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Directions for Fly-Fishing.
Reverted plays in undulating flow,
There throw, nice-judging, the delusive fly ;
And, as you lead it round in artful curve,
With eye attentive mark the springing game.
Strait as above the surface of the flood
They wanton rise, or urged by hunger, leap,
Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook :
Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank,
And to the shelving shore slow-dragging some,
With various hand proportioned to their force.
If yet too young, and easily deceived,
A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod,
Him, piteous of his youth and the short-space
He has enjoyed the vital light of Heaven,
Soft disengage, and back into the stream
The speckled captive throw. But should you lure
From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots
Of pendent trees, the monarch of the brook,
Behoves you then to ply your
Long time he, following cautious, scans the fly ;
And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft
The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear.
At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun,
Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death,
With sullen plunge. At once he darts along,
Deep struck, and runs out all the lengthened line ;-
Then seeks the farthest ooze, the sheltering weed,
The caverned bank, his old secure abode ;
And fies aloft, and flounces round the pool,
Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand,
That feels him still, yet to his furious course
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now
Beauties of the Landscape.
Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage :
Till floating broad upon his breathless side,
And to his fate abandoned, to the shore,
You gaily drag your unresisting prize.
pass the temperate hours: but when the sun 440.
Shakes from his noon-day throne the scattering clouds,
Even shooting listless languor thro' the deeps $
Then seek the bank where flowering elders crowd,
Where scattered wild the lily of the vale
Its balmy essence breathes, where cowslips hang 445
The dewy head, where purple violets lurk,
With all the lowly children of the shade :
Or lie reclined beneath yon spreading ash,
Hung o'er the steep ; whence, borne on liquid wing,
The sounding culver shoots ; or where the hawk, 450
High, in the beetling cliff, his airy builds.
There let the classic page thy fancy lead
Thro' rural scenes, such as the Mantuan swain
Paints in the matchless harmony of song.
Or catch thyself the landscape, gliding swift 455
Athwart imagination's vivid eye ;
Or, by the vocal woods and waters lulled,
And lost in lonely musing, in the dream,
Confused, of careless solitude, where mix
Ten thousand wandering images of things,
Soothe every gust of passion into peace ;
All but the swellings of the softened heart,
That waken, not disturb, the tranquil mind.
Behold yon breathing prospect bids the muse,
Throw all her beauty forth. But who can paint 465
Like Nature? Can imagination boast,
Amid its gây creation, hues like hers?
Or can it mix them with that matchless skill,
And lose them in each other, as appears
In every bud that blows ? If fancy then
Unequal fails beneath the pleasing task,
Ah what shall language do ? ah where find words
T'inged with so many colours; and whose power,
To life approaching, may perfume my lays
With that fine oil, those aromatic gales,
475 That inexhaustive flow continual round?
Yet, tho successless, will the toil delight.
Come then, ye virgins and ye youths, whose hearts
Have felt the raptures of refining love ;
And thou, AMANDA, come, pride of my song! 480.
Formed by the Graces, loveliness itself!
Come with those downcast eyes, sedate and sweet,
Those looks demure, that deeply peirce the soul,
Where, with the light of thoughtful reason mixed, · Shines lively fancy and the feeling heart :
Oh come! and while the rosy-footed May
Steals blushing on, together let us tread
The morning-dews, and gather in their prime
Fresh-blooming flowers, to grace thy braided hair,
And thy loved bosom that improves their sweets. 490
See, where the winding vale its lavish stores,
Irriguous, spreads. See, how the lily drinks
The latent rill, scarce oozing thro' the grass,
Of growth luxuriant; or the humid bank,
In fair profusion decks. Long let us walk,
Where the breeze blows from yon extended field
Of blossomed beans. Arabia cannot boast
A fuller gale of joy, than, liberal, thence
Breathes thro' the sense, and takes the ravished soul
Nor is the mead unworthy of thy foot,
Full of fresh verdure, and unnumbered flowers,
The negligence of Nature, wide, and wild ;
Where, undisguised by mimic Art, she spreads
Unbounded beauty to the roving eye.
Here their delicious task the fervent bees,
In swarming millions, tend : around, athwart,
Thro' the soft air, the busy nations fly,
Cling to the bud, and with inserted tube,
Suck its pure essence, its ethereal soul ;
And oft, with bolder wing, they soaring dare
The purple heath, or where the wild thyme grows,
And yellow load them with the luscious spoil.
At length the finished garden to the view,
Its vistas open, and its alleys green.
Snatched thro' the verdant maze, the hurried eye
Distracted wanders ; now the bowery walk
Of covert close, where searce a speck of day
Falls on the lengthened gloom, protracted sweeps:
Now meets the bending sky ; the river now
Dimpling along, the breezy-ruffled lake,
The forest darkening round, the glittering spire,
Th' ethereal mountain, and the distant main.
But why so far excursive ? when at hand,
Along these blushing borders, bright with dew,
And in yon mingled wilderness of flowers,
Fair-handed Spring unbosoms every grace ;
Chrows out the snow-drop, and the crocus first;
Che daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue,
And polyanthus of unnumbered dyes ;
Che yellow wall-flower, stained with iron brown ;
And lavish stock that scents the garden round :
From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed,
Anemonies ; auriculas, enriched
With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves ;
And full ranunculas, of glowing red.
Then comes the tulip-race, where Beauty plays
Her idle freaks ; from family diffused
To family, as flies the father dust,
The varied colours run ; and while they break
On the charmed eye, th' exulting florist marks, 540
With secret pride, the wonders of his hand.
No gradual bloom is wanting ; from the bud,
First-born of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes :
Nor hyacinths, of purest virgin white,
Low bent, and blushing inwards ; nor jonquils, 545
Of potent fragrance ; nor Narcissus fair,
As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still;
Nor broad carnations, nor gay-spotted pinks ;
Nor, slowered from every bush, the damask rose.
Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells,
550 With hues on hues expression cannot paint, The breath of Nature, and her endless bloom.
Hail, SOURCE OF BEING ! UNIVERSAL SOUL Of Heaven and earth! ESSENTIAL PRESENCE, hail ! To THEE I bend the knee ; to Thee my thoughts, 555 Continual, climb ; who, with a master-hand, Hast the great whole into perfection touched. By THEE the various vegetative tribes, Wrapt in a filmy net, and clad with leaves, Draw the live ether, and imbibe the dew.:
560 By Ther disposed into congenial soils, Stands each attractive plant, and sucks, and swells The juicy tide ; a twining mass of tubes.