صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

1

Thus Smollett:
Nature I'll court in her sequester'd haunts,

By mountain, meadow, streamlet, grove, or cell,
Where the pois'd lark his evening ditty chaunts,

And health, and peace, and contemplation dwell.
There study shall with solitude recline;

And friendship pledge me to his fellow swains;
And toil and temperance sedately twine

The slender cord that fluttering life sustains;
And fearless poverty shall guard the door;

And taste, unspoild, the frugal table spread;
And industry supply the humble store;

And sleep, imbib'd, his dews refreshing shed;
White-mantled innocence, ethereal sprite,
Shall chase far off the goblins of the night;
And independence o'er the day preside,

Propitious power! my patron and my pride.
Montgomery thus delivers his sentiments :

'Tis sweet in solitude to hear
The earliest music of the

year,
The blackbird's loud wild note;
Or, from the wintry thicket drear,

The thrush's stammering throat.
In rustic solitude 'tis sweet
The earliest flowers of spring to greet,

The violet from its tomb,
The strawberry creeping at our feet,

The sorrel's simple bloom.
Therefore I love walks of spring,
While still I hear new warblers sing,

Fresh-opening bells I see;
Joy flits on every roving wing,

Hope buds on every tree. Pope, in one of his earliest productions in tuneful numbers, praises the charms of a still, retired, country life. As far as real happiness is concerned, the following ode seems to comprehend every thing necessary for man on this side the tomb ;

Ode to SOLITUDE.
Happy the man, whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound;
Content to breathe his native air,

In his own ground

Whose herds with milk, whose field with bread,

Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter, fire.
Blest, who can unconcern'dly find

Hours, days, and years, slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind ;

Quiet by day.
Sound sleep by night; study and ease,

Together mix'd; sweet recreation
And innocence, which most does please

With meditation.
Thus let me live unseen, unknown,

Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

PoPE.

The following piece is an attempt to imitate the preceding ode of Pope. It is entitled

THE PEASANT.

The peasant's blest, who in his cot,
Secure from flattery and deceit,
The bread his honest labour got,

In peace can eat.
Whose family to clothe and feed,
Does each new day his hands employ;
But toils, well pleas'd, th' approaching need

To satisfy.
O happy state ! which so contents :
Who's cheerful though he's poor ;
Who asks of Heaven what nature wants,

But asks no more !
The miser's fears ne'er rack his breast;
Each night he lays him down in peace';
No dreams of rapine break his rest;

He sleeps at ease
Rises each morn with early dews,
Salutes with joy the welcome day;
And in the fields his toil pursues

With spirits gay.
When nature calls for nourishment,
On some soft mossy bank he sits;
And food that's sweeten'd by content,

He thankful eats.

Nor guilt nor fear his joys dismay,
Each thought fresh comfort brings;
Thys happy all the lively day,

He works and sings.
But when the sun retracts his rays,
And evening smoke

from chimneys come,
Then, thoughtless, with an easy pace,

Goes whistling home.
There he his leisure hours enjoys,
Laughing at merry tale or jest,
Till sleep o'erpowers his weary eyes, login

Then goes to rest
Thus steal away his earthly days,
In health, content, and ease,
Till he the debt of nature pays,

And dies in peace.
Each neighb'ring peasant mourns his end,
Dropping a kind unfeigned tear;
And prays for his departed friend

With heart sincere.
O Heav'n! let me such bliss enjoy,
Crown'd with content and free from blame;
And may good deeds, whene'er I die,

Record my name.
I suppose my friend Brettell had Pope's Ode to
Solitude in view, when he penned the following lines :-

Here, undisturb’d by cares of state,

Within retirement's pleasing bow'r,
Remov'd from all the gay and great,

I spend life's hour.
The busy world's tumultuous noise,

Like distant thunder strikes my ear,
Nor opce disturbs my tranquil joys

With restless fear.
Why should I leave this peaceful vale,

Where fortune's tempests seldom low'r,
Though scandal sometimes taints the gale,

For one short hour?
Oh! may my life still calmly flow,

Like yonder stream across the plain,
Whose gentle current, clear and slow,

Glides tow'rds the main.
And when approach death's shadows drear,

I'll walk contented through the gloom,
If
pure
affection shed one tear

Upon my tomb !

