The ladies first 'Gan murmur, as became the softer sex. Ingenious fancy, never better pleased Than when employed to accommodate the fair, Heard the sweet moan with pity, and devised The soft settee; one elbow at each end, And in the midst an elbow, it received United yet divided, twain at once. So sit two kings of Brentford on one throne; And so two citizens who take the air Close packed and smiling in a chaise and one. But relaxation of the languid frame By soft recumbency of outstretched limbs, Was bliss reserved for happier days; — so slow The growth of what is excellent, so hard To attain perfection in this nether world.
Thus first necessity invented stools, Convenience next suggested elbow chairs, And luxury the accomplished sofa last. The nurse sleeps sweetly, hired to watch the sick Whom snoring she disturbs. As sweetly he Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour To sleep within the carriage more secure, His legs depending at the open door.
Sweet sleep enjoys the curate in his desk, The tedious rector drawling o'er his head, And sweet the clerk below: but neither sleep Of lazy nurse, who snores the sick man dead, Nor his who quits the box at midnight hour To slumber in the carriage more secure, Nor sleep enjoyed by curate in his desk, Nor yet the dozings of the clerk are sweet, Compared with the repose the sofa yields. Oh may I live exempted while I live Guiltless of pampered appetite obscene, From pangs arthritic that infest the toe Of libertine excess.
The sofa suits The gouty limb, 'tis true; but gouty limb, Though on a sofa, may I never feel: For I have loved the rural walk through lanes Of grassy swarth close cropt by nibbling sheep, And skirted thick with intertexture firm Of thorny boughs; have loved the rural walk O'er hills, through valleys, and by river's brink E'er since a truant boy I passed my bounds To enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames. And still remember, nor without regret Of hours that sorrow since has much endeared, How oft, my slice of pocket store consumed, Still hungering pennyless and far from home, I fed on scarlet hips and stony haws, Or blushing crabs, or berries that emboss The bramble, black as jet, or sloes austere, Hard fare!
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No sofa then awaited my return, Nor sofa then I needed. Youth repairs His wasted spirits quickly, by long toil Incurring short fatigue; and though our years, As life declines, speed rapidly away, And not a year but pilfers as he goes Some youthful grace that age would gladly keep, A tooth or auburn lock, and by degrees Their length and colour from the locks they spare; The elastic spring of an unwearied foot That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the fence, That play of lungs inhaling and again Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me, Mine have not pilfered yet; nor yet impaired My relish of fair prospect: scenes that soothed Or charmed me young, no longer young, I find Still soothing and of power to charm me still.
And witness, dear companion of my walks, Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive Fast locked in mine, with pleasure such as love Confirmed by long experience of thy worth And well-tried virtues could alone inspire, — Witness a joy that thou hast doubled long. Thou know'st my praise of nature most sincere, And that my raptures are not conjur'd up To serve occasions of poetic pomp, But genuine, and art partner of them all. How oft upon yon eminence our pace Has slacken'd to a pause, and we have borne The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew, While admiration, feeding at the eye, And still unsated, dwelt upon the scene.
Thence with what pleasure have we just discern'd The distant plough slow moving, and beside His lab'ring team, that swerv'd not from the track, The sturdy swain diminish'd to a boy! Here Ouse, slow winding through a level Of spacious meads with cattle sprinkled o'er, Conducts the eye along its sinuous course Delighted.
There, fast rooted in his bank, Stand, never overlook'd, our fav'rite elms, That screen the herdsman's solitary hut; While far beyond, and overthwart the stream That, as with molten glass, inlays the vale, The sloping land recedes into the clouds; Displaying on its varied side the grace Of hedge-row beauties numberless, square tow'r, Tall spire, from which the sound of cheerful bells Just undulates upon the list'ning ear, Groves, heaths and smoking villages remote.
Scenes must be beautiful, which, daily view'd, Please daily, and whose novelty survives Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years. Praise justly due to those that I describe. Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds Exhilarate the spirit, and restore The tone of languid nature. Mighty winds That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading wood Of ancient growth, make music not unlike The dash of ocean on his winding shore, And lull the spirit while they fill the mind, Unnumbered branches waving in the blast, And all their leaves fast fluttering, all at once Nor less composure waits upon the roar Of distant floods, or on the softer voice Of neighbouring fountain, or of rills that slip Through the cleft rock, and chiming as they fall Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length In matted grass, that with a livelier green Betrays the secret of their silent course.
Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds, But animated nature sweeter still To soothe and satisfy the human ear. Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one The livelong night: nor these alone whose notes Nice-fingered art must emulate in vain, But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime In still repeated circles, screaming loud, The jay, the pie, and even the boding owl That hails the rising moon, have charms for me.
Sounds inharmonious in themselves and harsh, Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns And only there, please highly for their sake. Peace to the artist, whose ingenious thought Devised the weather-house, that useful toy! Fearless of humid air and gathering rains Forth steps the man, an emblem of myself; More delicate his timorous mate retires. When winter soaks the fields, and female feet Too weak to struggle with tenacious clay, Or ford the the rivulets, are best at home, The task of new discoveries falls on me.
At such a season and with such a charge Once went I forth, and found, till then unknown, A cottage, whither oft we since repair: 'Tis perched upon the green hill-top, but close Environed with a ring of branching elms That overhang the thatch, itself unseen, Peeps at the vale below; so thick beset With foliage of such dark redundant growth, I called the low-roofed lodge the peasant's nest. And hidden as it is, and far remote From such unpleasing sounds as haunt the ear In village or in town, the bay of curs Incessant, clinking hammers, grinding wheels, And infants clamorous whether pleased or pained, Oft have I wished the peaceful covert mine.
Here, I have said, at least I should possess The poet's treasure, silence, and indulge The dreams of fancy, tranquil and secure. Vain thought! Its elevated site forbids the wretch To drink sweet waters of the crystal well; He dips his bowl into the weedy ditch, And heavy-laden brings his beverage home, Far-fetched and little worth; nor seldom waits, Dependent on the baker's punctual call, To hear his creaking panniers at the door, Angry and sad, and his last crust consumed.
So farewell envy of the peasant's nest. If solitude make scant the means of life, Society for me! Thou seeming sweet, Be still a pleasing object in my view, My visit still, but never mine abode. Not distant far, a length of colonnade Invites us: Monument of ancient taste, Now scorned, but worthy of a better fate. Our fathers knew the value of a screen From sultry suns, and in their shaded walks And long-protracted bowers, enjoyed at noon The gloom and coolness of declining day.
We bear our shades about us; self-deprived Of other screen, the thin umbrella spread, And range an Indian waste without a tree. Thanks to Benevolus; he spares me yet These chestnuts ranged in corresponding lines, And though himself so polished, still reprieves The obsolete prolixity of shade. Descending now but cautious, lest too fast, A sudden steep, upon a rustic bridge We pass a gulf in which the willows dip Their pendent boughs, stooping as if to drink.
Hence ankle-deep in moss and flowery thyme We mount again, and feel at every step Our foot half sunk in hillocks green and soft, Raised by the mole, the miner of the soil. He not unlike the great ones of mankind, Disfigures earth, and plotting in the dark Toils much to earn a monumental pile, That may record the mischiefs he has done. The summit gained, behold the proud alcove That crowns it! So strong the zeal to immortalise himself Beats in the breast of man, that even a few Few transient years won from the abyss abhorred Of blank oblivion, seem a glorious prize, And even to a clown.
Now roves the eye, And posted on this speculative height Exults in its command.
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The sheep-fold here Pours out its fleecy tenants o'er the glebe, At first progressive as a stream, they seek The middle field; but scattered by degrees Each to his choice, soon whiten all the land. There, from the sun-burnt hay-field homeward creeps The loaded wain, while lightened of its charge The wain that meets it passes swiftly by, The boorish driver leaning o'er his team Vociferous, and impatient of delay.
Nor less attractive is the woodland scene, Diversified with trees of every growth Alike yet various. Here the gray smooth trunks Of ash, or lime, or beech, distinctly shine, Within the twilight of their distant shades; There lost behind a rising ground, the wood Seems sunk, and shortened to its topmost boughs. No tree in all the grove but has its charms, Though each its hue peculiar; paler some, And of a wanish gray; the willow such And poplar, that with silver lines his leaf, And ash far-stretching his umbrageous arm; Of deeper green the elm; and deeper still, Lord of the woods, the long-surviving oak.
