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Whence solitude derives peculiar charms, From infancy to age alike appears,
And heaven directed thought his bosom warms. When the first sheaf its plumy top uprears.
Just where the parting boughs light shadows play, No rake takes here what Heaven to all bestows-
Scarce in the shade, nor in the scorching day, Children of want, for you the bounty flows!
Stretch'd on the turf he lies, a peopled bed, And every cottage from the plenteous store
Where swarming insects creep around his head. Receives a burden nightly at its door.
The small, dust-colour'd beetle climbs with pain Hark! where the sweeping scythe now slips
b'er the smooth plantain leaf, a spacious plain!

along:
Thence higher still, by countless steps convey'd, Each sturdy mower, emulous and strong,
He gains the summit of a shivering blade, Whose writhing form meridian heat defies,
And flirts his filmy wings, and looks around, Bends o'er his work, and every sinew tries;
Exulting in his distance from the ground. Prostrates the waving treasure at his feet,
The tender speckled moth here dancing seen, But spares the rising clover, short and sweet.
The vaulting grasshopper of glossy green, Come, health ! come, jollity! light-footed, come;
And all prolific summer's sporting train,

Here hold your revels, and make this your home. Their little lives by various powers sustain. Each heart awaits and hails you as its own; But what can unassisted vision do?

Each moisten'd brow, that scorns to wear a frown: What, but recoil where most it would pursue ; The unpeopled dwelling mourns its tenants His patient gaze but finish with a sigh,

stray'd; When music waking speaks the skylark nigh. E'en the domestic, laughing dairy-maid Just starting from the corn, he cheerly sings, Hies to the field, the general toil to share. And trusts with conscious pride his downy wings; Meanwhile the farmer quits his elbow chair, Still louder breaths, and in the face of day His cool brick floor, his pitcher, and his ease, Mounts up, and calls on Giles to mark his way. And braves the sultry beams, and gladly sees Close to his eyes his hat he instant bends, His gates thrown open, and his team abroad, And forms a friendly telescope, that lends The ready group attendant on his word, Just aid enough to dull the glaring light,

To turn the swarth, the quivering load to rear, And place the wandering bird before his sight, Or ply the busy rake, the land to clear. That oft beneath a light cloud sweeps along Summer's light garb itself now cumbrous grown, Lost for a while, yet pours the varied song ; Each his thin doublet in the shade throws down; The eye still follows, and the cloud moves by, Where oft the mastiff skulks with half shut eye, Again he stretches up the clear blue sky; And rouses at the stranger passing by ; His form, his motion, undistinguish'd quite, While unrestrain'd the social converse flows, Save when he wheels direct from shade to light: And every breast love's powerful impulse knots, E'en then the songster a mere speck became,

And rival wits with more than rustic grace Gliding like fancy's bubbles in a dream,

Confess the presence of a pretty face. The gazer sees ; but yielding to repose,

For, lo! encircled there, the lovely maid, Unwittingly his jaded eyelids close.

In youth's own bloom and native smiles array'd; Delicious sleep! From sleep who could forbear, Her hat awry, divested of her gown, With guilt no more than Giles, and no more care ? Her creaking stays of leather, stout and brown; Peace o'er his slumbers waves her guardian wing, Invidious barrier; why art thou so high, Nor conscience once disturbs him with a sting; When the slight covering of her neck slips by, He wakes refresh'd from every trivial pain, There half revealing to the eager sight, And takes his pole, and brushes round again. Her full, ripe bosom, exquisitely white ?

Its dark green hue, its sicklier tints all fail, In many a local tale of harmless mirth, And ripening harvest rustles in the gale.

And many a joke of momentary birth, A glorious sight, if glory dwells below,

She bears a part, and as she stops to speak, Where Heaven's munificence makes all the show Strokes back the ringlets from her glowing cheek. O’er every field and golden prospect found,

Now noon gone by, and four declining hours, That glads the ploughman's Sunday morning's round, The weary limbs relax their boasted powers ; When on some eminence he takes his stand, Thirst rages strong, the fainting spirits fail, To judge the smiling produce of the land.

