페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

THE TASK.

BOOK v.

ARGUMENT OF THE FIFTH BOOK.

A frosty morning. The foddering of cattle.--The

woodman and his dog.-The poultry.-Whimsical effects of frost at a waterfall.-The Empress of Russia's palace of ice.- Amusements of monarchs.--War, one of them.-Wars, whence. - And whence monarchy.The evils of it.English and French loyalty contrasted. The Bastille, and a prisoner there.— Liberty the chief recommendation of this country.Modern patriotism questionable, and why. The perishable nature of the best human institutions.-Spiritual liberty not perishable.--The slavish state of man by nature.Deliver him, Deist, if you can.Grace must do it.-The respective merits of patriots and martyrs stated.Their different treatment.- Happy freedom of the man whom grace makes free.- His relish of the works of God. Address to the Creator.

THE TASK.

BOOK V.

THE WINTER MORNING WALK.

'Tis morning; and the sun, with ruddy orb
Ascending, fires th' horizon; while the clouds,
That crowd away before the driving wind,
More ardent as the disk emerges more,
Resemble most some city in a blaze,
Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray
Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale,
And, tingeing all with his own rosy hue,
From ev'ry herb and ev'ry spiry blade
Stretches a length of shadow o'er the field.
Mine, spindling into longitude immense,
In spite of gravity, and sage remark
That I myself am but a fleeting shade,

Provokes me tu a smile. With

eye askance I view the muscular proportion'd limb Transform’d to a lean shank. The shapeless pair, As they design'd to mock me, at my side Take step for step; and, as I near approach The cottage, walk along the plaster'd wall, Prepost'rous sight! the legs without the man. The verdure of the plain lies buried deep Beneath the dazzling deluge; and the bents, And coarser grass, upspearing o'er the rest, Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine Conspicuous, and in bright apparel clad, And, fledg'd with icy feathers, nod superb. The cattle mourn in corners, where the fence Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait Their wonted fodder; not like hung’ring man, Fretful if unsupplied; but silent, meek, And patient of the slow-pac'd swain's delay. He from the stack carves out th' accustom'd load, Deep-plunging, and again deep-plunging oft, His broad keen knife into the solid mass : Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands, With such undeviating and even force

« 이전계속 »