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Spring, how delighted * in life's early dawn
I trod each bending vale and breezy lawn,
And mark'd each op'ning flower of freshest hue,
That drinks the genial rain or morning dew!
How picas'd beneath the noontide's silent sky
I heard the feeble lamb's repeated cry,
While the fond mother anxious ceas'd to feed,
And watch'd my careless footsteps o'er the mead !
How pleas'd the calm and sun-warm lane I trac'd t,
Its sides once more with cheering verdure grac’d,
Where ʼmid the varied moss, untaught and wild,
The violet sweet and golden lily smild,
The snow-drop meek, in virgin white array'd,
And primrose, tenant of the pathless shade!
How pleas'd I wander'd o'er the landscape still,
When dark’ning shadows wrapt the western hill,
While on the eastern slope's contrasted side
By slow degrees the beam of ev'ning died;
What time 'mid swimming mists the dusky spire
groves and pleasing dells from view retire;
* The reader of Italian may here recollect, and somewhat to my cost, the exquisite “ ( Primavera” of Guarini.
+ The grassy lane, so rarely pac'd,
With azure flowerets idly grac’d.
T. WARTON, ODE VII.
I have received much amusement from the poems of this elegant
writer. He has far greater merit than many critics are willing to
allow, On the poetical shelf of a man of general taste, Warton
must not be omitted. Ilis pleasing rural images are highly grati-
fying to an observer of nature.
When sleep the fainting breezes on the shore,
And the last tinkling sheep-bell speaks no more!
SPRING, thou return'st with all thy wonted grace,
The woods re-echo to thy tuneful race,
In ev'ry forest walk and mead are seen
Thy flow'ry chaplet and thy robe of green.
Again, by many a fairy dream beguil'd,
I seek the upland path or shaggy wild,
And drink rich odours * from the furze-clad dale,
That scents at intervals the luscious gale,
Or fresh’ning, fragrance of new-moisten'd earth,
When shoots the strengthen'd barley into birth,
When cooling drops the thirsty gold-cup fill,
And the lone fisher seeks the mud-stain'd rill.
Or, far from vulgar cares, I trace the stream
With dripping oars, that catch the noonday beam;
While soothing bells in many a varied round
Fling on the liquid tides their silver sound.
Nor, floating slow and careless, do I dread
To cast a backward view on moments fled;
Whate'er of sweet remembrance there appears,
"Tis doubly pleasing through the mist of years.
So when soft vapours, dimming mortal eyes,
Make pale the cloudless blue of summer skies,
The blending groves, and hills of faded green,
And dark-grey battlements more large are seen.
If aught of mournful bleeding mem'ry find,
'Tis not unwelcome to the musing mind;
While drops of milder melancholy born,
Such as Reflection's drooping cheek adorn,
From the moist-sparkling eye unbidden flow,
And all the bosom melts to softer woe.
Thus unperceiv'd glides on the vacant day,
And gradual steal the willow'd banks away.
SPRING, thou return’st; but labour, care, and pain
Might mar thy sweets, and make thy coming vain :
Vain is thy glad return to him, who bends
Beneath hard penury, bereft of friends;
And vain to him, who feeds the wasting fire
Of dim-ey'd, hopeless, piniog, wan desire.
The gloomy debtor's heart thou canst not cheer;
Thou canst not wipe the wretched widow's tear;
Thou canst not charm the tyrant, nor controul
The busy pangs, that rend his guilty soul;
And those, who mourn oppression's sullen sway,
With hearts unbeating view thy golden ray:
Nor always gladden'd by thy fost'ring care,
Thy health-inspiring suns, and balmy air,
Does groaning Pain forsake his tedious bed,
Or pining Sickress rear her drooping head.
Nor shine thy rapt'rous moments always fair
To him who droops beneath no private care ;
Still shall the gen'rous breast its views extend,
And share the griets of all, to all a friend.
Dear to the virtuous soul is pity's tear,
Beyond all sensual selfish pleasure dear;
Dear is the sigh, to wailing Mis'ry paid,
And sweet the the toil, that seeks the poor to aid;
Nor is there bliss in all this scene below,
Like his, who rescues want or comforts woe.
Still, as thy hours return, delightful Spring,
These mild emotions to my bosom bring;
The bliss thy charms inspire, chastis'd by these,
Beyond all wild unmeaning joy shall please.
So sweeter than the fev'rish glare of day
Is meek and pensive ev'ning's sober ray,
When the sad bird begins to charm the vales,
And earth revives beneath the cooling gales :
So, when its beauteous tints the rainbow rears,
More fresh and green the moisten'd soil appears ;
The show'rs, in silence shed, expand the heart,
And fragrance, peace, and hope to man impart.
BY THE LATE REV. T. COLE, LL. B. * War, more inflam'd than civil discord's rage, Religious war two zealous brothers wage. This for the faith of Protestants contends; A Papist THAT the church of Rome defends. Each rais'd his force; each match'd his fde so well, Alike both champions fought, alike they fell. What both desir'd, his brother each subdues ; What fate decreed, their faith both brothers lose. No cause of triumph either side could boast; Each victor yields, and takes his captive's post. Strange war! where both, as vanquish’d, are content, And both, as conquering, their success lament.
* There were two brothers, Jolin and William Reynolds; one a rigid Papist, the other as tenacious a Protestant: both were inspired with an equal zeal of converting each other. With that view, they had frequent elaborate and learned disputes: at last their controversies had this effect--the Papist became a Protestant, and the Protestant a Papist; which gave occasion to this beautiful Epigram by Dr. Alabaster.
Written at Buxton, in Derbyshire. 1765.
O-Rosy Health, heart-easy Maid,
In garments light thy limbs array'd,
In smiles thy jocund features drest,
Of Heaven's best blessings thou the best;
Bright Goddess ever fair and young,
To thee my votive lays belong!
For thou hast fill'd each languid vein
With vigour, life, and strength again,
When pale, enervate, wan, and weak,
Despair and sickness seiz'd,
cheek. O cou'd my voice such numbers raise Thee and thy healing founts to praise, As might with themes so high agree, Praise, worthy them, and worthy thee! O nymph admit me of thy train, With thee to range the breezy plain; And fresh and strong my limbs to lave Beneath thy nerve-restoring wave. With thee to rouze the slumbering morn With opening hound and cheering horn, With shouts that shake each wood and hill, While mocking Echo takes her fill,