Billeder på siden

How often have I paus'd on every charm-
The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm;
The never-failing brook, the bufy mill;

The decent church, that topt the neighbouring hill;
The hawthorn bufh, with feats beneath the fhade,
For talking age and whispering lovers made:
How often have I blefs'd the coming day,
When toil, remitting, lent its turn to play,
And all the village train, from labour free,
Led up
their sports, beneath the spreading tree;
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old furvey'd ;
And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground,
And flights of art, and feats of ftrength, went round,
And ftill, as each repeated pleasure tir'd,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band infpir'd:
The dancing pair, that fimply, fought renown,
By holding out to tire each other down;
The fwain, miftruftlefs of his fmutted face,
While fecret langhter titter'd round the place;
The bashful virgin's fide-long looks of love;
The matron's glance, that would thofe looks reprove.
SWEET was the found, when oft, at ev'ning's close,
Up yonder hill, the village murmur role.

There, as I pafs'd, with careless steps and flow,
The mingling notes came foften'd from below :
The fwain, refponfive as the milk-maid fung;
The fober herd, that low'd to meet their young;
The noify geefe, that gabbled o'er the pool;
The playful children, juft let loofe from school;
The watch-dog's voice, that bay'd the whisp'ring wind;
And the loud laugh, that spoke the vacant mind:
Thefe, all, in foft confufion, fought the fhade,
And fill'd each paufe the nightingale had made.




AKE, holy earth! all that my foul holds dear : Take that beft gift, which heav'n fo lately gave. To Briftol's fount I bore, with trembling care,

Her faded form. She bow'd to taste the wave

And died. Does Youth, does Beauty read the line?
Does fympathetic fear their breaft alarm ?
Speak, dead Maria! breathe a train divine:
Ev'n from the grave, thou shalt have power to charm.

Bid them be chafte, be innocent, like thee;

Bid them, in duty's fphere, as meekly move:

And, if as fair, from vanity as free,

As firm in friendship, and as fond in love.

Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die! ('Twas ev'n to thee) yet, the dread path once trod, Heav'a lifts its everlafting portals high,

And bids

the pure in heart behold their God."



[blocks in formation]

AR in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age, a rev'rend hermit grew.
The mofs his bed, the cave his humble cell,
His food the fruits, his drink the eryifal well:
Remote from man, with God he país'd the days;
Pray'r, all his bufinefs; all his pleasure, praife.

A life fo facred, fuch ferene repofe,
Seem'd heav'n itself, till one fuggestion rose-
That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey,
This fprung fome doubt of Providence's fway.
His hopes no more a certain profpect boast,
And all the tenor of his foul is loft.

So, when a finooth expanfe receives, impreft,
Calm nature's image on its wat'ry breaft,

Down bend the banks; the trees, depending, grow ;
And skies, beneath, with answering colours glow:
But, if a stone the gentle fea divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on every fide;

And glinim'ring fragments of a broken fun,
Banks, trees, and fkies, in thick disorder run.

To clear this doubt; to know the world by fight;
To find, if books, or fwains, report it right;
(For, yet, by fwains alone the world he knew,
Whofe feet came wand'ring o'er the nightly dew)
He quits his cell; the pilgrim-ftaff he bore,
And fix'd the fcallop in his hat before:
Then, with the fun, a rifing journey went,
Sedate to think, and watching each event.

THE morn was wafted in the pathless grass;
And long and lonesome was the wild to pass:
But, when the fouthern fun had warm'd the day,
A youth came pofting o'er a croffing way;
His raiment decent, his complexion fair,
And, soft, in graceful ringlets, wav'd his hair.
Then, hear approaching, Father, hail! he cry'd;
And, hail, my fon! the rev'rend fire replied:
Words follow'd words; from question, answer flow'd;
And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road;
Till, each with other pleas'd, and loth to part,
While in their age they differ, join in heart.


Thus ftands an aged elm, in ivy bound ;
Thus youthful ivy clafps an elm around.

Now funk the fun: the clofing hour of day
Came onward, mantled o'er with fober grey:
Nature, in filence, bid the world repose;
When, near the road, a stately palace rose :
There, by the moon, through ranks of trees they pass,
Whofe verdure crown'd their floping fides of grafs.
It chanc'd the noble mafter of the dome

Still made his house the wand'ring ftranger's home:
Yet, ftill, the kindness, from a thirst of praise,
Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive ease.
The pair arrive the liv'ry fervants wait:
Their lord receives them at the pompous gate.
The table groans with coftly piles of food,
An all is more than hofpitally good.

Then, led to reft, the day's long toil they drown,
Deep funk in fleep, and filk, and heaps of down.

Ar length 'tis morn; and, at the dawn of day,
Along the wide canals, the zephyrs play;
Fresh, o'er the gay parterres, the breezes creep,
And shake the neighbouring wood, to banish fleep.
Up rife the guests, obedient to the call;
An early banquet deck'd the fplendid hall;
Rich luscious wine a golden goblet grac'd,

Which the kind mafter forc'd the guests to tafte.
Then, pleas'd and thankful, from the porch they go;
And, but the landlord, none had caufe of woe-
His cup was vanifh'd; for, in fecret guise,


younger guest purloin'd the glitt'ring prize.
As one who fees a ferpent in his way,

Glift'ning and basking in the fummer ray,
Disorder'd, ftops, to fhun the danger near,
Then walks with faintnefs on, and looks with fear;

[ocr errors]

So feem'd the fire; when, far upon

the road,

The shining spoil his wily partner shew'd.

He stopp'd with filence; walk'd with trembling heart;
And much he wish'd, but durft not ask, to part :
Murm'ring, he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard,
That gen'rous actions meet a base reward.

WHITE thus they pass, the fun his glory shrouds;
The changing skies hang out their fable clouds ;
A found in air prefag'd approaching rain;
And beafts, to covert, fcud a-crofs the plain.
Warn'd by the figns, the wand'ring pair retreat,
To feek for fhelter at a neighb'ring feat.
'Twas built with turrets, on a rifing ground;
And strong, and large, and unimprov❜d around;
Its owner's temper, tim'rous and fevere,
Unkind, and griping, caus'd a defert there.
As near the mifer's heavy doors they drew,
Fierce rifing gufts, with fudden fury, blew ;
The nimble lightning, mix'd with fhow'rs, began;
And, o'er their heads, loud-rolling thunder ran.
Here, long they knock; but knock, or call, in vain,
Driv'n by the wind, and batter'd by the rain.
At length, fome pity warm'd the master's breast;
("Twas then his threshold firft receiv'd a gueft);
Slow creaking, turns the door, with jealous care;
And half he welcomes in the fhiv'ring pair.
One frugal fagot lights the naked walls,
And nature's fervour through their limbs recalls;
Bread of the coarfeft fort, with meagre wine,
(Lach hardly granted) ferv'd them both to dine;
And, when the tempeft first appear'd to cease,
A ready warning bid them part in peace.
WITH ftill remark, the pond'ring hermit view'd,
In one fo rich, a life fo poor and rude:


« ForrigeFortsæt »