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Rold in the doubling storm, she tries to soar ,
To swell her note with all the rushing winds, 25
To suit hier sounding cadence to the floods,
As is her theme, her numbers wildly great :
Thrice happy coul she fill thy judging car
With bold descriptivu and with manly thought
Nor art thou skilld in awful schemes alone, 30
And how to make a mighty people thrive :
But equal goodness, sound integrity,
A firm unshaken uncorrupted soul
Amid a sliding age, and burning strong,
Not vainly blazing, for thy country's weal,
A steady spirit regularly free;
These, each exalting each, the statesman light
Into the patriot; these, the public hope
And eye to thee converting, bid the Muse
Record what envy dares not flattery call.
40 Now when the cheerless empire of the sky To Capricorn the Centaur Archer yields, And fierce Aquarius stains the' inverted year , Hung o'er the furthest verge of heaven, the sun Scarce spreads through ether the dejected day.
45 Faint are his gleams, and ineffectual shoot His struggling rays, in horizontal lines, Through the thick air ; as clothed in cloudy storm, Weak, wan, and broad, he skirts the southern sky; And, soon descending, to the long dark night, 50 Wide-shading all, the prostrate world resigns. Nor is the night unwish'd; while vital heat, Light, life, and joy the dubious day forsake. Meantime, in sable cincture, shadows vast, Deep-tinged and damp, and congregated clouds, 55 And all the vapoury turbulence of heaven, Involve the face of things. Thus Winter falls, A heavy gloom oppressive o'er the world, Through Nature shedding influence maliga, And rouses up the seeds of dark disease.
60 The svul of an dies in him, loathing life,
And black with more than melancholy views.
The cattle droop; and o’er the furrow'd land,
Fresh from the plough, the dun discolour'd flocks,
Untended spreading, crop the wholesome root. 65
Along the woods, along the moorish fens,
Sighs the sad Genius of the coming storm :
And up among the loose disjointed cliffs,
And fractured mountains wild, the brawling brook
And cave, presageful, send a hollow moan, 70
Resounding long in listening Fancy's ear.
Then comes the father of the tempest forth,
Wrapp'd in black glooms. First joyless rains obscure
Drive through the mingling skies with vapour foul ;
Dash on the mountain's brow, and shake the woods, 75
That grumb.ing wave below. The' unsightly plain
Lies a brown deluge ; as the low-bent clouds
Pour flood on flood, yet unexhausted still
Combine, and deepening into night shut up
The day's fair face. The wanderers of heaven, 80
Each to his home, retire ; save those that love
To take their pastime in the troubled air,
Or skimming fluiter round the dimply pool.
The cattle from the' untasted fields ret'irn,
And ask, with meaning lowe, their wanted stalls, 85
Or rumirate in the contiguous shade.
Thither the household feathery people crowd,
The crested cock, with all his female train,
Pensive, and dripping ; while the cottage-hind
Hangs o'er the’ enlivening blaze, and taleful thero 90
Recounts his simple frolic: much he talks,
And much he laughs, nor recks the storm that blows
Without, and rattles on his humble roof.
Wide o'cr the brim, with many a torrent swellid, And the mix'd ruin of its banks o'erspread, At last the roused-up river pours along : Kesistless, roaring, dreadful, down it comes, From the rude mountain, and the mossy wild, Tumbling through rocks abrupt, and sounding far;
Then o'er the sanded valley floating spreads, 100
Calm, sluggish, silent; till again, constrain'd
Between two inecting hills, it bursts away,
Where rocks and woods o'er hang the turbid stream;
Their gathering triple force, rapid, and deep,
It boils and wheels and foams and thunders through.
Nature ! great parent ! whose unceasing hand 106
Rolls round the Seasons of the changuful year,
How mighty, how majestic are thy works!
With what a pleasing dread they swell the soul !
That sees astonish'd! and astonishd sings! 110
Ye too, ye winds! that now begin to blow
With boisterous sweep, I raise my voice to you.
Where are your stores, ye powerful beings! say,
Where your aerial magazines reserved,
I'o swell the brooding terrors of the storm ? 115
In what far distant region of the sky,
Hush'd in deep silence, sleep ye when 'tis calm?
