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higher passages are all carefully finished, and rise Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist or fall

, according to the nature of the subject, with A girdle of half-withered shrubs he shews, inimitable grace and melody. In this respect,

And at his feet the based billows die. Cowper, as already mentioned, has greatly the The common overgrown with fern, and rough advantage of Thomson, whose stately march is With prickly goss, that, shapeless and deform, never relaxed, however trivial be the theme. The

And dangerous to the touch, has yet its bloom, variety of The Task in style and manner, no less

And decks itself with ornaments of gold, than in subject, is one of its greatest charms. The

Yields no unpleasing ramble ; there the turf

Smells fresh, and rich in odoriferous herbs mock-heroic opening is a fine specimen of his

And fungous fruits of earth, regales the sense humour, and from this he slides into rural descrip- With luxury of unexpected sweets. tion and moral reflection so naturally and easily, that the reader is carried along apparently without From the begining to the end of The Task we an effort. The scenery of the Ouse—its level never lose sight of the author. His love of country plains and spacious meads--is described with the rambles, when a boy, vividness of painting, and the poet then elevates the character of his picture by a rapid sketch of

O'er hills, through valleys, and by river's brink; still nobler features :

his walks with Mrs Unwin, when he had ex

changed the Thames for the Ouse, and had grown Rural Sounds.

sober in the vale of years ;' his playful satire and

tender admonition, his denunciation of slavery, his Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,

noble patriotism, his devotional earnestness and Exhilarate the spirit, and restore

sublimity, his warm sympathy with his fellow-men, The tone of languid nature. Mighty winds That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading wood

and his exquisite paintings of domestic peace and Of ancient growth, make music not unlike

happiness, are all so much self-portraiture, drawn The dash of ocean on his winding shore,

with the ripe skill and taste of the master, yet And lull the spirit while they fill the mind,

with a modesty that shrinks from the least obtrusUnnumbered branches waving in the blast,

iveness and display. The very rapidity of his And all their leaves fast fluttering all at once. transitions, where things light and sportive are Nor less composure waits upon the roar

drawn up with the most solemn truths, and satire, Of distant floods, or on the softer voice

pathos, and reproof alternately mingle or repel Of neighbouring fountain, or of rills that slip each other, are characteristic of his mind and Through the clest rock, and chiming as they fall

temperament in ordinary life. His inimitable ease Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length

and colloquial freedom, which lends such a charm In matted grass, that with a livelier green

to his letters, is never long absent from his Betrays the secret of their silent course. Nature inanimate displays sweet sounds,

poetry ; and his peculiar tastes, as seen in that But animated nature sweeter still,

somewhat grandiloquent line, To soothe and satisfy the human ear.

Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too, Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one The livelong night ; nor these alone whose notes

are all pictured in the pure and lucid pages of Nice-fingered art must emulate in vain,

The Task. It cannot be said that Cowper ever But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime abandoned his sectarian religious tenets, yet they In still-repeated circles, screaming loud,

are little seen in his great work. His piety is that The jay, the pie, and even the boding owl

which all should feel and venerate; and if his sad That hails the rising moon, have charms for me. experience of the world had tinged the prospect of Sounds inharmonious in themselves and harsh, life, its fluctuations and its vast concerns,' with a Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns,

deeper shade than seems consonant with the And only there, please highly for their sake.

general welfare and happiness, it also imparted a The freedom of this versification, and the admir- higher authority and more impressive wisdom to able variety of pause and cadence, must strike the stricken deer that left the herd,

' conscious of the

his earnest and solemn appeals. He was a most uncritical reader. With the same playful follies and wants of those hé left behind, and strength and equal power of landscape-painting, inspired with power to minister to the delight and he describes

instruction of the whole human race.

