Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE FIRST OF APRIL,

(IBID.]

WI Ith dalliance rude young Zephyr woos
Coy May: full oft with kind excuse
The boisterous boy the Fair denies,
Or with a scornful smile complies.
Mindful of disaster past, -
And shrinking at the northern blast,
The sleety storm returning still,
The morning hoar, and evening chill,
Reluctant comes the timid Spring.
Scarce a bee, with airy ring,
Murmurs the blossom'd boughs around,
That clothe the garden's southern bound;
Scarce a sickly straggling flower
Decks the rough castle's rifted tower:
Scarce the hardy primrose peeps
From the dark dell's entangled steeps:
O'er the field of waving broom
Slowly shoots the golden bloom :
And, but by fits, the furze-clad dale
Tinctures the transitory gale.

While from the shrubbery's naked maze,
Where the vegetable blaze
Of Flora's brightest 'broidery shone,
Every chequer'd charm is flown ;
Save that the lilac hangs to view
Its burstiog gems in clusters blue.

Scant along the ridgy land The beans their new-born ranks expand : The fresh-turn'd soil with tender blades Thinly the sprouting barley shades: Fringing the forest's devious edge, Half robed appears the hawthorn hedge; Or to the distant eye displays Weakly green its budding sprays.

The swallow, for a moment seen,
Skims in haste the village green:
From the gray moor, on feeble wing,
The screaming plovers idly spring :
The butterfly, gay.painted, soon
Explores awhile the tepid noon;
And fondly trusts its tender dyes
To fickle suns, and flattering skies.

Fraught with a transient, frozen shower, If a cloud should haply lower,

Sailing o'er the landscape dark,
Mute on a sudden is the lark;
But when gleams the sun again
O'er the pearl-besprinkled plain,
And from behind his watery vail
Looks through the thin descending hail,
She mounts, and, lessening to the sight,
Salutes the blithe return of light,
And high her tuneful track pursues
'Mid the dim rainbow's scatter'd hues.

Where in venerable rows Widely-waving oaks inclose The moat of yonder antique hall, Swarm the rooks with clamorous call; And, to the toils of nature true, Wreathe their capacious nests anew.

Musing through the lawny park, The lonely poet loves to mark How various greens in faint degrees Tinge the tall groups of various trees; While, careless of the changing year, The pine cerulean, never sere, Towers distinguish'd from the rest, And proudly vaunts her winter vest.

Within some whispering osier isle, Where Glym's low banks neglected smile, And each trim meadow still retains The wintry torrent's oozy stains, Beneath a willow, long forsook, The fisher seeks his custom'd nook; And bursting through the crackling sedge, That crowns the current's cavern'd edge, He startles from the bordering wood The bashtul wild-duck's early brood.

O’er the broad downs, a novel race,
Frisk the lambs with faltering pace,
And with eager bleatings fill
The foss that skirts the beacon'd hill.

His free-born vigour yet unbroke To lordly man's usurping yoke, The bounding colt forgets to play, Basking beneath the noon-tide ray, And streteh'd among the daisies pied Of a green dingle's sloping side : While far beneath, where nature spreads Her boundless length of level meads, In loose luxuriance taught to stray, A thousand tumbling rills inlay

With silver veins the vale, or pass
Redundant through the sparkling grass.

Yet, in these presages rude,
Midst her pensive solitude,
Fancy, with prophetic glance,
Sees the teeming months advance;
The field, the forest, green

and

gay,
The dappled slope, the tedded hay;
Sees the reddening orchard blow,
The harvest wave, the vintage flow;
Sees June unfold his glossy robe
Of thousand hues o'er all the globe;
Sees Ceres grasp her crown of corn,
And Plenty load her ample horn.

ODE ON THE APPROACH OF SUMMER.

[IBID.]

Hence, iron-sceptred Winter, haste

To bleak Siberian waste !
Haste to thy polar solitude,

Mid cataracts of ice,
Whose torrents dumb are stretch'd in fragments

rude,
From many an airy precipice,

« PreviousContinue »