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Like some fair shepherdess, the silvan Muse
Should wear those flowers her native fields produce ;
And the true measure of the shepherd's wit.
Should, like his garb, be for the country fit:
Yet must bis pure and unaffected thought
More nicely than the common swaiu's be wrought.
So, with becoming art, the players dress
In silks the shepherd and the shepherdess :
Yet still unchang’d the form and mode remain,
Shap'd like the homely russet of the swain.
Your rural Muse appears to justify
The long-lost graces of simplicity :
So rural beauties captivate our sepse
With virgin charms, and native excellence.
Yet long her modesty those charms conceald,
Till by men's envy to the world reveald;
For wits industrious to their trouble seem,
And needs will envy what they must esteem.
Live and enjoy their spite! nor mourn that fate,
Which would, if Virgil liv’d, on Virgil wait;
Whose Muse did once, like thine, in plains delight,
Thine shall, like his, soon take a higher flight;
So larks, which first from lowly fields arise,
Mount by degrees, and reach at last the skies.
Hail! sacred bard! a Muse unknown before
Salutes thee from the bleak Atlantic shore.
To our dark world thy shining page is shown,
And Windsor's gay retreat becomes our own.
The Eastern pomp had just bespoke our care,
And India pour'd her gaudy treasures here:
A various spoil adorn'd our naked land,
The pride of Persia glitter'd on our strand,
And China's earth was cast on common sand:
Toss'd up and down the glossy fragments lay,
And dressid the rocky shelves, and pav'd the paint-
Thy treasures next arriv’d; and now we boast
A nobler cargo on our barren coast:
From thy luxuriant forest we receive
More lasting glories than the East can give.
Where'er we dip in thy delightful page,
What pompoas scenes our busy thoughts engage !
The pompous scenes in all their pride appear,
Fresh in the page as in the grove they were.
Nor balf so trne the fair Lodona shows
The silvan state that on her border grows,
While she the wondering shepherd entertains
With a new Windsor in her watery plains ;
Thy juster lays the lucid wave surpass,
Thy living scene is in the Muse's glass.
Nor sweeter notes the echoing forests cheer,
When Philomela sits and warbles there,
Than when you sing the greens and opening@glades,
And give us harmony as well as shades :
A Titian's band might draw the grove, but you
Can paint the grove, and add the music too.
With vast variety thy pages shine ;
A new creation starts in every line.
How sudden trees rise to the reader's sight,
And make a doubtful scene of shade and light,
And give at once the day, at once the night;
And here again what sweet confusion reigns
In dreary deserts mix'd with painted plains !
And see the deserts cast a pleasing gloom,
And shrubby heaths rejoice in purple bloom;
Whilst finitful crops rise by their barren side,
And bearded groves display their annual pride.
Happy the man, who strings his tuneful lyre (spire!
Where woods, and brooks, and breathing fields in-
Thrice happy you! and worthy best to dwell
Amidst the rural joys, you sing so well.
J, in a cold and in a barren clime,
Cold as my thought, and barren as my rhyme,
Here on the western beach attempt to chime.
O joyless tlood ! O rough tempestuons main!
Bordèrd with weeds, and solitudes obscene!
Snatch me, ye gods! from these Atlantic shores,
And shelter me in Windsor's fragrant bow'rs;
Or to my much-lov'd Isis' walk convey,
And on ber flowery bank for ever lay.
Thence let me view the venerable scene,
The awful dome, the grove's eternal green,
Where sacred Hough long found his fam’d retreat,
And brought the Muses to the silvan seat,
Reform'd the wits, unlock'd the classic store,
And made that music which was noise before.
There with illustrious bards I spent my days,
Not free from censure, nor unknown to praise,
Enjoy'd the blessings that his reign bestow'd,
Nor envied Windsor in the soft abode.
The golden minutes smoothly danc'd away,
And tuneful bards beguild the tedious day :
They sung, nor sung in vain, with numbers fir'd
That Maro ght, or Addison inspir'd.
Ev'n I essay'd to touch the trembling string :
Who could hear them, and not attempt to sing?
Rous'd from these dreams by thy commanding strain,
I rise and wander through the field or plain ;
Led by the Muse, from sport to sport I run,
Mark the stretch'd line, or hear the thundering gun.
Ah! how I melt with pity, when I spy
On the cold earth the futtering pheasant lie;
His gaudy robes in dazzling lines appear,
And every feather shines and varies there.
Nor can I pass the generous courser by,
But while the prancing steed allures my eye,
He starts, he's gone! and now I see him fly
O'er bills and dales, and now I lose the course,
Nor can the rapid sight pursue the flying horse.
Oh, could thy Virgil from his orb look down,
He'd view a courser that might match his own!
Fir'd with the sport, and eager for the chase,
Lodona's murmurs stop me in the race.
Who can refuse Lodona's melting tale?
The soft complaint shall over time prevail;
The tale be told, when shades forsake her shore;
The nymph be sung, when she can flow no more.
Nor shall thy song, old Thames ! forbear to shine,
At once the subject and the song divine.
Peace, sung by thee, shall please ev'n Briton, more
Than all their shouts for victory before.
Oh! could Britannia imitate thy stream,
The world should tremble at her awful name :
From various springs divided waters glide,
In ditferent colours roll a different tide,
Murmur along their crooked banks awbile,
At once they murmur, and enrich the isle ;
A while distinct through many channels run,
But meet at last, and sweetly flow in one;
There joy to lose their long-distinguish'd names,
And make one glorious and immortal Thames.
BY GEORGE LORD LYTTELTON.
IMMORTAL bard! for whom each Muse has wove
The fairest garlands of the Aonian grove;
Preserv’d, our drooping genius to restore,
When Addison and Congreve are no more;
After so many stars extinct in night,
The darken'd ages last remaining light!
To thee, from Latian realms this verse is writ,
Inspird by memory of ancient wit,
For now no more these climes their influence boast,
Fall’n is their glory, and their virtue lost;
From tyrants, and from priests, the Muses fly,
Daughters of Reason and of Liberty.