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WRITTEN IN THE HOT SUMMER, 1757.
Three hours from noon the passing shadow
shows, The sultry breeze glides faintly o'er the plains, The dazzling ether fierce and fiercer glows,
And human nature scarce its rage sustains.
Now still and vacant is the dusty street,
fields extend, Save where those swains, opprest with toiland heat,
The grassy harvest of the mead attend.
Lost is the lively aspect of the ground,
Low are the springs, the recdy ditches dry; No verdant spot in all the vale is found,
Save what yon stream's unfailing stores supply.
Where are the flow'rs that made the garden gay?
Where is their beauty, where their fragrance fied? Their stems relax, fast fall their leaves away,
They fade and mingle with their dusty bed.
All but the natives of the torrid zone,
What Afric's wilds, or Peru's fields display, Pleas’d with a clime that imitates their own,
They lovelier bloom beneath the parching ray. Where is wild nature's heart-reviving song,
That fill'd in genial spring the verdant bow'rs? Silent in gloomy woods, the feather'd throng
Pine thro' this long, long course of sultry hours.
Where is the dream of bliss by Summer brought?
The walk along the riv'let-water'd vale? The field with verdure clad, with fragrance fraught,
The sun mild-beaming, and the fanning gale? The weary soul imagination cheers,
Her pleasing colours paint the future gay; Time passes on, the truth itself appears,
The pleasing colours instant fade away: In diff'rent seasons diff'rent joys we place,
And these shall Spring supply, and Summer these; Yet frequent storms the bloom of Spring deface,
And Summer scarcely brings a day to please. O for some secret, shady, cool recess!
SomeGothic dome o'erhungwith darksome trees, Where thick damp walls this raging heat repress, Where the long aisle invites the lazy breeze,
But why these plaints? --Amid his wastes of sand,
Far more than this the wand'ring ARAB feels; Far more the INDIAN in COLUMBUS' land,
While Phæbus o'er him rolls his fiery wheels:
Far more the sensible of mind sustains,
Rack'd with the poignant pangs of fear or shame; The hopeless lover, bound in beauty's chains,
And he, whom envy robs of hard-earn'd fame: He, who a father or a mother mourns,
Or lovely consort, lost in early bloom; He, whom the dreaded rage of fever burns,
Or slow disease leads ling'ring to the tomb. Lest man should sink beneath the present pain,
Lest man should triumph in the present joy; For him th’ unvarying “ laws of Heaven ordain”.
Hope in his ills, and to his bliss alloy.
Fierce and oppressive is the sun we share,
Yet not unuseful to our humid soil; Hence shall our fruits a richer flavour bear,
Hence shall our plains with riper harvests smile: Reflect, and be content-for mankind's good
Heav'n gives the due degrees of drought or rain; To-morrow ceaseless show'rs may swell the flood,
Nor soon yon sun rise blazing fierce again :
Ev'n now behold the grateful change at hand,
Hark! in the east loud blust'ring gales arise; Wide, and morewide the dark’ning clouds expand,
And distant lightnings flash along the skies. O! in the awful concert of the storm,
While hail and rain, and wind and thunder join! Let the Great Ruler's praise my song inform,
Let wonder, rev’rence, gratitude, be mine.
WRITTEN IN HARVEST.
FAREWEL the pleasant violet-scented shade,
The primros'd hill, and daisy-mantled mead, The furrow'd land with springing corn array’d,
The sunny wall with bloomy branches spread; Farewel the bow'r with blushing roses gay,
Farewel the fragrant trefoil-purpled field; Farewel the walk through rows of new-mown hay,
When ev'ning breezes mingled odours yield; Farewel to these: - now round the lonely farms,
Where jocund plenty deigns to fix her seat; Th' autumnal landscape, op'ning all its charms,
Declares kind nature's annual work complete.
Ask Palestine, proud Asia's early boast, Where now the groves that pour'd her wine
and oil, Wherethe fairtowns that crown’dherwealthycoast,
Where the glad swains that tilld her fertile soil
Ask, and behold, and mourn her hapless fall; Where rose fair towns, where wav'd the golden
grain, Thrown on the naked rock and mould'ring wall,
Pale Want and Ruin hold their dreary reign,
Where JORDAN's vallies smild in living green, Where SHARON's flowers disclos'd their varied
hues; The wand'ring pilgrim views the alter'd scene,
And drops the tear of pity as he views.
Ask Grecia, mourning o'er her ruin’d tow'rs; Where now the prospects charm'd her bards of
old, Her corn-clad mountains, and Elysian bow'rs;
And silver streams thro' fragrant meadows rolld.
Where freedom's praise along the vale was heard,
And town to town return’d the fav’rite sound; Where patriot war her awful"standard rear'd,
And bray'd the millions PERSIA pour'd around;