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Your fate unmerited, once more rejoice
That yet a remnant of your race survives,
How airy and how light the graceful arch,
Yet awful as the confecraped roof
Re-echoing pious anthems ! while beneath
The chequer'd earth seems restless as a flood
Brush'd by the wind. So sportive is the light
Shot through the boughs, it dances as they dance,
Shadow and sunshine intermingling quick,
And darkning and enlightning, as the leaves
Play wanton, ev'ry moment, ev'ry spot.
And now with nerves new-brac'd and spirits chear'd We tread the wilderness, whose well-roll'd walks With curvature of now and easy sweep, Deception innocent-give ample space To narrow bounds. The grove receives us next; Between the upright shafts of whose tall elms We may
discern the thresher at his task. Thump after thump, resounds the constant fait,
That seems to swing uncertain, and
Full on the destin'd ear. Wide fies the chaff,
The rustling straw sends up a frequent mist
Of atoms sparkling in the noon-day beam.
Come hither, ye that press your beds of down
And neep not: see him sweating o'er his bread
Before he eats it.---'Tis the primal curse,
But soften'd into mercy; made the pledge
Of chearful days, and nights without a groan,
By restless undulation ; ev'n the oak
Thrives by the rude concussion of the storm ;
He seems indeed indignant, and to feel
Th’impression of the blast with proud disdain,
Frowning as if in his unconscious arm
He held the thunder. But the monarch owes
His firm stability to what he scorns,
More fixt below, the more disturb'd above.
The law by which all creatures else are bound,
Binds man the lord of all. Himself derives
No mean advantage from a kindred cause,
From strenuous toil his hours of sweetest ease.
The sedentary stretch their lazy length
When custom bids, but no refreshment find,
For none they need : the languid eye, the cheek
Deserted of its bloom, the faccid, shrunk,
And wither'd muscle, and the vapid soul,
Reproach their owner with that love of reft
To which he forfeits ev'n the rest he loves.
Not such th' alert and active Measure life
By its true worth, the comforts it affords,
And theirs alone seems worthy of the name,
Good health, and its associate in the most,
Good temper; spirits prompt to undertake,'
And not foon spent, though in an arduous talk;
The pow'rs of fancy and strong thought are theirs ;
age itself seems privileged in them
With clear exemption from its own defects.
A sparkling eye beneath a wrinkled front
The vet'ran shows, and gracing a grey beard
With youthful smiles, descends toward the grave
Sprightly, and old almost without decay.
Like a coy maiden, ease, when courted most,
Farthest retires--an idol, at whose shrine
Who oft'neft sacrifice are favor'd least.
The love of Nature, and the scenes the draws
Is Nature's dictate. Strange! there should be found
Who self-imprison'd in their proud saloons,
Renounce the odors of the open field
For the unscented fictions of the loom.
Who satisfied with only pencil'd scenes,
Prefer to the performance of a God
Th' inferior wonders of an artist's hand.
Lovely indeed the mimic works of art,
But Nature's works far lovelier. I admire
None more admires the painter's magic skill,
Who shews me that which I shall never fee,
Conveys a distant country into mine,
And throws Italian light on English walls.
But imitative strokes can do no more
Than please the eye, sweet Nature ev'ry sense.
The air falubrious of her lofty hills,
The chearing fragrance of her dewy vales
And music of her woods-no works of man
May rival these; these all bespeak a power
Peculiar, and exclusively her own.
Beneath the open sky she spreads the feast ;
'Tis free to all-'tis ev'ry day renew'd,
Who scorns it, starves deservedly at home.