Summer (from The Seasons) – James Thomson (1700-1748)

The Argument

The subject proposed. Invocation. Address to Mr. Dodington. An introductory reflection on the motion of the heavenly bodies; whence the succession of the Seasons. As the face of Nature in this Season is almost uniform, the progress of the poem is a description of a summer’s Day. The dawn. Sun-rising. Hymn to the Sun. Forenoon. Summer Insects described. Hay-making. Sheep-shearing. Noon-day. A woodland retreat. Groupe of herds and flocks. A solemn grove. How it affects a contemplative mind. A cataract, and rude scene. View of Summer in the torrid zone. Storm of thunder and lightning. A tale. The storm over, a serene afternoon. Bathing. Hour of walking. Transition to the prospect of a rich well-cultivated country; which introduces a panegyric on Great Britain. Sun-set. Evening. Night. Summer meteors. A Comet. The whole concluding with the praise of philosophy.

From brightening fields of ether fair disclosed, 
Child of the Sun, refulgent Summer comes, 
In pride of youth, and felt through Nature’s depth: 
He comes attended by the sultry Hours, 
And ever fanning breezes, on his way; 
While, from his ardent look, the turning Spring 
Averts her blushful face; and earth, and skies, 
All-smiling, to his hot dominion leaves. 

Hence, let me haste into the mid-wood shade, 
Where scarce a sunbeam wanders through the gloom; 
And on the dark-green grass, beside the brink 
Of haunted stream, that by the roots of oak 
Rolls o’er the rocky channel, lie at large, 
And sing the glories of the circling year. 

Come, Inspiration! from thy hermit-seat, 
By mortal seldom found: may Fancy dare, 
From thy fix’d serious eye, and raptured glance 
Shot on surrounding Heaven, to steal one look 
Creative of the Poet, every power 
Exalting to an ecstasy of soul. 

And thou, my youthful Muse’s early friend, 
In whom the human graces all unite: 
Pure light of mind, and tenderness of heart; 
Genius, and wisdom; the gay social sense, 
By decency chastised; goodness and wit, 
In seldom-meeting harmony combined; 
Unblemish’d honour, and an active zeal 
For Britain’s glory, liberty, and Man: 
O Dodington! attend my rural song, 
Stoop to my theme, inspirit every line, 
And teach me to deserve thy just applause. 

With what an awful world-revolving power 
Were first the unwieldy planets launch’d along 
The illimitable void! thus to remain, 
Amid the flux of many thousand years, 
That oft has swept the toiling race of men, 
And all their labour’d monuments away, 
Firm, unremitting, matchless, in their course; 
To the kind-temper’d change of night and day, 
And of the seasons ever stealing round, 
Minutely faithful: such the All-perfect hand! 
That poised, impels, and rules the steady whole. 

When now no more the alternate Twins are fired, 
And Cancer reddens with the solar blaze, 
Short is the doubtful empire of the night; 
And soon, observant of approaching day, 
The meek’d-eyed Morn appears, mother of dews, 
At first faint-gleaming in the dappled east: 
Till far o’er ether spreads the widening glow; 
And, from before the lustre of her face, 
White break the clouds away. With quicken’d step, 
Brown Night retires: young Day pours in apace, 
And opens all the lawny prospect wide. 
The dripping rock, the mountain’s misty top 
Swell on the sight, and brighten with the dawn. 
Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents shine; 
And from the bladed field the fearful hare 
Limps, awkward: while along the forest-glade 
The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze 
At early passenger. Music awakes 
The native voice of undissembled joy; 
And thick around the woodland hymns arise. 
Roused by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd leaves 
His mossy cottage, where with Peace he dwells; 
And from the crowded fold, in order, drives 
His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn. 

Falsely luxurious! will not Man awake; 
And, springing from the bed of sloth, enjoy 
The cool, the fragrant, and the silent hour, 
To meditation due and sacred song? 
For is there ought in sleep can charm the wise? 
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half 
The fleeting moments of too short a life; 
Total extinction of the enlightened soul! 
Or else to feverish vanity alive, 
Wilder’d, and tossing through distemper’d dreams? 
Who would in such a gloomy state remain 
Longer than Nature craves; when every Muse 
And every blooming pleasure wait without, 
To bless the wildly-devious morning-walk? 

But yonder comes the powerful King of Day, 
Rejoicing in the east. The lessening cloud, 
The kindling azure, and the mountain’s brow 
Illumed with fluid gold, his near approach 
Betoken glad. Lo! now, apparent all, 
Aslant the dew-bright earth, and colour’d air, 
He looks in boundless majesty abroad; 
And sheds the shining day, that burnish’d plays 
On rocks, and hills, and towers, and wandering streams, 
High gleaming from afar. Prime cheerer, Light! 
Of all material beings first, and best! 
Efflux divine! Nature’s resplendent robe! 
Without whose vesting beauty all were wrapt 
In unessential gloom; and thou, O Sun! 
Soul of surrounding worlds! in whom best seen 
Shines out thy Maker! may I sing of thee? 

‘Tis by thy secret, strong, attractive force, 
As with a chain indissoluble bound, 
Thy system rolls entire: from the far bourne 
Of utmost Saturn, wheeling wide his round 
Of thirty years, to Mercury, whose disk 
Can scarce be caught by philosophic eye, 
Lost in the near effulgence of thy blaze. 

Informer of the planetary train! 
Without whose quickening glance their cumbrous orbs 
Were brute unlovely mass, inert and dead, 
And not, as now, the green abodes of life! 
How many forms of being wait on thee! 
Inhaling spirit; from the unfetter’d mind, 
By thee sublimed, down to the daily race, 
The mixing myriads of thy setting beam. 

The vegetable world is also thine, 
Parent of Seasons! who the pomp precede 
That waits thy throne, as through thy vast domain, 
Annual, along the bright ecliptic road, 
In world-rejoicing state, it moves sublime. 
Meantime the expecting nations, circled gay 
With all the various tribes of foodful earth, 
Implore thy bounty, or send grateful up 
A common hymn: while, round thy beaming car, 
High-seen, the Seasons lead, in sprightly dance 
Harmonious knit, the rosy-finger’d Hours, 
The Zephyrs floating loose, the timely Rains, 
Of bloom ethereal the light-footed Dews, 
And softened into joy the surly Storms. 
These, in successive turn, with lavish hand, 
Shower every beauty, every fragrance shower, 
Herbs, flowers, and fruits; and, kindling at thy touch, 
From land to land is flush’d the vernal year. 

Nor to the surface of enliven’d earth, 
Graceful with hills and dales, and leafy woods, 
Her liberal tresses, is thy force confined: 
But, to the bowel’d cavern darting deep, 
The mineral kinds confess thy mighty power. 
Effulgent, hence the veiny marble shines; 
Hence Labour draws his tools; hence burnish’d War 
Gleams on the day; the nobler works of Peace 
Hence bless mankind, and generous Commerce binds 
The round of nations in a golden chain. 

The unfruitful rock itself, impregn’d by thee, 
In dark retirement forms the lucid stone. 
The lively diamond drinks thy purest rays, 
Collected light, compact; that, polish’d bright, 
And all its native lustre let abroad, 
Dares, as it sparkles on the fair-one’s breast, 
With vain ambition emulate her eyes. 
At thee the ruby lights its deepening glow, 
And with a waving radiance inward flames. 
From thee the sapphire, solid ether, takes 
Its hue cerulean; and, of evening tinct, 
The purple-streaming amethyst is thine. 
With thy own smile the yellow topaz burns. 
Nor deeper verdure dyes the robe of Spring, 
When first she gives it to the southern gale, 
Than the green emerald shows. But, all combined, 
Thick through the whitening opal play thy beams; 
Or, flying several from its surface, form 
A trembling variance of revolving hues, 
As the site varies in the gazer’s hand. 

The very dead creation, from thy touch, 
Assumes a mimic life. By thee refined, 
In brighter mazes the relucent stream 
Plays o’er the mead. The precipice abrupt, 
Projecting horror on the blacken’d flood, 
Softens at thy return. The desert joys, 
Wildly, through all his melancholy bounds. 
Rude ruins glitter; and the briny deep, 
Seen from some pointed promontory’s top, 
Far to the blue horizon’s utmost verge, 
Restless, reflects a floating gleam. But this, 
And all the much-transported Muse can sing, 
Are to thy beauty, dignity, and use, 
Unequal far; great delegated source 
Of light, and life, and grace, and joy below! 

How shall I then attempt to sing of Him! 
Who, Light Himself, in uncreated light 
Invested deep, dwells awfully retired 
From mortal eye, or angel’s purer ken; 
Whose single smile has, from the first of time, 
Fill’d, overflowing, all those lamps of Heaven, 
That beam for ever through the boundless sky: 
But, should he hide his face, the astonish’d sun, 
And all the extinguish’d stars, would loosening reel 
Wide from their spheres, and Chaos come again. 

And yet was every faltering tongue of Man, 
Almighty Father! silent in thy praise; 
Thy Works themselves would raise a general voice, 
E’en in the depth of solitary woods 
By human foot untrod; proclaim thy power, 
And to the quire celestial Thee resound, 
The eternal cause, support, and end of all! 

To me be Nature’s volume broad display’d; 
And to peruse its all instructing page, 
Or, haply catching inspiration thence, 
Some easy passage, raptured, to translate, 
My sole delight; as through the falling glooms 
Pensive I stray, or with the rising dawn 
On Fancy’s eagle-wing excursive soar. 

Now, flaming up the heavens, the potent sun 
Melts into limpid air the high-raised clouds, 
And morning fogs, that hover’d round the hills 
In party-colour’d bands; till wide unveil’d 
The face of Nature shines, from where earth seems, 
Far-stretch’d around, to meet the bending sphere. 

Half in a blush of clustering roses lost, 
Dew-dropping Coolness to the shade retires; 
There, on the verdant turf, or flowery bed, 
By gelid founts and careless rills to muse; 
While tyrant Heat, dispreading through the sky, 
With rapid sway, his burning influence darts 
On man, and beast, and herb, and tepid stream. 

