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Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky,
The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny.
To plains with well-breathed beagles we repair,
And trace the mazes of the circling hare:
(Beasts, urged by us, their fellow-beasts pursue,
And learn of man each other to undo :)
With slaughtering guns the unwearied fowler roves
When frosts have whiten'd 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:
Oft, as in airy rings they skim the heath,
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,
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,
The bright-eyed perch with fins of Tyrian dye,
The silver eel, in shining volumes rollid,
'The yellow carp, in scales bedropp'd with gold,
Swift trouts, diversified with crimson stains,
And pikes, the tyrants of the watery plains.
Now Cancer glows with Phæbus' fiery car
The youth rush eager to the sylvan war,
Swarm o'er the lawns, the forest walks surround,
Rcuse the fleet hart, and cheer the opening hound
The impatient courser pants in every vein,
And, pawing, seems to beat the distant plain :
Hills, vales, and floods appear already cross'd,
And, ere he starts, a thousand steps are lost.
See the bold youth strain up the threatening steep,
Rush through the thickets, down the valleys sweep,
Hang o'er their coursers' heads with eager speed,
And earth rolls back beneath the flying steed.
Let old Arcadia boast her ample plain,
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 stray'd,
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, arm'd with silver bows, in early dawn,
Her buskin'd virgins traced the dewy lawn.
Above the rest a rural nymph was famed, Thy offspring, Thames ! the fair Lodona named: (Lodona's fate, in long oblivion cast, The muse shall sing, and what she sings shall last.) Scarce could the goddess from her nymph be known, But by the crescent, and the golden zone. She scorn'd the praise of beauty, and the care ; A belt her waist, a fillet binds her hair; A painted quiver on her shoulder sounds, And with her dart the flying deer she wounds. It chanced, as eager of the chase, the maid Beyond the forest's verdant limits stray'd, Pan saw and loved, and burning with desire Pursued her flight; her flight increased his fire. Not half so swift the trembling doves can fly, When the fierce eagle cleaves the liquid sky; Not half so swiftly the fierce eagle moves, When thro' the clouds he drives the trembling doves As from the god she flew with furious pace, Or as the god, more furious, urged the chace. Now fainting, sinking, pale, the nymph appears ; Now close behind, his sounding steps she hears ; And now his shadow reach'd her as she run, His shadow lengthen'd by the setting sun;
And now his shorter breath, with sultry air,
Pants on her neck, and fans her parting hair
In vain on father Thames she calls for aid,
Nor could Diana help her injured maid.
Faint, breathless, thus she pray'd, nor pray'd in vain
• Ah, Cynthia! ah—though banish'd from thy train,
Let me, O let me, to the shades repair,
My native shades ! there weep, and murmur there!
She said, and, melting as in tears she lay,
In a soft silver stream dissolved away.
The silver stream her virgin coldness keeps,
For ever murmurs, and for ever weeps;
Still bears the name the helpless virgin bore,
And bathes the forest where she ranged before.
In her chaste current of the goddess laves,
And with celestial tears augments the waves.
Oft in her glass the musing shepherd spies
The headlong mountains and the downward skies,
The watery landscape of the pendant woods,
And absent trees that tremble in the floods;
In the clear azure gleam the flocks are seen,
And floating forests paint the waves with green;
Through the fair scene roll slow the lingering streams,
Then foaming pour along, and rush into the Thames.
Thou, too, great father of the British floods !
With joyful pride survey'st our lofty woods;
Where lowering oaks their growing honours rear,
And future navies on thy shores appear.
Not Neptune's self from all her streams receives
A wealthier tribute than to thine he gives.
No seas so rich, so gay no banks appear,
No lake so gentle, and no spring so clear.
Nor Po so swells the fabling poet's lays,
While led along the skies his current strays,
As thine, which visits Windsor's famed abodes,
Το grace the mansion of our earthly gods,
Nor all his stars above a lustre show,
Like the bright beauties on thy banks below:
Where Jove, subdued by mortal passion still,
Might change Olympus for a nobler hill.
Happy the man whom this bright court approves,
His sovereign favours, and his country loves :
Ilappy next him, who to these shades retires,
Whom nature charms, and whom the muse inspires,
Whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please,
Successive study, exercise and ease.
He gathers health from herbs the forest yields,
And of their fragrant physic spoils the fields ;
With chemic art exalts the mineral powers,
And draws the aromatic souls of flowers :
Now marks the course of rolling orbs on high ;
O'er figured worlds now travels with his eye ;
Of ancient writ unlocks the learned store,
Consults the dead, and lives past ages o'er :
Or wandering thoughtful in the silent wood,
Attends the duties of the wise and good,
T observe a mean, be to himself a friend, To follow Nature, and regard his end; Or looks on Heaven with more than mortal eyes, Bids his free soul expatiate in the skies, Amid her kindred stars familiar roam, Survey the region, and confess her home! Such was the life great Scipio once admired, Thus Atticus, and Trumbal thus retired.
Ye sacred Nine ! that all my soul possess, Whose raptures fire me, and whose visions bless, Bear me, O bear me to sequester'd scenes, The bowery mazes, and surrounding greens ; To Thames's banks which fragrant breezes fill Or where ye, Muses, sport on Cooper's Hill; (On Cooper's Hill eternal wreaths shall grow, While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall lowe I seem through consecrated walks to rove, I hear soft music die along the grove: Led by the sound I roam from shade to shade By godlike poets venerable made:
Here his first lays majestic Denham sung:
There the last numbers flow'd from Cowley's tonguo
O early lost ! what tears the river shed,
When the sad pomp along his banks was led !
His drooping swans on every note expire,
And on his willows hung each muse's lyre.
Since fate relentless stopp'd their heavenly voice,
No more the forests ring, or groves rejoice;
Who now shall charm the shades where Cowley strung
His living harp, and lofty Denham sung?
But hark! the groves rejoice, the forest rings !
Are these revived ? or is it Granville sings?
'Tis yours, my lord, to bless our soft retreats,
And call the muses to their ancient seats ;
To paint anew the flowery sylvan scenes,
To crown the forest with immortal greens,
Make Windsor hills in lofty numbers rise,
And lift her turrets nearer to the skies;
To sing those honours you deserve to wear,
And add new lustre to her silver star.
Here noble Surrey felt the sacred rage,
Surrey, the Granville of a former age:
Matchless his pen, victorious was his lance,
Bold in the lists, and graceful in the dance;
In the same shades the Cupids tuned his lyre,
To the same notes of love and soft desire:
Fair Geraldine, bright object of his vow,
Then fill'd the groves, as heavenly Mira now.
Oh, wouldst thou sing what heroes Windsor bore
What kings first breathed upon her winding shore!
Or raise old warriors, whose adored remains
In weeping vaults her hallow'd earth contains !
With Edward's acts adorn the shining page,
Stretch his long triumphs down through every ago;
Draw monarchs chain'd, and Cressi's glorious field,
The lilies blazing on the regal shield!
Then, from her roofs when Verrio's colours fall,
And leave inanimate the naked wall,