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You, who the sweets of rural life have known,
Ilespise th' ungrateful hurry of the town;
In Windsor groves your easy hours employ,
And, undisturb’d, yourself and Muse enjoy.
Thames listens to thy strains. and silent flows, ,
And no rude wind through rustling osiers blows;
while all his wondering nymphs around thee
To hear the Syrens warble in thy song. . [throng,
Put 1, who ne'er was blest by Fortune's hand,
Nor brighten’d ploughshares in paternal land,
Long in the noisy town have been immur'd,
Respir’d its smoke, and all its cares endur'd;
where news and politics divide mankind,
And schemes of state involve th' uneasy mind:
Faction embroils the world; and every tongue
is mov’d by flattery, or with scandal hung :
Friendship, for sylvan shades, the palace flies,
where all must yield to interest's dearer ties:
Each rival Machiavel with envy burns,
And honesty forsakes them all by turns;
while calumny upon each party's thrown,
which both promote, and both alike disown.
Fatigu'd at last, a calm retreat I chose,
And sooth'd my harass'd mind with sweet repose,
where fields and shades, and the refreshing clime,
Inspire the sylvan song, and prompt my rhyme:
Ai y Muse shall rove thro' flowery meads and plains,
And deck with rural sports her native strains;
And the same road ambitiously pursue,
Frequented by the Mantuan swain and you.
'Tis not that rural sports alone invite,
But all the grateful country breathes delight;
H.re blooming Health exerts her gentle reign,
And strings the sinews of th’ industrious swain.

* This poem received many material corrections from the author, after it was first published.

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Soon as the morning lark salutes the day,
Through dewy fields I take my frequent way,
Where I belold the farmer's early care
In the revolving labours of the year.
When the fresh Spring in all her state is crown'd,
And high luxuriant grass o'erspreads the ground,
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;
While with the mounting Sun the meadow glows,
The fading herbage round he loosely throws:
But, if some sign portend a lasting shower,
Th’ experienc'd swain foresees the coming hour;
His sun-burnt hands the scattering fork forsake,
And ruddy damsels ply the saving rake;
In rising hills the fragrant harvest grows,
And spreads along the field in equal rows. [.
Now when the height of Heaven bright Phoebus
And level rays cleave wide the thirsty plains, [gains,
When heifers seek the shade and cooling lake,
And in the middle path-way basks the snake;
O lead me, guard me, from the sultry hours,
Hide me, ye forests, in your closest bowers,
Where the tall oak his spreading arms entwines,
And with the beach a mutual shade combines:
Where flows the murmuring brook, inviting dreams,
Where bordering hazle overhangs the streams,
Whose rolling current, winding round and round,
With frequent falls makes all the woods resound;
Upon the mossy couch my limbs I cast,
And e'en at noon the sweets of evening taste.
Here I peruse the Mantuan's Georgic strains,
And learn the labours of Italian swains;
In every page I see new landscapes rise,
And all Hesperia opens to my eyes;
I wander o'er the various rural toil,
And know the nature of each different soil:
This waving field is gilded o'er with corn,
That spreading trees with blushing fruit adorn;
Here I survey the purple vintage grow,
Climb round the poles, and rise in graceful row t
Now I behold the steed curvet and bound,
And paw with restless hoof the smoking grounds
The dewlap'd bull now chafes along the plain,
While burning love ferments in every vein;

His well-arm'd front against his rival aims,
And by the dint of war his mistress claims:
The careful insect 'midst his works I view,
Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew ;
With golden treasures load his little thighs,
And steer his distant journey through the skies;
Some against hostile drones the hive defend,
Others with sweets the waxen cells distend,
Each in the toil his destin'd office bears,
And in the little bulk a mighty soul appears.
| TOr when the ploughman leaves the task of day,

