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To disappointment and fallacious hope:
Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich,
In herbs and fruits; whatever greens the Spring
When heaven descends in showers, or bends the
When summer reddens,andwhen Autumn beams,
Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies
Concealed, and fattens with the richest gap;
These are not wanting ; nor the milky drove,
Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale ;
Nor bleating mountains; nor the chide of streams,
And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere
Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade,
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay;
Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song,
Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountain clear.
Here too dwells simple Truth; plain Innocence ;
Unsullied Beauty ; sound unbroken Youth,
Patient of labour, with a little pleased;
Health ever blooming ; unambitious Toil;
Calm contemplation, and poetic Ease.
He fairly looking into life's account;
Saw frowns and favours were of like amount ;
And viewing all-his perils, prospects, purse,
He said, “content-tis well it is no worse."
Now my co-mates, and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court ?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference; as, the icy fang,
And churlish chiding of ihe winter's wind,
Which when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say, -
This is no flattery ; these are counsellors
'That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity, -
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
He that commends me to mine own content,
Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
ON HAVING LEFT A PLACE OF RETIREMENT.
Low was our pretty cot! our tallest rose
Peeped at the chamber-window. We could hear
A: silent noon, and eve, and early morn,
The sea's faint murmur. In the open air
Our mrylles blossomed; and across the porch
Thick jasmins twined: the little landscape round
Was green and woody, and refreshed the eye.
It was a spot, which you might aptly call
The Valley of Seclusion ! Once I saw
(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quietness)
A wealthy son of commerce saunter by,
Bristowa's citizen: methought, it calmed
His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse
With wiser feelings : for he paused, and looked
With a pleased sadness, and gazed all around,
Then eyed our cottage, and gazed round again,
And sighed, and said, it was a blessed place.
And we were blessed. Oft with patient ear
Long listening to the viewless sky-lark's note
(Viewless, or haply for a moment seen
Gleaming on sunny wing,) “And such," I said,
“The inobtrusive song of happiness
Unearthly minstrelsy! then only heard
When the soul seeks to hear; when all is hushed
And the heart listens !".
But the time, when firs•
From that low dell steep up the stony mount
I climbed with perilous toil and reached the top,
O what a goodly scene! here the bleak mount,
The bare bleak mountain speckled thin with sheep;
Grey clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields
And river, now with bushy rocks o'erbrowed,
Now winding bright and full, with naked banks;'
And seats, and lawns, the abbey, and the wood,
And cots, and hamlets, and faint city-spire:
The channel there, the islands and white sails,
Dim coasts, and cloud-like hills, and shoreless
ocean It seemed like Omnipresence! God, methought, Had built him there a temple: the whole world Seemed imaged in its vast circumference. No wish profaned my overwhelmed heart. Blest hour! it was a luxury—to be!
Ah, quiet dell! dear cot! and mount sublime, I was constrained to quit you. Was it right, While my unnumbered brethren toiled and bled, That I should dream away the entrusted hours On rose-leaf beds, pamp'ring the coward heart With feelings all too delicate for use ? Sweet is the tear that from some Howard's eye Drops on the cheek of one he lifts from earth : And he, that works me good with unmoved face,
Does it but half: he chills me while he aids,
My benefactor, not my brother man !
Yet even this, this cold beneficence
Seizes my praise; when I reflect on those,
The sluggard Pity's vision-weaving tribe !
Who sigh for wretchedness, yet shun the wretched,
Nursing in some delicious solitude
Their slothful loves and dainty sympathies !
I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand,
Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight
Of science, freedom, and the truth in Christ.
Yet oft when after honourable toil
Rests the tired mind, and waking loves to dream,
My spirit shall revisit thee, dear cot!
Thy jasmin and thy window-peeping rose,
And myrtles fearless of the mild sea air.
And I shall sigh fond wishes-sweet abode!
Ah-had none greater! and that all had such!
The mind's content Sweetens all suff'rivgs of th' afflicted sense, Those that are bred in labour think it sport, Above the soft delight which wanton appetite Begets for others, whom indulgent fortune Presers in her degrees, though equal nature Made all alike.