THE MOST EXTENSIVE
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No noise, no care, no vanity, no strife; men, woods and fields, all breathe untroubled life.
Now from the world,
Sacred to sweet retirement, lovers steal,
And pour their souls in transport.
Now through the passing cloud she seems to stoop,
Now up the pure cerulean rides sublime.
Wide the pale deluge floats, and streaming mild
O'er the sky'd mountain to the shadowy vale,
While rocks and floods reflect the quivering gleam
The whole air whitens with a boundless tide
Of silver radiance, trembling round the world.
Now, when the cheerless empire of the sky
To Capricorn the Centaur Archer yields,
And fierce Aquarius stains th' inverted year;
Hung o'er the farthest verge of heaven, the sun
Scarce spreads o'er ether the dejected day;
Faint are his gleams and ineffectual shoot
His struggling rays, in horizontal lines.
O grievous folly to heap up estate,
Losing the days you see beneath the sun,
When, sudden, comes blind unrelenting Fate,
And gives th' untasted portion you have won
With ruthless toil, and many a wretch undone,
To those who mock you, gone to Pluto's reign.
O Peace! thou source and soul of social life;
Beneath whose calm inspiring influence,
Science his views enlarges, Art refines,
And swelling Commerce opens all her ports;
Blessed be the man divine, who gives us thee!
O Virtue! virtue! as thy joys excel, so are thy woes transcendent; the gross world knows not the bliss or misery of either.
O winter, ruler of the inverted year!
Of all evils to the generous, shame is the most deadly pang.
Oft, what seems
A trifle, a mere nothing, by itself,
In some nice situation, turns the scale
Of fate, and rules the most important actions.
Oh first of human blessings! and supreme,
Fair peace! how lovely, how delightful thou!
By whose wide tie, the kindred sons of men
Live brothers like, in amity combin'd,
And unsuspicious faith; while honest toil
Gives every joy, and to those joys a right,
Which idle, barbarous rapine but usurps.
Oh knew he but his happiness of men
The happiest he! who far from public rage,
Deep in the vale, with a choice few retir'd
Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life.
- [Country Life]
Oh! thou gentle scene
Of sweet repose; where by th' oblivious draught
Of each sad toilsome day to peace restor'd.
Unhappy mortals lose their woes awhile.
Oh, fair undress, best dress! It checks no vein, but every flowing limb in pleasure drowns, and heightens ease with grace.
Peace is the happy, natural state of man; war his corruption, his disgrace.
Philosophy consists not in airy schemes or idle speculations; the rule and conduct of all social life is her great province.
Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow in large effusion o'er the freshened world.
Prime cheerer, light! of all material beings first and best! Efflux divine.
Real glory springs from the quiet conquest of ourselves; and without that the conqueror is nought but the first slave.
- [Glory : Self-control]
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves;
Britons never will be slaves.
See where surly Winter passes off,
Far to the north, and calls his ruffian blasts:
His blasts obey, and quit the howling hill,
The shattered forest and the ravished vale;
While softer gales succeed, at whose kind touch,
Dissolving snows in livid torrents lost,
The mountains lift their green heads to the sky.
She felt his flame; but deep within her breast, in bashful coyness or in maiden pride, the soft return concealed.
Smooth to the shelving brink, a copious flood
Rolls fair and placid, where collected all
In one impetuous torrent, down the steep
It thund'ring shoots, and shakes the country round.
At first an azure sheet it rushes broad,
Then whitening by degrees, as prone it falls,
And from the loud resounding rocks below,
Dash'd in a cloud of foam, it sends aloft
A hoary mist, and forms a ceaseless shower.
Nor even the torrid wave here finds repose,
But raging still amid the shaggy rocks,
Now flashes o'er the scatter'd fragments now
Aslant the hollow'd channel rapid darts,
And falling fast from gradual slope to slope,
With wild infracted course and lessened roar
It gains a safer bed, and steals at last
Along the mazes of the quiet vale.
Sober Evening takes her wonted station in the middle air, a thousand shadows at her beck.
Sweet source of virtue,
O sacred sorrow! he who knows not thee,
Knows not the best emotions of the heart,
Those tender tears that harmonize the soul,
The sigh that charms, the pang that gives delight.
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