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$151. Autumn. THOMSON.


Extensive harvests hang the heavy head: Rich, silent, deep, they stand: for not a gale Rolls its light billows o'er the bending plain : A calm of plenty! till the ruffled air Falls from its poise, and gives the breeze to blow, The subject proposed. — Addressed to Mr. On-Rent is the fleecy mantle of the sky ; slow. A prospect of the fields ready for The clouds fly different; and the sudden sun harvest. Reflections in praise of industry By fits effulgent gilds the illumin'd field, raised by that view. Reaping. A tale And black by fits the shadows sweep along. relative to it. An harvest storm. Shoot-A gaily-chequer'd heart-expanding view, ing and hunting, their barbarity. A ludi- Far as the circling eye can shoot around, crous account of fox-hunting. A view of Unbounded tossing in a flood of corn. A vineyard.. These are thy blessings, Industry! rough

an orchard.



A description of fogs, frequent in the latter


part of Autumn: whence a digression, in-Whom labor still attends, and sweat and pain;. quiring into the reason of fountains and Yet the kind source of every gentle art, rivers. Birds of season considered, that And all the soft civility of life; now shift their habitation. The prodigiousRaiser of human kind! by Nature cast, number of them that cover the northern and Naked, and helpless, out amid the woods western isles of Scotland. -Hence a view And wilds, to rude inclement elements! of the country. A prospect of the disco-With various seeds of art deep in the mind lored, fading woods. After a gentle dusty Implanted, and profusely pour'd around day, moon-light. Autumnal meteors. Materials infinite; but idle all. Morning: to which succeeds a calm, pure, Still unexerted in the uncouscious breast, sun-shiny day, such as usually shuts up the Slept the lethargic powers; corruption still, season. -The harvest being gathered in, the Voracious, swallow'd what the liberal hand country dissolved in joy. The whole con-Of bounty scatter'd o'er the savage year; cludes with a panegyric on a philosophical country life.


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CROWN'D with the sickle and the wheaten

While Autumn, nodding o'er the yellow plain,
Comes jovial on; the Doric reed once more,
Well pleas'd I tune. Whate'er the Wint'ry frost
Nitrous prepar'd the various blossom'd Spring
Put in white promise forth; and Summer suns
Concocted strong, rush boundless now to view,
Full, perfect all, and swell my glorious theme.
Onslow! the Muse, ambitious of thy name,
To grace, inspire, and dignify her song,
Wonld from the Public Voice thy gentle ear
Awhile engage. Thy noble cares she knows,
The patriot virtues that distend thy thought,
Spread on thy front, and in thy bosom glow;
While list'ning senates hang upon thy tongue,
Devolving thro' the maze of eloquence,,
4 roll of periods, sweeter than her song.
But she too pants for public virtue, she,
Tho' weak of power, yet strong in ardent will,
Whene'er her country rushes on her heart,
Assumes a bolder note, and fondly tries
To mix the patriot's with the poet's flame.
When the bright Virgin gives the beauteons

And Libra weighs in equal scales the year;
From heaven's high cope the fierce effulgence

Of parting Summer, a serener blue,
With golden light enliven'd, wide invests
The happy world. Attemper'd suns arise,
Sweet-beam'd, and shedding oft' thro' lucid

A pleasing calm: while broad and brown, below,

And still the sad barbarian, roving, mix'd
With beasts of prey; or for his acorn-meal
Fought the fierce tusky boar; a shivering

Aghast and comfortless, when the bleak north,
With Winter charg'd, let the mix'd tempest fly,
Hail, rain, and snow, and bitter-breathing frost
Then to the shelter of the hut he fled;
And the wild seasons, sordid,"pin'd away.
For home he had not; home is the resort
Of love, of joy, of peace and plenty, where,
Supporting and supported, polish'd frienus,
And dear relations mingle into bliss.
But this the rugged savage never felt,
Even desolate in crowds; and thus his days
Roll'd heavy, dark, and unenjoy'd along:
A waste of time! till Industry approach'd,
And rous'd him from his miserable sloth;
His faculties unfolded; pointed out,
Where lavish Nature the directing hand
Of Art demanded; show'd him how to raise
His feeble force by the mechanic powers,
To dig the mineral from the vaulted earth;
On what to turn the piercing rage of fire,
On what the torrent, and the gather'd blast;
Gave the tall antient forest to his ax;
Taught him to chip the wood, and hugh the

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To pomp, to pleasure, elegance, and grace;
And, breathing high ambition thro' his soul,
Set science, wisdom, glory in his view,
And bade him be the Lord of all below.
Then, gathering men their natural pow'rs

And form'd a Public; to the general good
Submitting, aiming, and conducting all.
For this the Patriot Council met, the full,
The free, and fairly-represented whole;
For this they plann'd the holy guardian laws,
Distinguish'd orders, animated arts,
And with joint force, Oppression chaining, set
Imperial justice at the helm; yet still

To them accountable: nor slavish dream'd
That toiling millions must resign their weal,
And all the honey of their search, to such
As for themselves alone themselves have rais'd.
Hence every form of cultivated life
In order set, protected, and inspir'd,
Into perfection wrought. Uniting all,
Society grew numerous, high, polite,
And happy. Nurse of art! the city rear'd
In beauteous pride her tower-encircled head:
And, stretching street on street, by thousands

From twining woody haunts, or the tough yew,
To hows strong-straining, her aspiring sons.

Then Commerce brought into the public walk The busy merchant; the big warehouse built; Rais'd the strong crane; choak'd up the loaded


With foreign plenty; and thy stream, OThames!
Large, gentle, deep, majestic, king of floods!
Chose for his grand resort. On either hand,
Like a long wint'ry forest, groves of masts
Shot up their spires; the bellying sheet between
Possess'd the breezy void: the sooty hulk
Steer'd sluggish ou; the splendid barge along
Row'd, regular, to harmony; around,
The boat light-skimming, stretch'd its oary

While deep the various voice of fervent toil From bank to bank increas'd; whence ribb'd with oak,

To bear the British Thunder, black, and bold, The roaring vessel rush'd into the main.

Then too the pillar'd dome, magnific heav'd
Its ample roof, and luxury within
Pour'd out the glittering stores: the canvass

With glowing life protuberant, to the view
Embodied rose; the statue seem'd to breathe,
And soften into flesh, beneath the touch
Of forming art, imagination flush'd.

All is the gift of Industry: whate'er
Exalts, embellishes, and renders life
Delightful. Pensive Winter cheer'd by him
Sits at the social fire, and happy hears
Th' excluded tempest idly rave along,
His harden'd fingers deck the gaudy Spring,
Without him Summer were an arid waste,
Nor to th' Autumnal months could thus tran-


Those full, mature, immeasureable stores,
That waving round, recal my wandering song.
Soon as the morning trembles o'er the sky,
And, unperceiv'd unfolds the spreading day;
Before the ripen'd field the reapers stand,
In fair array; each by the lass he loves,
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate
By nameless gentle offices her toil.
At once they stoop and swell the lusty sheaves;
While thro' their cheerful band the rural talk,
The rural scandal, and the rural jest,
Fly harmless, to deceive the tedious lime,
And steal unfelt the sultry hours away.
Behind the master walks, builds up the shocks;
And, conscious, glancing oft' on every side
His sated eye, feels his heart heave with joy.
The gleaners spread around, and here and

Spike after spike, their scanty harvest pick.
Be not too narrow, husbandmen! but fling
From the full sheaf, with charitable stealth,
The liberal handful. Think, oh grateful think!
How good the God of Harvest is to you:
Who pours abundance o'er your flowing fields;
While these unhappy partners of your kind
Wide-hover round you, like the fowls of

And ask their humble dole. The various turns
Of fortune ponder: that your sons may want
What now, with hard reluctance, faint, ye

The lovely young Lavinia once had friends; And fortune smil'd, deceitful, on her birth. For, in her helpless years depriv'd of all; Of every stay, save Innocence and Heav'n, She, with her widow'd mother, feeble, old, And poor, liv'd in a cottage far retir'd Among the windings of a woody vale: By solitude and deep surrounding shades, But more by bashful modesty conceal'd. Together thus they shunn'd the cruel scorn Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet From giddy passion and low-minded pride: Almost on Nature's common bounty fed: Like the gay birds that sung them to repose, Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare. Her form was fresher than the morning-rose, When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd and


As is the lily, or the mountain-snow.
The modest virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground dejected, darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers:
Or when the mournful tale her mother told,
Of what her faithless fortune promis'd once,
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy star
Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat far proportion'd on her polish'd limbs,
Veil'd in a simple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the poinp of dress; for loveliness
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is, when unadorn'd, adorned the most.
Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's self,
Recluse amid the close-embowering woods.


