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The shepherd wonder'd at the just replies, At first mistaken for the vocal breeze; But when he found his little rival near Imbibing music both at eye and car, With a sublimer touch he swept the lute, A summons to the musical dispute. The summons she receiv’d, resolv'd to try, And daring, warbled out a bold reply. Now sweetest thoughts the gentle swain inspire, And with a dying softness tune the lyre; Echo the vernal music of the woods, Warble the murmurs of the falling floods. Thus sweet he sings, but sweetly sings in vain, For Philomela breathes a softer strain; With easier art she modulates each note, More nat'ral music melting in her throat, Much he admir'd the magic of her tongue, But more to find his lute and harp outdone. And now to loftier airs he tunes the strings, And now to loftier airs his echo sings; Though loud as thunder, though as swift as thought, She reach'd the swelling, caught the flying note; In trembling treble, now in solemn bass, Slie show'd how nature could his art surpass. Amaz'd, at length; with rage the shepherd burn'd, His admiration into anger turn'd; Inflam'd, with emulating pride he stood, And thus defy'd the charmer of the wood:
And wilt thou still my music imitate?
Dying she fell, and as the strains expire, Breath'd out her soul in anguish on the lyre; Dissolv'd in transport, she resign'd her breath, And gain’d a living conquest by her death.
Close to Partlet perch'd on high,
Jocund that the morning's nigh.
Shadows, nurs'd by night, retire;
Paints with gold the village spire.
3. Philomel forsakes the thorn,
Plaintive where she prates at night, And the lark, to meet the morn,
Soars beyond the shepherd's sight.
4. From the low-roof'd cottage ridge,
See the chatt'ring swallow spring; Darting through the one-arch'd bridge, Quick she dips her dappled wing.
Gently greets the morning gale:
(Restless till her task be done) Now the busy bee's employ'd Sipping dew before the sun.
7. Trickling through the crevic'd rock,
Where the limpid stream distills, Sweet refreshment waits the flock When 'tis sun-drove from the hills.
8. Colin's for the promis'd corn
(Ere the harvest hopes are ripe) Anxious;-whilst the huntsman's horn, Boldly sounding, drowns his pipe,
9. Sweet,- sweet, the warbling throng
On the white emblossom'd spray! Nature's universal song
Echoes to the rising day.
Now the noontide radiance glows;
From the fierce meridian heat Shelter'd by the branching pines Pendent o'er his grassy seat.
12. Now the flock forsakes the glade
Where uncheck'd the sun-beams fall; Sure to find a pleasing shade By the ivy'd abbey wall.
13. Echo in her airy round,
O'er the river, rock, and hill, Cannot catch a single sound, Save the clack of yonder mill.
14. Cattle court the zephyrs bland,
Where the streamlet wanders cool; Or with languid silence stand
Midway in the marshy pool