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When the big-udder'd cows with patience stand,
Waiting the stroakings of the damsel's hand;
No warbling cheers the woods; the feather'd choir,
To court kind slumbers, to the sprays retire :
When no rude gale disturbs the sleeping trees,
Nor aspen leaves confess the gentlest breeze;
Engag'd in thought, to Neptune's bounds I stray,
To take my farewell of the parting day;
Far in the deep the Sun his glory hides,
A streak of gold the sea and sky divides:
The purple clouds their amber linings show,
And, edg'd with fla , e, rolls every wave below:
Hcre pensive I behold the fading light,
And o'er the distant billow lose my ** {
Now Night in silent state begins to rise,
And twinkling orbs bestrow th' uncloudy skies;
Her borrow'd lustre growing Cynthia lends,
And on the main a glittering path extends;
Millions of worlds hang in the spacious air,
Which round their suns their annual circles steer;
Sweet contemplation elevates my sense,
While I survey the works of Providence.
O could the Muse in loftier strains rehearse
The glorious Author of the universe,
Who reins the winds, gives the vast ocean bounds,
And circumscribes the floating worlds their rounds;
My soul should overflow in songs of praise,
And my Creator's name inspire my lays'
As in successive course the seasons roll,
$o circling pleasures recreate the soul.
When genial Spring a living warmth bestows,
And o'er the year her verdant mantle throws,
No swelling inundation hides the grounds,
But crystal currents glide within their bounds;
The finny brood their wonted haunts forsake,
Float in the sun, and skim along the lake,
With frequent leap they range the shallow streams,
Their silver coats reflect the dazzling beams.
Now let the fisherman his toils prepare,
And arm himself with every watery snare;
His hooks, his lines, peruse with careful eye,
Increase his tackle, and his rod re-tye.
When floating clouds their spongy fleeces drain,
Troubling the streams with swift-descending rain;
And waters tumbling down the mountain's side,
Bear the loose soil into the swelling tide;
Then soon as vernal gales begin to rise,
And drive the liquid burthen through the skies,
The fisher to the neighbouring current speeds,
Whose rapid surface purls unknown to weeds:
Upon a rising border of the brook
He sits him down, and ties the treacherous hook;
Now expectation cheers his eager thought,
His bosom glows with treasures yet uncaught,
Before his eyes a banquet seems to stand,
Where every guest applauds his skilful hand.
Far up the stream the twisted hair he throws,
Which down the murmuring current gently flows;

When, if or chance or hunger's powerful sway
Directs the roving trout this fatal way,
He greedily sucks in the twining bait,
And tugs and nibbles the fallacious meat;
Now, happy fisherman, now twitch the line !
How thy rod bends! behold, the prize is thine !
Cast on the bank, he dies with gasping pains,
And trickling blood his silver mail distains.
You must not every worm promiscuous use,
Judgment will tell the proper bait to choose:
The worm that draws a long immoderate size,
The trout abhors, and the rank morsel flies;
And, if too small, the naked fraud's in sight,
And fear forbids, while hunger does invite.
Those baits will best reward the fisher's pains,
Whose polish'd tails a shining yellow stains:
Cleanse them from filth, to give a tempting gloss,
Cherish the sully'd reptile race with moss;
Amid the verdant bed they twine, they toil,
And from their bodies wipe their dative soil.
But when the Sun displays his glorious beams,
And shallow rivers flow with silver streams,
Then the deceit the scaly breed survey,
Bask in the sun, and look into the day:
You now a more delusive art must try,
And tempt their hunger with the curious fly.
To frame the little animal, provide
All the gay hues that wait on female pride;
Let Nature guide thee; sometimes golden wire

The shining bellies of the fly require;

The peacock's plumes thy tackle must not fail,
Nor the dear purchase of the sable's tail.
Each gaudy bird some slender tribute brings,
And lends the growing insect proper wings:
Silks of all colours must their aid impart,
And every fur promote the fisher's art.
So the gay lady, with excessive care,
Borrows the pride of land, of sea, and air:
Furs, pearls, and plumes, the glittering thing dis.
Dazzles our eyes, and easy hearts betrays. - (plays,
Mark well the various seasons of the year,
How the succeeding insect race appear;
In this revolving Moon one colour reigns,
Which in the next the fickle trout disdains.
Oft have I seen the skilful angler try
The various colours of the treacherous fly;
When he with fruitless pain hath skimm'd the brook,
And the coy fish rejects the skipping hook,
He shakes the boughs that on the margin grow,
Which o'er the stream a waving forest throw ;
When, if an insect fall, (his certain guide)
He gently takes him from the whirling tide;
Fxaulines well his form with curious eyes,
His gaudy west, his wings, his horns, and size,
Then round his hook the chosen fur he winds,
And on the back a speckled feather binds;
So just the colours shine through every part,
That Nature seems again to live in Art.
Let not thy wary step advance too near,
While all thy hopes hang on a single hair;
The new-form'd insect on the water moves,
The speckled trout the curious snare approves;
Upon the curling surface let it glide,
With natural motion from thy hand supply'd,
Against the stream now gently let it play,
Now in the rapid eddy roll away, -
The scaly shoals float by, and, seiz'd with fear,
Behold their fellows tost in thinner air;
out soon they leap, and catch the swimming bait,
Plunge on the hook, and share an equal fate.

