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ODE TO DISAPPOINTMENT.
COME, Disappointment, come !
Not in thy terrors clad;
Come in thy meekest, saddest guise;
Thy chastening rod but terrifies
The restless and the bad.
But I recline
Beneath thy shrine,
And round my brow resign'd, thy peaceful cypress twine.
Though Fancy flies away
Before thy hollow tread,
Yet Meditation, in her cell,
Hears, with faint eye, the lingering knell,
That tells her hopes are dead;
And though the tear..
By chance appear,
Yet she can smile, and say, "My all was not laid here.”
Come, Disappointment, come!
Though from Hope's summit hurl'd,
Still, rigid Nurse, thou art forgiven,
For thou severe wert sent from heaven
To wean me from the world:
To turn my eye
And point to scenes of bliss that never, never die.
What is this passing scene?
A peevish April day!
A little sun-a little rain,
And then night sweeps along the plain,
And all things fade away.
Man (soon discuss'd)
Yields up his trust,
And all his hopes and fears lie with him in the dust.
O, what is beauty's power?
It flourishes and dies;
Will the cold earth its silence break,
To tell how soft, how smooth a cheek
Beneath its surface lies?
Mute, mute is all
Her praise resounds no more when mantled in her pall.
"The most beloved on earth,
But now 't is gone away.
Thus does the shade
In memory fade,
When in forsaken tomb the form beloved is laid.
Then since this world is vain,
And volatile, and fleet,
Why should I lay up earthly joys,
Where dust corrupts, and moth destroys,
And cares and sorrows eat?
Why fly from ill
When soon this hand will freeze, this throbbing heart be still?
Come, Disappointment, come!
Thou art not stern to me;
Sad monitress! I own thy sway,
A votary sad in early day,
To thee I bend my knee:
From sun to sun
My race will run,
I only bow, and say, "My God, thy will be done!"
BLOOMFIELD was the Farmer's Boy of his own poem at about the age of eleven, but soon afterwards became apprentice to a shoemaker in London. There, in a garret with five other workmen, and while at work upon his last, he composed the delightful description of his early rural occupations, and for want of leisure moments to write down regularly what he had mentally completed during the day, finished the whole of Winter and a part of Autumn, long before a line of it was committed to paper. The poem was introduced to public notice in the year 1800, through the refined taste and effectual kindness of Capel Lofft, Esq. and was soon read and applauded by all classes of people, while its author became equally the object of esteem. The narrative of his brother, together with his own description of his entrance to London, of his previous employments in the country, his habits of life while a shoemaker, the progress of his poem, its publication and the consequence to himself, making him "known to the literary and esteemed by the good," and causing a total change in his society and connexions, are full of interest.
The Farmer's Boy is an extremely natural and beautiful rural poem. For minute, accurate, and interesting delineation
EMPLOYMENTS OF THE FARMER'S BOY IN SPRING.
FLED now the sullen murmurs of the North,
The splendid raiment of the Spring peeps forth;
Her universal green, and the clear sky,
Delight still more and more the gazing eye.
Wide o'er the fields, in rising moisture strong,
Shoots up the simple flower, or creeps along
The mellow'd soil; imbibing fairer hues,
Or sweets from frequent showers and evening dews;
That summon from their shed the slumb'ring ploughs,
While health impregnates every breeze that blows.
No wheels support the diving, pointed share ;
No groaning ox is doom'd to labour there.
No helpmates teach the docile steed his road ;
(Alike unknown the ploughboy and the goad;)
But, unassisted through each toilsome day,
With smiling brow the ploughman cleaves his way,
Draws his fresh parallels, and, wid'ning still,
Treads slow the heavy dale, or climbs the hill:
Strong on the wing his busy followers play,
Where writhing earth-worms meet th' unwelcome day;
Till all is chang'd, and hill and level down
Assume a livery of sober brown :
Again disturb'd, when Giles with wearying strides
From ridge to ridge the ponderous harrow guides;
His heels deep sinking every step he goes,
Till dirt adhesive loads his clouted shoes.
Welcome green headland! firm beneath his feet;
Welcome the friendly bank's refreshing seat;
There, warm with toil, his panting horses browse
Their shelt'ring canopy of pendent boughs;
Till rest, delicious, chase each transient pain,
And new-born vigour swell in every vein.
Hour after hour, and day to day succeeds;
Till every clod and deep-drawn furrow spreads
To crumbling mould; a level surface clear,
And strew'd with corn to crown the rising year;
And o'er the whole Giles once transverse again,
In earth's moist bosom buries up the grain.
