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O let not, aim'd from some inhuman eye,
The gun the music of the coming year
Destroy; and harmless, unsuspecting harm,
Lay the weak tribes a miserable prey
In mingled murder, flutt'ring on the ground!
The pale descending year, yet pleasing

A gentler mood inspires ; for now the leaf
Incessant rustles from the mournful grove;
Oft startling such as studious walk below,
And slowly circles through the waving air.
But should a quicker breeze amid the boughs
Sob, o'er the sky the leafy deluge streams;
Till choked, and matted with the dreary

shower, The forest walks, at ev'ry rising gale, Roll wide the wither'd waste, and whistle

bleak. Fled is the blasted verdure of the fields ; And, shrunk into their beds, the flowery


872.-AUTUMN EVENING SCENE. But see the fading many-colour'd woods, Shade deepening over shade, the country

round Imbrown ; a crowded umbrage dusk and dun, Of ev'ry hue, from wan declining green To sooty dark. These now the lonesome

muse, Low whisp'ring, lead into their leaf-strown

walks, And give the season in its latest view. Meantime, light shadowing all, a sober

calm Fleeces unbounded ether: whose least wave Stands tremulous, uncertain where to turn The gentle current: while illumined wide, The dewy-skirted clouds imbibe the sun, And through their lucid veil his soften'd

force Shed o'er the peaceful world. Then is the

time, For those whom virtue and whom nature

charm, To steal themselves from the degenerate

crowd, And soar above this little scene of things : To tread low-thoughted vice beneath their



To soothe the throbbing passions into peace; And woo lone Quiet in her silent walks.

Thus solitary, and in pensive guise, Oft let me wander o'er the russet mead, And through the sadden'd grove, where scarce

is heard One dying strain, to cheer the woodman's

toil. Haply some widow'd songster pours his

plaint, Far, in faint warblings, through the tawny

copse; While congregated thrushes, linnets, larks, And each wild throat, whose artless strains so

late Swell’d all the music of the swarming shades, Robb'd of their tuneful souls, now shivering

sit On the dead tree, a dull despondent flock : With not a brightness waving o'er their

plumes, And nought save chatt'ring discord in their


Their sunny robes resign. E'en what re

main'd Of stronger fruits falls from the naked tree; And woods, fields, gardens, orchards all

around, The desolated prospect thrills the soul. The western sun withdraws the shorten'd

day, And humid evening, gliding o'er the sky, In her chill progress, to the ground con

densed The vapour throws. Where creeping waters

ooze, Where marshes stagnate, and where rivers

wind, Cluster the rolling fogs, and swim along The dusky-mantled lawn. Meanwhile the

moon, Full-orb’d, and breaking through the scatter'd

clouds, Shows her broad visage in the crimson'd

east. Turn'd to the sun direct her spotted disk, Where mountains rise, umbrageous dales

descend, And caverns deep as optic tube descries, A smaller earth, gives us his blaze again, Void of its flame, and sheds a softer day. Now through the passing clouds she seems to

stoop, Now up the pure cerulean rides sublime. Wide the pale deluge floats, and streaming

mild O'er the skied mountain to the shadowy

vale, While rocks and floods reflect the quiv'ring

gleam ; The whole air whitens with a boundless tide Of silver radiance trembling round the

world. The lengthen'd night clapsed, the morning

Serene, in all her dewy beauty bright,
Unfolding fair the last autumnal day.
And now the mounting sun dispels the fog;

The rigid hoar-frost melts before his beam ;
And hung on every spray, on every blade
Of grass, the myriad dew-drops twinkle


James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.

873.-A WINTER LANDSCAPE. Through the hushed air the whit’ning shower

descends, At first thin-wavering, till at last the flakes Fall broad and wide, and fast, dimming the

day With a continual flow. The cherished fields Put on their winter robe of purest white : 'Tis brightness all, save where the new snow

melts Along the mazy current. Low the woods Bow their hoar head; and ere the languid

All winter drives along the darken'd air,
In his own loose revolving fields the swain
Disaster'd stands ; sees other hills ascend,
Of unknown joyless brow, and other scenes,
Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain ;
Nor finds the river nor the forest, hid
Beneath the formless ild ; but wanders on
From hill to dale, still more and more astray,
Impatient founcing through the drifted

heaps, Stung with the thoughts of home; the

thoughts of home Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour

forth In many a vain attempt. How sinks his

soul ! What black despair, what horror, fills his

heart! When for the dusky spot which fancy

feign'd, His tufted cottage rising through the snow, He meets the roughness of the middle waste, Far from the track and bless'd abode of man; While round him night resistless closes fast, And every tempest howling o'er his head, Renders the savage wilderness more wild. Then throng the busy shapes into his mind, Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep, A dire descent! beyond the power of frost; Of faithless bogs ; of precipices huge Smoothed up with snow; and what is land

unknown, What water of the still unfrozen spring, In the loose marsh or solitary lake, Where the fresh fountain from the bcttom

boils. These check his fearful steps, and down he

sinks Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift, Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death, Mix'd with the tender anguish nature shoots Through the wrung bosom of the dying man,. His wife, his children, and his friends, un


Faint from the west, emits his evening ray;
Earth's universal face, deep hid, and chill,
Is one wide dazzling waste, that buries wide
The works of man. Drooping, the labourer.

