Now swarms the village o'er the jovial mead: The rustic youth, brown with meridian toil, Healthful and strong; full as the summer-rose Blown by prevailing suns, the ruddy maid, Half naked, swelling on the sight, and all Her kindled graces burning o'er her cheek. E'en stooping age is here; and infant hands Trail the long rake, or, with the fragrant load O'ercharged, amid the kind oppression roll. Wide flies the tedded grain; all in a row Advancing broad, or wheeling round the field, They spread the breathing harvest to the sun, That throws refreshful round a rural smell: Or, as they rake the green-appearing ground, And drive the dusky wave along the mead, The russet hay-cock rises thick behind, In order gay. While heard from dale to dale, Waking the breeze, resounds the blended voice Of happy labour, love, and social glee.
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