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Ye ever-tempting, ever-cheating train !
210 Where are you now ? and what is your amount ? Vexation, disappointment, and remorse. Sad, sickening thought ! and yet deluded Man, A scene of crude disjointed visions past;. And broken slumbers, rises still resolved,
215 With new-flushed hopes, to run the giddy round.
FATHER of light and life, thou Good Supreme !
220 With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure ; Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss!
The keener tempests rise : and fuming dun From all the livid east, or piercing north, Thick clouds ascend ; in whose capacious womb 225 A vapoury deluge lies, to snow congealed. Heavy they roll their fleecy. world along ; And the sky saddens with the gathered storm. Thro' the hushed air the whitening shower descends, At first thin wavering ; till at last the flakes
230 Fall broad, and wide, and fast, dimming the day, With a continual flow. The cherished fields Put on their winter-robe of purest white. 'Tis brightness all ; save where the new snow melts Along the mazy current. Low, the woods Bow their boar head ; and, ere the languid sun Faint from the west emits his evening ray, Earth's universal face, deep hid, and chill, Is one wild dazzling waste, that buries wide The works of Man. Drooping, the labourer-ox 240 Stands covered o'er with snow, and then demands The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven,
Earth covered with Snow.
Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around
Now, shepherds, to your helpless charge be kind, 265 Biffle the raging year, and fill their pens With food at will ; lodge them below the storm, And watch them strict : for from the bellowing east, In this dire season, ost the whirlwind's wing Sweeps up the burthen of whole wintry plains 270 At one wide waft, and o'er the hapless flocks, Hid in the hollow of two neighbouring hills, The billowy tempest whelms ; till, upward urged, The valley to a shining mountain swells, Tipt with a wreath high-curling in the sky.
The perishing Swain.
As thus the snows arise ; and foul, and fierce,
290 His tufted cottage rising thro' the snow, He meets the roughness of the middle waste, Far from the track, and blest abode of Man ; While round him night resistless closes fast, And every tempest, howling o'er his head,
295 Renders the savage wilderness more wild. Then throng the busy shapes into his mind Of covered pits, unfathomably deep, A dire descent ! beyond the power of frost Of faithless bogs ; of precipices huge,
300 Smoothed up with snow; and, what is land, unknown, What water, of the still unfrozen spring, In the loose marsh or solitary lake, Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils. These check his fearful steps ; and down he sinks 305 Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift, Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mixt with the tender anguish Nature shoots
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Ah little think the gay licentious proud,
How many pine in want, and dungeon glooms : 11
Shut from the common air, and common use
shrink into the sordid hut
Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse ; 340
355 The social tear would rise, the social sigh ; And into clear perfection, gradual bliss, Refining still, the social passions work.
And here can I forget the generous *band, Who, touched with human woe, redressive searched 360 Into the horrors of the gloomy jail ? Unpitied, and unheard, where misery moans ; Where sickness pines ; where thirst and hunger burn, And poor misfortune feels the lash of vice. While in the land of liberty, and land
365 Whose every street and public meeting glow With open freedom, little tyrants raged ; Snatched the lean morsel from the starving mouth ; Tore from cold wintry limbs the tattered weed ; Even robbed them of the last of comforts, sleep ; 370
• The Jail Committee, in the year 1729.