When a brisk gale against the current blows, And all the watery plain in wrinkles flows, Then let the fisherman his art repeat, Where bubbling eddies favour the deceit, If an enormous salmon chance to spy The wanton errours of the floating fly, He lifts his silver gills above the flood, And greedily sucks in th' unfaithful food; Then downward plunges with the fraudful prey, And bears with joy the little spoil away: Soon in smart pain he feels the dire mistake, Lashes the wave, and beats the foamy lake; With sudden rage he now aloft appears, And in his eye convulsive anguish bears; And now again, impatient of the wound, He rolls and wreathes his shining body round; Then headlong shoots beneath the dashing tide, The trembling fins the boiling wave divide. Now hope exalts the fisher's beating heart, Now he turns pale, and fears his dubious art; He views the tumbling fish with longing eyes, While the line stretches with th' unwieldy prize; Each motion humours with his steady hands, And one slight hair the mighty bulk commands; Till, tir'd at last, despoil'd of all his strength, The game athwart the stream unfolds his length. He now, with pleasure, views the gasping prize Gnash his sharp teeth, and roll his blood-shot eyes; Then draws him to the shore, with artful care, And lifts his nostrils in the sickening air: Upon the burthen'd stream he floating lies, Stretches his quivering fins, and gasping dies.

Would you preserve a numerous finny race; Let your fierce dogs the ravenous otter chase (Th'amphibious monster ranges all the shores, Darts through the waves, and every haunt exOr let the gin his roving steps betray, [plores): And save from hostile jaws the scaly prey.

I never wander where the bordering reeds O'erlook the muddy stream, whose tangling weeds Perplex the fisher; I nor choose to bear The thievish nightly net, nor barbed spear; Nor drain I ponds, the golden carp to take, Nor troll for pikes, dispeoplers of the lake; Around the steel no tortur'd worm shall twine, No blood of living insect stain my line. Let me, less cruel, cast the feather'd hook With pliant rod athwart the pebbled brook, Silent along the mazy margin stray, And with the fur-wrought fly delude the prey,

RURAL SPORTS.

can To It.

Now, sporting Muse, draw in the flowing reins, Leave the clear streams awhile for sunny plains. Should you the various arms and toils rehearse, And all the fisherman adorn thy verse; Should you the wide encircling net display, And in its spacious arch enclose the sea; Then haul the plunging load upon the land, And with the soal and turbot hide the sand; It would extend the growing theme too long, And tire the reader with the watery song.

Let the keen hunter from the chase refrain, Nor render all the ploughman's labour vain, When Ceres pours out plenty from her horn, And clothus the fields with golden ears of corn.

