Imágenes de páginas

The Groves of Eden vanish'd now fo long, Live in description, and look green in fong: Thefe, were my breaft infpir'd with equal flame, Like them in beauty, should be like in fame. 10 Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain, Here earth and water feem to ftrive again; Not Chaos-like together crush'd and bruis'd, But, as the world, harmoniously confus'd: Where order in variety we fee,



And where, tho' all things differ, all agree.
Here waving groves a chequer'd scene display,
And part admit, and part exclude the day;
As fome coy nymph her lover's warm address
Nor quite indulges, nor can quite repress.
There, interfpers'd in lawns and op'ning glades,
Thin trees arife that fhun each other's fhades.
Here in full light the ruffet plains extend:
There wrapt in clouds the blueish hills ascend.
Ev'n the wild heath displays her purple dyes, 25
And 'midst the defert fruitful fields arife,


VER. 25. Originally thus;

Why fhould I fing our better funs or air,
Whofe vital draughts prevent the leach's care,
While thro' fresh fields th'enliv'ning odours breathe,
Or fpread with vernal blooms the purple heath? P

That crown'd with tufted trees and springing corn,

Like verdant ifles the fable waste adorn.

Let India boast her plants, nor envy we

The weeping amber or the balmy tree,


While by our oaks the precious loads are born, And realms commanded which thofe trees adorn." Not proud Olympus yields a nobler fight,

Tho' Gods affembled grace his tow'ring height,
Than what more humble mountains offer here, 35
Where, in their bleffings, all thofe Gods appear.
See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crown'd;
Here blushing Flora paints th' enamel'd ground,
Here Ceres' gifts in waving prospect stand,
And nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand; 40
Rich Industry fits fmiling on the plains,

And peace and plenty tell, a STUART reigns.


VER. 33. Not proud Olympus, etc.] Sir J. Denham, in his Cooper's Hill, had said,

Than which a nobler weight no mountain bears,

But Atlas only, which supports the spheres.

The comparison is childish, as the taking it from fabulous hiftory destroys the compliment. Our Poet has fhewn more judgment: he has made a manly use of as fabulous a circumstance. by the artful application of the mythology.

Where, in their bleffings, all thofe Gods appear. etc. Making the nobility of the hills of Windfor-forest to confift in


Not thus the land appear'd in ages past, A dreary defert, and a gloomy waste, To favage beasts and favage laws a prey, And kings more furious and severe than they; Who claim'd the fkies, difpeopled air and floods, The lonely lords of empty wilds and woods: Cities laid waste, they storm'd the dens and caves, (For wiser brutes were backward to be flaves,) 50 What could be free, when lawless beasts obey'd, And ev❜n the elements a Tyrant sway'd? In vain kind seasons fwell'd the teeming grain, Soft show'rs diftill'd, and funs grew warm in vain ; The swain with tears his fruftrate labour yields, 55 And famish'd dies amidst his ripen'd fields. What wonder then, a beast or subject flain Were equal crimes in a defpotic reign?


VER. 49. Originally thus in the MS.

From towns laid wafte, to dens and caves they ran
(For who first stoop'd to be a flave was man.)

VER. 57, etc.

No wonder favages or fubjects flain -

But fubjects ftarv'd, while favages were fed.

It was originally thus, but the word favages is not properly applied to beasts but to men; which occafioned the alteration. P.


VER. 45. Savage laws.] The Foreft Laws.

Both doom'd alike, for fportive Tyrants bled,
But while the subject starv'd, the beast was fed. 60
Proud Nimrod first the bloody chace began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man:
Our haughty Norman boasts that barb'rous name,
And makes his trembling flaves the royal game.
The fields are ravifh'd from th' induftrious fwains,
From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes:
The levell'd towns with weeds lie cover'd o'er;
The hollow winds thro' naked temples roar;
Round broken columns clasping ivy twin'd;
O'er heaps of ruin stalk'd the stately hind;
The fox obfcene to gaping tombs retires,
And favage howlings fill the facred quires.
Aw'd by his Nobles, by his Commons curst,
Th' Oppreffor rul'd tyrannic where he durft,


VER. 72. And wolves with howling fill etc.]


The Author thought this an error, wolves not being common in England at the time of the Conqueror. P.


VER. 65. The fields are ravib'd etc.] Alluding to the deftruction made in the New Foreft, and the Tyrannies exercised there by William I. P.


VER. 65. The fields were ravish'd from th’industrious fwains, From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes:] Tranflated


Templa adimit divis, fora civibus, arva colonis,


Stretch'd o'er the Poor and Church his iron rod,
And ferv'd alike his Vaffals and his God.
Whom ev'n the Saxon fpar'd, and bloody Dane,
The wanton victims of his sport remain.
But fee, the man, who fpacious regions gave
A waste for beafts, himself deny'd a grave!
Stretch'd on the lawn his fecond hope furvey,
At once the chafer, and at once the prey:
Lo Rufus, tugging at the deadly dart,
Bleeds in the foreft like a wounded hart.
Succeeding monarchs heard the subjects cries, 8§
Nor faw difpleas'd the peaceful cottage rise,
Then gath'ring flocks on unknown mountains fed,
O'er fandy wilds were yellow harvests spread,
The forests wonder'd at th' unusual grain,
And secret tranfport touch'd the conscious swain.
Fair Liberty, Britannia's Goddefs, rears
Her chearful head, and leads the golden years.



VER. 80. himself deny'd a grave! ] The place of his interment at Caen in Normandy was claimed by a Gentleman as his inheritance, the moment his fervants were going to put him in his tomb: fo that they were obliged to compound with the owner before they could perform the King's obfequies.

VER 81. fecond hope] Richard, fecond fon of William the Conqueror.


VER. 89. Miraturque novas frondes et non fua poma. Virg.

« AnteriorContinuar »