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?T's past : the iron North has spent his rage;
Stern Winter now resigns the lengthening day; The stormy howlings of the winds assuage,
And warm o'er ether western breezes play. Of genial heat and cheerful light the source,
From southern climes, beneath another sky, The sun, returning, wheels his golden course :
Before his beams all noxious vapours fly.
Far to the north grim Winter draws his train
To his own clime, to Zembla's frozen shore, Where, throned on ice, he holds eternal reign
Where whirlwinds madden, and where tempests roar. Loos'd from the bands of frost, the verdant ground
Again puts on her robe of cheerful green, Again puts forth her flowers; and all around
Smiling, the cheerful face of spring is seen.
Behold! the trees new deck their wither'd boughs;
Their ample leaves, the hospitable plane, The taper elm, and lofty ash disclose;
The blooming hawthorn variegates the scene.
The lily of the vale, of flowers the queen,
Puts on the robe she neither sew'd nor spun; The birds on ground, or on the branches green,
Hop to and fro, and glitter in the sun.
Soon as o'er eastern hills the morning peers,
From her low nest the tufted lark upsprings; And, cheerful singing, up the air she steers ;
Still high she mounts, still loud and sweet she sings.
On the green furze, cloth'd o'er with golden blooms
That fill the air with fragrance all around, The linnet sits, and tricks his glossy plumes,
While o'er the wild his broken notes resound.
While the sun journeys down the western sky,
Along the green sward, marked with Roman mound, Beneath the blithesome shepherd's watchful eye,
The cheerful lambkins dance and frisk around.
Now is the time for those who wisdom love,
Who love to walk in virtue's flowery road, Along the lovely paths of spring to rove,
And follow nature up to nature's God.
Thus Zoroaster studied nature's laws;
Thus Socrates, the wisest of mankind; Thus heaven-taught Plato traced the Almighty Cause,
And left the wondering multitude behind.
Thus Ashley gather'd academic bays;
Thus gentle Thomson, as the seasons roll, Taught them to sing the great Creator's praise,
And bear their poet's name from pole to pole.
Thus have I walk'd along the dewy lawn;
My frequent foot the blooming wild hath worn; Before the lark I've sung the beauteous dawn,
And gather'd health from all the gales of morn.
And e'en when winter chill’d the aged year,
I wander'd lonely o'er the hoary plain: Though frosty Boreas warn'd me to forbear,
Boreas, with all his tempests, warn'd in vain.
Then, sleep my nights, and quiet bless'd my days;
I fear'd no loss, my mind was all my store; No anxious wishes e'er disturbed my ease;
Heaven gave content and health-I ask'd no more.
Now spring returns: but not to me returns
The vernal joy my better years have known; Dim in my breast life's dying taper burns,
And all the joys of life with health are flown.
Starting and shivering in the inconstant wind,
Meagre and pale, the ghost of what I was, Beneath some blasted tree I lie reclin'd,
And count the silent moments as they pass :
The winged moments, whose unstaying speed
No art can stop, or in their course arrest, Whose flight shall shortly count me with the dead,
And lay me down in peace with them at rest.
Oft morning dreams presage approaching fate;
And morning dreams, as poets tell, are true. Led by pale ghosts, I enter death's dark gate,
And bid the realms of light and life adieu.
I hear the helpless wail, the shriek of woe;
I see the muddy wave, the dreary shore, The sluggish streams that slowly creep below,
Which mortals visit, and return no more.
Farewell, ye blooming fields ! ye cheerful plains !
Enough for me the churchyard's lonely mound, Where melancholy with still silence reigns,
And the rank grass waves o'er the cheerless ground.
There let me wander at the shut of eve,
When sleep sits dewy on the labourer's eyes : The world and all its busy follies leave,
And talk with wisdom where my Daphne lies.
There let me sleep, forgotten in the clay,
When death shall shut these weary aching eyes; Rest in the hopes of an eternal day,
Till the long night is gone, and the last morn arise.
What time the daisy decks the green,
Thy certain voice we hear :
Or mark the rolling year ?
Delightful visitant! with thee
I hail the time of flowers,
From birds among the bowers.
The schoolboy, wandering through the wood
To pull the primrose gay,
And imitates thy lay.