« הקודםהמשך »
of the Italians and of Gay is equally tragical. There is something in the poetical Arcadia so remote from known reality and speculative possibility, that we can never support its representation through a long work. A pastoral of an hundred lines may be endured; but who will hear of sheep and goats, and myrtle bowers and purling rivulets, through five acts? Such scenes please Barbarians in the dawn of literature, and children in the dawn of life; but will be for the most part thrown away, as men grow wise, and nations grow learned,
Soon as the morning lark salutes the day,
Through dewy fields I take iny frequent way,
Where I behold the farmer's early care
In the revolving labours of the year.
When the fresh Spring in all her state is crown'l,
Aud high luxuriant grass v'ersprealls the ground, -Securi prælia ruris
The labourer with a bending scythe is seen,
Shaving the surface of the waving green;
Of all her native pride disrobes the land,
And meads lays waste before his sweeping hand; You, who the sweets of rural life have known,
While with the mounting Sun the meadow gloss, Despise th’ ungrateful hurry of the town;
The fading herbage round he loosely throws; In Windsor groves yo'ır easy hours employ,
But, if some sign portend a lasting shower, And, undisturbid, yourself and Muse enjoy.
Th' experienc'd swain foresees the coming hour; Thames listens to thy strains and silent flows,
His sun-burnt hands the scattering fork forsake, And no rude wind tirough rustling osiers blows;
| And ruddy damsels ply the saving rake; While all his wondering nymphs around thee
In rising hills the fragrant harvest grows, To hea, the Syrens warble in thy song. (throng,
And spreads along the field ir: equal rows. But I, who ne'er was blest by Fort ine's hand,
Now when the height of Heaven bright Phoebris Nor brightend ploughshares in paternal land,
And level rays cleave wide the thirsty plains, [gains, Long in the noisy town have been iinmur'd,
When heifers seek the shade and cooling lake, Respir'd its smoke, and all its cares endur'd;
And in the middle path-way basks the snake; Where news and politics divide mankind,
O lead me, guard me, from the sultry hours, And schemes of state involve th' uneasy mind :
Hide me, ye forests, in your closest bowers, Paction embroils the world ; and every tongue
Where the tall oak his spreading arms entwines. Is mov'd by flattery, or with scandal hung :
And with the beach a mutual shade combines; Friendship, for sylvan shades, the palace fies,
Where flows the murmuring brook, inviting dreams, Where all must yield to interest's dearer ties :
Where bordering hazle overhangs the streams, Each rival Machiavel with envy burns,
Whose rolling current, winding round and round, And honesty forsakes them all by turns;
With frequent fails makes all the woods resound; While calumny upon each party's thrown,
l'pon the mossy couch my limbs I cast, Which both promote, and both alike disown.
And e'en at noon the sweets of evening taste. Fatigu'd at last, a calm retreat I chose,
Here I peruse the Mantuan's Georgic strains, And sooth'd iny larass'd mind with sweet repose,
And learn the labours of Italian swains; Where fields and shades, and the refreshing clime,
In every page I see new landscapes rise, Inspire the sylvan song, and prompt my rhyme.
And all Hesperia opens to iny eyes; My Muse shall rove thro'flowery meads and plains,
I wander o'er the various rural tuil, And deck with rural sports her native strains ;
And know the nature of each difierent soil: And the same road ambitiously pursue,
This waving field is giidei o'er with corn, Frequented by the Mantuan swain and you.
That spreading trees with blushing fruit adorn: 'Tis not that rural sports alone invite,
Here I survey the purple vintage grow, But all the grateful country breathes delight;
Climb round the poles, and rise in grateful row : Here blooming Health exerts her gentle reign,
Now I behold the steed curvet and bound, And strings the sinews of th’industrious swain.
And paw with restless hoof the smoking ground: This poem received many material corrections The dewlap'd bull nor chales along the plain. from the anthor, after it was first published. While burning love ferments in every vein;
His well-arm'd front against his riral aims, | When, if or chance or hunger's powerful sway
Directs the roving trout this fatal way,
He greedily sucks in the twining bait, Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew; And tugs and nibbles the fallacious meat; With golden treasures load bis little thighs, Now, happy fisherman, now twitch the line ! And steer his distant journey through the skies; How thy rod bends! behold, the prize is thine! Some against hostile drones the hive defend,
Cast on the bark, he dies with gasping pains, Others with sweets the waxen cells distend,
And trickling blood his silver mail distains. Each in the toil his destin'd office bears,
You must not every worm promiscuous use, And in the little bulk a mighty soul appears. Judgment will tell the proper bait to choose :
Or when the ploughinan leaves the task of day, | The worm that draws a long immoderate size, And, trudging homeward, whistles on the way; The trout abhors, and the rank morsel flies; When the big-udder'd cows with patience staud, And, if too small, the naked fraud's in sight, Waiting the stroakings of the damsel's hand; And fear forbids, while hunger does invite. No warbling cheers the woods; the feather'd choir, | Those baits will test reward the fisher's pains, To court kind slumbers, to the sprays retire : | Whose polish'd tails a shining yellow stains : When no rude gale disturbs the sleeping trees, Cleanse them from filth, to give a templing gloss, Nor aspen leaves confess the gentlest breeze; Cherish the sully'd reptile race with moss; Engag'd in thought, to Neptune's bounds I stray, Amid the verdant bed they twine, they toil, To take my farewell of the parting day;
And from their bodies wipe their native soil. Far in the deep the Sun his glory hides,
But when the Sun displays his glorious beams, A streak of gold the sea and sky divides :
And shallow rivers flow with silver streams, The purple clouds their amber linings show,
Then the deceit the scaly breed survey, And, edg'd with flaie, rolls every wave below: Bask in the sun, and look into the day : Here pensive I behold the fading light,
You now a more delusive art must try, And o'er the distant billow lose my sight.
And tempt their hunger with the curious fly, Now Night in silent state begins to rise,
To frame the little animal, provide And twinkling orbs bestrow th' uncloudy skies; All the gay hues that wait on female pride ; Her borrow'd lustre growing Cynthia lends, Let Nature guide thee; sometimes golden wire And on the main a glittering path extends;
The shining bellies of the fly require; Millions of worlds hang in the spacious air,
The peacock's plumes thy tackle must not fail, Which round their suns their annual circles steer; | Nor the dear purchase of the sable's tail. Sweet contemplation elevates my sense,
Each gaudy bird some slender tribute brings, While I survey the works of Providence.
And lends the growing insect proper wings: O could the Muse in loftier strains rehearse
Silks of all colours must their aid impart,
And every fur promote the fisher's art.
Furs, pearls, and plumes, the glittering thing dis. And my Creator's name inspire my lays !
Dazzles our eyes, and easy hearts betrays. [plays, As in successive course the seasons roll,
Mark well the various seasons of the year, So circling pleasures recreate the soul.
How the succeeding insect race appear; When genial Spring a living warmth bestows, In this revolving Moon one colour reigns, And o'er the year her verdant mantle throws, Which in the next the fickle trout disdains. No swelling inundation hides the grounds,
Oft have I seen the skilful angler try But crystal currents glide within their bounds; The various colours of the treacherous fly; The finny brood their wonted haunts forsake, When he with fruitless pain hath skimm'd the brook, Float in the sun, and skim along the lake,
And the coy fish rejects the skipping hook, With frequent leap they range the shallow streams, He shakes the boughs that on the margin grow, Their silver coats reflect the dazzling beams.
Which o'er the stream a waving forest throw; Now let the fisherman his toils prepare,
When, if an insect fall, (his certain guide) And arm himself with every watery snare;
He gently takes him from the whirling tide; His hooks, his lines, peruse with careful eye, Examines well his form with curious eyes, Increase his tackle, and his rod re-tye.
His gaudy vest, bis wings, his horns, and size, When Boating clouds their spongy fleeces drain, Theu round his hook the chosen fur he winds, Troubling the streams with swift-descending rain ;) And on the back a speckled feather binds; And waters tumbling down the mountain's side, So just the colours shine through every part, Bear the loose soil into the swelling tide;
That Nature seems again to live in Art. Then soon as vernal gales begin to rise,
Let not thy wary step advance too near, And drive the liquid burthen through the skies, While all thy hopes hang on a single hair; The fisher to the neighbouring current speeds,
The new-form'd insect on the water moves, Whose rapid surface purls unknown to weeds : The speckled trout the curious snare approves; Upon a rising border of the brouk
Upon the curling surface let it glide,
Against the stream now gently let it play,
| The scaly shoals float by, and, seiz'd with fear, Where every guest applaude his skilful hand. Behold their fellows tost in thinner air ;
Far up the stream the twisted hair be throws, But soon they leap, and catch the swimming bait, Which down the murmuring current gently flows; | Plunge on the hook; and share an equal fata
When a brisk gale against the current blows, | Now, now, ye reapers, to your task repair, And all the watery plain in wrinkles tous,
Haste! save the product of the bouinteous year: Then let the fisherinan his art repeat,
To the wide-gatbering hook long furrows yield, Where bubbling erlies favour the deceit,
And rising sbeaves extend through all the field, If an enormous salmon chance to spy
Yet, if for sylvan sports thy bosom glow, The wanton errours of the floating fly,
Let thy fleet greyhound urge his flying foe. He lifts bis silver gills above the fluod,
With what delight the rapid course I view !