Now, now, ye reapers, to your task repair,
Haste! save the product of the bounteous year:
To the wide-gathering hook long furrows yield,
And rising sheaves extend through all the field,
Yet, if for sylvan sports thy bosom glow,
Let thy fleet greyhound urge his flying foe.
With what delight the rapid course I view'
How does my eye the circling race pursue !
He snaps deceitful air with empty jaws;
The subtle hare darts swift beneath his paws;
She flies, he stretches, now with nimble bound
Fager he presses on, but overshoots his ground;
She turns, he winds, and soon regains the way,
Then tears with gory mouth the screaming prey.
What various sport does rural life afford
What unbought dainties heap the wholesome board
Nor less the spaniel, skilful to betray,
Rewards the fowler with the feather'd prey.
Soon as the labouring horse, with swelling veins,
Hath safely hous’d the farmer's doubtful gains,
To sweet repast th' unwary partridge flies,
With joy amid the scatter'd harvest lies;
Wandering in plenty, danger he forgets,
Nor dreads the slavery of entangling nets.
The subtle dog scours with sagacious nose
Along the field, and snuffs each breeze that blows;
Against the wind he takes his prudent way,
While the strong gale directs him to the prey;
Now the warm scent assures the covey near,
He treads with caution, and he points with fear;
Then (lest some sentry-fowl the fraud descry,
And bid his fellows from the danger fly)
Close to the ground in expectation lies,
Till in the snare the fluttering covey rise.
Soon as the blushing light begins to spread,
And glaucing Phoebus gilds the mountain's head,
His early flight th' ill-fated partridge takes,
And quits the friendly shelter of the brakes,
Or, when the Sun casts a declining ray,
And drives his chariot down the western way,
Let your obsequious ranger search around,
Where yellow stubble withers on the ground;
Nor will the roving spy direct in vain,
But numerous coveys gratify thy pain.
When the meridian Sun contracts the shade,
And frisking heifers seek the cooling glade;
Or when the country floats with sudden rains,
Or driving mists deface the moisten’d plaims;
In vain his toils th’ unskilful fowler tries,
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:
The scent grows warm; he stops; he springs the
The fluttering coveys from the stubble rise, [prey;
And on swift wing divide the sounding skies;
The scattering lead pursues the certain sight,
And death in thunder overtakes their flight.
Cool breathes the morning air, and Winter's hand
Spreads wide her hoary mantle o'er the land;
Now to the copse thy lesser spaniel take,
Teach him to range the ditch, and force the brake;
Not closest coverts can protect the game:
Hark! the dog opens; take thy certain aim.
The woodcock flutters: how he wavering flies'
The wood resounds: he wheels, he drops, he dies,
The towering hawk let future poets sing,
Who terrour bears upon his soaring wing:
Let them on high the frighted hern survey,
And lofty numbers point their airy fray.

Nor shall the mounting lark the Muse detain,
That greets the morning with his early strain;
When, 'midst his song, the twinkling glass betrays,
While from each angle flash the glancing rays,
And in the Sun the transient colours blaze,
Pride lures the little warbler from the skies:
The light-enamour'd bird deluded dies.
But still the chase, a pleasing task, remains;
The hound must open in these rural strains.
Soon as Aurora drives away the night,
And edges eastern clouds with rosy light,
The healthy huntsman, with the cheerful horn,
Summons the dogs, and greets the dappled morn;
The jocund thunder wakes th' enliven'd hounds,
They rouze from sleep, and answer sounds for
sounds;
Wide through the furzy field their rout they take,
Their bleeding bosoms force the thorny brake :
The flying game their smoking nostrils trace,
No bounding hedge obstructs their eager pace;
The distant mountains echo from afar,
And hanging woods resound the flying war:
The tuneful noise the sprightly courser hears,
Paws the green turf, and pricks his trembling
ears;
The slacken'd rein now gives him all his speed,
Back flies the rapid ground beneath the steed;
Hills, dales, and forests, far behind remain,
While the warm scent draws on the deep-mouth'd
train.
Where shall the trembling hare a shelter find?
Hark! death advances in each gust of wind'
Now stratagems and doubling wiles she tries,
Now circling turns, and now at large she flies;
Till, spent at last, she pants, and heaves for breath,
Then lays her down, and waits devouring death
But stay, adventurous Muse! hast thou the force
To wind the twisted horn, to guide the horse 2
To keep thy seat unmov’d, hast thou the skill,
O'er the high gate, and down the headlong hill 2
Cans" thou the stag's laborious chase direct,
Or the strong fox through all his arts detect?
The theme demands a more experienc'd lay:
Ye mighty hunters! spare this weak essay.
O happy plains, remote from wars alarms,
And all the ravages of hostile arms'
And happy shepherds, who, secure from fear,
On open downs preserve your fleecy care!
Whose spacious barns groan with increasing store,
And whirling flails disjoint the cracking floor!
No barbarous soldier, bent on cruel spoil,
spreads desolation o'er your fertile soil;
No trampling steed lays waste the ripen'd grain,
Nor crackling fires devour the promis'd gain :
No flaming beacons cast their blaze afar,
The dreadful signal of invasive war:
No trumpet's clangour wounds the mother's ear,
And calls the lover from his swooning fair,
What happiness the rural maid attends,
In cheerful labour while each day she spends !
She gratefully receives what Heaven has sent,
And, rich in poverty, enjoys content.
(Such happiness, and such unblemish’d fame,
Ne'er glad the bosom of the courtly dame):
She never feels the spleen's imagin'd pains,
Nor melancholy stagnates in her veins;
She never loses life in thoughtless ease,
Nor on the velvet couch invites disease;
Her home-spun dress in simple neatness lies,
And for no glaring equipage she sighs:

