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Joanna Baillie (Джоанна Бейли)

Hymn on the Seasons

NOW, when the kindling Spring breathes life and joy
Through earth and air, perfuming field and bow'r;
While rings from every copse glad minstrelsy;
And sparkling myriads float round shrub and flow'r;
While, flashing brightness, runs the river by,
Or darkling dimples with morn'd transient show'r,
(As shines thro' scattering clouds the azure sky,
And laughs the golden sun in youthful pow'r
Now while all nature wakes, be my cheer'd eye
Rais'd joyous with my heart, to Him that dwells on high.
Father ador'd! O, let me still behold
In these thy bounties, but thyself benign!
Still let me trace, in this terrestrial mould,
The faint impression of that world divine,
Where all thy glory, wondrously unroll'd,
Doth in the eyes of them for ever shine
Whom sin and death no more in fetters hold:
O, let my earth-ward thoughts, with low decline,
No longer sink in languors dead and cold,
But spring with eager love thy footstool to enfold!

Give me, when song and fragrance round me flow,
When blossoms shower above, and ev'ry spray
Glitters with fost'ring dews; when the bright bow
With colours jocund marks the chequer'd day;
When the freed birds their winter cells forego;
And the lone cuckoo to morn's glimm'ring ray
Repeats his welcome strange; when bleat and low,
Mingle with labour's voice and childhood's lay;
O not alone with pleasure let me glow,
But grateful join my song to all that hymn below!
Give me, when Summer's universal blush
Spreads o'er the scene; when the broad woods expand
In screen umbrageous, and bank, and bush
Are hung with roseate wreaths, by zephyr fann'd;
When panting heat lists to the cooling gush
Of gelid springs, or marks the sportive band
Of skimming swallows o'er the gray lake rush;
When sunny fruitage wooes each gath'ring hand,
And all mature the year; O, let the flush
Of raptur'd joy be mine, nor aught its transports hush!
And when clear ev'ning's star, with trembling beam,
Or sacred moonlight, thro' autumnal wood
Its lustre pours; when rock and valley gleam
In shadowy distance, and no sounds intrude,

Save far-off village bells, or noiseless stream,
Soothing the trance of heav'n-rapt solitude;
When paths, leaf-strewn, invite fond man to dream
On the brief race of pleasure's insect brood;
Still of my musings lone be Thou the theme,
Nor aught thy wisdom scorns, let me momentous deem.
And when still Winter's breath the world congeals;
When darken'd skies look mournful on the plain,
Where gath'ring ice o'er rushy shallows steals;
When transient thaw descends in plashy rain,
Or sudden hail the cold blue heav'n reveals;
When shiv'ring red-breasts join the household train,
And the rough ass no more his scanty meals
Finds 'mid the snow-spread waste, or desert lane;
E'en then when nature's eye thy mercy seals,
O, be mine fix'd on all that death-like sleep conceals! 

Joanna Baillie's other poems:
  1. The Maid of Llanwellyn
  2. It Fell on a Morning Whan We Were Thrang
  3. A Reverie
  4. Hooly and Fairly
  5. On Reading Walter Scot’s

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