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In loose luxuriance taught to stray
A thousand tumbling rills inlay
With silver veins the vale, or pass
Redundant through the sparkling grass.
Yet, in these presages rude,
Midst her pensive solitude,
Fancy, with prophetic glance,
Sees the teeming months advance;
The field, the forest, green and gay,
The dappled slope, the tedded hay;
Sees the reddening orchard blow,
The harvest wave, the vintage flow;
Sees June unfold his glossy robe
Of thousand hues o'er all the globe;
Sees Ceres grasp her crown of corn,
And plenty load her ample horn.
ON THE APPROACH OF SUMMER,
HENCE, iron-sceptred Winter, haste,
To bleak Siberian waste!
Haste to thy poplar solitude;
Mid cataracts of ice,
Whose torrents dumb are stretch'd in fragments
From many an airy precipice,
Where, ever beat by sleety showers,
Thy gloomy gothic castle towers;
Amid whose howling aisles and halls,
Where no gay sunbeam paints the walls,
On ebon throne thou lov'st to shroud
Thy brows in many a murky cloud.
Ev'n now, before the vernal heat,
Sullen I see thy train retreat:
Thy ruthless host stern Eurus guides,
That on a ravenous tiger rides,
Dim-figur'd on whose robe are shown
Shipwrecks, and villages o'erthrown:
Grim Auster, drooping all with dew,
In mantle clad of watchet hue:
And Cold, like Zemblan savage seen,
Still threatening with his arrows keen;
And next in furry coat embost
With icicles, his brother Frost.
Winter, farewell! thy forest hoar,
Thy frozen floods delight no more;
Farewell the fields, so bare and wild!
But come thou rose-cheek'd cherub mild,
Sweetest Summer! haste thee here,
Once more to crown the gladden'd year.
Thee April blithe, as long of yore,
Bermudas' lawns he frolic'd o'er,
With musky nectar-trickling wing,
(In the new world's first dawning spring)
To gather balm of choicest dews,
And patterns fair of various hues,
With which to paint, in changeful dye,
The youthful earth's embroidery ;
To cull the essence of rich smells
In which to dip his new-born bells;
Thee, as he skimm'd with pinions fleet
He found an infant, smiling sweet;
Where a tall citron's shade embrown'd
The soft lap of the fragrant ground.
There, on an amarinthine bed,
Thee with rare nectarine fruits he fed ;
Till soon, beneath his forming care,
You bloom'd a goddess debonaire ;
And then he gave the blessed isle
Aye to be sway'd beneath thy smile:
There plac'd thy green and grassy shrine,
With myrtle bower'd and jessamine:
And to thy care the task assign'd
With quickening hand, and nurture kind,
His roseate infant-births to rear,
Till Autumn's mellowing reign appear.
Haste thee, nymph! and, hand in hand,
With thee lead a buxom band;
Bring fantastic-footed Joy,
With Sport, that yellow-tressed boy:
Leisure, that through the balmy sky
Chases a crimson butterfly.
Bring Health, that loves in early dawn
To meet the milk-maid on the lawn ;
Bring Pleasure, rural nymph of Peace,
Meek, cottage-loving shepherdess!
And that sweet stripling, Zephyr, bring,
Light, and for ever on the wing.
Bring the dear Muse, that loves to lean
On river-margins, mossy green.
But who is she that bears thy train,
Pacing light the velvet plain?
The pale pink binds her auburn hair,
Her tresses flow with pastoral air;
"Tis May, the Grace-confess'd she stands,
By branch of hawthorn in her hands:
Lo! near her trip the lightsome Dews,
Their wings all ting'd in iris-hues;
With whom the powers of Flora play,
And paint with pansies all the way.
Oft when thy season, sweetest queen,
Has dress'd the groves in livery green;
When in each fair and fertile field
Beauty begins her bow'r to build ;
While Evening, veil'd in shadows brown,
Puts her matron-mantle on,
And mists in spreading steams convey
More fresh the fumes of new-shorn hay;
Then, goddess, guide my pilgrim feet,
Contemplation hoar to meet,
As slow he winds in museful mood,
Near the rush'd marge of Cherwell's flood;
Or o'er old Avon's magic edge,
Whence Shakspeare cull'd the spiky sedge,
All playful yet, in years unripe,
To frame a shrill and simple pipe.
There through the dusk but dimly seen,
Sweet evening objects intervene :
His wattled cotes the shepherd plants,
Beneath her elm the milk-maid chants,
The woodman, speeding home, awhile
Rests him at a shady stile.
Nor wants there fragrance to dispense
Refreshment o'er my soothed sense;
Nor tangled woodbines' balmy bloom,
Nor grass besprent to breathe perfume:
Nor lurking wild-thyme's spicy sweet
To bathe in dew my roving feet:
Nor wants there note of Philomel,
Nor sound of distant-tinkling bell:
Nor lowing faint of herds remote
Nor mastiff's bark from bosom'd cot:
Rustle the breezes lightly borne
O'er deep embattled ears of corn:
Round ancient elm, with humming noise,
Full loud the chaffer-swarms rejoice.
Meantime, a thousand dyes invest
The ruby chambers of the West!
That all aslant the village tower
A mild reflected radiance pour,
While, with the level-streaming rays
Far seen its arched windows blaze:
And the tall grove's green top is dight
In russet tints, and gleams of light :
So that the gay scene by degrees
Bathes my blithe heart in ecstasies;
And Fancy to my ravish'd sight
Portrays her kindred visions bright.
At length the parting light subdues
My soften'd soul to calmer views,
And fainter shapes of pensive joy,
As twilight dawns, my mind employ,
Till from the path I fondly stray
In musings lap'd, nor heed the way;
Wandering through the landscape still,
Till Melancholy has her fill;
And on each moss-wove border damp
The glow-worm hangs his fairy lamp.
But when the Sun, at noon-tide hour,
Sits throned in his highest tow'r ;