And ask the sovereign cordial, home-brew'd ale; Here vanity slinks back, her head to hide ; Beneath some sheltering heap of yellow corn What is there here to flatter human pride ? Rests the hoop'd keg, and friendly cooling horn, The towering fabric, or the dome's loud roar, That mocks alike the goblet's brittle frame, And steadfast columns may astonish more, Its costlier potions, and its nobler name. Where the charm'd gazer long delighted stays, To Mary first the brimming draught is given, Yet traced but to the architect the praise ; By toil made welcome as the dews of heaven, Whilst here, the veriest clown that treads the sod, And never lip that press’d its homely edge Without one scruple gives the praise to God; Had kinder blessings, or a heartier pledge. And twofold joys possess his raptured mind,

Of wholesome viands here a banquet smiles, From gratitude and admiration join'd.

A common cheer for all ;-e'en humble Giles,
Here, midst the boldest triumphs of her worth, Who joys his trivial services to yield
Nature herself invites the reapers forth ;

Amidst the fragrance of the open field;
Dares the keen sickle from its twelvemonth's rest, Oft doom'd in suffocating heat to bear
And gives that ardour which in every breast The cobweb'd barn's impure and dusty air;

To ride in murky state the panting steed,

The bursting cloud reiterated roars, Destined aloft th' unloaded grain to tread,

Shakes his straw roof, and jars his bolted doors : Where, in his path as heaps on heaps are thrown, The slow-wing'd storm along the troubled skies He rears, and plunges the loose mountain down: Spreads its dark course; the wind begins to rise ; Laborious task! with what delight when done And full-leafʼd elms, his dwelling's shade by day, Both horse and rider greet th' unclouded sun ! With mimic thunder give its fury way:

Yet by th’ unclouded sun are hourly bred Sounds in his chimney-top a doleful peal The bold assailants that surround thine head, Midst pouring rain, or gusts of rattling hail ; Poor, patient Ball! and with insulting wing With tenfold danger low the tempest bends, Roar in thine ears, and dart the piercing sting. And quick and strong the sulphurous flame deIn thy behalf the crest-waved boughs avail

scends : More than thy short-clipt remnant of a tail, The frighten'd mastiff from his kennel flies, A moving mockery, a useless name,

And cringes at the door with piteous cries.A living proof of cruelty and shame.

Where now's the trifler? where the child of Shame to the man, whatever fame he bore,

pride ? Who took from thee what man can ne'er restore, These are the moments when the heart is tried ! Thy weapon of defence, thy chiefest good, Nor lives the man, with conscience e'er so clear, When swarming flies contending suck thy blood. But feels a solemn, reverential fear; Nor thine alone the suffering, thine the care, Feels too a joy relieve his aching breast, The fretful ewe bemoans an equal share ;

When the spent storm bath howl'd itself to rest. Tormented into sores, her head she hides,

Still, welcome beats the long-continued shower, Or angry sweeps them from her new-shorn sides. And sleep protracted, comes with double power; Penn'd in the yard, e'en now at closing day,

Calm dreams of bliss bring on the morning sun, Unruly cows with mark'd impatience stay, For every barn is fill'd, and harvest done! And vainly striving to escape their foes,

Now, ere sweet Summer bids its long adieu, The pail kick down; a piteous current flows. And winds blow keen where late the blossom grew,

Is't not enough that plagues like these molest? The bustling day and jovial night must come, Must still another foe annoy their rest?

The long accustomed feast of harvest-home. He comes, the pest and terror of the yard,

No blood-stain’d victory, in story bright, His full-fledg'd progeny's imperious guard ; Can give the philosophic mind delight; The gander:-spiteful, insolent, and bold, No triumph please, while rage and death destroy: At the colt's footlock takes his daring hold: Reflection sickens at the monstrous joy. There, serpent-like, escapés a dreadful blow, And where the joy, if rightly understood, And straight attacks a poor defenceless cow : Like cheerful praise for universal good ? Each booby goose th' unworthy strife enjoys, The soul nor check nor doubtful anguish knows, And hails his prowess with redoubled noise. But pure and free the grateful current flows. Then back he stalks, of self-importance full,

Behold the sound oak table's massy frame Seizes the shaggy foretop of the bull,

Beside the kitchen floor! nor careful dame Till whirld aloft he falls : a timely check, And generous host invite their friends around, Enough to dislocate his worthless neck:

For all that cleard the crop, or till'd the ground For lo! of old, he boasts an honour'd wound; Are guests by right of custom :-old and young ; Behold that broken wing that trails the ground! And many a neighbouring yeoman join the throng, Thus fools and bravoes kindred pranks pursue, With artizans that lent their dexterous aid, As savage quite, and oft as fatal too.

When o'er each field the flaming sunbeams play'd. Happy the man that foils an envious elf,

Yet plenty reigns, and from her boundless hoard, Using the darts of spleen to serve himself. Though not one jelly trembles on the board, As when by turns the strolling swine engage Supplies the feast with all that sense can crave; The utmost efforts of the bully's rage,

With all that made our great forefathers brave, Whose nibbling warfare on the grunter's side Ere the cloy'd palate countless flavours tried, Is welcome pleasure to his bristly hide ;

And cooks had nature's judgment set aside. Gently he stoops, or stretch'd at ease along, With thanks to heaven, and tales of rustic lore, Enjoys the insults of the gabbling throng,

The mansion echoes when the banquet's o'er: That march exulting round his fallen head, A wider circle spreads, and smiles abound, As human victors trample on their dead. [thou! As quick the frothing horn performs its round;

Still twilight, welcome! Rest, how sweet art Care's mortal foe; that sprightly joys imparts Now eve o'erhangs the western cloud's thick brow: To cheer the frame and elevate their hearts. The far stretch'd curtain of retiring light,

Here, fresh and brown, the hazel's produce lies With fiery treasures fraught; that on the sight In tempting heaps, and peals of laughter rise, Flash from its bulging sides, where darkness lours, And crackling music, with the frequent song, In fancy's eye, a chain of mouldering towers ; Unheeded bear the midnight hour along. Or craggy coasts just rising into view,

Here once a year distinction lowers its crest, Midst javelins dire, and darts of streaming blue. The master, servant, and the merry guest,

Anon tired labourers bless their sheltering home, Are equal all; and round the happy ring When midnight, and the frightful tempest come. The reaper's eyes exulting glances fling, The farmer wakes, and sees with silent dread And, warm'd with gratitude, he quits his place, The angry shafts of Heaven gleam round his bed ; With sun-burnt hands and ale-enliven'd face,

Refills the jug, his honour'd host to tend,
To serve at once the master and the friend;
Proud thus to meet his smiles, to share his tale,
His nuts, his conversation, and his ale.

Such were the days,-of days long past I sing,
When pride gave place to mirth without a sting;
Ere tyrant customs strength sufficient bore
To violate the feelings of the poor:

To leave them distanced in the maddening race,
Where'er refinement shows its hated face:
Nor causeless hated;-'tis the peasant's curse,
That hourly makes his wretched station worse;
Destroys life's intercourse; the social plan
That rank to rank cements, as man to man :
Wealth flows around him, fashion lordly reigns;
Yet poverty is his, and mental pains.

Methinks I hear the mourner thus impart The stifled murmurs of his wounded heart: "Whence comes this change, ungracious, irksome, cold?

Whence the new grandeur that mine eyes behold?
The widening distance which I daily see,
Has wealth done this ?-then wealth's a foe to me;
Foe to our rights; that leaves a powerful few
The paths of emulation to pursue :—
For emulation stoops to us no more:
The hope of humble industry is o'er:

The blameless hope, the cheering sweet presage Of future comforts for declining age.