Who can unpitying see the flowery race, 
Shed by the morn, their new-flush’d bloom resign, 
Before the parching beam? so fade the fair, 
When fevers revel through their azure veins. 
But one the lofty follower of the sun, 
Sad when he sets, shuts up her yellow leaves, 
Drooping all night; and, when he warm returns, 
Points her enamour’d bosom to his ray. 

Home, from his morning task, the swain retreats; 
His flock before him stepping to the fold: 
While the full-udder’d mother lows around 
The cheerful cottage, then expecting food, 
The food of innocence and health! the daw, 
The rook, and magpie, to the grey-grown oaks 
That the calm village in their verdant arms, 
Sheltering, embrace, direct their lazy flight; 
Where on the mingling boughs they sit embower’d, 
All the hot noon, till cooler hours arise. 
Faint, underneath, the household fowls convene; 
And, in a corner of the buzzing shade, 
The house-dog, with the vacant greyhound, lies, 
Out-stretch’d, and sleepy. In his slumbers one 
Attacks the nightly thief, and one exults 
O’er hill and dale; till, waken’d by the wasp, 
They starting snap. Nor shall the Muse disdain 
To let the little noisy summer race 
Live in her lay, and flutter through her song: 
Not mean though simple; to the sun ally’d, 
From him they draw their animating fire. 

Waked by his warmer ray, the reptile young 
Come wing’d abroad; by the light air upborne, 
Lighter, and full of soul. From every chink 
And secret corner, where they slept away 
The wintry storms; or rising from their tombs, 
To higher life; by myriads, forth at once, 
Swarming they pour; of all the varied hues 
Their beauty-beaming parent can disclose. 
Ten thousand forms, ten thousand different tribes, 
People the blaze. To sunny waters some 
By fatal instinct fly; where on the pool 
They, sportive, wheel: or, sailing down the stream, 
Are snatch’d immediate by the quick-eyed trout, 
Or darting salmon. Through the green-wood glade 
Some love to stray; there lodged, amused, and fed, 
In the fresh leaf. Luxurious, others make 
The meads their choice, and visit every flower, 
And every latent herb: for the sweet task, 
To propagate their kinds, and where to wrap, 
In what soft beds, their young yet undisclosed, 
Employs their tender care. Some to the house, 
The fold, and dairy, hungry bend their flight; 
Sip round the pail, or taste the curdling cheese; 
Oft, inadvertent, from the milky stream 
They meet their fate; or, weltering in the bowl, 
With powerless wings around them wrapt, expire. 

But chief to heedless flies the window proves 
A constant death; where, gloomily retired, 
The villain spider lives, cunning, and fierce, 
Mixture abhorr’d! amid a mangled heap 
Of carcasses, in eager watch he sits, 
O’erlooking all his waving snares around. 
Near the dire cell the dreadless wanderer oft 
Passes, as oft the Russian shows his front; 
The prey at last ensnared, he dreadful darts, 
With rapid glide, along the leaning line; 
And, fixing in the wretch his cruel fangs, 
Strikes backward grimly pleased; the fluttering wing 
And shriller sound declare extreme distress, 
And ask the helping hospitable hand. 

Resounds the living surface of the ground: 
Nor undelightful is the ceaseless hum, 
To him who muses through the woods at noon; 
Or drowsy shepherd, as he lies reclined, 
With half-shut eyes, beneath the floating shade 
Of willows grey, close crowding o’er the brook.
Gradual, from these what numerous kinds descend, 
Evading e’en the microscopic eye? 
Full Nature swarms with life; one wondrous mass 
Of animals, or atoms organized, 
Waiting the vital breath, when parent Heaven 
Shall bid his spirit blow. The hoary fen, 
In putrid steams, emits the living cloud 
Of pestilence. Through subterranean cells, 
Where searching sunbeams scarce can find a way, 
Earth animated heaves. The flowery leaf 
Wants not its soft inhabitants. Secure, 
Within its winding citadel, the stone 
Holds multitudes. But chief the forest boughs, 
That dance unnumber’d to the playful breeze, 
The downy orchard, and the melting pulp 
Of mellow fruit, the nameless nations feed 
Of evanescent insects. Where the pool 
Stands mantled o’er with green, invisible, 
Amid the floating verdure millions stray. 
Each liquid too, whether it pierces, soothes, 
Inflames, refreshes, or exalts the taste, 
With various forms abounds. Nor is the stream 
Of purest crystal, nor the lucid air, 
Though one transparent vacancy it seems, 
Void of their unseen people. These, conceal’d 
By the kind art of forming Heaven, escape 
The grosser eye of man: for, if the worlds 
In worlds inclosed should on his senses burst, 
From cates ambrosial, and the nectar’d bowl, 
He would abhorrent turn; and in dead night, 
When silence sleeps o’er all, be stunn’d with noise. 

Let no presuming impious railer tax 
Creative Wisdom, as if ought was form’d 
In vain, or not for admirable ends. 
Shall little haughty Ignorance pronounce 
His works unwise, of which the smallest part 
Exceeds the narrow vision of her mind? 
As if upon a full proportion’d dome, 
On swelling columns heaved, the pride of art! 
A critic fly, whose feeble ray scarce spreads 
An inch around, with blind presumption bold, 
Should dare to tax the structure of the whole. 
And lives the man, whose universal eye 
Has swept at once the unbounded scheme of things; 
Mark’d their dependance so, and firm accord, 
As with unfaltering accent to conclude 
That this availeth nought? Has any seen 
The mighty chain of beings, lessening down 
From Infinite Perfection to the brink 
Of dreary nothing, desolate abyss! 
From which astonish’d thought, recoiling, turns? 
Till then alone let zealous praise ascend, 
And hymns of holy wonder, to that Power, 
Whose wisdom shines as lovely on our minds, 
As on our smiling eyes his servant-sun. 

Thick in yon stream of light, a thousand ways, 
Upward, and downward, thwarting, and convolved, 
The quivering nations sport; till, tempest-wing’d, 
Fierce Winter sweeps them from the face of day. 
E’en so luxurious men, unheeding, pass 
An idle summer life in fortune’s shine, 
A season’s glitter! thus they flutter on 
From toy to toy, from vanity to vice; 
Till, blown away by death, oblivion comes 
Behind, and strikes them from the book of life.
Now swarms the village o’er the jovial mead: 
The rustic youth, brown with meridian toil, 
Healthful and strong; full as the summer-rose 
Blown by prevailing suns, the ruddy maid, 
Half naked, swelling on the sight, and all 
Her kindled graces burning o’er her cheek. 
E’en stooping age is here; and infant hands 
Trail the long rake, or, with the fragrant load 
O’ercharged, amid the kind oppression roll. 
Wide flies the tedded grain; all in a row 
Advancing broad, or wheeling round the field, 
They spread the breathing harvest to the sun, 
That throws refreshful round a rural smell: 
Or, as they rake the green-appearing ground, 
And drive the dusky wave along the mead, 
The russet hay-cock rises thick behind, 
In order gay. While heard from dale to dale, 
Waking the breeze, resounds the blended voice 
Of happy labour, love, and social glee. 

Or rushing thence, in one diffusive band, 
They drive the troubled flocks, by many a dog 
Compell’d, to where the mazy-running brook 
Forms a deep pool; this bank abrupt and high, 
And that fair-spreading in a pebbled shore. 
Urged to the giddy brink, much is the toil, 
The clamour much, of men, and boys, and dogs, 
Ere the soft fearful people to the flood 
Commit their woolly sides. And oft the swain, 
On some impatient seizing, hurls them in: 
Embolden’d then, nor hesitating more, 
Fast, fast, they plunge amid the flashing wave, 
And panting labour to the farthest shore. 
Repeated this, till deep the well-wash’d fleece 
Has drunk the flood, and from his lively haunt, 
The trout is banish’d by the sordid stream; 
Heavy, and dripping, to the breezy brow 
Slow more the harmless race: where, as they spread 
Their swelling treasures to the sunny ray, 
Inly disturb’d, and wondering what this wild 
Outrageous tumult means, their loud complaints 
The country fill; and, toss’d from rock to rock, 
Incessant bleatings run around the hills. 
At last, of snowy white, the gather’d flocks 
Are in the wattled pen innumerous press’d, 
Head above head: and ranged in lusty rows 
The shepherds sit, and whet the sounding shears. 
The housewife waits to roll her fleecy stores, 
With all her gay-drest maids attending round. 
One, chief, in gracious dignity enthroned, 
Shines o’er the rest, the pastoral queen, and rays 
Her smiles, sweet-beaming, on her shepherd-king; 
While the glad circle round them yield their souls 
To festive mirth, and wit that knows no gall. 
Meantime, their joyous task goes on apace: 
Some mingling stir the melted tar, and some, 
Deep on the new-shorn vagrant’s heaving side, 
To stamp the master’s cypher ready stand; 
Others the unwilling wether drag along; 
And, glorying in his might, the sturdy boy 
Holds by the twisted horns the indignant ram. 
Behold where bound, and of its robe bereft, 
By needy man, that all-depending lord, 
How meek, how patient, the mild creature lies! 
What softness in its melancholy face, 
What dumb complaining innocence appears! 
Fear not, ye gentle tribes, ’tis not the knife 
Of horrid slaughter that is o’er you waved; 
No, ’tis the tender swain’s well-guided shears, 
Who having now, to pay his annual care, 
Borrow’d your fleece, to you a cumbrous load, 
Will send you bounding to your hills again. 
A simple scene! yet hence Britannia sees 
Her solid grandeur rise: hence she commands 
The exalted stores of every brighter clime, 
The treasures of the Sun without his rage: 
Hence, fervent all, with culture, toil, and arts, 
Wide glows her land: her dreadful thunder hence 
Rides o’er the waves sublime, and now, e’en now, 
Impending hangs o’er Gallia’s humbled coast; 
Hence rules the circling deep, and awes the world. 

