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WINTER PROSPECTS IN THE COUNTRY.

AN EPISTLE TO A FRIEND IN LONDON, 1756.

1 WHile Learning's pleasing cares my friend detain,
2 By Thames's banks on London's smoaky plain;
3 Where spacious streets their peopled length extend,
4 And pompous domes and lofty spires ascend:
5 Far different views the lonely country yields,
6 Deserted roads, and unfrequented fields;
7 Bleak scenes, where hoary Winter holds command,
8 And from his throne of clouds o'erlooks the land;
9 He frowns the power of Vegetation dies,
10 Frosts bind the earth, and Tempests rend the skies;
11 Or driving Snows descend, or pouring Rains,
12 Or chilling Vapours hover o'er the plains.
13 Sometimes awhile the hoary Tyrant sleeps,
14 Hid in his cave beneath the watery deeps;
15 The distant sun extends a chearing ray,
16 Bright smile the skies and soft the breezes play:
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17 Then airy lawns the morning walk invite,
18 And rural landscapes charm the roving sight,
19 Mix'd with brown stubble, leafless woods are seen,
20 And neat-plough'd furrows clad in scanty green;
21 While turbid waters edg'd with yellow reeds
22 Wind thro' the russet herd-forsaken meads;
23 And groves that Winter's fiercest rage disdain
24 In fair plantations deck the shelter'd plain:
25 There painted hollies with red berries glow,
26 And their broad leaves the shining laurels show,
27 And pines and firs their varied verdure blend,
28 And cedars spread, and cypresses ascend.
29 Pleas'd with the scene, I range from field to field,
30 Till loftier lands remoter prospects yield;
31 And there the curious optic tube apply
32 Till a new world approaches on the eye;
33 Till where dark wood the hills slope surface shrouds;
34 Or the blue summit mingles with the clouds;
35 There fair inclosures lie of varied hue,
36 And trees and houses rise distinct to view.
37 But this too oft th' inclement clime denies,
38 Involv'd in misty or in watery skies;
39 And yet ev'n then with books engag'd, I find
40 A sweet employment for th' exploring mind;
41 There fair Description shews each absent scene,
42 The corn-clad mountain and the daisied green;
43 There over distant lands my fancy roves,
44 Thro' India's cany isles and palmy groves;
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45 Where clear streams wander thro' luxuriant vales,
46 Midst cloudless skies and ever-tepid gales,
47 While Spring sits smiling in her brightest bloom,
48 And calls around her every rich perfume.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): WINTER PROSPECTS IN THE COUNTRY. AN EPISTLE TO A FRIEND IN LONDON, 1756.
Author: John Scott
Themes: rural life; weather; nature
Genres: heroic couplet; epistle
References: DMI 32642

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Source edition

A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. IV. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770, pp. 124-126. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1137; OTA K093079.004)

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