Can my sons share from this paternal hand
The profits with the labours of the land?
No; though indulgent Heaven its blessing deigns,
Where's the small farm to suit my scanty means?
Content, the poet sings, with us resides :
In lonely cots like mine, the damsel hides ;
And will he then in raptured visions tell
That sweet content with want can ever dwell?
A barley loaf, 'tis true, my table crowns,
That, fast diminishing in lusty rounds,
Stops nature's cravings; yet her sighs will flow
From knowing this, that once it was not so.
Our annual feast, when earth her plenty yields,
When crown'd with boughs the last load quits the
fields,

The aspect still of ancient joy puts on;
The aspect only, with the substance gone:
The selfsame horn is still at our command,
But serves none now but the plebeian hand :
For home-brew'd ale, neglected and debased,
Is quite discarded from the realms of taste.
Where unaffected freedom charm'd the soul,
The separate table and the costly bowl,
Cool as the blast that checks the budding Spring,
A mockery of gladness round them fling.
For oft the farmer, ere his heart approves,
Yields up the custom which he dearly loves:
Refinement rushes on him like a tide ;
Bold innovations down its current ride,
That bear no peace beneath their showy dress,
Nor add one tittle to his happiness.
His guests selected; rank's punctilios known;
What trouble waits upon a casual frown;
Restraint's foul manacles his pleasures maim;
Selected guests selected phrases claim;
Nor reigns that joy, when hand in hand they join,
That good old master felt in shaking mine.

Heaven bless his memory! bless his honour'd name! (The poor will speak his lasting, worthy fame :) To souls fair-purposed strength and guidance give;

In pity to us still let goodness live:

Let labour have its due! my cot shall be
From chilling want and guilty murmurs free:
Let labour have its due; then peace is mine,
And never, never shall my heart repine."

AUTUMN.

ARGUMENT.

Acorns. Hogs in the wood. Wheat-sowing. The church. Village girls. The mad girl. The birdboy's hut. Disappointment; Reflections, &c. Eustonhall. Fox-hunting. Old Trouncer. Long nights. A welcome to Winter.

AGAIN, the year's decline, midst storms and floods,
The thundering chase, the yellow fading woods,
Invite my song; that fain would boldly tell
Of upland coverts and the echoing dell,
By turns resounding loud, at eve and morn,
The swineherd's halloo, or the huntsman's horn.
No more the fields with scatter'd grain supply
The restless, wandering tenants of the sty;
From oak to oak they run with eager haste,
And wrangling share the first delicious taste
Of fallen acorns; yet but thinly found

Till the strong gale has shook them to the ground.
It comes; and roaring woods obedient wave :
Their home well pleased the joint adventurers
leave :

The trudging sow leads forth her numerous young, Playful, and white, and clean, the briars among. Till briers and thorns increasing, fence them round, Where last year's mouldering leaves bestrew the

ground,

And o'er their heads, loud lash'd by furious squalls,
Bright from their cups the rattling treasure falls;
Hot, thirsty food; whence doubly sweet and cool
The welcome margin of some rush-grown pool,
The wild duck's lonely haunt, whose jealous eye
Guards every point; who sits, prepared to fly,
On the calm bosom of her little lake,
Too closely screen'd for ruffian winds to shake;
And as the bold intruders press around,
At once she starts, and rises with a bound:
With bristles raised the sudden noise they hear,
And ludicrously wild, and wing'd with fear,
The herd decamp with more than swinish speed,
And snorting dash through sedge, and rush, and
reed:

Through tangling thickets headlong on they go,
Then stop and listen for their fancied foe;
The hindmost still the growing panic spreads,
Repeated fright the first alarm succeeds,
Till folly's wages, wounds and thorns, they reap;
Yet glorying in their fortunate escape,
Their groundless terrors by degrees soon cease,
And night's dark reign restores their wonted peace.
For now the gale subsides, and from each bough
The roosting pheasant's short but frequent crow
Invites to rest; and huddling side by side,
The herd in closest ambush seek to hide;

[graphic]

Seek some warm slope with shagged moss o'er-
spread,

Dried leaves their copious covering and their bed.
In vain may Giles, through gathering glooms that
fall,

And solemn silence, urge his piercing call.
Whole days and nights they tarry midst their store,
Nor quit the woods till oaks can yield no more.

