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With quips and cranks — what time the wood-lark
there Scatters her loose notes on the sultry air, What time the king-fisher sits perched below, Where, silver-bright, the water-lilies blow :A Wake--the booths whitening the village-green, Where Punch and Scaramouch aloft are seen ; Sign beyond sign in close array unfurled, Picturing at large the wonders of the world; And far and wide, over the vicar's pale, Black hoods and scarlet crossing hill and dale, All, all abroad, and music in the gale :A Wedding-dance—a dance into the night On the barn-floor, when maiden-feet are light; When the young bride receives the promised dower, And flowers are flung, herself a fairer flower :A morning-visit to the poor man's shed, (Who would be rich while One was wanting bread ?) When all are emulous to bring relief, And tears are falling fast-but not for grief:A Walk in Spring-GRATTAN, like those with thee By the heath-side (who had not envied me ?) When the sweet limes, so full of bees in June, Led us to meet beneath their boughs at noon ;
And thou didst say which of the Great and Wise,
Nor at the fragrant hour-at early dawnUnder the elm-tree on his level lawn,
* A custom in some of our country-churches.
Or in his porch is he less duly found,
Thus, while the world but claims its proper part, Oft in the head but never in the heart, His life steals on ; within his quiet dwelling That homefelt joy all other joys excelling. Sick of the crowd, when enters he—nor then Forgets the cold indifference of men ?
Soon through the gadding vine the sun looks in, And gentle hands the breakfast-rite begin. Then the bright kettle sings its matin-song, Then fragrant clouds of Mocha and Souchong Blend as they rise ; and (while without are seen, Sure of their meal, the small birds on the green; And in from far a schoolboy's letter flies, Flushing the sister's cheek with glad surprise) That sheet unfolds (who reads, that reads it not ?) Born with the day and with the day forgot ;
Its ample page various as human life,
But nothing lasts. In Autumn at his plough
'Twas morn—the sky-lark o'er the furrow sung As from his lips the slow consent was wrung; As from the glebe his fathers tilled of old, The plough they guided in an age of gold, Down by the beech-wood side he turned away : And now behold him in an evil day Serving the State again—not as before, Not foot to foot, the war-whoop at his door, But in the Senate ; and (though round him fly The jest, the sneer, the subtle sophistry,) With honest dignity, with manly sense, And every
charm of natural eloquence, Like HAMPDEN struggling in his country's cause, The first, the foremost to obey the laws, The last to brook oppression. On he moves, Careless of blame while his own heart approves,
Careless of ruin—" For the general good
But guilty men
-On the day destined for his funeral !