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ARGUMENT OF THE FIFTH BOOK.
A frosty morning.—The foddering of cattle.-The
woodman and his dogs—The poultry –Whimsical effects of frost at a waterfall.—The Empress of Russia's palace of ice.—Amusements of monarchs.War, one of them.-Wars, whence. And whence monarchy.The evils of it.-English and French loyalty contrasted. --The Bastile and a prisoner there.—Liberty the chief recommendation of this country.--Modern patriotism questionable, and why:—The perishable nature of the best human institutions.-Spiritual liberty not perishable.- The slavish state of man by nature.--Deliver him, Deist, if you can.-Grace must do it.—The respective merits of patriots and martyrs stated.Their different treatment.--Happy freedom of the man whom grace makes free.- His relish of the works of God. Address to the Creator.
is morning; and the fun, with ruddy orb Ascending, fires the horizon; while the clouds, That crowd away before the driving wind, More ardent as the disk emerges more, Resemble most some city in a blaze, Seen through the leafless wood. His Nanting ray Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale, And, tinging all with his own rosy hue, From every herb and every spiry blade Stretches a length of shadow o'er the field. Mine, spindling into longitude immense, In spite of gravity, and sage remark That I myself am but a fleeting fhade,
Provokes me to a smile. With eye askance
I view the muscular proportioned limb
Transformed to a lean shank. The shapeless pair,
As they designed to mock me, at my side
Take step for step ; and, as I near approach
The cottage, walk along the plastered wall,
Prepofterous sight! the legs without the man.
The verdure of the plain lies buried deep
Beneath the dazzling deluge; and the bents,
And coarser grass, upspearing o'er the rest,
Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine
Conspicuous, and in bright apparel clad,
And fledged with icy feathers, nod superb.
The cattle mourn in corners where the fence
Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep
In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait
Their wonted fodder; not like hungering man,
Fretful if unsupplied; but filent, meek,
And patient of the flow-paced swain's delay,
He from the stack carves out the accustomed load,
Deep-plunging, and again deep-plunging oft,
His broad keen knife into the solid mass :
Smooth as a wall the upright remnant ftands,
With such undeviating and even force
He severs it away: no needless care,
Left storms should overset the leaning pile
Deciduous, or its own unbalanced weight.
Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcerned
The cheerful haunts of man, to wield the axe
And drive the wedge in yonder forest drear,
From morn to eve his folitary task.
Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears
And tail cropped short, half lurcher and half cur,
His dog attends him. Close behind his heel
Now creeps he flow; and now, with many a frisk
Wide-scampering, snatches up the drifted snow
With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout;
Then shakes his powdered coat, and barks for joy.
Heedless of all his pranks, the sturdy churl
Moves right toward the mark; nor stops for aught,
But now and then with pressure of his thumb
To adjust the fragrant charge of a short tube,
That fumes beneath his nose: the trailing cloud
Streams far behind him, fcenting all the air.
Now from the rooft, or from the neighbouring pale,
Where, diligent to catch the first faint gleam
Of smiling day, they goffiped side by side,
Come trooping at the housewife's well-known call
The feathered tribes domestic. Half on wing,
And half on foot, they brush the fleecy flood,
Conscious and fearful of too deep a plunge.
The sparrows peep, and quit the sheltering eaves
To seize the fair occasion. Well they eye
The scattered grain, and thievishly refolved
To escape the impending famine, often scared
As oft return, a pert voracious kind.
Clean riddance quickly made, one only care
Remains to each, the search of sunny nook,
Or shed impervious to the blast. Refigned
To sad neceffity, the cock foregoes
His wonted ftrut; and wading at their head
With well-considered steps, seems to resent
His altered gait and ftateliness retrenched.
How find the myriads, that in summer cheer
"The hills and vallies with their ceaseless songs,
Due fuftenance, or where subfift they now?
Earth yields them nought; the imprisoned worm is safe
Beneath the frozen clod; all feeds of herbs
Lie covered clofe; and berry-bearing thorns,
That feed the thrush, (whatever some suppose)
Afford the fmaller minstrels no fupply.
The long protracted rigour of the year
Thins all their numerous flocks. In chinks and holes
Ten thousand seek an unmolested end,
As instinct prompts ; self-buried ere they die.
The very rooks and daws forsake the fields,
Where neither grub, nor root, nor earth-nut, now
Repays their labour more ; and perched aloft