The Diversified Character of Creation.
The earth was made so various, that the mind
Of desultory man, studious of change
And pleased with novelty, might be indulged.
Prospects, however lovely, may be seen
Till half their beauties fade ; the weary sight,
Too well acquainted with their smiles, slides off
Fastidious, seeking less familiar scenes.
Then snug inclosures in the sheltered vale,
Where frequent hedges intercept the eye,
Delight us, happy to renounce a while,
Not senseless of its charms, what still we love,
That such short absence may endear it more.
Then forests, or the savage rock may please
That hides the sea-mew in his hollow clefts
Above the reach of man ; his hoary head
Conspicuous many a league, the mariner
Bound homeward, and in hope already there,

From · Conversation.'
The emphatic speaker dearly loves to oppose,
In contact inconvenient, nose to nose,
As if the gnomon on his neighbour's phiz,
Touched with a magnet, had attracted his.
His whispered theme, dilated and at large,
Proves after all a wind-gun's airy charge-
An extract of his diary-no more-
A tasteless journal of the day before.
He walked abroad, o'ertaken in the rain,
Called on a friend, drank tea, stept home again ;
Resumed his purpose, had a world of talk
With one he stumbled on, and lost his walk;
I interrupt him with a sudden bow,
Adieu, dear sir, lest you should lose it now.

A graver coxcomb we may sometimes see,
Quite as absurd, though not so light as he :

7

A shallow brain behind a serious mask,

Who bidd'st me honour, with an artless song An oracle within an empty cask,

Affectionate, a mother lost so long. The solemn fop, significant and budge;

I will obey, not willingly alone, A fool with judges, amongst fools a judge ;

But gladly, as the precept were her own : He says but little, and that little said,

And while that face renews my filial grief, Owes all its weight, like loaded dice, to lead.

Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief; His wit invites you by his looks to come,

Shall steep me in Elysian reverie, But when you knock, it never is at home :

A momentary dream, that thou art she. 'Tis like a parcel sent you by the stage,

My mother! when I learned that thou wast dead, Some handsome present, as your hopes presage ; Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ? 'Tis heavy, bulky, and bids fair to prove

Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, An absent friend's fidelity of love;,

Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? But when unpacked, your disappointment groans Perhaps thou gavest me, though unseen, a kiss ; To find it stuffed with brickbats, earth, and stones. Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss—

Some men employ their health-an ugly trick- Ah, that maternal smile ! it answers-yes. In making known how oft they have been sick, I heard the bell tolled on thy burial-day, And give us in recitals of disease

I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, A doctor's trouble, but without the fees ;

And turning from my nursery window, drew Relate how many weeks they kept their bed,

A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu ! How an emetic or cathartic sped ;

But was it such? It was. Where thou art gone, Nothing is slightly touched, much less forgot ;

Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. Nose, ears, and eyes seem present on the spot. May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, Now the distemper, spite of draught or pill,

The parting sound shall pass my lips no more ! Victorious seemed, and now the doctor's skill ; Thy maidens grieved themselves at my concern, And now-alas for unforeseen mishaps !

Oft gave me promise of a quick return : They put on a damp night-cap, and relapse ;

What ardently I wished, I long believed, They thought they must have died, they were so bad ; And, disappointed still, was still deceived; Their peevish hearers almost wish they had.

By disappointment every day beguiled, Some fretsul tempers wince at every touch,

Dupe of to-morrow even from a child. You always do too little or too much :*

Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went, You speak with life, in hopes to entertain

Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent, Your elevated voice goes through the brain ;

I learned at last submission to my lot, You fall at once into a lower key,

But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot. That 's worse—the drone-pipe of a humble-bee.

Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, The southern sash admits too strong a light;

Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; You rise and drop the curtain—now 'tis night. And where the gardener Robin, day by day, He shakes with cold-you stir the fire, and strive Drew me to school along the public way, To make a blaze-that's roasting him alive.

Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapt Serve him with venison, and he chooses fish;

In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet capt, With sole—that's just the sort he would not wish. 'Tis now become a history little known, He takes what he at first professed to loathe,

That once we called the pastoral house our own. And in due time feeds heartily on both;

Short-lived possession ! but the record fair, Yet still o'erclouded with a constant frown,

That memory keeps of all thy kindness there, He does not swallow, but he gulps it down.

Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced Your hope to please him vain on every plan,

A thousand other themes less deeply traced. Himself should work that wonder, if he can.

Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, Alas ! his efforts double his distress.

That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid; He likes yours little, and his own still less ;

Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, Thus always teasing others, always teased,

The biscuit or confectionary plum; His only pleasure is to be displeased.

