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THE TA S K.

BOOK VI.

ARGUMENT OF THE SIXTH BOOK.

Bells at a distance.Their effe&t.- A fine noon in

winter.- Meltered walk.- Meditation better than books.-Our familiarity with the course of nature makes it appear less wonderful than it is.The transformation that spring effees in a shrub. bery described. A mistake concerning the course of nature corrected.God maintains it by an unremitted act.-The amusements fashionable at this hour of the day reproved.-Animals happy, a delightful fight.Origin of cruelty to animals. That it is a great crime proved from scripture.That proof illustrated by a tale.- A line drawn between the lawuful and unlawful destruction of them.Their good and useful properties infifted on.Apology for the encomiums bestowed by the author on animals.- Instances of man's extravagant praise of man. The groans of the creation Mall have an end.d view taken of the restoration of all things.

- An invocation and an invitution of him who shall bring it to pass.The retired man vindicated from the charge of uselessness.-Conclusion.

Apology for t'Infances of macreation Mal. Il things

ation and the reporation Mall hamraile

THE TASK,

BOOK VI.

THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.

There is in fouls a sympathy with sounds,
And as the mind is pitched the ear is pleased
With melting airs or martial, brilk or grave,
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touched within us, and the heart replies.
How soft the music of those village bells,
Falling at intervals upon the ear
In cadence sweet, now dying all away, .
Now pealing loud again, and louder ftill,
Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
With easy force it opens all the cells
Where memory slept. Wherever I have heard
A kindred melody, the scene recurs,

And with it all its pleasures and its pains. Such comprehensive views the spirit takes, That in a few short moments I retrace (As in a map the voyager his course) The windings of my way through many years. Short as in retrospect the journey seems, It seemed not always short; the rugged path, And prospect oft so dreary and forlorn, Moved many a figh at its disheartening length. Yet feeling present evils, while the past Faintly impress the mind, or not at all, How readily we wish time spent revoked, That we might try the ground again, where once (Through inexperience, as we now perceive) We missed that happiness we might have found! Some friend is gone, perhaps his son's best friend, A father, whose authority, in show When most severe, and mustering all its force, Was but the graver countenance of love; Whofe favour, like theclouds of spring, might lower, And utter now and then an awful voice, But had a blessing in its darkest frown, Threatening at once and nourishing the plant. We loved, but not enough, the gentle hand, in That reared us. At a thoughtless age, allured . By every gilded folly, we renounced His sheltering fide, and wilfully forewent That converse, which we now in vain regret. How gladly would the man recall to life The boy's neglected fire! a mother too, That softer friend, perhaps more gladly still, Might he demand them at the gates of death. Sorrow has, fince they went, subdued and tamed The playful humour; he could now endure, (Himself grown sober in the vale of tears) And feel a parent's presence no restraint. But not to understand a treasure's worth Till time has stolen away the flighted good, Is cause of half the poverty we feel, And makes the world the wilderness it is. The few that pray at all pray oft amiss, And, seeking.grace to improve the prize they hold, Would urge a wiser suit than asking more.

The night was winter in his roughest mood; The morning sharp and clear. But now at noon . Upon the southern side of the flant hills, And where the woods fence off the northern blast,

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