The work is done; no more to man is given;
The grateful farmer trusts the rest to Heaven.
Yet oft with anxious heart he looks around,
And marks the first green blade that breaks the ground;
In fancy sees his trembling oats uprun,
His tufted barley yellow with the sun;
Sees clouds propitious shed their timely store,
And all his harvest gather'd round his door.
But still unsafe the big swoln grain below,
A fav'rite morsel with the rook and crow;
From field to field the flock increasing goes;
To level crops most formidable foes;
Their danger well the wary plunderers know,
And place a watch on some conspicuous bough;
Yet oft the skulking gunner by surprise
Will scatter death amongst them as they rise.
These, hung in triumph round the spacious field,
At best will but a short-liv'd terror yield:
Nor guards of property; (not penal law,
But harmless riflemen of rags and straw);
Familiariz'd to these, they boldly rove,
Nor heed such sentinels that never move.
Let then your birds lie prostrate on the earth,
In dying posture, and with wings stretch'd forth;
Shift them at eve or morn from place to place,
And death shall terrify the pilfering race;
In the mid air, while circling round and round,
They call their lifeless comrades from the ground;
With quick'ning wing and notes of loud alarm,
Warn the whole flock to shun th' impending harm.
This task had Giles, in fields remote from home: Oft has he wished the rosy morn to come; Yet never fam'd was he nor foremost found To break the seal of sleep; his sleep was sound: But when at day-break summon'd from his bed, Light as the lark that carol'd o'er his head.His sandy way, deep-worn by hasty showers, O'er-arch'd with oaks that form'd fantastic bow'rs, Waving aloft their tow'ring branches proud, In borrow'd tinges from the eastern cloud, Gave inspiration, pure as ever flow'd, And genuine transport in his bosom glow'd. His own shrill inatin join'd the various notes Of nature's music from a thousand throats: The blackbird strove with emulation sweet, And echo answered from her close retreat; The sporting white-throat on some twig's end borne, Pour'd hymns to Freedom and the rising morn; Stopt in her song perchance, the starting thrush Shook a white shower from the blackthorn bush, Where dew-drops thick as early blossoms hung, And trembled as the minstrel sweetly sung. Across his path, in either grove to hide, The timid rabbit scouted by his side; Or pheasant boldly stalk'd along the road, Whose gold and purple tints alternate glow'd.
But groves no farther fenc'd the devious way; A wide-extended heath before him lay,
Where on the grass the stagnant shower had run,
And shone a mirror to the rising sun,
Thus doubly seen to light a distant wood,
To give new life to each expanding bud;
And chase away the dewy foot-marks found,
Where prowling Reynard trod his nightly round;
To shun whose thefts 't was Giles's evening care,
His feather'd victims to suspend in air,
High on the bough that nodded o'er his head,
And thus each morn to strew the field with dead.
DESCRIPTION OF A SHepherd's LIFE.
NEGLECTED now the early daisy lies;
Nor thou, pale primrose, bloom'st the only prize;
Advancing Spring profusely spreads abroad
Flow'rs of all hues, with sweetest fragrance stor❜d;
Where'er she treads, love gladdens every plain,
Delight on tiptoe bears her lucid train;
Sweet hope with conscious brow before her flies,
Anticipating wealth from Summer skies;
All nature feels her renovating sway;
The sheep-fed pasture, and the meadow gay;
And trees, and shrubs, no longer budding seen,
Display the new-grown branch of lighter green;
On airy downs the shepherd idling lies,
And sees to-morrow in the marbled skies.
Here, then, my soul, thy darling theme pursue,
For every day was Giles a shepherd too.
Small was his charge: no wilds had they to roam:
But bright inclosures circling round their home.
No yellow-blossom'd furze, nor stubborn thorn,
The heath's rough produce, had their fleeces torn :
Yet ever roving, ever seeking thee,
Enchanting spirit, dear variety!
O happy tenants, prisoners of a day!
Releas'd to ease, to pleasure, and to play;
Indulg'd through every field by turns to range,
And taste them all in one continual change.
For though luxuriant their grassy food,
Sheep long confin'd but lothe the present good;
Bleating around the homeward gate they meet,
And starve, and pine, with plenty at their feet.
Loos'd from the winding lane, a joyful throng,
See, o'er yon pasture, how they pour along!
Giles round their boundaries takes his usual stroll;
Sees every pass secur'd, and fences whole;
High fences, proud to charm the gazing eye,