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All nature laughs, the groves are fresh and fair, The fun's mild luftre warms the vital air;
If Sylvia fimiles, new glories gild the fhore,
And vanquish'd nature seems to charm no more.
In fpring the fields, in autumn hills I love, At morn the plains, at noon the shady grove, But Delia always; absent from her sight,
Nor plains at morn, nor groves at noon delight.
Sylvia's like autumn ripe, yet mild as May, More bright than noon, yet fresh as early day; E'en fpring displeases, when the shines not here; But, blefs'd with her, 'tis fpring throughout the year.
Say, Daphnis, fay, in what glad foil appears, A wondrous Tree that facred Monarchs bears: Tell me but this, and I'll disclaim the prize, And give the conqueft to thy Sylvia's eyes.
Nay, tell me firft, in what more happy fields The Thistle springs, to which the Lily yields :
Ver. 69. &c. Thefe verfes were thus at first :
All nature mourns, the birds their songs deny,
Nor wafted brooks the thirty flowers fupply;
If Delia fmile, the flowers begin to fpring,
The brooks to murmur, and the birds to fing.
And then a nobler prize I will refign;
For Sylvia, charming Sylvia, fhall be thine.
Ceafe to contend; for, Daphnis, I decree,
The bowl to Strephon, and the lamb to thee.
Bleft Swains, whofe Nymphs in every grace excell; 95
Bleft Nymphs, whofe Swains thofe graces fing fo well!
Now rife, and hafte to yonder woodbine bowers,
A foft retreat from fudden vernal fhowers;
The turf with rural dainties fhall be crown'd,
While opening blooms diffufe their fweets around. 100
For fee! the gathering flocks to fhelter tend,
And from the Pleiads fruitful fhowers defcend.
The turf with country dainties fhall be fpread,
And trees with twining branches fhade your head.
A Shepherd's Boy (he feeks no better name)
Led forth his flocks along the filver Thame,
Where dancing fun-beams on the waters play'd,
And verdant alders form'd a quivering fhade.
Soft as he mourn'd, the streams forgot to flow,
The flocks around a dumb compassion show,
The Naiads wept in every watery bower,
And Jove confented in a filent fhower.
Accept, O Garth, the Mufe's early lays,
That adds this wreath of ivy to thy bays;
Ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. were thus printed in the firft edition:
A faithful fwain, whom Love had taught to fing,
Bewail'd his fate befide a filver fpring;
Where gentle Thames his winding waters leads
Thro' verdant forefts, and thro' flowery meads.
Ver. 3. Originally thus in the MS.
There to the winds he plain'd his hapless love,
And Amaryllis fill'd the vocal grove.
Hear what from Love unpractis'd hearts endure,
From Love, the fole disease thou canst not cure.
Ye fhady beeches, and ye cooling streams,
Defence from Phoebus', not from Cupid's beams,
To you I mourn, nor to the deaf I fing,
The woods fhall anfwer, and their echo ring.
The hills and rocks attend my doleful lay,
Why art thou prouder and more hard than they?
The bleating sheep with my complaints agree,
They parch'd with heat, and I inflam'd by thee.
The fultry Sirius burns the thirsty plains,
While in thy heart eternal winter reigns.
Where ftray ye, Mufes, in what lawn or grove,
While your Alexis pines in hopeless love?
In those fair fields where facred Ifis glides,
Or elfe.where Cam his winding vales divides?
As in the crystal spring I view my face,
Fresh rifing blushes paint the watery glass ;
But fince thofe graces please thy eyes no more,
I fhun the fountains which I fought before.
Once I was skill'd in every herb that grew,
And every plant that drinks the morning dew;
Ah, wretched fhepherd, what avails thy art,
To cure thy lambs, but not to heal thy heart!
Oft in the crystal fpring I caft a view,
And equal'd Hylas, if the glafs be true;
But fince thofe graces meet my eyes no more,
I fun, &c.
Let other fwains attend the rural care,
Feed fairer flocks, or richer fleeces fheer:
But nigh yon' mountain let me tune my lays,
Embrace my Love, and bind my brows with bays.
That flute is mine which Colin's tuneful breath
Infpir'd when living, and bequeath'd in death:
He said; Alexis, take this pipe, the fame
That taught the groves my Rofalinda's name :
But now the reeds fhall hang on yonder tree,
For ever filent, fince defpis'd by thee.
O! were I made by fome transforming power
The captive bird that fings within thy bower!
Then might my voice thy listening ears employ,
And I those kiffes he receives enjoy.
And yet my numbers please the rural throng,
Rough Satyrs dance, and Pan applauds the fong:
The Nymphs, forfaking every cave and spring,
Their early fruit and milk-white turtles bring!
Each amorous nymph prefers her gifts in vain,
On you their gifts are all bestow'd again,
For you the fwains the fairest flowers defign,
And in one garland all their beauties join ;
Accept the wreath which you deferve alone,
In whom all beauties are compriz'd in one.
See what delights in fylvan scenes, appear!
Defcending Gods have found Elyfium here.
In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray'd,
And chafte Diana haunts the forest shade.
Come, lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,
When swains from sheering feek their nightly bowers,