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the wind rustling on the leaves, the singing of the thrush and nightingale, and the coolness of the walks, all conspired to make me lay aside all displeasing thoughts, and brought me into such a tranquillity of mind, as is I believe the next happiness to that of hereafter. In this sweet retirement I naturally fell into the repetition of some lines out of a poem of Mil. ton's, which he entitles Il Penseroso, the ideas of which were exquisitely saited to my present wander. ings of thonght.
Sweet bird ! that shun'st the noise of folly,
Or th' unseen genius of the wood. I reflected then upon the sweet vicissitudes of night and day, on the charming disposition of the seasons, and their return again in a perpetual circle; and, ob! said I, that I could from these my decliuing years, return again to my first spring of youth and vigour; but that, alas! is impossible: all that remains within my power, is to soften the inconveniencies I feel with an sact pro
easy contented mind, and the enjoyment of sub delights as this solitude affords me. In this thought 1 sate me down on a bank of flowers and dropped into a slumber, which whether it were the effect of fumes and vapours, or my present thoughts, I know not; bnt methought the Genius of the garden stood before me, and introduced into the walk where I lay this draina and different scenes of the revolution of the year, which whilst I then saw, even in my dream, I resolved to write down.
The first person whom I saw advancing towards me, was a youth of a most beautiful air and shape, though he seemed not yet arrived at that portion and symmetry of parts which a little more time would have given him; but however, there was such a bloom in his countenance, such satisfaction and joy, that I thought it the most desirable form that I had ever seen. He was clothed in a flowing mantle of green silk, interwoven with flowers: he had a chaplet of roses on his head, and a narcissus in his hand; primroses and violets sprang up under his feet, and all nature was cheered at his approach. Flora was on one hand, and Vertumnus on the other in a robe of changeable silk. After this I was surprised to see the moon-beams reflected with a sudden glare from armour, and to see a man completely armed advancing. with his sword drawn. I was soon informed by the Genius it was Mars, who had long usurped a place among the attendants of the Spring. He made way for a softer appearance, it was Venus, without any ornament but her own beauties, not so much as her own cestus,' with which she had eucompassed a globe, which she held in her right hand, and in her left she had a sceptre of gold. After her followed the Graces with their arms intwined within one another, their girdles were loosed, and they moved to the sound of soft music, striking the ground alternately with their feet: then came up the three months which belong to this season.
As March advanced towards. me, there
was methought in his look a louring roughness, which ill befitted a month which was ranked in so soft a sea. son; but as he came forwards his features became in. sensibly more mild and gentle: he smoothed his brow, and looked with so sweet a countenance that I could not but lament his departure, though he made way for April. He appeared in the greatest gaiety imaginable, and had a thousand pleasures to attend him: his look was frequently clouded, but immediately returned to its first composure, and remained fixed in a smile. Then came May attended by Cupid, with bis bow strung, and in a posture to let ny an arrow: as he passed by methought I heard a confused noise of soft complaints, gentle ecstasies, and tender sighs of lovers; vows of constancy, and as many complainings of per fidiousness; all which the winds wafted away as soon as they had reached my bearing. After these I saw a man advance in the full prime and vigonr of his age, his complexion was sanguine and ruddy, bis hair black, and fell down in beautiful ringlets beneath his shoulders; and a mantle of hair-colonred silk hung loosely upon him: he advanced with a hasty step after the Spring, and sought out the shade and cool fountains wbich played in the garden. He was particularly well pleased when a troop of Zephyrs fanned him with their wings: he had two companions who walked on each side, that made him appear the most agreeable, the one was Aurora with fingers of roses, and her feet dewy, attired in grey: the other was Vesper in a robe of azure beset with drops of gold, whose breath he canght whilst it passed over a bundle of honeysuckles and tuberoses which he held in his hand. Pan and Ceres followed them with four reapers, who danced a morrice to the sound of oaten pipes and cymbals. Then came the attendant months, June retained still some small likeness of the Spring; but the other two seemed to step with a less vigorous tread, especially August, who seemed almost to faint, whilst for half the steps he took the dog-star levelled
his rays full at his head: they passed on and made way for a person that seemed to bend a little under the weight of years; his beard and hair, which were full grown, were composed of an equal number of black and grey; he wore a robe which he had girt round him of a yellowish cast, not unlike the colour of fallen leaves, which he walked upon. I thought he bardly made amends for expelling the foregoing scene by the large quantity of fruits which he bore in his hands. Plenty walked by his side with an healthy fresh countenance, pouring out from an horn all the various products of the year. Pomona followed with a glass of cider in her hand, with Bacchus in a chariot drawn by tigers, accompanied by a whole troop of Satyrs, Fauns, and Sylvans. September, who came next, seemed in bis looks to promise a new spring, and wore the livery of those months. The succeeding month was all soiled with the juice of grapes, as if he had jast come from the wine-press. November, though he was in this division, yet, by the many stops he made, seemed rather inclined to the Winter, which followed close at his heels. He advanced in the shape of an old man in the extremity of age: the hair he had was so very white it seemed a real snow; his eyes were red and piercing, and his beard hung with a great quantity of isicles: he was wrapped np in furs, but yet so pinched with excess of cold that bis limbs were all contracted, and his body bent to the ground, so that he could not have supported himself had it not been for Comus the God of Revels, and Necessity the mother of Fate, who sustained him on each side. The shape and mantle of Comus was one of the things that most surprised me; as be advanced towards me his countenance seemed the most desirable I had ever seen: on the fore part of his mantle was pictured joy, delight, and satisfaction, with a thousand emblems of merriment, and jests with faces looking two ways at once; but as he passed from me I was amazed at a shape so little correspondent to his face: his head was
bald, and all the rest of his limbs appeared old and deformed. On the hinder part of his mantle was re. presented Murder, with disheveled hair and a dagger all bloody. Anger in a robe of scarlet, anti Suspicion squinting with both eyes; but above all, the most conspicuous was the battle of the Lapithæ and the Centaurs. I detested so hideous a shape, and turned my eyes upon Saturn, who was stealing away behind him with a scythe in one hand and an hour.glass is t'other unobserved. Behind Necessity was Vesta the goddess of Fire, with a lamp which was perpetually supplied with oil; and whose fame was eternal. She cheered the rugged brow of Necessity, and warmed her so far as alınost to make her assure the features and likeness of Choice. December, January, and February, passed on after the rest all in furs; there was little distinction to be made amongst them, and they were more or less displeasing as they discerned more or less haste to. wards the grateful return of Spring.