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When milder autumn summer's heat succeeds, And in the new-shorn field the partridge feeds, Before his lord the ready spaniel bounds;
Panting with hope, he tries the furrow'd grounds;
But when the tainted gales the game betray, 101
Couch'd close he lies, and meditates the prey;
Secure they trust the unfaithful field beset,
Till hovering o'er them sweeps the swelling net.
Thus, if small things we may with great compare,
When Albion sends her eager sons to war,
Some thoughtless town, with ease and plenty bless'd,
Near, and more near, the closing lines invest;
Sudden they seize the amazed, defenceless prize,
And high in air Britannia's standard flies.
See! from the brake the whirring pheasant
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings:
Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground.
Ah! what avail his glossy, varying dies,
His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes,
The vivid green his shining plumes unfold,
His painted wings, and breast that flames with
Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky,
The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny. 120
To plains with well-breathed beagles we repair,
And trace the mazes of the circling hare:
Beasts urged by us, their fellow-beasts pursue,
And learn of man each other to undo.
With slaughtering guns the unwearied fowler
When frosts have whiten'd all the naked groves;
Where doves in flocks the leafless trees o'ershade,
And lonely woodcocks haunt the watery glade.
He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye;
Straight a short thunder breaks the frozen sky. 130
Oft, as in airy rings they skim the heath,
The clamorous lapwings feel the leaden death:
Oft, as the mounting larks their notes prepare,
They fall, and leave their little lives in air.
In genial spring, beneath the quivering shade, Where cooling vapors breathe along the mead, The patient fisher takes his silent stand, Intent, his angle trembling in his hand : With looks unmoved, he hopes the scaly breed, And eyes the dancing cork and bending reed. 140 Our plenteous streams a various race supply; The bright-eyed perch, with fins of Tyrian die; The silver eel, in shining volumes roll'd; The yellow carp, in scales bedropp'd with gold; Swift trouts, diversified with crimson stains; And pikes, the tyrants of the watery plains. Now Cancer glows with Phoebus' fiery car: The youth rush eager to the sylvan war; Swarm o'er the lawns, the forest walks surround, Rouse the fleet hart, and cheer the opening
The impatient courser pants in every vein,
And pawing seems to beat the distant plain :
Hills, vales, and floods appear already cross'd;
And ere he starts, a thousand steps are lost.
See the bold youth strain up the threatening steep,
Rush through the thickets, down the valleys sweep,
Hang o'er their coursers' heads with eager speed,
And earth rolls back beneath the flying steed.
Let old Arcadia boast her ample plain,
The immortal huntress, and her virgin train: 160
envy, Windsor! since thy shades have seen
As bright a goddess, and as chaste a queen;
Whose care, like hers, protects the sylvan reign,
The earth's fair light, and empress of the main.
Here too, 'tis sung, of old Diana stray'd,
And Cynthus' top forsook for Windsor shade;
Here was she seen o'er airy wastes to rove,
Seek the clear spring, or haunt the pathless grove;
Here, arm'd with silver bows, in early dawn,
Her buskin'd virgins traced the dewy lawn.
Above the rest a rural nymph was famed, Thy offspring, Thames; the fair Lodona named; Lodona's fate, in long oblivion cast,
The Muse shall sing, and what she sings shall last. Scarce could the goddess from her nymph be known,
But by the crescent and the golden zone.
She scorn'd the praise of beauty, and the care;
A belt her waist, a fillet binds her hair;
A painted quiver on her shoulder sounds,
And with her dart the flying deer she wounds. 180
It chanced, as eager of the chase, the maid
Beyond the forest's verdant limits stray'd,'
Pan saw and loved; and, burning with desire,
Pursued her flight; her flight increased his fire.
Not half so swift the trembling doves can fly, 185
When the fierce eagle cleaves the liquid sky;
172 The fair Lodona. This episode might have been more fortunate in another period, or in another country: it is too antique for the English taste, and too Grecian for the banks of the Thames. Pan also is a lover in whose passion we have not learned to sympathise.
Not half so swiftly the fierce eagle moves,
When through the clouds he drives the trembling
As from the god she flew with furious pace,
Or as the god, more furious, urged the chase. 190
Now fainting, sinking, pale, the nymph appears;
Now close behind, his sounding steps she hears;
And now his shadow reach'd her as she run,
His shadow lengthen'd by the setting sun;
And now his shorter breath, with sultry air,
Pants on her neck, and fans her parting hair.
In vain on father Thames she calls for aid,
Nor could Diana help her injured maid.
Faint, breathless, thus she pray'd, nor pray'd in
"Ah, Cynthia! ah! though banish'd from thy train, Let me, O, let me to the shades repair,
My native shades;-there weep, and murmur
She said, and melting as in tears she lay,
In a soft silver stream dissolved away.
The silver stream her virgin coldness keeps ; 205
For ever murmurs, and for ever weeps ;
Still bears the name the hapless virgin bore,
And bathes the forest where she ranged before.
In her chaste current oft the goddess laves,
And with celestial tears augments the waves: 210
Oft in her glass the musing shepherd spies
The headlong mountains and the downward skies;
The watery landscape of the pendent woods,
And absent trees that tremble in the floods :
207 Still bears the name. The river Lodon.
In the clear azure gleam the flocks are seen,
And floating forests paint the waves with green, Through the fair scene roll slow the lingering streams,
Then foaming pour along, and rush into the Thames.
Thou, too, great father of the British floods! With joyful pride survey'st our lofty woods; 220 Where towering oaks their growing honors
And future navies on thy shores appear.
Not Neptune's self from all her streams receives
A wealthier tribute than to thine he gives:
No seas so rich, so gay no banks appear,
No lake so gentle, and no spring so clear:
Nor Po so swells the fabling poet's lays,
While led along the skies his current strays,
As thine, which visits Windsor's famed abodes,
To grace the mansion of our earthly gods:
Nor all his stars above a lustre show,
Like the bright beauties on thy banks below;
Where Jove, subdued by mortal passion still,
Might change Olympus for a nobler hill.
Happy the man whom this bright court ap
His sovereign favors, and his country loves: Happy next him, who to these shades retires, Whom nature charms, and whom the Muse in
Whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please;
Successive study, exercise, and ease.
He gathers health from herbs the forest yields,
And of their fragrant physic spoils the fields;