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The longer I heard, Lefteem'd
The work of my fancy the more, And ev'n to myself never seem'd
So tuneful a poet before.
Though the pleasures of London exceed
In number the days of the year, . Catharina, did nothing impede,
Would feel herself happier here ; For the close-woven arches of limes,
On the banks of our river, I know, Are sweeter to her
times Than all that the city can show,
So it is, when the mind is endued
With a well-judging taste from above, Then, whether embellish'd or rude,
'Tis nature alone that we love. The atchievements of art may amuse,
May even our wonder excite,
But groves, hills, and vallies diffuse
A lasting, a sacred delight,
Since then in the rural recess
Catharina alone can rejoice, May it still be her lot to possess,
The scene of her sensible choice ? To inhabit a mansion remote
From the clatter of street-pacing steeds, And by Philomel's annual note,
To measure the life that she leads.
With her book, and her voice, and her lyre,
To wing all her moments at home, And with scenes that new rapture inspire
As oft as it suits her to roam, She will have just the life the prefers,
With little to wish or to fear, And ours will be pleasant as hers,
Might we view her enjoying it here.
TRUCE to thought ! and let us o'er the fields,
Across the down, or thio' the shelving woode,
Wind our uncertain way. Let fancy lead,
And be it ours to follow, and admire,
As well we may,
the graces infinite
Of nature. Lay aside the sweet resource
That winter needs, and may at will obtain,
Of authors chaste and good, and let us read
The living page, whose ev'ry character
Delights, and gives us wisdom. Not a tree,
A plant, a leaf, a bloffom, but contains
A folio volume. We may read and read
And read again, and still find fomething new,
Something to please and something to instruct,
E'en in the noisome weed. See, ere we pass
Alcanor's threshold, to the curious eye
A little monitor presents her page
Of choice instruction, with her snowy bells,
The lily of the vale. She nor affects
The public walk, nor gaze of mid-day sun :
She to no state or dignity aspires,
But filent and alone puts on her suit,
And sheds her lasting perfume, but for which
We had not known there was a thing sweet
Hid in the gloomy shade. So when the blast
Her fifter tribes confounds, and to the earth
Stoops their high heads that vainly.were expos'd,
She feels it not, but Aourishes anew,
Still Thelter'd and secure. And so the storm
That makes the high elm couch, and rends the oak,
The humble lily (pares. A thousand blows
That shake the lofty monarch on his throne,
We lefser folks feel not. Keen are the pains
Advancement often brings. To be secure,
Be humble ; to be happy, be content.
But come, we loiter. Pass unnotic'd by The fleepy crocus, and the staring daisy, The courtier of the sun. What fee we there? The love-fick cowslip, that her head inclines To hide a bleeding heart. And here's the meek And softed-eyed primrose. Dandelion this, A college youth that flashes for a day All gold ; anon he doffs his gaudy fuit, Touch'd by the magic hand of some grave Bishop, And all at once,' by commutation strange, Becomes a Reverend Divine.
The melancholy hyacinth, that weeps
All night, and never lifts an eye al day,
How gay this meadow-like a gamesome boy
New cloth’d, his locks fresh comb'd and powder?d, he
All health and spirits. Scarce so many
Shine in the azure canopy of heav'n,
As king-cups here are scatter'd, interspers'd
With silver daisies.
See, the toiling swain
With many a sturdy stroke cuts up at last
The tough and finewy furze. How hard he fought
To win the glory of the barren waste.
For what more noble than the vernal furze
With golden baskets hung? Approach it not,
For ev'ry blossom has a troop of swords,
Drawn to defend it. 'Tis the treasury
Of Fays and Fairies. Here they nightly meet
Each with a burnish'd king-cup in his hand, :
And quaff the subtile ether. Here they dance
Or to the village chimes, or moody fong
Of midnight Philomel. The ringlet see
Fantastically trod. There, Oberon
His gallant train leads out, the while his torch
The glow-worm lights and dusky night illumes.
And there they foot it featly round, and laugh.
The facred spot the superstitious ewe
Regards, and bites it not in reverence.
Anon the drowsy clock tolls One-the cock
His clarion sounds—the dance breaks off--the lights
Are quench'd the music hush'd-they speed away
Swifter than thought, and still the break of day
Outrun, and chafing midnight as she fies
Pursue her round the globe. So Fancy weaves
Her flimsy web, while sober reason fits,
And smiling wonders at the puny work,
A net for her; then springs on eagle wing,
Constraint defies, and soars above the sun.
But mark with how peculiar grace, yon wood
That clothes the weary steep, waves in the breeze
Her sea of leaves ; thither we turn our steps,
And by the way attend the chearful found
Of woodland harmony that always fills
vale between. How sweet the song
Day's harbinger attunes ! I have not heard
Such elegant divisions drawn from art.
And what is he that wins our admiration ?
A little speck that floats upon
What vast perfection cannot nature crowd
Into a puny point! The nightingale,
Her solo anthem sung, and all that heard
Content, joins in the chorus of the day.
She, gentle heart, thinks it no pain to please,
Nor, like the moody fongsters of the world,
Juft shews her talent, pleases, takes affront,
And locks it up in envy.
I love to see the little goldfinch pluck
The groundfil's feather'd feed, and twit and twit ;
And then in bow'r of apple blossoms perch'd,
Trim his gay suit, and pay us with a song.
I would not hold him pris'ner for the world.
The chimney-haunting swallow too, my eye
And ear well pleases. I delight to fee