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Pleasure, or food, or secret safety, prompts ;
nests : Others apart, far in the grassy dale Or 'roughening waste their humble texture
Sustain'd alone by providential Heaven,
Nor toil alone they scorn ; exalting love,
molest, Amid the neighbouring bush they silent drop, And whirring thence, as if alarm’d, deceive The unfeeling schoolboy. Hence around the
head Of wandering swain the white-winged plover
wheels Her sounding flight, and then directly on, In long excursion, skims the level lawn To tempt him from her nest. The wild-duck
hence O'er the rough moss, and o'er the trackless
waste The heath-hen flutters : pious fraud ! to lead The hot-pursuing spaniel far astray.
James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
But most in woodland solitudes delight,
domes, Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid, And bound with clay together. Now 'tis
nought But restless hurry through the busy air, Beat by unnumber'd wings. The swallow
sweeps The slimy pool, to build his hanging house Intent: and often from the careless back Of herds and flocks a thousand tugging bills Steal hair and wool; and oft, when unob
served, Pluck from the barn a straw; till soft and
warm, Clean and complete, their habitation grows.
As thus the patient dam assiduous sits, Not to be tempted from her tender task Or by sharp hunger or by smooth delight, Though the whole loosen'd spring around her
blows, Her sympathising lover takes his stand High on the opponent bank, and ceaseless
sings The tedious time away; or else supplies Her place a moment, while she sudden flits To pick the scanty meal. The appointed
time With pious toil fulfill'd, the callow young, Warm’d and expanded into perfect life, Their brittle bondage break, and come to
light; A helpless family! demanding food With constant clamour: 0 what passions
then, What melting sentiments of kindly care, On the new parent seize! away they fly Affectionate, and, undesiring, bear The most delicious morsel to their young, Which, equally distributed, again The search begins. Even so a gentle pair, By fortune sunk, but form'd of generous
mould, And charm'd with cares beyond the vulgar
breast, In some lone cot amid the distant woods,
866.—DOMESTIC HAPPINESS. But happy they! the happiest of their
kind ! Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings
blend. 'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws, Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind, That binds their peace, but harmony itself, Attuning all their passions into love ; Where friendship full exerts her softest
power, Perfect esteem, enliven'd by desire Ineffable, and sympathy of soul ; Thought meeting thought, and will preventing
will, With boundless confidence: for nought: but
love Can answer love, and render bliss secure. Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent To bless himself, from sordid parents buys The loathing virgin, in eternal care, Well merited, consume his nights and days ; Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel ; Let Eastern tyrants, from the light of Heaven Seclude their bosom-slaves, meanly possess'd Of a mere, lifeless, violated form : While those whom love cements in holy
faith, And equal transport, free as Nature live, Disdaining fear. What is the world to them, Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all ! Who in each other clasp whatever fair High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can
Something than beauty dearer, should they
look Or on the mind, or mind-illumined face; Truth, goodness, honour, harmony, and love, The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven. Meantime a smiling offspring rises round, And mingles both their graces. By degrees, The human blossom blows; and every day, Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm, The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom. Then infant reason grows apace, and calls For the kind hand of an assiduous care. Delightful task! to rear the tender thought, To teach the young idea how to shoot, To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind, To breathe th' enlivening spirit, and to fix The generous purpose in the glowing breast. Oh, speak the joy! ye whom the sudden tear Surprises often, while you look around, And nothing strikes your eye but sights of
