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Of superstition, prophesying still,
Though stilldeceived, some stranger's near approach.
'Tis thus the understanding takes repose
In indolent vacuity of thought,
And sleeps and is refreshed. Meanwhile the face
Conceals the mood lethargic with a malk
Of deep deliberation, as the man
Were talked to his full strength, absorbed and lost.
Thus oft, reclined at ease, I lose an hour
At evening, till at length the freezing blast,
That sweeps the bolted shutter, summons home
The recollected powers; and snapping short
The glassy threads, with which the fancy weaves
Her brittle toils, restores me to myself.
How calm is my recess; and how the frost,
Raging abroad, and the rough wind endear
The silence and the warmth enjoyed within !
I saw the woods and fields at close of day
A variegated show; the meadows green,
Though faded; and the lands, where lately waved
The golden harvest, of a mellow brown,
Upturned so lately by the forceful share.
I saw far off the weedy fallows smile
With verdure not unprofitable, grazed
By flocks, fast feeding, and selecting each
His favourite herb; while all the leafless groves,
That skirt the horizon, wore a sable hue,
Scarce noticed in the kindred dulk of eve.
To-morrow brings a change, a total change!
Which even now, though silently performed,
And Nowly, and by most unfelt, the face
Of universal nature undergoes.
Fatt falls a fleecy shower: the downy flakes
Descending, and with never-ceasing lapse,
Softly alighting upon all below,
Assimilate all objects. Earth receives
Gladly the thickening mantle; and the green
And tender blade, that feared the chilling blast,
Escapes unhurt beneath so warm a veil.
In such a world, so thorny, and where none Finds happiness unblighted; or, if found Without some thistly forrow at its fide; It seems the part of wisdom, and no fin Against the law of love, to measure lots With less distinguished than ourselves; that thus We may with patience bear our moderate ills, And sympathise with others, suffering more.
Ill fares the traveller now, and he that Italks
In ponderous boots beside his reeking team.
The wain goes heavily, impeded sore
By congregated loads adhering close
To the clogged wheels; and in its fluggith pace
Noiseless appears a moving hill of snow.
The toiling steeds expand the noftril wide,
While every breath, by respiration ftrong
Forced downward, is consolidated soon
Upon their jutting chests. He, formed to bear
The pelting brunt of the tempestuous night,
With half-thuteyes, and puckered cheeks, and teeth
Presented bare against the storm, plods on.
One hand secures his hat, save when with both
He brandithes his pliant length of whip,
Resounding oft, and never heard in vain.
Oh happy; and in my account denied
That sensibility of pain, with which .
Refinement is endued, thrice happy thou!
Thy frame, robust and hardy, feels indeed
The piercing cold, but feels it unimpaired.
The learned finger never need explore
Thy vigorous pulse; and the unhealthful eaft,
That breathes the spleen, and searches every bone
Of the infirm, is wholesome air to thee.
Thy days roll on exempt from household care;
Thy waggon is thy wife; and the poor beasts,
That drag the dull companion to and fro,
Thine helpless charge, dependent on thy care.
Ah treat them kindly! rude as thou appeareft,
Yet show that thou hast mercy! which the great,
With needless hurry whirled from place to place,
Humane as they would seem, not always show..
Poor, yet industrious, modeft; quiet, neats Such claim compassion in a night like this, And have a friend in every feeling heart. Warmed, while it lasts, by labour, all day long, They. brave the season, and yet find at eve, Ill clad and fed but sparely, time to cool. The frugal, housewife trembles when the lights Her scanty stock. of brush-wood, blazing clear, But dying soon, like all terrestrial joys. The few small embers left she nurses well;. And, while her infant race, with outspread hands. And crowded knees, fit cowering o'er the sparks, Retires, content to quake, so they be warmed. The man feels least, as more inured than the
To winter, and the current in his veins. More briskly moved by his severer toil; Yet he too finds his own distress in their’s. The taper foon extinguished, which I saw Dangled along at the cold finger's end Just when the day declined, and the brown loaf Lodged on the shelf, half-eaten without sauce Of lavory cheese, or butter, coftlier ftill; Sleep seems their only refuge: for alas, Where penury is felt the thought is chained, And sweet colloquial pleasures are but few ! With all this thrift they thrive not. All the care, Ingenious parsimony takes, but just Saves the small inventory, bed, and stool, Skillet, and old carved chest, from public sale. They live, and live without extorted alms From grudging hands; but other boast have none To footh their honest pride, that scorns to beg, Nor comfort else, but in their mutual love. I praise you much, ye meek and patient pair, For ye are worthy; choosing rather far A dry but independent crust, hard earned, And eaten with a sigh, than to endure The rugged frowns and insolent rebuffs