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As some coy nymph her lover's warm address
height, Than what more humble mountains offer here, Where, in their blessings, all those gods appear. See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crowned, Here blushing Flora paints the enamelled ground, Here Ceres' gifts in waving prospect stand, And nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand; 40 Rich Industry sits smiling on the plains, And peace and plenty tell, a Stuart reigns,
Not thus the land appeared in ages past, A dreary desert, and a gloomy waste, To savage beasts and savage laws a prey, 45 And kings more furious and severe than they ; Who claimed the skies, dispeopled air and floods, The lonely lords of empty wilds and woods : Cities laid waste, they stormed the dens and caves,
49 (For wiser brutes were backward to be slaves).
1 The Forest Laws.-P.
What could be free, when lawless beasts obeyed,
name, And makes his trembling slaves the royal game. The fields are ravished from the industrious Swains,
65 From men their cities, and from gods their fanes :The levelled towns with weeds lie covered o'er; The hollow winds through naked temples roar; Round broken columns clasping ivy twined; O’er heaps of ruin stalked the stately hind; 70 The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires, And savage howlings fill the sacred quires. Awed by his nobles, by his commons cursed, The oppressor ruled tyrannic where he durst, Stretched o'er the poor and church his iron rod, And served alike his vassals and his God. 76 Whom ev'n the Saxon spared, and bloody Dane, The wanton victims of his sport remain.
1 Alluding to the destruction made in the New Forest, and the tyrannies exercised there by William I. Translated from
“Templa adimit divis, fora civibus, arva colonis,” an old monkish writer, I forget who.-P.
But see, the man who spacious regions gave
swain. Fair Liberty, Britannia's goddess, rears Her cheerful head, and leads the golden years. Ye vigorous swains! while youth ferments
your blood, And purer spirits swell the sprightly flood, 94 Now range the hills, the gameful woods beset, Wind the shrill horn, or spread the waving net. When milder autumn summer's heat succeeds, And in the new-shorn field the partridge feeds, Before his lord the ready spaniel bounds, 99 Panting with hope, he tries thefurrowed grounds; But when the tainted gales the game betray, Couched close he lies, and meditates the prey : Secure they trust the unfaithful field beset, Till hovering o'er them sweeps the swelling net. Thus (if small things we may with great com
When Albion sends her eager sons to war, Some thoughtless town, with ease and plenty
1 Richard, second son of William the Conqueror. -P.
Near, and more near, the closing lines invest; Sudden they seize the amazed, defenceless prize, And high in air Britannia's standard flies. 110 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 glossy, varying dyes, 115 His purple crest, 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 pleasing toils deny. 120 To plains with well-breathed beagles we repair, And trace the mazes of the circling bare : Beasts, urged by us, their fellow-beasts pursue, And learn of man each other to undo. With slaughtering guns the unwearied fowler roves,
125 When frosts have whitened all the naked groves; Where doves in flocks the leafless trees o'ershade, And lonely woodcocks haunt the watery glade. He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye; Straight a short thunder breaks the frozen sky: 1 JOft, as in airy rings they skim the heath, 131 The clamorous lapwings feel the leaden death : Oft, as the mounting larks their notes prepare, They fall, and leave their little lives in air.
In genial spring, beneath the quivering shade, Where cooling vapours breathe along the mead, The patient fisher takes his silent stand, 137 Intent, his angle trembling in his hand : With looks unmoved, he hopes the scaly breed, And eyes the dancing cork and bending reed. Our plenteous streams a various race supply, 141
The bright-eyed perch with fins of Tyrian dye,
Now Cancer glows with Phoebus' fiery car :
150 The impatient courser pants in every vein, And pawing, seems to beat the distant plain : Hills, vales, and floods appear already crossed, And ere he starts a thousand steps are lost. See the bold youth strain up the threatening steep,
155 Rush through the thickets, down the valleys
sweep, Hang o'er their coursers' heads with eager speed, ll And earth rolls back beneath the flying steed. Let old Arcadia boast her ample plain, 159 The immortal huntress, and her virgin-train; Nor envy, Windsor ! since thy shades have seen As bright a goddess, and as chaste a queen ; Whose care, like hers, protects the sylvan reign, The earth's fair light, and empress of the
main. Here too, 'tis sung, of old Diana strayed, 165 And Cynthus' top forsook for Windsor shade; Here was she seen o'er airy wastes to rove, Seek the clear spring, or haunt the pathless
grove; Here armed with silver bows, in early dawn, Her buskined virgins traced the dewy lawn. 170
Above the rest a rural nymph was famed, Thy offspring, Thames! the fair Lodona named; (Lodona's fate, in long oblivion cast,