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WRITTEN AT WINSLADE, IN HAMPSHIRE.
WINSLADE, thy beech-capt hills, with waving grain
Mantled, thy chequer'd views of wood and lawn,
Whilom could charm, or when the gradual dawni
'Gan the grey mist with orient purple stain,
Or evening glimmer'd o'er the folded train :
Her fairest landscapes whence my Muse has drawn,
Too free with servile courtly phrase to fawn,
Too weak to try the buskin's stately strain :
Yet now no more thy slopes of beech and corn,
Nor views invite, sincè He far distant strays,
With whom I trac'd their sweets at eve and morn,
From Albion far, to cull Hesperian bays;
In this alone they please, howe'er forlorn,
That still they can recall those happier days.
When late the trees were stript by winter pale,
Young Health, a dryad-maid in vesture green,
Or like the forest's silver-quiver'd queen,
On airy uplands met the piercing gale ;
And, ere its earliest echo shook the vale,
Watching the hunter's joyous horn was seen.
But since, gay-thron'd in fiery chariot sheen,
Summer has smote each daisy-dappled dale,
She to the cave retires, high-arch'd beneath
The fount that laves proud Isis' towery brim :
And now, all glad the temperate air to breathe,
While cooling drops distil from arches dim,
Binding her dewy locks with sedgy wreath,
She sits amid the quire of Naiads trim.
WRITTEN ON A BLANK LEAF OF DUGDALE'S MONASTIcon.
Deem not, devoid of elegance, the sage,
By fancy's genuine feelings unbeguil'd,
Of painful pedantry the poring child,
Who turns, of these proud domes, th' historic page,
Now sunk by time, and Henry's fiercer rage.
Think'st thou the warbling Muses never smil'd
On his lone hours ? Ingenuous views engage
His thoughts, on themes, unclassic falsely styl’d,
Intent. While cloister'd Piety displays
Her mouldering roll, the piercing eye explores
New manners, and the pomp of elder days,
Whence culls the pensive bard his pictur'd stores.
Nor rough, nor barren, are the winding ways
Of hoar Antiquity, but strown with flowers.
Thou noblest monument of Albion's isle !
Whether by Merlin's aid from Scythia's shore,
To Amber's fatal plain Pendragon bore,
Huge frame of giant-hands, the mighty pile,
T'entomb his Britons slain by Hengist's guile;
Or Druid priests, sprinkled with human gore,
Taught ʼmid thy massy maze their mystic lore;
Or Danish chiefs, enrich'd with savage spoil,
To Victory's idol vast, an unhewn shrine,
Rear'd the rude heap; or in thy hallow'd round,
Repose the kings of Brutus' genuine line ;
Or here those kings in solemn state were crown'd;
Studious to trace thy wondrous origine,
We muse on many an ancient tale renown'd.
WRITTEN AFTER SEEING WILTON-HOUSE.
From Pembroke's princely dome, where mimic Art
Decks with a magic hand the dazzling bowers,
Its living hues where the warm pencil pours,
And breathing forms from the rude marble start,
How to life's humbler scene can I depart!
My breast all glowing from those gorgeous towers,
In my low cell how cheat the sullen hours !
Vain the complaint: for Fancy can impart
(To Fate superior and to Fortune's doom)
Whate'er adorns the stately-storied hall :
She, 'mid the dungeon's solitary gloom,
Can dress the Graces in their Attic pall ;
Bid the green landscape's vernal beauty bloom,
And in bright trophies clothe the twilight wall.