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the smell of grain or tedded grass or kine
or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound;
if chance with nymph-like step fair virgin pass,
what pleasing seemed for her now pleases more,
she most, and in her look sums all delight:
such pleasure took the Serpent to behold
this flowery plat, the sweet recess of Eve,
thus early, thus alone.

J. MILTON

916

A VISION OF THE WORLD'S VANITIE

N summers day, when Phæbus fairly shone,

with gilden hornes embowéd like the moone,
in a fresh flowring meadow lying lowe:
up to his eares the verdant grass did growe,
and the gay floures did offer to be eaten;
but he with fatnes so did overflowe,
that he all wallowed in the weedes downe beaten,
ne card with them his daintie lips to sweeten:
till that a Brize, a scorned little creature,
through his faire hide his angrie sting did threaten,
and vext so sore, that all his goodly feature

and all his plenteous pasture nought him pleased:
so by the small the great is oft diseased.

E. SPENSER

917

MAY

S not the mery moneth ,

I when thoivee lads maskem inefresh afay

How falles it then, wee no merrier bene,
ylike as others, girt in gawdy greene?
our bloncket liveries been all to-sadde
for thilke same season, when all is ycladd
with pleasaunce; the ground with grasse, the woods
with greene leaves, the bushes with bloosming buds.
Yougthes folke now flocken in every where,
to gather May baskets and smelling brere;
and home they hasten the postes to dight,
and all the kirke pillours eare day-light,
with hawthorne buds and sweete eglantine,
and girlonds of roses and sopps in wine.

E. SPENSER

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THERE is a cave, all overgrown with trailing odorous plants, which curtain 'out the day with leaves and flowers, and paved with veined emerald, and a fountain leaps in the midst with an awakening sound. From its curved roof the mountain's frozen tears, like snow or silver or long diamond spires, hang downward, raining forth a doubtful light: and there is heard the ever-moving air whispering without from tree to tree, and birds and bees; and all around are mossy seats, and the rough walls are clothed with long soft grass; a simple dwelling, which shall be our own; where we will sit and talk of time and change, as the world ebbs and flows, ourselves unchanged.

P. B. SHELLEY

HAY-MAKING

W

919

CHEN the fresh spring in all her state is crowned,

and high luxuriant grass o'erspreads the ground, the labourer with the bending scythe is seen, shaving the surface of the waving green; of all her native pride disrobes the land, and meads lays waste before his sweeping hand; while with the mounting sun the meadow glows, the fading herbage round he loosely throws : but, if some sign portend a lasting shower, the experienced swain foresees the coming hour; his sun-burnt hands the scattering fork forsake, and ruddy damsels ply the saving rake; in rising hills the fragrant harvest grows, and spreads along the field in equal rows.

J. GAY 920

THE NIGHTINGALE
HER
short performance was no sooner

tried,
so sweet, so shrill, so variously she sung,
that the grove echoed, and the valleys rung:
and I so ravished with her heavenly note,
I stood intranced and had no room for thought;

but all o'erpowered with ecstasy of bliss
was in a pleasing dream of paradise:
at length I waked, and looking round the bower,
searched every tree and pryed on every flower,
if anywhere by chance I might espy
the rural poet of the melody:
for still, methought, she sung not far away ;
at last I found her on a laurel spray.

J. DRYDEN 921

THE BEE'S INSTINCT

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blithe to salute the sunny smile of morn;
o'er thymy downs she bends her busy course,
and many a stream allures her to its source.
'Tis noon, 'tis night: that eye so finely wrought,
beyond the search of sense, the soar of thought,
now vainly asks the scenes she left behind;
its orb so full, its vision so confined!
Who guides the patient pilgrim to her cell?
who bids her soul with conscious triumph swell?
with conscious truth retrace the mazy clue
of summer-scents, that charmed her as she flew?
Hail, Memory, hail! thy universal reign
guards the least link of Being's glorious chain.

S. ROGERS 922

USPICIOUS Hope ! in thy sweet garden grow

HOPE

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won by their sweets, in Nature's languid hour,
the way-worn pilgrim seeks thy summer bower:
There, as the wild bee murmurs on the wing,
what peaceful dreams thy handmaid spirits bring!
What viewless forms th' Æolian organ play
and sweep the furrowed lines of anxious thoughts away.
Angel of Life! thy glittering wings explore
Earth's loneliest bounds and ocean's wildest shore:
lo ! to the wintry winds the pilot yields
his bark careering o'er unfathomed fields :
now on Atlantic waves he rides afar,
where Andes, giant of the western star,
with meteor standard to the winds unfurled
looks from his throne of clouds o'er half the world!

T. CAMPBELL

923

THE RIVULET
COM
OME, track with me this little vagrant rill,
wandering in wild course from the mountain's

breast;
now with a brink of varied flowers drest,
and playing with the stooping buds at will;
now moving scarce, with noiseless step and still:

anon it seems too weary of its rest;

and hurries on, leaping with sparkling zest, adown the ledges of the broken hill. So let us live-is not the life well spent, which loves the lot, that kindly nature weaves

for all, inheriting or adorning earth? which throws light pleasure over true content; blossoms with fruitage, flowers as well as leaves

and sweetens wisdom with a taste of mirth.

924

SIGNS OF A COMING STORM
WHEN

THEN from the pallid sky the Sun descends,

with many a spot that o'er his glaring orb uncertain wanders stained; red fiery streaks begin to flush around. The reeling clouds stagger with dizzy poise, as doubting yet which master to obey; while rising slow, blank, in the leaden-coloured east the moon wears a wan circle round her blunted horns, Seen through the turbid fluctuating air, the stars obtuse emit a shiver'd ray; or frequent seem to shoot athwart the gloom, and long behind them trail the whitening blaze: snatch'd in short eddies plays the withered leaf; and on the flood the dancing feather floats.

J. THOMSON 925

A SUMMER'S EVENING 0! in the west fast fades the lingering light,

and day's last vestige takes its silent flight: no more is heard the woodman's measured stroke which with the dawn from yonder dingle broke; no more, hoarse clamouring o'er the uplifted head, the crows assembling seek their wind-rocked bed;

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stilled is the village hum—the woodland sounds
have ceased to echo o'er the dewy grounds:
and general silence reigns, save when below
the murmuring Trent is scarcely heard to flow;
and save when swung by ’nighted rustic late
oft on its hinge rebounds the jarring gate;
or when the sheep-bell in the distant vale
breathes its wild music on the downy gale.

926 TISIPHONE'S ANSWER TO OEDIPUS INVOCATION THE Fury heard, while on Cocytus' brink

; but at the summons rolled her eyes around, and snatched the starting serpents from the ground: not half so swiftly shoots along in air the gliding lightning or descending star: through crowds of airy shades she winged her flight, and dark dominions of the silent night; swift as she passed, the fitting ghosts withdrew, and the pale spectres trembled at her view: to the iron gates of Tænarus she flies, there spreads her dusky pinions to the skies. The day beheld, and sickening at the sight veild her fair glories in the shades of night.

A. POPE

THE

927

COMPANIONSHIP OF NATURE
'HE man to solitude accustomed long

perceives in everything that lives a tongue;
not animals alone, but shrubs and trees,
have speech for him, and understood with ease;
after long drought, when rains abundant fall,
he hears the herbs and flowers rejoicing all;
knows what the freshness of their hue implies,
how glad they catch the largess of the skies;
but, with precision nicer still, the mind
he scans of every locomotive kind;
birds of all feather, beasts of every name,
that serve mankind or shun them, wild or tame,
the looks and gestures of their griefs and fears
have all articulation in his ears.

W. COWPER

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