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My friends, do they now and then send

A wish or a thought after me?
O tell me I yet have a friend,
Though a friend I am never to see.

6.

How fleet is a glance of the mind!

Compar'd with the speed of its flight, The tempest itself lags behind,

And the swift winged arrows of light. When I think of my own native land,

In a moment I seem to be there; But alas! recollection at hand

Soon hurries me back to despair,

a

7.

But the sea-fowl is gone to her nest,

The beast is laid down in his lair, Ev'n here is a season of rest,

And I to my cabin repair. There's mercy in every place;

And mercy, encouraging thought! Gives even affliction a grace,

And reconciles man to his lot,

RURAL WALKS.

THE sofa suits The gouty limb, 'tis true; but gouty limb, Though on a sofa, may I never feel: For I have lov’d the rural walk through lanes Of grassy swarth, close cropt by nibbling sheep, And skirted thick with intertexture firm Of thorny boughs; have lov’d the rural walk O'er hills, through vallies, and by rivers' brink, E’er since a truant boy I pass'd my bounds T enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames; And still remember, nor without regret, Of hours that sorrow since has much endear'd, How oft, my slice of pocket store consum'd, Still hung’ring, pennyless and far from home, 1 fed on scarlet hips and stony haws, Or blushing crabs, or berries, that imboss The bramble, black as jet, or sloes austere. Hard fare! but such as boyish appetite

Disdains not; nor the palate, undepray'd
By culinary arts, unsav'ry deems.
No sofa then awaited my return;
Nor sofa then I needed. Youth repairs.
His wasted spirits quickly, by long toil
Incurring short fatigue; and, though our years
As life declines speed rapidly away,
And not a year but pilfers as he goes
Some youthful grace that age would gladly keeps
A tooth or auburn lock, and by degrees
Their length and colour from the locks they spare;
Th' elastic spring of an unwearied foot
That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the fence,
That play of lungs, inhaling and again
Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes
Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me,
Mine have not pilfer'd yet; nor yet impair’d
My relish of fair prospect; scenes that sooth'd
Or charm’d me young, no longer young, I find
Still soothing, and of pow'r to charm me still.
And witness, dear companion of my walks,
Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive
Fast lock'd in mine, with pleasure such as love,
Confirm'd by long experience of thy worth

And well-tried virtues, could alone inspire
Witness a joy that thou hast doubled long.
Thou know'st my praise of nature most sincere,
And that my raptures are not conjur'd up
To serve occasions of poetic pomp,
But genuine, and art partner of them all.
How oft upon yon eminence our pace
Has slacken’d to a pause, and we have born
The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew,
While admiration, feeding at the eye,
And still unsated, dwelt upon the scene.
Thence with what pleasure have we just discern'd
The distant plough slow moving, and beside
His lab’ring team, that swerv'd not from the track,
The sturdy swain diminish'd to a boy!
Here Ouse, slow winding through a level plain
Of spacious meads with cattle sprinkled o'er,
Conducts the eye along its sinuous course
Delighted. There, fast rooted in their bank,
Stand, never overlook'd, our fav’rite elms,
That screen the herdsman's solitary hut;
While far beyond, and overthwart the stream
That, as with molten glass, inlays the vale,
The sloping land recedes into the clouds;

Displaying on its varied side the grace
Of hedge-row beauties numberless, square tow'r,
Tall spire, from which the sound of cheerful bells
Just undulates

upon

the list’ning ear;
Groves, heaths, and smoking villages, remote.
Scenes must be beautiful which, daily view'd,
Please daily, and whose novelty survives
Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years.
Praise justly due to those that I describe.

Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,
Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid Nature. Mighty winds, ,
That
sweep

the skirt of some far-spreading wood
Of ancient growth, make musick not unlike
The dash of ocean on his winding shore,
And lull the spirit while they fill the mind;
Unnumber'd branches waving in the blast,
And all their leaves fast flutt'ring, all at once.
Nor less composure

the roar Of distant foods, or on the softer voice Of neighb'ring fountain, or of rills that slip Through the cleft rock, and, chiming as they fall Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length

waits upon

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