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Can scenes like these withdraw thee from thy
wood, Thy upland forest or thy valley's flood ? Seek then thy garden's shrubby bound, and look, As it steals by, upon the bordering brook ; That winding streamlet, limping, lingering, slow, Where the reeds whisper when the zephyrs blow; Where in the midst, upon her throne of green, Sits the large lily as the water's queen; And makes the current, forced a while to stay, Murmur and bubble as it shoots away; Draw then the strongest contrast to that stream, And our broad river will before thee seem.
With ceaseless motion comes and goes the tide, Flowing, it fills the channel vast and wide ; Then back to sea, with strong majestic sweep It rolls, in ebb yet terrible and deep; Here sampire banks and saltwort bound the flood, There stakes and seaweeds withering on the mud; And higher up, a ridge of all things base, Which some strong tide has rolld upon the place.
Thy gentle river boasts its pigmy boat, Urged on by pains, half grounded, half afloat; While at her stern an, angler takes his stand, And marks the fish he purposes to land ; From that clear space, where, in the cheerful ray Of the warm sun, the scaly people play.
Far other craft our prouder river shows, Hoys, pinks, and sloops; brigs, brigantines, and Nor angler we on our wide stream descry, (snows; But one poor dredger where his oysters lie: He, cold and wet, and driving with the tide, Beats his weak arms against his tarry side, Then drains the remnant of diluted gin, To aid the warmth that languishes within ; Renewing oft his poor attempts to beat His tingling fingers into gathering heat.
He shall again be seen when evening comes,
Yon is our quay! those smaller hoys from town,
Near these a crew amphibious, in the docks, Rear, for the sea, those castles on the stocks : See! the long keel, which soon the waves must hide; See! the strong ribs which form the roomy side; Bolts yielding slowly to the sturdiest stroke, And planks which curve and crackle in the smoke. Around the whole rise cloudy wreaths, and far Bear the warm pungence of o'er-boiling tar.
Dabbling on shore half-naked seaboys crowd, Swim round a ship, or swing upon the shroud; Or in a boat purloin'd, with paddles play, And grow familiar with the watery way: Young though they be, they feel whose sons they are, They know what British seamen do and dare; Proud of that fame, they rise and they enjoy The rustic wonder of the village boy.
Before you bid these busy scenes adieu, Behold the wealth that lies in public view,
Those far-extended heaps of coal and coke,
Thy walks are ever int; every scene
We prune our hedges, prime our slender trees, And nothing looks untutor'd and at ease; On the wide heath, or in the flow'ry vale, We scent the vapours of the sea-born gale; Broad-beaten paths lead on from stile to stile, And sewers from streets the roadside banks defile; Our guarded fields a sense of danger show, Where garden-crops with corn and clover grow; Fences are form’d of wreck and placed around (With tenters tipp'd), a strong, repulsive bound; Wide and deep ditches by the gardens run, And there in ambush lie the trap and gun ; Or yon broad board, which guards each tempting “Like a tall bully, lifts its head and lies.” (prize,
There stands a cottage with an open door, Its garden undefended blooms before : Her wheel is still, and overturn'd her stool, While the lone widow seeks the neighbouring pool: This gives us hope, all views of town to shunNo! here are tokens of the sailor son; That old blue jacket, and that shirt of check, And silken kerchief for the seaman's neck; Sea-spoils and shells from many a distant shore, And furry robe from frozen Labrador.
Our busy streets and sylvan walks between
Not distant far, a house commodious made
Turn to the watery world! but who to thee
Be it the summer noon : à sandy space The ebbing tide has left upon its place ; Then just the hot and stony beach above, Light twinkling streams in bright confusion move (For, heated thus, the warmer air ascends, And with the cooler in its fall contends) — Then the broad bosom of the ocean keeps An equal motion; swelling as it sleeps, Then slowly sinking; curling to the strand, Faint, lazy waves o'ercreep the ridgy sand, Or tap the tarry boat with gentle blow, And back return in silence, smooth and slow. Ships in the calm seem anchord; for they glide On the still sea, urged solely by the tide ; Art thou not present this calm scene before, Where all besides is pebbly length of shore, And, far as eye can reach, it can discern no more!
Yet sometimes comes a ruffling cloud to make The quiet surface of the ocean shake; As an awaken'd giant with a frown Might show his wrath, and then to sleep sink down.
View now the winter-storm! above, one cloud, Black and unbroken, all the skies o'ershroud; Th' unwieldy porpoise through the day before Had rollid in view of boding men on shore; And sometimes hid and sometimes show'd his form, Dark as the cloud, and furious as the storm.
All where the eye delights, yet dreads to roam, The breaking billows cast the flying foam Upon the billows rising ; all the deep Is restless change; the waves so swellid and steep, Breaking and sinking, and the sunken swells, Nor one, one moment in its station dwells : But nearer land you may the billows trace, As if contending in their watery chase ; May watch the mightiest till the shoal they reach, Then break and hurry to their utmost stretch;