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POEMS BY MR. GAY.
INSCRIBED TO MR. POPE, 1713
: -Securi prælia ruris
Here blooming hea lt hexerts her gentle reign,
And ftrings the finews of th' industrious swair. You, who the sweets of rural life have known, Soon as the morning lark salutes the day, Despise th' ungrateful hurty of the town; Through dewy fields I take my frequent way, In Windsor groves your easy hours employ, Where I behold che farmer's early care And, undisturbid, yourself and muse enjoy, In the revolving labours of the year. Thames liftens to thy Itrains, and silent flowe,' When the fresh spring in all her state is crown't And no rude wind through rustling ofiers blows; And high luxuriant grass o'erspreads the ground, While all his wondering nymphs around thee The labourer with a bending scythe is seen, throng,
Shaving the surface of the waving green; To hear the Syrens warble in thy fong.
Of all her native pride difrobes the land, But I, who ne'er was blest by fortune's hand, And meads lays walte before his sweeping hand; Nor brighten'd ploughshares in paternal land, While with the mounting sun the meadow glowi, Long in the noily town have been immur'd, The fading herbage round he loosely throws : Respir'd its smoke, and all its cares endur'd, But, if some sign portend a lasting Tower, Where news and politics divide mankind, Th' experienc'd swain foresees the coming hour; And schemes of state involve th' uneasy mind; His fun-burnt hands the scattering fork forsake, Jadion embroils the world; and every tongue
And ruddy damsels ply the saving rake; Is mov'd by flattery, or with scandal hung : In rising hills the fragrant barvest grows, Friendship, for fylvan shades, the palace Ries, And spreads along the field in equal rows. (gains, Where all must yield to interest's dearer sich Now when the height of heaven bright Phæbus Lach rival Machiavel with envy burns,
And level rays cleave wide the thirsty plains, And honesty forfakes them all by turns ;
When heifers seek the shade and cooling lake, While calumny upon each party's thrown, And in the middle pach-way basks the snake; Which both promote, and both alike disown. O lead me, guard me from the sultry hours, Fatigu'd at last, a calm retreat I chose,
Hide me, ye forests, in your closest bowers, And footh'd my harafs'd mind with sweet repose, where the tall oak his spreading arms entwines, Where fields and fades, and the refreshing clime, and with the beech a mutual shade combines ; Inspire tbc sylvan fong, and prompt my rhyme. Wherefowsthe murmuring brook, inviting dreams, Mjmusefall rose throughflowery meads andplains, Where bordering hazel overhangs the streams, And deck with Rural Sports her native trains; Whose rolling current, winding round and round, And the same road ambitiously pursue,
With frequent falls makes all the wood resound; Frequented by the Mantuan (wain and you. Upon the mossy couch my limbs 1 caft, 'Tis not that rural sports alone invite,
And e'en at noon the sweets of evening taste. But all the grateful country breathes delight; Here I peruse the Mantuan's Georgic Arains,
And learn the labours of Italian (wains; This poem received many material corredions from In every page I see new landscapes rise, tk satbu apier it was for publifbedo
And all Hesperia opens to my eyes
I wander o'er the various rural toil,
When floating clouds their spongy fleeces drain, And know the nature of each different foil: Troubling the streams with swilt descending rain; This waving field is gilded o'er with corn, And waters tumbling down the mountain's fide, "That Spreading trees with blushing fruit adorn : Bear the loose foil into the swelling ride; Here I furvey the purple vintage grow,
Then soon as vernal gales begin to rise, Climb round the poles, and rise in graceful row: And drive the liquid burthen through the kies, Now I behold the steed curvet and bound,
The fisher to the neighbouring current speeds, And paw with reftless honf the smoking ground: Whose rapid surface purls unknown to weeds : The dew-lap'd bull now chafes along the plain, Upon a riling border of the brook While buruing love ferments in every vein; Ho lits him down, and tics the treacherous hook ; His well-arni'd front against his rival aims, Now expectation cheers his cager thought, And by the dint of war bis mistress claims : His bolom glows with treasures yet uncaught, The careful infe& 'midi his works I view, Before his eyes a banquet seenis to ftand, Now from the flowers exhaust the fragant dew; Where every guest applauds his skilful hand. With golden treasure's load his little thighs,
Far up the itream the twisted hair he throws,
He greedily sucks in the twining bait,
Or when the ploughman leaves the talk of day, Now, happy fiherman, now twitch the line !
