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The winds are whistling o'er the wolds,
The distant main is moaning low;
Come, let us sit and weave a song—
A melancholy song!
Sweet is the scented gale of morn,
And sweet the noontide's fervid beam,
But sw eter far the solemn calm,
That marks thy mournful reign.
I 've pass'd here many a lonely year,
And never human voice have heard;
I've pass'd here many a lonely year
A solitary man.
And I have linger'd in the shade,
From sultry noon's hot beam; and I
Have knelt before my wicker door,
To sing my evening song.
And I have hail'd the gray morn high,
On the blue mountain's misty brow,
And tried to tune my little reed
To hymns of harmony.
But never could I tune my reed,
At morn, or noon, or eve, so sweet,
As when upon the ocean shore
1 hail'd thy star-beam mild.
The day-spring brings not joy to me,
The moon it whispers not of peace;
But oh! when darkness robes the heavens,
My woes are mixt with joy.
And then I talk, and often think
Aerial voices answer me;
And oh! I am not then alone-
A solitary man.
And when the blustering winter winds Howl in the woods that clothe my cave, I lay me on my lonely mat,
And pleasant are my dreams.
And Fancy gives me back my wife;
And Fancy gives me back my child;
She gives me back my little home,
And all its placid joys.
Then hateful is the morning hour,
That calls me from the dream of bliss,
To find myself still lone, and hear
The same dull sounds again.
The deep-toned winds, the moaning sea,
The whispering of the boding trees,
The brook's eternal flow, and oft
The condor's hollow scream.
TO THE HERB ROSEMARY.
SWEET Scented flower! who art wont to bloom
On January's front severe,
And o'er the wintry desert drear
To waft thy waste perfume!
Come, thou shalt form my nosegay now,
And I will bind thee round my brow;
And as I twine the mournful wreath,
I'll weave a melancholy song:
And sweet the strain shall be and long,
The melody of death.
Come, funeral flower! who lov'st to dwell
With the pale corse in lonely tomb,
And throw across the desert gloom
A sweet decaying smell.
Come, press my lips, and lie with me
Beneath the lowly alder tree,
And we will sleep a pleasant sleep,
And not a care shall dare intrude,
To break the marble solitude
So peaceful and so deep.
And hark! the wind-god, as he flies,
Moans hollow in the forest trees,
And sailing on the gusty breeze,
Mysterious music dies.
Sweet flower! that requiem wild is mine,
It warns me to the lonely shrine,
The cold turf altar of the dead;
My grave shall be in yon lone spot,
Where as I lie, by all forgot,
A dying fragrance thou wilt o'er my ashes shed.
*The Rosemary buds in January. It is the flower commonly put in the coffins of the dead.
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
O'er Beauty's fall;
Her praise resounds no more when mantled in her pall.
The most beloved on earth,
Not long survives to-day;
So music past is obsolete,
And yet 't was sweet, 't was passing sweet,
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
With anxious skill,
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 garre 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 poern. For minute, accurate, and interesting delineation of particular scenes and objects in country life, it is unrivalled.
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 brows
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;