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And so long he, with unspent power,

His destiny repelled:
And ever as the minutes flew,
Entreated help, or cried “Adieu !”

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At length, his transient respite past,

His comrades, who before
Had heard his voice in every blast,

Could catch the sound no more:
For then, by toil subdued, he drank
The stifling wave, and then he sank.

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No poet wept him: but the page

Of narrative sincere,
That tells his name, his worth, his age,

Is wet with Anson's tear:
And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalize the dead.

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I therefore purpose not, or dream,

Descanting on his fate,
To give the melancholy theme

A more enduring date:
But misery still delights to trace
Its semblance in another's case.

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No voice divine the storm allayed,

No light propitious shone,
When, snatched from all effectual aid,

We perished each alone:

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But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.

THE TASK

BOOK IV

THE WINTER EVENING

ARGUMENT OF THE FOURTH BOOK

A poor

The post comes in The newspaper is read The world

contemplated at a distance - Address to Winter - - The rural amusements of a winter evening compared with the fashionable ones Address to evening - A brown study Fall of snow in the evening

The wagoner family piece — The rural thief - Public houses The multitude of them censured The farmer's daughter: what she was,

- what she is The simplicity of country manners almost lost Causes of the change Desertion of the country by the rich · Neglect of the magistrates The militia principally in fault - The new recruit and his transformation - Reflection on bodies corporate- - The love of rural objects natural to all, and never to be totally extinguished.

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HARK! 'tis the twanging horn! O'er yonder bridge, o
That with its wearisome but needful length
Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon
Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright,
He comes, the herald of a noisy world,

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With spattered boots, strapped waist, and frozen

locks,

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News from all nations lumbering at his back.
True to his charge, the close-packed load behind,
Yet careless what he brings, his one concern
Is to conduct it to the destined inn,
And having dropped the expected bag - pass on.
He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch,
Cold and yet cheerful: messenger of grief
Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to some,
To him indifferent whether grief or joy.
Houses in ashes, and the fall of stocks,
Births, deaths, and marriages, epistles wet
With tears, that trickled down the writer's cheeks
Fast as the periods from his fluent quill,
Or charged with amorous sighs of absent swains, 20
Or nymphs responsive, equally affect
His horse and him, unconscious of them all.
But oh the important budget! ushered in
With such heart-shaking music, who can say
What are its tidings ? have our troops awakedo? 25
Or do they still, as if with opium drugged,
Snore to the murmurs of the Atlantic wave?
Is India freeo? and does she wear her plumed
And jewelled turban with a smile of peace,
Or do we grind her still? The grand debate,
The popular harangue, the tart reply,
The logic, and the wisdom, and the wit,
And the loud laugh - I long to know them all;

30 35

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I burn to set the imprisoned wranglers free,
And give them voice and utterance once again.

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
Not such his evening, who with shining face
Sweats in the crowded theatre, and, squeezed
And bored with elbow points through both his sides,
Outscolds the ranting actor on the stage;
Nor his, who patient stands till his feet throb,
And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath
Of patriots, bursting with heroic rage,
Or placemen, all tranquillity and smiles.
This folioo of four pages happy work!

50 Which not e'en critics criticise; that holds Inquisitive attention, while I read, Fast bound in chains of silence, which the fair, Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break; What is it, but a map of busy life, Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns ? Here runs the mountainous and craggy ridge That tempts ambition. On the summit, see, The seals of office glitter in his eyes; He climbs, he pants, he grasps them. At his heels, 60 Close at his heels, a demagogue ascends, And with a dexterous jerk soon twists him down,

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And wins them, but to lose them in his turn.
.Here rills of oily eloquence, in soft
Meanders lubricate the course they take;

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The modest speaker is ashamed and grieved
To engross a moment's notice; and yet begs,
Begs a propitious ear for his poor thoughts,
However trivial, all that he conceives.
Sweet bashfulness ! it claims, at least, this praise: 70
The dearth of information and good sense
That it foretells us always comes to pass.
Cataracts of declamation thunder here;
There forests of no meaning spread the page,
In which all comprehension wanders lost;
While fields of pleasantry amuse us there
With merry descants on a nation's woes.
The rest appears a wilderness of strange
But gay confusion; roses for the cheeks
And lilies for the brows of faded

age,

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Teeth for the toothless, ringlets for the bald,
Heaven, earth, and ocean, plundered of their sweets,
Nectareous essences, Olympian dews,
Sermons, and city feasts, and favorite airs,
Æthereal journeys, submarine exploits,
And Katerfelto, o with his hair on end
At his own wonders, wondering for his bread.

'Tis pleasant through the loopholes of retreat
To peep at such a world; to see the stir
Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd;
To hear the roar she sends through all her gates

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