Her reputation, which is all her boast,
In a malicious visit ne'er was lost;
No midnight masquerade her beauty wears,
And health, not paint, the fading bloom repairs.
If love's soft passion in her bosom reign,
An equal passion warms her happy swain;
No homebred jars her quiet state coutrol,
Nor watchful jealousy torments her soul;
With secret joy she sees her little race
Hang on her breast, and her small cottage grace;
The fleecy ball their busy fingers cull,
Or from the spindle draw the lengthening wool:
Thus flow her hours with constant peace of mind,
Till age the latest thread of life unwind.
Ye happy fields, unknown to noise and strife,
The kind rewarders of industrious life;
Ye shady woods, where once I us’d to rove,
Alike indulgent to the Muse and Love;
Ye murmuring streams that in meanders roll,
The sweet composers of the pensive soul!
Farewell'—The city calls me from your bowers:
Farewell, amusing thoughts, and peaceful hours!

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I sisc that graceful toy, whose waving play
With gentle gales relieves the sultry day:
Not the wide fan by Persian dames display’d,
Which o'er their beauty casts a grateful shade;
Nor that long known in China's artful land,
Which, while it cools the face, fatigues the hand:
Nor shall the Muse in Asian climates rove,
To seek in Indostan some spicy grove,
Where, stretch'd at ease, the panting lady lies,
To shun the fervour of meridian skies,
While sweating slaves catch every breeze of air,
And with wide-spreading fans refresh the fair;
No busy gnats her pleasing dreams molest,
Inflame her cheek, or ravage o'er her breast;
But artificial zephyrs round her fly,
And mitigate the fever of the sky.
Nor shall Bermudas long the Muse detain,
Whose fragrant forests bloom in Waller's strain.
Where breathing sweets from every field ascend,
And the wild woods with golden apples bend.
Yet let me in some odorous shade repose,
Whilst in my verse the fair palmetto grows:
Like the tall pine it shoots its stately head;
From the broad top depending branches spread;
No knotty limbs the taper body wears;
Hung on each bough a single leaf appears,
Which, shrivell'd in its infancy, remains
Like a clos'd fan, nor stretches wide its veins,
But, as the seasons in their circle run,
Opes its ribb'd surface to the nearer Sun:
Beneath this shade the weary peasant lies.
Plucks the broad leaf, and bids the breezes rise.

