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Shall thaw the icy winter on his lips,
And melt his frozen features into joy.
But who, that ever heard the hunter's shout,
When the shrill fox-hound doubles on the scent,
Which of you, sons and fathers of the chace,
Which of your hardy, bold, adventurous band
Will pine and murmur for Italian skies?
Hark! from the covert-side your game is view'd!
Music, which none but British dryads hear,
Shouts, which no foreign echoes can repeat,
Ring thro' the hollow-wood and sweep the vale.
Now, now, ye joyous sportsmen, ye, whose hearts
Are unison'd to the extatic cry

Of the full pack, now give your steeds the rein!
Your's is the day-mine was, and is no more:
Yet ever as I hear you in the wind,

Tho' chill'd and hovering o'er my winter hearth,
Forth, like some Greenwich veteran, if chance
The conqu'ring name of Rodney meets his ear,
Forth I must come to share the glad'ning sound,
To shew my scars and boast of former feats.

They say our clime's inconstant, changeful-True! It gives the lie to all astrology,

Makes the diviner mad and almost mocks
Philosophy itself; Cameleon-like

Our sky puts on all colours, blushing now,
Now louring like a froward pettish child;
This hour a zephyr, and the next a storm,
Angry and pleas'd by fits-Yet take our clime,
Take it for all in all and day by day,
Thro' all the varying seasons of the year,
For the mind's vigour and the body's strength,
Where is its rival?-Beauty is its own:
Not the voluptuous region of the Nile,
Not aromatic India's spicy breath,

Nor evening breeze from Tagus, Rhone or Loire
Can tinge the maiden cheek with bloom so fresh.
Here too, if exercise and temperance call,
Health shall obey their summons; every fount,
Each rilling stream conveys it to our lips;

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In every zephyr we inhale her breath
The shepherd tracks her in the morning dew,
As o'er the grassy down or to the heath
Streaming with fragrance he conducts his flock.
But oh defend me from the baneful east,

Screen me, ye groves! ye interposing hills,
Rise up and cover me! Agues and rheums,
All Holland's marshes strike me in the gale;
Like Egypt's blight his breath is all alive:
His very dew is poison, honey-sweet,
Teeming with putrefaction; in his fog
The locust and the caterpillar swarm,
And vegetable nature falls before them :
Open, all quarters else, and blow upon me,
But bar that gate, O regent of the winds!
It gives the food that melancholy doats on,
The quick'ner that provokes the slanderer's splcen,
Makes green the eye of Jealousy and feeds
The swelling gorge of Envy till it bursts:
'Tis now the poet's unpropitious hour;
The student trims his midnight lamp in vain,
And beauty fades upon the painter's eye:
Hang up thy pallet, Romney! and convene
The gay companions of thy social board
Apelles' self would throw his pencil by,
And swear the skies conspir'd against his art.

But what must Europe's softer climes endure,
Thy coast, Calabria! or the neighbouring isle,
Of antient Ceres once the fruitful seat?
Where is the bloom of Enna's flowery field,
Mellifluous Hybla, and the golden vale
Of rich Panormus, when the fell Siroc,
Hot from the furnace of the Libyan sands,
Breathes all it's plagues upon them? Hapless isle
Why must I call to mind thy past renown?
Is it this desolating blast alone,

That strips thy verdure? Is it in the gulph
Of yawning earthquakes that thy glory sinks?
Or hath the flood that thund'ring Etna pours
From her convuls'd and flaming entrails whelm'd
In one wide ruin every noble spark
Of pristine virtue, genius, wisdom, wit?
Ah no! the elements are not in fault;
Nature is still the same: "Tis not the blast
From Afric's burning sands, it is the breath
Of Spain's despotic master lays thee low;
"Tis not alone the quaking earth that reels
Under thy tottering cities, 'tis the fall
Of freedom, 'tis the pit which slavery digs,
That buries every virtue; 'tis the flood

Of superstition, the insatiate fires

Of persecuting zealots that devour thee;
These are the Titans who disturb thy peace,
This is thy grave, O Sicily! the hell

Deeper than that, which heathen poets feign'd
Under thy burning mountain, that engulphs
Each grace and every muse, arts, arms and all
That elegance inspires or fame records.