The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed I pity bashful men, who feel the pain

By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed: Of fancied scom and undeserved disdain,

All this, and more endearing still than all, And bear the marks upon a blushing face

Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall, Of needless shame and self-imposed disgrace.

Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and breaks, Our sensibilities are so acute,

That humour interposed too often makes : The fear of being silent makes us mute.

All this, still legible in memory's page, We sometimes think we could a speech produce

And still to be so to my latest age, Much to the purpose, if our tongues were loose ;

Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay But being tried, it dies upon the lip,

Such honours to thee as my numbers may; Faint as a chicken's note that has the pip;

Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere, Our wasted oil unprofitably burns,

Not scorned in heaven, though little noticed here. Like hidden lamps in old sepulchral urns.

Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,

When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers, On the Receipt of his Mother's Picture.

The violet, the pink, and jessamine,

I pricked them into paper with a pin-
Oh that those lips had language ! Life has passed And thou wast happier than myself the while,
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.

Would softly speak, and stroke my head and smileThose lips are thine-thy own sweet smiles I see,

Could those few pleasant hours again appear, The same that oft in childhood solaced mes

Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here? Voice only fails, else, how distinct they say:

I would not trust my heart—the dear delight "Grieve not, my child ; chase all thy fears away! Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might. The meek intelligence of those dear eyes —

But no-what here we call our life is such, Blest be the art that can immortalise,

So little to be loved, and thou so much, The art that baffles time's tyrannic claim

That I should ill requite thee to constrain To quench it—here shines on me still the same.

Thy unbound spirit into bonds again. Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,

Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast( welcome guest, though unexpected here !

The storms all weathered and the ocean crossed

Shoots into port at some well-havened isle,
Where spices breathe and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods, that shew
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;
So thou, with sails how swift ! hast reached the shore
• Where tempests never beat nor billows roar;'
And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide
Of lise, long since has anchored at thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distressed-
Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-tossed,
Sails ript, seams opening wide, and compass lost ;
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.
But oh the thought, that thou art safe, and he !
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not that I deduce my birth
From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth ;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise-
The son of parents passed into the skies,
And now, farewell-Time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wished is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again :
To have renewed the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine ;
And, while the wings of fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft-
Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.

For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil
The same kind office for me still,
Thy sight now seconds not thy will,

My Mary!
But well thou play'dst the housewife's part,
And all thy threads, with magic art,
Have wound themselves about this heart,

My Mary! Thy indistinct expressions seem Like language uttered in a dream; Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,

My Mary! Thy silver locks, once auburn bright, Are still more lovely in my sight Than golden beams of orient light,

My Mary! For, could I view nor them nor thee, What sight worth seeing could I see? The sun would rise in vain for me,

My Mary! Partakers of thy sad decline, Thy hands their little force resign ; Yet gently pressed, press gently mine,

My Mary! Such feebleness of limbs thou prov'st, That now at every step thou mov'st Upheld by two ; yet still thou lov'st,

My Mary! And still to love, though pressed with ill, In wintry age to feel no chill, With me is to be lovely still,

My Mary!

Voltaire and the Lace-worker.-From Truth.' Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door, Pillow and bobbins all her little store ; Content though mean, and cheerful if not gay, Shufiling her threads about the livelong day, Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light; She, for her humble sphere by nature fit, Has little understanding, and no wit; Receives no praise; but though her lot be suchToilsome and indigent-she renders much ; Just knows, and knows no more, her Bible trueA truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew ; And in that charter reads, with sparkling eyes, Her title to a treasure in the skies. O happy peasant ! O unhappy bard ! His the mere tinsel, hers the rich reward ; He praised, perhaps, for ages yet to come, She never heard of half a mile from home; He lost in errors his vain heart prefers, She safe in the simplicity of hers.

But ah ! by constant heed I know,
How ost the sadness that I shew,
Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe,

My Mary!
And should my future lot be cast
With much resemblance of the past,
Thy worn-out heart will break at last,

My Mary!

To Mary (Mrs Unwin).

Autumn, 1793
The twentieth year is well-nigh past
Since first our sky was overcast;
Ah, would that this might be the last !

My Mary!
Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
I see thee daily weaker grow;
'Twas my distress that brought thee low,

My Mary! Thy needles, once a shining store, For my sake restless heretofore, Now rust disused, and shine no more,

My Mary!

Winter Evening in the Country.-From The Task.'
Hark ! 'tis the twanging horn o'er yonder bridge,
That with its wearisome but needful length
Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon
Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright ;
He comes, the herald of a noisy world,
With spattered boots, strapped waist, and frozen

locks;
News from all nations lumbering at his back.
True to his charge, the close-packed load behind,
Yet careless what he brings, his one concern
Is to conduct it to the destined inn,
And, having dropped the expected bag, pass on.
He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch !
Cold and yet cheersul : messenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to some ;
To him indifferent whether grief or joy.
Houses in ashes, and the fall of stocks,
Births, deaths, and marriages, epistles wet
With tears, that trickled down the writer's cheeks
Fast as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charged with amorous sighs of absent swains,
Or nymphs responsive, equally affect
His horse and him, unconscious of them all.
But oh the important budget ! ushered in
With such heart-shaking music, who can say
What are its tidings ? have our troops awaked ?

Garth. (See Vol. I. of this work, page 507.)

Or do they still, as if with opium drugged,

Fringed with a beard made white with other snows Snore to the murmurs of the Atlantic wave ?

Than those of age ; thy forehead wrapt in clouds, Is India free? and does she wear her plumed

A leafless branch thy sceptre, and thy throne And jewelled turban with a smile of peace,

A sliding car indebted to no wheels, Or do we grind her still? The grand debate,

But urged by storms along its slippery way; The popular harangue, the tart reply,

I love thee, all unlovely as thou seem'st, The logic, and the wisdom, and the wit,

And dreaded as thou art! Thou hold'st the sun And the loud laugh— I long to know them all; A prisoner in the yet undawning east, I burn to set the imprisoned wranglers free,

Shortening his journey between morn and noon, And give them voice and utterance once again.

And hurrying him, impatient of his stay, Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,

Down to the rosy west ; but kindly still Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,

Compensating his loss with added 'hours And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn

Of social converse and instructive ease, Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,

And gathering, at short notice, in one group That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,

The family dispersed, and fixing thought So let us welcome peaceful evening in.

Not less dispersed by daylight and its cares. Not such his evening who, with shining face

I crown thee king of intimate delights, Sweats in the crowded theatre, and squeezed

Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness, And bored with elbow-points through both his sides, "And all the comforts that the lowly roof Out-scolds the ranting actor on the stage :

Of undisturbed retirement, and the hours Nor his who patient stands till his feet throb,

Of long uninterrupted evening, know. ... And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath

Come, Evening, once again, season of peace; Of patriots bursting with heroic rage,

Return, sweet Evening, and continue long Or placemen all tranquillity and smiles.

Methinks I see thee in the streaky west, This folio of four pages, happy work !

With matron-step slow-moving, while the night Which not even critics criticise ; that holds

Treads on thy sweeping train; one hand employed Inquisitive attention, while I read,

In letting fall the curtain of repose Fast bound in chains of silence, which the fair,

On bird and beast, the other charged for man Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break; With sweet oblivion of the cares of day : What is it but a map of busy life,

Not sumptuously adorned, nor needing aid, Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns ?

Like homely-featured Night, of clustering gems ; Here runs the mountainous and craggy ridge

A star or two just twinkling on thy brow That tempts ambition. On the summit see

Suffices thee; save that the moon is thine
The seals of office glitter in his eyes ;

No less than hers : not worn indeed on high
He climbs, he pants, he grasps them! At his heels, With ostentatious pageantry, but set
Close at his heels, a demagogue ascends,

With modest grandeur in thy purple zone,
And with a dexterous jerk soon twists him down, Resplendent less, but of an ampler round.
And wins them but to lose them in his turn.

Come then, and thou shalt find thy votary calm, Here rills of oily eloquence, in soft

Or make me so. Composure is thy gift ; Meanders, lubricate the course they take ;

And whether I devote thy gentle hours The modest speaker is ashamed and grieved

To books, to music, or the poet's toil ; To engross a moment's notice, and yet begs,

To weaving nets for bird-alluring fruit ; Begs a propitious ear for his poor thoughts,

Or twining silken threads round ivory reels, However trivial all that he conceives.