Stay, wandering Muse! nor rove in foreign climes; To thy own native shore confine thy rhymes. Assist, ye Nine, your loftiest notes employ; Say, what celestial skill contriv'd the toy, Say, how this instrument of Love began, And in immortal strains display the Fan. Strephon had long confess'd his amorous pain, Which gay Corinna rallied with disdain: Sometimes in broken words he sigh’d his care, Look'd pale, and trembled when he view'd the fair; With bolder freedoms now the youth advanc'd, He dress'd, he laugh'd, he sung, he rhym'd, he danc'd ; Now call'd more powerful presents to his aid, And, to seduce the mistress, brib'd the maid; Smooth flattery in her softer hours apply'd, The surest charm to bend the force of pride; But still unmov’d remains the scornful daune, Insults her captive, and derides his flame, When Strephon saw his vows dispers'd in air, He sought in solitude to lose his care; Relief in solitude he sought in vain, It serv'd, like music, but to feed his pain. To Venus now the slighted boy complains, And calls the goddess in these tender strains: “O potent queen! from Neptune's empire sprung, Whose glorious birth admiring Nereids sung, Who'midst the fragrant plains of Cyprus rove, Whose radiant presence gilds the Paphian grove, Where to thy name a thousand altars rise, And curling clouds of incense hide the skies: O beauteous goddess! teach me how to move, Inspire my tongue with eloquence of love If lost Adonis e'er thy bosom warm’d, If e'er his eyes or godlike figure charm’d, Think on those hours when first you felt the dart, Think on the restless fever of thy heart; Think how you pine in absence of the swain: By those uneasy minutes know my pain Ev’n while Cydippe to Diana bows, And at her shrine renews her virgin vows, The lover, taught by thee, her pride o'ercame; She reads his oaths, and feels an equal flame. Oh, may my flame, like thine, Acontius, prove 1 May Venus dictate, and reward my love 1 When crowds of suitors Atalanta try’d, She wealth and beauty, wit and fame, defy'd; Each daring lover, with adventurous pace, Pursued his wishes in the dangerous race; Like the swift hind, the bounding damsel flies, Strains to the goal, the distanc'd lover dies. Hippomenes, O Venus ! was thy care, You taught the swain to stay the flying fair; Thy golden present caught the virgin eyes; She stoops ; he rushes on, and gains the prize. Say, Cyprian deity, what gift, what art, Shall humble into love Corinna's heart? If only some bright toy can charm her sight, Teach me what present may suspend her flight.” Thus the desponding youth his flame declares: The goddess with a nod his passion hears. Far in Cythera stands a spacious grove, Sacred to Venus and the god of Love: Here the luxuriant myrtle rears her head, Like the tall oak the fragrant branches spread; Here Nature all her sweets profusely pours, And paints th' enamell'd ground with various flowers;

Deep in the gloomy glade a grotto bends, Wide through the craggy rock an arch extends, The rugged stone is cloth'd with mantling vines, And round the cave the creeping woodbine twines. Here busy Cupids, with pernicious art, Form the stiff bow, and forge the fatal dart; All share the toil; while some the bellows ply, Others with feathers teach the shafts to fly: Some with joint force whirl round the stony wheel, Where streams the sparkling fire from temper'd steel; Some point their arrows with the nicest skill, And with the warlike store their quivers fill. A different toil another forge employs Here the loud hammer fashions female toys; Hence is the fair with ornament supply'd, Hence spring the glittering implements of pride; Each trinket that adorns the modern dame First to these little artists ow'd its frame: Here an unfinish'd diamond crosslet lay, Te which soft lovers adoration pay; There was the polish'd crystal bottle seen, That with quick scents revives the modish spleen; Here the yet rude unjointed snuff-box lies, Which serves the rallied fop for smart replies; There piles of paper rose in gilded reams, The future records of the lover's flames; Here clouded canes'midst heaps of toys are found, And inlaid tweezer-cases strow the ground; There stands the toilette, nursery of charms, Completely furnish'd with bright Beauty's arms; The patch, the powder-box, pulville, perfumes, Pins, paint, a flattering glass, and black-lead combs. The toilsome hours in different labour slide, Some work the file, and some the graver guide; From the loud anvil the quick blow rebounds, And their rais'd arms descend in tuneful sounds. Thus when Semiramis, in ancient days, Bade Babylon her mighty bulwarks raise, A swarm of labourers different tasks attend: Here pullies make the ponderous oak ascend; With echoing strokes the craggy quarry groans, While there the chissel forms the shapeless stones; The weighty mallet deals resounding blows, Till the proud battlements her towers enclose. Now Venus mounts her car, she shakes the reins, And steers her turtles to Cythera's plains; Straight to the grot with graceful step she goes, Her loose ambrosial hair behind her flows: The swelling bellows heave for breath no more; All drop their silent hammers on the floor; In deep suspense the mighty labour stands; While thus the goddess spoke her mild commands : “Industrious Loves' your present toils forbear, A more important task demands your care: Long has the scheme employ'd my thoughtful mind, By judgment ripen'd, and by time refin'd. That glorious bird have ye not often seen, Who draws the car of the celestial queen Have ye not oft survey’d his varying dyes, His tail all gilded o'er with Argus' eyes? Have ye not seen him in a sunny day Unfurl his plumes, and all his pride display; Then suddenly contract his dazzling train, And with long-trailing feathers sweep the plain Learn from this hint, let this instruct your art; Thin taper sticks must from one centre part: Let these into the quadrant's form divide,

The spreading ribs with suowy paper hide;

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