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Of willows grey, close-crouding o'er the brook.

GRADUAL, from thesewhat numerous kinds descend, Evading even the microscopic eye! Full Nature swarms with life; one wondrous mafs Of animals, pr atoms organiz'd,

290 Waiting the vital Breath, when PARENT-HEAVEN Shall bid his fpirit blow. The hoary fen, In putrid fteams, emits the living cloud Of pestilence. Thro' subterranean cells, Where searching sun-beams scarce can find a way, 295 Earth animated heaves. The flowery leaf Wants not its soft inhabitants. Secure, Within its winding citadel, the stone Holds multitudes. But chief the forest-boughs, That dance unnumber'd to the playful breeze,

300 The downy orchard, and the melting pulp Of mellow fruit, the namelefs nations feed Of evanescent insects. Where the pool Stands mantled o'er with


invisible, Amid the floating verdure millions stray. 305 Each liquid too, whether it pierces, sooths, Inflames, refreshes, or exalts the taste, With various forms abounds. Nor is the stream Of purest crystal, nor the lucid air, Tho' one transparent vacancy it seems,

310 Void of their unseen people. These, conceald By the kind art of forming Heaven, escape The grosser eye of Man : for, if the worlds


In worlds inclos'd hould on his senses burst,
From cates ambrosial, and the nectar'd bowl,

315 He would abhorrent turn; and in dead night, When filence sleeps o'er all, be stun'd with noise.

Let no presuming impious railer tax Creative WISDOM, as if acght was form'd In vain, or not for admirable ends.

320 Shall little haughty ignorance pronounce His works unwise, of which the smallest part Exceeds the narrow vision of her mind ? As if upon a full-proportion'd dome, On swelling columns heav'd, the pride of art! 325 A critic-fly, whofe feeble ray scarce spreads An inch around, with blind presumption bold, Should dare to tax the structure of the whole. And lives the Man, whose universal eye Has swept at once th’ unbounded scheme of things; Mark'd their dependance fo, and firm accord, 331 As with unfaultering accent to conclude That This availeth nought? Has any feen The mighty chain of beings, lessening down From INFINITE PERFECTION to the brink

335 Of dreary Notbing, defolate abyss ! From which astonish'd thought, recoiling, turns ? Till then alone let zealous praise afcend, And hymns of holy wonder, to that Power, Whose wisdom shines as lovely on our minds, 340 As on our smiling eyes his servant-sun.


Now fwarms the villam

Thick in yon stream of light, a thousand

ways, Upward, and downward, thwarting, and convolvid, The quivering nations sport; till, tempeft-wing'd, Fierce Winter sweeps them from the face of day. Even fo luxurious Men, unheeding, pass 346 An idle summer-life in fortune's shine, A season's glitter ! Thus they flutter on From toy to toy, from vanity, to vice; Till, blown away by death, oblivion comes 350 Behind, and strikes them from the book of life.


The rustic youth, brown with meridian toil,
Healthful, and strong ; full as the summer-rose
Blown by prevailing funs, the ruddy maid, 355
Half naked, swelling on the fight, and all
Her kindled graces burning o'er her cheek.
Even stooping age is here, and infant-hands
Trail the long rake, or, with the fragrant load
O’ercharg'd, amid the kind oppression roll.
Wide fies the tedded grain ; all in a row
Advancing broad, or wheeling round the field,
They spread the breathing harveft to the fun,
That throws refreshful round a rural smell.:
Or, as they rake the green-appearing ground, 365
And drive the dusky wave along the mead,
The russet hay-cock rises thick behind,
In order


While heard from dale to dale, Waking the breeze, resounds the blended voice


Of happy labour, love, and social glee.


Or rushing thence, in one diffusive band, They drive the troubled flocks, by many a dog Compell’d, to where the mazy-running brook Forms a deep pool : this bank abrupt and high, And That fair-Spreading in a pebbled fhore.

375 Urg'd to the giddy brink, much is the toil, The clamour much of men, and boys, and dogs, Ere the soft fearful people to the flood Comniit their woolly sides. And oft the swain, On some impatient seizing, hurls them in :

380 Embolden'd then, nor hesitating more, Fast, faft, they plunge amid the flashing wave, And panting labour to the farthest shore. Repeated this, till deep the well-wash'd fleece Has drunk the flood, and from his lively haunt 385 The trout is banish'd by the fordid stream ; Heavy, and dripping, to the breezy brow Slow move the harmless race : where, as they spread Their swelling treasures to the funny ray, Inly difturb'd, and wondering what this wild

39,0 Qutrageous, tumult means, their loud complaints The country fill; and, toss’d from rock to rock, Inceffant bleatings run around the hills. At last, of snowy white, the gather'd flocks Are in the wattled pen innumerous press’d, 395 Head above head; and, rang'd in lusty rows The hepherds fit, and whet the founding shears.


The housewife waits to roll her fleecy stores,
With all her gay-dreft maids attending round.
One, chief, in gracious dignity inthron’d, 400
Shines o'er the rest, the paftoral queen, and rays
Her smiles, sweet-beaming, on her shepherd-king;
While the glad circle round them yield their souls
To festive mirth, and wit that knows no gall.
Meantime, their joyous task goes on apace : 405
Some mingling stir the melted tar, and fome,
Deep on the new-fhorn vagrant's heaving fide,
To ftamp his master's cypher ready stand ;
Others th' unwilling wether drag along,
And, glorying in his might, the sturdy boy 410
Holds by the tiwited horns th' indignant ram.
Behold where bound, and of its robe bereft,
By needy Man, that all-depending lord,
How meek, how patient, the mild creature lies !
What softness in its melancholy face,

What dumb complaining innocence appears !
Fear not, ye gentle tribes, 'tis not the knife
Of horrid slaughter that is o'er you wav'd;
No, 'tis the tender swain's well-guided fhears,
Who having now, to pay his annual care, 420
Borrow'd your fleece, to you a cumbrous load,
Will send you bounding to your hills again.

A simple fcene ! yet hence BRITANNIA sees Her folid grandeur rise: hence the commands Th' exalted stores of every brighter clime,

425 The

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