Page images

While thro' their cheerful band the rural talk,
The rural scandal, and the rural jest,
Fly harmless, to deceive the tedious time,

And steal unfelt the sultry hours away. 3. Behind the master walks, builds up the shocks;

And, conscious, glancing oft on every side

His sated* eye, feels his heart heave with joy. 4. The gleaners spread around, and here and there

Spike after spike, their scanty harvest pick. 5. Be not too narrow, husbandmen! but fling

From the full sheaf, with charitable stealth,t
The liberal handful. 6. Think, oh grateful think!
How good the God of HARVEST is to you;
Who pours abundance o'er your flowing fields;
While these unhappy partners of your kind
Wide hover round you, like the fowls of heav'n,
And ask their humble dole. 7. The various turns
Of fortune ponder ;f that your sons may want
What now, with hard reluctance, faint ye give.


* Satisfied with the prospect of plenty. of Secretly.

| In these lines the disposition of the Poet is particularly pointed out in the most striking colours; that he was naturally humane, benevolent, and charita. '; and his address to the Farmer seems grounded on the words of our blessed Lord, “ As ye have freely received, so freely give.” Matth. chap. x. 5, 8.

It is a proper mark of our thankfulness for mercies received, to give cheerfully out of our plenty, to those who are in want, poverty, and distress.

Riches are uncertain and precarious'; he who is a man of fortune to day, may (by unforeseen calamities and misfortunes) be a beggar before to-morrow night; the Psalmist says, If riches increase, set not your heart upon them ;' be most solicitous to be rich in good works, and to have your treasure in Heaven, where “ Moth nor rust cannot corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal.



1. Joy'-less, a. without joy, deprived of pleasure; sad. Oh-scu're, a. dark, gloomy. (Abstruse or difficult, applied to

writings. Not noted or famous.) Brow, s. (applied to a hill,) the verge or extremity of its surface. 3. Dimp’-ly, a. full of dimples, or little dents, or inequalities of

# surface.

Pool, s. a lake or a large collection of standing water. . 4. Low, v. to bellow or make a noise, applied to that made by oxen,

bulls, or cows.' Ru'-mi-nate, v. to chew the cud.* (To muse or meditate, to think

on again.)
Con-ti"-gu-ous, a, adjoining, meeting so as to touch.
5. Crest'-ed, a. adorned with a plume or tuft of feathers.

Re-cou'nt, v. to relate.
Fro”-lic, s. a prank, play.

Reck, v. to heed, to mind, to care. 6. Ab-rupt', a. craggy, broken.

Tur-bid, . thick or muddy.
Tri"-ple, a, three-fold, or thrice as many.

1. First joyless rains obscure

Drive thro' the mingling skies with vapour foul;
Dash on the mountain's brow, andshake the woods
That grumbling wave below.2.Th’unsightly plain
Lies a brown deluge: as the low-bent clouds
Pour flood on flood, yet unexhausted still
Combine, and deep’ning into night, shut up
The day's fair face. 3. The wanderers of heav'n
Each to his home retires; save those that love
To take their pastime in the troubled air,

Or skimming flutter round the dimply pool. 4. The cattle from th' untasted fields return,

* The food chewed by a cow, &c. the second time.

And ask, with meaning low, their wonted stalls,

Or ruminate in the contiguous shade. 5. Thither the household feath’ry people* crowd,

The crested cock, with all his female train, Pensive, and dripping; while the cottage-hindt Hangs o'er th' enliv'ning blaze, and taleful there Recounts his simple frolic ; much he talks, Andmuch helaughs, norrecks the storm that blows

Without, and rattles on his humble roof.. 6. Wide o'er the brim, with many a torrent swellid,

And the mix'd ruin of its banks o’erspread,
At last the rous’d-up river pours along :
Resistless, roaring, dreadful, down it comes,
From the rude mountain and the mossy wild,
Tumbling thro' rocks abrupt, and sounding far;
Then o'er the sanded valley floating spreads,
Calm, sluggish, silent; till again' constrain’d,
Between two meeting hills, it bursts away,
Where rocks and woods o’erhang the turbid

There gath’ring triple force, rapid, and deep,
It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders.


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »