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Lighter, and full of soul. From every chink,
And secret corner, where they slept away
The wintry storms ; or rising from their tombs, 245
To higher life; by myriads, forth at once,
Swarming they pour ; of all the varied hues
Their beauty-beaming parent can disclose.
Ten thousand forms ! ten thousand different tribes!
People the blaze. To sunny waters some
By fatal instinct fly; where on the pool
They, sportive, wheel; or, sailing down the stream,
Are snatched immediate by the quick-eyed trout,
Or darting salmon. Thro' the green-wood glade
Some love to stray ; there lodged, amused, and fed, 255
In the fresh leaf. Luxurious, others make
The meads their choice, and visit every flower',
And every latent herb : for the sweet task,
To propagate their kinds, and where to wrap,
In what soft beds, their young yet undisclosed, 260
Employs their tender care. Some to the house,
The fold, and dairy, hungry, bend their flight;
Sip round the pail, or taste the curdling cheese :
Oft, inadvertent, from the milky stream
They meet their fate ; or, weltering in the bowl, 265
With powerless wings around them wrapt, expire.
Butchief to heedless flies the window proves A constant death ; where, gloomily retired, The villain spider lives, cunning, and fierce, Mixture abhorred! Amid a mangled heap
270 Of carcases, in eager watch he sits, O'erlooking all his waving snares around. Near the dire cell the dreadless wanderer oft Passes, as oft the ruffian shows his front;
The prey at last ensnared; he dreadful darts,
With rapid glide, along the leaning line ;
And, fixing in the wretch his cruel fangs,
Strikes backward grimly pleased : the fluttering wing,
And shriller sound declare extreme distress,
And ask the helping hospitable hand.
Resounds the living surface of the ground :
Nor undelightful is the ceaseless hum,
To him who muses thro’ the woods at noon ;
Or drowsy shepherd, as he lies reclined,
With half-shut eyes, beneath the floating shade 285
Of willows grey, close-crowding o'er the brook.
Gradual, from these what numerous kinds descend,
Evading even the microscopic eye!
Full Nature'swarms with life ; one wonderous mass
Of animals, or atoms organized,
Waiting the vital Breath ; when PARENT-HEAVEN
Shall bid his spirit blow.. The hoary fen,
In putrid steams, emits the living cloud
Of pestilence. Thro' subterranean cells,
Where searching sun-beams scarce can find a way, 295
Earth animated heaves. The flowery leaf
Wants not its soft inhabitants. Secure,
Within its winding citadel, the stone
Holds multitudes. But chief the forest-boughs,
That dance unnumbered to the playful breeze, 300
The downy orchard, and the melting pulp
Of mellow fruit, the nameless nations feed
Of evanescent insects. · Where the pool
Stands mantled o'er with green, invisible,
Amid the floating verdure millions stray.
305 Each liquid too, whether it pierces, sooths,
Inflames, refreshes, or exalts the taste;
With various forms abounds. Nor is the stream
Of purest crystal, nor the lucid air,
5 Tho'one transparent vacancy it seems,
310 Void of their unseen people. These, concealed * By the kind art of forming Heaven, escape The grosser eye of Man : for, if the worlds In worlds enclosed, should on his senses burst, From cates ambrosial, and the nectared bowl, 315
He would abhorrent turn ; and in dead night, 2: When silence sleeps o'er all, be stunned with noise.
Let no presuming impious railer tax CREATIVE WISDOM, as if aught was formed În vain, or not for admirable ends.
320 Shall little haughty ignorance pronounce $ His works unwise, of which the smallest part
Exceeds the narrow vision of her mind ? - As if upon a full proportioned dome, On swelling columns heaved, the pride of art! 325 A critic-fly, whose feeble ray scarce spreads An inch around, with blind presumption bold, Should dare to tax the structure of the whole. And lives the Man, whose universal eye Has swept at once th' unbounded scheme of things ; 330 Marked their dependence so, and firm accord, As with unfaltering accent to conclude That This availeth nought? Has any seen The mighty chain of beings, lessening down From INFINITE PERFECTION to the brink
335 Of dreary Nothing, desolate abyss ! From which astonished thought, recoiling, turns ? Till then alone let zealous praise ascend,
And hymns of holy wonder, to that Power,
Whose wisdom shines as lovely on our minds,
As on our smiling eyes his servant-sun.
Thick in yon stream of light, a thousand ways,
Upward, and downward, thwarting, and convolved
The quivering nations sport ; till, tempest-winged,
Fierce Winter sweeps them from the face of day.
Even so luxurious Men, unheeding, pass
'An idle summer-life in fortune's shine,
A season's glitter ! Thus they flutter on
From toy to toy, from vanity to vice ;
Till, blown away by death, oblivion comes
Behind, and strikes them from the book of life.
Now swarins the village o'er the jovial mead :
The rustic ġouth, brown with meridian toil,
Healthful and strong ; full as the summer-rose
Blown by prevailing suns, the ruddy maid,
Half naked, swelling on the sight, and all
Her kindled graces burning o'er her cheek.
Even stooping age is here ; and infant-hands
Trail the long rake, or, with the fragrant load
O'ercharged, amid the kind oppression roll.
Wide flies the tedded grain ; all in a row
Advancing broad, or wheeling round the field,
'They spread the breathing harvest to the sun,
That throws refreshful round a rural smell :
Or, as they rake the green-appearing ground,
And drive the dusky wave along the mead,
The russet hay-cock rises thick behind,
In order gay. While heard from dale to dale,
Waking the breeze, resounds the blended voice
Of happy labour, love, and social glee.
Or rushing thence, in one diffusive band, They drive the troubled flocks, by many a dog Compelled, to where the mazy-running brook Forms a deep pool ; this bank abrupt and high, And that fair-spreading in a pebbled shore.
375 Urged to the giddy brink, much is the toil, The clamour much, of men, and boys, and dogs, Ere the soft fearful people to the flood Commit their woolly sides. And oft the Swain, On some impatient seizing, hurls them in :
380 Emboldened then, nor hesitating more, Fast, fast, they plunge amid the flushing wave, And panting labour to the farthest shore. Repeated this, till deep the well-washed fleece Has drunk the flood, and from his lively haunt 385 The trout is banished by the sordid stream ; Heavy, and dripping, to the breezy brow Slow move the harmless race : where, as they spread Their swelling treasures to the sunny ray, Inly disturbed, and wondering what this wild 390
Outrageous tumult means, their loud complaints # The country fill; and, tossed from rock to rock,
Incessant bleatings run around the hills.
At last, of snowy white, the gathered flocks
Are in the wattled pen innumerous pressed,
Head above head : and, ranged in lusty rows
The shepherds sit, and whet the sounding shears.
The housewife waits to roll her fleecy, stores,
With all her gay-drest maids attending round:
One, chief, in gracious dignity enthroned,
400 Shines o'er the rest, the pastoral queen, and rays Her smiles, sweet-beaming, on her shepherd-king; While the glad circle round them yield their sonls