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An autumnal Day.
Sheer from the black foundation, stench-involved,
1210 How clear the cloudless sky! how deeply tinged With a peculiar blue! the ethereal arch How swelled immense ! amid whose azure throned The radiant sun how gay! how calm below The gilded earth! the harvest-treasures all
1215 Now gathered in, beyond the rage of storm Sure to the swain ; the circling fence shut up ; And instant Winter's utmost rage defied. While, loose to festive joy, the country round Laughs with the loud sincerity of mirth,
1220 Shook to the wind their cares. The toil-strung youth By the quick sense of music taught alone, Leaps wildly graceful in the lively dance. Her every charm abroad, the village-toast, Young, buxom, warm, in native beauty rich,
1225 Darts not unmeaning looks; and, where her eye Points an approving smile, with double force, The cudgel rattles, and the wrestler twines. Age too shines out ; and, garrulous, recounts
The feats of youth. Thus they rejoice ; nor think y That, with to-morrow's sun, their annual toil 1231 Begins again the never-ceasing round.
Oh knew he but his happiness, of Men The happiest he ! who far from public rage, Deep in the vale, with a choice few retired, 1235
Pleasures of Retirement.
Drinks the pure pleasures of the Rural Life.
1255 To disappointment, and fallacious hope : Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich, In herbs and fruits ; whatever greens the Spring, When heaven descends in showers; or bends the bough When Summer redders, and when Autumn beams; 1260 Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies Concealed, and fatteus with the richest sap : These are not wanting; por the milky drove, Luxuriant, spread o’er all the lowing vale ; Nor bleating mountains; nor the chide of streams, 1265 And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade,
Wealth, Conquest, Ambition.
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay ;
Dim grottos, gleaming lakes, and fountain clear.
Let others brave the flood in quest of gain,
And tread the weary labyrinth of state.
That restless Men involve, hears, and but hears,
Wrapt close in conscious peace. The fall of kings, 1300
rage of nations, and the crush of states,
1315 Or Hemus cool, reads what the Muse, of these Perhaps, has in immortal numbers sung ; Or what she dictates writes : and, oft an eye Shot round, rejoices in the vigorous year. When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world, 1320 And tempts the sickled swain into the field, Seized by the general joy, his heart distends With gentle throes ; and, thro' the tepid gleams Deep musing, then he best exerts his
song Even Winter wild to him is full of bliss.
1325 The mighty tempest, and the hoary waste, Abrupt, and deep, stretched o'er the buried earth, Awake to solemn thought. At night the skies, Disclosed, and kindled, by refining frost, Pour every lustre on th' exalted eye.
1330 A friend, a book, the stealing hours secure,
And mark them down for wisdom. With swift wing,
1345 This is the life which those who fret in guilt, And guilty cities, never knew ; the life, Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt, When angels dwelt, and God himself, with Man! O Nature ! all-sufficient ! over all !
1350 Enrich me with the knowledge of thy works !
Snatch me to heaven ; thy rolling wonders there, ļ World beyond world, in infinite extent,
Profusely scattered o'er the blue immense,