And fear forbids, while hunger does ipvie. Far in the deep the sun his glory hides,
Those baits will be reward the fither's pains, A freak of gold the sea and sky divides : Whose polish'd rails a fhining yellow ftains: The purple clouds their amber linings fow, Cleaniç ihem from filth, to give a tempting glofs, And cdg'd with fame rolls every wave below : Cherish the fully'd reptile race with moss; Here pensive I behold the fading light,
'Amid the verdant bed they twine, they toll, And o'er the distant billow lose my fight. And from their bodies wipe their native loil. Now night in silent state begins to rise,
But when the fun displays his gracious beams, And twinkling orbs bestrow th' uncloudy skies; And shallow rivers flow with filver trcams, Her borrow'd lustre growing Cyrhia lends, Then the deceit the scaly breed furvey, And on the main a glittering path extends: Bask in the sun, and look into the day : Millions of worlds hang in the spacious air, You now a more delusive art must try, Which round their funs their annual circles steer ; And tempt their hunger with the curicus fly. Sweet contemplation elevates iny fense,
To frame the little animal, provide While I survey the works of providence.
All the gay hues that wait on female pride; O could the muse in loftier Itrains rehearse Let nature guide thee ; sometimes golden wire The glorious Author of the universe,
The shining bellies of the fly require ; who
reins the winds, gives the vast occan bounds, The peacock's plumes thy tackle must not fail, And circumscribes the floating worlds their Nor the dear purchase of the sable's tail. rounds ;
Each gaudy bird fome Nendur tribute brings, My soul should overflow in songs of praise, And lends the growing infect proper wings : And my Creator's name inspire my lays ! Silks of all colours must their aid impart, As in successive course the seasons roll,
And every fur promote the fisher's art. So circling pleasures recreate the soul.
So the gay lady, with excesive care When genial spring a living warmth bestows, Borrows the pride of land, of sea, and air ; And o'er the year her yerdant mantle throws, Furs, pearls, and plumes, the glittering thing dif No swelling inundacion hides the grounds, But crystal currents glide within their bounda; Dazzles our eyes, and cafy hearts betrays. The finny brood their wonted haunts forfake. Mark'well the various seasons of the year, Float in the sun, and skim along the lake; How the succeeding insect race appear; With frequent leap they range the shallow streams, in this revolving moon one colour reigns, Their filver coats reflect the dazzling beams. Which in the next the fickle trout disdains, Now let the fisherman his toils prepare,
Oft have I seen the skilful angler try And arm himself with every watery foare; The various colours of the treacherous fly, [brook, His hooks, his lines, per use with careful eye, When he with fruitless pain hath skimmid the Increase his tackle, and his rod cctie.