As in the hollow breast of Appenine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills,
A myrtle rises far from human eye,


"And art thou then Acasto's dear remains? "She, whom my restless gratitude has sought "So long in vain? O heavens! the very same, The soften'd image of my noble friend, "Alive his every look, his every feature, "More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than "Spring!

"Thou sole surviving blossom from the root
That nourish'd up my fortune! Say, ah

"In what sequester'd desart, hast thou drawn
"The kindest aspect of delighted Heaven!
"Into such beauty spread, and blown so fair;

Tho' poverty's cold wind, and crushing rain, "Beat keen, and heavy on thy tender years? "O let me now, into a richer soil,

And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild;
So flourish'd blooming, and unseen by all,
The sweet Lavinia, till, at length, compell'd
By strong necessity's supreme command,
With smiling patience in her looks, she went
To glean Palemon's field. The pride of swains"
Palemon was, the generous, and the rich;
Who led the rural life in all its joy
And elegance, such as Arcadian song
Transmits froin antient uncorrupted times;
When tyrant custom had not shackled man,
But free to follow nature was the mode.
He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes
Amusing, chanc'd beside his reaper train
To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye
Unconscious of her power, and turning quick
With unaffected blushes from his gaze;
He saw her charming, but he saw not half
The charms her downcast modesty conceal'd.
That very moment love and chaste desire
Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown ;
For still the world prevail'd, and its dread laugh,
Which scarce the firm philosopher can scorn,
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field,
And thus in secret to his soul he sigh'd:

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What pity! that so delicate a form,
By beauty kindled, where enlivening sense
"And more than vulgar goodness seem to

"Should be devoted to the rude embrace
"Of some indecent clown! She looks, me.

"Of old Acasto's line: and to my mind
"Recals that patron of my happy life,

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From whom my liberal fortune took its rise: "Now to the dust gone down; his houses, "lands,

"And once fair-spreading family, dissolv'd.

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Transplant thee safe? where vernal suns and "showers

"Diffuse their warmest, largest influence: "And of my garden be the pride, and joy! Ill it hefits thee, oh it ill befits


Acasto's daughter, his whose open stores, "Tho' vast, were little to his ampler heart, "The father of a country, thus to pick

The very refuse of those harvest-fields,
"Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy,
"Then throw that shameful pittance from thy

"But ill applied to such a rugged task!
"The fields, the master, all, my Fair! are


If to the various blessings which thy house "Has on me lavish'd, thou wilt add that bliss, "That dearest bliss, the power of blessing "thee!"

Here ceas'd the youth: yet still his speaking


Express'd the sacred triumph of his soul,
With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love,
Above the vulgar joy divinely rais'd.
Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm
Of goodness irresistible, and all

In sweet disorder lost, she blush'd consent.

"Tis said, that in some lone obscure retreat, "Urg'd by remembrance sad, and decent pride, "Far from those scenes which knew their bet-The news immediate to her mother brought,

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While, pierc'd with anxious thought, she pin'd


The lonely moments for Lavinia's fate;
Amaz'd, and scarce believing what she heard,
Joy seis'd her wither'd veins, and one bright

Of setting life shone on her evening hours:
Not less enraptur'd than the happy pair!
Who flourish'd long in tender bliss, and rear'd
A numerous offspring, lovely like themselves,
And good, the grace of all the country round,
Defeating oft the labors of the year,
The sultry south collects a potent blast.
At first the groves are scarcely seen to stir
Their trembling tops: and a still murmur runs
Along the soft inclining fields of corn.
But as the aerial tempest fuller swells,
And in one mighty stream, invisible,
Immense, the whole excited atmosphere
Impetuous rushes o'er the sounding world;
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Strain'd to the root, the stooping forest pours
A rustling shower of yet untimely leaves.
High-beat, the circling mountains eddy in,
From the bare wild, the dissipated storm,
And sent it in a torrent down the vale.
Expos'd, and naked, to its utmost rage,
Thro' all the sea of harvest rolling round,
The billowy plain floats wide; nor can evade,
Tho' pliant to the blast, its seising force:
Or whirl'd in air, or into vacant chaff
Shook waste. And sometimes too a burst of

Swept from the black horizon, broad, descends
In one continuous flood. Still over head
The mingling tempest weaves its gloom, and

The deluge deepens; till the fields around
Lie sunk, and flatted, in the sordid wave.
Sudden the ditches swell, the meadows swim
Red, from the hills, innumerable streams
Tumultuous roar; and high above its banks
The river hft; before whose rushing tide,
Herds, flocks, and harvest, cottages, and swains,
Roll mingled down; all that the winds had

In one wild moment ruin'd; the big hopes,
And well-earn'd treasures of the painful year.
Fled to some eminence, the husbandman
Helpless beholds the miserable wreck
Driving along; his drowning ox at once
Descending, with his labors scatter'd round.
He sees; and instant o'er his shiv'ring thought
Comes winter unprovided, and a train
Of claimant children dear. Ye masters, then,
Be mindful of the rough laborious hand,
That sinks you sofa in elegance and case;
Be mindful of those limbs in russet clad,
Whose toil to yours is warmth, and graceful

And, oh! be mindful of that sparing board,
Which covers yours with luxury profuse,
Makes your glass sparkle, and your sense rejoice?
Nor cruelly demand what the deep rains,
And all-involving winds have swept away.

Here the rude clamor of the sportsman's joy,
The gun fast-thundering, and the winded horn,
Would tempt the Muse to sing the rural Game:
How, in his mid-career, the spaniel struck,
Stiff, by the tainted gale, with open nose,
Outstretch'd, and finely sensible, draws full,
Fearful, and caurious, on the latent prey;
As in the sun the circling covey bask
Their varied plumes, and watchful every way,
Taro' the rough stubble turn the secret eye.
Caught in the meshy nare, in vain they beat
Their idle wings, intangled more and inore:
Nor on the surges of the boundless air,

These are not subjects for the peaceful Muse, Nor will she stain with such her spotless song: Then most delighted, when she social sees The whole mix'd animal creation round Alive, and happy. "Tis not joy to her, This falsely-cheerful barbarous game of death; This rage of pleasure, which the restless youth Awakes, impatient, with the gleaming morn: When beasts of prey retire, that all night long, Urg'd by necessity, had rang'd the dark, As if their conscious ravage shunn'd the light, Asham'd. Not so the steady tyrant Man, Who with the thoughtless insolence of power Inflam'd, beyond the most infuriate wrath Of the worst monster that e'er roam'd the waste, For sport alone pursues the cruel chace, Amid the beamings of the gentle days. Upbraid, ye ravening tribes, our wanton rage, For hunger kindles you, and lawless want; But lavish fed, in Nature's bounty roll'd, To joy at anguish, and delight in blood, Is what your horrid bosoms never knew.

Poor is the triumph o'er the timid hare! Scar'd from the corn, and now to some lone scat Retir'd, the rushy fen; the ragged furze, Stretch'd o'er the stony heath; the stubble chapt;

The thistly lawn; the thick-entangled broom;
Of the same friendly hue, the wither'd fern;
The fallow ground laid open to the sun,
Concoctive and the nodding sandy bank,
Hung o'er the mazes of the mountain brook.
Vain is her best precaution; tho' she sits
Conceal'd with folding ears, unsleeping eyes,
By Nature rais'd to take the horizon in;
And head couch'd close betwixt her hairy feet;
In act to spring away. The scented dew
Betrays her early labyrinth; and deep,
In scatter'd sullen op'nings, far behind,
With every breeze she hears the coming storm.
But nearer and more frequent, as it loads
The sighing gale, she springs amaz'd, and all
The savage soul of game is up at once:
The pack full-opening, various; the shrill horn
Resounding from the hills; the neighing steed,
Wild for the chace; and the loud hunter's


O'er a weak, harmless, flying creature, all
Mix'd ja mad tomult, and discordant, joy.

The stag, too, singled from the herd, where long

He rang'd the branching monarch of the shades, Before the tempest drives. At first, in speed He, sprightly, puts his faith; and, rous'd by fear, Gives all his swift atrial soul to flight; Against the breeze he darts, that way the more To leave the lessening murderous cry behind: Tho' borne triumphant, are they safe: the gun,Deception short! tho' fleeter than the winds Glanc'd just, and sudden, from the fowler's eye Blown o'er the keen-air'd mountain by the O'ertakes their sounding pinions; and again,


Immediate, brings then from the towering He bursts the thickets, glances thro' the glades,
And plunges deep into the wildest wood;
If slow, yet sure, adhesive to the track
Hot-steaming up behind him come again

wing. [pers'd, Dead to the ground: or drives them wide-disWounded, and wheeling various, down the wind.