‘Tis raging noon; and, vertical, the sun 
Darts on the head direct his forceful rays. 
O’er heaven and earth, far as the ranging eye 
Can sweep, a dazzling deluge reigns; and all 
From pole to pole is undistinguish’d blaze. 
In vain the sight, dejected, to the ground 
Stoops for relief; thence hot-ascending steams 
And keen reflection pain. Deep to the root 
Of vegetation parch’d, the cleaving fields 
And slippery lawn an arid hue disclose, 
Blast Fancy’s bloom, and wither e’en the soul. 
Echo no more returns the cheerful sound 
Of sharpening scythe: the mower sinking heaps 
O’er him the humid hay, with flowers perfumed; 
And scarce a chirping grasshopper is heard 
Through the dumb mead. Distressful Nature pants. 
The very streams look languid from afar; 
Or, through the unshelter’d glade, impatient, seem 
To hurl into the covert of the grove. 

All-conquering Heat, oh intermit thy wrath! 
And on my throbbing temples potent thus 
Beam not so fierce! incessant still you flow, 
And still another fervent flood succeeds, 
Pour’d on the head profuse. In vain I sigh, 
And restless turn, and look around for night; 
Night is far off; and hotter hours approach. 
Thrice happy he! who on the sunless side 
Of a romantic mountain, forest-crown’d, 
Beneath the whole collected shade reclines: 
Or in the gelid caverns, woodbine-wrought, 
And fresh bedew’d with ever-spouting streams, 
Sits coolly calm; while all the world without, 
Unsatisfied, and sick, tosses in noon. 
Emblem instructive of the virtuous man, 
Who keeps his temper’d mind serene and pure, 
And every passion aptly harmonized, 
Amid a jarring world with vice inflamed.
Welcome, ye shades! ye bowery thickets, hail! 
Ye lofty pines! ye venerable oaks! 
Ye ashes wild, resounding o’er the steep! 
Delicious is your shelter to the soul, 
As to the hunted hart the sallying spring, 
Or stream full-flowing, that his swelling sides 
Laves, as he floats along the herbaged brink. 
Cool, through the nerves, your pleasing comfort glides; 
The heart beats glad; the fresh-expanded eye 
And ear resume their watch; the sinews knit; 
And life shoots swift through all the lighten’d limbs.
Around the adjoining brook, that purls along 
The vocal grove, now fretting o’er a rock, 
Now scarcely moving through a reedy pool, 
Now starting to a sudden stream, and now 
Gently diffused into a limpid plain; 
A various group the herds and flocks compose, 
Rural confusion! on the grassy bank 
Some ruminating lie; while others stand 
Half in the flood, and often bending sip 
The circling surface. In the middle droops 
The strong laborious ox, of honest front, 
Which incomposed he shakes; and from his sides 
The troublous insects lashes with his tail, 
Returning still. Amid his subjects safe, 
Slumbers the monarch-swain; his careless arm 
Thrown round his head, on downy moss sustain’d; 
Here laid his scrip, with wholesome viands fill’d; 
There, listening every noise, his watchful dog. 

Light fly his slumbers, if perchance a flight 
Of angry gad-flies fasten on the herd; 
That startling scatters from the shallow brook, 
In search of lavish stream. Tossing the foam, 
They scorn the keeper’s voice, and scour the plain, 
Through all the bright severity of noon; 
While, from their labouring breasts, a hollow moan 
Proceeding, runs low-bellowing round the hills. 

Oft in this season too the horse, provoked, 
While his big sinews full of spirits swell, 
Trembling with vigour, in the heat of blood, 
Springs the high fence; and, o’er the field effused, 
Darts on the gloomy flood, with steadfast eye, 
And heart estranged to fear: his nervous chest, 
Luxuriant, and erect, the seat of strength! 
Bears down the opposing stream: quenchless his thirst; 
He takes the river at redoubled draughts; 
And with wide nostrils, snorting, skims the wave. 

Still let me pierce into the midnight depth 
Of yonder grove, of wildest largest growth: 
That, forming high in air a woodland quire, 
Nods o’er the mount beneath. At every step, 
Solemn and slow, the shadows blacker fall, 
And all is awful listening gloom around. 

These are the haunts of Meditation, these 
The scenes where ancient bards the inspiring breath, 
Ecstatic, felt; and, from this world retired, 
Conversed with angels, and immortal forms, 
On gracious errands bent: to save the fall 
Of virtue struggling on the brink of vice; 
In waking whispers, and repeated dreams, 
To hint pure thought, and warn the favour’d soul 
For future trials fated to prepare; 
To prompt the poet, who devoted gives 
His muse to better themes; to soothe the pangs 
Of dying worth, and from the patriot’s breast 
(Backward to mingle in detested war, 
But foremost when engaged) to turn the death; 
And numberless such offices of love, 
Daily, and nightly, zealous to perform. 

Shook sudden from the bosom of the sky, 
A thousand shapes or glide athwart the dusk, 
Or stalk majestic on. Deep-roused, I feel 
A sacred terror, a severe delight, 
Creep through my mortal frame; and thus, me-thinks, 
A voice than human more, the abstracted ear 
Of fancy strikes:—“Be not of us afraid, 
Poor kindred man! thy fellow-creatures, we 
From the same Parent-Power our beings drew, 
The same our Lord, and laws, and great pursuit. 
Once some of us, like thee, through stormy life, 
Toil’d, tempest-beaten, ere we could attain 
This holy calm, this harmony of mind, 
Where purity and peace immingle charms. 
Then fear not us; but with responsive song, 
Amid these dim recesses, undisturb’d 
By noisy folly and discordant vice, 
Of Nature sing with us, and Nature’s God. 
Here frequent, at the visionary hour, 
When musing midnight reigns or silent noon, 
Angelic harps are in full concert heard, 
And voices chanting from the wood-crown’d hill, 
The deepening dale, or inmost sylvan glade: 
A privilege bestow’d by us, alone, 
On Contemplation, or the hallow’d ear 
Of poet, swelling to seraphic strain.” 

And art thou, Stanley, of that sacred band? 
Alas, for us too soon! though raised above 
The reach of human pain, above the flight 
Of human joy; yet, with a mingled ray 
Of sadly pleased remembrance, must thou feel 
A mother’s love, a mother’s tender woe: 
Who seeks thee still, in many a former scene; 
Seeks thy fair form, thy lovely beaming eyes, 
Thy pleasing converse, by gay lively sense 
Inspired: where moral wisdom mildly shone, 
Without the toil of art; and virtue glow’d, 
In all her smiles, without forbidding pride. 
But, O thou best of parents! wipe thy tears; 
Or rather to Parental Nature pay 
The tears of grateful joy, who for a while 
Lent thee this younger self, this opening bloom 
Of thy enlighten’d mind and gentle worth. 
Believe the Muse: the wintry blast of death 
Kills not the buds of virtue; no, they spread, 
Beneath the heavenly beam of brighter suns, 
Through endless ages, into higher powers. 

Thus up the mount, in airy vision wrapt, 
I stray, regardless whither; till the sound 
Of a near fall of water every sense 
Wakes from the charm of thought: swift-shrinking back, 
I check my steps, and view the broken scene. 

Smooth to the shelving brink a copious flood 
Rolls fair, and placid; where collected all, 
In one impetuous torrent, down the steep 
It thundering shoots, and shakes the country round. 
At first, an azure sheet, it rushes broad; 
Then whitening by degrees, as prone it falls, 
And from the loud-resounding rocks below 
Dash’d in a cloud of foam, it sends aloft 
A hoary mist, and forms a ceaseless shower. 
Nor can the tortured wave here find repose: 
But, raging still amid the shaggy rocks, 
Now flashes o’er the scatter’d fragments, now 
Aslant the hollow channel rapid darts; 
And falling fast from gradual slope to slope, 
With wild infracted course, and lessen’d roar, 
It gains a safer bed, and steals, at last, 
Along the mazes of the quiet vale. 

Invited from the cliff, to whose dark brow 
He clings, the steep-ascending eagle soars, 
With upward pinions through the flood of day; 
And, giving full his bosom to the blaze, 
Gains on the sun; while all the tuneful race, 
Smit by afflictive noon, disorder’d droop, 
Deep in the thicket; or, from bower to bower 
Responsive, force an interrupted strain. 
The stock-dove only through the forest cooes, 
Mournfully hoarse; oft ceasing from his plaint, 
Short interval of weary woe! again 
The sad idea of his murder’d mate, 
Struck from his side by savage fowler’s guile, 
Across his fancy comes; and then resounds 
A louder song of sorrow through the grove. 

Beside the dewy border let me sit, 
All in the freshness of the humid air: 
There in that hollow’d rock, grotesque and wild, 
An ample chair moss-lined, and over head 
By flowering umbrage shaded; where the bee 
Strays diligent, and with the extracted balm 
Of fragrant woodbine loads his little thigh. 

Now, while I taste the sweetness of the shade, 
While Nature lies around deep-lull’d in noon, 
Now come, bold Fancy, spread a daring flight, 
And view the wonders of the torrid zone: 
Climes unrelenting! with whose rage compared, 
Yon blaze is feeble, and yon skies are cool. 

See, how at once the bright effulgent sun, 
Rising direct, swift chases from the sky 
The short-lived twilight; and with ardent blaze 
Looks gaily fierce through all the dazzling air: 
He mounts his throne; but kind before him sends, 
Issuing from out the portals of the morn, 
The general breeze, to mitigate his fire, 
And breathe refreshment on a fainting world. 
Great are the scenes, with dreadful beauty crown’d 
And barbarous wealth, that see, each circling year, 
Returning suns and double seasons pass: 
Rocks rich in gems, and mountains big with mines, 
That on the high equator ridgy rise, 
Whence many a bursting stream auriferous plays: 
Majestic woods, of every vigorous green, 
Stage above stage, high waving o’er the hills; 
Or to the far horizon wide diffused, 
A boundless deep immensity of shade. 
Here lofty trees, to ancient song unknown, 
The noble sons of potent heat and floods 
Prone-rushing from the clouds, rear high to Heaven 
Their thorny stems, and broad around them throw 
Meridian gloom. Here, in eternal prime, 
Unnumber’d fruits of keen delicious taste 
And vital spirit, drink amid the cliffs, 
And burning sands that bank the shrubby vales, 
Redoubled day, yet in their rugged coats 
A friendly juice to cool its rage contain. 

Bear me, Pomona! to thy citron groves; 
To where the lemon and the piercing lime, 
With the deep orange, glowing through the green, 
Their lighter glories blend. Lay me reclined 
Beneath the spreading tamarind that shakes, 
Fann’d by the breeze, its fever-cooling fruit. 
Deep in the night the massy locust sheds, 
Quench my hot limbs; or lead me through the maze, 
Embowering endless, of the Indian fig; 
Or thrown at gayer ease, on some fair brow, 
Let me behold, by breezy murmurs cool’d, 
Broad o’er my head the verdant cedar wave, 
And high palmetos lift their graceful shade. 
Or stretch’d amid these orchards of the sun, 
Give me to drain the cocoa’s milky bowl, 
And from the palm to draw its freshening wine! 
More bounteous far than all the frantic juice 
Which Bacchus pours. Nor, on its slender twigs 
Low-bending, be the full pomegranate scorn’d; 
Nor, creeping through the woods, the gelid race 
Of berries. Oft in humble station dwells 
Unboastful worth, above fastidious pomp. 
Witness, thou best Anana, thou the pride 
Of vegetable life, beyond whate’er 
The poets imaged in the golden age: 
Quick let me strip thee of thy tufty coat, 
Spread thy ambrosial stores, and feast with Jove! 

From these the prospect varies. Plains immense 
Lie stretch’d below, interminable meads, 
And vast savannahs, where the wandering eye, 
Unfix’d, is in a verdant ocean lost. 
Another Flora there, of bolder hues, 
And richer sweets, beyond our garden’s pride, 
Plays o’er the fields, and showers with sudden hand 
Exuberant spring: for oft these valleys shift 
Their green embroider’d robe to fiery brown, 
And swift to green again, as scorching suns, 
Or streaming dews and torrent rains, prevail. 

Along these lonely regions, where, retired 
From little scenes of art, great Nature dwells 
In awful solitude, and nought is seen 
But the wild herds that own no master’s stall, 
Prodigious rivers roll their fattening seas: 
On whose luxuriant herbage, half-conceal’d, 
Like a fallen cedar, far diffused his train, 
Cased in green scales, the crocodile extends. 
The flood disparts: behold! in plaited mail 
Behemoth rears his head. Glanced from his side, 
The darted steel in idle shivers flies: 
He fearless walks the plain, or seeks the hills; 
Where, as he crops his varied fare, the herds, 
In widening circle round, forget their food, 
And at the harmless stranger wondering gaze. 

Peaceful, beneath primeval trees, that cast 
Their ample shade o’er Niger’s yellow stream, 
And where the Ganges rolls his sacred wave; 
Or mid the central depth of blackening woods, 
High raised in solemn theatre around, 
Leans the huge elephant: wisest of brutes! 
O truly wise, with gentle might endow’d, 
Though powerful, not destructive! here he sees 
Revolving ages sweep the changeful earth, 
And empires rise and fall; regardless he 
Of what the never-resting race of men 
Project: thrice happy! could he ‘scape their guile, 
Who mine, from cruel avarice, his steps; 
Or with his towery grandeur swell their state, 
The pride of kings! or else his strength pervert, 
And bid him rage amid the mortal fray, 
Astonish’d at the madness of mankind. 

Wide o’er the winding umbrage of the floods, 
Like vivid blossoms glowing from afar, 
Thick swarm the brighter birds. For Nature’s hand, 
That with a sportive vanity has deck’d 
The plumy nations, there her gayest hues 
Profusely pours. But, if she bids them shine, 
Array’d in all the beauteous beams of day, 
Yet frugal still, she humbles them in song. 
Nor envy we the gaudy robes they lent 
Proud Montezuma’s realm, whose legions cast 
A boundless radiance waving on the sun, 
While Philomel is ours; while in our shades, 
Through the soft silence of the listening night, 
The sober-suited songstress trills her lay. 

But come, my Muse, the desert-barrier burst, 
A wild expanse of lifeless sand and sky: 
And, swifter than the toiling caravan, 
Shoot o’er the vale of Sennar; ardent climb 
The Nubian mountains, and the secret bounds 
Of jealous Abyssinia boldly pierce. 
Thou art no ruffian, who beneath the mask 
Of social commerce comest to rob their wealth; 
No holy fury thou, blaspheming Heaven, 
With consecrated steel to stab their peace, 
And through the land, yet red from civil wounds, 
To spread the purple tyranny of Rome. 
Thou, like the harmless bee, mayst freely range, 
From mead to mead bright with exalted flowers, 
From jasmine grove to grove mayst wander gay, 
Through palmy shades and aromatic woods, 
That grace the plains, invest the peopled hills, 
And up the more than Alpine mountains wave. 
There on the breezy summit, spreading fair, 
For many a league; or on stupendous rocks, 
That from the sun-redoubling valley lift, 
Cool to the middle air, their lawny tops; 
Where palaces, and fanes, and villas rise; 
And gardens smile around, and cultured fields; 
And fountains gush; and careless herds and flocks 
Securely stray; a world within itself, 
Disdaining all assault: there let me draw 
Ethereal soul, there drink reviving gales, 
Profusely breathing from the spicy groves, 
And vales of fragrance; there at distance hear 
The roaring floods, and cataracts, that sweep 
From disembowel’d earth the virgin gold; 
And o’er the varied landscape, restless, rove, 
Fervent with life of every fairer kind: 
A land of wonders! which the sun still eyes 
With ray direct, as of the lovely realm 
Enamour’d, and delighting there to dwell. 

How changed the scene! in blazing height of noon, 
The sun, oppress’d, is plunged in thickest gloom. 
Still horror reigns, a dreary twilight round, 
Of struggling night and day malignant mix’d. 
For to the hot equator crowding fast, 
Where, highly rarefied, the yielding air 
Admits their stream, incessant vapours roll, 
Amazing clouds on clouds continual heap’d; 
Or whirl’d tempestuous by the gusty wind, 
Or silent borne along, heavy, and slow, 
With the big stores of steaming oceans charged. 
Meantime, amid these upper seas, condensed 
Around the cold aërial mountain’s brow, 
And by conflicting winds together dash’d, 
The thunder holds his black tremendous throne; 
From cloud to cloud the rending lightnings rage; 
Till, in the furious elemental war 
Dissolved, the whole precipitated mass 
Unbroken floods and solid torrents pours. 

The treasures these, hid from the bounded search 
Of ancient knowledge; whence, with annual pomp, 
Rich king of floods! o’erflows the swelling Nile. 
From his two springs, in Gojam’s sunny realm, 
Pure-welling out, he through the lucid lake 
Of fair Dambea rolls his infant stream. 
There, by the naiads nursed, he sports away 
His playful youth, amid the fragant isles, 
That with unfading verdure smile around. 
Ambitious, thence the manly river breaks; 
And gathering many a flood, and copious fed 
With all the mellow’d treasures of the sky, 
Winds in progressive majesty along: 
Through splendid kingdoms now devolves his maze, 
Now wanders wild o’er solitary tracts 
Of life-deserted sand; till, glad to quit 
The joyless desert, down the Nubian rocks 
From thundering steep to steep, he pours his urn, 
And Egypt joys beneath the spreading wave. 

His brother Niger too, and all the floods 
In which the full-form’d maids of Afric lave 
Their jetty limbs; and all that from the tract 
Of woody mountains stretch’d through gorgeous 
Fall on Cor’mandel’s coast, or Malabar; 
From Menam’s orient stream, that nightly shines 
With insect-lamps, to where Aurora sheds 
On Indus’ smiling banks the rosy shower: 
All, at this bounteous season, ope their urns, 
And pour untoiling harvest o’er the land. 

Nor less thy world, Columbus, drinks, refresh’d, 
The lavish moisture of the melting year. 
Wide o’er his isles, the branching Oronoque 
Rolls a brown deluge; and the native drives 
To dwell aloft on life-sufficing trees, 
At once his dome, his robe, his food, and arms. 
Swell’d by a thousand streams, impetuous hurl’d 
From all the roaring Andes, huge decends 
The mighty Orellana. Scarce the Muse 
Dares stretch her wing o’er this enormous mass 
Of rushing water; scarce she dares attempt 
The sea-like Plata; to whose dread expanse, 
Continuous depth, and wondrous length of course, 
Our floods are rills. With unabated force, 
In silent dignity they sweep along, 
And traverse realms unknown, and blooming wilds, 
And fruitful deserts, worlds of solitude, 
Where the sun smiles and seasons teem in vain, 
Unseen and unenjoy’d. Forsaking these, 
O’er peopled plains they fair-diffusive flow, 
And many a nation feed, and circle safe, 
In their soft bosom, many a happy isle; 
The seat of blameless Pan, yet undisturb’d 
By christian crimes and Europe’s cruel sons. 
Thus pouring on they proudly seek the deep, 
Whose vanquish’d tide recoiling from the shock, 
Yields to the liquid weight of half the globe; 
And Ocean trembles for his green domain. 

But what avails this wondrous waste of wealth? 
This gay profusion of luxurious bliss? 
This pomp of Nature? what their balmy meads, 
Their powerful herbs, and Ceres void of pain? 
By vagrant birds dispersed and wafting winds, 
What their unplanted fruits? what the cool draughts, 
The ambrosial food, rich gums, and spicy health, 
Their forests yield? their toiling insects what? 
Their silky pride, and vegetable robes? 
Ah! what avail their fatal treasures, hid 
Deep in the bowels of the pitying earth, 
Golconda’s gems, and sad Potosi’s mines; 
Where dwelt the gentlest children of the sun? 
What all that Afric’s golden rivers roll, 
Her odorous woods, and shining ivory stores? 
Ill-fated race! the softening arts of Peace, 
Whate’er the humanizing Muses teach; 
The godlike wisdom of the temper’d breast; 
Progressive truth, the patient force of thought; 
Investigation calm, whose silent powers 
Command the world; the light that leads to Heaven; 
Kind equal rule, the goverment of laws, 
And all-protecting Freedom, which alone 
Sustains the name and dignity of man: 
These are not theirs. The parent sun himself 
Seems o’er this world of slaves to tyrannize; 
And, with oppressive ray, the roseate bloom 
Of beauty blasting, gives the gloomy hue, 
And feature gross: or worse, to ruthless deeds, 
Mad jealousy, blind rage, and fell revenge, 
Their fervid spirit fires. Love dwells not there, 
The soft regards, the tenderness of life, 
The heart-shed tear, the ineffable delight 
Of sweet humanity: these court the beam 
Of milder climes; in selfish fierce desire, 
And the wild fury of voluptuous sense, 
There lost. The very brute-creation there 
This rage partakes, and burns with horrid fire. 