And the coy fiih rejects the skipping hook,
He shakes the boughs that on the margin grow, Nor drain I ponds, the golden carp to take,
Let me, less cruel, cast the feather'd hook,
CANTO II. Let not thy wary step advance too rear. While all thy hope hangs on a single hair; Now, sporting mufe, draw in the flowing reins, The new-form'd infe & on the water moves,
Leave the clear streams awhile for sunny plains. The speckled trout the curious snare approves ; Shonld you the various arms and toils rehearse, Upon the curling furface let it glide,
And all the fisherman adorn thy' verse;
And in its spacious arch inclose the fea;
Then haul the plunging load upon the land, The scaly shoals float by, and, seiz'd with fear, And with the soal and turbot hide the land ; Behold their fellows told in chinner air ;
It would extend the growing theme too long, Bat foon they leap, and catch the swimming bait, And tire the reader with the watery long. Plunge on the hook, and Mare an equal fate. Let the kcen hunter from the chace refrain,
When a brik gale against the current blows, Nor render all the ploughman's labour vain, And all the watery plain in wrinkles flows, When Ceres pours out plenty from her horn, Then let the fisherman his art repeat,
And clothes the fields with golden ears of corn. Where bubbling eddies favour the deceit. Now, now, ye reapers, to your talk repair, If an enormous salmon chance to spy
Hatte! fave the product of the bounteous year : The wanton errors of the floating fly,
To the wide-gathering hook long furrows yield, He lifts his filver gills above the flood,
And rising fheaves extend through all the field. And greedily fucks in th' unfaithful food;
Yet, if for Sylvan sports thy bofom glow, Then downward plunges with the fraudsul prey, Let thy fleet greyhound urge his flying foc. And bears with joy the little spoil away:
With what delight the rapid course I view! Soon in fmart pain he feels the dire mistake, How does my eye the circling race pursue! Lashes the wave, and beats the foamy lake; He snaps deceitful air with empty jaws; With fudden rage he now aloft appears,
The subtle hare darts swift bencath his paws; And in his eye convulsive anguish bears ;
She flies, she stretches, now with nimble beund And now again, impatient of the wound, Eager he presses on, but overfhoots his ground; He rolls and wreaths his shining body round; She turns, he winds, and soon regains the way, Then headlong shoots beneath the daihing tide,
Then tears with gory mouth the foreaming prey. The trembling fins the boiling wave divide. What various sport does rural life afford! (board ! Now hope exalis the fifher's beating heart, What upbought dainties heap the wholesome Now he turnis pale, and fears his dubious art; Nor less the spaniel, kilful to betray, He views the tumbling fish with longing eyes, Rewards the fowler with the feather'd prey. While the line ftretches with th' vowieldy prize; Soon as the labouring horfe, with swelling veins, Each motion humours with his steady hands, Hath safely hous'd the farmer's doubtful gains, And one flight hair the mighty bulk commands : To sweet repast th' unwary patridge flies, Till, tir'd at laft, despoil'd of all his ftrength, With joy and the scatter'd harvest lies; The game athwart the stream unfolds his length. Wandering in plenty, danger he forgets, He now, with pleasure, views the galping prize Nor dreads the flavery of entangling nets. Grath his sharp teeth, and roll his blood-thot eyes; The subtle dog scours with fagacions nose Then draws him to the shore, with artful care, Along the field, and snuffs each breeze that blows; And lifts his noftrils in the fiekening air; Against the wind he takes his prudent way, Upon the burthen'd stream he floating lies, While the strong gale dire&s him to the prey ; Stretches his quivering fins and galping dies.
Now the warm fcent assures the covey near, Would you preserve a numerous fiony race ; He treads with caution, and he points with fear; Let your fierce dogs the ravenous otter chase Then (left fome fentry.fowl the fraud descry, (Th' amphibious monfter ranges all the shores, And bid his fellows from the danger fly) Darts through the waves, and every haunt ex Clofe to the ground in expectation lies, plores) :
Till in the snare the fluttering covey rise. Or let the gis his roving steps betray,
Soon as the blushing light begins to spread, And lave from hoftile jaws the scaly prey.
And glancing Phoebus gilds the mountain's head, I never wander where the bordering recds His early flight th' ill fated partridge takes, O'erlock the muddy stream, whose rangling weeds And quits the friendly felter of the brakes. Perplex the fisher; I nor choose to bear
Or, when the sun casts a declining ray, The thievith nightly net, nor barbed spear;
And drives his chariot down the western way
Let your obfequious ranger search around, Now stratagems and doubling wiles the trics, Where yellow stubble withers on the ground: Now circling turns, and now at large the flies; Nor will the roving spy direa in vain,
Till spent at last, she pants, and heaves for breath, But numerous coveys gratify thy pain.
