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Her Eros thus proclaimed the Cyprian Queen : 2 If any one has in the highway seen My straying Eros, and reports to me His whereabouts, he shall rewarded be ; A kiss for him ; but, if it shall betide One bring him me, a kiss — and more beside. Midst twenty he is notable to view ; Not fair, but flamy is his dazzling hue ; Sharp are his eyes, and flame their glances' feet; His mind is wicked, but his speech is sweet. His word and meaning are not like at all ; His word is honey, and his meaning gall. He is a mischievous, deceitful child; Beguiles with falsehood, laughs at the beguiled. He has a lovely head of curling hair, But saucy features, with a reckless stare. His hands are tiny, but afar they throw, E'en down to Dis 3 and Acheron below. Naked his form, his mind in covert lies ; Winged as a feathered bird, he careless flies From girls to boys, from men to women flits, Sports with their heartstrings, on their vitals sits. Small is his bow, his arrow small to sight, But to Jove's court it wings its ready flight. Upon his back a golden quiver sounds, Full of sharp darts, with which e'en me he wounds. All cruel things by cruel Love are done ; His torch is small, yet scorches c'en the sun. But, should you take him, fast and safely bind him, And bring him to me with his hands behind him. If he should weep, take heed - he weeps at will ; But, should he smile- then drag him faster still ; And, should he offer you a kiss, beware! Evil his kiss, his red lips poisoned are !
DISTAFF! quick implement of busy thrift, [gift ! Which careful housewives ply, blue-eyed Athene's! We go to rich Miletus, where is seen The fane of Cypris 'mid the rushes green : Praying to mighty Zeus," for voyage fair, Thither to Nicias would I now repair, Delighting and delighted by my host, Whom the sweet-speaking Graces love the most Of all their favorites ; thee, distaff bright! Of ivory wrought, with art most exquisite, A present for his lovely wife I take. With her thou many various works shalt make ; Garments for men, and such as women wear, Of silk, whose color is the sea-blue clear. And she so diligent a housewife is, That ever, for well-ankled Theugenis, Thrice in a year are shorn the willing sheep Of the fine fleeces, which for her they keep. She loves what love right-minded women all ; For never should a thriftless prodigal Own thee with my consent ; 't were shame and pity ! Since thou art of that most renowned city,3 Built by Corinthian Archias erewhile, The marrow of the whole Sicilian isle. But in the house of that physician wise, Instructed how by wholesome remedies From human kind diseases to repel, Thou shalt in future with Ionians dwell, In beautiful Miletus ; that the fame For the best distaff Theugenis may claim, And thou may'st ever to her mind suggest The memory of her song-loving guest. The worth of offering from friend we prize, Not in the gift but in the giver lies.
1 Moschus was probably a pupil of Bion. Some scholars make them contemporary with Theocritus; others place them a century later, at about 156 B. C.
? Eros is the Greek for Cupid, god of love, son of Venus, called "Cyprian queen' from Cyprus. See note 1, p. 18.
3 Pluto, King of Ilades, Hell, the Shades, the classic spirit-world, of which Acheron was a river.
1 Minerva, goddess of science, wisdom, war, art, housewifery, etc., inventress of the distaff, and patroness of Athens.
Zeus and Dios were the Greek, Jovis and Jupiter the Latin names of the god of the air, 'ruler of gods and men.' ANGLING, FOWLING, AND HUNTING.
3 Syracuse, which once had 1,200,000 souls. It was founded by Archias, B. C. 732, about twenty years after Rome.
Gap's "Rural Sports."
When the fresh Spring in all her state is crowned, And high, luxuriant grass o'erspreads the ground, The laborer with a bending scythe is seen, Shaving the surface of the waving green; Of all her native pride disrobes the land, And meads lay 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, The experienced swain foresees the coming hour; His sunburnt 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.
THE NOONTIDE RETREAT.
You, who the sweets of rural life have known, Despise th' ungrateful hurry of the town ; In Windsor groves your easy hours employ, And, undisturbed, yourself and muse enjoy ; Thames listens to thy strains, and silent flows, And no rude wind through rustling osier blows; While all his wondering nyinphs around thee throng, To hear the sirens warble in thy song. But I, who ne'er was blest by fortune's hand, Nor brightened ploughshares in paternal land, Long in the noisy town have been immured, Respired its smoke, and all its cares endured ; Where news and politics divide mankind, And schemes of state involve the uneasy mind ; Faction embroils the world ; and every tongue Is moved 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. Fatigued, at last, a calm retreat I chose, And soothed my harassed mind with sweet repose, Where fields and shades, and the refreshing clime, Inspire the sylvan song, and prompt my rhyme.
Now when the height of heaven bright Phoebus
gains, And his steep' rays cleave wide the thirsty plains ; When heifers seek the shade and cooling lake, And in the middle pathway 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 beech a mutual shade combines ; Where flows the murmuring brook, inviting dreams, Where bordering hazel overhangs the streams, Whose rolling current, winding round and round, With frequent falls makes all the wood resound ; Upon the mossy couch my limbs I cast, And e'en at noon the sweets of evening taste.
THE SUBJECT. - RURAL SPORTS.
My muse shall rove through flowery meads and
VIRGIL'S GEORGICS DESCRIBED ; GRAIN ; VINES ; BULLS ; BEES.
Here I peruse the Mantuan's Georgic strains, And learn the labors 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 : Now I behold the steed curvet and bound, And paw with restless hoof the smoking ground: The dew-lapped bull now chafes along the plain, While burning love ferments in every vein ; His well-armed front against his rival aims, And by the dint of war his mistress claims.
THE COUNTRY.-HEALTH. - MORNING WALK.