bliss, All various nature pressing on the heart: An elegant sufficiency, content, Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books, Ease and alternate labour, useful life, Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven. These are the matchless joys of virtuous love; And thus their moments fly. The seasons
thus, As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll, Still find them happy; and consenting Spring Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads : Till evening comes at last, serene and mild; When, after the long vernal day of life, Enamour'd more,
remembrance swells With many a proof of recollected love, Together down they sink in social sleep; Together freed, their gentle spirits fly To scenes where love and bliss immortal
Or from her swelling soul in stifled sighs. Touch'd by the scene, no stranger to his
VOWS, He framed a melting lay, to try her heart; And, if an infant passion struggled there, To call that passion forth. Thrice happy
swain ! A lucky chance, that oft decides the fate Of mighty monarchs, then decided thine. For, lo! conducted by the laughing Loves, This cool retreat his Musidora sought : Warm in her cheek the sultry season glow'd; And, robed in loose array, she came to bathe Her fervent limbs in the refreshing stream. What shall he do? In sweet confusion lost, And dubious flutterings, he awhile remain'd : A pure ingenuous elegance of soul, A delicate refinement, known to few, Perplex'd his breast, and urged him to retire : But love forbade. Ye prudes in virtue,
say, Say, ye severest, what would you have done ? Meantime, this fairer nymph than ever blest Arcadian stream, with timid eye around The banks surveying, stripp'd her beauteous
limbs, To taste the lucid coolness of the flood. Ah, then ! not Paris on the piny top Of Ida panted stronger, when aside The rival goddesses the veil divine Cast unconfined, and gave him all their
charms, Than, Damon, thou; as from the snowy
leg, And slender foot, th' inverted silk she drew; As the soft touch dissolved the virgin zone ; And, through the parting robe the alternate
breast, With youth wild-throbbing, on thy lawless
gaze In full luxuriance rose. Butdesperate
youth, How durst thou risk the soul-distracting
view, As from her naked limbs, of glowing white, Harmonious swell’d by Nature's finest hand, In folds loose-floating fell the fainter lawn; And fair-exposed she stood, shrunk from her.
self, With fancy blushing, at the doubtful breeze Alarm'd and starting like the fearful fawn ? Then to the flood she rush'd; the parted
flood Its lovely guest with closing waves received ; And every beauty softening, every grace Flushing anew, a mellow lustre shed : As shines the lily through the crystal mild ; Or as the rose amid the morning dew, Fresh from Aurora's hand, more sweetly
glows, While thus she wanton'd, now beneath the
867.-MUSIDORA. Close in the covert of an hazel copse, Where winded into pleasing solitudes Runs out the rambling dale, young Damon
sat Pensive, and pierced with love's delightful
pangs. There to the stream that down the distant
rocks Hoarse-murmuring fell, and plaintive breeze
that play'd Among the bending willows, falsely he Of Musidora's cruelty complain'd. She felt his flame; but deep within her
breast, In bashful coyness, or in maiden pride, The soft return conceal'd ; save when it stole In sidelong glances from her downcast eye,
But ill-conceal'd; and now with streaming
locks, That half-embraced her in a humid veil, Rising again, the latent Damon drew
Such maddening draughts of beauty to the
soul, As for awhile o'erwhelm'd his raptured
thought With luxury too daring. Check’d, at last, By love's respectful modesty, he deem'd The theft profane, if aught profane to love Can e'er be deem'd; and, struggling from the
shade, With headlong hurry fled: but first these
lines, Traced by his ready pencil, on the bank With trembling hand he threw : “Bathe on,
Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents
shine ; And from the bladed field the fearful hare Limps awkward; while along the forest
glade The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze At early passenger. Music awakes The native voice of undissembled joy; And thick around the woodland hymns arise. Roused by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd
leaves His mossy cottage, where with peace he
dwells ; And from the crowded fold, in order, drives His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn.
