Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

THE TA S K.

BOOK IV.

THE WINTER EVENING,

Hark! 'tis the twanging horn o'er yonder bridge,
That with its wearisome but needful length
Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon
Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright;-
He comes, the herald of a noisy world,
With spatter'd boots, strapp'd waist, and frozen

locks;
News from all nations lumb'ring at his back.
True to his charge, the close pack'd load behind,
Yet careless what he brings, bis one concern
Is to conduct it to the destin'd inn;
And, having dropp'd th' expected bag, pass on,
He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch,

Cold and yet cheerful : messenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to some;
To him indiff'rent whether grief or joy.
Houses in ashes, and the fall of stocks,
Births, deaths, and marriages, epilles wet
With tears, that trickled down the writer's cheeks
Fast as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charg'd with am'rous fighs of absent swains,
Or nymphs responsive, equally affect
His horse and him, unconscious of them all.
But oh th' important budget! ulher'd in
With such heart-shaking mufic, who can say
What are its tidings? Have our troops awak'd ?
Or do they ftill, as if with opium drugg'd,
Snore to the murmurs of th' Atlantic wave?
Is India free? and does she wear her plum'd
And jewell'd turban with a smile of peace,
Or do we grind her ftill? The grand debate,
The popular harangue, the tart reply,
The logic, and the wiftlom, and the wit,
And the loud laugh-I long to know them all;
I burn to set th' imprison'd wranglers free,
And give them voice and utt'rance once again.

Stothard Dai

Pubus

27.95 by Johnson London.

Heath Sanup

Now stir the fire, & cöse the Shullers fast, Let fall the Curtains, wheel the Sofa round,

,

Now ftir the fire, and close the fhutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud hisling urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev'ning in.
Not such bis ev'ning, who with thining face
Sweats in the crowded theatre, and, squeez'd
And bor'd with elbow points through both his fides,
Out-scolds the ranting actor on the stage:
Nor his, who patient stands till his feet throb,
And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath
Of patriots, bursting with beroic rage,
Or placemen, all tranquillity and smiles.

This folio of four pages, happy work!
Which not ev’n critics criticise; that holds
Inquisitive attention, while I read,
Faft bound in chains of Gilence, which the fair,
Though-elaquent themselves, yet fear to break;
What is it, but a map of busy life,
Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns?
Here runs the mountainoas and craggy ridge
That, tempts ambition. On the summit see
The feals of office glitter in his eyes;

.3

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »