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The village hope. All in a reverend row,
Their gray-haired grandsires, sitting in the sun,
Before the gate, and leaning on the staff,
The well-remembered stories of their youth
Recount, and shake their aged locks with joy.
How fair a prospect rises to the eye,
Where Beauty vies in all her vernal forms
For ever pleasant, and for ever new!
Swells the exulting thought, expands the soul,
Drowning each ruder care: a blooming train
Of bright ideas rushes on the mind,
Imagination rouses at the scene;
And backward, through the gloom of ages past,
Beholds Arcadia, like a rural queen,
Encircled with her swains and rosy nymphs,
mazy dance conducting on the green.
Nor yield to old Arcadia’s blissful vales
Thine, gentle Leven! Green on either hand
Thy meadows spread, unbroken of the plough,
With beauty all their own. Thy fields rejoice
With all the riches of the golden year.
Fat on the plain, and mountain's sunny side,
Large droves of oxen, and the fleecy flocks,
Feed undisturbed ; and fill the echoing air
With music, grateful to the master's ear.
The traveller stops, and gazes round and round
O'er all the scenes, that animate his heart
With mirth and music. F'en the mendicant,
Bow bent with age, that on the old
Sole sitting, suns him in the public way,
Feels his heart leap, and to himself he sings.
CCXL. SIR WILLIAM JONES, 1746-1794.
1. A STATE.
What constitutes a state ?
Nət high-raised battlement or laboured mound,
Thick wall or moated gate;
Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned;
Not bays and broad-armed ports,
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
Not starred and spangled courts,
Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride.
No: : men, high-minded men,
With powers as far above dull brutes endued
In forest, brake, or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude;
Men who their duties know,
But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain,
Prevent the long-aimed blow,
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain :
These constitute a state,
And sovereign Law, that state's collected will,
O'er thrones and globes elate
Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill;
Smit by her sacred frown,
The fiend Discretion like a vapour sinks,
And e'en the all-dazzling Crown
Hides his faint rays, and at her bidding shrinks.
Before thy mystic altar, heavenly Truth,
I kneel in manhood as I knelt in youth:
Thus let me kneel, till this dull form decay,
And life's last shade be brightened by thy ray:
Then shall my soul, now lost in clouds below,
Soar without bound, without consuming glow.
Sir Edward Coke : Six hours in sleep, in law's grave
study six, Four spend in prayer—the rest on
Rather : Seven hours to law, to soothing
CCXLI. ANNA SEWARD, 1747–1809
I love to rise ere gleams the tardy light,
Winter's pale dawn; and, as warm fires illume,
And cheerful tapers shine around the room, Through misty windows bend my musing sight, Where round the dusky lawn, the mansions white,
With shutters clos’d, peer faintly through the gloom,
That slow recedes; while yon grey spires assume
Rising from their dark pile, an added height
By indistinctness given. Then to decree
The grateful thoughts to God, ere they unfold
To friendship or the Muse, or seek with glee
Wisdom's rich page. Oh, hours more worth than gold! By whose blest use we lengthen life, and, free From drear decays of age, outlive the old.
CCXLII. JOHN LOGAN, 1748—1788.
Hail, beauteous stranger of the wood,
Thou messenger of spring!
Now Heaven repairs thy rural seat,
And woods thy welcome sing.
Soon as the daisy decks the green,
Thy certain voice we hear :
Hast thou a star to guide thy path,
Or mark the rolling year ?
Delightful visitant! with thee
I hail the time of flow'rs,
When heaven is fill'd with music sweet
Of birds among the bow'rs.
The school-boy, wand'ring in the wood,
To pull the flow'rs so gay,
Starts, thy curious voice to hear,
And imitates thy lay.
Soon as the pea puts on the bloom,
Thou fly'st the vocal vale,
An annual guest, in other lands,
Another spring to hail.
Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear ;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
No winter in thy year!
O could I fly, I'd fly with thee :
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Companions of the spring.
CCXLIII. MRS CHARLOTTE SMITH, 1749–1806.
The partial Muse has from my earliest hours
Smiled on the rugged path I'm doom'd to tread, And still with sportive hand has snatched wild flowers,
To weave fantastic garlands for my head : But far, far happier is the lot of those
Who never learned her dear delusive art ; Which, while it decks the head with many a rose,
Reserves the thorn to fester in the heart. For still she bids soft pity's melting eye
Stream o'er the ills she knows not to remove; Points every pang, and deepens every sigh
Of mourning friendship or unhappy love. Ab! then how dear the Muse's favours cost, If those paiut sorrow best, who feel it most.
CCXLIV. JEREMY BENTHAM, 1749–1832.
REFLECTIONS ON RETIRING TO REST.
It is good, when we lay on the pillow our head,
And the silence of night all around us is spread,
To reflect on the deeds we have done through the day,
Nor allow it to pass without profit away.
A day—what a trifle!—and yet the amount
Of the days we have pass’d forin an awful account:
And the time may arrive when the world we would give,
Were it ours, might we have but another to live.
In whose service have we through the day been employ'd,
And what are the pleasures we mostly enjoyed ?
Our desires and our wishes, to what did they tend-
To the world we are in, or the world without end ?
Hath the sense of His presence encompass'd us round,
Without whom not a sparrow can fall to the ground?
Have our hearts turn’d to Him with devotion most true,
Or been occupied only with things that we view ?
Have we often reflected how soon we must go
To the mansions of bliss, or the regions of woe ?
Have we felt unto God a repentance sincere,
And in faith to the Saviour of sinners drawn near ?
Let us then with ourselves solemn conference hold,
Ere sleep's silken fetters our senses enfold !
And forgiveness implore for the sins of the day,
Nor allow them to pass unrepented away.
CCXLV. R. FERGUSON, 1750—1774.
My muse will no gae far frae hame,
Or scour a’ airts to hound for fame ;
In truth the jillet ye might blame
For thinking on't,
When eithly she can find the theme
Of aqua font.
This is the name that doctors use
Their patients' noddles to confuse ;
Wi' simples clad in terms abstruse
They labour still,
In kittle words to gar ye roose
Their want o' skill.
But we'll hae nae sic clitter-clatter,
And briefly to expound the matter,
It shall be ca'd guid Caller Water,
Than whilk I trew
Few drugs in doctors' shops are better
For me or you.
Tho'joints be stiff as ony rung,
Your pith wi' pain be sairly dung:
Be you in Caller Water flung
Out o'er the lugs,
"Twill mak ye supple, swack, and young,