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That such short absence may endear it more. Then forests, or the savage rock, may please, That hides the sea-mew in his hollow clefts Above the reach of man. His hoary head, Conspicuous many a league, the mariner, Bound homeward, and in hope already there, Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist A girdle of half-wither'd shrubs he shows, And at his feet the baffled billows die. The common, overgrown with fern, and rough With prickly gorse, that, shapeless and deform’d, And dang’rous to the touch, has yet its bloom, And decks itself with ornaments of gold, Yields no unpleasing ramble ; there the turf . Smells fresh, and, rich in odorif'rous herbs And fungous fruits of earth, regales the sense With luxury of unexpected sweets. - There often wanders one, whom better days Saw better clad, in cloak of satin trimm'd With lace, and hat with splendid ribband bound. A serving maid was she, and fell in love With one who left her, went to sea, and died. Her fancy follow'd him through foaming waves To distant shores; and she would sit and weep At what a sailor suffers ; fancy, too, Delusive most where warmest wishes are, Would oft anticipate his glad return, And dream of transports she was not to know. She heard the doleful tidings of his deathAnd never smil'd again! and now she roams
The dreary waste; there spends the livelong day,
And there, unless when charity forbids,
The livelong night. A tatter'd apron hides,
Worn as a cloak, and hardly hides, a gown
More tatter'd still ; and both but ill conceal
A bosom heav'd with never-ceasing sighs.
She begs an idle pin of all she meets,
And hoards them in her sleeve ; but needful food,
Though press'd with hunger oft, or comelier clothes,
Though pinch'd with cold, asks never.-Kate is craz'd!
I see a column of slow rising smoke
O’ertop the lofty wood that skirts the wild.
A vagabond and useless tribe there eat
Their miserable meal. A kettle, slung
Between two poles upon a stick transverse,
Receives the morsel-flesh obscene of dog,
Or vermin, or, at best, of cock purloin'd
From his accustom'd perch. Hard-faring race !
They pick their fuel out of ev'ry hedge,
Which, kindled with dry leaves, just saves unquench'd
The spark of life. The sportive wind blows wide,
Their flutt'ring rags, and shows a tawny skin,
The vellum of the pedigree they claim.
Great skill have they in palmistry, and more
To conjure clean away the gold they touch,
Conveying worthless dross into its place;
Loud when they beg, dumb only when they steal.
Strange! that a creature rational, and cast
In human mould, should brutalize by choice
His nature ; and, though capable of arts
By which the world might profit, and himself,
Self banish'd from society, prefer
Such squalid sioil to honourable toil!
Yet even these, though, feigning sickness ofte
They swathe the forehead, drag the limping limb,
And vex their flesh with artificial sores,
Can change their whine into a mirthful note
When safe occasion offers ; and, with dance,
And music of the bladder and the bag,
Beguile their woes, and make the woods resound.
Such health and gaiety of heart enjoy
The houseless rovers of the sylvan world ;
And, breathing wholesome air, and wand'ring much,
Need other physic none to heal th' effects
Of loathsome diet, penury, and cold.
Blest he, though undistinguish'd from the crowd
By wealth or dignity, who dwells secure,
Where man, by nature fierce, has laid aside
His fierceness, having learnt, though slow to learn,
The manners and the arts of civil life.
His wants, indeed, are many ; but supply
Is obvious, plac'd within the easy reach
Of temp?rate wishes and industrious hands.
Here virtue thrives as in her proper soil ;
And terrible to sight, as when she springs
(If e’er she spring spontaneous) in remote
And barb'rous climes, where violence prevails,
And strength is lord of all ; but gentle, kind,
By culture tam’d, by liberty refresh’d,