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ARGUMENT OF THE SIXTH BOOK.

Bells at a distance.--Their effect.-A fine noon in

winter. -A sheltered walk.-Meditation better than books.- Our familiarity with the course of nature makes it appear less, wonderful than it is.The transformation that spring effects in a shrubbery described.- A mistake concerning the course of nature corrected. God maintains it by an unremitted act. The amusements fashionable at this hour of the day reproved.-Animals happy, a delightful sight.- Origin of cruelty to animals.That it is a great crime proved from scripture.That proof illustrated by a tale.- A line drawn between the lawful and unlawful destruction of them.-Their good and useful properties insisted on.- -Apology for the encomiums bestowed by the author on animals. -Instances of man's extravagant praise of man.The

groans of the creation shall have an end. A view taken of the restoration of all things.-An invocation and an invitation of him, who shall bring it to pass.-The retired man vindicated from the charge of uselessness.- Conclusion,

THE TASK.

BOOK. VI..

THE WINTER WALK AT NOON.

There is in fouls a sympathy with founds,
And as the mind is pitched the ear is pleased
With melting airs or martial, brisk or grave,
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touched within us, and the heart replies.
How soft the music of those village bells,
Falling at intervals upon the ear
In cadence sweet, now dying all away,
Now pealing loud again, and louder still,
Clear and sonorous, as the gale comes on!
"With easy force it opens all the cells
Where memory slept. Wherever I have heard
A kindred melody, the scene recurs,

And with it all its pleasures and its pains. Such comprehensive views the spirit takes, That in a few short moments I retrace (As in a map the voyager his course) The windings of my way through many years. Short as in retrospect the journey seems, It seemed not always short; the rugged path, And profpect oft so dreary and forlorn, Moved many a figli at its disheartening length. Yet feeling present evils, while the past Faintly impress the mind, or not at all, How readily we wish time spent revoked, That we might try the ground again, where once (Through inexperience, as we now perceive) We miffed that happiness we might have found! Some friend is gone, perhaps his son's best friend, A father, whose authority, in show When most severe, and muftering all its force, Was but the graver countenance of love; Who e favour, like the clouds of spring, might lower, And utter now and then an awful voice, But had a blessing in its darkest frown, Threatening at once and nourishing the plant, We loved, but not enough, the gentle hand, That reared us.

At a thoughtless age, allured By every gilded folly, we renounced

His sheltering fide, and wilfully forewent
That converse, which we now in vain regret.
How gladly would the man recall to life
The boy's neglected fire! a mother too,
That softer friend, perhaps more gladly ftill,
Might he demand them at the gates of death.
Sorrow has, since they went, subdued and tamed
The playful humour; he could now endure,
(Himself grown. sober in the vale of tears)
And feel a parent's presence no restraint.
But not to understand a treasure's worth
Till time has stolen away the slighted good,
Is cause of half the poverty we feel,
And makes the world the wilderness it is.
The few that pray at all pray oft amiss,
And, seeking grace to improve the prize they hold,
Would urge a wiser suit than alking more.

The night was winter in his roughest mood; The morning sharp and clear. But now at noon Upon the southern side of the slant hills, And where the woods fence off the northern blast, The season smiles, resigning all its rage, And has the warmth of May. The vault is blue Without a cloud, and white without a fpeck The dazzling splendour of the scene below:

Again the harmony comes o'er the vale ;
And through the trees I view the embattled tower,
Whence all the music. I again perceive
The soothing influence of the wafted strains, :
And settle in soft musings as I tread.
The walk, still verdant, under oaks and elms,
Whose outspread branches overarch the glade.
The roof, though moveable through all its length ?
As the wind (ways it, has yet well sufficed,
And intercepting in their filent fall
The frequent flakes, has kept a path for me."
No noise is here, or none that hinders thought.
The redbreast warbles ftill, but is content
With slender notes, and more than half suppreffed :
Pleased with his folitude, and fitting light
From spray to spray, where'er he refts he shakes
From many a twig the pendent drops of ice,
That tinkle in the withered leaves below.
Stillness, accompanied with sounds so foft,
Charms more than silence. Meditation here
May think down hours to moments. Here the heart
May give an useful lesson to the head,
And learning wiser grow without his books.
Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one,
Have oft-times no connexion. Knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men;

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