Then lays her down, and waits devouring death. When the meridian sun contracts the fhade,
But itay, adventurous muse ! haft chou the And frisking heifers seek the cooling glade;
force Or when the country floats with sudden rains, To wind the twisted horn, to guide the horse! Or driving mists deface the moisten'd plains; To keep the seat unmov'd, halt thou the skill, In vain his toils th' unskilful fowler tries, O'er the high gate, and down the headlong hill? While in thick woods the feeding partridge lies. Canst thou the stag's laborious chace direa,
Nor must the sporting verse the gun forbeas, Or the strong for through all his arts detect! But what's the fowler's be the muses' care. The theme deniands a more experienc'd lay : See how the well-taught pointer leads the way: Ye mighty hunters ! spare this weak eslay. The scent grows warm; he Atops ; he fprings the O happy plains, remote from war's alarms, prey ;
And all the ravages of hostile arms ! The fluttering coveys from the stubble rise, And happy shepherds, who, secure from fear, And on swift wing divide the founding skies; On open downs preserve your fleecy care: The scattering lead pursues the certain fighe, Whole spacious barns groan with increaling store, And death in thunder overtakes their fight. And whirling flails disjoint the cracking foor! Cool breathes the morning air, and winter's hand No barbarous soldier, bent on cruel spoil, Spreads wide her hoary mantle o'er the land ; Spreads desolation o'er your fertile foil; Now to the copse thy lefser spaniel take, No trampling steed lays waste the ripen'd grain, Tcach him to range the ditch, and force the brake; Nor crackling fires devour the promis'd gain : Not closest coverts can protect the game: No flaming beacons caft their blaze afar, Hark! the deg opens; take thy certain aim. The dreadful signal of invasive war: The woodcock futters; how he wavering Alics ! No trumpet's clangour wounds the mother's ear, The wood resounds; he wheels, he drops, he dies. And calls the lover from his swooning fair.
The towering hawk let future poets ling, What happiness the rural maid attends, Who terror bears upon his soaring wing : In cheerful labour while each day she spends! Let them on high the frighted hern survey, She gratefully receives what Heaven has fent, And lofty numbers paint their airy fray.
And, rich in poverty, enjoys content. Nor shall the mounting lark the muse detain, (Such happiness, and such unblemish'd fame, That greets the morning with his early strain ; Ne'er glad the bosom of the courtly dame): When, 'midft his song, the cwinkling glass be She never feels the spleen's imagin'd pains, trays,
Nor melancholy stagnates in her veins;
And for no glaring equipage she lighs :
No midnight masquerade her beauty wears, And edges eastern clouds with rosy light, And health, not paint, the fading bloom repairo. 'The healthy huntsman, with the cheerful horn, If love's soft passion in her bosom reiga, Summons the dogs, and greets the dappled morn; an equal paslion warms her happy lwain ; The jocund thunder wakes th' enliven'd hounds, No homebred jars her quiet face control, They rouse from Deep, and answer sounds for Nor watchful jealousy torments her foul; founds;
With fecret joy she sees her little race Wide through the furfy field their rot they take, Hang on her breast
, and her small cottage grace, Their bleeding bosoms force the thorny brake : The fleecy ball their busy fingers cull, The flying game their smoking nostrils trace, Or from the spindle draw the lengthening wool; No bounding hedge obftruAs their eager pace; Thus flow her hours with conftant peace of mind, The distant mountains echo from afar,
Till age the latest thread of life unwind. And hanging woods resound the flying war : Ye happy fields, unknown to noise and frise, The tuneful noise the sprightly courser hears, The kind rewarders of industrious life; Paws the green turf, and pricks his trembling ears; Ye Mady woods, where once I us'd to rove, The flacken'd rein now gives him all his speed, Alike indulgent to the muse and love ; Back flies the rapid ground beneath the steed; Ye murmuring Areams that in meanders roll, Hills, dalos, and foreits, far behind remain, (train. The sweet composers of the pensive foul; While the warm scene draws on the decp-mouth'd Farewell !—The city calls me from your boweris Where shall the trembling hare a shelter find? Farewell, amusing thoughts and peacefal hours: Hark! douch alvartcs in each gult of wind :
IN THREE BOOKS.
