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While in sweet converse in a round you sit
On the green turf, or in the woodbine-bower,
If chance the thundering gun be heard,
To grots and caves ye run;
Fearful as when Lodona fled from Pan,
Or Daphne, panting, from enamour'd Sol,
Or fair Sabrina to the flood
Her snowy beauties gåve:
When will dread Man his tyrannies forego,
When cease to bathe his barbarous hands in blood,
His subjects helpless, harmless, weak,
Delighting to destroy?
More pleasant far to shield their tender young
From churlish swains, that violate their nests ;
And, wandering, morn or eve to hear
Their welcome to the Spring.
Thou, that at deep dead of night
Walk'st forth beneath the pale moon's light
In robe of flowing black array'd,
While cypress-leaves thy brows o'ershade;
Listening to the crowing cock,
And the distant sounding clock;
Or sitting in thy cavern low,
Dost hear the bleak winds loudly blow,
Or the hoarse death-boding owl,
Or village mastiff's wakeful howl,
While through thy melancholy room
A dim lamp casts an awful gloom;
Thou, that on the meadow green,
Or daisied upland art not seen,
As wreaths for some vain Louis' head 3,
Or mourn some soft Adonis dead :
No more your polish'd lyrics boast,
In British Pindar's strength o'erwhelm’dand lost:
As well might ye compare
The glimmerings of a waxen flame,
(Emblem of verse correctly tame)
To his own Ætna's sulphur-spouting caves“,
When to Heaven's vault the fiery deluge raves, When clonds and burning rocks dart through the troubled air.
II. 1. In roaring cataracts down Andes' channeld steeps
Mark how enormous Orellana sweeps!
Monarch of mighty floods ! supremely strong,
Foaming from cliff to cliff he whirls along,
Swoln with an hundred hills' collected snows :
Thence over nameless regions widely flows
Round fragrant isles, and citron groves,
Where still the naked Indian roves,
And safely builds his leafy bow'r,
From slavery far, and curs'd Iberian powr.
So rapid Pindar flows.— parent of the lyre,
Let me for ever thy sweet sons admire !
O ancient Greece, but chief the bard whose lays
The matchless tale of Troy divine emblaze,
And next Euripides, soft Pity's priest,
Who melts in useful woes the bleeding breast;
And him, who paints the’ incestuous king
Whose soul amaze and horror wring ; 3 Alluding to the French and Italian lyric poets. 4 See 1 Pyth. Od.
Teach me to taste their charms refin'd,
The richest banquet of the enraptur'd mind :
For the bless'd man, the Muses' child",
On whose auspicious birth she smild,
Whose soul she form’d of purer tire,
For whom she tun'd a golden lyre,
Seeks not in fighting fields renown;
widows' midnight shrieks nor burning town,
The peaceful poet please ;
Nor ceaseless toils for sordid gains,
Nor purple pomp, nor wide domains,
Nor heaps of wealth, nor power, nor statesman's
schemes, Nor all deceiv'd Ambition's feverish dreams Lure his contented heart from the sweet vale of ease.
OR THE LOVE OF NATURE, WRITTEN IN 1740.
Rure vero barbaroque lætatur.
Ut mihi devio
Rupes, et vacuum nemus
Ye green-rob'd Dryads, oft at dusky eve
By wondering shepherds seen; to forests brown,
To unfrequented meads, and pathless wilds,
Lead me from gardens deck'd with art's vain pomps.
Can gilt alcoves, can marble-mimic gods,
Parterres embroiderd, obelisks, and urns
Of high relief; can the long spreading lake,
Or vista lessening to the sight; can Stow
With all her attic fanes, such raptures raise,
As the thrush-haunted copse, where lightly leaps
The fearful fawn the rustling leaves along,
And the brisk squirrel sports from bough to bough,
While from a hollow oak, whose naked roots
O’erhang a pensive rill, the busy bees
Hum drowsy lullabies ? The bards of old,
Fair Nature's friends, sought such retreats, to charm
Sweet Echo with their songs; oft too they met
In summer-evenings, near sequesterd bowers,
Or mountain-nymph, or muse, and eager learn'd
The moral strains she taught to mend mankind.
As to a secret grot Ægeria stole'
With patriot Numa, and in silent night
Whisper'd him sacred laws, he listening sat
Rapt with her virtuous voice, old Tyber lean’d
Attentive on his urn, and hush'd his waves.
Rich in her weeping country's spoils, Versailles
May boast a thousand fountains, that can cast
The tortur'd waters to the distant heavens;
Yet let me choose some pine-top'd precipice
Abrupt and shaggy, whence a foanıy stream,
Like Anio, tumbling roars; or some bleak heath,
Where straggling stands the mournful juniper,
Or yew-tree scathed; while in clear prospect round,
From the grove's bosom spires emerge, and smoke
In bluish wreaths ascends, ripe harvests wave,
Low, lonely cottages, and ruin'd tops
Of Gothic battlements appear, and streams
Beneath the sunbeams twinkle. The shrill lark,
That wakes the woodman to his early task;
Or love-sick Philomel, whose luscious lays
Soothe lone night-wanderers; the moaning dove,
Pitied by listening milk-maid, far excel
The deep-mouth'd viol, the soul-lulling lute,
And battle-breathing trumpet. Artful sounds !
That please not like the choristers of air,
When first they hail the’approach of laughing May.
Can Kent design like Nature? Mark where Thames
Plenty and pleasure pours through Lincoln's? meads;
I Livy, lib. I. cap. 19.
The Earl of Lincoln's terrace at Weybridge in Surry.