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The levell'd towns with weeds lie cover'd o'er ;
The hollow winds thro' naked temples roar;
Round broken columns clafping ivy twin'd;
O'er heaps of ruin ftalk'd the stately hind ;
The fox obfcene to gaping tombs retires,
And favage howlings fill the facred quires.
Aw'd by his Nobles, by his Commons curft,
Th' Oppreffor rul'd tyrannic where he durft,
Stretch'd o'er the Poor and Church his iron rod,
And ferv'd alike his Vaffals and his God.
Whom ev'n the Saxon fpar'd, and bloody Dane,
The wanton victims of his fport remain.
But fee, the man who fpacious regions gave
A wafte for beafts, himfelf deny`d a grave!
Stretch'd on the lawn his fecond hope furvey,
At once the chafer, and at once the prey:
Lo Rufus, tugging at the deadly dart,
Bleeds in the foreft like a wounded hart.
Succeeding monarchs heard the fubjects cries,
Nor faw difpleas'd the peaceful cottage rife.
Then gath'ring flocks on unknown mountains fed,
O'er fandy wilds were yellow harvests spread,
The forefts wonder'd at th' unosual grain,
Templa adimit divis, fora civibus, arva colonis, an old monkifh writer, I forgot who.
VER. 89. Miraturque novas frondes et non fua poma.
Oh may no more a foreign mafter's rage,
With wrongs yet legal, curfe a future age!
And fecret transport touch'd the confcious fwain. 90 Fair Liberty, Britannia's Goddefs, rears
Her chearful head, and leads the golden years.
VER. 72. And wolves with howling fill, etc.]
The Author thought this an error, wolves not being commen in England at the time of the Conqueror.
Ye vig'rous fwains! while youth ferments your blood,
And purer spirits fwell the sprightly flood,
Now range the hills, the gameful woods befet,
Wind the fhrill horn, or fpread the waving net.
When milder autumn fummer's heat fucceeds,
And in the new fhorn field the partridge feeds,
Before his lord the ready spaniel bounds,
Panting with hope, he tries the furrow'd grounds; 100
But when the tainted gales the game betray,
Couch'd clofe he lies, and meditates the prey:
Secure they trust th' unfaithful field befet,
'Till hov'ring o'er 'em fweeps the fwelling net.
Thus (if fmall things we may with great compare) 105
When Albion fends her eager fons to war,
Some thoughtless Town, with ease and plenty bleft,
Near, and more near, the clofing lines inveft;
Sudden they feize th' amaz'd, defenceless prize,
And high in air Britannia's ftandard flies,
See! from the brake the whirring pheafant fprings,
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings:
Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground,
Still fpread, fair Liberty! thy heav'nly wings,
Breathe plenty on the fields, and fragrance on the fprings.
When yellow autumn fummer's heat fucceeds,
And into wine the purple harveft bleeds *,
The partridge feeding in the new-fhorn fields,
Both morning fports and ev'ning pleasure yields.
VER. IC7. It flood thus in the first edition:
Pleas'd, in the General's fight, the hoft lie down
Sudden before fome unfufpecting town;
The young, the old, one inftant makes our prize,
And o'er their captive heads Britannia's ftandard flies.
Perhaps the Author thought it not allowable to defcribe the feafon by a circumftance not proper to our climate, the vintage..
Ah! what avail his gloffy, varying dies,
His purple creft, and fcarlet circled eyes,
The vivid green his fhining plumes unfold,
His painted wings, and breaft that flames with gold?
Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky,
The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny.
To plains with well-breath'd beagles we repair,
And trace the mazes of the circling hare :
(Beafts, urg'd by us, their fellow beasts pursue,
And learn of man each other to undo)
With flaught'ing guns th' unweary'd fowler roves, 125
When frofts have whiten'd all the naked groves;
Where doves in flocks the leaflefs trees o'erfhade,
And lonely woodcocks haunt the wat'ry glade.
He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye;
Strait a fhort thunder breaks the frozen fky:
Oft, as in airy rings they kim the heath,
The clam'rous lapwings feel the leaden death :
Oft, as the mounting larks their notes prepare,
They fall, and leave their little lives in air.
