Page images
PDF
EPUB

With untir'd feet: and cull thy earliest sweets
To weave fresh garlands for the glowing brow

Of him the favour'd youth
That prompts their whisper'd sigh.

Unlock thy copious stores ; those tender showers
That drop their sweetness on the infant buds,

And silent dews that swell
The milky ear's green stem,

And feed the flowering osier's early shoots ;
And call those winds which thro' the whispiring bouglas

With warm and pleasant breath
Salute the blowing flowers.

Now let me sit beneath the whitening thorn,
And mark thy spreading tints steal o'er the dale :

And watch with patient eye
Thy fair unfolding charms.

O Nymph approach! while yet the temperate sun
With bashful forehead, thro' the cool moist air

Throws his young maiden beams,
And with chaste kisses wooes

The earth's fair bosom; while the streaming veil
Of lucid-clouds with kind and frequent shade

Protects thy modest blooms
From his severer blaze.

Sweet is thy reign, but short ; the red dog-star
Shall scorch thy tresses, and the mower's scythe

Thy greens, thy flow'rets all,
Remorseless shall destroy.

Reluctant shall I bid thee then farewel;
For O, at all that Autumn's lap contains,

Nor Summer's ruddiest fruits,
Can aught for thee atone.

Fair Spring! whose simplest promise more delights
Than all their largest wealth, and thro' the heart

Each joy and new born hope
With softest influence breathes.

MRS. BARBAULD.

000000D

CHAP. XXVII.

DOMESTIC LOVE AND HAPPINESS.

O HAPPY they! the happiest of their kind!
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.
Tis not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
Attuning all their passions into love ;
Where friendship full exerts her softest power.
Perfect esteem, enlivend by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul ;
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,
With boundless confidence ; for nought but love
Can answer love, and render bliss secure.
Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent
To bless himself, from sordid parents buys
The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
Well-merited, consume his nights and days :
Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love
Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel ;
Let eastern tyrants from the light of Heaven
Seclude their bosom-slaves, meanly posse 88'd
Of a mere lifeless, violated form:

While those whom love cements in holy faith, And equal transport, free as nature live, Disdaining fear.

What is the world to them, Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all ? Who in each other clasp whatever fair High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish: Something that beauty dearer, should they look Or on the mind, or mind-illumin'd face ; Truth, goodness, honour, harmony and love, The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven. Mean-time å smiling offspring rises round, And mingles both their graces. By degrees, The human blossom blows ; and every day, Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm, The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom. Then infant reason grows apace, and call For the kind hand of an assiduous care. Delightful task! to rear the tender thought, To teach the young idea how to shoot, To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind, To breathe th’ enlivening spirit, and to fix The generous purpose in the glowing breast. Ah speak the joy ! ye whom the sudden tear Surprises often, while you look around, And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss ; All various Nature pressing on the heart : An elegant sufficiency, content, Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books, Ease and alternate labour, useful life, Progressive virtue, and approving Heayen. These are the matchless joys of virtuous love : And thus their moments fly. The Seasons thus, As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll, Still find them happy; and consenting Spring Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads : "Till evening comes at last, serene and mild ; When, after the long vernal day of life,

Enamour'd more, as inore resemblance swells,
With many a proof of recollected love,
Together down they sink in social sicep;
Together freed their gentle spirits fly
To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign.

THOMSON.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

O KNEW he but this happiness, of men The happiest he! who far from public räge, Deep in the vale, with a choice few retir'd, Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life. What tho the dome he wanting, whose proud gate, Each morning, vomits out the sneaking croud Of flatterers false, and in their turn abus'd! Vile intercourse! What tho' the glittering robe, Of every hue reflected light can give, Or floated loose, or stiff with mazy gold, The pride and gaze of fools, oppress him not ? What tho', from utmost land and sea survey'd, For him each rarer tributary life Bleeds not, and his insatiate table heaps With luxury and death? What tho' his bowl Flames not with costly juice ; nor sunk in beds Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night, Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state ? What tho' he knows not those fantastic joys, That still amuse the wanton, still deceive ; A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain ; Their hollow moments undelighted Sure peace is his; a solid life estrangid

To disappointment and fallacious hope :
Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich,
In herbs and fruits ; whatever greens the Spring,
When heaven descends in showers ; or bend the bough
Wher Summer reddens, and when Autump beams;
Or in the wint'ry glebe whatever lies
Conceal'd, and fattens with the richest sap :
These are not wanting, nor the milky drove,
Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale ;
Nor bleating mountains ; nor the chide of streams,
And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere
Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade,
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay ;
Nor ought besides of prospect, grove, or song,
Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and

fountain clear.
Here too dwells simple truth ; plain innocence';
Unsullied beauty ; sound unbroken youth,
Patient of labour, with a little pleas'd ;
Health ever blooming ; unambitious toil ;
Calm contemplation, and poetic ease.

The rage of nations, and the crush of states,
Move not the man, who, from the world escap'd,
In still retreats, and flow'ry solitudes,
To Nature's voice attends, from month to month,
And day to day, through the revolving year;
Admiring, sees her in her every shape ;
Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart :
Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more.
He, when young Spring protrudes the bursting gems,
Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale
Into his freshen'd soul ; her genial hours
He fall enjoys; and not a beauty blows,
And not an opening blossom breathes, in vain.
In summer he, beneath the living shade,
Such as o'er frigid Tempe wont to wave,
Or Hemus cool, reads what the Muse, of these,
Perhaps, bas in immortal pumbers sung ;

« PreviousContinue »