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A Mother's Tears.
Alas, for us too soon! Though raised above 565
580 Believe the Muse : the wintry blast of death Kills not the buds of virtue ; no, they spread, Beneath the heavenly beam of brighter suns, Through endless ages, into higher powers ! Thus up the mount, in airy vision rapt,
585 I stray, regardless whither ; till the sound Of a near fall of water every sense Wakes from the charm of thought : swift-shrinking back I check my steps, and view the broken scene.
Smooth to the shelving brink a copious flood 590 Rolls fair and placid ; where collected all, In one impetuous torrent, down the steep It thundering shoots, and shakes the country round, At first, an azure sheet, it rushes broad; Then whitening by degrees, as prone it falls, 5.5 And from the loud resounding rocks below,
Impetuous Stream. Retirement.
Dashed in a cloud of foam, it sends aloft
Invited from the cliff, to whose dark brow
Beside the dewy border let me sit,
Now, while I taste the sweetness of the shade, While Nature lies around deep-lulled in Noon, 630 Now come, bold Fancy, spread a daring flight, And view the wonders of the torrid Zone : Climes unrelenting! with whose rage compared, Yon blaze is feeble, and yon skies are cool. See, how at once the bright effulgent sun,
635 Rising direct, swift chases from the sky The short-lived twilight ; and with ardent blaze Looks gayly fierce o'er all the dazzling air : He mounts his throne ; but kind before him sends, Issuing from out the portals of the morn,
640 The * general Breeze, to mitigate his fire, And breathe refreshment on a fainting world. Great are the scenes, with dreadful beauty crowned And barbarous wealth, that see, each circling year, Returning Suns and † double Seasons pass :
645 Rocks rich in gems, and mountains big with mines. That on the high equator ridgy rise, Whence many a bursting stream auriferous plays : Majestic woods, of every vigorous green, Stage above stage, high-waving o'er the hills ; 650 Or to the far horizon, wide diffussed, A boundless deep immensity of shade. Here lofty trees to ancient song unknown,
* Which blows constantly between the tropics from the east, or the collateral points, the north-east and south-east: caused by the pressure of the rarefied air on that before it, according to the diurnal motion of the sun from east to west.
+ In all climates between the tropics, the sun, as he passes and repasses in his annual motion, is twice a-year vertical, which produces this effect.
Fruits of the Burning Zone.
The noble sons of potent heat and floods
655 Prone-rushing from the clouds, rear high to Heaven Their thorny stems, and broad around them throw Meridian gloom. Here in eternal prime, Unnumbered fruits of keen delicious taste And vital spirit, drink amid the cliffs, And burning sands that bank the shrubby vales,
660 Redoubled day, yet in their rugged coats A friendly juice to cool its rage contain.
Bear me, Pomona ! to thy citron groves ; To where the lemon and the piercing lime, With the deep orange glowing through the green, 665 Their lighter glories blend. Lay me reclined Beneath the spreading tamarind that shakes, Fanned by the breeze, its fever-cooling fruit. Deep in the night the massy locust shades, Quench my hot limbs ; or lead me thro’ the maze, 670 Embowering endiess of the Indian fis ; Or thrown at gayer ease, on some fair brow, Let me behold, by breezy murmurs cooled, Broad o'er my head the verdant cedar wave, And high palmetos list their graceful shade.
675 Or stretched amid these orchards of the sun, Give me to drain the cocoa's inilky bowl, And from the palm to draw its freshening wine ! More bounteous far than all the franțic juice Which Bacchus pours. Nor, on its slender twigs 680 Low-bending, be the full pomegranate scorned ; Nor, creeping through the woods, the gelid race Of berries. Oft in humble station dwells Unboastful worth, above fastidious pomp. Witness, thou best Anana, thou, the pride
The Burning Zone.
Of vegetable life, beyond whate'er
From these the prospect varies. Plains immense 698
Along these lonely regions, where retired From little scenes of art, great Nature dwells In awful solitude, and nought is seen But the wild herds that own no master's stall, Prodigious rivers roll their fattening seas : On whose luxuriant herbage, half-concealed, Like fallen cedar, far-diffused his train, Cased in green scales, the crocodile extends. The flood disparts : behold ! in plaited mail, * Behemoth rears his head. Glanced from his side, 710 The darted steel in idle shivers flies : He fearless walks the plain, or seeks the hills ; Where, as he crops his varied fare, the herds,
widening circle round, forget their food, And at the harmless stranger wondering gaze..
715 Peaceful, beneath primeval trees, that cast * The Hippopotamus, or river horse.