Some glossy-leaved and shining in the sun, The maple, and the beech of oily nuts Prolific, and the line at dewy eve Diffusing odours: nor unnoted pass The sycamore, capricious in attire, Now green, now tawny, and ere autumn yet Have changed the woods, in scarlet honours bright. O'er these, but far beyond, a spacious map Of hill and valley interposed between, The Ouse, dividing the well-watered land, Now glitters in the sun, and now retires, As bashful, yet impatient to be seen.
Hence the declevity is sharp and short, And such the re-ascent; between them weeps A little naiad her impoverished urn All summer long, which winter fills again. The folded gates would bar my progress now, But that the lord of this enclosed demesne, Communicative of the good he owns, Admits me to a share: the guiltless eye Commits no wrong, nor wastes what it enjoys. Refreshing change! By short transition we have lost his glare, And stepped at once into a cooler clime.
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Ye fallen avenues! How airy and how light the graceful arch, Yet awful as the consecrated roof Re-echoing pious anthems! So sportive is the light Shot through the boughs, it dances as they dance, Shadow and sunshine intermingling quick, And darkening and enlightening, as the leaves Play wanton, every moment, every spot. And now with nerves new-braced and spirits cheered We tread the wilderness, whose well-rolled walks With curvature of slow and easy sweep, — Deception innocent, — give ample space To narrow bounds.
The grove receives us next; Between the upright shafts of whose tall elms We may discern the thresher at his task. Thump after thump, resounds the constant flail, That seems to swing uncertain, and yet falls Full on the destined ear.
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Wide flies the chaff, The rustling straw sends up a frequent mist Of atoms sparkling in the noonday beam. Come hither, ye that press your beds of down And sleep not, — see him sweating o'er his bread Before he eats it. By ceaseless action, all that is subsists. Constant rotation of the unwearied wheel That nature rides upon, maintains her health, Her beauty, her fertility. She dreads An instant's pause, and lives but while she moves. Its own resolvency upholds the world. Winds from all quarters agitate the air, And fit the limpid elements for use, Else noxious: oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams By restless undulation.
Even the oak Thrives by the rude concussion of the storm; He seems indeed indignant, and to feel The impression of the blast with proud disdain, Frowning as if in his unconscious arm He held the thunder. But the monarch owes His firm stability to what he scorns, More fixed below, the more disturbed above. The law by which all creatures else are bound, Binds man the lord of all. Himself derives No mean advantage from a kindred cause, From strenuous toil his hours of sweetest ease. The sedentary stretch their lazy length When custom bids, but no refreshment find, For none they need: the languid eye, the cheek Deserted of its bloom, the flaccid, shrunk, And withered muscle, and the vapid soul, Reproach their owner with that love of rest To which he forfeits even the rest he loves.
Not such the alert and active. Measure life By its true worth, the comforts it affords, And theirs alone seems worthy of the name Good health, and its associate in the most, Good temper; spirits prompt to undertake, And not soon spent, though in an arduous task; The powers of fancy and strong thought are theirs; Even age itself seems privileged in them With clear exemption from its own defects.
http://maisonducalvet.com/arts-citas-con-chicas.php A sparkling eye beneath a wrinkled front The veteran shows, and gracing a gray beard With youthful smiles, descends towards the grave Sprightly, and old almost without decay. Like a coy maiden, ease, when courted most, Farthest retires, — an idol, at whose shrine Who oftenest sacrifice are favoured least. The love of nature, and the scenes she draws Is nature's dictate.
Lovely indeed the mimic works of art, But nature's works far lovelier. I admire — None more admires the painter's magic skill, Who shows me that which I shall never see, Conveys a distant country into mine, And throws Italian light on English walls. But imitative strokes can do no more Than please the eye, sweet nature every sense.
The air salubrious of her lofty hills, The cheering fragrance of her dewy vales And music of her woods, — no works of man May rival these; these all bespeak a power Peculiar, and exclusively her own. Beneath the open sky she spreads the feast; 'Tis free to all, — 'tis every day renewed, Who scorns it, starves deservedly at home. He does not scorn it, who imprisoned long In some unwholesome dungeon, and a prey To sallow sickness, which the vapours dank And clammy of his dark abode have bred, Escapes at last to liberty and light. His cheek recovers soon its healthful hue, His eye relumines its extinguished fires, He walks, he leaps, he runs, — is winged with joy.
And riots in the sweets of every breeze. He does not scorn it, who has long endured A fever's agonies, and fed on drugs.
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