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Hail, happy shades! tho' clad with heavy snows,
At sight of you with joy my bosom glows;
Ye arching pines, that bow with every breeze,
Ye poplars, elms, all hail my well-known trees!
And now my peaceful mansion strikes my eye,
And now the tinkling rivulet I spy;
My little garden Flora hast thou kept,
And watch'd my pinks and lilies while I wept?
Or has the grubbing swine, by furies led,
Th' inclosure broke, and on my flowrets fed?
Ah me! that spot with blooms so lately grac'd,
With storms and driving snows is now defac'd;
Sharp icicles from ev'ry bush depend,
And frosts all dazzling o'er the beds extend:
Yet soon fair Spring shall give another scene,
And yellow cowslips gild the level green;
My little orchard sprouting at each bough,
Fragrant with clust'ring blossoms deep shall glow:
Ah! then 'tis sweet the tufted grass to tread,
But sweeter slumb'ring in the balmy shade;
The rapid humming bird, with ruby breast,
Seeks the parterre with early blue bells drest,
Drinks deep the honeysuckle dew, or drives
The lab'ring bee to her domestic hives:
Then shines the lupin bright with morning gems,
And sleepy poppies nod upon their stems;
The humble violet and the dulcet rose,
The stately lily then, and tulip blows.
Farewell my Plutarch! farewell pen and Muse!
Nature exults---shall I her call refuse?
Apollo fervid glitters in my face,
And threatens with his beam each feeble grace:
Yet still around the lovely plants I toil,
And draw obnoxious herbage from the soil;
Or with the lime-twigs little birds surprise,
Or angle for the trout of many dyes.
But when the vernal breezes pass away,
And loftier Phoebus darts a fiercer ray,
The spiky corn then rattles all around,
And dashing cascades give a pleasing sound;
Shrill sings the locust with prolonged note,
The cricket chirps familiar in each cot,
The village children, rambling o er yon hill,
With berries all their painted baskets fill,
They rob the sqirrels little walnut store,
And climb the half exhausted tree for more;
Or else to fields of maize nocturnal hie,
Where hid, th' elusive water-melons lie;
Sportive, they make incisions in the rind,
The riper from the immature to find;
Then load their tender shoulders with the prey,
And laughing bear the bulky fruit away.