When from the pallid sky the sun descends,
With many a spot, that o'er his glaring orb
Uncertain wanders, staind; red fiery streaks 120
Begin to flush around. The reeling clouds
Stagger with dizzy poise, as doubting yet
Which master to obey : while rising slow,
Blank, in the leaden-colour'd east, the moon
Wears a wan circle round her blunted horns, 123
Seen through the turbid fluctuating air,
The stars obtuse emit a shiver'd ray;
Or frequent seem to shoot athwart the gloom,
And long behind them trail the whitening blaze.
Snatch'd in short eddies, plays the wither'd leaf; 130
And on the flood the dancing feather floats.
With broaden'd nostrils to the sky unturnd,
The conscious heiler snuffs the stormy gale.
E'en as the matron, at her nightly task,
With pensive labour draws the flaxer, thread, 125
The wasted taper and the crackling flame
Foretel the blast. But chief the plumy race,
The tenants of the sky, its changes speak.
Retiring from the downs, where all day long
They pick'd their scanty fare, a blackening train 140
Of clamorous rooks thick urge their weary flighi.
And seek the closing shelter of the grove ;
Assiduous, in his bower, the wailing owl
Plies his sad song. The cormorant on high
Wheels from the deep, and screams along the land. 145
Loud shrinks the soaring hern; and with wild wing
The circling seafowl cleave the flaky clouds.
Ocean, unequal press’d, with broken tide
And blin't commotion heaves ; while from the shore,
Eat into caverns by the restless wave,
And forest-rustling mountain, comes a voice,
That solemn sounding bids the world prepare.
Then issues forth the storm with sudden burst,
And hurls the whole precipitated air
Down, in a torrent. On the passive main 155
Descends the etherial force, and with strong gust
Turns from its botton the discolourd deep.
Through the black night that sits immense around,
Lash d into foam, the fierce conflicting brine
Seems o'er a thousand raging waves to burn: 166
Meantime the mountain billows, to the clouds
In dreadful tumult swell’d, surge above s'irge,
Burst into chaos with tremendous roar,
And ancbord navies from their stations drive,
Wild as the winds across the howling waste 165
Of' mighty waters : now the inflated wave
Straining they scale, and now impetuous shoot
Into the secret chambers of the deep,
The wintry Baltic thundering o'er their head.
Emerging thence again, before the breath 170
Or full-exarted heaven they wing their courso,
And dart on distant coasts ; if some sharp rock
Or shoal insidious break not their career,
And in loose fragments Aling them floating round.
Nor ess at hand the loosen'd tempest reigns. 175
The mountain thunders; and its sturdy sons
Stoop to the bottom of the rocks they shade.
Lone on the midnight steep, and all aghast,
The dark wayfaring stranger breathless toils,
And, often falling, climbs against the blast. 180
Low waves the rooted forest, verd, and shods
What of its tarnish'd honours yet remain;
Dash'd down, and scatter'd, by the tearing wird's
Assiduous fury, its gigantic limbs.
Thus struggling through the dissipated grovo,
The whirling tempest raves along the plain;
And on the cottage thatch'd, or lordly roof,
Keen-fastening, shakes them to the solid base.
Sleep frighted flies; and round the rocking dome,
For entrance eager, howls the savage blast. 190
Then too, they say, through all the burden'd air,
Long groans are heard, shrill sounds, and distant sighs,
That, utter'd by the Demon of the night,
Warn the devoted wretch of woo and death.
Huge uproar lords it wide. The clouds commixed With stars swift gliding sweep along the sky. 196 All Nature reels. Till Nature's King, who oft Amid tempestuous darkness dwells alone, And on the wings of the careering wind Walks dreadfully serene, commands a calm ; 200 Then, straight, air, sea, and earth are hush'd at once.
As yet 'tis midnight deep. The weary clouds, Slow-meeting, mingle into solid gloom. Now, while the drowsy world lies lost in sleep, Let me associate with the serious Night, 205 And Contemplation, her sedate compeer; Let me shake off the intrusive cares of day, And lay the meddling senses all aside,
Where now, ye lying vanities of life ! Ye ever tempting ever cheating train !
210 Where are you now ? and what is your amount? Vexation, disappointment, and remorso : Sad, sickening thought! and yet, deluded man,