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To range the fields, and treat their lungs with air,
at Nature, when he can no more. Hail, therefore, patroness of health and ease, 780 And contemplation, heart-consoling joys, And harmless pleasures in the throng'd abode Of multitudes unknown ! hail, rural life' Address himself who will to the pursuit Of honours, or emolument, or fame ;
785 I shall not add myself to such a chase, Thwart his attempts, or envy his success. Some must be great. Great offices will have Great talents. And God gives to ev'ry man The virtue, temper, understanding, taste, 790 That lifts him into life, and lets him fall Just in the niche he was ordain'd to fill. To the deliv'rer of an injur'd land He gives a tongue t' enlarge upon, a heart To feel, and courage to redress, her wrongs; 795 To monarchs dignity; to judges sense ; To artists ingenuity and skill ; To me, an unambitious mind, content In the low vale of life, that early felt A wish for ease and leisure, and ere long
800 Found here that leisure and that ease I wish'd. VOL. II.
THE WINTER MORNING WALK.
ARGUMENT OF THE FIFTH BOOK. A frosty morning--The foddering of cattle-The woodman and
his dog_The poultry-Whimsical effects of a frost at a waterfall -The empress of Russia's palace of ice-Amusements of monarchs-War, one of them-Wars, whence-And whence monarchy-The evils of it-English and French loyalty contrasted
- The Bastile, and a prisoner there-Liberty the chief recommendation of this country-Modern patriotism questionable, and why-The perishable nature of the best human institutions -Spiritual liberty not perishable-The slavish state of man by nature-Deliver him, Deist, if you can-Grace must do it-Tbe respective merits of patriots and martyrs stated— Their different treatment-Happy freedom of the man whom grace makes free His relish of the works of God-Address to the Creator.
'TIS morning; and the sun, with ruddy orb
That I myself am but a fleeting shade,
25 And, fledg'd with icy feathers, nod superb. The cattle mourn in corners, where the fence Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait Their wonted fodder; not like hung'ring man, 30 Fretful if unsupplied; but silent, meek, And patient of the slow-pac'd swain's delay. He from the stack carves out the accustom'd load,' Deep-plunging, and again deep-plunging oft, His broad keen knife into the solid mass ;
35 Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands, With such undeviating and even force He severs it away ; no needless care, Lest storm should overset the leaning pile Deciduous, or its own unbalanc'd weight.
40 Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcern'd The cheerful haunts of man; to wield the axe, And drive the wedge, in yonder forest drear, From morn to eve his solitary task. Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears 45 And tail cropp'd short, half lurcher and half curHis dog attends him. Close behind his heel Now creeps he slow; and now, with many a frisk Wide-scamp'ring, snatches up the drifted snow With iv'ry teeth, or ploughs it with his snout ; 50
Then shakes his powder'd coat, and barks for joy.
80 Beneath the frozen clod; all seeds of herbs Lie cover'd close ; and berry-bearing thorns, That feed the thrush, (whatever some suppose,) Afford the smaller minstrels no supply. The long-protracted rigour of the year
85 Thins all their num'rous flocks. In chinks and holes Ten thousand seek an unmolested end,
As instinct prompts; self-buried ere they die.
100 Not so where, scornful of a check, it leaps The mill-dam, dashes on the restless wheel, And wantons in the pebbly gulf below: No frost can bind it there : its utmost force Can but arrest the light and smoky mist,
105 That in its fall the liquid sheet throws wide. And see where it has hung the embroider'd banks With forms so various, that no pow’rs of art, The pencil, or the pen, may trace the scene ! Here glittring turrets rise, upbearing high,
110 (Fantastick misarrangement !) on the roof Large growth of what may seem the sparkling trees And shrubs of fairy land. The crystal drops That trickled down the branches, fast congeald, Shoot into pillars of pellucid length,
115 And prop the pile they but adorn'd before. Here grotto within grotto safe defies The sunbeam ; there, emboss'd and fretted wild, The growing wonder takes a thousand shapes Capricious, in which fancy seeks in vain
120 The likeness of some object seen before. Thus Nature works as if to mock at Art, And in defiance of her rival pow'rs ; By these fortuitous and random strokes Performing such inimitable feats,