Imágenes de página

Browne's "Britannia's Pastorals."



Happy ye days of old, when every waste Was like a sanctuary to the chaste ; When incests, rapes, adulteries, were not known, All pure as blossoms which are newly blown. Maids were as free from spots and soils within, As most unblemished in the outward skin. Men every plain and cottage did afford, As smooth in deeds, as they were fair of word. Maidens with men as sisters with their brothers, And men and maids conversed as with their mothers, Free from suspicion, or the rage of blood, Strife only reigned, for all strived to be good.

Here stands an angler with a baited hook.
There for a stag one lurks within a bough —
Here sits a maiden milking of her cow.
There on a goodly plain, by Time thrown down,
Lies buried in his dust some ancient town;
Who now in-villaged, there is only seen
In its vast ruins what its state has been ;
And all of these in shadows so expressed
Make the beholder's eyes to take no rest.



Now had the sun, in golden chariot hurled, Twice bid good-morrow to the nether world ; And Cynthia, in her orb and perfect round, Twice viewed the shadows of the upper ground. Twice had the day-star ushered forth the light ; And twice the evening star proclaimed the night, Ere once the sweet-faced boy (now all forlorn) Came with his pipe to re-salute the morn.



But then, as little wrens but newly fledged, First by their nests, hop up and down the hedge ; Then one from bough to bough gets up a tree, His fellow noting his agility, Thinks he as well may venture as the other, So fluttering from one spray unto another Gets to the top, and then emboldened flies Unto a height past ken of human eyes. So time brought worse ; men first desired to talk, Then came suspect ; and then a private walk ; Then by consent appointed times of meeting, Where most securely each might kiss his sweeting. Lastly, with lusts their panting breasts so swell, They came to — but to what I blush to tell. And entered thus, rapes used were of all, Incest, adultery, held as venial ; The certainty in doubtful balance rests If beasts did learn of men, or men of beasts.


And as within a landscape that doth stand Wrought by the pencil of some curious hand, We may descry here meadow, there a wood, Here standing ponds, and there a running flood. Here on some mount a house of pleasure vaunted, Where once the roaring cannon had been planted ; There on a hill a gwain pipes out the day, Out-braving all the choristers of May. A huntsman here follows his cry of hounds, Driving the hare along the fallow grounds ; Whilst one at hand, seeming the sport to allow, Follows the hounds, and careless leaves the plough. There in another place some high-raised land In pride bears out her breasts unto the strand. Here stands a bridge, and there a conduit head, While round a May-pole some the measures tread ; There boys the truant play and leave their book

In Winter's time when hardly fed the flocks, And icicles hung dangling on the rocks, When Hyems bound the flocks in silver chains, And hoary frosts had candied all the plains ; When every barn rung with the thrashing flails, And shepherds' boys for cold 'gan blow their nails : Wearied with toil in seeking out some one That had a spark of true devotion; It was my chance, chance only helpeth need, To find an house 'ybuilt for holy deed, With goodly architect, and cloisters wide, With groves and walks along a river's side ; The place itself afforded admiration, And every spray a theme of contemplation. But, woe is me, when knocking at the gate, I'gan to entreat an entrance thereat : The porter asked my name, I told ; he swelled, And bade me thence ; wherewith in grief repelled, I sought for shelter to a ruined house, Harboring the weasel, and the dust-bred mouse ; And others none, except the two-kind bat, Which all the day there melancholy sat ; Here sat I down with wind and rain sore beat, Grief fed my mind, and did my body eat : Yet Idleness I saw, lamed with the gout, Had entrance when poor truth was kept without. There saw I Drunkenness, with dropsies swollen : And pampered Lust, that many a night had stolen Over the abbey-wall when gates were locked,

be in Venus' wanton bosom rocked :

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

A COUNTRY MORNING. By this had Chanticleer, the village cock, Bidden the good wife for her maids to knock. And the swart ploughman for his breakfast stayed, That he might till those lands where fallow laid. The hills and valleys here and there resound With the reëchoes of the deep-mouthed hound. Each shepherd's daughter, with her cleanly pail, Was come a field to milk the morning's meal, And ere the sun had climbed the eastern hills, To gild the muttering bournes and pretty rills, Before the laboring bee had left the hive, And nimble fishes, which in rivers dive, Began to leap, and catch the drowned fly – I rose from rest, not in felicity. TRUTH'S UNSUCCESSFUL SEARCH AFTER AID AND COMFORT.


