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Hunting the Hare.
The thistly lawn ; the thick entangled broom ; 405
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
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
Hunting the Stag.
Hot-steaming, up behind him come again
Of this enough. But if the sylvan youth,
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
Your sportive fury, pitiless, to pour
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 ;
The tankards foam ; and the strong table groans
-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
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,