-ένθα δέ οι θελκτήρια πάντα τέτυκτο.
Πάρφασις, ή τ’ έκλεψε νόον πύκα Πες Φρονεόντων:
Hom. Iliad. xiv. 21%.
Now call'd more powersul presents to Iris aid,
And, to seduce the mistress, brib'd the maid ; I SING that graceful toy, whose waving play Smooth flattery in her softer hours apply'd, With gentle gales relieves the sultry day; The surelt charm to bend the force of pride : Not the wide ran by Persian dames display'd, But still unmov'd remains the scornful dame, Which o'er their beauty casts a grateful Made; Insults her captive, and derides his fame. Nor that long known in China's arcful land, When Strephon faw his vows dispers'd in air, Which, while it cools the face, fatigues the hand: He fought in folitude to lose his care; Nor Phall the muse in Asian climates rove, Relief ia solitude he fought in vain, To seek in Indoftan some spicy grove,
It serv'd, like music, but to feed his pain. Where, stretch'd at ease, the pancing lady lies, To Venus now the flighted boy complains, To thun the fervor of meridian skies,
And calls the goddess in these cender strains : While (weating llaves catch every breeze of air, O pocent queen: from Neptune's empire sprungi And with wide-Spreading fans refresh the fair ; Whole glorious birth admiring Nereid. sung, No busy gnats her pleasing dreams molest, Who'midst the fragrant plains of Cyprus rove, Inflame her cheek, or ravage o'er her brcalt; Whose radiant presence gilds the Paphian grove, But artificial zephyrs round her fis,'
Where to thy name a thousand altars rise, And mitigate the fever of the sky.
And curling clouds of incense hide the skies :
Ev'n while Cydippe to Diana bows,
The lover, taught by thee, her pride o'ercame; Like a clos'd fan, nor Aretches wide its veins, She reads his oaths, and feels an equal flame. But, as the seasons in their circle run,
Oh, may my flame, like thine, Acontius, prove Ópes its ribb'd surface to the nearer sun: May Venus di&tate, and reward my love! Bencach chis hade the weary peasant lics, When crowds of suitors Atalanta try'd, Plucks the broad leaf, and bids the breczes rise. She wealth and beauty, wit and fame defy'd; Stay, wandering muse! nor rove in foreign Each daring lover with adventurous pace climes;
Pursued his wishes in the dangerous race ; To thy own native more confine thy rhymes. Like the swift hind, the bounding damsel diere Afit, ye Nine, your loftief notes employ; Strains to the goal, the distanc'd lover dics. Say what celestial skill contrir'd the toy ; Hippomenes, O Venus! was thy care, Say how this instrument of love began,
You taughe the swain to stay the flying fair And in immortal trains display the Fan,
Thy golden present caught che virgin's eyes; Strephon had long confels’d his amorous pain, She stoops; he pushes on, and gains the prize. Which gay Corinna rallied with disdain : Say, Cyprian dcity, what gift, what art, Sometimes in broken words he figh'd his care, Shall humble into love Corinna's heart? Look'd pale, and trembled when he view'd the fair; ) If only fonie bright toy can charm her light, With bolder freedoms now the youth advanc'd, Teach me what present may suspend her flight. He dresi'4. he laughid, he fpps be shynı'd, he Thus the defponding youth his flame declares : danc'di
the goddess with a agd his paflivá hears