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Some thoughtlefs 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 standard flies.
See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs, And mounts exulting on triumphant wings :
Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground,
Ah! what avail his gloffy, varying dies,
His purple creft, and scarlet circled eyes,
The vivid green his shining plumes unfold,
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold?
Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky,
The woods and fields their pleafing 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 flaughtering 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 watery glade.
He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye;
Strait a fhort thunder breaks the frozen fky:
Oft, as in airy rings they skim the heath,
The clamorous lapwings feel the leaden death:
Ver. 126. O'er ruftling leaves around the naked groves. Ver. 129. The fowler lifts his level'd tube on high.
Oft, as the mounting larks their notes prepare,
They fall, and leave their little lives in air.
In genial fpring, beneath the quivering shade,
Where cooling vapours breathe along the mead,
The patient fisher takes his filent stand,
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 ftreams a various race supply,
The bright-ey'd perch with fins of Tyrian dye,
The filver eel, in shining volumes roll'd,
The yellow carp, in scales bedropp'd with gold,
Swift trouts, diverfify'd with crimson stains,
And pykes, the tyrants of the watery plains.
Now Cancer glows with Phoebus' fiery car:
The youth rush eager to the sylvan war,
Swarm o'er the lawns, the foreft walks furround,
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 cross'd,
And, ere he starts, a thousand steps are lost.
See the bold youth strain up the threatening fteep, 155
Rush through the thickets, down the valleys fweep,
Hang o'er their courfers heads with eager fpeed,
And earth rolls back beneath the flying steed.
Let old Arcadia boast her ample plain,
Th' immortal huntress, and her virgin-train;
envy, Windfor! fince thy fhades have seen
As bright a Goddess, and as chaste 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 stray'd,
And Cynthus' top forfook for Windsor fhade
Here was she seen o'er airy wastes to rove,
Seek the clear spring, or haunt the pathless grove;
Here arm'd with filver bows, in early dawn,
Her bufkin'd Virgins trac'd the dewy lawn.
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 sings 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 she wounds.
It chanc'd, as, eager of the chace, the maid
Beyond the foreft's verdant limits stray'd,
Pan faw and lov'd, and burning with defire
Purfued her flight, her flight increas'd his fire.
Not half so swift the trembling doves can fly,
When the fierce eagle cleaves the liquid sky;
Not half fo fwiftly the fierce eagle moves,
When through 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 fteps the hears;
And now his fhadow reach'd her as the run,
His fhadow lengthen'd by the fetting fun;
And now his fhorter breath, with fultry air,
Pants on her neck, and fans her parting hair.
In vain on father Thames the calls for aid,
Nor could Diana help her injur'd maid.
Faint, breathlefs, thus fhe pray'd, nor pray'd in vain; "Ah, Cynthia! ah-though banish'd from thy train, 200 "Let me, O let me, to the fhades repair,
"My native fhades-there weep, and murmur there."
She faid, and, melting as in tears the lay,
In a foft filver ftream diffolv'd away.
The filver ftream her virgin coldness keeps,
For ever murmurs, and for ever weeps ;
Still bears the name the haplefs virgin bore,
And bathes the foreft where the rang'd before.
In her chafte current oft the Goddess laves,
And with celeftial tears augments the waves.
Oft in her glafs the mufing fhepherd fpies
The headlong mountains and the downward skies,
The watery landskip of the pendant woods,
And absent trees that tremble in the floods;
In the clear azure gleam the flocks are seen,
And floating forests paint the waves with green;
Through the fair scene roll flow the lingering streams,
Then foaming pour along, and rush into the Thames.
Thou, too, great father of the British floods !
With joyful pride furvey ft our lofty woods;
Where towering oaks their growing honours rear,
And future navies on thy fhores appear,
Not Neptune's felf from all her streams receives
A wealthier tribute, than to thine he gives.
No seas fo rich, so gay no banks appear,
No lake fo gentle, and no spring so clear.
Nor Po fo fwells the fabling Poet's lays,
While led along the skies his current strays,
As thine, which vifits Windfor's fam'd abodes,
To grace the mansion of our earthly Gods:
Nor all his stars above a luftre show,
Like the bright Beauties on thy banks below;
Where Jove, fubdued by mortal paffion still,
Might change Olympus for a nobler hill.
Happy the man whom this bright Court approves,
His Sovereign favours, and his Country loves:
Happy next him, who to these shades retires,
Whom Nature charms, and whom the Muse inspires;
Whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please,
Succeffive study, exercise, and ease.
He gathers health from herbs the forest yields,
And of their fragrant physic spoils the fields:
With chemic arts exalt the mineral powers,
And draws the aromatic fouls of flowers:
Ver. 233. It flood thus in the MS.
And force great Jove, if Jove's a lover still,
To change Olympus, &c.
Happy the man, who to the shades retires,
But doubly happy, if the Muse inspires!
Bleft whom the fweets of home-felt quiet pleafe;
But far more blest, who study joins with ease.