« ZurückWeiter »
E sylvan Muses ! loftier strains recite;
Not all in fhades and humble cotes delight
Hark! the bells ring; along the distant grounds
The driving gales convey the swelling sounds :
Th' attentive fwain, forgetful of his work,
With gaping wonder leans upon his fork.
What sudden news alarms the waking morn?
To the glad Squire a hopeful heir is born.
Mourn, mourn, 'ye stags ! and all ye beasts of chase!
This hour deftru&ion brings on all your race.
See the pleas'd tenants duteous off'rings bear,
Turkeys and geese, and grocer's sweetest ware;
With the new health the pond'rous tankard flows,
And old O&tober reddens ev'ry nose.
Beagles and spaniels round his cradle stand,
Kiss his moist lip, and gently lick his hand;
He joys to hear the fhrill horn's echoing sounds,
And learns to lisp the names of all the hounds.
With frothy ale to make his cup o'erflow,
Barley shall in paternal acres grow ;
The bee shall fip the fragrant dew from flow’rs,
To give metheglin for his morning hours ;
For him the cluft'ring hop shall climb the poles,
And his own orchard sparkle in his bowls.
His fire's exploits he now with wonder hears
The monstrous tales indulge his greedy ears :
How, when youth ftrung his nerves and warm'd his veins,
He rode the mighty Nimrod of the plains.
3 B 2
He leads the staring infant throl the hall;
Points out the horny spoils that grace the wall ;
Tells how this stag thro' three whole counties filed,
What rivers swam, where bay'd, and where he bled.
Now he the wonders of the fox
Describes the desp'rate chafe, and all his cheats;
How, in one day, beneath his furious-speed,
He tir'd seven coursers of the fleetest breed;
How high the pale he leap'd, how wide the ditch,
When the hound tore the haunches of the witch.
These stories, which descend from fon to son,
The forward boy fhall one day make his own.
Ah! too fond mother! think the time draws nigh
That calls the darling from thy tender eye ;
How shall his spirit brook the rigid rules,
And the long tyranny of grammar schools ?
Let younger brothers o'er dull authors plod,
Lash'd into Latin by the tingling rod :
No, let him never feel that smart disgrace ;
Why should he wiser prove than all his race?
When rip’ning youth with down o'ershades his chin,
And ev'ry female eye incites to fin,
The milk-maid (thoughtless of her future shame)
With smacking lip shall raise his guilty flame :
The dairy, barn, the hay-loft, and the grove,
Shall oft be conscious of their stolen love.
But think, Priscilla, on that dreadful time,
When pangs and wat'ry qualms fhall own thy crime ;
How wilt thou tremble, when thy nipple's press’d,
To see the white drops bathe thy swelling breaft!
Nine moons fall publicly divulge thy shame,
And the young Squire forestal a father's name.
When twice twelve times the reaper's sweeping hand
With levell'd harvests has beitrown the land,
The most commca accident to sportsmen, to of a bare.
On fam'd Șt. Hubert's feast, his winding horn
Shall chear the joyful hound and wake the morn:
This memorable day his eager speed
Shall urge with bloody heel the rising steed,
O check the foamy bit ! nor tempt thy fate ;
Think on the murders of a five-bar gate!
Yet, prodigal of life, the leap he tries;
Low in the dust his grov'ling honour lies :
Headlong he falls, and on the rugged stone
Distorts his neck, and cracks the collar-boue.
O, vent'rous youth! thy thirst of game allay ;
May'it thou survive the perils of this day !
He shall survive ; and in late years be sent
. To snore away debates in Parliament.
The time shall come when his more folid senfe,
With nod important, tall the laws dispense;
A Justice with grave justices shall fit ;
He praise their wisdom, they admire his wit..
No greyhound shall attend the tenant's pace,
No rusty gun the farmer's chimney grace ;
Salmons shall leave their coverts void of fear,
Nor dread the thievih net or triple spear ;
Poachers shall tremble at his awful name,
Whom vengeance now o’ertakes for murder'd game..
Aflift me, Bacchus ! and ye drunken pow’rs !
To fing his friendships and his midnight hours.
Why doft thou glory in thy strength of beer,
Firm-cork'd, and mellow'd till the twentieth
Brew'd or when Phoebus warms the fleecy fign,
Or when his languid rays in Scorpio shine ?
Think on the mischiefs which from hence have sprung !
It arms with curses dire the wrathful tongue av
Foul scandal to the lying lip affords,
And prompts the mem'ry with injurious words.
0, where is wisdom, when by this o'erpower'd Str. The fate is cenfur'd, and the maid deflower'd!
And wilt thou still, o Squire ! brew ale so strong?
Hear then the dictates of prophetick fong.
Methinks I see him in his hall
Where the long table floats in clammy beer ;
'Midst mugs and glasses shatter'd o'er the floor,
Dead drunk, his servile crew supinely fnore;
Triumphant, o'er the proftrate brutes he stands,
The mighty bumper trembles in his hands;
Boldly he drinks ; and, like his glorious fires,
In copious gulps of potent ale expires !
EHOLD, Alexis ! see this gloomy shade,
Which seems alone for Sorrow's shelter made,
Where no glad beams of light can ever play,
But night, fucceeding night, excludes the day;
Where never birds with harmony repair,
And lightsome notes, to chear the dusky air,
To welcome day, or bid the sun farewel,
By morning lark or evening Philomel.
No violet here, nor daisy, e'er was seen,
No sweetly-budding Power, nor springing green ;
For fragrant myrtle and the blushing rose,
Here baleful yew with deadly cypress grows.
Here, then, extended on this wither's moss,
We'll lie, and thou shalt fing of Albion's loss;
Of Albion's loss, and of Pastora's death,
Begin thy mournful song, and raise thy tuneful breath.
Ah, woe too great! ah, theme which far exceeds
The lowly lays of humble fhepherds reeds!
O could I fing in verse of equal strain
With the Sicilian bard or Mantuan swain,
Or melting words and moving numbers chuse,
Sweet as the British Colin's Mourning Muse;
Could I, like him, in tuneful grief excel,
And mourn like Stella for her Astrophel ;
Then might I raise my voice, (secure of kill)
And with melodious woe the vallies fill;
The liftning echo on my song should wait,
And hollow rocks Pastora's name repeat;
Each whistling wind and murm'ring stream should tell,
How lov'd she liv'd, and how lamented fell.
Wert thou with ev'ry bay and laurel crown'd,
And high as Pan himself in song renown'd,
Yet would not all thy art avail to show
Verse worthy of her name or of our woe:
But such true passion in thy face appears,
In thy pale lips, thick fighs, and gushing tears,
Such tender forrow in thy heart I read,
As shall supply all skill, if not exceed.
Then leave this common form of dumb distress,
Each vulgar grief can fighs and tears express;
In sweet complaining notes thy passion vent,
And not in fighs, but words explaining fighs, lament.
Wild be my words, Menalcas, wild my thought,
Artless as Nature's notes in birds untaught :