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TO THE EARL OF DORSET.
BY THE SAME.
Copenbagen, March 9, 170g. From frozen climes, and endless tracts of snow, From streams which northern winds forbid to flow, What present thall the muse to Dorset bring, Or how, so near the pole, attempt to sing? The hoary winter here conceals from fight 5 All pleasing objects which to verse invite. The hills, and dales, and the delightful woods, The flow'ry plains, and silver-streaming floods, By snow disguis'd, in bright confusion lie, And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye. 10
No gentle breathing breeze prepares the spring, No birds within the desert region fing. The ships, unmov'd, the boilt'rous winds defy, While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly. The vait Leviathan wants room to play, 15 And spout his waters in the face of day. The ftarving wolves along the main sea prowl, And to the moon in icy valleys howl. O'er many a fhining league the level main Here spreads idelf into a glady plain. 20 There io. id b:''oks of enormous fize, Alps of green ice, in wild diorder rise.
And yet but lately have I seen, ev'n here, The winter in a lovely dress appear. Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasur’d snow, 25 Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow, At ev'ning a keen eastern breeze arose, And the descending rain unfully'd froze. Soon as the filent shades of night withdrew, The ruddy morn disclos’d at once to view 30 The face of nature in a rich disguise, And brighten'd ev'ry object to my eyes : For ev'ry shrub, and ev'ry blade of grass, And ev'ry pointed thorn, seem'd wrought in glass ; In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show, 35 While through the ice the crimson berries glow. The thick-sprung reeds, which watry marshes yield, Seem'd polish'd lances in a hostile field. The stag, in limpid currents, with surprize, Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise:
40 The spreading oak, the beech, and tow’ring pine, Glaz'd over, in the freezing æther shine. The frighted birds the rattling branches fhun, Which wave and glitter in the distant fun.
When if a sudden gust of wind arise, 45 The brittle forest into atoms flies, The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends, And in a spangled show'r the prospect ends ; Or, if a fouthern gale the region warm, And by degrees unbind the wintry charm,
The traveller a miry country sees,
May 25, 1724
Bane of every manly art, 5
Sing, beavenly Muse,
Happy the man, who, void of cares and strife,
• Bark 1676; dyed 1708.