ох Stands covered o'er with snow, and then

demands The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven, Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around The winnowing store, and claim the little

boon Which Providence assigns them. One alone, The redbreast, sacred to the household gods, Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky, In joyless fields and thorny thickets, leaves His shivering mates, and pays to trusted


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His annual visit. Half afraid, he first Against the window beats; then, brisk,

alights On the warm hearth; then hopping o'er the

floor, Eyes all the smiling family askance, And pecks, and starts, and wonders where

he is : Till more familiar grown, the table crumbs Attract his slender feet. The foodless wilds Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The

hare, Though timorous of heart, and hard beset By death in various forms, dark snares and

dogs, And more unpitying men, the garden seeks, Urged on by fearless want. The bleating

kine Eye the bleak heaven, and next, the glist'ning

earth, With looks of dumb despair ; then, sad dis

persed, Dig for the wither'd herb through heaps of

snow. As thus the snows arise, and foul and


The deadly winter seizes, shuts up sense,
And o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snows a stiffen'd corse,
Stretch'd out, and bleaching on the northern

blast. James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.

874.-A HYMN. These, as they change, Almighty Father, these Are but the varied God. The rolling year

Th' impetuous song, and say from whom you

rage. His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling

rills ;

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Is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing

Spring Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love. Wide flush the fields; the softening air is

balm ; Echo the mountains round ; the forest

smiles ; And every sense, and every heart, is joy. Then comes thy glory in the Summer

months, With light and heat refulgent. Then thy

Sun Shoots full perfection through the swelling

year : And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder

speaks ; And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve, By brooks and groves, in hollow-whispering

gales. Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined, And spreads a common feast for all that

lives. In Winter awful thou ! with clouds and

storms Around thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest

roll’d, Majestic darkness! on the whirlwind's wing, Riding sublime, thou bidst the world adore, And humblest nature with thy northern

blast. Mysterious round! what skill, what force

divine, Deep felt, in these appear ! a simple train, Yet so delightful mix'd, with such kind art, Such beauty and beneficence combined ; Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade ; And all so forming an harmonious whole ; That, as they still succeed, they ravish still. But wandering oft, with brute unconscious

gaze, Man marks not thee, marks not the mighty

hand, That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres ; Works in the secret deep ; shoots, steaming,

thence The fair profusion that o'erspreads the

Spring : Flings from the Sun direct the flaming day; Feeds every creature ; hurls the tempests

And let me catch it as I muse along.
Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound;
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze
Along the vale ; and thou, majestic main,
A secret world wonders in thyself,
Sound his stupendous praise; whose greater

voice Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall. Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and

flowers, In mingled clouds to him; whose Sun exalts, Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil

paints. Ye forests bend, ye harvests wave, to him ; Breathe your still song into the reaper's

heart, As home he goes beneath the joyous Moon. Ye that keep watch in Heaven, as Earth

asleep Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams, Yo constellations, while your angels strike, Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre. Great source of day! best image here below Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide, From world to world, the vital ocean round, On Nature write with every beam his praise. The thunder rolls; be 'hush'd the prostrate

world; While cloud to cloud returns the solemn

hymn. Bleat out afresh, ye hills : ye mossy rocks, Retain the sound: the broad responsive low, Ye valleys, raise; for the Great Shepherd

reigns ; And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come. Ye woodlands all, awake: a boundless song Burst from the groves! and when the restless

day, Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep, Sweetest of birds! sweet Philomela, charm The listening shades, and teach the night his

praise. Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles, At once the head, the heart, and tongue of

all, Crown the great hymn! in swarming cities

vast, Assembled men, to the deep organ join The long-resounding voice, oft breaking

clear, At solemn pauses, through the swelling base ; And, as each mingling flame increases each, In one united ardour rise to Heaven. Or if you rather chuse the rural shade, And find a fane in every secret grove ; There let the shepherd's fute, the virgin's

lay, The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre, Still sing the God of Seasons, as they roll. For me, when I forget the darling theme, Whether the blossom blows, the Summer


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And, as on Earth this grateful change

revolves, With transport touches all the springs of life.

