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Wifely she knew, the harmony of things,
As well as that of founds, from discord Springs,
Such was the discord, which did first disperse
Form, order, beauty, through the universe;
While dryness, moisture, coldness, heat refifts,
All that we have, and that we are; fubfifts:
While the steep horrid roughness of the wood,
Strives with the gentle calmness of the flood;
Such huge extremes when Nature doth unite,
Wonder from thence results, from thence delight.
The stream is so transparent, pure, and clear,
That had the self-enamour'd youth * gaz'd here,
So fatally deceiv'd he had not been,
While he the bottom, not his face had seen.
But his proud head the airy mountain hides
Among the clouds; his shoulders and his fides
A shady mantle clothes; his curled brows
Frown on the gentle stream, which calmly flows :
While winds and storms his lofty forehead beat :
The common fate of all that's high or great.
Low at his foot a spacious plain is plac'd,
Between the mountain and the stream embrac'd :
Which shade and shelter from the hill derives,
While the kind river wealth and beauty gives ;
And in the mixture of all these, appears
Variety, which all the rest endears.
This scene had some bold Greek or British bard
Beheld of old, what stories had we heard
Of fairies, fatyrs, and the nymphs, their dames ;
Their feasts, their revels, and their am'rous fames
'Tis still the fame, altho' their airy shape
All but a quick poetick fight escape.
There Faunus and Sylvanus keep their courts,
And thither all the horned hoft resorts
graze the ranker mead; that noble herd,
On whose sublime and shady fronts is rear'd
Nature's great master-piece ; to thew how foon
Great things are made, but sooner are undone.
Here have I seen the king, when great affairs
Gave leave to flacken, and unbend his cares,
Attended to the chace by all the flow'r
Of youth, whose hopes a nobler prey devour ;
Pleasure with praise and danger they would buy,
And with a foe that would not only fly.
The ftag, now conscious of his fatal growth,
At once indulgent to his fear and sloth,
To some dark covert his retreat had made,
Where nor man's eye nor Heaven's should invade
His foft repose; when th' unexpected found
Of dogs and men his wakeful ear does wound :
Rouz'd with the noise, he scarce believes his ear,
Willing to think th' illufions of his fear
Had giv'n this false alarin; but ftraight his view
Confirms, that more than all he fears is true.
Betray'd in all his strengths, the wood beset;
All instruments, all'arts of ruin met;
He calls to mind his ftrength, and then his fpeed;
His winged heels, and then his armed head;
With these tavoid, with that his fate to meet :
But fear prevails, and bids him trust his feet.
So fast he flies, that his reviewing eye
Has loft the chasers, and his ear the cry ;
Exulting, till he finds their nobler sense
Their disproportion'd speed does recompense 5
Then curses his confpiring feet, whose fcent
Betrays that safety which their swiftness lent.
Then tries his friends : among the baser herd,
Where he so lately was obey'd and fear'd,
His safety seeks ; the herd, unkindly wise,
Or chases him from thence, or from him flies.
Like a declining statesman, left förlorn
To his friends pity, and pursuers scorn;
With Mame remembers, while himself was one
Of the same herd, himself the fame had done.
Thence to the coverts, and the conscious groves,
The scenes of his past triumphs, and his loves, ;
Sadly surveying where he rang’d'alone
Prince of the soil, and all the herd his own;
And like a bold knight-errant did proclaim
Combat to all, and bore away the dame;
And taught the woods to echo to the stream
His dreadful challenge, and his clasing beam.
Yet faintly now declines the fatal ftrife ;
So much his love was dearer than his life.
Now ev'ry leaf, and ev'ry moving breath,
Presents a foe, and ev'ry foe a death. '!
Weary'd, forsaken, and pursu'd, at last,
All safety in despair of safety placid,
Courage he thence resumes, resolv'd to bear
All their assaults, since 'tis in vain to fear.
And now too late he wishes, for the fight,
That strength he wafted in ignoble Alight:
But when he sees the eager chace renewd,
Himself by dogs, the dogs by men pursu'd ;. !!..
He straight revokes his bold resolve, and more
Repents his courage than his fear before ; . '43.
Finds that uncertain ways unsafelt are,
And doubt a greater mischief than despair.
Then to the stream, when neither friends, nor force,
Nor speed, nor art avail, he hapes his course;
Thinks not their rage fo desperate t'affay
An element more merciless than they;
But fearless they pursue, nor can the food
Quench their dire thirst-alas! they thirst for blood.
So, tow'rds a ship the oar-finn'd gallies ply,
Which wanting sea to ride, or wind to fly,
Stands but to fall reveng'd on those that dare
Tempt the last fury of extreme despair,
So fares the fag, among th' enraged hounds,
Repels their force, and wounds returns for wounds.
And as a hero, whom his baser foes
In troops surround, now these assails, now those,
Tho' prodigal of life, disdains to die
By common hands ; but if he can descry
Some nobler foe approach, to him he calls,
And begs his fate, and then contented falls.
So when the king a mortal shaft lets Aly
From his unerring hand, then glad to die,
Proud of the wound, to it resigns his blood,
And stains the chryftal with a purple flood.
This a more innocent, and happy chace,
Than when of old, but in the self-fame place,
Fair Liberty pursu'd *, and meant a prey.
To lawless. power, here turn'd, and stood at bay,
When in that remedy all hope was plac'd
Which was, or fhould have been at least, the lait.
Here was that charter seal'd t, wherein the crown
All marks of arbitrary pow'r lays down ;
Tyrant and save, those names of hate and fear,
The happier style of king and subject bear: 6
Happy, when both to the same centre move,
When kings give liberty, and subjects love.
Therefore, not long in force this charter stood ;
Wanting that seal, it must be seald in blood, .'
The subjects arm'd; the more their princes gave,
Th’advantage only took, the more to crave : ,
Till kings by giying, give themselves away,
And e'en that pow'r, that hould deny, betrảy.
• Runny-Mead, where that Great Charter was first feaicd. + Magna Charta.
• Who gives constrain’d, but his own fear reviles,
• Not thank'd, but scorn'd; nor are they gifts, but spoi
Thus kings, by grasping more than they could hold,
First made their subjects, by oppression, bold;
And popular fway, by forcing kings to give
More than was fit for subjects to receive,
Ran to the same extremes; and one excess
Made both, by striving to be greater, less.
When a calm river rais'd with sudden rains,
Or snows diffoly'd, o'erflows th' adjoining plains,
The husbandmen, with high-rais'd banks, fecure
Their greedy hopes, and this he can endure :
But if with bays and dams they ftrive to force
His channel to a new or narrow course;
No longer then within his banks he dwells,
Firft to a torrent, then a deluge swells;
Stronger and fiercer, by restraint he roars,
And knows no bound, but makes his pow'r his Fores,
HE peaceful evening breathes her balmy store,
The playful school-boys wanton o'er the green:
Where spreading poplars shade the cottage-door,
The villagers in rustick joy convene.
• It has been often said, that Fi&tion is the most proper field for poetry. If it i always so, the writer of this little piece acknowledges it is a circumstance against im. The following Ode was first suggested, and the ideas contained in it raised, : revisiting the ruins and woods that had been the scene of his early amusements, :ith a deserving brother wbo died in his twenty-firit year.