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Accustom'd to the barriers of the rick,
Or some warm umbrage ; lest, in erring fright,
When the broad dazzling snows descend, they run
Dispers’d to ditches, where the swelling drift 401
Wide overwhelms: anxious the shepherd swains
Issue with axe and spade, and, all abroad,
In doubtful aim explore the glaring waste,
And some, perchance, in the deep delve upraise,
Drooping, ev’n at the twelfth cold dreary day, 406
With still continued feeble pulse of life,
Theglebe, their Fleece, their flesh, by hungergnaw'd,

Ah, gentle Shepherd ! thine the lot to tend,
Of all that feel distress, the most assail'd, 410
Feeble, defenceless : lenient be thy care ;
But spread around thy tend'rest diligence
In flow’ry spring-time, when the new-dropp'd lamb,
Tott’ring with weakness by his mother's side,
Feels the fresh world about him, and each thorn,
Hillock, or furrow, trips his feeble feet : 416
O! guard his meek sweet innocence from all
Th’innumerous ills that rush around his life jo
Mark the quick kite, with beak and talons prone,
Circling the skies, to snatch him from the plain ;
Observe the lurking crows; beware the brake, 421
There the sly fox the careless minute waits;
Nor trust thy neighbour's dog, nor earth, nor sky:
Thy bosom to a thousand cares divide.
Eurus oft' Alings his hail; the tardy fields
Pay not their promis'd food; and oft' the dam

425

O’er her weak twins with empty udder mourns,
Or fails to guard when the bold bird of prey
Alights, and hops, in many turns around,
And tires her, also turning : to her aid 430
Be nimble, and the weakest in thine arms
Gently convey to the warm cot, and oft',
Between the lark's note, and the nightingale's,
His hungry bleating still with tepid milk :
In this soft office may thy children join,

435
And charitable habits learn in sport :
Nor yield him to himself ere vernal airs
Sprinkle thy little croft with daisy flowers :
Nor yet forget him; life has rising ills :

h Various as ether is the past'ral care :

445 Thro’slow experience, by a patient breast, The whole long lesson, gradual is attain'd, By precept after precept, oft' receiv’d With deep attention; such as Nuceus sings To the full vale near Soar's t enamour'd brook, While all is silence: sweet Hinclean swain ! Whom rude Obscurity severely clasps : The Muse, howe’er, will deck thy simple cell With purple violets and primrose flowers, Well-pleas'd thy faithful lessons to repay. 450

Sheep no extremes can bear: both heat and cold Spread sores cutaneous; but more frequent heat. The fly-blown vermin from their woolly nest Press to the tortur’d skin, and flesh, and bone,

† Soar, a river in Leicestershire.

In littleness and number dreadful foes! 455
Long rains in miry winter cause the halt ;
Rainy luxuriant summers rot your

flock

S; And all excess, ev'n of salubrious food, As sure destroys as famine or the wolf. Inferior theirs to man's world-roving frame, 460 Which all extremes in every zone endures.

With grateful heart, ye British Swains ! enjoy Your gentle seasons and indulgent clime. Lo! in the sprinkling clouds your bleating hills Rejoice with herbage, while the horrid rage 465 Of winter irresistible o'erwhelms Th’Hyperborean tracks: his arrowy frosts, That pierce thro' dinty rocks, the Lappian flies, And burrows deep beneath the snowy world; A drear abode! from rose-diffusing hours, 470 That dance before the wheels of radiant day, Far, far remote; where, by the squalid light Of fetid oil inflam'd, sea-monsters' spume, Or fir-wood, glaring in the weeping vault, Twice three slow gloomy months with various ills Sullen he struggles; such the love of life! 476 His lank and scanty herds around him press, As, hunger-stung, to gritty meal he grinds The bones of fish, or inward bark of trees, Their common sustenance ; while ye, o Swains ! Ye, happy at your ease, behold your sheep 481 Fed on the open turf, or crowd the tilth, Where thick among the greens, with busy mouths

They scoop white turnips : little care is yours ;
Only at morning hour to interpose

485
Dry food of oats, or hay, or brittle straw,
The waf ry juices of the bossy root
Absorbing; or from noxious air to screen
Your heavy teeming ewes with wattled fence
Of furze or copse-wood in the lofty field, 490
Which bleak ascends among the whistling winds :
Or, if your sheep are of Silurian breed,
Nightly to house them dry on fern or straw,
Silk'ning their Fleeces. Ye nor rolling hut
Nor watchful dog require, where never roar 495
Of savage tears the air, where careless Night
In balmy sleep lies lullid, and only wakes
To plenteous peace. Alas! o'er warmer zones
Wild terror strides, their stubborn rocks are rent,
Their mountains sink, their yawning caverns flame,
And fiery torrents roll impetuous down,

501
Proud cities deluging ; Poinpeian tow’rs,
And Herculanean, and what riotous stood
In Syrian valley, where now the Dead Sea
'Mong solitary hills infectious lies.

505
See the swift furies, famine, plague, and war,
In frequent thunders rage o'er neighb’ring realins,
And spread their plains with desolation wide i
Yet your mild homesteads ever-blooming smile
Ainong embracing woods, and waft on high 510
The breath of plenty from the ruddy tops
Of chimneys curling o'er the gloumy trees

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In airy azure ringlets to the sky.
Nor ye by need are urg'd, as Attic swains,
And Tarentine, with skins to clothe your sheep,
Expensive toil, howe'er expedient found
In fervid climates, while from Phoebus' beams

They fled to rugged woods and tangling brakes.
But those expensive toils are now no more,
Proud Tyranny devours their flocks and herds : 520
Nor bleat of sheep may now, nor sound of pipe,
Sooth the sad plains of once sweet Arcady,
The shepherds' kingdom : dreary solitude
Spreads o'er Hymettus, and the shaggy vale
Of Athens, which in solemn silence sheds

525 Her venerable ruins to the dust.

The weary Arabs roam from plain to plain,
Guiding the languid herd in quest of food,
And shift their little home's uncertain scene
With frequent farewell; strangers, pilgrims all,
As were their fathers. No sweet fall of rain
May there be beard, nor sweeter liquid lapse
Of river, o'er their pebbles gliding by
In murmurs: goaded by the rage of thirst,
Daily they journey to the distant clefts

535
Of craggy rocks, where gloomy palms o’erhang
The ancient wells, deep sunk by toil immense,
Toil of the patriarchs, with sublime intent
Themselves and long posterity to serve.
There, at the public hour of sultry noon, 540
They share the bev'rage, when to wat’ring come,

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