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As for themselves alone themselves had rais'd.
Hence every form of cultivated life
In order set, protected, and inspir'd,
Into perfection wrought. Uniting all,
Society grew numerous, high, polite,
And happy. Nurse of art! the city rear'd
In beauteous pride her tower-encircled head;
And, stretching street on street, by thousands drew,
From twining woody haunts, or the tough yew
To bows strong-straining, her aspiring sons.
Then Commerce brought into the public walk
The busy merchant; the big warehouse built;
Rais'd the strong crane; choak'd up the loaded street
With foreign plenty; and thy stream, O Thames,
Large, gentle, deep, majestic, king of floods!
Chose for his grand resort.
On either hand,
Like a long wintry forest, groves of masts
Shot up their spires; the bellying sheet between
Possess'd the breezy void; the sooty hulk
Steer'd sluggish on; the splendid barge along
Row'd regular, to harmony; around,
The boat, light-skimming, stretch'd its oary wings,
While deep the various voice of fervent toil
From bank to bank increas'd; whence ribb'd with oak,
To bear the British Thunder, black and bold,
The roaring vessel rush'd into the main.
Then too the pillar'd dome, magnific, heav'd
Its ample roof; and Luxury within
Pour'd out her glittering stores: the canvas smooth,
With glowing life protuberant, to the view
Embodied rose; the statue seem'd to breathe,
And soften into flesh, beneath the touch
Of forming Art, imagination-Aush'd.
All is the gift of Industry; whate'er
Exalts, embellishes, and renders life
Delightful. Pensive Winter, cheer'd by him,
Sits at the social fire, and happy hears
Th' excluded tempest idly rave along;
His harden'd fingers deck the gaudy Spring;
Without him Summer were an arid waste;
Nor to th' autumnal months could thus transmit
Those full, mature, immeasurable stores,
That, waving round, recall my wandering song.
A HARVEST SCENE,'
WITH THE STORY OF PALEMON AND LAVINIA.
SOON as the morning trembles o'er the sky,
And, unperceiv'd, unfolds the spreading day;
Before the ripen'd field the reapers stand,
In fair array; each by the lass he loves,
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate,
By nameless gentle offices, her toil.
At once they stoop and swell the lusty sheaves;
While thro' their cheerful band the rural talk,
The rural scandal, and the rural jest,
Fly harmless, to deceive the tedious time,
And steal unfelt the sultry hours away.
Behind the master walks; binds up the shocks;
And, conscious, glancing oft on every side
His sated eye, feels his heart heave with joy.
The gleaners spread around, and here and there,
Spike after spike, their sparing harvest pick.
Be not too narrow, husbandmen! but throw
From the full sheaf, with charitable stealth,
The liberal handful. Think, Oh grateful think!
How good the GOD of HARVEST is to you;
Who pours abundance o'er your flowing fields;
While these unhappy partners of your kind
Wide hover round you, like the fowls of heaven,
And ask their humble dole. The various turns
Of fortune ponder; that your sons may want
What now, with hard reluctance, faint, you give.
The lovely young LAVINIA once had friends;
And fortune smil'd, deceitful, on her birth.
For in her helpless years depriv'd of all,
Of every stay, save Innocence and Heaven,
She with her widow'd mother, feeble, old,
And poor, liv'd in a cottage, far retir'd
Among the windings of a woody vale :
By solitude and deep surrounding shades,
But more by bashful modesty, conceal'd.
Together thus they shunn'd the cruel scorn
Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet
From giddy passion and low-minded pride:
Almost on Nature's common bounty fed;
Like the gay birds that sung them to repose,
Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare.
Her form was fresher than the morning rose,
When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd and pure,
As is the lily, or the nountain snow.
The modest virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground dejected, darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers:
Or when the mournful tale her mother told,
Of what her faithless fortune,promis'd once,
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy star
Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair proportion'd on her polish'd limbs,
Veil'd in a simple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp of dress: for loveliness
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is, when unadorn'd, adorn'd the most.
Thoughtless of Beauty, she was Beauty's self,
Recluse amid the close-embowering woods.
