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There let me wander at the close of eve,
When sleep sits dewy on the labourer's eyes; The world and all its busy follies leave,
And talk with wisdom where my Daphnis lies.
There let me sleep forgotten in the clay,
When death shall shut these weary aching eyes, Rest in the hopes of an eternal day,
Till the long night is gone, and the last morn arise.
Now sober Industry, illustrious power!
Hath rais'd the peaceful cottage, calm abode
Of innocence and joy; now, sweating, glides
The shining ploughshare ; tames the stubborn soil;
Leads the long drain along th' unfertile marsh;
Bids the bleak hill with vernal verdure bloom,
The haunt of flocks; and clothes the barren heath
With waving harvests, and the golden grain.
Fair from his band, behold the village rise,
In rural pride, 'mong intermingled trees!
Above whose aged tops, the joyful swains
At even-tide, descending from the hill,
With eye enamour'd, mark the
Of pillar'd smoke, high-curling to the clouds.
The street resounds with labour's various voice,
Who whistles at his work. Gay on the green,
Young blooming boys, and girls with golden hair,
Trip nimble-footed, wanton in their play,
The village hope. All in a rev'rend row,
Their grey-hair'd grandsires, sitting in the sun,
Before the gate, and leaning on the staff,
The well-remember'd stories of their youth
Recount, and shake their aged locks with joy.
How fair a prospect rises to the eye,
Where beauty vies in all her vernal forms,
For ever pleasant, and for ever new!
Swells th' exulting thought, expands the soul,
Drowning each ruder care: a blooming train
Of bright ideas rushes on the mind.
Imagination rouses at the scene,
And backward, through the gloom of ages past,
Beholds Arcadia, like a rural queen,
Encircled with her swains and rosy nymphs,
The mazy dance conducting on the green.
Nor yield to old Arcadia's blissful vales
Thine, gentle Leven! green on either hand
Thy meadows spread, unbroken of the plough,
With beauty all their own. Thy fields rejoice
With all the riches of the golden year.
Fat on the plain, and mountain's sunny side,
Large droves of oxen, and the fleecy flocks
Feed undisturb’d, and fill the echoing air
With music, grateful to the master's ear.
The traveller stops, and gazes round and round
O'er all the scenes, that animate his heart
With mirth and music. Even the mendicant,
Bow bent with age, that on the old gray stone,
Sole sitting, suns him in the public way,
Feels his heart leap, and to himself he sings.
DR. JAMES GRAINGER, the translator of Tibullus, was for some time a surgeon in the army: he afterwards attempted, without success, to obtain practice as a physician in London, and finally settled in St. Kitt's, where he married the governor's daughter. The novelty of West Indian scenery inspired him with the unpromising subject of the Sugar-cane, in which he very poetically dignifies the poor negroes with the name of “ Swains.” He died on the same island, a victim to the West Indian fever.
O SOLITUDE, romantic maid,
Whether by nodding towers you tread,
Or haunt the desart's trackless gloom,
Or hover o'er the yawning tomb,
Or climb the Andes' clifted side,
Or by the Nile's coy source abide,
Or starting from your half-year's sleep
From Hecla view the thawing deep,
Or, at the purple dawn of day,
Tadmor's marble wastes survey,
You, recluse, again I woo,
And again your steps pursue.
Plum'd Conceit himself surveying,
Folly with her shadow playing,
Purse-proud, elbowing Insolence,
Bloated empiric, puff'd pretence,
Noise that through a trumpet speaks,
Laughter in loud peals that breaks,
Intrusion with a fopling's face,
(Ignorant of time and place)
Sparks of fire dissension blowing,
Ductile, court-bred Flattery, bowing,
Restraint's stiff neck, Grimace's leer,
Squint-ey'd Censure's artful sneer,
Ambition’s buskins, steep'd in blood,
Fly thy presence, Solitude.
Sage Reflection bent with years,
Conscious Virtue void of fears,
Muffled Silence, wood-nymph shy,
Meditation's piercing eye,
Halcyon Peace on inoss reclin'd,
Retrospect that scans the mind,
Rapt earth-gazing Reverie,
Blushing artless Modesty,
Health that snuffs the morning air,
Full-ey'd Truth with bosom bare,
Inspiration, Nature's child,
Seek the solitary wild.
You, with the tragic muse retird,
The wise Euripides inspir'd,
You taught the sadly-pleasing air
That Athens say'd from ruins bare.
the Cean's tears to flow,
And unlock'd the springs of woe;
You penn'd what exil'd Naso thought,
And pour'd the melancholy note.
With Petrarch o'er Vaucluse you stray'd,
When death snatch'd his long-lov'd maid;
You taught the rocks her loss to mourn,
Ye strew'd with flowers her virgin urn.
And late in Hagley you were scen,
With bloodshed eyes, and sombre mien,
Hymen his yellow vestment tore,
And Dirge a wreath of cypress wore.
But chief your own the solemn lay
That wept Narcissa young and gay,
Darkness clapp'd her sable wing,
While you touch'd the mournful string,
Anguish left the pathless wild,
Grim-fac'd Melancholy smild,
Drowsy Midnight ceas'd to yawn,
The starry host put back the dawn,
Aside their harps ev'n seraphs flung
To hear thy sweet complaint, O Young.
When all nature's hush'd asleep,
Nor love nor guilt their vigils keep,
cavern'd den, And wander o'er the works of men; But when Phosphor brings the dawn By her dappled coursers drawn,