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For here the fair savannas know
No barriers in the bloomy grass;
Wherever breeze of heaven may blow,
Or beam of heaven may glance, I pass.
In pastures, measureless as air,
The bison is my noble game;
The bounding elk, whose antlers tear
The branches, falls before my aim.
Mine are the river-fowl that scream
From the long stripe of waving sedge;
The bear that marks my weapon's gleam
Hides vainly in the forest's edge;
In vain the she-wolf stands at bay;
The brinded catamount, that lies
High in the boughs to watch his prey,
Even in the act of springing dies.
With what free growth the elm and plane Fling their huge arms across my way,
Gray, old, and cumber'd with a train Of vines, as huge, and old, and gray !
Free stray the lucid streams, and find
No taint in these fresh lawns and shades; Free spring the flowers that scent the wind Where never scythe has swept the glades.
Alone the Fire, when frost-winds sere
The heavy herbage of the ground,
Gathers his annual harvest here,
With roaring like the battle's sound,
And hurrying flames that sweep the
And smoke-streams gushing up the sky.
I meet the flames with flames again,
And at my door they cower and die.
Here, from dim woods, the aged Past
Speaks solemnly; and I behold
The boundless Future in the vast
And lonely river, seaward roll’d.
Who feeds its founts with rain and dew 2
Who moves, I ask, its gliding mass,
And trains the bordering vines whose blue
Bright clusters tempt me as I pass?
Broad are these streams—my steed obeys, Plunges, and bears me through the tide:
Wide are these woods—I thread the maze Of giant stems, nor ask a guide.
I hunt till day's last glimmer dies O'er woody vale and grassy height; And kind the voice and glad the eyes
That welcome my return at night. WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
SHEPHERDs all, and maidens fair,
Fold your flocks up; for the air
'Gins to thicken, and the sun
Already his great course hath run.
See the dewdrops, how they kiss
Every little flower that is;
Hanging on their velvet heads,
Like a string of crystal beads.
See the heavy clouds low falling
And bright Hesperus down calling
The dead night from under ground;
At whose rising, mists unsound,
Damps and vapors, fly apace,
And hover o'er the smiling face
Of these pastures; where they come,
Striking dead both bud and bloom.
Therefore from such danger lock
Every one his loved flock;
And let your dogs lie loose without,
Lest the wolf come as a scout
From the mountain and, ere day,
Bear a lamb or kid away;
Or the crafty, thievish fox
Break upon your simple flocks.
To secure yourself from these,
Be not too secure in ease;
So shall you good shepherds prove,
And deserve your master's love.
Now, good-night! may sweetest slumbers
And soft silence fall in numbers
On your eyelids. So farewell:
Thus I end my evening knell.
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
FAREWELL, thou busy world, and may We never meet again; Here I can eat, and sleep, and pray, And do more good in one short day Than he who his whole age out-wears Upon the most conspicuous theatres, Where naught but vanity and vice appears.
Good God! how sweet are all things here !
How beautiful the fields appear !
How cleanly do we feed and lie
Lord! what good hours do we keep !
How quietly we sleep !
What peace, what unanimity |
How innocent from the lewd fashion
Is all our business, all our recreation |
Oh, how happy here's our leisure
Oh, how innocent our pleasure
O ye valleys' O-ye mountains !
O ye groves, and crystal fountains !
How I love at liberty
By turns to come and visit ye!
Dear solitude, the soul's best friend, That man acquainted with himself dost make, And all his Maker's wonders to intend, With thee I here converse at will And would be glad to do so still, For it is thou alone that keep'st the soul awake.
How calm and quiet a delight
Is it, alone
To read, and meditate, and write,
By none offended, and offending none !
To walk, ride, sit, or sleep at one's own
And, pleasing a man's self, none other to
O my belovèd nymph, fair Dove,
Princess of rivers, how I love
Upon thy flowery banks to lie,
And view thy silver stream,
When gilded by a Summer's beam
And in it all thy wanton fry
Playing at liberty,
And with my angle upon them
The all of treachery
I ever learn'd industriously to try !
Such streams Rome's yellow Tiber cannot show, The Iberian Tagus, or Ligurian Po; The Maese, the Danube, and the Rhine, Are puddle-water, all, compared with thine; And Loire's pure streams yet too polluted are With thine, much purer, to compare;
The rapid Garonne and the winding
Are both too mean,
Beloved Dove, with thee
To vie priority;
Nay, Tame and Isis, when conjoined, sub-
And lay their trophies at thy silver feet.
O my belovèd rocks that rise
To awe the earth and brave the skies,
From some aspiring mountain's crown
How dearly do I love,
Giddy with pleasure, to look down,
And, from the vales, to view the noble
O my beloved caves |
And all anxieties, my safe retreat;
What safety, privacy, what true delight,
In the artificial night
Your gloomy entrails make,
Have I taken, do I take
How oft, when grief has made me fly,
To hide me from society
E'en of my dearest friends, have I,
In your recesses' friendly shade,
All my sorrows open laid,
And my most secret woes entrusted to your
Lord ' would men let me alone,
What an over-happy one
Should I think myself to be,
Might I in this desert place
(Which most men in discourse disgrace)
Live but undisturb’d and freel
Here, in this despised recess,
Would I, maugre Winter's cold,
And the Summer's worst excess,
Try to live out to sixty full years old;
And, all the while,
Without an envious eye
On any thriving under Fortune's smile,
Contented live, and then contented die. CHARLES Cottox.
THE PRAISE OF A COUNTRYMAN'S LIFE.
OH, the sweet contentment The countryman doth find,