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EE, Winter comes, to rule the vary'd year, Sullen, and fad, with all his rifing train; Vapours, and clouds, and ftorms. Be thefe my theme,
Thefe, that exalt the foul to folemn thought, And heavenly mufing. Welcome kindred glooms!
Cogenial horrors, hail! with frequent foot
Pleas'd have I, in my chearful morn of life,
When nurs'd by carelefs folitude I liv'd,
And fung of nature with unceasing joy;
Pleas'd have I wander'd thro' your rough
Trode the pure virgin-fnows, myself as pure; Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burf; Or feen the deep fermenting tempeft brew'd, In the grim evening-sky. * * * *
Then comes the father of the tempest forth, Wrapt in black glooms. First joyless rains obfcure
Drive thro' the mingling fkies with vapour foul;
Dash on the mountain's brow and shake the
That grumbling wave below. Th' unfightly plain
Lies a brown deluge; as the low-bent clouds Pour flood on flood, yet unexhausted still Combine, and deepening into night shut up The day's fair face. The wanderers of heaven, Each to his home, retire; fave thofe that love
To take their pastime in the troubled air,
Or fkimming flutter round the dimply pool.
The cattle from th' untafted fields return,
And afk, with meaning lowe, their wonted
Or ruminate in the contiguous fhade.
Thither the houshold feathery people crowd,
The crefted cock, with all his female train,
Penfive, and dripping; while the cottage-hind
Hangs o'er th' enlivening blaze, and taleful
Recounts his fimple frolick: much he talks, And much he laughs, nor recks the ftorm that blows
Without, and rattles on his humble roof.
Wide o'er the brim, with many a torrent
And the mix'd ruin of its banks o'erfpread,
At last the rous'd-up river pours along;
Refiftlefs, roaring, dreadful down it comes,
From the rude mountain, and the moffy wild,
Tumbling thro' rocks abrupt, and founding far;
Then o'er the fanded valley floating fpreads,
Calm, fluggish, filent; till again constrain'd,
Between two meeting hills it burfts a way,
Where rocks and woods o'erhang the turbid
There gathering triple force, rapid, and deep, It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders thro'.
The mountain thunders; and its fturdy fons
Stoop to the bottom of the rocks they fhade.
Lone on the midnight steep, and all agaft,
The dark way-faring ftranger breathlefs toils,
And, often falling, climbs against the blast.
Low waves the rooted forreft, vex'd, and fheds
What of its tarnish'd honours yet remain ;
Dafh'd down, and fcatter'd, by the tearing
Affiduous fury, its gigantic limbs.
Thus ftruggling thro' the diffipated grove,
The whirling tempeft raves along the plain;
And on the cottage thatch'd, or lordly roof,
Keen-faftening, fhakes them to the folid base.
Sleep frighted flies; and round the rocking
For entrance eager, howls the favage blast. Then too, they fay, thro' all the burthen'd air,
Long groans are heard, fhrill founds, and di-
That, utter'd by the demon of the night,
Warn the devoted wretch of woe and death.
Huge uproar lords it wide.
With ftars fwift-gliding fweep along the sky.
All nature reels. Till nature's King, who oft
Amid tempeftuous darkness dwells alone,
And on the wings of the careering wind
Walks dreadfully ferene, commands a calm;
Then ftraight air, fea and earth are hush'd at
As yet 'tis midnight deep. The weary clouds,
Slow-meeting mingle into folid gloom.
Now, while the drowfy world lies loft in fleep,
Let me affociate with the serious night,
And contemplation here fedate compear;
Let me shake off th' intrusive cares of day,
And lay the meddling fenfes all afide.
Where now, ye lying vanities of life!
Ye ever-tempting ever-cheating train!
Where are you now? and what is your amount?
Vexation, difapointment, and remorse.
Sad, fikening thought! and yet deluded man,
A fcene of crude disjointed vifions paft,
And broken flumbers, rifes ftill refolv'd,
With new-flufh'd hopes, to run the giddy
Father of light and life! thou good fupreme!
O teach me what is good! teach me thyfelf!
Save me from folly, vanity, and vice,
From every low purfuit! and feed my foul
With knowledge, confcious peace, and virtue.
Sacred, fubftantial; never-fading blifs!
The keener tempefts come: and fuming
From all the livid Eaft, or piercing North,
Thick clouds afcend; in. whofe capacious
A vapoury deluge lies, to fnow congeal'd.
Heavy they roll their fleecy world along;
And the sky faddens with the gather'd ftorm.
Thro' the hufh'd air the whitening fhower
At first thin-wavering; till at laft the flakes
Fall broad, and wide, and faft, dimming the
With a continual flow. The cherish'd fields
Put on their winter-robe, of pureft white.
'Tis brightnefs all; fave where the new fnow
Along the mazy current. Low, the woods
Bow their hoar head; and, ere the languid fun
Faint from the Weft emits his evening-ray,
Earth's univerfal face, deep-hid and chill,
Is one wild dazzling wafte, that buries wide The works of man. Drooping the labourer
Stands cover'd o'er with fnow, and then demands
The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven,
Tam'd by the cruel feafon, crowd around
The winnowing ftore, and claim the little boon
Which providence affigns them. One alone,
The red-breaft, facred to the houfhold-gods,
Wifely regardful of th' embroiling sky,
In joyless fields, and thorny thickets, leaves
His fhivering mates, and pays to trusted man
His annual vifit. Half-afraid, he firft
Against the window beats; then, briik, alights
On the warm hearth; then, hopping o'er the
Eyes all the fmiling family afkance,
And pecks, and ftarts, and wonders where he
Till more familiar grown, the table-crumbs
Attract his flender feet. The foodlefs wilds
Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare,
Tho' timorous of heart, and hard befet
By death in various forms, dark fnares, and
And more unpitying men, the garden feeks,
Urg'd on by fearless want. The bleating kind
Eye the bleak heaven, and next the glistening
With looks of dumb defpair; then, fad-difpers'd,
Dig for the wither'd herb thro' heaps of fnow. Now, fhepherds, to your helpless charge be kind,
Baffle the raging year, and fill their pens