When they command whom man was born to please,
Sweet bashfulness ! it claims at least this praise, I slight thee not, but make thee welcome still.
The dearth of information and good sense
That it foretells us, always comes to pass.

Love of Nature. From the same.
Cataracts of declamation thunder here ;
There forests of no meaning spread the page,

'Tis born with all : the love of Nature's works In which all comprehension wanders lost ;

Is an ingredient in the compound, man, While fields of pleasantry amuse us there,

Infused at the creation of the kind. With merry descants on a nation's woes.

And, though the Almighty Maker has throughout The rest appears a wilderness of strange

Discriminated each from each, by strokes But gay confusion; roses for the cheeks,

And touches of his hand, with so much art And lilies for the brows of faded age,

Diversified, that two were never found Teeth for the toothless, ringlets for the bald,

Twins at all points-yet this obtains in all, Heaven, earth, and ocean plundered of their sweets, That all discern a beauty in his works, Nectareous essences, Olympian dews,

And all can taste them: minds that have been formed Sermons, and city feasts, and favourite airs,

And tutored, with a relish more exact, Æthereal journeys, submarine exploits,

But none without some relish, none unmoved. And Katterfelto, * with his hair on end

It is a flame that dies not even there, At his own wonders, wondering for his bread.

Where nothing feeds it : neither business, crowds, 'Tis pleasant through the loopholes of retreat

Nor habits of luxurious city-life, To peep at such a world ; to see the stir

Whatever else they smother of true worth Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd ;

In human bosoms, quench it or abate. To hear the roar she sends through all her gates

The villas with which London stands begirt, At a safe distance, where the dying sound

Like a swarth Indian with his belt of beads, Falls a soft murmur on the uninjured ear.

Prove it. A breath of unadulterate air, Thus sitting, and surveying thus at ease

The glimpse of a green pasture, how they cheer The globe and its concerns, I seem advanced

The citizen, and brace his languid frame ! To some secure and more than mortal height,

Even in the stifling bosom of the town, That liberates and exempts me from them all.

A garden in which nothing thrives, has charms Oh Winter ! ruler of the inverted year,

That soothe the rich possessor; much consoled Thy scattered hair with sleet like ashes filled,

That here and there some sprigs of mournful mint, Thy breath congealed upon thy lips, thy cheeks Of nightshade or valerian, grace the wall

He cultivates. These serve him with a hint * A noted conjuror of the day.

That Nature lives; that sight-refreshing green 10

Is still the livery she delights to wear,

And plausible than social life requires,
Though sickly samples of the exuberant, whole.

And thou hast need of discipline and art
What are the casements lined with creeping herbs, To give thee what politer France receives
The prouder sashes fronted with a range

From nature's bounty—that humane address
Of orange, myrtle, or the fragrant weed,

And sweetness, without which no pleasure is
The Frenchman's darling ?* Are they not all proofs In converse, either starved by cold reserve,
That man, immured in cities, still retains

Or, flushed with fierce dispute, a senseless brawl.
His inborn inextinguishable thirst

Yet being free, I love thee : for the sake
Of rural scenes, compensating his loss

Of that one feature can be well content,
By supplemental shifts the best he may ?

Disgraced as thou hast been, poor as thou art,
The most unfurnished with the means of life,

To seek no sublunary rest beside.
And they that never pass their brick-wall bounds But once enslaved, farewell ! I could endure
To range the fields, and treat their lungs with air, Chains nowhere patiently; and chains at home,
Yet feel the burning instinct ; overhead

Where I am free by birthright, not at all.
Suspend their crazy boxes, planted thick,

Then what were left of roughness in the grain
And watered duly. There the pitcher stands

Of British natures, wanting its excuse
A fragment, and the spoutless tea-pot there ;

That it belongs to freemen, would disgust
Sad witnesses how close-pent man regrets

And shock me. I should then with double pain
The country, with what ardour he contrives

Feel all the rigour of thy fickle clime ;
А peep at nature, when he can no more.

