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Here in full light the ruffet plains extend;
There wrapt in clouds the bluish hills afcend.
Ev'n the wild heath difplays her purple dyes,
And 'midft the defart fruitful fields arife,
That crown'd with tufted trees and fpringing corn,
Like verdant ifles the fable wafte 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,
Tho' Gods affembled grace his tow'ring 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 joyjul reaper's hand;
Rich Industry fits fimiling on the plains,
And peace and plenty tell a Stuart reigns.
Not thus the land appear'd in ages past,
A dreary defart and a gloomy waste,
To favage beafts and * favage laws a prey,
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 wifer brutes were backward to be flaves.)
What could be free, when lawless beafts obey'd,
And ev'n the elements a tyrant fway'd?
In vain kind seasons fwell'd the teeming grain,
Soft fhow'rs diftill'd, and funs grew warm in vain;
The swain with tears his fruftrate labour yields,
And famish'd dies amidst his ripen'd fields.
What wonder then, a beaft or fubject flain
Were equal crimes in a defpótic reign è
Both doom'd alike, for fportive tyrants bled,
But while the fubject ftarv'd, the beaft was fed.
Proud Nimrod firft the bloody chace began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man:
Our haughty Norman boasts that barb'rous name,
And makes his trembling flaves the royal game.
The * fields are ravifh'd from th' induftrious fwains, 65
From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes :
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 ftately 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, himself deny'd a grave!
Stretch'd on the lawn, his † second 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 rise.
Then gath'ring flocks on unknown mountains fed,
O'er fandy wilds were yellow harvefts fpread,
The forefts wonder'd at th' unufual grain,
And fecret transport touch'd the conscious swain.
Fair Liberty, Britannia's Goddess, rears
Her chearful head, and leads the golden years.
Ye vig'rous fwains! while youth ferments your blood, And purer fpirits fwell the fprightly flood,
*Alluding to the New Foreft, and the tyrannics exercifed there by WilLiam the First.
William Rufus, fecond fon of William the Conqueror.
Now range the hills, the thickeft woods befet,
Wind the shrill 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;
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 hov'ring o'er 'em fweeps the fwelling net.
Thus (if fmall things we may with great compare)
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 seize th' amaz'd, defenceless prize,
And high in air Britannia's ftandard 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 dyes,
His purple creft, and scarlet-circled eyes,
The vivid green his fhining 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.
Ta 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'ring guns th' unweary'd fowler roves,
When frofts have whiten'd all the naked groves;
Where droves in flocks the leafless trees o'erfhade,
And lonely woodcocks haunt the watʼry glade.
He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye;
Strait a fhort thunder breaks the frozen sky:
Oft', as in airy rings they skim the heath,
The clam'rous plovers 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,
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 scaly breed,
And eyes the dancing cork, and bending reed.
Our plenteous ftreams a various race fupply,
The bright-ey'd perch with fins of Tyrian dye,
The filver eel, in fhining volumes roll'd,
The yellow carp, in scales bedrop'd with gold,
Swift trouts, diverfify'd with crimson stains,
And pykes, the tyrants of the watry plains.
Now Cancer glows with Phoebus' fiery car;
The youth rush eager to the fylvan war,
Swarm o'er the lawns, the foreft walks furround,
Rouze the fleet hart, and chear the opening hound. 150
Th' impatient courfer pants in ev'ry 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 loft.
See the bold youth ftrain up the threat'ning fteep, 155
Rufh thro' the thickets, down the valleys sweep,
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;
Nor envy, Windfor! fince thy fhades have feen
As bright a Goddess, and as chaste a Queen;
Whofe care, like hers, protects the fylvan reign,
The Earth's fair light, and Empress of the main.
Here, as old bards have fung, Diana ftray'd,
Bath'd in the springs, or fought the cooling fhade;
Here arm'd with filver bows, in early dawn,
Her buskin'd Virgins trac'd the dewy lawn.
Above the reft a rural nymph was fam'd,
Thy offspring, Thames! the fair Lodona nam'd;
(Lodona's fate, in long oblivion cast,
The Muse fhall fing, and what fhe fings fhall last.)
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, à 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 defire
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 fwiftly the fierce cagle 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 fteps fhe hears;
And now his fhadow reach'd her as fhe 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 fhe call'd for aid
Nor could Diana help her injur'd maid.
Faint, breathless, thus fhe pray'd, nor pray'd in vain ;
"Ah Cynthia! ah-tho' banish'd from thy train,
"Let me, O let me, to the fhades repair, ·
My native fhades-there weep, and murmur there. 200
She faid, and melting as in tears she 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.