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

CHAP. XXIII.

THE PLEASURES OF COUNTRY AND RETIREMENT

continued.

He, who remov'd afar from noise and strife,
Dwells in thy vales, retir'd from public life,
Tho' friends are absent, and the desert drear
Hold in its cheerless bosom nothing dear-

not alone, for in thy deepest shades,
Thy barren wilds, and most deserted gladeş,
Tho' there no mortal footstep ever trod,
He marks the nobler impress of his God.
Him, ever present, 'midst his work he sees
In mountains, deserts, rivers, fields, and trees;
In gathering tempests views his awful pow'r,
His melting mercy in the falling show'r,
His cheering smile in morning's opening ray,
And all the softer tints of closing day:
When the loud thunder shakes the trembling spheres,
His fearful voice in every peal he hears;
Its gentler accents in the western gale,
That whispers peace o'er every bill and vale,

BRETTELL St. Pierre, in his Studies of Nature, has the following abservations respecting the blessings and advantages in agriculture :

“The corn-plant has relations innumerable with the wants of man, and of his domestic animals. It is neither too high nor too low for his stature. It is easily handled and reaped. It furnishes grain to his poultry, bran to his pigs, forage and litter to his black cattle and horses. Every plant that grows in his corn-field possesses virtues particularly adapted to the maladies incident to the condition of the labouring maņ, The poppy is a cure for the pleurisy; it procures sleep, it stops hemorrhages and spitting of blood. The blue-bottle is a diuretic; it is vulnerary, cordial, and cooling ; it is an antidote to the stings of venomous insects, and a remedy for inflammation of the eyes. Thus the husbandman finds all needful pharmacy in the field which he cultivates.

[graphic]

“The culture of this staff of life discloses to him many other agreeable concerts with his fleeting existence. The direction of its shadow informs him of the hour of the day; from its progressive growth' he learns the rapid flight of the seasons ; he reckons the Aux of his own fugitive years by the successions of the guiltless harvests which he has reaped. He is haunted with no apprehension, like the inhabitants of great cities, of conjugal infidelity, or of a too numerous posterity. His labours are always surpassed by the benefits of nature. When the sun gets to the sign of Virgo, he summons his kindred, he invites his neighbours, and marches at their head, by the dawning of the day, with sickle in hand, to the ripening field. His heart exults with joy as he binds up the swelling sheaves, while his children dance around them, crowned with garlands of blue-bottles and wild poppies. Their harmless play recals to his memory the amusements of his own early days and of his own virtuous ancestors, whom he hopes at length to rejoin in a happier world. The sight of his copious harvest demonstrates to him that there is a God; and every return of that joyous season, bringing to his recollection the delicious eras of his past existence, inspires bim with gratitude to the great Being, who has united the transient society of men by an eternal chain of blessings.

Ye flowery meadows, ye majestic murmuring forests, ye mossy fountains, ye desert rocks, frequented by the dove alone, ye enchanting solitudes, which charm by your ineffable concerts; happy is the man who shall be permitted to unveil your hidden beauties! but still happier far is he, who shall have it in his power calmly to enjoy them, in the inheritance ɔf his forefathers !"

The reader must be treated with a few more poetical quotations; for the poets are rich on this subject. Thus Broome,

Hail! ye soft seats, ye limpid springs and floods,
Ye flowery meads, ye vales and shady woods ;
Here grant me, Heav'n, to end my peaceful days,

And steal myself from life by slow decays !
The following is the Rural Invitation of a Sylvan
Poet:-

Chaunt on, ye warblers, from each verdant spray,
Bleat on, ye flocks, that in the meadows play ;

« السابقةمتابعة »