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The loud demand, from year to year the same, His soul exults, hope animates his lays,
And wilds, familiar with a lion's roar,
Ring with ecstatic sounds unheard before : And novels (witness every month's review)
'Tis love like his, that can alone defeat Belie their name, and offer nothing new.
The foes of man, or make a desert sweet. The mind, relaxing into needful sport,
Religion does not censure or exclude
Unnumber'd pleasures harmlessly pursued ;
The grain, or herb, or plant, that each demands
And share the joys your bounty may create ; Flow'rs by that name promiscuously we call, To mark the matchless workings of the pow'r, But one, the rose, the regent of them all,) That shuts within its seed the future flow'r, Friends, not adopted with a schoolboy's haste, Bids these in elegance of form excel, But chosen with a nice discerning taste,
In color these, and those delight the smell, Well-born, well-disciplin'd, who, plac'd apart Sends Nature forth the daughter of the skies, From vulgar minds, have honor much at heart, To dance on Earth, and charm all human eyes ; And, though the world may think th' ingredients odd, To teach the canvas innocent deceit, The love of virtue, and the fear of God!
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheetSuch friends prevent what else would soon succeed, These, these are aris pursued without a crime, A temper rustic as the life we lead,
That leave no stain upon the wing of Time.
Me poetry (or rather notes that aim
Employs, shut out from more important views, Seeming a sanctuary, proves a grave,
Fast by the banks of the slow-winding Ouse ; A sepulchre, in which the living lie,
Content if thus sequester'd I may raise
The history of the following production is briefly O sacred art, to which alone life owes
this : A lady, fond of blank verse, demanded a Its happiest seasons, and a peaceful close,
poem of that kind from the author, and gave him Scorn'd in a world, indebted to that scorn
The Sofa for a subject. He obeyed; and, having For evils daily felt and hardly borne,
much leisure, connected another subject with it: Not knowing thee, we reap with bleeding hands
and, pursuing the train of thought to which his Flow'rs of rank odor upon thorny lands,
situation and turn of mind led him, brought forth And, while experience cautions us in vain,
at length, instead of ihe trifle which he at first
intended, a serious affairma volume. Grasp seeming happiness, and find it pain. Despondence, self-deserted in her grief,
In the poem on the subject of Education, he would Lost by abandoning her own relief,
be very sorry to stand suspected of having aimed Murmuring and ungrateful Discontent,
his censure at any particular school. His obThat scorns afflictions mercifully meant,
jections are such as naturally apply themselves Those humors tart as wines upon the fret,
to schools in general. If there were not, as for Which idleness and weariness beget;
the most part there is, wilful neglect in those
who manage them, and an omission even of These, and a thousand plagues, that haunt the breast, Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest,
such discipline as they are susceptible of, the Divine communion chases, as the day
objects are yet too numerous for minute alten. Drives to their dens th' obedient beasts of prey.
tion; and the aching hearts of ten thousand See Judah's promis'd king berest of all,
parents, mourning under the bitterest of all disDriv'n out an exile from the face of Saul,
appointments, attest the truth of the allegation To distant caves the lonely wand'rer flies,
His quarrel, therefore, is with the mischief at To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies.
large, and not with any particular instance of it Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice, Hear him, o'erwhelm'd with sorrow, yet rejoice ;
Воок І. No womanish or wailing grief has part,
THE SOFA. No, not a moment, in his royal heart; 'Tis inanly music, such as martyrs make,
Argument. Suff 'ring with gladness for a Savior's sake; Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the
Sofa. A school-boy's ramble. A walk in the • Bruyere.
