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Singing all day his flocks he learns to keep; Himself as iğnocent as are his simple sheep.
No Serian worms he knows, that with their thread
Draw out their silken lives; nor silken pride: His lambs' warm fleece well fits his little need, Not in that proud Sidonian tincture dy'd;
No empty hopes, no courtly fears bim fright;
Nor begging wants his middle fortune bite :
Which wait to first salute my lord's uprise,
In country plays is all the strife he uses;
Or song or dance unto the rural muses,
His certain life, that never can deceive him,"
Is full of thousand sweets, and rich content ; The smooth-leay'd beeches in the field receive him With coolest shades 'till noon-tide's rage be spent;
His life is neither tost in boist'rous seas
Of trackless world, nor lost in slothful ease; Pleas’d and full blest he lives, when he bis God can
Had we omitted all other encomium on our anthor, the following passage, on this stanza and the following, from ISAAC WALTON, would have been enongh :-" There came also into my mind at that time, certain verses in praise of a mean estäte, and an humble mind; they were written by P. F. an excellent Divine and Angler; in which you shall see the picture of this good man's mind, and I wish mine to be like it.
[Complete Angler, Part 1st ]
His bed of wool yields safe and quiet sleeps,
While by his side his faithful spouse hath place;
Never his humble house or state torment him;
Less he could like, if less his God had sent him; And when he dies, green turfs with grassy tomb content
Put see the day is ended with my song,
Stoop now thy wing my muse, now stoop thee
may thou freely play, and rest thee now ; While here I hang my pipe upon the willow bough. So up they rose, while all the shepherd throng
With their loud pipes a country triumph blew, And led their Thirsil home with joyful song: Meantime the lovely nymphs with garlands new,
His locks in bay and honourd palm-tree bound,
With lilies set, and hyacinths around; And Lord of all the year, and their May-sporting,
From the time of THEOCRITUS, who first sung the Songs of the Shepherds to the Grecian lyre, to Robert BLOOMFIELD, the pride of Suffolk plains, and if we mise take not, the only Pastoral Poet of the present day, numerous have been the writers of Idyls and Eclogues who have, more or less closely, adhered to the Sicilian model; nor, indeed, did Theocritus confine himself to one particular form or subject, but varied his characters from shepherd to fisher-swains, as his purpose or fancy led him. How far our Phineas has been indebted to him in the
“ Piscatory Eclogues," or more immediately to his Italian successor, SANNAZARIUS, we leave to those who may depend on finding rich amusement in the enquiry, whilst in pursuance of our plan of selection, we proceed to this second work of our Poet, where we shall meet again the “gentle Thirsil,” harmonizing the Shepherds of the Ocean by attuning his pipe to the dashing of the oar, and hanging his garlands as gracefully on the mast of the fishing boat, as on the “smooth-leaved beeches” that o'er-canopied his former audience.
The Fisher-Bard thus introduces himself in the first Eclogue, entitled " Amyntas.”
It was the time faithful Halcyone,
Once more enjoying new-liv'd Cëyx' bed, Had left her young birds to the wav'ring sea,
Bidding him calm bis proud white curled head, And change his mountains to a champain lea; The time—when gentle Flora's lover reigns, Soft creeping all along green Neptune's smoothest plains. When hapless Thelgon, a poor fisher-swain,
Came from his boat to tell the rocks his plaining; In rocks he found, and the high swelling main,
More sense, more pity far, more love remaining, Than in the fair Amynta's fierce disdain : Was not his peer for song’mong all the lads Whose shrilling pipe or voice the sea-born maiden glads. About his head a rocky canopy,
And craggy hangings, 'round a shadow threw, Rebutting Phæbus' parching fervency ;
Into his bosom Zephyr softly flew; Hard by his feet the sea came waving by; The while to seas and rocks, poor swain, 'he sang; The while the seas and rocks answ'ring loud echoes rang..
You goodly nymphs, that in your marble cell
In spending never spend your sportful days, Or, when you list, in pearly boats of shell
Glide on the dancing wave that leaping plays About the wanton skiff; and
that dwell In Neptune's court, the ocean's plenteous throng, Deign you to gently hear sad Thelgon's plaining song.
When the raw blossom of my youth was yet
In my fist childhood's green inclosure bound, Of Aquadune I learnt to fold my net,
And spread the sail, and beat the river round, And withy labyrinths in straits to set, And guide my boat where Thame and Isis' heir By lowly Eton slides, and Windsor proudly fair.
There, while our thin nets, dangling in the wind,
Hung on our oar's tops, I learnt to sing
In num'rous verse; witness thou chrystal spring
In the fourth Eclogue, after the manner of the Poet's favourite Virgil,* the swains venture on higher themes :
“ Two Shepherds most I love, with just adoring,
The Mantuan swain, who chang’d his slender reed
[Purple Island, Canto 6th.]
And sullen clouds hang on thy heavy brow?
Thy merry pipe hung broken on a bough:
But nets and pipe contemn’d and idle lie;
Tunes sad notes to his master's misery.
Thelgon, 'tis not myself for whom I plain,
My private loss full easy could I bear, If private loss might help the public gain ;
But who can blame my grief, or chide my fear, Since now the fisher's tra le and honour'd name, Is made the common badge of scorn and shame!
Little know they the fisher's toilsome pain,
Whose labour with his age still growing spends not, His care and watchings, oft mispent in vain,
The early morn begins, dark evening ends not :
Ab, wretched fishers ! born to hate and strife;
To other's good, but to your rape and spoil :
To sweat, to freeze, to watch, to fast, to toil;