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THE SEASON S.
S P R I N G.
" Et nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbos,
Hertford. The Season is described as it affects the various
parts of Nature, ascending from the lower to the higher; with digressions arising from the subject. Its influence on inanimate matter, on vegetables, on brute animals, and, last, on man ; concluding with a diffuafive from the wild and irregular passion of love,
opposed to that of a pure and happy kind.
And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud,
Is blooming and benevolent, like thee.
And fee where furly Winter passes off, Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts : His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill, The shatter'd forelt, and the ravag'd vale; While softer gales fucceed, at whose kind touch, 15 Diffolving frows in livid torrents loft, The mountains lift their green heads to the sky.
As yet the trembling year is unconfirm’d, And Winter oft at eve resumes the breeze, Chills the pale morn, and bids his driving fleets Deform the day delightless : so that scarcé The bittern knows his time, with bill ingulpht To fhake the founding marsh; or from the shore The plovers when to scatter o'er the heath, And fing their wild notes to the listening waste. 25
At laft from Aries rolls the bounteous fun, And the bright Bull receives him. Then no more Th’expanfive atmosphere is cramp'd with cold ; But, full of life and vivifying soul, Lifts the light clouds sublime, and spreads them thin, Fleecy and white, o'er all-furrounding heaven.
Forth fly the tepid airs ; and unconfin'd, Unbinding earth, the moving foftness Atrays. Joyous, th' impatient husbandman perceives Relenting Nature, and his lusty fteers
35 Drives from their falls, to where the well-us'd plough, Lies in the furrow, loosen'd from the froft. There, unrefusing, to the harness’d yoke They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil,
Cheard by the simple song and soaring lark. 40
White through the neighbouring field the fower stalks,
Be gracious, Heaven! for now laborious man Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow! Ye foftening dews, ye tender showers, descend ! 59 And temper all, thou world-reviving fun, Into the perfect year! Nor ye who live In luxury and ease, in pomp and pride, Think these lost themes unworthy of your ear: Such themes as these the rural Maro sung To wide-imperial Rome, in the full height Of elegance and taste, by Greece refin'd. In ancient tinies, the sacred plough employ'd The kings, and awful fathers of mankind : And some, with whom compar'd your insect-tribes 60 Are but the beings of a summer's day, Have held the scale of empire, ruld the storm Of mighty war; then, with unwearied hand, Disdaining little delicacies, feiz'd The plough, and greatly independent liv'd.
Ye generous Britons, venerate the plough; And o’er your hills, and long withdrawing vales, Let Autumn spread his treasures to the fun, Luxuriant and unbounded : as the sea,
Far through his azure turbulent domain,
75 And be th' exhaustless granary of a world!
Nor only through the lenient air this change,
From the moist meadow to the wither'd hill,
Within its crimson folds. Now from the town
If, brush'd from Russian wilds, a cutting gale Rise not, and scatter from his humid wings The clammy mildew ; or, dry-blowing, breathe 115 Untimely froft; before whose baleful blast The full-blown Spring through all her foliage shrinks, Joyless and dead, a wide-dejected waste. For oft, engender'd by the hazy north, Myriads on myriads, insect armies waft Keen in the poison’d breeze; and wasteful eat, Through buds and bark, into the blacken'd core, Their eager way. A feeble race!
oft The sacred sons of vengeance ; on whose course Corrosive famine waits, and kills the year. 12:6 To check this plague the kilful farmer chaff, And blazing ftraw, before his orchard burns; Till, all involv'd in smoke, the latent foe ' From every cranny fuffocated falls :