How does my eye the circling race pursue !
The subtle hare darts swift beneath his paws; Soon in smart pain he feels the dire mistake, She flies, be stretches, now with nimble bound Lashes the wave, and beats the foamy lake; Fager he presses on, but overshoots his ground; With sudden rage he now aloft appears,
She turns, he winds, and soon regains the way, And in his eye convulsive anguish bears;
Then tears with gory mouth the screaming prey. And now again, impatient of the wound,
What various sport does rural life afford ! He rolls and a reathes bis shining body round; What unbought dainties heap the wholesome board I Then headlong shoots beneath the dashing tide, Nor less the spaniel, skilful to betray, The trembling fins the boiling wave divide.
Rewards the fowler with the feather'd prey. Now hope exalts the fisher's beating heart,
Soon as the labouring horse, with swelling reins, Now he turns pale, and fears his dubious art; Hath safely hous'd the farmer's doubtful gains, He views the tambling fish with longing eyes, To sweet repast th' unwary partridge flies, While the line stretches with th' unwieldy prize; | With joy amid the scatter'd harvest lies; Each motion humours with his steady hands, | Wandering in plenty, danger he forgets, And one slight hair the mighty bulk commands; Nor dreads the slavery of entangling nets. Till, tir'd at last, despoil'd of all his strength, The subtle dog scours with sagacious nose The game athwart the stream unfolds his length. Along the field, and snuffs each breeze that blows ; He now, with pleasure, views the gasping prize Against the wind he takes his prudent way, Guash his sharp teeth, and roll his blood-shot eyes ; | While the strong gale direcis him to the prey; Then draws him to the shore, with artful care, Now the warm scent assures the covey near, And lifts his nostrils in the sickening air :
He treads with caution, and he points with fear: l'pon the burthen'd stream he floating lics,
Then (lest some sentry-fowl the fraud descry, Stretches his quivering fins, and gasping dies. And bid his fellows from the danger fly)
Would you preserve a numerous finny race ; Close to the ground in expectation lies,
And quits the friendly shelter of the brakes,
Idy stream, whose tangling weeds and drives bis chariot down the western way,
Let your obsequious ranger search around, The thievish nightly net, nor barbed spear; Where yellow stubble withers on the ground; Nor drain I ponds, the golden carp to take, Nor will the roving spy direct in vain, Nor troll for pikes, dispeoplers of the lake;
But numerous covey's gratify thy pain. Around the strel no tortur'd worin shall twine, When the meridian Sun contracts the shade, No blood of living insect stain my line.
And frisking heifers seek the cooling glade; Let me, less cruel, cast the feather'd hook
Or when the country foats with sudden rains, With pliant rod athwart the pebbled brook,
Or driving mists deface the moisten'd plains; Silent along the mazy margin stray,
In vain his toils th' unskilful fowler tries, And with the fur-wrought fly delude the prey. While in thick woods the feeding partridge lies.
Nor must the sporting verse the gun forbear, But what's the fowler's be the Muses' care.
See how the well-taught pointer leads the way: RURAL SPORTS.
The scent grous warm; he stops ; he springs the
The fluttering coveys from the stubble rise, (prey; CANTO II.
And on swift wing divide the sounding skies; Now, sporting Muse, draw in the fowing reins, The scattering lead pursues the certain sight, Leave the clear streams awhile for sunny plains. And death in thunder overtakes their flight. Should you the various arms and toils rebearse, Cool breathes the morning air, and Winter's hand And all the fishernian adorn thy verse;
Spreads wide her boary mantle o'er the land; Should vou the wide encircling net display,
Now to the copse thy lesser spaniel take, And in its spacious arch enclose the sea ;
Teach himn to range the ditch, and force the brake ; Then haul the plunging load upon the land,
Not closest coverts can protect the game : And with the soal and turbot hide the sand;
Hark! the dog opens; take thy certain aim. It would extend the growing theme too long, The woodcock flutters: how he wavering fljes ! And tire the reader with the watery song.
The wood resounds : he wheels, he drops, he diese Let the keen hunter from the chase refrain,
The towering hawk let future poets sing, Nor render all the ploughman's labour vain, Who terrour bears upon his soar ng wing: When Ceres pours out plenty from her horn, Let them on high the frighted hern survey, And clothes the fields with golden ears of corn. And lofty numbers point their airy fray,