Th'inhuman rout, and from the shady depth
Expel him, circling thro' his every shift.
He sweeps the forest oft, and sobbing sees
The glades mild-opening to the golden day;
Where, in kind contest, with his butting

He wont to struggle, or his loves enjoy.
Oft in the full-descending flood he tries

To lose the scent, and lave his burning sides :
Out seeks the herd; the watchful herd alarm'd,
With selfish care avoid a brother's woe.
What shall he do? His once so vivid nerves,
So full of buoyant spirit, now no more
Inspire the course; but fainting breathless toil,
Sick seises on his heart: he stands at bay;
And puts his last weak refuge in despair.
The big round tears run down his dappled face;
He groans in anguish; while the growling

Blood-happy, hang at his fair jutting chest,
And mark his beauteous chequer'd sides with


Of this enough. But if the silvan youth,
Whose fervent blood boils into violence,
Must have the chace; behold, despising flight,
The rous'd-up lion, resolute, and slow,
Advancing full on the protended spear,
And coward-band, that circling wheel aloof.
Slunk from the cavern, and the troubled wood,
See the grim wolf, on him his shaggy foe
Vindictive fix, and let the ruffian die:
Or, growling horril, as the brindled boar
Grins fell destruction, to the monster's heart
Let the dart lighten from the nervous arm.
These Britain knows not; give, 'ye Briton's,

Your sportive fury, pitiless to pour
Loose on the nightly robber of the fold :
Him, from his craggy winding hearts unearth'd,
Let all the thunders of the chace pursue.
Throw the broad ditch behind you; o'er the

High-bound, resistless; nor the deep morass
Refuse, but thro' the shaking wilderness
Pick your nice way; into the perilous flood
Bear fearless, of the raging instinct full:
And as you ride the torrent, to the banks,
Your triumph sound sonorous, running round,
From rock to rock, in circling echoes toss'd;
Then scale the mountains to their woody tops;
Rush down the dangerous steep; and o'er the

In fancy swallowing up the space between,
Pour all your speed into the rapid game,
For happy he! who tops the wheeling chace;
Has every maze evolv'd, and every guile

Round the drear walls, with antic figures fierce. The stag's large front: he then is loudest heard, When the night staggers with severer toils, With seats Thessalian Centaurs never knew, And their repeated wonders shake the dome.

But first the fuel'd chimney blazes wide: The tankards foam: and the strong table groans Beneath the smoaking sirloin stretch'd immense From side to side; in which, with desperate knife,

They deep incision make, and talk the while
Of England's glory, ne'er to be defac'd,
While hence they borrow vigor, or amain
Into the pasty plung'd, at intervals,
If stomach keen can intervals allow,
Relating all the glories of the chace,
The sated Hunger bids his brother Thirst
Produce the mighty bowl; the mighty bowl,
Swell'd high with fiery juice, streams liberal


A potent gale, delicious as the breath
Of Maia to the love-sick shepherdess,
On violets diffus'd while soft she hears
Her panting shepherd stealing to her arms.
Nor wanting is the brown October, drawn,
Mature and perfect, from his dark retreat
Of thirty years; and now his honest front
Flames in the light refulgent, not afraid
Even with the vineyard's best produce to vie.
To cheat the thirsty moments, whist a while
Walks his dull round beneath a cloud of smoke,
Wreath'd, fragrant, from the pipe; or the quick

In thunder leaping from the box, awake
The sounding gammon: while romp-loving


Is hauled about, in gallantry robust.
At last these puling idlenesses laid
Aside, frequent and full, the dry divan
Close in firm circle; and set, ardent, in
For serious drinking Nor evasion fly,
Nor sober shift is to the puking wretch
Indulg'd apart; but earnest, brimming bowls
Lave every soul, the table floating round,
And pavement, faithless to the fuddled foot.
Thus as they swim in mutual swill, the talk,
Vociferous at once from twenty tongues, .
Reels fast from theme to theine; from horses,

To church or mistress, politics or ghost,
In endless mazes, intricate, perplex'd.
Meantime, with sudden interruption, loud,
Th' impatient catch bursts from the joyous

That moment touch'd is every kindred soul;
And, opening in a full-mouth'd cry of joy,

While, from their slamber shook, the kennel'd hounds

Disclos'd; who knows the merits of the pack;The laugh, the slap, the jocund curse go round.
Who saw the villain seis'd, and dying hard,
Without complaint, tho' by an hundred mouths
Relentless torn: O glorious he, beyond
His daring peers! when the retreating horn
Calls them to ghostly halls of grey renown,
With woodland honor's grac'd the fox's fur,
Depending decent from the roof; and spread

Mix in the music of the day again.
As when the tempest, that has vex'd the deep
The dark night long, with fainter murmurs fall:
So gradual sinks their mirth. Their feeble



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