Seeking the place of Charity's resort, Unawares I happened on a prince's court ; Where meeting Greatness, I required relief. 0, happy undelayed,' she said in brief, To small effect thine oratory tends How can I keep thee and so many friends ? If of my household I should make thee one, Farewell my servant Adulation. I know she will not stay when thou art there, But seek some great man's service other where. Darkness and light, Summer and Winter's weather, May be at once, ere you two live together.' Thus with a nod she left me clothed in woe ; Thence to the city once I thought to go, But somewhat in my mind this thought had thrown, • It was a place wherein I was not known.' And therefore went unto these homely towns, Sweetly environed with the daisied downs.

Upon a stream washing a village end A mill is placed, that never difference kend 'Twixt days for work, and holy tides for rest, But always wrought and ground the neighbor's grist. Before the door I saw the miller walking, And other two (his neighbors) with him talking. One of them was a weaver, and the other The village tailor, and his trusty brother ; To them I came, and thus my suit began :

Content, the riches of a countryman, Attend your actions, be more happy still, Than I am hapless ; and as yonder mill, Though in his turning it obey the stream, Yet by tho headstrong torrent from his beam Is unremoved, and till the wheel be tore, It daily toils; then rests, and works no more. So in life's motion may you never be (Though swayed with griefs) o'erborne with misery. With that the miller, laughing, brushed his clothes, Then swore, by cock and other dunghill oaths,

I greatly was to blame, that durst so wade
Into the knowledge of a wheelwright's trade.
I, neighbor, quoth the tailor (then he bent
His pace to me, spruce like a Jack of Lent),
Your judgment is not seam-rent when you spend it,
Nor is it botching, for I cannot mend it.
And, maiden, let me tell you, in displeasure,
You must not press the cloth you cannot measure :
But let your steps be stitched to wisdom's chalking,
And cast presumptuous shreds out of your walking.
The weaver said, Fie, wench, yourself you wrong,
Thus to let slip the shuttle of your tongue ;
For mark me well, yea, mark me well, I say,
I see you work your speech's web astray.

Sad to the soul, o'erlaid with idle words,
O heaven, quoth I, where is the place affords
A friend to help, or any heart that ruth
The most dejected hopes of wrongéd Truth !
Truth ! quoth the miller, plainly for our parts,
I and the weaver hate thee with our hearts ;
The strifes you raise I will not now discuss,
Between our honest customers and us.
But get you gone, for sure you may despair
Of comfort here, seek it some other where.
Maid, quoth the tailor, we no succor owe you,
For, as I guess, here's none of us doth know you ;
Nor my remembrance any thought can seize
That I have ever seen you in my days.
Seen you ? nay, therein confident I am :
Nay, till this time I never heard your name,
Excepting once, and by this token chief,
My neighbor at that instant called me thief.
By this you see you are unknown among us ;
We cannot help you, though your stay may wrong us.


Just half the way this solitary grove, A crystal spring from either hill-side strove, Which of them first should woo the meeker ground, And make the pebbles dance unto their sound. But as when children having leave to play, And near the master's eye sport out the day, Beyond condition, in their childish toys, Oft vex their tutor with too great a noise, And make him send some servant out of doors, To cease their clamor, lest they play no more ; So when the pretty rill a place espies, Where with the pebbles she would wantonize ; And that her upper stream so much doth wrong her, To drive her thence, and let her play no longer, If she with too loud muttering ran away, As being much incensed to leave her play ; A western, mild, and pretty whispering gale, Came dallying with the leaves along the dale, And seemed as with the water it did chide, Because it ran so long unpacified. Yea, and methought it bade her leave that coil, Or he would choke her up with leaves and soil ; Whereat the rivulet in my mind did weep, And hurled her head into a silent deep.



And lest his haste might happen to undo him,
Lays down his rod, then takes his line in hand,
And by degrees getting the fish to land,
Walks to another pool : at length is winner
Of such a dish as serves him for his dinner.



And as the year hath first his jocund Spring, Wherein the leaves, to birds' sweet carolling, Dance with the wind; then sees the Summer's day Perfect the embryon blossom of each spray. Next cometh Autumn, when the threshed sheaf Loseth his grain, and every tree his leaf. Lastly, cold Winter's rage, with many a storm, Threats the proud pines which Ida's top adorn, And makes the sap leave succorless the shoot, Shrinking to comfort bis decaying root.