In genial fpring, beneath the quiv'ring fhade, 135
Where cooling vapours breathe along the mead,
The patient fisher takes his filent ftand,
Intent, his angle trembling in his hand :
With looks unmov'd, he hopes the fcaly breed,
And eyes the dancing cork and bending reed.
Our plenteous freams a various race supply,
The bright-ey'd perch with fins of Tyrian dye,
VER. 126. O'er ruftling leaves around the naked groves.
VER. 129. The fowler lifts his levell'd tube on high,
nec te tua plurima, Pantheu, Labentem pietas, vel Apollinis infula texit. Virg. VER. 134. Præcipites altâ vitam fub nube relinquunt. Virg.
The filver eel, in fhining volumes roll'd,
The yellow carp, in fcales bedrop'd with gold,
Swift trouts, diverfify'd with crimson ftains,
And pykes, the tyrants of the watʼry plains.
Now cancer glows with Phoebus' fiery car:
The youth rufh eager to the fylvan war,
Swarm o'er the lawns, the forest walks surround,
Rouze the fleet hart, and cheer the opening hound. 150
Th' impatient courfer pants in every vein,
And pawing, feems to beat the distant plain :
Hills, vales, and floods appear already crofs'd,
6 And ere he starts, a thousand steps are loft.
See the bold youth ftrain up the threat'ning fteep, 155
Rufh through the thickets, down the valleys fweep,
Hang o'er their courfers heads with eager speed,
And earth rolls back beneath the flying fteed.
Let old Arcadia boaft her ample plain,
Th' immortal huntress, and her virgin-train;
envy, Windfor! fince thy fhades have seen
As bright a Goddess, and as chafte a QUEEN;
Whofe care, like her's, protects the fylvan reign,
The Earth's fair light, and Emprefs of the main.
Here too, 'tis fung, of old Diana ftray'd, 165
And Cynthus' top forfook for Windfor fhade;
Here was fhe feen o'er airy wastes to rove,
Seek the clear fpring, or haunt the pathlefs grove;
Here arm'd with filver bows, in early dawn,
Fer buskin'd Virgins trac'd the dewy lawn.
VER. 152. Th' impatient courfer, etc.] Tranflated from Statius,
Stare adeo miferum eft, pereunt veftigia mille
Ante fugam, abfentemque ferit gravis ungula campum.
Above the rest a rural nymph was fam'd, Thy offspring, Thames! the fair Lodona nam'd; (Lodona's fate, in long oblivion cast,
The Muse shall fing, and what she fings shall laft.)
Scarce could the Goddess from her nymph be known,
But by the crefcent, and the golden zone.
She fcorn'd the praise of beauty, and the care;
A belt her waift, a fillet binds her hair;
A painted quiver on her fhoulder founds,
And with her dart the flying deer the wounds.
It chanc'd, as eager of the chace, the maid
Beyond the foreft's verdant limits ftray'd,
Pan faw and lov'd, and burning with deûre
Purfu'd her flight, her flight increas'd his fire.
Not half fo fwift the trembling doves can fly,
When the fierce eagle cleaves the liquid fky;
Not half fo swiftly the fierce eagle moves,
When thro' the clouds he drives the trembling doves;
As from the God fhe flew with furious pace,
Or as the God, more furious, urg'd the chace.
Now fainting, finking, pale, the nymph appears ;
Now close behind, his founding steps she hears;
And now his fhadow reach'd her as the run,
His fhadow lengthen'd by the fetting fun;
Nec pofitu variare comas; ubi fibula veftem, Vitta coercuerat neglectos alba capillos. Ovid. VER. 185. 188.
Ut fugere accipitrem penna trepidante columbæ, Ut folet accipiter trepidas agitare columbas. Ovid. VER. 193. 196.
Sol erat a tergo: vidi præcedere longam
Ante pedes umbram nifi fi timor illa videbat.
Sed certe fonituque pedum terrebar; et ingens
Crinales vittas aflabat anhelitus oris.