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SONGS OF SHEPHERDS.
Framed on fancies, whistled on reeds,
Are too unworthy for wonderful deeds.
His lofty genius, may seem to declare,
How stars divined once hunted the hare.
Stars enamoured with pastimes Olympical,
Stars and planets that beautiful shone,
Swim in pleasures, and they but look on.
And her informed how minded they were,
As lords and ladies, to follow the hare.
Chaste Diana applauded the motion ;
And pale Proserpina sate in her place,-
Whilst she conducted her nephews in chase.
The cold and ample earth, leaveth the air;
And Mars, the slaughter,—to follow the hare.
Light young Cupid was horsed upon Pegasus,
Borrowed of Muses with kisses and prayers :
Mounts a centaur that proudly him bears:
Makes his courser fly fleet as the air:
With whoop and hallo after the hare.
Hymen ushers the ladies :-Astræa,
That just took hands with Minerva the bold;
Thetis the wanton, Bellona the old,
And May with Flora, did company bear.
But oh she hated not hunting the hare! 1 One copy of the poem gives “Aeminius;" another gives "ingenious." The former word seems to be meaningless, and the latter unmeaning. I substitute, at a guess, “Ismenius,” which is one of the known appellations of Phoebus. The various texts of this composition are very inaccurate.
Drowned Narcissus, from his metamorphosis
Raised with Echo, new manhood did take:
That this thousand years was not awake-
And Pan promoted on Chiron's mare.
And Momus flouted, —but followed the hare.
Deep Melampus and cunning Ichnobates,
Nappy and Tigre and Harpy, the skies
Sounds the plentiful horn to their cries.
The weary Deities reposed them where
What we conceited of their hunting the hare.
After some battle, themselves on the ground.
And that hereafter the world would go round.
Was much enraged with jealous despair:
When I thus applauded their hunting the hare :-
That no motion, nor that no delight:
Of life, and action the apple of light.
But freely lends to each virtue a share:
Of pleasure the treasure is hunting the hare!"
That Troy-borne eagle does bring on his knee::
And he to Hermes, and Hermes to me :
In verse unused this sport to declare.
Health to all that love hunting the hare !
1 The poet seems to have hesitated here between introducing the eagle, or Ganymede, on the scene : and a very jumbled line is the result.
The king of ghosts and shadows there,
What revel rout
Is kept about,
I will o'ersee,
And merry be,
About this airy welkin soon,
There's not a hag
Or ghost shall wag,
But Robin I
Their feats will spy,
As from their night-sports they trudge home,
Through woods, through lakes ;
Through bogs, through brakes;
All in the nick,
To play some trick,
Sometimes an ox, sometimes a hound;
But, if to ride
My back they stride,
O'er hedge and lands,
Through pools and ponds,
With possets and with junkets fine,
I eat their cakes and sip their wine: 1 This poem has sometimes been attributed to Ben Jonson.
And to make sport
I puff and snort ;
The maids I kiss,
They shriek—“Who's this?”.
At midnight I card up their wool ;
I grind at mill
Their malt up still ;
If any wake,
And would me take,
I pinch the maidens black and blue;
'Twixt sleep and wake,
I do them take,
If out they cry,
Then forth I fly,
When any need to borrow aught,
We lend them what they do require ; And, for the use, demand we nought ;
Our own is all we do desire.
If to repay
They do delay,
And night by night
I them affright, With pinchings, dreams, and ho ho ho! When lazy queans have nought to do,
But study how to cog and lie, To make debate and mischief too 'Twixt one another secretly:
I mark their gloze,
And it disclose
When I have done,
I get me gone,
When men do traps and engines set
In loop-holes, where the vermin creep Who from their folds and houses get Their ducks and geese and lambs and sheep;
I spy the gin,
And enter in,
But, when they there
Approach me near,
We nightly dance our heyday guise ;
When larks 'gin sing,
Away we fling;
And elf in bed
We leave instead,
Thus nightly revelled to and fro;
Fiends, ghosts, and sprites,
Who haunt the nights,
And beldames old
My feats have told, So Vale, vale; ho ho ho !
THE SONG OF THE BEGGAR.
I AM a rogue and a stout one,
A most courageous drinker ;
• Good your worship,
I'll booze it all in beer, Şir.
Then straight I do attend them ;
Still do I cry, &c.