James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
Yet unbeheld, save by the sacred eye
saw, Her terrors vanish'd, and a softer train Of mixt emotions, hard to be described, Her sudden bosom seized : shame void of guilt, The charming blush of innocence, esteem And admiration of her lover's flame, By modesty exalted : even a sense Of self-approving beauty stole across Her busy thought. At length, a tender calm Hush'd by degrees the tumult of her soul; And on the spreading beech, that o'er the
stream Incumbent hung, she with the sylvan pen Of rural lovers this confession carved, Which soon her Damon kiss'd with weeping
joy : “Dear youth! sole judge of what these verses
869.-A SUMMER EVENING. Low walks the sun, and broadens by degrees, Just o'er the verge of day. The shifting
clouds Assembled gay, a richly gorgeous train, In all their pomp attend his setting throne. Air, earth, and ocean smile immense. And
now, As if his weary chariot sought the bowers Of Amphitrite, and her tending nymphs, (So Grecian fable sung) he dips his orb; Now half immersed; and now a golden curve Gives one bright glance, then total dis
appears. Confess'd from yonder slow-extinguish'd
clouds, All ether softening, sober evening takes Her wonted station in the middle air ; A thousand shadows at her beck. First
this She sends on earth; then that of deeper dye Steals soft behind; and then a deeper still, In circle following circle, gathers round, To close the face of things. A fresher gale Begins to wave the wood, and stir the
stream, Sweeping with shadowy gust the fields of While the quail clamours for his running
mate. Wide o'er the thistly lawn, as swells the
breeze, A whitening shower of vegetable down Amusive floats. The kind impartial care Of nature nought disdains : thoughtful to
feed Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year, From field to field the feather'd seeds she
wings. His folded flock secure, the shepherd home Hies merry-hearted; and by turns relieves The ruddy milkmaid of her brimming pail ; The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart
868.-A SUMMER MORNING.
With quicken'd step Brown night retires: young day pours in
apace, And opens all the lawny prospect wide. The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top, Swell on the sight, and brighten with the
Unknowing what the joy-mix'd anguish When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd and means
pure, Sincerely loves, by that best language shown As is the lily, or the mountain snow. Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds.
The modest virtues mingled in her eyes, Onward they pass o'er many a panting Still on the ground dejected, darting all height,
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers ; And valley sunk, and unfrequented; where Or when the mournful tale her mother told, At fall of eve the fairy people throng,
Of what her faithless fortune promised once, In various game and revelry, to pass
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy The summer night, as village stories tell.
star But far about they wander from the grave Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace Of him whom his ungentle fortune urged Sat fair-proportion'd on her polish'd limbs, Against his own sad breast to lift the hand Veil'd in a simple robe, their best attire, Of impious violence. The lonely tower Beyond the pomp of dress; for loveliness Is also shunn'd; whose mournful chambers Needs not the foreign aid of ornament, hold
But is when unadorn'd adorn'd the most. So night-struck fancy dreams—the yelling Thoughtless of Beauty, she was Beauty's self, ghost.
Recluse amid the close-embowering woods. Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge, As in the hollow breast of Apennine, The glowworm lights his gem; and through Beneath the shelter of encircling hills the dark
A myrtle rises, far from human eye, A moving radiance twinkles. Evening yields And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the The world to night; not in her winter robe
wild; Of massy Stygian woof, but loose array'd So flourish'd blooming, and unseen by all, In mantle dun. A faint erroneous ray,
The sweet Lavinia; till, at length, compellid Glanced from the imperfect surfaces of By strong Necessity's supreme command, things,
With smiling patience in her looks, she went Flings half an image on the straining eye; To glean Palemon's fields. The pride of While wav’ring woods, and villages, and swains streams,
Palemon was, the generous, and the rich; And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long Who led the rural life in all its joy retain'd
And elegance, such as Arcadian song The ascending gleam, are all one swimming Transmits from ancient uncorrupted times; scene,
When tyrant custom had not shackled man, Uncertain if beheld. Sudden to heaven
But free to follow nature was the mode. Thence weary vision turns; where, leading He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes soft
Amusing, chanced beside his reaper-train The silent hours of love, with purest ray
To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye; Sweet Venus shines; and from her genial Unconscious of her power, and turning quick rise,
With unaffected blushes from his gaze : When daylight sickens till it springs afresh, He saw her charming, but he saw not half Unrivall'd reigns, the fairest lamp of night. The charms her downcast modesty conceal'd.
That very moment love and chaste desire James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown;
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field: 870.-LAVINIA.
And thus in secret to his soul he sigh’d.
