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And sooth'd into a dream that he discerns.
The diff'rence of a Guido from a daub,
Frequents the crowded auction : station'd there
As duly as the Langford of the show,
With glass at eye, and catalogue in hand,
And tongue accomplish’d in the fulsome cant 1. And pedantry that coxcombs learn with ease ;
Oft as the price-deciding hammer falls
He notes it in his book, then raps his box,
Swears 'tis a bargain, rails at his hard fate
That he has let it pass—but never bids !
Here, unmolested, through whatever sign
The sun proceeds, I wander. Neither mist,
Nor freezing sky nor sultry, checking me,
Nor stranger intermeddling with my joy.
Ev'n in the spring and play-time of the year,
That calls th' unwonted villager abroad
With all her little ones, a sportive train,
To gather king-cups in the yellow mead,
And prink their hair with daisies, or to pick
A cheap but wholesome sallad from the brook,
These shades are all my own. The tim'rous hare,
Grown so familiar with her frequent guest,
Scarce shuns me ; and the stock-dove, unalarm’d,
Sits cooing in the pine-tree, nor suspends
His long love-ditty for my near approach.
Drawn from his refuge in some lonely elm
That age or injury has hollow'd deep,
Where, on his bed of wool and matted leaves,
He has outslept the winter, ventures forth
To frisk awhile, and bask in the warm sun,
The squirrel, flippant, pert, and full of play:
He sees me, and at once, swift as a bird,
Ascends the neighb’ring beech; there whisks his
And perks his ears, and stamps and cries aloud,
And anger insignificantly fierce.
The heart is hard in nature, and unfit For human fellowship, as being void Of sympathy, and therefore dead alike To love and friendship both, that is not pleas'd With sight of animals enjoying life, Nor feels their happiness augment his own. The bounding fawn, that darts across the glade When none pursues, through mere delight of heart, And spirits buoyant with excess of glee ; The horse as wanton, and almost as fleet, That skims the spacious meadow at full speed, Then stops and snorts, and, throwing high his heels, Starts to the voluntary.race again ; The very kine that gambol at high noon, The total herd receiving first from one That leads the dance a summons to be gay, . Though wild their strange vagaries, and uncouth Their efforts, yet resolv'd with one consent To give such act an uttrance as they may To ecstasy too big to be suppressid These, and a thousand images of bliss,
Impart to the benevolent, who wish
All that are capable of pleasure pleas’d,
A far superior happiness to theirs,
The comfort of a reasonable joy.
Man scarce had ris'n, obedient to his call
Who form’d him from the dust, his future grave,
When he was crown'd as never king was since.
God set the diadem upon his head,
And angel choirs attended. Wond'ring stood
The new made monarch, while before him pass'd,
All happy, and all perfect in their kind,
The creatures summon’d from their various haunts
To see their sov'reign, and confess his sway.
Vast was his empire, absolute his pow'r,
Or bounded only by a law, whose force
'Twas his sublimest privilege to feel
And own--the law of universal love.
He rul'd with meekness, they obey'd with joy ;
No cruel purpose lurk’d within his heart,
And no distrust of his intent in theirs.
So Eden was a scene of harmless sport,
Where kindness on his part who ruld the whole
Begat a tranquil confidence in all,
And fear as yet was not, nor cause for fear.
But sin marr'd all ; and the revolt of man,
That source of evils not exhausted yet,
Was punish'd with revolt of his from him.
Garden of God, how terrible the change
Thy groves and lawns then witness'd! Ev'ry heart,
Each animal of ev'ry name, conceiv'd
A jealousy and an instinctive fear,
And, conscious of some danger, either fled
Precipitate the loath'd abode of man,
Or growl'd defiance in such angry sort,
As taught him, too, to tremble in his turn.
Thus harmony and family accord
Were driv'n from Paradise ; and in that hour
The seeds of cruelty, that since have swell's
To such gigantic and enormous growth,
Were sown in human nature's fruitful soil.
Hence date the persecution and the pain
That man inflicts on all inferior kinds,
Regardless of their plaints. To make him sport,
To gratify the frenzy of his wrath,
Or his base gluttony, are causes good
And just, in his account, why bird and beast
Should suffer torture, and the streams be dyed
With blood of their inhabitants impal'd.
Earth groans beneath the burden of a war
Wag’d with defenceless innocence, while he,
Not satisfied to prey on all around,
Adds tenfold bitterness to death by pangs
Needless, and first torments ere he devours.
Now happiest they that occupy the scenes
The most remote from his abhorr'd resort,
Whom once, as delegate of God on earth,
They fear’d, and as his perfect image, lov'd.
The wilderness is theirs, with all its caves,
Its hollow glens, its thickets, and its plains,