When Riot came, the lady's pains nigh done, She passed the gate, and then Remorse began To fetter Riot in strong iron chains ; And doubting much his patience in the pains, As when a smith and 's man (lame Vulcan's fellows) Called from the anvil or the puffing bellows, To clap a well-wrought shoe, for more than pay, Upon a stubborn nag of Galloway ; Or unbacked jennet, or a Flanders maro, That at the forge stand sniffing of the air. The swarthy smith spits in his buckhorn fist, And bids his men bring out the five-fold twist, His shackles, sbacklocks, hampers, gyves and chains, His linked bolts ; and with no little pains These make him fast; and lest all these should falter, Unto a post with some six-doubled halter He binds his head ; yet all are of the least To curb the fury of the headstrong beast ; When if a carrier's jade be brought unto him, His man can hold his foot whilst he can shoe him. Remorse was so enforced to bind him stronger, Because his faults required infiction longer, Than any sin-pressed wight which many a day, Since Judas hung himself, had passed that way. **

Then, as a nimble squirrel from the wood, Ranging the hedges for his filbert food, Sits partly on a bough his brown nuts cracking, And from the shell the sweet white kernel taking, Till, with their crooks and bags, a sort of boys, To share with him, come with so great a noise, That he is forced to leave a nut nigh broke, And for his life leap to a neighbor oak ; Thence to a beech, thence to a row of ashes ; Whilst through the quagmires and red water plashes The boys run dabbling on through thick and thin; One tears his hose, another breaks his shin ; This, torn and tattered, bath with much ado Got by the briers ; and that hath lost his shoe ; This drops his band ; that headlong falls for haste ; Another cries behind for being last : With sticks and stones and many a sounding hollow, The little fool with no small sport they follow ; Whilst he, from tree to tree, from spray to spray, Gets to the wood, and hides him in his dray. * *




Now as an angler melancholy standing Upon a green bank yielding room for landing, A wriggling yellow worm thrust on his hook, Now in the midst he throws, then in a nook ; Here pulls his line, there throws it in again, Mending his crook and bait, – but all in vain, He long stands viewing of the curled stream; At last a hungry pike, or well-grown bream, Snatch at the worm, and hasting fast away, He knowing it a fish of stubborn sway, Pulls up his rod, but soft, as having skill ; Wherewith the hook fast holds the fish's gill. Then all his line he freely yieldeth him, Whilst furiously all up and down doth swim The ensnared fish ; here on the top doth scud, There underneath the banks, then in the mud ; And with his frantic fits so scares the shoal, That each one takes his hide or starting hole : By this the pike clean wearied, underneath A willow lies, and pants (if fishes breathe), Wherewith the angler gently pulls him to him,

And as a lonely maiden, pure and chaste, With naked, ivory neck, and gown unlaced, Within her chamber, when the day is fled, Makes poor her garments to enrich her bed : First puts she off her lily silken gown, That shrieks for sorrow as she lays it down ; And with her arms graceth a waistcoat fine, Embracing her as it would ne'er untwine. Her flaxen hair ensnaring all beholders, She next permits to wave about her shoulders, And though she cast it back, the silken slips Still forward steal, and hang upon her lips ; Whereat she, sweetly angry, with her laces Binds up the wanton locks in curious traces, (gers, Whilst twisting with her joints each hair long linAs loath to be enchained but with her fingers. Then on her head a dressing like a crown ; Her breasts all bare, her kirtle slipping down, And all things off (which rightly ever be Called the foul-fair marks of our misery) Except her last, which enviously doth seize her, Lest any eye partake with it in pleasure, Prepares for sweetest rest, while sylvans greet her, And longingly the down bed swells to meet hor. So by dogrees his shape, all brutish wild, Fell from him, as loose skin from some young child; In lieu whereof a man-like shape appears, And gallant youth scarce skilled in twenty years, So fair, so fresh, so young, so admirable In every part, that since I am not able

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Reason masters every sense,

And her virtues grace her birth ; Lovely as all excellence,

Modest in her most of mirth : Likelihood enough to prove Only worth could kindle love. Such she is : and if you know

Such a one as I have sung ; Be she brown, or fair, or so

That she be but somewhile young ; Be assured 't is she, or none, That I love, and love alone.

