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Then snug inclosures in the shelter'd vale,
Where frequent hedges intercept the eye,
Delight us, happy to renounce awhile,
Not senseless of its charms, what still we love,
That such short absence may endear it more.
Then forests, or the favage rock, may please,
That hides the fea-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 fattin 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 followed 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 death,
And 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 cloaths,
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, sung Between two poles upon a stick transverse, Receives the morsel; Aesh 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, juft faves 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 caft
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 fqualid Noth to honorable toil !
Yet even these, though, feigning sickness ofr,
They swathe the forehead, drag the limping limb,
And vex their flesh with artificial fores,
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.
Bleft 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 now 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 foil ;
Not rude and surly, and beset with thorns,
And terrible to fight, 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,
And all her fruits by radiant truth matur’d.
War and the chace engross the savage whole;