As in the hollow breast of Appenine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills,
A myrtle rises, far from human eye,
And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild;
So flourish'd blooming, and unseen by all,
The sweet Lavinia; till, at length, compell'd
By strong Necessity's supreme command,
With smiling patience in her looks, she went
To glean Palemon's fields. The pride of swains
Palemon was, the generous and the rich;
Who led the rural life in all its joy
And elegance, such as Arcadian song
Transmits from ancient uncorrupted times;
When tyrant Custom had not shackled man,
But free to follow Nature was the mode.
He then, his fancy.with autumnal scenes
Amusing, chanc'd beside his reaper-train
To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye,
Unconscious of her power, and turning quick
With unaffected blushes from his gaze:
He saw her charming, but he saw not half
The charms her down-cast modesty conceal'd.
That very moment love and chaste desire
Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown;
For still the world prevail'd, and its dread laugh,
Which scarce the firm philosopher can scorn,
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field:
And thus in secret to his soul he sigh'd:
"What pity! that so delicate a form,
"By beauty kindled, where enlivening sense
"And more than vulgar goodness seem to dwell,
"Should be devoted to the rude embrace
"Of some indecent clown! She looks, methinks,
"Of old Acasto's line; and to my mind
"Recalls that patron of my happy life,
"From whom my liberal fortune took its rise;
"Now to the dust gone down; his houses, lands,
"And once fair-spreading family dissolv'd.
"I is said that in some lone, obscure retreat,
Urg'd by remembrance sad, and decent pride, "Far from those scenes which knew their better days,
His aged widow and his daughter live, "Whom yet my fruitless search could never find. "Romantic wish! would this the daughter were!" When, strict enquiring, from herself he found She was the same, the daughter of his friend, Of bountiful Acasto; who can speak
The mingled passions that surpriz'd his heart,
And thro' his nerves in shivering transports ran?
Then blaz'd his smother'd flame, avow'd and bold;
And as he view'd her, ardent, o'er and o'er,
Love, gratitude, and pity wept at once.
Confus'd and frighten'd at his sudden tears,
Her rising beauties flush'd a higher bloom,
As thus Palemon, passionate and just,
Four'd out the pious rapture of his soul.
And art thou then Acasto's. dear remains? "She whom my restless gratitude has sought "So long in vain? O yes! the very same, "The soften'd image of my noble friend, "Alive; his every feature, every look, "More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than spring! "Thou sole-surviving blossom from the root "That nourish'd up my fortune! Say, ah where, "In what sequester'd desart, hast thou drawn "The kindest aspect of delighted Heaven;
Into such beauty spread, and blown so fair; "Tho' Poverty's cold wind, and crushing rain, "Beat keen and heavy on thy tender years?
"O let me now into a richer soil
Transplant thee safe! where vernal suns, and showers,
"Diffuse their warmest, largest influence;
"And of my garden be the pride, and joy!
"Ill it befits thee, oh it ill befits
"Acasto's daughter, his whose open stores,
"Tho' vast, were little to his ampler heart,
"The father of a country, thus to pick
"The very refuse of those harvest fields,
"Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy.
"Then throw that shameful pittance from thy hand,
But ill apply'd to such a rugged task;
"The fields, the master, all, my fair, are thine;
"If to the various blessings which thy house
"Has on me lavish'd, thou wilt add that bliss,
"That dearest bliss, the power of blessing thee!"
Here ceas'd the youth: yet still his speaking eye
Express'd the sacred triumph of his soul,
With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love,
Above the vulgar joy divinely rais'd. ·
Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm
Of goodness irresistible, and all
In sweet disorder lost, she blush'd consent.
The news immediate to her mother brought,
While, pierc'd with anxious thought, she pin'd away
The lonely moments for Lavinia's fate;
Amaz'd, and scarce believing what she heard,
Joy seiz'd her wither'd veins, and one bright gleam
Of setting life shone on her evening hours:
Not less enraptur'd than the happy pair;
Who flourish'd long in tender bliss, and rear'd
A numerous offspring, lovely like themselves,
And good, the grace of all the country round.
A MAN PERISHING in the SNOW.
WITH REFLEXIONS ON THE MISERIES OF HUMAN LIFE.
As thus the snows arise; and foul, and fierce,
All Winter drives along the darkened air;
In his own loose-revolving fields the swain
Disaster'd stands; sees other hills ascend,
Of unknown joyless brow; and other scenes,
Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain :