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ere the snow-veiled dawn, the bird of morn
His wings quick claps, and sounds his cheering call:
The cottage hinds the glimmering lantern trim,
And to the barn wade, sinking, in the drift;
The alternate flails bounce from the loosened sheaf.
Pleasant these sounds! they sleep to slumber change;
Pleasant to him, whom no laborious task
Whispers, arise!-whom neither love of gain,
Nor love of power, nor hopes, nor fears, disturb.
Late daylight comes at last, and the strained eye Shrinks from the dazzling brightness of the scene,— One wide expanse of whiteness uniform. As yet no wandering footstep has defaced The spotless plain, save where some wounded hare,
Wrenched from the springe, has left a blood-stained
How smooth are all the fields! sunk every fence;
The furrow, here and there, heaped to a ridge,
O'er which the sidelong plough-shaft scarcely peers.
Cold blows the north-wind o'er the dreary waste.O ye that shiver by your blazing fires, Think of the inmates of yon hut, half sunk Beneath the drift: from it no smoke ascends; The broken straw-filled pane excludes the light, But ill excludes the blast: The redbreast there For shelter seeks, but short, ah! very short His stay; no crumbs, strewn careless on the floor, Attract his wistful glance;-to warmer roofs He flies; a welcome,-soon a fearless guest, He cheers the winter day with summer songs.
Short is the reign of day, tedious the night. The city's distant lights arrest my view, And magic fancy whirls me to the scene. There vice and folly run their giddy rounds; There eager crowds are hurrying to the sight Of feigned distress, yet have not time to hear The shivering orphan's prayer. The flaring lamps Of gilded chariots, like the meteor eyes Of mighty giants, famed in legends old,
Illume the snowy street; the silent wheels
On heedless passenger steal unperceived,
Bearing the splendid fair to flutter round
Amid the flowery labyrinths of the dance.⚫
But, hark! the merry catch: good social souls
Sing on, and drown dull care in bumpers deep;
The bell, snow-muffled, warns not of the hour;
For scarce the sentenced felon's watchful ear
Can catch the softened knell, by which he sums
The hours he has to live. Poor hopeless wretch!
His thoughts are horror, and his dreams despair;
And ever as he, on his strawy couch,
Turns heavily, his chains and fetters, grating,
Awake the inmates of some neighbouring cell,
Who bless their lot, that debt is all their crime.
THE treacherous fowler, in the drifted wreath,
The snare conceals, and strews the husky lure,
Tempting the famished fowls of heaven to light:
They light; the captive strives in vain to fly,
Scattering around, with fluttering wing, the snow.
Amid the untrod snows, oft let me roam
Far up the lonely glen, and mark its change;
The frozen rill's hoarse murmur scarce is heard;
The rocky cleft, the fairy bourne smoothed up,
Repeat no more my solitary voice.
Now to the icy plain the city swarms.
In giddy circles, whirling variously,
The skater fleetly thrids the mazy throng,
While smaller wights the sliding pastime ply.
Unhappy he, of poverty the child !