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EVER after summer shower,
When the bright sun's returning power
With laughing beam has chased the storm,
And cheer'd reviving nature's form,
By sweet-briar hedges, bathed in dew,
Let me my wholesome path pursue.
There, issuing forth, the frequent snail
Wears the dank way with slimy trail;
While, as I walk, from pearlèd bush
The sunny sparkling drop I brush,
And all the landscape fair I view,
Clad in a robe of fresher hue;
And so loud the blackbird sings,
That far and near the valley rings:
From shelter deep of shaggy rock
The shepherd drives his joyful flock;
From bowering beech the mower blithe
With new-born vigour grasps the scythe :
While o'er the smooth unbounded meads
Its last faint gleam the rainbow spreads.
ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE.
YE distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the watery glade,
Where grateful science still adores
Her Henry's holy shade;
And ye that from the stately brow
Of Windsor's heights th' expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among,
Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way :
Ah! happy hills,—ah! pleasing shade,
Ah! fields beloved in vain,
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from ye
A momentary bliss bestow,
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to soothe,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, Father Thames, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race,
Disporting on thy margent green,
The paths of pleasure trace,
ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE.
Who foremost now delight to cleave
With pliant arm thy glassy wave?
The captive linnet which enthral ?
What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Or urge the flying ball?
While some, on earnest business bent,
Their murm'ring labours ply,
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty;
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry;
Still, as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possess'd;
The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast:
Theirs buxom health, of
Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer, of vigour born;
The thoughtless day, the easy night,
The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
My voice is still for war.
Gods! can a Roman senate long debate
Which of the two to choose-Slavery or Death?
No; let us rise at once, gird on our swords,
And, at the head of our remaining troops,
Attack the foe, break through the thick array
Of his throng'd legions, and charge home upon him.
Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest,
May reach his heart, and free the world from bondage.
Rise, fathers, rise ?-'tis Rome demands your help!
Rise, and revenge her slaughter'd citizens,
Or share their fate; the corpse of half her senate
Manure the fields of Thessaly, while we
Sit here deliberating in cold debates,
If we should sacrifice our lives to honour,
Or wear them out in servitude and chains.
Rouse up, for shame! Our brothers of Pharsalia
Point at their wounds, and cry aloud,-To battle!
Great Pompey's shade complains that we are slow ;
And Scipio's ghost walks unrevenged amongst us!
YE valleys low, where the mild whispers use
Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks,
On whose fresh lap the swart-star sparely looks ;
Throw hither all your quaint enamell'd eyes,
That on the green turf suck the honey'd showers,
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
Bring the rathe* primrose that forsaken dies,
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
The white pink, and the pansy freak'd with jet,
The glowing violet,
The musk-rose, and the well-attir'd woodbine,
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears:
Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,
And daffodillies fill their cups with tears,
To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies.
*Rathe, early; hence the comparative, rather, which, in its original sense, signifies sooner.