Beyond bleak Winter's rage, beyond the Spring,
That rolling earth's unvarying course will bring,
Who tills the ground looks on with mental eye,
And sees next Summer's sheaves and cloudless sky,
And even now, whilst nature's beauty dies,
Deposits seed, and bids new harvest rise;
Seed well prepared, and warm'd with glowing lime,
"Gainst earth-bred grubs, and cold, and lapse of time:
For searching frosts and various ills invade,
Whilst wintry months depress the springing blade.
The plough moves heavily, and strong the soil,
And clogging harrows with augmented toil

AGAIN, the year's decline, midst st

?The thundering chase, the yellow big Dive deep: and clinging, mixes with the mould
Invite my song; that fain would be A fattening treasure from the nightly fold,

And all the cowyard's highly valued store,
That late bestrew'd the blacken'd surface o'er.

Of upland coverts and the echoing d
By turns resounding loud, at eve and an

The swineherd's halloo, or the bus No idling hours are here, when fancy trims
No more the fields with scatter Her dancing taper over outstretch'd limbs,

The restless, wandering tenants d
From oak to oak they run with eager t
And wrangling share the first delici
Of fallen acorns; yet but thinly find
Till the strong gale has shook them b
It comes; and roaring woods obedie
?Their home well pleased the ju

And in her thousand thousand colours dress'd,
Plays round the grassy couch of noontide rest:
Here Giles for hours of indolence atones
With strong exertion, and with weary bones,
And knows no leisure, till the distant chime
Of Sabbath bell he hears at sermon time,
That down the brook sound sweetly in the gale,
Or strike the rising hill, or skim the dale.

leave:

The trudging sow leads forth her r
Playful, and white, and clean, the
Till briers and thorns increasing, f
Where last year's mouldering leans
ground,

And o'er their heads, loud lash'd by f
Bright from their cups the rattling
Hot, thirsty food; whence doubly s
The welcome margin of some rush
The wild duck's lonely haunt, wh
Guards every point; who sits, pop
On the calm bosom of her little le
Too closely screen'd for ruffian win
And as the bold intruders press a
At once she starts, and rises with
With bristles raised the sudden s
And ludicrously wild, and wing w
The herd decamp with more than swi
And snorting dash through sedge,

reed:

Through tangling thickets heading
Then stop and listen for their facili
The hindmost still the growing pai
Repeated fright the first alarm s
Till folly's wages, wounds and thes
Yet glorying in their fortunate esp
Their groundless terrors by degrees
And night's dark reign restores their
For now the gale subsides, and from a

The roosting pheasant's short but fe Invites to rest; and huddling side by in closest ambush seek to i

At eve to hear beside their tranquil home
The lifted latch, that speaks the lover come :
That love matured, next playful on the knee
To press the velvet lip of infancy;
To stay the tottering step, the features trace ;-
Inestimable sweets of social peace!

O thou, who bidst the vernal juices rise!
Thou, on whose blasts autumnal foliage flies!
Let peace ne'er leave me, nor my heart grow cold,
Whilst life and sanity are mine to hold.

Shorn of their flowers that shed th' untreasured
seed,

The withering pasture, and the fading mead,
Less tempting grown, diminish more and more,
The dairy's pride; sweet Summer's flowing store
New cares succeed, and gentle duties press,
Where the fireside, a school of tenderness,
Revives the languid chirp, and warms the blood
Of cold-nipt weaklings of the latter brood,
That from the shell just bursting into day,
Through yard or pond pursue their venturous
way.

Though ineffectual pity thine may be,
No wealth, no power to set the captive free;
Though only to thy ravish'd sight is given
The radiant path that Howard trod to heaven;
Thy slights can make the wretched more forlorn,
And deeper drive affliction's barbed thorn.
Say not, "I'll come and cheer thy gloomy cell
With news of dearest friends; how good, how
well;

I'll be a joyful herald to thine heart:"
Then fail, and play the worthless trifler's part,
To sip flat pleasures from thy glass's brim,
And waste the precious hour that's due to him.
In mercy spare the base, unmanly blow:
Where can he turn, to whom complain of you?
Back to past joys in vain his thoughts may stray,
Trace and retrace the beaten, worn-out way,
The rankling injury will pierce his breast,
And curses on thee break his midnight rest.