Nature, attend ! join every living soul, Beneath the spacious temple of the sky, In adoration join ; and, ardent, raise One general song! To him, ye vocal gales, Breathe soft, whose Spirit in your freshness

breathes : Oh, talk of him in solitary glooms; Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving

pine Fills the brown shade with a religious awe. And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar, Who shake th' astonish'd world, lift high to


With brother-brutes the human race had

grazed ; None e'er had soar'd to fame, none honour'd

been, none praised..

Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams;
Or Winter rises in the blackening east;
Be my tongue mute, my fancy paint no

more, And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat. Should Fate command me to the farthest

verge Of the green earth, to distant barbarous

climes, Rivers unknown to song; where first the

Sun Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam Flames on the Atlantic isles; 'tis nought to

me; Since God is ever present, ever felt, In the void waste, as in the city full ; And where he vital breathes, there must be

joy. When ev'n at last the solemn hour shall

come, And wing my mystic flight to future worlds, I cheerful will obey : there, with new

Will rising wonders sing : I cannot go
Where Universal Love not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns;
From seeming evil still educing good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression. But I lose
Myself in him, in Light ineffable ;
Come then, expressive Silence, muse his

James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.

Great Homer's song had never fired the

breast To thirst of glory, and heroic deeds ; Sweet Maro's Muse, sunk in inglorious

rest, Had silent slept amid the Mincian reeds : The wits of modern time had told their

beads, And monkish legends been their only

strains ; Our Milton's Eden had lain wrapt in

weeds, Our Shakspeare stroll’d and laugh'd with

Warwick swains, Ne had my master Spenser charm'd his

Mulla's plains.


Dumb too had been the sage historie

Muse, And perish'd all the sons of ancient fame; Those starry lights of virtue, that diffuse Through the dark depth of time their vivid

flame, Had all been lost with such as have no

name. Who then had scorn’d his ease for others'

good ? Who then had toil'd rapacious men to

tame ? Who in the public breach devoted stood, And for his country's cause been prodigal of

blood ?

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A thousand shapes you wear with ease,
And still in every shape you please.
Now wrapt in some mysterious dream,
A lone philosopher you seem ;
Now quick from hill to vale you fly,
And now you sweep the vaulted sky;
A shepherd next, you haunt the plain,
And warble forth your oaten strain.
A lover now, with all the grace
Of that sweet passion in your face ;
Then, calm’d to friendship, you assume
The gentle-looking Hartford's bloom,
As, with her Musidora, she
(Her Musidora fond of thee)
Amid the long withdrawing vale,
Awakes the rivall’d nightingale.

Thine is the balmy breath of morn,
Just as the dew-bent rose is born ;
And while meridian fervours beat,
Thine is the woodland dumb retreat ;
But chief, when evening scenes decay,
And the faint landscape swims away,
Thine is the doubtful soft decline,
And that best hour of musing thine.

Descending angels bless thy train,
The virtues of the sage, and swain ;
Plain Innocence, in white array'd,
Before thee lifts her fearless head :
Religion's beams around thee shine,
And cheer thy glooms with light divine :
About thee sports sweet Liberty ;
And rapt Urania sings to thee.

Oh, let me pierce thy secret cell!
And in thy deep recesses dwell ;
Perhaps from Norwood's oak-clad hill,
When Meditation has her fill,
I just may cast my careless eyes
Where London's spiry turrets rise,
Think of its crimes, its cares, its pain,
Then shield me in the woods again.

876.–ODE. O Nightingale, best poet of the grove, That plaintive strain can ne'er belong to

thee, Blest in the full possession of thy love :

O lend that strain, sweet nightingale, to

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me !

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James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.

But we, vain slaves of interest and of pride, Dare not be blest lest envious tongues

should blame : And hence, in vain I languish for my bride ; O mourn with me, sweet bird, my hapless

flame. James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.

877.-HYMN ON SOLITUDE. Hail, mildly pleasing Solitude, Companion of the wise and good, But, from whose holy, piercing eye, The herd of fools and villains fly.

Oh! how I love with thee to walk, And listen to thy whisper'd talk, Which innocence and truth imparts, And melts the most obdurate hearts.

878.—THE HAPPY MAN. He's not the Happy Man to whom is given A plenteous fortune by indulgent Heaven ; Whose gilded roofs on shining columns rise, And painted walls enchant the gazer's eyes ; Whose table flows with hospitable cheer, And all the various bounty of the year ; Whose valleys smile, whose gardens breathe

the spring, Whose carved mountains bleat, and forests

sing; For whom the cooling shade in Summer

twines, While his full cellars give their generous

wines; From whose wide fields unbounded Autumn

ponrs A golden tide into his swelling stores;

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