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In matted grass, that with a livelier green
Betrays the secret of their silent course.
No tree in all the grove but has its charms, Though each its hue peculiar; paler some, And of a wannish gray; the willow such,.
a And poplar, that with silver lines his leaf, And ash far-stretching his umbrag Tous arm; Of deeper green the elm; and deeper still, Lord of the woods, the long-surviving oak, Some glossy-lear'd, and shining in the sun, The maple, and the beech of oily nuts. Prolific, and the lime at dewy eve Diffusing odours: nor unnoted pass. The sycamore, capricious in attire, Now green, now tawny, and, ere autumn yet Have chang’d the woods, in scarlet honours brighto
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 flail, That seems to swing uncertain, and yet falls Full on the destin'd ear. Wide flies 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 sleep 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 cheerful days, and nights without a groan.
I SEE a column of slow-rising smoke
O’ertop the lofty wood that skirts the wild.
A vagabond and useless tribe there eat
Their miserable meal. A kettle, slung
Between two poles upon a stick transverse,
Receives the morsel-Aesh obscene of dog,
Or vermin, or, at best, of cock purloin'd
From his accustom'd perch. Hard-faring race!
They pick their fuel out of ev'ry hedge,
Which, kindled with dry leaves, just saves un-
The spark of life. The sportive wind blows wide
Their flutt'ring rags, and shows a tawny skin,
The vellum of the pedigree they claim.
Great skill have they in palmistry, and more
To conjure clean away the gold they touch,
Conveying worthless dross into its place;
Loud when they beg, dumb only when they steal
Strange! that a creature rational, and cast
In human mould, should brutalize by choice
His nature; and, though capable of arts
By which the world might profit, and himself,
Self-banish'd from society, prefer
Such squalid sloth to honourable toil!
Yet even these, though, feigning sickness, oft,
They swathe the forehead, drag the limping limb,
And vex their flesh with artificial sores,
Can change their whine into a mirthful note
When safe occasion offers; and, with dance,
And musick of the bladder and the bag,
Beguile their woes, and make the woods resound.
Such health and gaiety of heart enjoy
The houseless rovers of the sylvan world ;
And, breathing wholesome air, and wand'ring
Need other physick none to heal th' effects
Of loathsome diet, penury, and cold.
IN colleges and halls, in ancient days,
When learning, virtue, piety, and truth,
Were precious, and inculcated with care,
There dwelt a sage call’d Discipline. His head,
Not yet by time completely silver'd o'er,
Bespoke him past the bounds of freakish youth,
But strong for service still, and unimpair’d.
His eye was. meek and gentle, and a smile
Play'd on his lips; and in his speech was heard
Paternal sweetness, dignity, and love.
The occupation dearest to his heart,
Was to encourage goodness. He would stroke
The head of modest and ingenuous worth,
That blush'd at its own praise; and press
Close to his side that pleas'd him. Learning grew,
Beneath his care, a thriving vig'rous plant;
The mind was well inform’d, the passions held
Subordinate, and diligence was choice.
If e'er it chanc'd, as sometimes chance it must,