Lo! the green serpent, from his dark abode, 
Which even Imagination fears to tread, 
At noon forth-issuing, gathers up his train 
In orbs immense, then, darting out anew, 
Seeks the refreshing fount; by which diffused, 
He throws his folds: and while, with threatening tongue 
And deathful jaws erect, the monster curls 
His flaming crest, all other thirst appall’d, 
Or shivering flies or check’d at distance stands, 
Nor dares approach. But still more direful he, 
The small close-lurking minister of fate, 
Whose high-concocted venom through the veins 
A rapid lightning darts, arresting swift 
The vital current. Form’d to humble man, 
This child of vengeful Nature! there, sublimed 
To fearless lust of blood, the savage race 
Roam, licensed by the shading hour of guilt, 
And foul misdeed, when the pure day has shut 
His sacred eye. The tiger darting fierce 
Impetuous on the prey his glance has doom’d: 
The lively shining leopard, speckled o’er 
With many a spot, the beauty of the waste; 
And, scorning all the taming arts of man, 
The keen hyena, fellest of the fell. 
These, rushing from the inhospitable woods 
Of Mauritania, or the tufted isles, 
That verdant rise amid the Libyan wild, 
Innumerous glare around their shaggy king, 
Majestic, stalking o’er the printed sand; 
And, with imperious and repeated roars, 
Demand their fated food. The fearful flocks 
Crowd near the guardian swain; the nobler herds, 
Where round their lordly bull, in rural ease 
They ruminating lie, with horror hear 
The coming rage. The awaken’d village starts; 
And to her fluttering breast the mother strains 
Her thoughtless infant. From the pirate’s den, 
Or stern Morocco’s tyrant fang escaped, 
The wretch half wishes for his bonds again: 
While, uproar all, the wilderness resounds, 
From Atlas eastward to the frighted Nile. 

Unhappy he! who from the first of joys, 
Society, cut off, is left alone 
Amid this world of death. Day after day, 
Sad on the jutting eminence he sits, 
And views the main that ever toils below; 
Still fondly forming in the farthest verge, 
Where the round ether mixes with the wave, 
Ships, dim-discover’d dropping from the clouds; 
At evening, to the setting sun he turns 
A mournful eye, and down his dying heart 
Sinks helpless; while the wonted roar is up, 
And hiss continual through the tedious night. 
Yet here, e’en here, into these black abodes 
Of monsters, unappall’d, from stooping Rome, 
And guilty Cæsar, Liberty retired, 
Her Cato following through Numidian wilds: 
Disdainful of Campania’s gentle plains, 
And all the green delights Ausonia pours; 
When for them she must bend the servile knee, 
And fawning take the splendid robber’s boon. 

Nor stop the terrors of these regions here. 
Commission’d demons oft, angels of wrath, 
Let loose the raging elements. Breathed hot 
From all the boundless furnace of the sky, 
And the wide glittering waste of burning sand, 
A suffocating wind the pilgrim smites 
With instant death. Patient of thirst and toil, 
Son of the desert! e’en the camel feels, 
Shot through his wither’d heart, the fiery blast. 
Or from the black-red ether, bursting broad, 
Sallies the sudden whirlwind. Straight the sands, 
Commoved around, in gathering eddies play: 
Nearer and nearer still they darkening come; 
Till, with the general all-involving storm 
Swept up, the whole continuous wilds arise; 
And by their noonday fount dejected thrown, 
Or sunk at night in sad disastrous sleep, 
Beneath descending hills, the caravan 
Is buried deep. In Cairo’s crowded streets 
The impatient merchant, wondering, waits in vain, 
And Mecca saddens at the long delay. 

But chief at sea, whose every flexile wave 
Obeys the blast, the aërial tumult swells. 
In the dread ocean, undulating wide, 
Beneath the radiant line that girts the globe, 
The circling Typhon, whirl’d from point to point, 
Exhausting all the rage of all the sky, 
And dire Ecnephia reign. Amid the heavens, 
Falsely serene, deep in a cloudy speck 
Compress’d, the mighty tempest brooding dwells: 
Of no regard, save to the skilful eye, 
Fiery and foul, the small prognostic hangs 
Aloft, or on the promontory’s brow 
Musters its force. A faint deceitful calm, 
A fluttering gale, the demon sends before, 
To tempt the spreading sail. Then down at once, 
Precipitant, descends a mingled mass 
Of roaring winds, and flame, and rushing floods. 
In wild amazement fix’d the sailor stands. 
Art is too slow: by rapid fate oppress’d, 
His broad-winged vessel drinks the whelming tide, 
Hid in the bosom of the black abyss. 
With such mad seas the daring Gama fought, 
For many a day, and many a dreadful night, 
Incessant, labouring round the stormy Cape; 
By bold ambition led, and bolder thirst 
Of gold. For then from ancient gloom emerged 
The rising world of trade: the Genius, then, 
Of navigation, that, in hopeless sloth, 
Had slumber’d on the vast Atlantic deep, 
For idle ages, starting, heard at last 
The Lusitanian Prince; who, Heaven-inspired, 
To love of useful glory roused mankind, 
And in unbounded commerce mix’d the world.
Increasing still the terrors of these storms, 
His jaws horrific arm’d with threefold fate, 
Here dwells the direful shark. Lured by the scent 
Of steaming crowds, of rank disease, and death, 
Behold! he rushing cuts the briny flood, 
Swift as the gale can bear the ship along; 
And, from the partners of that cruel trade, 
Which spoils unhappy Guinea of her sons, 
Demands his share of prey; demands themselves. 
The stormy fates descend: one death involves 
Tyrants and slaves; when straight, their mangled limbs 
Crashing at once, he dyes the purple seas 
With gore, and riots in the vengeful meal. 

When o’er this world, by equinoctial rains 
Flooded immense, looks out the joyless sun, 
And draws the copious stream: from swampy fens, 
Where putrefaction into life ferments, 
And breathes destructive myriads; or from woods, 
Impenetrable shades, recesses foul, 
In vapours rank and blue corruption wrapt, 
Whose gloomy horrors yet no desperate foot 
Has ever dared to pierce; then, wasteful, forth 
Walks the dire Power of pestilent disease. 
A thousand hideous fiends her course attend, 
Sick Nature blasting, and to heartless woe, 
And feeble desolation, casting down 
The towering hopes and all the pride of Man. 
Such as, of late, at Carthagena quench’d 
The British fire. You, gallant Vernon, saw 
The miserable scene; you, pitying, saw 
To infant-weakness sunk the warrior’s arm; 
Saw the deep-racking pang, the ghastly form, 
The lip pale quivering, and the beamless eye 
No more with ardour bright: you heard the groans 
Of agonizing ships, from shore to shore; 
Heard, nightly plunged amid the sullen waves, 
The frequent corse; while on each other fix’d, 
In sad presage, the blank assistants seem’d, 
Silent, to ask, whom Fate would next demand. 

What need I mention those inclement skies, 
Where, frequent o’er the sickening city, Plague, 
The fiercest child of Nemesis divine, 
Descends? From Ethiopia’s poison’d woods, 
From stifled Cairo’s filth, and fetid fields 
With locust-armies putrefying heap’d, 
This great destroyer sprung. Her awful rage 
The brutes escape: Man is her destined prey, 
Intemperate Man! and, o’er his guilty domes, 
She draws a close incumbent cloud of death; 
Uninterrupted by the living winds, 
Forbid to blow a wholesome breeze; and stain’d 
With many a mixture by the sun, suffused, 
Of angry aspect. Princely wisdom, then, 
Dejects his watchful eye; and from the hand 
Of feeble justice, ineffectual, drop 
The sword and balance: mute the voice of joy, 
And hush’d the clamour of the busy world. 
Empty the streets, with uncouth verdure clad; 
Into the worst of deserts sudden turn’d 
The cheerful haunt of men: unless escaped 
From the doom’d house, where matchless horror reigns, 
Shut up by barbarous fear, the smitten wretch, 
With frenzy wild, breaks loose; and, loud to Heaven 
Screaming, the dreadful policy arraigns, 
Inhuman, and unwise. The sullen door, 
Yet uninfected, on its cautious hinge 
Fearing to turn, abhors society: 
Dependants, friends, relations, Love himself, 
Savaged by woe, forget the tender tie, 
The sweet engagement of the feeling heart. 
But vain their selfish care: the circling sky, 
The wide enlivening air is full of fate; 
And, struck by turns, in solitary pangs 
They fall, unblest, untended, and unmourn’d. 
Thus o’er the prostrate city black Despair 
Extends her raven wing: while, to complete 
The scene of desolation, stretch’d around, 
The grim guards stand, denying all retreat, 
And give the flying wretch a better death. 

Much yet remains unsung: the rage intense 
Of brazen-vaulted skies, of iron fields, 
Where drought and famine starve the blasted year: 
Fired by the torch of noon to tenfold rage, 
The infuriate hill that shoots the pillar’d flame; 
And, roused within the subterranean world, 
The expanding earthquake, that resistless shakes 
Aspiring cities from their solid base, 
And buries mountains in the flaming gulf. 
But ’tis enough; return, my vagrant Muse: 
A nearer scene of horror calls thee home. 

