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THE TASK,

A PO E M.

BOOK 1.

Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the

Sofa.-A School-boy's ramble.-A walk in the country:--The scene described --Rural sounds as well as sights delightful.--Another walk.--Mistake concerning the charms of solitude corrected.Colon. nades commended.-Alcove, and the view from it.The wilderness.--The grove.-The thresher. The necessity and the benefits of exercise.The works of nature superior to, and in some instances inimitable by, art.-The wearisomeness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure.Change of scene sometimes expedient.-A common described, and the character of crazy Kate introduced.-Gipsies.The blessings of civilized life. That state most favourable to virtue.-The South Sea islanders compassionated, lut chiefly Omai.--His present state of mind supposed.Civilized life friendly to virtue, but not great cities.-Great cities, and London in par. ticular, allowed their due praisė, but censured. Fete champetre.The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of dissipation and effeminacy upon our public measures.

THE TASK.

BOOK I.

THE SOFA.

I sing the Sofa. I, who lately fang
Truth, Hope, and Charity *, and touched with awe
The folemn chords, and with a trembling hand,
Escaped with pain from that adventurous flight,
Now seek repose upon an humbler theme;
The theme though humble, yet august and proud
The occasion for the Fair commands the song.

Time was, when clothing sumptuous or for use, Save their own painted skins, our fires had none. As yet black breeches were not; fatin smooth, Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile:

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