[Illustration: Letter F.]
From bright’ning fields of ether fair disclosed,
Child of the Sun, refulgent Summer comes,
In pride of youth, and felt through nature’s depth:
He comes attended by the sultry hours,
And ever-fanning breezes on his way;
While from his ardent look the turning Spring
Averts his blushing face, and earth and skies,
All-smiling, to his hot dominion leaves.
* * * * *
Cheer’d by the milder beam, the sprightly youth
Speeds to the well-known pool, whose crystal depth
A sandy bottom shows. Awhile he stands
Gazing the inverted landscape, half afraid
To meditate the blue profound below;
Then plunges headlong down the circling flood.
His ebon tresses, and his rosy cheek,
Instant emerge: and through the obedient wave,
At each short breathing by his lip repell’d,
With arms and legs according well, he makes,
As humour leads, an easy-winding path;
While from his polish’d sides a dewy light
Effuses on the pleased spectators round.
This is the purest exercise
The kind refresher of the Summer heats:
Nor, when cold Winter keens the brightening flood,
Would I, weak-shivering, linger on the brink.
Thus life redoubles, and is oft preserved
By the bold swimmer, in the swift elapse
Of accident disastrous.
[Illustration: Letter C.]
Crown’d with the sickle and the wheaten sheaf,
While Autumn nodding o’er the yellow plain
Comes jovial on, the Doric reed once more,
Well pleased, I tune. Whatever the wintry frost
Nitrous prepared, the various-blossom’d Spring
Put in white promised forth, and Summer suns
Concocted strong, rush boundless now to view,
Full, perfect all, and swell my glorious theme.
* * * * *
Hence from the busy, joy-resounding fields
In cheerful error let us tread the maze
Of Autumn, unconfined; and taste, revived,
The breath of orchard big with bending fruit.
Obedient to the breeze and beating ray,
From the deep-loaded bough a mellow shower
Incessant melts away. The juicy pear
Lies in a soft profusion scatter’d round.
A various sweetness swells the gentle race,
By Nature’s all-refining hand prepared;
Of tempered sun, and water, earth, and air,
In ever-changing composition mix’d.
Such, falling frequent through the chiller night,
The fragrant stores, the wide projected heaps
Of apples, which the lusty-handed year,
Innumerous, o’er the blushing orchard shakes.