country. The scene described. Rural sounds
as well as sights delightful. Another walk. These for the rich; the rest whom Fate had plac'd Mistake concerning the charms of solitude cor. In modest mediocrity, content rected. Colonnades commended. Alcove, and with base materials, sat on well-tann'd hides, the view from it. The wilderness. The grove. Obdurate and unyielding, glassy smooth, The thresher. The necessity and the bene- With here and there a tuft of crimson yarn, fits of exercise. The works of nature superior Or scarlet crewel, in the cushion fix'd, to, and, in some instances, inimitable hy, art. If cushion might be call’d, what harder seem d The wearisomeness of what is commonly called 'Than the firm oak, of which the frame was form'd. a life of pleasure. Change of scene sometimes No want of timber then was felt or fear'd expedient. A common described, and the cha- In Albion's happy isle. The lumber stood racter of Crazy Kate introduced. Gypsies. Pond'rous and fix'd by its own massy weight. The blessings of civilized life. The state most But elbow's still were wanting; these, some say, favorable to virtue. The South-Sea islanders An alderman of Cripplegate contriv'd; compassionated, but chiefly Omai. His present And some ascribe ih' invention to a priest, state of mind supposed. Civilized life friendly Burly, and big, and studious of his ease. to virtue, but not great cities. Great cities, and But rude at first, and not with easy slope London in particular, allowed their due praises, Receding wide, they press'd against the ribs, but censured. Fête-champêtre. The book con- And bruis'd the side; and, elevated high, cludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of Taught the rais'd shoulders to invade ibe ears. dissipation and effeminacy upon our public mea. Long time elaps'd or ere our rugged sires
Complain'd, though incommodiously pent in,
And ill at ease behind. The ladies first I sing the Sofa. I, who lately sang
'Gan murmur, as became the softer sex. Truth, Hope, and Charity, and touch'd with awe Ingenious Fancy, never better pleas'd The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand, Than when employ'd t' accommodate the fair, Escap'd with pain from that advent'rous flight, Heard the sweet moan with pity, and devis'd Now seek repose upon an humbler theme; The soft settee ; one elbow at each end, The theme though humble, yet august and proud And in the midst an elbow it received, Th' occasion for the Fair commands the song. United yet divided, twain at once.
Time was, when clothing sumptuous or for use, So sit two kings of Brentford on one throne ; Save their own painted skins, our sires had none. And so two citizens who take the air, As yet black breeches were not; satin smooth, Close-pack’d, and smiling, in a chaise and one. Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile :
But relaxation of the languid frame, The hardy chief upon the rugged rock
By soft recumbency of out-stretch'd limbs,
Was bliss reserv'd for happier days. So slow
And Luxury th' accomplishid Sofa last.
Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour, On such a stool immortal Alfred sat,
To sleep within the carriage more secure ;
The tedious rector drawling o'er his head;
And sweet the clerk below. But neither sleep By worms voracious eaten through and through. Of lazy nurse, who snores the sick man dead; At length a generation more refin'd
Nor his, who quits the box at midnight hour, Improv'd the simple plan ; made three legs four, To slumber in the carriage more secure; Gave them a twisted form vermicular,
Nor sleep enjoy'd by curate in his desk; And o'er the seat, with plenteous wadding stuff'd, Nor yet the dozings of the clerk, as sweet, Induc'd a splendid cover, green and blue,
Compar'd with the repose the Sofa yields. Yellow and red, of tap'stry richly wrought • O may I live exempted (while I live And woven close, or needle-work sublime.
Guiltless of pamper'd appetite obscene) There might ye see the piony spread wide, From pangs arthritic, that infest the toe The full-blown rose, the shepherd and his lass, Of libertine Excess. The Sofa suits Lapdog and lambkin with black staring eyes, The gouty limb, 'tis true; but gouty limb, And parrots with twin cherries in their beak. Though on a Sofa, may I never feel :
Now came the cane from India smooth and bright For I have lov'd the rural walk through lanes With Nature's varnish ; sever'd into stripes, Of grassy swarth, close-cropp'd by nibbling sheep, That interlac'd each other, these supplied
And skirted thick with intertexture firm Of texture firm a lattice-work, that brac'd
of thorny boughs; have lov'd the rural walk The new machine, and it became a chair.
O'er hills, through valleys, and by rivers' brink, But restless was the chair; the back erect E'er since a truant boy I pass'd my bounds, Distress'd the weary loins, that felt no easc; T' enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames; The slipp'ry seat betray'd the sliding part
And still remember, nor without regret, That press'd it, and the feet hung dangling down, Of hours, that sorrow since has much endear'd, Anxious in vain to find the distant floor.
How oft, my slice of pocket-store consum’d,
Still hung'ring, penniless, and far from home, And all their leaves fast flutt'ring, all at once. I fed on scarlet hips and stony haws,
Nor less composure waits upon the roar Or blushing crabs, or berries, that emboss
Of distant floods, or on the softer voice The bramble, black as jet, or sloes austere. Of neighb'ring fountain, or of rills that slip Hard fare! but such as boyish appetite
Through the cleft rock, and, chiming as they fall Disdains not; nor the palate, undeprav'd
Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length By culinary arts, unsav'ry deems.
In matted grass, that with a livelier green No Sofa then awaited my return!
