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See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crown'd;
Not thus the land appear’d in ages past,
46 And kings more furious. The forest laws of England, brought from Normandy, were fit only to be enforced by tyrants and borne by slaves. The killing of the beasts of chase by the peasantry was punished with loss of eyes, limbs, or life. The game laws of our day are their offspring, and not untouched with the stamp of their parentage.
The fields are ravish'd from the industrious swains,
65 The fields are ravish'd. Pope tells us that this was • translated from the
Templa adimit Divis, fora civibus, arva colonis, of an old monkish writer, I forget who.' Warton gives the contrasted line from Camden, speaking of Edgar:
Templa Deo, templis monachos, monachis dedit agros. 80 Himself denied a grave! It is difficult to discover to what incident the poet alludes here. Warton conceives it a reference to the story in St. Foix, that when the body of William the Conqueror was about to be interred, a bystander cried out against suffering him to be laid in that peculiar piece of ground; asserting that William, when duke, had seized the spot from his father without an equivalent; and that prince Henry agreed to pay the claimant, who was only a farrier, a hundred crowns for the land: but this could scarcely be called the denial of a grave.
The modern scepticism which meets all the facts of history only with an intention to dispute them, doubts the ravages of William and his son in Hampshire. It is true, that it is not easy, in the absence of minute records, to prove the specific
Stretch'd on the lawn his second hope survey,
O'er sandy wilds were yellow harvests spread ;
waste committed by those tyrants; but the returns of the population, property, and tillage, of those districts before and after the reigns of the Conqueror and his son, amply show that a devastation must have been exercised there of the most sweeping kind.
81 Second hope. William, second son of William the Conqueror.
83 The spot on which the king was slain is still pointed out in the New Forest : even the oak, against which sir Walter Tyrrel's arrow glanced, survived within memory. The mo. ment sir Walter Tyrrel had shot bim, he instantly hastened to the sea-shore, without speaking of the accident, and embarked for France, and thence hurried to Jerusalem to do penance for his involuntary crime. The body of Rufus was found in the forest by a countryman, whose family are said to be still living near the spot; and was buried, without any pomp, before the altar of Winchester cathedral, where the monument remains.
When milder autumn summer's heat succeeds,
106 Some thoughtless town, with ease and plenty blessd, Near, and more near, the closing lines invest; Sudden they seize the amazed, defenceless prize, And high in air Britannia’s standard flies. 110 See! from the brake the whirring pheasant
springs, And mounts exulting on triumphant wings : Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound, Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground. Ah! what avail his glossy, varying dies, His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes, The vivid green his shining plumes unfold, His painted wings, and breast that flames with
gold? Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky, The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny. 120 To plains with well-breathed beagles we repair, And trace the mazes of the circling hare: Beasts urged by us, their fellow-beasts pursue, And learn of man each other to undo. With slaughtering guns the unwearied fowler
roves, When frosts have whiten'd all the naked
Where doves in flocks the leafless trees o'ershade,
In genial spring, beneath the quivering shade,
Now Cancer glows with Phæbus' fiery car : The youth rush eager to the sylvan war; Swarm o'er the lawns, the forest walks surround, Rouse the fleet hart, and cheer the opening
hound. The impatient courser pants in every vein, And pawing seems to beat the distant plain : Hills, vales, and floods appear already crossd ; And ere he starts, a thousand steps are lost. See the bold youth strain up the threatening steep, Rush through the thickets, down the valleys sweep, Hang o'er their coursers' heads with eager speed, And earth rolls back beneath the flying steed.