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Thy gracious power; as through the varied maze
Qf eloquence, now smooth, now quick, now strong,
Profound and clear, you roll the copious flood. 690

To thy loved haunt return, my happy Muse :
For now, behold the joyous Winter days,
Frosty, succeed : and through the blue serene
For sight too fine, the etherial nitre flies ;
Killing infectious damps, and the spent air

695 Storing afresh, with elemental life. elose crouds the shining atmosphere ; and binds Our strengthened bodies in its cold embrace, Constringent ; feeds, and animates our blood ; Refines our spirits thro' the new-strung nerves,

700 In swifter sallies darting to the brain ; Where sits the soul intense, collected, cool, Bright as the skies, and as the season keen. All Nature feels the renovating force Of Winter, only to the thoughtless eye In ruin seen. The frost-concocted glebe Draws in abundant vegetable soul, And gathers vigour for the coming year. A stronger glow site on the lively cheek Of ruddy fire ; and luculent along

10 The purer

rivers flow; their sullen deeps, Transparent, open to the shepherd's gaze, And murmur-hoarser at the fixing frost.

What art thou, frost? and whence are thy keen stores Derived, thou secret all-invading power,

716 Whom even the illusive fluid cannot dy? Is not thy potent energy, unseen, Myriads of little salts, or hooked, or shaped Like double wedges, and diffused immense


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Thro' water, earth, and ether? Hence at eve,
Steamed eager from the red horizon round,
With the fierce rage of Winter deep suffused,
An icy gale, oft shifting, o'er the pool
Breathes a blue film, and in its mid career
Arrests the bickering stream. The foosened ice,
Let down the flood, and half-dissolved by day,
Rustles no more ; but to the sedgy bank
Fast grows, or gathers round the pointed stone,
A crystal pavement, by the breath of heaven
Cemented firm ; till seized from shore to shore,
The whole imprisoned river growls below.
Loud rings the frozen earth, and hard reflects
A double noise ; while at his evening watch,
The village-dog deters the nightly thief;
The heifer lows; the distant water-fall
Swells in the breeze ; and, with the hasty tread
Of traveller, the hollow-sounding plain
Shakes from afar. The full ethereal round,
Infinite worlds disclosing to the view,
Shines out intensely keen ; and, all one cope
Of starry glitter, glows from pole to pole.
From pole to pole the rigid influence falls,
Through the still night, incessant, heavy, strong,
And seizes Nature fast. It freezes on ;
Till morn, late rising o'er the drooping world,
Lifts her pale eye unjoyous. Then appears
The various labour of the silent night :
Prone from the dripping cave, and dumb cascade,
Whose idle torrents only seem to roar,
The pendant icicle ; the frost-work fair,
Where transient hues, and fancied figures rise ;




Wide-spouted o'er the hill, the frozen brook,
A livid tract, cold-gleaming on the morn ;
The forest bent beneath the plumy wave ;
And by the frost refined the whiter snow,

Incrusted hard, and sounding to the tread
Of early shepherd, as he pensive seeks
His pining flock, or from the mountain top,
Pleased with the slippery surface, swift descends.

On blythsome frolics bent, the youthful swains, 760 While every work of Man is laid at rest, Fond o'er the river crowd, in various sport And revelry dissolved; where mixing glad, Happiest of all the train ! the raptured boy Lashes the whirling top. Or, where the Rhine 765 Branched out in many a long canal extends, From every province swarming, void of care, Batavia rushes forth ; and as they sweep, On sounding skates, a thousand different ways, In circling poise, swift as the winds along,

770 The then gay land is maddened all to joy. Nor less the northern courts, wide o'er the snow, Pour a new pomp. Eager, on rapid sleds, Their vigorous youth inx bold contention wheel 'The long-resounding course. Mean time, to raise 775 The manly strife, with highly blooming charms, Flushed by the season, Scandinavia's dames, Or Russia's buxom daughters, glow around.

Pure, quick, and sportful, is the wholesome day; But soon elapsed. The horizontal sun,

789 Broad o'er the south, hangs at his utmost noon ; And, ineffectual, strikes the gelid cliff : His azure gloss the mountain still maintains

Russian Enle.



Nor feels the feeble touch. Perhaps the vale
Relents a while to the reflected ray ;
Or from the forest falls the clustered snow,
Myriads of gems, that in the waving gleam
Gay-twinkle as they scatter. Thick around
Thunders the sport of those, whoy with the gun,
And dog impatient bounding at the shot,
Worse than the season, desolate the fields;
And, adding to the ruins of the yeary
Distress the footed or the feathered game.

But what is this? Our infant Winter sinks,
Divested of his grandeur, should our eye
Astonished shoot into the Frigid Zone ;
Where, for relentless months, continuat night
Holds o'er the glittering waste her starry reign.

There, through the prison of unbounded wilds,
Barred by the hand of Nature from escape,
Wide roams the Russian exile: Naught around
Strikes his sad eye, but deserts lost in snow;
And heavy-loaded-groves, and solid floods,
That stretch, athwart the solitary vast;
Their icy horrors to the frozen main;
And cheerless towns far distant, never blessed,
Save when its annual course the caravan
Bends to the golden coast of rich * Cathay,
With news of human kind. Yet there life glows ;
Yet cherished there, beneath the shining waste,
The furry nations harbour ; tipt with jet,
Fair ermines, spotless as the shows they press;
Sables of glossy black; and dark embrowned,
Or beauteous freaked with many a mingled hue,

* The old name for China




Polar Circle.

Thousands besides, the costly pride of courts. 815
There, warm together pressed, the trooping deer
Sleep on the new-fallen snows; and scarce his head
Raised o'er the heapy wreath, the branching elk
Lies slumbering sullen in the white abyss.
The ruthless hunter wants nor dogs nor toils,

Nor with the dread of sounding bows he drives
The fearful flying race ; with ponderous clubs,
As weak against the mountain-heaps they push
Their beating breasts in vain, and piteous bray,
He lays them quivering on the ensanguined snows, 825
And with loud shouts rejoicing bears them home,
There thro' the piny forest half-absorpt,
Rough tenant of these shades, the shapeless bear,
With dangling ice alt horrid, stalks forlorn ;
Slow-paced, and sourer as the storms increase, 830
He makes his bed beneath the inclement drift,
And, with stern patience, scorning weak complaint,
Hardens his beart against assailing want.

Wide o'er the spacious regions of the north, That see Bootes urge his tardy wain,

835 A boisterous race, by frosty * Caurus pierced, Who little pleasure know, and fear no pain, Prolific swarm. They once relumed the flame Of lost mankind in polished slavery sunk, Drove martial thorde on horde, with dreadful sweep 840 Resistless rushing o'er the enfeebled south, And gave the vanquished world another form. Not such the sons of Lapland : wisely they Despise the insensate barbarous trade of war ; They ask no more than simple Nature gives, 845

The north west wind.

f The wandering Scythian clans,

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