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HY forefts, Windfor! and thy green retreats,
At once the Monarch's and the Mufe's feats,
Invite my lays. Be prefent, fylvan maids!
Unlock your fprings, and open all your fhades..
Granville commands; your aid, O Mufes, bring!
What Muse for Granville can refuse to sing?
The groves of Eden, vanish'd now so long,
Live in description, and look green in fong;
These, were my breast inspir'd with equal flame,
Like them in beauty, fhould be like in fame.
Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain,
Here earth and water feem to strive again;
Not Chaos-like together crush'd and bruis'd,
But, as the world, harmoniously confus'd:
Where order in variety we fee,
And where, though all things differ, all agree,
Here waving groves a chequer'd fcene display,
And part admit, and part exclude the day;
Ver. 3. &c. Originally thus,
Chafte goddess of the woods,
Nymphs of the vales, and Naiads of the floods,
Lead me thro' arching bow'rs, and glimm'ring glades,
As fome coy nymph her lover's warm addrefs
Nor quite indulges, nor can quite reprefs.
There, interfpers'd in lawns and opening glades,
Thin trees arife that fhun each other's fhades.
Here in full light the ruffet plains extend:
There, wrapt in clouds the bluifh hills afcend.
Ev'n the wild heath displays her purple dyes,
And 'midft the defert, fruitful fields arife,
That, crown'd with tufted trees and springing corn,
Like verdant ifles the fable waste adorn.
Let India boast her plants, nor envy we
The weeping amber, or the balmy tree,
While by our oaks the precious loads are born,
And realms commanded which thofe trees adorn.
Not proud Olympus yields a nobler fight,
Though Gods affembled grace his towering height,
Than what more humble mountains offer here,
Where, in their bleffings, all those Gods appear.
See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crown'd,
Here blushing Flora paints th' enamel'd ground,
Here Ceres' gifts in waving profpect ftand,
And nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand;
Rich Industry fits smiling on the plains,
And peace and plenty tell, a Stuart reigns.
Ver. 25. Originally thus;
Why fhould I fing our better funs or air,
Whofe vital draughts prevent the leach's care,
While thro' fresh fields th' enliv'ning odours breathe,
Or fpread with vernal blooms the purple heath?
Not thus the land appear'd in ages past,
A dreary defert, and a gloomy waste,
To favage beafts and favage laws a prey,
And kings more furious and severe than they;
Who claim'd the skies, dispeopled air and floods,
The lonely lords of empty wilds and woods:
Cities laid waste, they storm'd the dens and caves
(For wifer brutes were backward to be flaves).
What could be free, when lawless beasts obey'd,
And ev'n the elements a Tyrant sway'd?
In vain kind seasons fwell'd the teeming grain,
Soft showers diftill'd, and funs grew warm in vain ;
The swain with tears his frustrate labour yields,
And famish'd dies amidst his ripen'd fields.
What wonder then, a beast or subject slain
Were equal crimes in a defpotic reign?
Both doom'd alike for sportive Tyrants bled,
But, while the fubject starv'd, the beast was fed.
Proud Nimrod first the bloody chace began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man :
Our haughty Norman boasts that barbarous name,
And makes his trembling flaves the royal game.
Ver. 49. Originally thus in the MS.
From towns laid waste, to dens and caves they ran (For who firft ftoop'd to be a slave was man).
No wonder favages or fubjects flain
But fubjects ftarv'd, while favages were fed.
It was originally thus, but the word Savages is not pro, perly applied to beafts but to men; which occafioned the alteration,
The fields are ravish'd from th' industrious swains,
From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes :
The level'd towns with weeds lie cover'd o'er;
The hollow winds through naked temples roar;
Round broken columns clasping ivy twin'd;
O'er heaps of ruin stalk'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 durst,
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, himself deny'd a grave!
Stretch'd on the lawn his fecond hope survey,
At once the chacer, 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 gathering flocks on unknown mountains fed,
O'er fandy wilds were yellow harvests spread,
The forests wonder'd at th' unusual grain,
And secret transport touch'd the conscious swain.
Ver. 72. And wolves with howling fill, &c.] The Author thought this an error, wolves not being common in England at the time of the Conqueror.
Fair Liberty, Britannia's Goddess, rears
Her chearful head, and leads the golden years.
Ye vigorous fwains! while youth ferments your blood, And purer fpirits fwell the fprightly flood,
Now range the hills, the gameful woods beset,
Wind the fhrill horn, or spread 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 close he lies, and meditates the prey
Secure they truft th' unfaithful field befet,
Till hovering o'er them fweeps the fwelling net.
Thus (if fmall things we may with great compare) 105
When Albion fends her eager fons to war,
Oh may no more a foreign mafter's rage,
With wrongs yet legal, curfe a future age!
Still fpread, fair Liberty! thy heav'nly wings,
Breathe plenty on the fields, and fragrance on the springs,
When yellow autumn fummer's heat fucceeds,
And into wine the purple harvest bleeds,
The partridge feeding in the new-fhorn fields,
Both morning fports and ev'ning pleasure yields.
Ver. 107. It ftood thus in the first edition :
Pleas'd, in the General's fight, the host lie down
Sudden before fome unfufpecting town;
The young, the old, one inftant makes our prize,
And o'er their captive heads Britannia's standard flies,