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To the Right Honourable
GEORGE Lord LANSDOWN.
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 springs, and open all your fhades. GRANVILLE commands; your aid, O Mufes, bring!
What Mufe for GRANVILLE can refuse to fing? The Groves of Eden, vanish'd now fo long, Live in description, and look green in fong:
This Poem was written at two different times: the first part of it, which relates to the country, in the year 1704, at the fame time with the Paftorals: the latter part was not added till the year 1713, in which it was published. P. VARIATIONS.
VER. 3, etc. 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. Unlock your fprings
neget quis carmina Gallo? Virg.
Thefe, were my breast inspir'd with equal flame,
And where, tho' all things differ, all agree. Here waving groves a chequer❜d scene display, And part admit, and part exclude the day; As fome coy nymph her lover's warm address Nor quite indulges, nor can quite repress. There, interfpers'd in lawns and op'ning glades, Thin trees arise that shun each other's fhades. Here in full light the ruffet plains extend: There wrapt in clouds the blueifh hills afcend. Ev'n the wild heath displays her purple dyes, And 'midft the defart fruitful fields arife, That crown'd with tufted trees and springing corn, Like verdant ifles the fable waste adorn.
Let India boaft 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 those trees adorn.
VER. 25. Originally thus ;
Why should I fing our better funs or air,
Not proud Olympus yields a nobler fight,
Tho' Gods affembled grace his tow'ring height,
A dreary defert, and a gloomy waste,
And kings more furious and severe than they ; Who claim'd the fkies, difpeopled air and floods, The lonely lords of empty wilds and woods : Cities laid wafte, they ftorm'd the dens and caves, (For wiser brutes were backward to be slaves.) What could be free, when lawless beafts obey'd, And ev❜n the elements a Tyrant fway'd?
VER. 33. Not proud Olympus, etc.] Sir J. Denham, in his Cooper's Hill, had faid,
Than which a nobler weight no mountain bears,
The comparison is childish, for this ftory of Atlas being fabulous, leaves no room for a compliment.
has been more artful (though he employs as fabulous a circumftance in his comparison) by fhewing in what the nobility of the hills of Windfor. Foreft confifts
Where, in their blessings, all those Gods appear, etc. not to speak of the beautiful turn of wit. VER. 45. Savage larus] The Forest Laws.
VER. 49. Originally thus in the MS.
In vain kind feafons fwell'd the teeming grain,
VER. 65. The fields are ravish'd, etc ] Alluding to the deftruction made in the New Foreft, and the tyrannies exercifed there by William I. P.
From towns laid wafte, to dens and caves they ran (For who first stoop'd to be a slave was man.)
VER. 57, etc.
No wonder favages or fubjects flain
But fubjects ftarv'd while favages were fed.
It was originally thus, but the word favages is not properly applied to beafts but to men; which occafioned the alteration. P.
VER. 65. The fields were ravish'd from th' induftrions Swains, From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes:]
The fox obfcene to gaping tombs retires,
VER. 80 himself deny'd a grave !] The place of his interment at Caen in Normandy was claimed by a gentleman as his inheritance, the moment his fervants were going to put him in his tomb: fo that they were obliged to compound with the owner before they could perform the King's obfequies.
VER. 81. fecond hope] Richard, fecond fon of William the Conqueror.
VER. 72. And wolves with howling fill, etc.
The Author thought this an error, wolves not being common in England at the time of the Conqueror.
Templa adimit divis, fora civibus, arva coloris,
an old monkish writer, I forget who.