Return, ye victims of caprice and spleen,
Ye summer friends, daughters more fitly call'd
Than sons of Albion, to your native shores
Return, self-exiles as you are, and face
This only tyrant which our isle endures,
This hoary-headed terror of the year,
Stern Winter What, tho' in his icy chains
Imprison'd for a time e'en Father Thames
Checks his imperial current, and beholds
His wealthy navigation in arrest,

Yet soon, like Perseus on his winged steed,
Forth from the horns of the celestial Ram

Spring, his deliverer, comes-down, down at once
The frighted monster dives into the earth,
Or bursts asunder with a hideous crash,

As thro' his stubborn ribs th' all-conqu❜ring sun
Drives his refulgent spear: the ransom'd floods,
As at a signal, rise and clap their hands;

The mountains shout for joy; the laughing hours
Dance o'er the eastern hills, and in the lap
Of marriageable earth their odours fling,
Wreaths of each vernal flowret, whilst the choir
Of feather'd songsters make the groves resound
With Nature's hymenaals-all is joy.

Hail, bounteous Spring! primæval season, hail!
Nature's glad herald! who to all the tribes
That link creation's scale, from lordly man
To the small insect, that eludes his sight,
Proclaims that universal law of life,

The first great blessing of the new-born world,
"Increase and multiply!'-No sooner heard
By sultry climes, than strait the rebel sun

Mounts his bright throne, and o'er the withering earth
Scatters his bold Titanian fires around,

And cancels Heaven's high edict; Nature feels
Quick growth and quick decay; the verdant scene
Glitters awhile and vanishes at once.

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Not such the tints that Albion's landscape wears,
Her mantle dipt in never-fading green,

Keeps fresh its vernal honours thro' the year;
Soft dew-drops nurse her rose's maiden bloom,
And genial showers refresh her vivid lawn.
Thro' other lands indignant of delay

Spring travels homeward with a stranger's haste
Here he reposes, dwells upon the scene
Enamour'd, native here prolongs his stay,
And when his fiery successor at length

Warns him from hence, with ling'ring step and slow,
And many a stream of falling tears he parts,
Like one, whom surly creditors arrest

In a fond consort's arms and force him thence.

But now, my Muse, to humbler themes descend!
'Tis not for me to paint the various gifts
Which freedom, science, art, or fav'ring Heav'n
Shower on my native isle; quench'd are the fires,
Which young ambition kindled in my breast;
Morning and noon of life's short day are past,
And what remains for me ere night comes on,
But one still hour perchance of glimmering eve
For sober contemplation? Come, my Muse,
Come then! and as from some high mountain's top
The careful shepherd counts his straggling flock,
So will we take one patient last survey

Of this unquiet, babbling, anxious world;
We'll scan it with a calm but curious eye;
Silence and solitude are all our own;

Their's is the tumult, their's the throng; my soul
Is fitted to the task-for, oh fair truth!
Yet I am thine, on thy perennial base
I will inscribe my monumental verse;
And tho' my heart with kindred ardor beats
To every brave compatriot, yet no ties,

Tho' dignified with friendship's specious name,
Shall shackle my free mind, nor any space

Less than the world's wide compass bound my love.
No more; for now the hospitable gates

Of wealthy Attalus invite their guest;

I paus'd and look'd, and yielding to the wish
That fortune had bequeath'd me such a lot,
A momentary sigh surpriz'd my heart:
Flocks, herds, and fields of golden grain, of these
I envied not the owner; but I saw

The curling smoke from cottages ascend,
And heard the merry din of childish sports;
I saw the peasant stooping to his plough
And whistling time away; I met a form,
Fair as a fabled nymph; Nature had spread

Her toilette, Health her handmaid dealt the bloom,
Simplicity attir'd her; by the copse

Skirting the horn-beam row, where violets bud

And the first primrose opens to the spring,

With her fond lover arm in arm she walk'd,
Not with the stealthy step and harlot leer
Of guilty assignation, nor unnerv'd

By midnight feast or revel, but in prime
Of youth and health and beauty's genuine glow:
I mark'd the conscious look of honest truth,
That greets the passenger with eye direct,
Nor fears nor meditates surprize; my heart
Yearn'd at the sight, and as they pass'd I cried-
'Why was it not my fortune to have said
· Go, and be happy?-On a rising slope
Full to the south the stately mansion stands,
Where dwells the master of this rich domain;
Plain and of chaste proportion the device,
Not libell'd and bedawb'd with tawdry frize
Or lac'd pilaster, patch'd with refuse scraps,
Like that fraternal pile on Thames's bank,
Which draws its title not its taste from Greece.
Happy if there in rural peace he dwells,
Untertur'd by ambition, and enjoys
An eye for nature and a heart for man.

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