And, if I must bewail the blessing lost,
For which our Hampdens and our Sidneys bled,

I would at least bewail it under skies
English Liberty.From the same.

Milder, among a people less austere ;
We love

In scenes which, having never known me free,
The king who loves the law, respects his bounds, Would not reproach me with the loss I felt.
And reigns content within them; him we serve

Do I forebode impossible events,
Freely and with delight, who leaves us free :

And tremble at vain dreams? Heaven grant I may !
But recollecting still that he is man,

But the age of virtuous politics is past,
We trust him not too far. King though he be,

And we are deep in that of cold pretence.
And king in England too, he may be weak,

Patriots are grown too shrewd to be sincere,
And vain enough to be ambitious still ;

And we too wise to trust them. He that takes
May exercise amiss his proper powers,

Deep in his soft credulity the stamp
Or covet more than freemen choose to grant :

Designed by loud declaimers on the part
Beyond that mark is treason. He is ours

Of liberty, themselves the slaves of lust,
To administer, to guard, to adorn the state,

Incurs derision for his easy faith,
But not to warp or change it. We are his

And lack of knowledge, and with cause enough :
To serve him nobly in the common cause,

For when was public virtue to be found
True to the death, but not to be his slaves.

Where private was not? Can he love the whole
Mark now the difference, ye that boast your love Who loves no part?—he be a nation's friend,
Of kings, between your loyalty and ours.

Who is in truth the friend of no man there?
We love the man, the paltry pageant you;

Can he be strenuous in his country's cause
We the chief patron of the commonwealth,

Who slights the charities, for whose dear sake
You the regardless author of its woes ;

That country, if at all, must be beloved ?
We, for the sake of liberty, a king,
You chains and bondage for a tyrant's sake :
Our love is principle, and has its root

From' Yardley Oak.'*
In reason, is judicious, manly, free ;

Relic of ages !could a mind, imbued
Yours, a blind instinct, crouches to the rod,

With truth from heaven, created thing adore,
And licks the foot that treads it in the dust.

I might with reverence kneel and worship thee.
Were kingship as true treasure as it seems,

Thou wast a bauble once ; a cup and ball,
Sterling, and worthy of a wise man's wish,

Which babes might play with ; and the thievish jay,
I would not be a king to be beloved

Seeking her food, with ease might have purloined Causeless, and daubed with undiscerning praise,

The auburn nut that held thee, swallowing down
Where love is mere attachment to the throne,

The yet close-folded latitude of boughs,
Not to the man who fills it as he ought.

And all thy embryo vastness, at a gulp.
'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower

But fate thy growth decreed ; autumnal rains,
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume ;

Beneath thy parent tree, mellowed the soil
And we are weeds without it. All constraint,

Designed thy cradle ; and a skipping deer,
Except what wisdom lays on evil men,

With pointed hoof dibbling the glebe, prepared
Is evil ; hurts the faculties, impedes

The soft receptacle in which, secure,
Their progress in the road of science, blinds

Thy rudiments should sleep the winter through. . .
The eyesight of discovery, and begets

Who lived when thou wast such? Oh, couldst thou In those that suffer it a sordid mind,

speak,
Bestial, a meagre intellect, unfit

As in Dodona once thy kindred trees
To be the tenant of man's noble form.

Oracular, I would not curious ask
Thee therefore still, blameworthy as thou art,

The future, best unknown, but at thy mouth
With all thy loss of empire, and though squeezed

Inquisitive, the less ambiguous past.
By public exigence, till annual food

By thee I might correct, erroneous oft,
Fails for the craving hunger of the state,

The clock of history, facts and events
Thee I account still happy, and the chief

Timing more punctual, unrecorded facts
Among the nations, seeing thou art free.

Recovering, and misstated setting right-
My native nook of earth! thy clime is rude,

Desperate attempt, till trees shall speak again! ...
Replete with vapours, and disposes much

What exhibitions various hath the world
All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine :
Thine unadulterate manners are less soft

A tree in Yardley Chace, near Olney, said to have been planted

by Judith, daughter of William the Conqueror, and wife of Earl * Mignonette. Waltheof.

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