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Who spoke in parables, I dare not say ;
But sure he knew it was a pleasing way,
Sound sense, by plain example, to convey.
And in a heathen author we may find,
That pleafure with instruction shou'd be join'd;
So take the corn, and leave the chaff behind,
OW turning from the wintry signs, the sun
His course exalted thro the Ram had run,
And whirling up the skies, his chariot drove
Thro Taurus, and the lightsome realms of love ;
Where Venus from her orb descends in show'rs,
Toglad the ground, and paint the fields with flow'rs:
When first the tender blades of grass appear,
And buds, that yet the blast of Eurus fear, [year:
Stand at the door of life, and doubt to clothe the
Till gentle heat, and soft repeated rains,
Make the green
blood to dance within their veins:
Then, at their call, embolden'd out they come,
And swell the gems, and burst the narrow room ;
Broader and broader yet, their blooms display,
Salute the welcome fun, and entertain the day.
Then from their breathing souls the sweets repair
To fcent the skies, and purge th' unwholsom air :
Joy spreads the heart, and, with a general song, Spring issues out, and leads the jolly months along.
In that sweet season, as in bed I lay, And fought in sleep to pass the night away, I turn'd my weary'd fide, but still in vain, Tho full of youthful health, and void of pain : Cares I had none, to keep me from my rest, For love had never enter'd in my breast; I wanted nothing fortune could supply, Nor did she flumber till that hour deny. I wonder'd then, but after found it true, Much joy had dry'd away the balmy dew: Seas wou'd be pools, without the brushing air, To curl the waves; and sure some little care Shou'd weary nature so, to make her want repair.
When Chanticleer the second watch had sung, Scorning the scorner sleep, from bed I sprung; And dressing, by the moon, in loose array, Pass’d out in open air, preventing day, And fought a goodly grove, as fancy led my way. Straight as a line in beauteous order stood Of oaks unshorn a venerable wood; Fresh was the grass beneath, and ev'ry tree, At distance planted in a due degree, Their branching arms in air with equal space Stretch'd to their neighbors with a long embrace : 5
And the new leaves on ev'ry bough were seen,
Some ruddy color'd, some of lighter green.
The painted birds, companions of the spring,
Hopping from spray to spray, were heard to fing.
Both eyes and ears receiv'd a like delight,
Enchanting music, and a charming sight.
On Philomel I fix'd
And listen'd for the queen of all the quire ;
Fain would I hear her heavenly voice to fing;
And wanted yet an omen to the spring.
Attending long in vain, I took the way,
Which through a path, but scarcely printed, lay;
In narrow mazes oft it seem'd to meet,
And look'd, as lightly press’d by fairy feet.
Wandring I walk'd alone, for still methought
To some strangeend fostrangea path was wrought:
At last it led me where an arbor stood,
The sacred receptacle of the wood:
This place unmark'd, tho oft I walk'd the
green, In all my progress I had never seen : And seiz'd at once with wonder and delight, Gaz'd all around me, new to the transporting sight. 'Twas bench'd with turf, and goodly to be seen, The thick young grass arose in fresher green : The mound was newly made, no fight could pass Betwixt the nice partitions of the grass ;
The well-united fods so closely lay ;
And all around the shades defended it from day,
For fycamores with églantine were spread,
A hedge about the sides, a covering over head.
And so the fragrant brier was wove between,
The sycamore and flow’rs were mix'd with green,
That nature seem'd to vary the delight;
And fatisfy'd at once the smell and sight.
The master workman of the bow'r was known
Through fairy-lands, and built for Oberon ;
Who twining leaves with such proportion drew,
They rose by measure, and by rule they grew;
No mortal tongue can half the beauty tell :
For none but hands divine could work so well.
Both roof and fides were like a parlor made,
A soft recess, and a cool summer shade ;
The hedge was set fo thick, no foreign eye
The persons plac'd within it could espy:
But all that pass’d without with ease was seen,
As if nor fence nor tree was plac'd between.
*Twas border'd with a field; and some was plain
With grass, and some was sow'd with rising grain.
That (now the dew with spangles deck'd the
A sweeter spot of earth was never found.