdain, ENJOYMENT OF NATURE BY THE RELEASED PRISONER; THE Frowning, as if in his unconscious arm
CONVALESCENT ; BY THE MARINER CRAZED WITH THE LONGHe held the thunder : but the monarch owes His firm stability to what he scorns,
He does not scorn it, who, imprisoned long More fixed below, the more disturbed above.
In some unwholesome dungeon, and a prey
And clammy, of his dark abode have bred,
His eye relumines its extinguished fires ;
And riots in the sweets of every breeze. When custom bids, but no refreshment find,
He does not scorn it, who has long endured For none they need : the languid eye, the cheek A fever's agonies, and fed on drugs ; Deserted of its bloom, the flaccid, shrunk,
Nor yet the mariner, his blood inflamed
With acrid salts : his very heart athirst,
Upon the ship's tall side he stands, possessed
Fair fields appear below. such as he left
Far distant, such as he would die to find ; Good health, and, its associate in the most,
He seeks them headlong, and is seen no more..
ING FOR LAND SCENERY.
TOIL A BLESSING. HEALTH. - HEALTHY OLD AGE.- EASE.
EXNCI BANISHED FROM THE REALMS OF FLORA. - SPLEEN, NATURE'S VARIETY ADAPTED TO MAN'S LOVE OF CHANGE. CHANGE INDISPENSABLE TO HAPPINESS.
THE SEA-CLIFF ; THE QUIET, INLAND VALE. The spleen is seldom felt where Flora reigns ; The earth was made so various, that the mind The lowering eye, the petulance, the frown,
Of desultory man, studious of change, And sullen sadness, that o'ershade, distort,
And pleased with novelty, might be indulged. the face of beauty, when no cause
Prospects, however lovely, may be seen For such immeasurable woe appears,
Till half their beauties fade ; the weary sight, These Flora banishes, and gives the fair
Too well acquainted with their smiles, slides off Sweet smiles, and bloom less transient than her own. Fastidious, seeking less familiar scenes. It is the constant revolution, stale
Then snug enclosures in the sheltered vale, And tasteless, of the same repeated joys,
Where frequent hedges intercept the eye, That palls and satiates, and makes languid life Delight us ; happy to renounce a while, A pedler's pack, that bows the bearer down.
Not senseless of its charms, what still we love, Health suffers, and the spirits ebb ; the heart That such short absence may endear it more. Recoils from its own choice - at the full feast Then forests, or the savage rock, may please, Is famished - finds no music in the song,
That hides the sea-mew in his hollow clefts
Above the reach of man. His hoary head,
Bound homeward, and in hope already there,
Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist
A girdle of half-withered shrubs he shows, Yet thousands still desire to journey on,
And at his feet the baffled billows die. Though halt, and weary of the path they tread.
The common, overgrown with fern, and rough The paralytic, who can hold her cards,
With prickly gorse, that shapeless and deformed, But cannot play them, borrows a friend's hand
And dangerous to the touch, bas yet its bloom, To deal and shuffle, to divide and sort
And decks itself with ornaments of gold, Her mingled suits and sequences ; and sits,
Yields no unpleasing ramble ; there the turf Spectatress both and spectacle, a sad
Smells fresh, and rich in odoriferous herbs And silent cipher, while her proxy plays.
And fungous fruits of earth, regales the sense Others are dragged into the crowded room
With luxury of unexpected sweets.
There often wanders one, whom better days Themselves love life, and cling to it, as he
Saw better clad, in cloak of satin trimmed That overbangs a torrent to a twig.
With lace, and hat with splendid riband bound. They love it, and yet loathe it; fear to die,
A serving maid was she, and fell in love
With one who left her, went to sea, and died. Yet scorn the purposes for which they live. Then wherefore not renounce them! No, the dread,
Her fancy followed him through foaming waves The slavish dread of solitude, that breeds
To distant shores ; and she would sit and weep Reflection and remorse, the fear of shame,
At what a sailor suffers ; fancy too,
Delusive most where warmest wishes are, And their inveterate habits, all forbid.
Would oft anticipate his glad return,
And dream of transports she was not to know. THE TRULY GAY. - THE LARK. –THE PEASANT. - THE FASH
She heard the doleful tidings of his death
And never smiled again ! and now she roams Whom call we gay? That honor has been long
The dreary waste ; there spends the live-long day, The boast of mere pretenders to the name.
And there, unless when charity forbids, The innocent are gay - the lark is gay,
The live-long night. A tattered apron hides, That dries his feathers, saturate with dew,
Worn as a cloak, and hardly hides, a gown Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams
More tattered still ; and both but ill conceal Of day-spring overshoot his humble nest.
A bosom heaved with never-ceasing sighs. The peasant too, a witness of his
She begs an idle pin of all she meets, Himself a songster, is as gay as he.
And hoards them in her sleeve ; but needful food, But gave me from the gayety of those,
Though pressed with hunger oft, or comelier clothes, Whose headaches nail them to a noonday bed ;
Though pinched with cold, asks never. – Kate is And save me too from theirs, whose haggard eyes
crazed. Flash desperation, and betray their pangs
THE GYPSY CAMP.
I see a column of slow-rising smoke
IONABLE AND VICIOUS GAY.