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All but the natives of the torrid zone,
What AFRIC's wilds, or Peru's fields, display, Pleas'd with a clime that imitates their own,
They lovelier bloom beneath the parching ray. Where is wild nature's heart-reviving song,
That tilld in genial spring the verdant bow'rs? Silent in gloomy woods, the feather'd throng
Pine thro’ this long, long course of sultry hours. Where is the dream of bliss by Summer brought?
The walk along the riv'let-water'd vale? The field with verdure clad, with fragrance fraught,
The sun mild-beaming, and the fanning gale? The weary soul imagination cheers,
Her pleasing colours paint the future gay; Time passes on, the truth itself appears,
The pleasing colours instant fade away: In diff'rent seasons diff'rent joys we place,
And these shall Spring supply, and Summer these; Yet frequent storms the bloom of Spring deface,
And Summer scarcely brings a day to please. O for some secret, shady, cool recess!
Some Gothic dome o’erhung with darksome trees, Where thick damp walls this raging heat repress,
Where the long aisle invites the lazy breeze.
But why these plaints ?-Amid his wastes of sand,
Far more than this the wand'ring ARAB feels; Far more the INDIAN in COLUMBUS' land,
While Phæbus o'er him rolls his fiery wheels :
Far more the sensible of mind sustains,
Rack'd with the poignant pangs of fear or shame; The hopeless lover, bound in beauty's chains,
And he, whom envy robs of hard-earn’d fame: He, who a father or a mother mourns,
Or lovely consort, lost in early bloom; He, whom the dreaded rage of fever burns,
Or slow disease leads ling’ring to the tomb.
Lest man should sink beneath the present pain,
Lest man should triumph in the present joy; For him th’ unvarying “ laws of Heaven ordain”
Hope in his ills, and to his bliss alloy. Fierce and oppressive is the sun we share,
Yet not unuseful to our humid soil; Hence shall our fruits a richer flavour bear,
Hence shall our plains with riper harvests smile : Refect, and be content-for mankind's good
Heav'n gives the due degrees of drought or rain: To-morrow ceaseless show'rs may swell the flood,
Nor soon yon sun rise blazing fierce again :
Ev'n now behold the grateful change at hand,
Hark! in the east loud blust'ring gales arise; Wide, and more wide the dark’ning clouds expand,
And distant lightnings flash along the skies.
O! in the awful concert of the storm,
While hail and rain, and wind and thunder join! Let the Great Ruler's praise my song inform,
Let wonder, rev'rence, gratitude, be mine.
WRITTEN IN HARVEST.
AREWEL the pleasant violet-scented shade,
The primros'd hill, and daisy-mantled mead, The furrow'd land with springing corn array’d,
The sunny wall with bloomy branches spread; Farewel the bow'r with blushing roses gay,
Farewel the fragrant trefoil-purpled field; Farewel the walk through rows of new-mown hay,
When ev'ning breezes mingled odours yield;
Farewel to these:-now round the lonely farms,
Where jocund plenty deigns to fix her seat; Th' autumnal landscape, op'ning all its charms,
Declares kind nature's annual work complete.
In diff'rent parts what diff'rent views delight,
Where on neat ridges wave the golden grain ; Or where the bearded barley, dazzling white,
Spreads o'er the steepy slope or wide champaign.
The smile of morning gleams along the hills,
And wakeful labour calls her sons abroad; They leave with cheerful looks their lowly vills,
And bid the fields resign their ripen'd load.
To various tasks address the rustic band,
And here the scythe, and there the sickle wield : Or rear the new-bound sheaves along the land;
Or range in heaps the produce of the field.
Some build the shocks, some load the spacious wains,
Some lead to shelt'ring barns the fragrant corn; Some form tall ricks, that tow'ring o'er the plains,
For many a mile the rural yards adorn. Th' inclosure gates thrown open all around,
The stubble's peopled by the gleaning throng; The rattling car with verdant branches crown'd,
And joyful swains that raise the clam'rous song. Soon mark glad harvest o'er.—Ye rural lords,
Whose wide domains o'er ALBION's isle extend; Think whose kind hand your annual wealth affords,
And bid to Heav'n your grateful praise ascend,
For tho' no gift spontaneous of the ground,
Pursu'd for these thro' many a day their toil;
Yet what avail your labours or your cares?
Can all your labours or your cares, supply Bright suns, or soft'ning show'rs, or tepid airs,
Or one indulgent influence of the sky?
For Providence decrees that we obtain
With toil, each blessing destin'd to our use; But means to teach us that our toil is vain,
If He the bounty of his hand refuse.
Yet, Albon, blame not what thy crime demands,
While this sad truth the blushing muse betrays, More frequent echoes o'er thy harvest lands
The voice of riot than the voice of praise.
Prolific tho' thy fields, and mild thy clime,
And now no semblance of their glory bear.