“What pity! that so delicate a form, The lovely young Lavinia once had friends; By beauty kindled, where enlivening sense And Fortune smiled, deceitful, on her birth. And more than vulgar goodness seem to dwell, For, in her helpless years deprived of all, Should be devoted to the rude embrace Of every stay, save Innocence and Heaven, Of some indecent clown! She looks, methinks, She, with her widow'd mother, feeble, old, Of old Acasto's line; and to my mind And poor, lived in a cottage, far retired Recalls that patron of my happy life, Among the windings of a woody vale ;
From whom my liberal fortune took its rise ; By solitude and deep surrounding shades, Now to the dust gone down; his houses, lands, But more by bashful modesty, conceal’d. And once fair-spreading family, dissolved. Together thus they shunn'd the cruel scorn 'Tis said that in some lone obscure retreat, Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet Urged by remembrance sad, and decent pride, From giddy passion and low-minded pride : Far from those scenes which knew their better Almost on Nature's common bounty fed ;
days, Like the gay birds that sung them to repose, His aged widow and his daughter live, Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare. Whom yet my fruitless search could never Her form was fresher than the morning rose,
Romantic wish! would this the daughter
were !" When, strict enquiring, from herself he
found She was the same, the daughter of his friend, Of bountiful Acasto; who can speak The mingled passions that surprised his heart, And through his nerves in shivering transport
ran? Then blazed his smother'd flame, avow'd, and
Of setting life, shone on her evening hours : Not less enraptured than the happy pair; Who flourish'd long in tender bliss, and rear'd A numerous offspring, lovely like themselves, And good, the grace of all the country round.
James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
871.—THE HARVEST STORM. Defeating oft the labours of the year, The sultry south collects a potent blast. At first, the groves are scarcely seen to stir Their trembling tops, and a still murmur
And, as he view'd her, ardent, o'er and o'er,
" And art thou then Acasto's dear remains ? She, whom my restless gratitude has sought So long in vain ? 0 Heavens! the very
same, The soften'd image of my noble friend, Alive his every look, his every feature, More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than Spring! Thou sole surviving blossom from the root That nourish'd up my fortune! say, ah where, In what sequester'd desert, hast thou drawn The kindest aspect of delighted Heaven? Into such beauty spread, and blown so fair ; Though poverty's cold wind, and crushing
rain, Beat keen and heavy on thy tender years ? O let me now, into a richer soil, Transplant thee safe! where vernal suns, and
showers, Diffuse their warmest, largest influence ; And of my garden be the pride and joy! Ill it befits thee, oh! it ill befits Acasto's daughter, his whose open stores, Though vast, were little to his ampler heart, The father of a country, thus to pick The very refuse of those harvest-fields, Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy. Then throw that shameful pittance from thy
hand, But ill applied to such a rugged task; The fields, the master, all, my fair, are thine ; If to the various blessings which thy house Has on me lavish'd, thou wilt add that bliss, That dearest bliss, the power of blessing
thee! Here ceased the youth, yet still his speaking
eye Express'd the sacred triumph of his soul, With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love, Above the vulgar joy divinely raised. Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm Of goodness irresistible, and all In sweet disorder lost, she blush'd consent. The news immediate to her mother brought, While, pierced with anxious thought, she pined
away The lonely moments for Lavinia's fate; Amazed, and scarce believing what she heard, Joy seized her wither'd veins, and one bright
Along the soft-inclining fields of corn.
rain, Swept from the black horizon, broad, de
scends In one continuous flood. Still over head The mingling tempest weaves its gloom, and
still The deluge deepens ; till the fields around Lie sunk and flatted, in the sordid wave. Sudden, the ditches swell; the meadows
swim. Red, from the hills, innumerable streams Tumultuous roar; and high above its banks The river lift; before whose rushing tide, Herds, flocks, and harvest, cottages, and
swains, Roll mingled down; all that the winds had
spared In one wild moment ruin'd; the big hopes And well-earn'd treasures of the painful year. Fled to some eminence, the husbandman Helpless beholds the miserable wreck Driving along : his drowning ox at once Descending, with his labours scatter'd round, He sees ;
and instant o'er his shivering thought Comes Winter unprovided, and a train Of claimant children dear. Ye masters,