Behold, slow-settling o’er the lurid grove 
Unusual darkness broods; and growing gains 
The full possession of the sky, surcharged 
With wrathful vapour, from the secret beds, 
Where sleep the mineral generations, drawn. 
Thence nitre, sulphur, and the fiery spume 
Of fat bitumen, steaming on the day, 
With various-tinctured trains of latent flame, 
Pollute the sky, and in yon baleful cloud, 
A reddening gloom, a magazine of fate, 
Ferment; till, by the touch ethereal roused, 
The dash of clouds, or irritating war 
Of fighting winds, while all is calm below, 
They furious spring. A boding silence reigns, 
Dread through the dun expanse; save the dull sound 
That from the mountain, previous to the storm, 
Rolls o’er the muttering earth, disturbs the flood, 
And shakes the forest-leaf without a breath. 
Prone, to the lowest vale, the aërial tribes 
Descend: the tempest-loving raven scarce 
Dares wing the dubious dusk. In rueful gaze 
The cattle stand, and on the scowling heavens 
Cast a deploring eye; by man forsook, 
Who to the crowded cottage hies him fast, 
Or seeks the shelter of the downward cave. 

‘Tis listening fear, and dumb amazement all: 
When to the startled eye the sudden glance 
Appears far south, eruptive through the cloud; 
And following slower, in explosion vast, 
The Thunder raises his tremendous voice. 
At first, heard solemn o’er the verge of Heaven, 
The tempest growls; but as it nearer comes, 
And rolls its awful burden on the wind, 
The lightnings flash a larger curve, and more 
The noise astounds: till over head a sheet 
Of livid flame discloses wide; then shuts, 
And opens wider; shuts and opens still 
Expansive, wrapping ether in a blaze. 
Follows the loosen’d aggravated roar, 
Enlarging, deepening, mingling; peal on peal 
Crush’d horrible, convulsing heaven and earth. 

Down comes a deluge of sonorous hail, 
Or prone-descending rain. Wide-rent, the clouds 
Pour a whole flood; and yet, its flame unquench’d, 
The unconquerable lightning struggles through, 
Ragged and fierce, or in red whirling balls, 
And fires the mountains with redoubled rage. 
Black from the stroke, above, the smouldring pine 
Stands a sad shatter’d trunk; and, stretch’d below, 
A lifeless group the blasted cattle lie: 
Here the soft flocks, with that same harmless look 
They wore alive, and ruminating still 
In fancy’s eye; and there the frowning bull, 
And ox half-raised. Struck on the castled cliff, 
The venerable tower and spiry fane 
Resign their aged pride. The gloomy woods 
Start at the flash, and from their deep recess, 
Wide-flaming out, their trembling inmates shake. 
Amid Carnarvon’s mountains rages loud 
The repercussive roar: with mighty crush, 
Into the flashing deep, from the rude rocks 
Of Penmanmaur heap’d hideous to the sky, 
Tumble the smitten cliffs; and Snowden’s peak, 
Dissolving, instant yields his wintry load. 
Far seen, the heights of heathy Cheviot blaze, 
And Thulè bellows through her utmost isles. 

Guilt hears appall’d, with deeply troubled thought. 
And yet not always on the guilty head 
Descends the fated flash. Young Celadon 
And his Amelia were a matchless pair; 
With equal virtue form’d, and equal grace, 
The same, distinguish’d by their sex alone: 
Hers the mild lustre of the blooming morn, 
And his the radiance of the risen day. 

They lov’d: but such the guileless passion was, 
As in the dawn of time inform’d the heart 
Of innocence and undissembling truth. 
‘Twas friendship, heighten’d by the mutual wish; 
The enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow, 
Beam’d from the mutual eye. Devoting all 
To love, each was to each a dearer self; 
Supremely happy in the awaken’d power 
Of giving joy. Alone, amid the shades, 
Still in harmonious intercourse they lived 
The rural day, and talk’d the flowing heart, 
Or sigh’d and look’d unutterable things. 

So pass’d their life, a clear united stream, 
By care unruffled; till, in evil hour, 
The tempest caught them on the tender walk, 
Heedless how far and where its mazes stray’d, 
While, with each other blest, creative love 
Still bade eternal Eden smile around. 
Presaging instant fate, her bosom heaved 
Unwonted sighs, and stealing oft a look 
Of the big gloom, on Celadon her eye 
Fell tearful, wetting her disorder’d cheek. 
In vain assuring love, and confidence 
In Heaven, repress’d her fear; it grew, and shook 
Her frame near dissolution. He perceived 
The unequal conflict, and as angels look 
On dying saints, his eyes compassion shed, 
With love illumined high. “Fear not,” he said, 
“Sweet innocence! thou stranger to offence, 
And inward storm! He, who yon skies involves 
In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee 
With kind regard. O’er thee the secret shaft 
That wastes at midnight, or the undreaded hour 
Of noon, flies harmless: and that very voice, 
Which thunders terror through the guilty heart, 
With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine. 
‘Tis safety to be near thee sure, and thus 
To clasp perfection!” From his void embrace, 
(Mysterious Heaven!) that moment, to the ground, 
A blacken’d corse, was struck the beauteous maid. 
But who can paint the lover, as he stood, 
Pierced by severe amazement, hating life, 
Speechless, and fix’d in all the death of woe! 
So, faint resemblance! on the marble tomb, 
The well-dissembled mourner stooping stands, 
For ever silent and for ever sad. 

As from the face of Heaven the shatter’d clouds 
Tumultuous rove, the interminable sky 
Sublimer swells, and o’er the world expands 
A purer azure. Through the lighten’d air 
A higher lustre and a clearer calm, 
Diffusive, tremble; while, as if in sign 
Of danger past, a glittering robe of joy, 
Set off abundant by the yellow ray, 
Invests the fields; and nature smiles revived. 

‘Tis beauty all, and grateful song around, 
Join’d to the low of kine, and numerous bleat 
Of flocks thick-nibbling through the clover’d vale. 
And shall the hymn be marr’d by thankless Man, 
Most-favour’d! who with voice articulate 
Should lead the chorus of this lower world; 
Shall he, so soon forgetful of the Hand 
That hush’d the thunder, and serenes the sky, 
Extinguish’d feel that spark the tempest waked, 
That sense of powers exceeding far his own, 
Ere yet his feeble heart has lost its fears? 

Cheer’d by the milder beam, the sprightly youth 
Speeds to the well-known pool, whose crystal depth 
A sandy bottom shows. Awhile he stands 
Gazing the inverted landscape, half afraid 
To meditate the blue profound below; 
Then plunges headlong down the circling flood. 
His ebon tresses, and his rosy cheek 
Instant emerge; and through the obedient wave, 
At each short breathing by his lip repell’d, 
With arms and legs according well, he makes, 
As humour leads, an easy-winding path; 
While, from his polish’d sides, a dewy light 
Effuses on the pleased spectators round. 

This is the purest exercise of health, 
The kind refresher of the summer-heats; 
Nor when cold Winter keens the brightening flood, 
Would I weak-shivering linger on the brink. 
Thus life redoubles, and is oft preserved, 
By the bold swimmer, in the swift elapse 
Of accident disastrous. Hence the limbs 
Knit into force; and the same Roman arm, 
That rose victorious o’er the conquer’d earth, 
First learn’d, while tender, to subdue the wave. 
Even from the body’s purity the mind 
Receives a secret sympathetic aid. 

Close in the covert of a hazel copse, 
Where, winded into pleasing solitudes, 
Runs out the rambling dale, young Damon sat, 
Pensive, and pierced with love’s delightful pangs. 
There to the stream that down the distant rocks 
Hoarse-murmuring fell, and plaintive breeze that play’d 
Among the bending willows, falsely he 
Of Musidora’s cruelty complain’d. 
She felt his flame; but deep within her breast 
In bashful coyness, or in maiden pride, 
The soft return conceal’d; save when it stole 
In sidelong glances from her downcast eye, 
Or from her swelling soul in stifled sighs. 
Touch’d by the scene, no stranger to his vows, 
He framed a melting lay, to try her heart; 
And, if an infant passion struggled there, 
To call that passion forth. Thrice happy swain! 
A lucky chance, that oft decides the fate 
Of mighty monarchs, then decided thine. 
For lo! conducted by the laughing Loves, 
This cool retreat his Musidora sought: 
Warm in her cheek the sultry season glow’d; 
And, robed in loose array, she came to bathe 
Her fervent limbs in the refreshing stream. 
What shall he do? In sweet confusion lost, 
And dubious flutterings, he a while remain’d: 
A pure ingenuous elegance of soul, 
A delicate refinement, known to few, 
Perplex’d his breast, and urged him to retire: 
But love forbade. Ye prudes in virtue, say, 
Say, ye severest, what would you have done? 
Meantime, this fairer nymph than ever blest 
Arcadian stream, with timid eye around 
The banks surveying, stripp’d her beauteous limbs, 
To taste the lucid coolness of the flood. 
Ah then! not Paris on the piny top 
Of Ida panted stronger, when aside 
The rival-goddesses the veil divine 
Cast unconfined, and gave him all their charms, 
Than, Damon, thou; as from the snowy leg, 
And slender foot, the inverted silk she drew; 
As the soft touch dissolved the virgin zone: 
And, through the parting robe, the alternate breast, 
With youth wild-throbbing, on thy lawless gaze 
In full luxuriance rose. But, desperate youth, 
How durst thou risk the soul-distracting view, 
As from her naked limbs of glowing white, 
Harmonious swell’d by Nature’s finest hand, 
In folds loose floating fell the fainter lawn; 
And fair exposed she stood, shrunk from herself, 
With fancy blushing, at the doubtful breeze 
Alarm’d, and starting like the fearful fawn? 
Then to the flood she rush’d; the parted flood 
Its lovely guest with closing waves received; 
And every beauty softening, every grace 
Flushing anew, a mellow lustre shed: 
As shines the lily through the crystal mild; 
Or as the rose amid the morning dew, 
Fresh from Aurora’s hand, more sweetly glows, 
While thus she wanton’d, now beneath the wave 
But ill-conceal’d; and now with streaming locks, 
That half-embraced her in a humid veil, 
Rising again, the latent Damon drew 
Such madening draughts of beauty to the soul, 
As for a while o’erwhelm’d his raptured thought 
With luxury too daring. Check’d, at last, 
By love’s respectful modesty, he deem’d 
The theft profane, if aught profane to love 
Can e’er be deem’d; and, struggling from the shade, 
With headlong hurry fled: but first these lines, 
Traced by his ready pencil, on the bank 
With trembling hand he threw:—‘Bathe on, my fair, 
Yet unbeheld save by the sacred eye 
Of faithful love: I go to guard thy haunt, 
To keep from thy recess each vagrant foot, 
And each licentious eye.’ With wild surprise, 
As if to marble struck, devoid of sense, 
A stupid moment motionless she stood: 
So stands the statue that enchants the world, 
So bending tries to veil the matchless boast, 
The mingled beauties of exulting Greece. 
Recovering, swift she flew to find those robes 
Which blissful Eden knew not; and, array’d 
In careless haste, the alarming paper snatch’d. 
But, when her Damon’s well known hand she saw, 
Her terrors vanish’d, and a softer train 
Of mix’d emotions, hard to be described, 
Her sudden bosom seized: shame void of guilt, 
The charming blush of innocence, esteem, 
And admiration of her lover’s flame, 
By modesty exalted: e’en a sense 
Of self-approving beauty stole across 
Her busy thought. At length a tender calm 
Hush’d by degrees the tumult of her soul; 
And on the spreading beech, that o’er the stream 
Incumbent hung, she with the sylvan pen 
Of rural lovers this confession carved, 
Which soon her Damon kiss’d with weeping joy: 
‘Dear youth! sole judge of what these verses mean, 
By fortune too much favour’d, but by love, 
Alas! not favour’d less, be still as now 
Discreet: the time may come you need not fly.’ 

