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See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crown'd;
Here blushing Flora paints the enamell'd ground,
Here Ceres' gifts in waving prospect stand,
And nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand; 40
Rich Industry sits smiling on the plains;
And peace and plenty tell, a Stuart reigns.
Not thus the land appear'd in ages past,
A dreary desert, and a gloomy waste,
To savage beasts and savage laws a prey,
And kings more furious and severe than they;
Who claim'd the skies, dispeopled air and floods,
The lonely lords of empty wilds and woods:
Cities laid waste, they storm'd the dens and caves,
For wiser brutes were backward to be slaves.
What could be free, when lawless beasts obey'd,
And ev❜n the elements a tyrant sway'd?



In vain kind seasons swell'd the teeming grain,
Soft showers distill'd, and suns grew warm in vain.
The swain with tears his frustrate labor yields, 55
And famish'd dies amidst his ripen'd fields.
What wonder then, a beast or subject slain
Were equal crimes in a despotic reign?
Both doom'd alike, for sportive tyrants bled;
But while the subject starved, the beast was fed.
Proud Nimrod first the bloody chase began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man:
Our haughty Norman boasts that barbarous name,
And makes his trembling slaves the royal game.


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,
From men their cities, and from gods their fanes :
The levell'd towns with weeds lie cover'd o'er;
The hollow winds through naked temples roar;
Round broken columns clasping ivy twined;
O'er heaps of ruin stalk'd the stately hind;
The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires,
And savage howlings fill the sacred quires.
Awed by his nobles, by his commons cursed,
The oppressor ruled tyrannic where he durst,
Stretch'd o'er the poor and church his iron rod, 75
And served alike his vassals and his god:
Whom ev'n the Saxon spared, and bloody Dane,
The wanton victims of his sport remain.
But see, the man, who spacious regions gave
A waste for beasts, himself denied a grave!


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,
At once the chaser, and at once the
prey :
Lo, Rufus, tugging at the deadly dart,
Bleeds in the forest like a wounded hart.
Succeeding monarchs heard the subjects' cries, 85
Nor saw displeased the peaceful cottage rise:
Then gathering flocks on unknown mountains

O'er sandy wilds were yellow harvests spread;
The forest wonder'd at the unusual grain;
And secret transports touch'd the conscious swain.
Fair Liberty, Britannia's goddess, rears
Her cheerful head, and leads the golden years.
Ye vigorous swains! while youth ferments your


And purer spirits swell the sprightly flood,
Now range the hills, the gameful woods beset, 95
Wind the shrill horn, or spread the waving net.

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 moment sir Walter Tyrrel had shot him, 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.

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When milder autumn summer's heat succeeds,
And in the new-shorn field the partridge feeds,
Before his lord the ready spaniel bounds;
Panting with hope, he tries the furrow'd grounds;
But when the tainted gales the game betray,
Couch'd close he lies, and meditates the prey;
Secure they trust the unfaithful field beset,
Till hovering o'er them sweeps the swelling net.
Thus, if small things we may with great compare,
When Albion sends her eager sons to war,
Some thoughtless town, with ease and plenty bless'd,
Near, and more near, the closing lines invest;
Sudden they seize the amazed, defenceless prize,
And high in air Britannia's standard flies.
See! from the brake the whirring pheasant





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

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



When frosts have whiten'd all the naked groves;

Where doves in flocks the leafless trees o'ershade,
And lonely woodcocks haunt the watery glade.
He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye;
Straight a short thunder breaks the frozen sky. 130
Oft, as in airy rings they skim the heath,
The clamorous lapwings feel the leaden death:
Oft, as the mounting larks their notes prepare,
They fall, and leave their little lives in air.


In genial spring, beneath the quivering shade, Where cooling vapors breathe along the mead, The patient fisher takes his silent stand, Intent, his angle trembling in his hand : With looks unmoved, he hopes the scaly breed, And eyes the dancing cork and bending reed. 140 Our plenteous streams a various race supply; The bright-eyed perch, with fins of Tyrian die; The silver eel, in shining volumes roll'd; The yellow carp, in scales bedropp'd with gold; Swift trouts, diversified with crimson stains; And pikes, the tyrants of the watery plains. Now Cancer glows with Phoebus' 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 cross'd;
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.

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