'Tis not that Rural Sports alone invite, But all the grateful country breathes delight; Here blooming Health exerts her genial reign, And strings the sinews of the industrious swain. Soon as the morning lark salutes the day, Through dewy fields I take my frequent way, Where I behold the farmer's early care In the revolving labors of the year.
This poem was originally inscribed to in 1713.
1 The original has “level,' but without meaning. – J.
The careful insect midst his works view,
EVENING IN THE COUNTRY. SILENCE. - SUNSET.
Or when the ploughman leaves the task of day, And, trudging homeward, whistles on the way; When the big-uddered cows with patience stand, Waiting the strokings of the damsel's hand ; No warbling cheers the woods; the feathered choir, To court kind slumbers, to the sprays retire ; When no rude gale disturbs the sleeping trees, Nor aspen-leaves confess the gentlest breeze ; Engaged 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 edged with flame rolls every wave below : Here pensive I behold the fading light, And o'er the distant billow lose my sight.
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 neighboring 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.
NIGHT. STARS. — THE DEITY.
Now night in silent state begins to rise, And twinkling orbs bestrew the uncloudy skies ; Her borrowed 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. 0, 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 !
You must not every worm promiscuous use, Judgment will tell the proper bait to choose : The worm that draws along 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 polished tails a shining yellow stains ; Cleanse them from filth ; to give a tempting gloss, Cherish the sullied reptile race with moss ; Amid the verdant bed they twine, they toil, And from their bodies wipe their native soil.
But when the sun displays his gracious 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.
HOW TO MAKE THE ARTIFICIAL FLY.
As in successive course the seasons roll, So 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 retie.
To frame the little animal, provide All the
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 colors must their aid impart, And every fur promote the fisher's art.
So the gay lady, with expensive care,
He views the trembling fish with longing eyes
SUCCESSIVE KINDS OF FISTING-FLIES; HOW TO CHOOSE
THEM Mark well the various seasons of the year, How the succeeding insect race appear ; In this revolving moon one color reigns, Which in the next the fickle trout disdains. Oft have I seen the skilful angler try The various colors of the treacherous fly, When he with fruitless pain bath skimmed 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 ; Examines well his form with curious eyes, His gaudy vest, 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 colors shine through every part, That nature seems again to live in art.
CAUTIONS ; THE OTTER ; AVOID CRUELTY IN FISHING. Would you preserve a numerous finny race, Let your fierce dogs the ravenous otter chase ; The amphibious monster ranges all the shores, Darts through the waves,
and every haunt explores;Or let the gin his roving steps betray, 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 barbéd spear ; Nor drain I ponds the golden carp to take, Nor troll for pikes, dispeoplers of the lake ; Around the steel no tortured worm shall twine, No blood of living insect stain my line. Let me, less cruel, cast the feathered hook, With pliant rod, athwart the pebbled brook ; Silent along the mazy margin stray, And with the fur-wrought fly delude the prey.
HOW TO USE THE ARTIFICIAL FLY.
Let not thy wary step advance too near, While all thy hope hangs on a single hair ; The new-formed 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 supplied ; Against the stream now gently let it play, Now in the rapid eddy roll away. The scaly shoals float by, and, seized with fear, Behold their fellows tost in thinner air ; But soon they leap and catch the swimming bait, Plunge on the hook, and share an equal fate.
SALMON-FISHING DESCRIBED ; PLAY OF THE SALMON.
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 favor the deceit. If an enormous salmon chance to spy The wanton errors of the floating fly, He lifts his silver gills above the flood, And greedily sucks in the 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 foaming lake; With sudden
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;
Now, sporting muse, draw in the flowing reins, Leave the clear streams a while for sunny plains. Should you the various arms and toils rehearse, And all the fishermen 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 sole and turbot hide the sand; It would extend the growing theme too long, And tire the reader with the watery song.
LET THE SPORTSMAN SPARE THE STANDING CROP; REAPING.
Let the keen hunter from the chase refrain,
COURSING TUE HARE.
Yet, if for Sylvan Sports thy bosom glow, Let thy fleet greyhound urge his flying foe.
With what delight the rapid course I view !
Now to the copse thy lesser spaniel take,
HAWKING AND SKYLARKING.
FOWLING ; THE PARTRIDGE ; ITS HABITS : SARING.
The towering hawk let future poets sing, Who terror bears upon his soaring wing : Let them on high the frighted hern survey, And lofty numbers paint 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 colors blaze, Pride lures the little warbler from the skies : The light-enamorod bird deluded dies.
Nor less the spaniel, skilful to betray, Rewards the fowler with the feathered prey. Soon as the laboring horse, with swelling veins, Hath safely housed the farmer's doubtful gains, To sweet repast the unwary partridge flies, With joy amid the scattered 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 his 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 glancing Phoebus gilds the mountain's head, His early flight the 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 moistened plains ; In vain his toils the unskilful fowler tries, Wbile in thick woods the feeding partridge lies.
But still the chase, a pleasant 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 the enlivened hounds ; They rouse from sleep, and answer sounds for sounds; Wide through the furzy field their route 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 slackened rein now gives him all his speed, Back flies the rapid ground beneath the steed; Hills, dales, and forests, far behind remain, (train. While the warm scent draws on the deep-mouthed Where shall the trembling hare a shelter find? Hark! death advances in each gust of wind ! New 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.
STAG AND FOX HUNTING.
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 prey; The fluttering coveys from the stubble rise, 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;
But stay, adventurous muse! hast thou the force To wind the twisted horn, to guide the horse ? To keep thy seat unmoved, hast thou the skill, O'er the high gate, and down the headlong hill? Canst thou the stag's laborious chase direct, Or the strong fox through all his arts detect ? The theme demands a more experienced lay : Ye mighty hunters ! spare this weak essay.