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But as the' aërial tempest fuller swells,
And in one mighty stream, invisible,
Immense, the whole excited atmosphere,
Impetuous rushes o'er the sounding world;
Strain'd to the root, the stooping forest pours
A rustling shower of yet untimely leaves.
High-beat, the circling mountains eddy io,
From the bare wild, the dissipated storm,
And send it in a torrent down the vale.
Expos'd, and oaked, to its utmost rage,
Through all the sea of harvest rolling round,
The hillowy plain floats wide; nor can evade,
Though pliant to the blast, its seizing force;
Or whirl'd in air, or into vacant chaff
Shook waste. And sometimes too a burst of rain,
Swept from the black horizon, broad, descends
In one continuous flood. Still over head
The mingling tempest weaves its gloom, and still
The deluge deepens ; till the fields around
Lię supk, and flatted, in the sordid wave.
Sudden, the ditches swell; the meadow's swim.
Red, from the hills, innumerable streams
Tumultuous roar; and high above its banks
The river lift; before whose rushing tide,
Herds, flocks, and harvests, cottages, and swains,
Roll mingled down; all that the winds had spard
In one wild moment ruin'd; the big hopes,
And well-earn'd treasures of the painful year,
Fled to some eminence, the husbandman
Helpless beholds the miserable wreck
Driving along ; his drowning ox at once
Descending, with his labours scatter'd round,
He sees; and instant o'er his shivering thought
Comes Winter unprovided, and a train
Of claimant children dear. Ye masters, then,
Be mindful of the rongh laborions band
That sinks you soft in elegance and ease;
Be mindful of those limbs in russet clad
Whose toil to yours is warmth and graceful pride;
And, oh! be mindful of that sparing board,
Which covers yours with luxury profuse,
Makes your glass sparkle, and your sense rejoice!
Nor cruelly demand what the deep rains,
And all-involving winds bave swept away.
Here the rude clamonr of the sportsman's joy,
The gnn fast-thundering, and the winded horn,
Would tempt the Muse to sing the rural game:
How in his mid-career the spaniel strnck,
Stiff, by the tainted gale, with open nose,
Outstretch'd, and finely sensible, draws full,
Fearful, and cautions, on the latent prey;
A's in the sun the circling covey bask
Their varied plames, and watchful every way,
Through the rough stubble turn the secret eye. Caught in the meshy snare, in vain they beat Their idle wings, entangled more and more: Nor on the surgés of the houndless air, Thongh borne triumphant, are they safe ; the gun, Glanc'd just, and sudden, from the fowler's eye O’ertakes their sounding pinions: and again, Immediate, brings them from the towering wing, Dead to the ground; or drives them wide-dispers’d, Wonnded, and wheeling various, down the wind. These are not subjects for the peaceful Muse, Nor will she stain with such her spotless song ; Then most delighted, when she social sees The whole mix'd animal-creation round Alive, and happy. 'Tis not joy to her,
This falsely-cheerful harbarous game of death,
This rage of pleasure, which the restless youth
Awakes, impatient, with the gleaming morn :
When beasts of prey retire, that all night long,
Urgʻd by necessity, had rang’d the dark,
As if their conscious ravage shunn'd the light,
Asham'd. Not so the steady tyrant Man,
Who with the thoughtless insolence of power
Inflam’d, beyond the most infuriate wrath
Of the worst monster that e'er roam'd the wasté,
For sport alone pursues the cruel chase,
Amid the beamings of the gentle days.
Upbraid, ye ravening tribes, our wauton rage,
For hunger kindles you, and lawless want;
But lavish fed, in Nature's bounty rollid,
To joy at angnish, and delight in blood,
Is what your hórrid bosoms never knew.
Poor is the triumph o'er the timid hare !
Scar'd from the corn, and now to some lone seat
Retir'd: the rushy ten ; the ragged furze,
Stretch'd o'er the stony heath; the stubble chapt;
The thistly lawn; the thick entangled broom ;
Of the same friendly hue, the wither'd fern;
The fallow ground laid open to the sun,
Concoctive'; and the nodding sandy bank,
Hung o'er the mazes of the mountain brook.
Vain is her best precaution; though she sits
Conceal'd, with folded ears ; unsleeping eyes,
By Natúre rais'd to take the horizon in ;
And head couch'd close betwixt her hairy feet,
In act to spring away. The scented dew
Betrays her early labyrinth; and deep,
In scatter'd sullen openings, far behind,
With every breeze she hears the coming storm.
But nearer, and more frequent, as it loads
The sighing gale, she springs amaz’d, and all
The savage soul of game is up at once:
The pack full-opening, various; the shrill horn,
Resounded from the hills; the neighing steed,
Wild for the chase; and the loud bunter's shout;
O’er a weak, harmless, flying creature, all
Mix'd in mad tumult, and discordant joy.
The stag too, singled from the herd, where long
He rang'd the branching monarch of the shades,
Before the tempest drives. At first, in speed
He, sprightly, puts his faith; and, rous'd by fear,
Gives all his swift aërial soul to flight;
Against the breeze he darts, that way the more
To leave the lessening murderous cry behind:
Deception short! though fleeter than the winds
Blown o'er the keen-air mountain by the north,
He bursts the thickets, glances through the glades,
And plunges deep into the wildest wood;
If slow, yet sore, adhesive to the track
Hot-steaming, up behind him come again
The' inhuman rout, and from the shady depth
Expel him, circling through his
He sweeps the forest oft; and sobbing sees
The glades, mild opening to the golden day;
Where, in kind contest, with his butting friends
He wont to struggle, or his loves enjoy.
Oft in the full-descending flood he tries
To lose the scent, and lave his burning sides :
Oft seeks the herd; the watchful herd, alarm’d,
With selfish care avoid a brother's woe.
What shall he do? His once so vivid nerves,
So full of buoyant spirit, now no more
Inspire the course ; but fainting breathless tail,
Sick, seizes on his heart: he stands at bay;
And puts his last weak refuge in despair.
The big round tears run down his dappled face;
He groans in anguish: while the growling pack,
Blood-happy, hang at his fair jutting chest,
And mark his beauteous chéquer'd sides with gore.
Of this enough. But if the silvan youth,
Whose fervant blood boils into violence,
Must have the chase; behold, despising flight,
The rous'd-up lion, resolute, and slow,
Advancing full on the protended spear,
And coward-band, that circling wheel aloof.
Slunk from the cavern, and the troubled wood,
See the grim wolf; on him his shaggy foe
Vindictive fix, and let the ruffian die:
Or, growling horrid, as the brindled boar
Grins fell destruction, to the monster's heart
Let the dart lighten from the nervous arm.
These Britain knows not; give, ye Britons, then
Your sportive fury, pityless, to pour
Loose on the nightly robber of the fold;
Him, from his craggy winding haunts unearth’d,
Let all the thunder of the chase pursue.
Tirow the broad ditch behind you; o'er the hedge
High-bound, resistless ; nor the deep morass
Refuse, but through the shaking wilderness
Pick your nice way; into the perilous flood
Bear fearless, of the raging instinct full;
And as you ride the torrent, to the banks
Your triumph sound sonorous, running round,
From rock to rock, in circling echoes tost;
Then scale the mountains to their woody tops ;
Rush down the dangerous steep; and o'er the lawn,
In fancy swallowing up the space between,