Bereft of song, and ever-cheering green,
The soft endearments of the Summer scene,
New harmony pervades the solemn wood,
Dear to the soul, and healthful to the blood:
For bold exertion follows on the sound

Far weightier cares and wider scenes expand;
What devastation marks the new-sown land!
"From hungry woodland foes go, Giles, and guard
The rising wheat; ensure its great reward:
A future sustenance, a Summer's pride,
Demand thy vigilance; then be it tried:
Exert thy voice, and wield thy shotless gun;
Go, tarry there from morn till setting sun."

| Of distant sportsmen, and the chiding hound;
First heard from kennel bursting, mad with joy,
Where smiling Euston boasts her good Fitzroy,
Lord of pure alms, and gifts that wide extend;
The farmer's patron and the poor man's friend.
Whose mansion glitters with the eastern ray,
Whose elevated temple points the way,
O'er slopes and lawns, the park's extensive pride,
To where the victims of the chase reside,
Ingulf'd in earth, in conscious safety warm,
Till lo! a plot portends their coming harm.

Keen blows the blast, or ceaseless rain descends;
The half-stripp'd hedge a sorry shelter lends.
O for a hovel, e'er so small or low,
Whose roof, repelling winds or early snow,
Might bring home's comfort fresh before his eyes!
No sooner thought, than see the structure rise,
In some sequester'd nook, embank'd around,
Sods for its walls, and straw in burdens bound:
Dried fuel hoarded is his richest store,
And circling smoke obscures his little door;
Whence creeping forth, to duty's call he yields,
And strolls the Crusoe of the lonely fields.
On whitethorns towering, and the leafless rose,
A frost-nipt feast in bright vermilion glows:
Where clustering sloes in glossy order rise,
He crops the loaded branch; a cumbrous prize;
And o'er the flame the sputtering fruit he rests,
Placing green sods to seat his coming guests;
His guests by promise; playmates young and gay:-
But, ah! fresh pastimes lure their steps away!
He sweeps his hearth, and homeward looks in vain,
Till feeling disappointment's cruel pain,
His fairy revels are exchanged for rage,
His banquet marr'd, grown dull his hermitage.
The field becomes his prison, till on high
Benighted birds to shades and coverts fly.
Midst air, health, daylight, can he prisoner be?
If fields are prisons, where is liberty?
Here still she dwells, and here her votaries stroll; With ears erect, and chest of vigorous mould,
But disappointed hope untunes the soul:
Restraints unfelt whilst hours of rapture flow,
When troubles press to chains and barriers grow.
Look then from trivial up to greater woes;
From the poor bird-boy with his roasted sloes,
To where the dungeon'd mourner heaves the sigh;
Where not one cheering sunbeam meets his eye.

In earliest hours of dark and hooded morn,
Ere yet one rosy cloud bespeaks the dawn,
Whilst far abroad the fox pursues his prey,
He's doom'd to risk the perils of the day,
From his strong hold block'd out; perhaps to bleed,
Or owe his life to fortune or to speed.
For now the pack, impatient running on,
Range through the darkest coverts one by one;
Trace every spot; whilst down each noble glade
That guides the eye beneath a changeful shade,
The loitering sportsman feels th' instinctive flame,
And checks his steed to mark the springing game.
Midst intersecting cuts and winding ways
The huntsman cheers his dogs, and anxious strays,
Where every narrow riding, even shorn,
Gives back the echo of his mellow horn;
Till fresh and lightsome, every power untried,
The starting fugitive leaps by his side,
His lifted finger to his ear he plies,
And the view halloo bids a chorus rise

Of dogs quick-mouth'd, and shouts that mingle
loud,

As bursting thunder rolls from cloud to cloud

O'er ditch, o'er fence, unconquerably bold,
The shining courser lengthens every bound,
And his strong footlocks suck the moisten'd ground,
As from the confines of the wood they pour,
And joyous villages partake the roar.
O'er heath far stretch'd, or down, or valley low,
The stiff-limb'd peasant glorying in the show,

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