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And wait th' approaching fign to ftrike, at once,
Into the general choir. Even mountains, vales,
And forests seem, impatient, to demand
The promis'd sweetness. Man fuperior walks
Amid the glad creation, musing praise,
And looking lively gratitude. At last,
The clouds-confign their treasures to the fields;
And, foftly shaking on the dimpled pool
Prelufive drops, let all their moisture flow,
In large effufion, o'er the fresh'ned world.
The stealing shower is foarce to patter heard,
By fuch as wander through the forest-walks,
Beneath th' umbrageous multitude of-leaves.
But who can hold the shade, while Heaven defcends
In univerfal bounty, fhedding herbs,
And fruits, and flowers, on Nature's ample lap?
Swift fancy fir'd anticipates their growth;
And, while the milky nutriment diftils,
Beholds the kindling country colour round.
Thus all day long the full-diftended clouds
Indulge their genial ftores, and well-shower'd earth
Is deep enrich'd with vegetable life;
Till, in the western sky, the downward fun
Looks out, effulgent, from amid the flush:
Of broken clouds, gay-fhifting to his beam..
The rapid radiance instantaneous strikes
Th' illumin'd mountain, through the foreft streams,
Shakes on the floods, and in a yellow mist,
Far fmoaking o'er th' interminable plain,
In twinkling myriads lights the dewy gems.
Moift, bright, and green, the landscape laughs around;
Full fwell the woods; their every music wakes,
Mix'd in wild concert with the warbling brooks
Increas'd, the diftant bleatings of the hills,
And hollow lows refponfive from the vales,
Whence blending all the fweetened zephyr fprings.
Mean time, refracted from yon eastern cloud,
Bestriding earth, the grand aethereal bow
Shoots up immense; and every hue unfolds,
In fair proportion running from the red,
To where the violet fades into the sky.
Here, awful NEWTON! the diffolving clouds
Form, fronting on the fun, thy showery prism ;
And to the fage instructed eye
The various twine of light, by thee disclos'd
From the white mingling maze. Not so the boy;
He wondering views the bright inchantment bend,
Delightful, o'er the radiant fields, and runs
To catch the falling glory; but amaz'd
Beholds th' amusive arch before him fly,
Then vanish quite away. Still night fucceeds,
A foftened fhade, and faturated earth
Awaits the morning-beam, to give to light,.
Rais'd thro' ten thousand different plaftic tubes,
The balmy treasures of the former day.
Then spring the living herbs, profufely wild,
O'er all the deep-green earth, beyond the power
Of botanist to number up their tribes:
Whether he steals along the lonely dale,
In filent search; or through the foreft, rank
With what the dull incurious weeds account,
Burfts his blind way; or climbs the mountain-rock,
Fir'd by the nodding verdure of its brow.
With fuch a liberal hand has Nature flung
Their feeds abroad, blown them about in winds 230
Innumerous, mix'd them with the nursing mold,
The moistening current, and prolific rain.
But who their virtues can declare? who pierce,
With vifion pure, into these secret stores
Of health, and life, and joy! the food of man,
While yet he liv'd in innocence, and told
A length of golden years; unflesh'd in blood,
A ftranger to the favage arts of life,
Death, rapine, carnage, furfeit and difeafe;
The lord, and not the tyrant, of the world.
The first fresh dawn then wak'd the gladdened race
Of uncorrupted man, nor blush'd to fee
The fluggard fleep beneath its facred beam:
For their light flumbers gently fum'd away;
And up they rofe as vigorous as the fun,
Or to the culture of the willing glebe,
Or to the chearful tendence of the flock.
Mean time the fong went round; and dance and sport, Wisdom and friendly talk, fucceffive, stole
Their hours away: while in the rofy vale
Love breath'd his infant fighs, from anguish free,
And full replete with blifs; fave the fweet pain
That, inly thrilling, but exalts it more.
Nor yet injurious act, nor furly deed,
Was known among thofe happy fons of HEAVEN;
For reafon and benevolence were law.
Harmonious Nature too look'd smiling on.
Clear fhone the fkies, cool'd with eternal gales,
And balmy spirit all. The youthful fun
Shot his best rays, and still the gracious clouds
Drop'd fatnefs down; as o'er the fwelling mead,
The herds and flocks, commixing, play'd fecure.
This when, emergent from the gloomy wood,
The glaring lion faw, his horrid heart
Was meeken'd, and he join'd his fullen joy. 265
For mufic held the whole in perfect peace:
Soft figh'd the flute; the tender voice was heard,
Warbling the varied heart; the woodlands round
Apply'd their quire; and winds and waters flow'd
In confonance. Such were those prime of days.
But now those white unblemish'd manners, whence
The fabling poets took their golden age,
Are found no more amid these iron times,
These dregs of life! Now the diftemper'd mind
Has loft that concord of harmonious powers
Which forms the foul of happiness; and all
Is off the poife within: the paffions all
Have burst their bounds; and reason, half extinct,
Or impotent, or elfe approving, fees
The foul diforder. Senfelefs, and deform'd,
Convulfive anger storms at large; or pale,
And filent, fettles into fell revenge.
Bafe envy withers at another's joy,
And hates that excellence it cannot reach.
Defponding fear, of feeble fancies full,
Weak and unmanly, loofens every power.
Even love itself is bitterness of foul,
A penfive anguifh pining at the heart;
Or, funk to fordid interest, feels no more
That noble wish, that never-cloy'd defire,
Which, felfish joy difdaining, feeks alone
To bless the dearer object of its flame.
Hope fickens with extravagance; and grief,
Of life impatient, into madness fwells,
Or in dead filence waftes the weeping hours.
These, and a thousand mix'd emotions more,
From ever-changing views of good and ill,
Form'd infinitely various, vex the mind
With endless storm: whence, deeply rankling, grows
The partial thought, a listless unconcern,
Cold, and averting from our neighbour's good;
Then dark disgust, and hatred, winding wiles,
Coward deceit, and ruffian violence :
At last, extinct each focial feeling, fell
And joyless inhumanity pervades
And petrifies the heart. Nature disturb'd
Is deem'd, vindictive, to have chang'd her courfe.
Hence, in old dusky time, a deluge came:
When the deep-cleft difparting orb, that arch'd
The central waters round, impetuous rush'd,
With univerfal burst, into the gulf,
And o'er the high-pil'd hills of fractur❜d earth
Wide dash'd the waves, in undulation vast;
Till, from the centre to the streaming clouds,
A shoreless ocean tumbled round the globe.
The Seasons fince have, with feverer sway, Oppress'd a broken world: the Winter keen Shook forth his waste of fnows; and Summer shot His peftilential heats. Great Spring, before, Green'd all the year; and fruits and blossoms blush'd, In social sweetness, on the felf-fame bough. Pure was the temperate air; an even calm Perpetual reign'd, fave what the zephyrs bland Breath'd o'er the blue expanfe: for then nor ftorms Were taught to blow, nor hurricanes to rage; Sound flept the waters; no fulphureous glooms 'Swell'd in the sky, and sent the lightning forth; While fickly damps, and cold autumnal fogs, Hung not, relaxing, on the springs of life. But now, of turbid elements the sport, From clear to cloudy toft, from hot to cold, And dry to moist, with inward-eating change, Our drooping days are dwindled down to nought, Their period finifh'd e'er 'tis well begun.