Betrays the secret of their silent course. Nor Sofa then I needed. Youth repairs
Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds, His wasted spirits quickly, by long toil
But animated nature sweeter still, Incurring short fatigue; and, though our years,
To soothe and satisfy the human ear. As life declines, speed rapidly away,
Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one And not a year but pilfers as he goes
The livelong night: nor these alone, whose notes Some youthful grace, that age would gladly keep; Nice-finger'd Art must emulate in vain, A tooth, or auburn lock, and by degrees
But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime Their length and color from the locks they spare ; In still repeated circles, screaming loud, The elastic spring of an unwearied foot,
T'he jay, the pie, and ev'n the boding owl, That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the fence, That hails the rising moon, have charms for me. That play of lungs, inhaling and again
Sounds inharmonious in themselves and harsh, Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes
Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me,
And only there, please highly for their sake. Mine have not pilfer'd yet; nor yet impair'd
Peace to the artist, whose ingenious thought My relish of fair prospect; scenes that sooth'd Deris'd the weather-house, that useful toy! Or charm'd me young, no longer young, I find
Fearless of humid air and gath'ring rains, Still soothing, and of pow'r to charm me still. Forth steps the man-an emblem of myself! And witness, dear companion of my walks,
More delicate his tim'rous mate retires. Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive When Winter soaks the fields, and female feet, Fast lock'd in mine, with pleasure such as love, Too weak to struggle with tenacious clay, Confirm'd by long experience of thy worth
Or ford the rivulets, are best at home, And well-Iried virtues, could alone inspire- The task of new discov'ries falls on me. Witness a joy that thou hast doubted long.
At such a season, and with such a charge, Thou know'st my praise of nature most sincere, Once went I forth; and found, till then unknown And that my raplures are not conjur'd up
A cottage, whither oft we since repair : To serve occasions of poetic pomp,
"Tis perch'd upon the green hill top, but close But genuine, and art partner of them all.
Environ'd with a ring of branching elms, How oft iipon yon eminence our pace
That overhang the thatch, itself unseen Has slacken'd to a pause, and we have borne Peeps at the vale below; so thick beset The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew, With foliage of such dark redundant growth, While Admiration, feeding at the eye,
I call d the low-roof'd lodge the Peasant's Nest. And still unsated, dwelt upon the scene,
And, hidden as it is, and far remote Thence with what pleasure have we just discern'd From such unpleasing sounds, as haunt the ear The distant plow slow-moving, and beside In village or in town, the bay of curs His lab'ring team, that swerv'd not from the track, incessant, clinking hammers, grinding wheels, The sturdy swain diminish'd 10 a boy!
And infants clam'rous whether pleas'd or pain'd Here Ouse, slow winding through a level plain Oft have I wish'd the peaceful covert mine. Of spacious meads with cattle sprinkled o'er,
- Here," I have said, " at least I should possess Conducts the eye along his sinuous course
The poet's treasure, silence, and indulge Delighted. There, fast rooted in their bank, The dreams of fancy, tranquil and secure." Stand, never overlook'd, our fav'rite elms,
Vain thought! the dweller in that still retreat That screen the herdsman's solitary hut;
Dearly obtains the refuge it affords.
Its elevated site forbids the wretch
And, heavy laden, brings his bev'rage home,
To hear his creaking pauniers at the door, Groves, heaths, and smoking villages, remote. Angry, and sad, and his last crust consum'd. Scenes must be beautiful, which daily view'd So farewell envy of the Peasant's Nest! Please daily, and whose novelty survives
If solitude make scant the means of life Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years, Society for me!-thou seeming sweet, Praise justly due to those that I describe.
Be still a pleasing object in my view; Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds, My visit still, but never mine abode. Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
Not distant far a length of colonnade The tone of languid Nature. Mighty winds, Invites us. Monument of ancient taste, That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading wood Now scorn'd, but worthy of a better fate. of ancient growth, make music not unlike Our fathers knew the value of a screen The dash of Ocean on his winding shore, From sultry suns; and in their shaded walks And lull the spirit while they fill the mind; And long-protracted bow'rs, enjoy'd at noon Unnumber'd branches waving in the blast, The gloom and coolness of declining day.
We bear our shades about us: self-depriv'd
Hence the declivity is sharp and short, of other screen, the thin umbrella spread,
And such the re-ascent; between tieca wepps And range an Indian waste without a tree. A liule naiad her impov'rish'd un Thanks to Benevolus* -he spares me yet
All summer long, which winter file again. These chestnuts rang'd in corresponding lines ; The folded gates would bar my procrecs now, And, though himself so polish'd, still reprieves But that the lordt of this inclos'd demesne, The obsolete prolixity of shade.
