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A Peaceful Village On The Banks Of The Leven - A Summer Landscape
MB (1746-1767 / Scotland)

A Peaceful Village On The Banks Of The Leven - A Summer Landscape

Fair from his hand behold the village rise,
In rural pride, 'mong intermingled trees!
Above whose aged tops the joyful swains,
At even-tide, descending from the hill,
With eye enamour'd, mark the many wreaths
Of pillar'd smoke, high-curling to the clouds.
The streets resound with labour's various voice,
Who whistles at his work. Gay on the green,
Young blooming boys, and girls with golden hair,
Trip nimble-footed, wanton in their play,
The village hope. All in a rev'rend row
Their gray-hair'd grandsires, sitting in the sun
Before the gate, and leaning on the staff,
The well-remembered stories of their youth
Recount, and shake their aged locks with joy.

How fair a prospect rises to the eye,
Where beauty vies in all her vernal forms,
For ever pleasant, and for ever new!
Swells th' exulting thought, expands the soul,
Drowning each ruder care: a blooming train
Of bright ideas rushes on the mind.
Imagination rouses at the scene;
And backward, through the gloom of ages past
Beholds Arcadia, like a rural queen,
Encircled with her swains and rosy nymphs,
The mazy dance conducting on the green.
Nor yield to old Arcadia's blissful vales
Thine, gentle Leven! green on either hand
Thy meadows spread, unbroken of the plough,
With beauty all their own. Thy fields rejoice
With all the riches of the golden year.
Fat on the plain, and mountain's sunny side,
Large droves of oxen, and the fleecy flocks,
Feed undisturbed, and fill the echoing air
With music, grateful to the master's ear.
The trav'ller stops, and gazes round and round,
O'er all the scenes that animate his heart
With mirth and music. Ev'n the mendicant,
Bowbent with age, that on the old gray stone
Sole sitting, suns him in the public way,
Feels his heart leap, and to himself he sings.

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