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Meantime the expecting nations, circled gay
With all the various tribes of foodful earth,
Implore thy bounty, or send grateful up
A common hymn: while, round thy beaming car,
High-seen, the Seasons lead, in sprightly dance
Harmonious knit, the rosy-finger's Hours,
The Zephyrs floating loose, the timely Rains,
Of bloom ethereal the light-footed Dews,
And softened into joy the surly Storms.
These, in successive turn, with lavish hand,
Shower every beauty, every fragrance shower,
Herbs, flowers, and fruits; and, kindling at thy touch,
From land to land is flush'd the vernal year.
Nor to the surface of enliven'd earth,
Graceful with hills and dales, and leafy woods,
Her liberal tresses, is thy force confin’d:
But, to the boweld cavern darting deep,
The mineral kinds confess thy mighty power.
Effulgent, hence the veiny marble shines;
Hence Labour draws his tools; hence hurnish'd War
Gleams on the day: the nobler works of Peace
Hence bless mankind,and generous Commerce binds
The round of nations in a golden chain.
The' unfruitful rock itself, impregn’d by thee,
In dark retirement forms the lucid stone.
The lively diamond drinks thy purest rays,
Collected light, compact; that, polish'd bright,
And all its native lustre let abroad,
Dares, as it sparkles on the fair-one's breast,
With vain ambition emulate her eyes.
At thee the ruby lights its deepening glow,
And with a waving radiance inward flames.
From thee the sapphire, solid ether, takes
Its hue cerulean; and, of evening tinct,
The purple-streaming amethyst is thine.
With thy own smile the yellow topaz burns.
Nor deeper verdere dyes the robe of Spring,
When first she gives it to the southern gale,
Than the green emerald shows. But, all combin'd,
Thick through the whitenivg opal play thy beams;
Or, flying several from its surface, form
A trembling variance of revolving hues,
As the site varies in the gazer's hand.
The very dead creation, froin thy touch,
Assumes a mimic life. By thee refin’d,
In brighter mazes the relucent stream
Plays o'er the mead. The precipice abrupt,
Projecting horror on the blackend food,
Softens at thy return. The desert joys,
Wildly, through all his melancholy bounds.
Rude ruins glitter ; and the briny deep,
Seen from some pointed promontory's top,
Far to the blue horizon's utmost verge,
Restless, reflects a floating gleam. But this,
And all the much-transported Muse can sing,
Are to thy beanty, dignity, and use,
Unequal far; great delegated source
Of light, and life, and grace, and joy below!
How shall I then attempt to sing of Him!
Who, Light Himself, in uncreated light
lovested deep, dwells awfully retir'd
From mortal eye, or angel's purer ken;
Whose single smile bas, from the first of time,
Filld, overflowing, all those lamps of Heaven,
That beam for ever through the boundless sky:
But, should he hide bis face, the astonishid sun,
And all the extinguish'd stars, would loosening reel
Wide from their spheres, and Chaos come again.
And yet was every faultering tongue of Man, ALMIGHTY FATHER! silent in thy praise ;
Thy Works themselves would raise a general voice,
Evin in the depth of solitary woods
By human foot untrod; proclaim thy power,
And to the quire celestial THEE resound,
The' eternal cause, support, and end of all!
To me be Nature's volume broad-display'd;
And to peruse its all instructing page,
Or, haply catching inspiration thence,
Some easy passage, raptur'd, to translate,
My sole delight; as through the falling glooms
Pensive I stray, or with the rising dawa
On Fancy's eagle-wing excursive soar.
Now, flaming up the heavens, the potent son
Melts into limpid air the high-rais'd clouds,
And morning fogs, that hover'd round the hills
In party-colourd bands; till wide nnveil'd
The face of Nature shines, from where earth seems,
Far-stretch'd around, to meet the bending sphere.
Half in a blush of clustering roses lost, Dew-dropping Coolness to the shade retires; There, on the verdant turf, or flowery bed, By gelid founts and careless rills to muse; While tyrant Heat, dispreading through the sky, With rapid sway, his burning influence darts On man, and beast, and herb, and tepid stream,
Who can unpitying see the flowery race, Shed by the moro, their new-flush'd bloom resign, Before the parching beam? so fade the fair, When fevers revel through their azure veins, But one the lofty follower of the sun, Sad when he sets, shuts up her yellow leaves, Drooping all night; and, when he warm returns, Points her enamour'd bosom to his ray.
Home, from his morning task, the swain retreats ; His flock before bim stepping to the fold:
While the full-udder'd mother lows around
The cheerful cottage, then expecting food,
The food of innocence and health! the daw,
The rook, and magpie, to the grey-grown
That the calm village in their verdant arms,
Sheltering, embrace, direct their lazy flight;
Where on the mingling boughs they sit embowerd,
All the hot noon, till cooler hours arise.
Faint, underneath, the household fowls convene;
And, in a corner of the buzzing shade,
The house-dog, with the vacant greyhound, lies,
Out-stretch'd, and sleepy. In his slumbers one
Attacks the nightly thief, and one exults
O'er hill and dale; till, waken’d by the wasp,
They starting soap. Nor shall the Muse disdain
To let the little noisy summer-race
Live in her lay, and flutter through her song:
Not mean though simple; to the sun ally'd,
From him they draw their animating fire.
Wak'd by his warmer ray, the reptile young Come wing'd abroad; by the light air upborne, Lighter, and full of soul. From every chink, And secret corner, where they slept away The wintry storms; or rising from their tombs, To higher life; by myriads, forth at once, Swarming they pour; of all the vary'd hues Their beauty-beaming parent can disclose. Ten thousand forms, ten thousand different tribes, People the blaze. To sunny waters some By fatal instinct fly; where on the pool They, sportive, wheel: or, sailing down the stream, Are spatch'd immediate by the quick-ey'd trout, Or darting salmon. Throagh the green-wood glade Some love to stray; there lodg'd, amus’d, and fed, In the fresh leaf. Luxurious, others make
The meads their choice, and visit every flower,
And every latent herb: for the sweet task,
To propagate their kinds, and where to wrap,
In what soft beds, their young yet undisclos'd,
Employs their tender care. Some to the house,
The fold, and dairy, hungry, bend their flight;
Sip round the pail, or taste the curdling cheese:
Oft, inadvertent, from the milky stream
They meet their fate; or, weltering in the bowl,
With powerless wings around them wrapt, expire.
But chief to heedless flies the window proves
A constant death ; where, gloomily retird,
The villain spider lives, cunning, and fierce,
Mixture abhord! amid a mangled heap
Of carcasses, in eager watch he sits,
O'erlooking all bis waving snares around.
Near the dire cell the dreadless wanderer oft
Passes, as oft the ruffian shows his front;
The prey at last ensnard, be dreadful darts,
With rapid glide, along the leaning line ;
And, fixing in the wretch his cruel fangs, [wing,
Strikes backward grimly pleas’d; the fluttering
And shriller sound, declare extreme distress,
And ask the helpiug hospitable hand.
Resounds the living surface of the ground:
Nor undelightful is the ceaseless hum,
To him who muses through the woods at poon;
Or drowsy shepherd, as he lies reclin'd,
With half-shut eyes, beneath the floating shade
Of willows grey, close-crowding o'er the brook.
Gradual, from these what numerous kinds de-
Evading ev'n the microscopic eye? [scend,
Full Nature swarms with life; one wondrous mass
Of animals, or atoms organiz'd,
Waiting the vital breath, when parent Heaven