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Frost.

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.
&lose 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, 7OO
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 705
In ruin seen. The frost-concocted glebe
Draws in abundant vegetable soul,
And gathers vigour for the coming year.
A stronger glow sits on the lively cheek
Of ruddy fire; and luculent along #710.
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, 715
Whom even the illusive fluid cannot fly -
Is not thy potent energy, unseen,
Myriads of little salts, or hooked, or shaped
Like double wedges, and diffused immense

Frost.

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 loosened 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;

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756,

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- Skating.

- 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, 755
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 frèlics 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 in 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 o
* Broad o'er the south, hangs at his utmost noon ;
o And, ineffectual, strikes the gelid cliff:
His azure gloss the mountain still maintains,

Russian Exile.

Nor feels the feeble touch. Perhaps the vale
Relents a while to the reflected ray; Y85.
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, who, with the gun,

And dog impatient bounding at the shot, 790.

Worse than the season, desolate the fields;
And, adding to the ruins of the year,
Distress the footed or the feathered game.
But what is this Our infant Winter sinks,
Divested of his grandeur, should our eye 795.
Astonished shoot into the Frigid Zone;
Where, for relentless months, continual 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, 800
Wide roams the Russian exile, Naught around
Strikes his sad eye, but deserts lost in snow ; s

And heavy-loaded groves; and solid floods,
That stretch, athwart the solitary vast,
Their icy horrors to the frozen main ; --805
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, 810
The furry nations harbour; tipt with jet,
Fair ermines, spotless as the snows they press;
Sables of glossy black ; and dark embrowned,
Or beauteous freaked with many a mingled hue,

* The old passit for China. - **

.*==E. Polar Circle.

Thousands besides, the costly pride of courts. $15.
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, 320°
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 all horrid, stalks forlorn ;
Slow-paced, and sourer as the storms increase, 836)
Biemakes his bed beneath the inclement drift,
And, with stern patience, scorning weak complaint,
Hardens his heart against assailing want.
Wide o'er the spacious regions of the north,
That see Boötes urge his tardy wain, 835
Aboisterous 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 f horde 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. The wandering Scythian clans.

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