The sun has lost his rage: his downward orb 
Shoots nothing now but animating warmth 
And vital lustre; that with various ray 
Lights up the clouds, those beauteous robes of Heaven, 
Incessant roll’d into romantic shapes, 
The dream of waking fancy! broad below, 
Cover’d with ripening fruits, and swelling fast 
Into the perfect year, the pregnant earth 
And all her tribes rejoice. Now the soft hour 
Of walking comes: for him who lonely loves 
To seek the distant hills, and there converse 
With Nature; there to harmonize his heart, 
And in pathetic song to breathe around 
The harmony to others. Social friends, 
Attuned to happy unison of soul; 
To whose exalting eye a fairer world, 
Of which the vulgar never had a glimpse, 
Displays its charms; whose minds are richly fraught 
With philosophic stores, superior light; 
And in whose breast, enthusiastic, burns 
Virtue, the sons of interest deem romance; 
Now call’d abroad enjoy the falling day: 
Now to the verdant Portico of woods, 
To Nature’s vast Lyceum forth they walk; 
By that kind School where no proud master reigns, 
The full free converse of the friendly heart, 
Improving and improved. Now from the world, 
Sacred to sweet retirement, lovers steal, 
And pour their souls in transport, which the Sire 
Of love approving hears, and calls it good. 
Which way, Amanda, shall we bend our course? 
The choice perplexes. Wherefore should we choose? 
All is the same with thee. Say, shall we wind 
Along the streams? or walk the smiling mead? 
Or court the forest glades? or wander wild 
Among the waving harvests? or ascend, 
While radiant Summer opens all its pride, 
Thy hill, delightful Shene? Here let us sweep 
The boundless landscape: now the raptured eye, 
Exulting swift, to huge Augusta send, 
Now to the Sister-Hills that skirt her plain, 
To lofty Harrow now, and now to where 
Majestic Windsor lifts his princely brow. 
In lovely constrast to this glorious view 
Calmly magnificent, then will we turn 
To where the silver Thames first rural grows. 
There let the feasted eye unwearied stray: 
Luxurious, there, rove through the pendent woods 
That nodding hang o’er Harrington’s retreat; 
And, stooping thence to Ham’s embowering walks, 
Beneath whose shades, in spotless peace retired, 
With Her the pleasing partner of his heart, 
The worthy Queensberry yet laments his Gay, 
And polish’d Cornbury woos the willing Muse, 
Slow let us trace the matchless vale of Thames; 
Fair winding up to where the Muses haunt 
In Twit’nam’s bowers, and for their Pope implore 
The healing God; to royal Hampton’s pile, 
To Clermont’s terraced height, and Esher’s groves, 
Where in the sweetest solitude, embraced 
By the soft windings of the silent Mole, 
From courts and senates Pelham finds repose. 
Inchanting vale! beyond whate’er the Muse 
Has of Achaia or Hesperia sung! 
O vale of bliss! O softly swelling hills! 
On which the Power of Cultivation lies, 
And joys to see the wonders of his toil. 

Heavens! what a goodly prospect spreads around, 
Of hills, and dales, and woods, and lawns, and spires, 
And glittering towns, and gilded streams, till all 
The stretching landscape into smoke decays! 
Happy Britannia! where the Queen of Arts, 
Inspiring vigour, Liberty abroad 
Walks, unconfined, even to thy farthest cots, 
And scatters plenty with unsparing hand. 

Rich is thy soil, and merciful thy clime; 
Thy streams unfailing in the Summer’s drought; 
Unmatch’d thy guardian oaks; thy valleys float 
With golden waves: and on thy mountains flocks 
Bleat numberless! while, roving round their sides, 
Bellow the blackening herds in lusty droves. 
Beneath, thy meadows glow, and rise unquell’d 
Against the mower’s scythe. On every hand 
Thy villas shine. Thy country teems with wealth; 
And property assures it to the swain, 
Pleased and unwearied, in his guarded toil.
Full are thy cities with the sons of Art; 
And trade and joy, in every busy street, 
Mingling are heard; e’en Drudgery himself, 
As at the car he sweats, or dusty hews 
The palace stone, looks gay. Thy crowded ports, 
Where rising masts an endless prospect yield, 
With labour burn, and echo to the shouts 
Of hurried sailor, as he hearty waves 
His last adieu, and loosening every sheet, 
Resigns the spreading vessel to the wind. 

Bold, firm, and graceful are thy generous youth, 
By hardship sinew’d, and by danger fired, 
Scattering the nations where they go; and first 
Or on the listed plain, or stormy seas. 
Mild are thy glories too, as o’er the plans 
Of thriving peace thy thoughtful sires preside; 
In genius, and substantial learning, high; 
For every virtue, every worth renown’d; 
Sincere, plain-hearted, hospitable, kind; 
Yet like the mustering thunder when provoked, 
The dread of tyrants, and the sole resource 
Of those that under grim oppression groan. 

Thy sons of Glory many! Alfred thine, 
In whom the splendour of heroic war, 
And more heroic peace, when govern’d well, 
Combine; whose hallow’d name the Virtues saint, 
And his own Muses love; the best of kings! 
With him thy Edwards and thy Henries shine, 
Names dear to fame; the first who deep impress’d 
On haughty Gaul the terror of thy arms, 
That awes her genius still. In statesmen thou, 
And patriots, fertile. Thine a steady More, 
Who, with a generous though mistaken zeal, 
Withstood a brutal tyrant’s useful rage, 
Like Cato firm, like Aristides just, 
Like rigid Cincinnatus nobly poor, 
A dauntless soul erect, who smiled on death. 
Frugal and wise, a Walsingham is thine, 
A Drake, who made thee mistress of the deep, 
And bore thy name in thunder round the world. 
Then flamed thy spirit high: but who can speak 
The numerous worthies of the Maiden Reign? 
In Raleigh mark their every glory mix’d; 
Raleigh, the scourge of Spain! whose breast with all 
The sage, the patriot, and the hero burn’d, 
Nor sunk his vigour, when a coward-reign 
The warrior fetter’d, and at last resign’d, 
To glut the vengeance of a vanquish’d foe. 
Then active still and unrestrain’d, his mind 
Explored the vast extent of ages past, 
And with his prison-hours enrich’d the world; 
Yet found no times, in all the long research, 
So glorious, or so base, as those he proved, 
In which he conquer’d, and in which he bled. 
Nor can the Muse the gallant Sidney pass, 
The plume of war! with early laurels crown’d, 
The lover’s myrtle, and the poet’s bay. 
A Hampden too is thine, illustrious land, 
Wise, strenuous, firm, of unsubmitting soul, 
Who stemm’d the torrent of a downward age 
To slavery prone, and bade thee rise again, 
In all thy native pomp of freedom bold. 
Bright, at his call, thy Age of Men effulged, 
Of Men on whom late time a kindling eye 
Shall turn, and tyrants tremble while they read. 
Bring every sweetest flower, and let me strew 
The grave where Russel lies; whose temper’d blood 
With calmest cheerfulness for thee resign’d, 
Stain’d the sad annals of a giddy reign; 
Aiming at lawless power, though meanly sunk 
In loose inglorious luxury. With him 
His friend, the British Cassius, fearless bled; 
Of high determined spirit, roughly brave, 
By ancient learning to the enlighten’d love 
Of ancient freedom warm’d. Fair thy renown 
In awful sages and in noble bards; 
Soon as the light of dawning Science spread 
Her orient ray, and waked the Muses’ song. 
Thine is a Bacon; hapless in his choice, 
Unfit to stand the civil storm of state, 
And through the smooth barbarity of courts, 
With firm but pliant virtue, forward still 
To urge his course: him for the studious shade 
Kind Nature form’d, deep, comprehensive, clear, 
Exact, and elegant: in one rich soul, 
Plato, the Stagyrite, and Tully join’d. 
The great deliverer he! who from the gloom 
Of cloister’d monks, and jargon-teaching schools, 
Let forth the true Philosophy, there long 
Held in the magic chain of words and forms, 
And definitions void: he led her forth, 
Daughter of Heaven! that slow-ascending still, 
Investigating sure the chain of things, 
With radiant finger points to Heaven again. 
The generous Ashley thine, the friend of man; 
Who scann’d his nature with a brother’s eye, 
His weakness prompt to shade, to raise his aim, 
To touch the finer movements of the mind, 
And with the moral beauty charm the heart. 
Why need I name thy Boyle, whose pious search 
Amid the dark recesses of his works, 
The great Creator sought? And why thy Locke, 
Who made the whole internal world his own? 
Let Newton, pure intelligence, whom God 
To mortals lent, to trace His boundless works 
From laws sublimely simple, speak thy fame 
In all philosophy. For lofty sense, 
Creative fancy, and inspection keen 
Through the deep windings of the human heart, 
Is not wild Shakespeare thine and Nature’s boast? 
Is not each great, each amiable Muse 
Of classic ages in thy Milton met? 
A genius universal as his theme; 
Astonishing as chaos, as the bloom 
Of blowing Eden fair, as Heaven sublime! 
Nor shall my verse that elder bard forget, 
The gentle Spenser, Fancy’s pleasing son; 
Who, like a copious river, pour’d his song 
O’er all the mazes of enchanted ground: 
Nor thee, his ancient master, laughing sage, 
Chaucer, whose native manners-painting verse, 
Well moralized, shines through the gothic cloud 
Of time and language o’er thy genius thrown. 

