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Hunting the Hare.

The thistly lawn ; the thick entangled broom ; 405
Of the same friendly hue, the withered fern ;
The fallow.ground laid open to the sun,

ī
Concoctive ; and the nodding sandy bank,
Hung o'er the mazes of the mountain brook.
Vain is her best precaution; though she sits 410
Concealed, with folded ears ; unsleeping eyes,
By Nature raised to take the horizon in ;
And head couched close betwixt her hairy feet,
In act to spring away. The scented dew
Betrays her early labyrinth ; and deep,

415 In scattered 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 amazed, and all The savage soul of

game

is
up at once :

420
The pack full opening, various ; the shrill horn
Resounded from the hills ; the neighing steed,
Wild for the chase ; and the loud hunter's shout :
O'er a weak, harmless, flying creature, all
Mixed in mad tumult, and discordant joy.

425 The stag, too, singled from the herd, where long He ranged the branching monarch of the shades, Before the tempest drives. At first, in speed, He, sprightly, puts his faith ; and roused by fear, Gives all his swift aërial soul to flight; Against the breeze he darts, that way the more

In To leave the lessening murderous "cry behind : Deception short ! though fleeter han the winds Blown o'er the keen-aired mountain by the north, He bursts the thickets, glances through the glades, 435 And plunges deep into the wildest wood ; If slow, yet şure, adhesive to the track

430

Hunting the Stag.

Hot-steaming, up behind him come again
The inhuman rout, and from the shady depth
Expel him, circling through his every shift. 440
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

445
To lose the scent, and lave his burning sides :
Oft seeks the herd; the watchful herd, alarmed,
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 toil.
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, 455
Blood-happy, hang at his fair jutting chest,
And mark his beauteous checkered sides with gore.

Of this enough. But if the sylvan youth,
6
Whose fervent blood boils into violence,
Must have the chase ; behold, despising flight,

460
The roused-up lion, resolute, and slow,
Advancing full on the portended 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

465 Vindictive fix, and let the ruffian die : Dr, 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 470

Fox Chase.

Your sportive fury, pitiless, to pour
Loose on the nightly robber of the fold :
Him, from his craggy winding haunts unearthed,
Let all the thunder of the chase pursue.
Throw the broad ditch behind you ; o'er the hedge 175
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

480 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,

485 Pour all your speed into the rapid game. For happy he ! who tops the wheeling chase ; Has every maze evolved, and every guile Disclosed ; who knows the merits of the pack ; Who saw the villain seized, and dying hard,

490 Without complaint, though by an hundred mouths Relentless torn : O glorious he, beyond His daring peers ! when the retreating horn Calls them to ghostly halls of grey renown, With woodland honours graced ; the fox's fur, 495 Depending decent from the roof; and spread Round the drear walls, with antic figures fierce, The stag's large front: he then is loudest heard, When the night staggers with severer toils, With feats Thessalian Centaurs never knew,

500 And their repeated wonders shake the dome.

But first the fuel'd chimney blazes wide ;

Feasting

$10

The tankards foam ; and the strong table groans
Beneath the smoking sirloin, stretched immense
From side to side; in which, with desperate knife, 50.5
They deep incision make, and talk the while
Of England's glory, ne'er to be defaced
While hence they borrow vigour: or amain
Into the pasty plunged, at intervals,
If stomach keen can intervals allow,
Relating all the glories of the chase.
Then sated Hunger bids his brother Thirst-
Produce the mighty bowl ; the mighty bowl,
Swelled high with fiery juice, steams liberal round
A potent gale, delicious, as the breath

515
Of Maia to the love-sick shepherdess,
On violets diffused, while soft she hears
Her panting shepherd stealing to her arms.
Nor wanting is the brown October, drawn,
Mature and perfect, from his dark retreat

-520 Of thirty years; and now his honest front Flames in the light refulgent, not afraid Even with the vineyards best produce to vie. To cheat the thirsty moments, whist å while Walks his dull round beneath a cloud of smoke, 525 Wreathed, fragrant, from the pipe ; or the quick dice, In thunder leaping from the box, awake The sounding ganimon : while romp-loving miss Is hauled about, in gallantry robust. At last these puling idlenesses laid

530 Aside, frequent and full, the dry divan Close in firm circle ; and set, ardent, in For serious drinking. Nor evasion sly, Nor sober shift, is to the puking wretch

Drinking

Indulged apart ; but earnest, brimming bowls

535 Lave every soul, the table floating round, And pavement, faithless to the fuddled foot. Thus as they swim in mutual swill, the talk, Vociferous at once from twenty tongues, Reels fast from theme to theme ; from horses, hounds, 540 To church or mistress, politics or ghost, In endless mazes, intricate, perplexed. Meantime, with sudden interruption, loud, The impatient catch bursts from the joyous heart; That moment touched is every kindred soul : 545 And opening in a full-mouthed Cry of joy, The laugh, the slap, the jocund curse go round; While from their slumbers shook, the kennel'd hounds Mix in the music of the day again. As when the tempest, that has vexed the deep 550 The dark night long, with fainter murmurs falls, So gradual sinks their mirth. Their feeble tongues, Unable to take up the cụmbrous word, Lie quite dissolved. Before their maudlin eyes, Seen dim, and blue, the double tapers dance,

555 Like the sun wading through the misty sky. Then, sliding soft, they drop. Confused above, Glasses and bottles, pipes and gazetteers, As if the table even itself was drunk, Lie a wet broken scene ; and wide, below,

560 Is heaped the social slaughter ; where astride The lubber Power in filthy triumph sits, Slumbrous, inclining still from side to side, And steeps them drenched in potent sleep till morn. Perhaps some doctor, of tremendous paunch, 565 Awful and deep, a black abyss of drink,

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