Communicative of the good he owns, Descending now (but cautious, lest too fast) Admits me to a share; the guiltless eye A sudden steep upon a rustic bridge,
Commits no wrong, nor wastes what it enjoys. We pass a gulf, in which the willows dip
Refreshing change! where now the blazing Sun Their pendent boughs, stooping as if to drink. By short transition we have lost his glare, Hence, ancle-deep in moss and flow'ry thyme, And stepp'd at once into a cooler clime. We mount again, and feel at ev'ry step
Ye fallen avenues ! once more I mourn
That yet a remnant of your race survives.
Re-echoing pious anthems! while beneath
The summit gain'd, behold the proud alcove Brush'd by the wind. So sportive is the light That crowns it! yet not all its pride secures Shot through the boughs, it dances as they danco The grand retreat from injuries impress'd
Shadow and sun-shine intermingling quick, By rural carvers, who with knives deface And dark’ning and enlight’ning, as the leaves The panels, leaving an obscure, rude name, Play wanton, ev'ry moment, ev'ry spot. [cheerd In characters uncouth, and spelt amiss.
And now, with nerves new-brac'd and spirits So strong the zeal t' immortalize himself
We tread the wilderness, whose well-rollid walks, Beats in the breast of man, that ev'n a few, With curvature of slow and easy sweepFew transient years, won from th' abyss abhorr'd Deception innocent-give ample space Of blank oblivion, seem a glorious prize,
To narrow bounds. The grove receives us next; And even to a clown. Now roves the eye ; Between the upright shafts of whose tall elms And, posted on his speculative height,
We may discern the thresher at his task. Exults in its command. The sheep-fold here Thump after thump resounds the constant fail, Pours out its fleecy tenants o'er the glebe. That seems to swing uncertain, and yet falls At first progressive as a stream, they seek
Full on the destin'd ear. Wide flies the chaff, The middle field; but, scatter'd by degrees, The rustling straw sends up a frequent mist Each to his choice, soon whiten all the land. Of atoms, sparkling in the noon-day beam. There from the sun-burnt hay-field homeward creeps Come bither, ye that press your beds of down, The loaded wain; while, lighten'd of its charge, And sleep not; see him sweating o'er his bread The wain that meets it passes swiftly by ;
Before he eats it.— 'Tis the primal curse, The boorish driver leaning o'er his team
But soften'd into mercy; made the pledge Vocif'rous, and impatient of delay.
Of cheerful days, and nights without a groan. Nor less attractive is the woodland scene,
By ceaseless action, all that is subsists. Diversified with trees of ev'ry growth,
Constant rotation of th' unwearied wheel, Alike, yet various. Here the grey smooth trunks
That Nature rides upon, maintains her health, Of ash, or lime, or beech, distinctly shine,
Her beauty, her fertility. She dreads Within the twilight of their distant shades; An instant's pause, and lives but while she moves. There, lost behind a rising ground, the wood Its own revolvency upholds the World. Seems sunk, and shorten'd to its topmost boughs. Winds from all quarters agitate the air, No tree in all the grove but has its charms, And fit the limpid element for use, Though each its hue peculiar; paler some, Else noxious; oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams, And of a wannish gray; the willow such, All feel the fresh’ning impulse, and are cleans'd And poplar, that with silver lines his leaf,
By restless undulation : ev’n the oak And ash, far-stretching his umbrageous arm; Thrives by the rude concussion of the storm: Of deeper green the elm; and deeper still, He seems indeed indignant, and to feel Lord of the woods, the long-surviving oak. Th'impression of the blast with proud disdain, Some glossy-leav'd, and shining in the sun, Frowning, as if in his unconscious arm The maple, and the beach of oily nuts
He held the thunder: but the monarch owes Prolific, and the lime at dewy eve
His firm stability to what he scorns, Diffusing odors: nor unnoted pass
More fix'd below, the more disturb'd above. The sycamore, capricious in attire,
The law, by which all creatures else are bound, Now gieen, now tawny, and, ere Autumn yet Binds man, the lord of all. Himself derives Have chang'd the woods, in scarlet honors bright. No mean advantage from a kindred cause, O'er these, but far beyond (a spacious map
From strenuous toil his hours of sweetest ease. of hill and valley interpos'd between,)
The sedentary stretch their lazy length
For none they need : the languid eye, the cheek As bashful, yet impatient to be seen.
Deserted of its bloom, the flaccid, shrunk,
And wither'd muscle, and the vapid soul, * John Courtney Throckmorton, Esq. of Weston Underwood.
See the foregoing note.
Reproach their owner with that love of rest, That palls and satiates, and makes languid life, To which he forfeits ev'n the rest he loves.
