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BY THE REV. WM. THOMPSON.
HAIL, Nature's poet! whom she taught alone
To sing her works in numbers like her own:
Sweet as the Thrush that warbles in the dale,
And soft as Philomela's tender tale.
She lent her pencil too, of wondrous power,
To catch the rainbow, and to paint the flower
Of many mingling hues:-then smiling, said—
(But first with laurel crown'd her favourite's head)
These beauteous children, though so fair they
Fade in my Seasons-let them live in thine!" [shine,
And live they shall, the charm of every eye,
Till Nature sickens, and the Seasons die.
Written in an Alcove, where Thomson completed his Seasons. BY T. PARK.
AERIAL Spirits, who forsook your sky
To whisper charmed sounds in THOMSON's ear;
Or, shaded from the ken of grosser eye,
Did to the Bard in holy trance appear,
Still guard the sacred grove which once was dear:
On every leaf enweave a druid spell,
And say to the profane, should such come near-
"Here did the woodland-pilgrim form his cell;
The priest of Nature here his temple plac'd,
And rais'd the incense of his song on high;
With silvan honours was his altar grac'd,
His harp was tun'd to heavenly psalmistry 3:
Here did he pour to Nature's GOD the strain !----
And should you scorn the worship, shun the fane."
3 Alluding to the Hymn at the close of the Seasons.
The subject proposed. Inscribed to the Countess of 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 dissuasive from the wild and irregular passion of Love, opposed to that of a pure and happy kind.
COME, gentle SPRING, ethereal Mildness, come,
And from the bosom of yon dropping cloud,
While music wakes around, veil'd in a shower
Of shadowing roses, on our plains descend.
O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts
With unaffected grace, or walk the plain
With innocence and meditation join'd
In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
Which thy own Season paints; when Nature all
Is blooming and benevolent, like thee.
And see where surly WINTER passes off,
Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts:
His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill,
The shatter'd forest, and the ravag'd vale;
While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch,
Dissolving snows in livid torrents lost,
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 sleets
Deform the day delightless: so that scarce
The bittern knows his time, with bill ingulft
To shake the sounding marsh; or from the shore
The plovers when to scatter o'er the heath,
And sing their wild notes to the listening waste.
At last from Aries rolls the bounteous sun,
And the bright Bull receives him. Then no more
The' expansive 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-surrounding heaven.
Forth fly the tepid airs: and unconfin'd,
Unbinding earth, the moving softness strays.
Joyous, the' impatient husbandman perceives
Relenting Nature, and his lusty steers
Drives from their stalls, to where the well-us'd plough
Lies in the furrow, loosen'd from the frost.
There, unrefusing, to the harness'd yoke
They lend their shoulder, and begin their toil,
Cheer'd by the simple song and soaring lark.
Meanwhile incumbent o'er the shining share
The master leans, removes the' obstructing clay,
Winds the whole work, and sidelong lays the glebe.
While through the neighbouring fields the sower
With measur'd step; and liberal throws the grain Into the faithful bosom of the ground:
The harrow follows harsh, and shuts the scene.
Be gracious, Heaven! for now laborious Man Has done his part. Ye fostering breezes, blow! Ye softening dews, ye tender showers, descend! And temper all, thou world-reviving sun, 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 times, the sacred plough employ'd
The kings, and awful fathers of mankind:
And some, with whom compar'd your insect-tribes
Are but the beings of a summer's day,
Have held the scale of empire, rul'd the storm
Of mighty war; then, with unwearied hand,
Disdaining little delicacies, seiz'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 sun, Luxuriant and unbounded: as the sea, Far through his azure turbulent domain, Your empire owns, and from a thousand shores Wafts all the pomp of life into your ports; So with superior boon may your rich soil, Exuberant, Nature's better blessings pour O'er every land, the naked nations clothe, And be the' exhaustless granary of a world! Nor only through the lenient air this change, Delicious, breathes; the penetrative sun, His force deep-darting to the dark retreat Of vegetation, sets the steaming Power At large, to wander o'er the verdant earth, In various hues; but chiefly thee, gay green! Thou smiling Nature's universal robe!
United light and shade! where the sight dwells With growing strength, and ever-new delight.
From the moist meadow to the wither'd hill, Led by the breeze, the vivid verdure runs, And swells, and deepens, to the cherish'd eye.
The hawthorn whitens; and the juicy groves
Put forth their buds, unfolding by degrees,
Till the whole leafy forest stands display'd,
In full luxuriance to the sighing gales;
Where the deer rustle through the twining brake,
And the birds sing conceal'd. At once array'd
In all the colours of the flushing year,
By Nature's swift and secret working hand,
The garden glows, and fills the liberal air
With lavish fragrance; while the promis'd fruit
Lies yet a little embryo, unperceiv'd,
Within its crimson folds. Now from the town
Buried in smoke, and sleep, and noisome damps,
Oft let me wander o'er the dewy fields, [drops
Where freshness breathes, and dash the trembling
From the bent bush, as through the verdant maze
Of sweet-briar hedges I pursue my walk;
Or taste the smell of dairy; or ascend
Some eminence, Augusta, in thy plains,
And see the country, far diffus'd around,
One boundless blush, one white-empurpled shower
Of mingled blossoms; where the raptur'd eye
Hurries from joy to joy, and, hid beneath.
The fair profusion, yellow Autumn spies.
If brush'd from Russian wilds, a cutting gale
Rise not, and scatter from his humid wings
The clammy mildew; or, dry-blowing, breathe
Untimely frost; 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 warp
Keen in the poison'd breeze; and wasteful eat,
Through buds and bark, into the blacken'd core,
Their eager way. A feeble race! yet oft