May my song soften, as thy daughters I, 
Britannia, hail! for beauty is their own, 
The feeling heart, simplicity of life, 
And elegance, and taste: the faultless form, 
Shaped by the hand of harmony; the cheek, 
Where the live crimson, through the native white 
Soft-shooting, o’er the face diffuses bloom, 
And every nameless grace; the parted lip, 
Like the red rose bud moist with morning dew, 
Breathing delight; and, under flowing jet, 
Or sunny ringlets, or of circling brown, 
The neck slight-shaded, and the swelling breast; 
The look resistless, piercing to the soul, 
And by the soul inform’d, when dress’d in love 
She sits high-smiling in the conscious eye. 

Island of bliss! amid the subject seas, 
That thunder round thy rocky coasts, set up, 
At once the wonder, terror, and delight 
Of distant nations; whose remotest shores 
Can soon be shaken by thy naval arm; 
Not to be shook thyself, but all assaults 
Baffling, as thy hoar cliffs the loud sea-wave. 

O Thou! by whose Almighty nod the scale 
Of empire rises, or alternate falls, 
Send forth the saving Virtues round the land, 
In bright patrol: white Peace, and social Love; 
The tender-looking Charity, intent 
On gentle deeds, and shedding tears through smiles; 
Undaunted Truth, and Dignity of mind: 
Courage composed, and keen; sound Temperance, 
Healthful in heart and look; clear Chastity, 
With blushes reddening as she moves along, 
Disorder’d at the deep regard she draws; 
Rough Industry; Activity untired, 
With copious life inform’d, and all awake: 
While in the radiant front, superior shines 
That first paternal virtue, Public Zeal; 
Who throws o’er all an equal wide survey, 
And, ever musing on the common weal, 
Still labours glorious with some great design. 

Low walks the sun, and broadens by degrees, 
Just o’er the verge of day. The shifting clouds 
Assembled gay, a richly gorgeous train, 
In all their pomp attend his setting throne. 
Air, earth, and ocean smile immense. And now, 
As if his weary chariot sought the bowers 
Of Amphitritè, and her tending nymphs, 
(So Grecian fable sung) he dips his orb; 
Now half-immersed; and now a golden curve 
Gives one bright glance, then total disappears. 

For ever running an enchanted round, 
Passes the day, deceitful, vain, and void; 
As fleets the vision o’er the formful brain, 
This moment hurrying wild the impassion’d soul, 
The next in nothing lost. ‘Tis so to him, 
The dreamer of this earth, an idle blank: 
A sight of horror to the cruel wretch, 
Who all day long in sordid pleasure roll’d, 
Himself a useless load, has squander’d vile, 
Upon his scoundrel train, what might have cheer’d 
A drooping family of modest worth. 
But to the generous still-improving mind, 
That gives the hopeless heart to sing for joy, 
Diffusing kind beneficence around, 
Boastless, as now descends the silent dew; 
To him the long review of order’d life 
Is inward rapture, only to be felt. 

Confess’d from yonder slow-extinguish’d clouds, 
All ether softening, sober Evening takes 
Her wonted station in the middle air; 
A thousand shadows at her beck. First this 
She sends on earth; then that of deeper dye 
Steals soft behind; and then a deeper still, 
In circle following circle, gathers round, 
To close the face of things. A fresher gale 
Begins to wave the wood, and stir the stream, 
Sweeping with shadowy gust the fields of corn; 
While the quail clamours for his running mate. 
Wide o’er the thistly lawn, as swells the breeze, 
A whitening shower of vegetable down 
Amusive floats. The kind impartial care 
Of Nature nought disdains: thoughtful to feed 
Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year, 
From field to field the feather’d seeds she wings. 

His folded flock secure, the shepherd home 
Hies, merry-hearted; and by turns relieves 
The ruddy milk-maid of her brimming pail; 
The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart, 
Unknowing what the joy-mix’d anguish means, 
Sincerely loves, by that best language shown 
Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds. 
Onward they pass, o’er many a panting height, 
And valley sunk, and unfrequented; where 
At fall of eve the fairy people throng, 
In various game, and revelry, to pass 
The summer night, as village-stories tell. 
But far about they wander from the grave 
Of him, whom his ungentle fortune urged 
Against his own sad breast to lift the hand 
Of impious violence. The lonely tower 
Is also shunn’d; whose mournful chambers hold, 
So night-struck Fancy dreams, the yelling ghost. 

Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge, 
The glowworm lights his gem; and through the dark 
A moving radiance twinkles. Evening yields 
The world to Night; not in her winter-robe 
Of massy stygian woof, but loose array’d 
In mantle dun. A faint erroneous ray, 
Glanced from the imperfect surfaces of things, 
Flings half an image on the straining eye; 
While wavering woods, and villages, and streams, 
And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long retain’d 
The ascending gleam, are all one swimming scene, 
Uncertain if beheld. Sudden to Heaven 
Thence weary vision turns; where, leading soft 
The silent hours of love, with purest ray 
Sweet Venus shines; and from her genial rise, 
When day-light sickens till it springs afresh, 
Unrival’d reigns, the fairest lamp of Night. 
As thus the effulgence tremulous I drink, 
With cherish’d gaze, the lambent lightnings shoot 
Across the sky; or horizontal dart 
In wondrous shapes: by fearful murmuring crowds 
Portentous deem’d. Amid the radiant orbs, 
That more than deck, that animate the sky, 
The life-infusing suns of other worlds; 
Lo! from the dread immensity of space 
Returning, with accelerated course, 
The rushing comet to the sun descends; 
And as he sinks below the shading earth, 
With awful train projected o’er the heavens, 
The guilty nations tremble. But, above 
Those superstitious horrors that enslave 
The fond sequacious herd, to mystic faith 
And blind amazement prone, the enlighten’d few, 
Whose godlike minds Philosophy exalts, 
The glorious stranger hail. They feel a joy 
Divinely great; they in their powers exult, 
That wondrous force of thought, which mounting spurns 
This dusky spot, and measures all the sky; 
While, from his far excursion through the wilds 
Of barren ether, faithful to his time, 
They see the blazing wonder rise anew, 
In seeming terror clad, but kindly bent 
To work the will of all-sustaining Love: 
From his huge vapoury train perhaps to shake 
Reviving moisture on the numerous orbs, 
Through which his long ellipsis winds; perhaps 
To lend new fuel to declining suns, 
To light up worlds, and feed the eternal fire. 

With thee, serene Philosophy, with thee, 
And thy bright garland, let me crown my song! 
Effusive source of evidence, and truth! 
A lustre shedding o’er the ennobled mind, 
Stronger than summer-noon; and pure as that, 
Whose mild vibrations soothe the parted soul, 
New to the dawning of celestial day. 
Hence through her nourish’d powers, enlarged by thee, 
She springs aloft, with elevated pride, 
Above the tangling mass of low desires, 
That bind the fluttering crowd; and, angel-wing’d, 
The heights of science and of virtue gains, 
Where all is calm and clear; with Nature round, 
Or in the starry regions, or the abyss, 
To Reason’s and to Fancy’s eye display’d: 
The First up-tracing, from the dreary void, 
The chain of causes and effects to Him, 
The world-producing Essence, who alone 
Possesses being; while the Last receives 
The whole magnificence of heaven and earth, 
And every beauty, delicate or bold, 
Obvious or more remote, with livelier sense, 
Diffusive painted on the rapid mind. 

Tutor’d by thee, hence Poetry exalts 
Her voice to ages; and informs the page 
With music, image, sentiment, and thought, 
Never to die! the treasure of mankind! 
Their highest honour, and their truest joy! 

Without thee what were unenlighten’d Man? 
A savage roaming through the woods and wilds, 
In quest of prey; and with the unfashion’d fur 
Rough-clad; devoid of every finer art, 
And elegance of life. Nor happiness 
Domestic, mix’d of tenderness and care, 
Nor moral excellence, nor social bliss, 
Nor guardian law were his; nor various skill 
To turn the furrow, or to guide the tool 
Mechanic; nor the heaven-conducted prow 
Of navigation bold, that fearless braves 
The burning line or dares the wintry pole; 
Mother severe of infinite delights! 
Nothing, save rapine, indolence, and guile, 
And woes on woes, a still-revolving train! 
Whose horrid circle had made human life 
Than non-existence worse: but, taught by thee, 
Ours are the plans of policy and peace; 
To live like brothers, and conjunctive all 
Embellish life. While thus laborious crowds 
Ply the tough oar, Philosophy directs 
The ruling helm; or like the liberal breath 
Of potent Heaven, invisible, the sail 
Swells out, and bears the inferior world along.
Nor to this evanescent speck of earth 
Poorly confined, the radiant tracts on high 
Are her exalted range; intent to gaze 
Creation through; and, from that full complex 
Of never ending wonders, to conceive 
Of the Sole Being right, who spoke the Word, 
And Nature moved complete. With inward view, 
Thence on the ideal kingdom swift she turns 
Her eye; and instant, at her powerful glance, 
The obedient phantoms vanish or appear; 
Compound, divide, and into order shift, 
Each to his rank, from plain perception up 
To the fair forms of Fancy’s fleeting train: 
To reason then, deducing truth from truth; 
And notion quite abstract; where first begins 
The world of spirits, action all, and life 
Unfetter’d, and unmixt. But here the cloud, 
(So wills Eternal Providence) sits deep. 
Enough for us to know that this dark state, 
In wayward passions lost and vain pursuits, 
This Infancy of Being, cannot prove 
The final issue of the works of God, 
By boundless Love and perfect Wisdom form’d, 
And ever rising with the rising mind.