A pedlar's pack, that bows the bearer down. Not such the alert and active. Measure life Health suffers, and the spirits ebb, the heart By its true worth, the comforts it affords,
Recoils from its own choice-at the full feast And theirs alone seems worthy of the name. Is famish'd-finds no music in the song, Good health, and, its associate in the most,
No smartness in the jest ; and wonders why. Good temper; spirits prompt to undertake,
Yet thousands still desire to journey on, And not soon spent, though in an arduous task; Though halt, and weary of the path they tread The pow'rs of fancy and strong thought are theirs; The paralytic, who can hold her cards, Ev'n age itself seems privileg'd in them
But cannot play them, borrows a friend's hand, With clear exemption from its own defects.
To deal and shuffle, to divide and sort
Her mingled suits and sequences ; and sits,
Others are dragg’d into the crowded room
Through downright inability to rise, Who oft'nest sacrifice are favor'd least.
Till the stout bearers lift the corpse again. The love of Nature, and the scenes she draws, These speak a loud memento. Yet ev'n these Is Nature's dictate. Strange! there should be found, Themselves love life, and cling to it, as he, Who, self-imprison'd in their proud saloons, That overhangs a torrent, to a twig. Renounce the odors of the open field
They love it, and yet lothe it; fear to die, For the unscented fictions of the loom ;
Yet scorn the purposes for which they live. Who, satisfied with only pencil'd scenes,
Then wherefore not renounce them? No-the dread Prefer to the performance of a God
The slavish dread of solitude, that breeds Th’inferior wonders of an artist's hand!
Reflection and remorse, the fear of shame, Lovely indeed the mimic works of Art;
And their invet'rate habits, all forbid. But Nature's works far lovelier. I admire,
Whom call we gay? That honor has been long None more admires, the painter's magic skill, The boast of mere pretenders to the name. Who shows me that which I shall never see, The innocent are gay—the lark is gay, Conveys a distant country into mine,
'That dries his feathers, saturate with dew, And throws Italian light on English walls : . Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams But imitative strokes can do no more
Of day-spring over-shoot his humble nest. Than please the eye-sweet Nature's, ev'ry sense. The peasant too, a witness of his song, The air salubrious of her lofty hills,
Himself a songster, is as gay as he. The cheering fragrance of her dewy vales, But save me from the gaiety of those, And music of her woods—no works of man Whose head-aches nail them to a noon-day bed ; May rival these ; these all bespeak a pow'r And save me too from theirs, whose haggard eyes Peculiar, and exclusively her own.
Flash desperation, and betray their pangs Beneath the open sky she spreads the feast; For property stripp'd off by cruel chance; 'Tis free to all-'tis ev'ry day renew'd;
From gaiety, that fills the bones with pain, Who scorns it starves deservedly at home. The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with woe. He does not scorn it, who, imprison'd long
The Earth was made so various, that the mind In some unwholesome dungeon, and a prey Of desultory man, studious of change, To sallow sickness, which the vapors, dank And pleas'd with novelty, might be indulg'd. And clammy, of his dark abode have bred, Prospects, however lovely, may be seen Escapes at last to liberty and light:
Till half their beauties fade; the weary sight, His cheek recovers soon its healthful hue;
Too well acquainted with their smile, slides off His eye relumines its extinguish'd fires ;
Fastidious, seeking less familiar scenes.
Where frequent hedges intercept the eye,
Not senseless of its charms, what still we love, Nor yet the mariner, his blood inflam'd
That such short absence may endear it more. With acrid salts ; his very heart athirst,
Then forests, or the savage rock may please, To gaze at Nature in her green array,
That hides the seamew in his hollow clefts Upon the ship's tall side he stands, possess'd Above the reach of man. His hoary head, With visions prompted by intense desire :
Conspicuous many a league, the mariner, Fair fields appear below, such as he left
Bound homeward, and in hope already there, Far distant, such as he would die to find
Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist He seeks them headlong, and is seen no more. A girdle of half-wither'd shrubs he shows,
The spleen is seldom felt where Flora reigns; And at his feet the baffled billows die. The low'ring eye, the petulance, the frown, The common, overgrown with fern, and rough And sullen sadness, that o'ershade, distort,
With prickly gorse, that, shapeless and deformid, And mar, the face of Beauty, when no cause And dang'rous to the touch, has yet its bloom, For such immeasurable woe appears,
And decks itself with ornaments of gold, These Flora banishes, and gives the fair
Yields no unpleasing ramble; there the turf Sweet smiles, and bloom less transient than her own. Smells fresh, and, rich in odorif'rous herbs It is the constant revolution, stale
And fungous fruits of earth, regales the sense And tasteless, of the same repeated joys,
With luxury of unexpected sweets.