Thrice sacred powers ! (if sacred powers there be Whose mild aspect engarland poesy) Ye happy sisters of the learned spring, Whose heavenly notes the woods are ravishing ! Brave Thespian maidens, at whose charming lays Each moss-thrumbed mountain bends, each current Pierian fingers ! O, ye blessed muses ! [plays ! Who as a gem too dear the world refuses ! Whose truest lovers never clip with age, 0, be propitious in my pilgrimage ! Dwell on my lines ! and till the last sand fall, Run hand in hand with my weak pastoral ! Cause every coupling cadence flow in blisses, And fill the world with envy of such kisses. Make all the rarest beauties of our clime, That deign a sweet look on my younger rhyme, To linger on each line's enticing graces As on their lover's lips and chaste embraces ! **

If he say


But here I must digress, yet pardon, swains ; For as a maiden gathering on the plains A scentful nosegay to set near her pap, Or as a favor for her shepherd's cap, Is seen far off to stray, if she have spied A flower that might increase her posy's pride ; So if to wander I am sometimes pressed, 'T is for a strain that might adorn the rest.

Requests that with denial could not meet Flew to our shepherd, and the voices sweet Of fairest nymphs entreating him to say What wight he loved ; he thus began his lay :


The gentle shepherd, hastening to the shore, Began this lay, and timed it with his oar :

Nevermore let holy Dee

O'er other rivers brave,
Or boast how, in his jollity,

Kings rode upon his wave.
But silent be, and ever know
That Neptune for my fare would row.
Those were captives.

That now I am no other,
Yet she that bears my prison's key

Is fairer than love's mother ;
A god took me, those one less high,
They wore their bonds, so do not I.
Swell, then, gently swell, ye floods,

As proud of what ye bear,
And nymphs that in low coral woods

String pearls upon your hair,
Ascend ; and tell if ere this day
A fairer prize was seen at sea.
See the salmons leap and bound

To please us as we pass,
Each mermaid on the rocks around

Lets fall her brittle glass :
As they their beauties did despise,
And loved no mirror but your eyes.
Blow, but gently blow, fair wind,

From the forsaken shore,
And be as to the halcyon kind,

Till we have ferried o'er :
So may'st thou still have leave to blow,
And fan the way where she shall go.
Floods, and nymphs, and winds, and all

That see us both together,
Into a disputation fall;

And then resolve me, whether
The greatest kindness each can show,

Will quit our trust of you or no ?
Thus as a merry milk-maid, neat and fine,
Returning late from milking of her kine,
Shortens the dew'd way which she treads along
With some self-pleasing, since new-gotten song,
The shepherd did their passage well beguile.


Shall I tell you whom I love?

Hearken then a while to me; And if such a woman move

As I now shall versify ;
Be assured 't is she, or none,
That I love and love alone.

Nature did her so much right,

As she scorns the help of art, In as many virtues dight

As o'er yet embraced a heart. So much good so truly tried, Some for legs were deified.

Wit she hath without desire

To make known how much she hath ; And her anger flames no higher

Than may fitly sweeten wrath.
Full of pity as may be,
Though, perhaps, not so to me.

Crabbe's “Parish Register."


And power to part them, when he feels the will ; INTRODCCTION. The Village Register considered, as contain- Toil, care, and patience, bless th' abstemious few;

ing principally the Annals of the Poor. State of the peas- Fear, shame, and want, the thoughtless herd pursue. antry as meliorated by frugality and industry. The cottage of an industrious peasant ; its ornaments. Prints

Behold the cot! where thrives th' industrious and books. The garden ; its satisfactions. The state of

swain, the poor, when improvident and vicious. The Row or

Source of his pride, his pleasure, and his gain ; Street, and its inhabitants. The dwelling of one of these. A public house. Garden and its appendages. Game- Screened from the winter's wind, the sun's last ray sters, rustic sharpers, etc. Conclusion of the introduction.

Smiles on the window and prolongs the day ; PORTRAITS. The child of the miller's daughter, and relation Projecting thatch the woodbine's branches stop,

of her misfortune. A frugal couple: their kind of frugal. ity. Plea of the mother of a natural child : her churching.

And turn their blossoms to the casement's top :Large family of Gerard Ablett : his apprehensions : com- All need requires is in that cot contained, parison between his state and that of the wealthy farmer

And much that taste untaught and unrestrained his master : his consolation. An old man's anxiety for an heir : the jealousy of another on having many. Char- Surveys delighted ; there she loves to trace acters of the grocer Dawkins and his friend : their differ

In one gay picture all the royal race ; ent kinds of disappointment. Three infants named. An orphan girl and village school-mistress. Gardener's child :

Around the walls are heroes, lovers, kings ; pedantry and conceit of the father : his botanical dis- The print that shows them, and the verse that sings. course : method of fixing the embryo-fruit of cucumbers. Absurd effects of rustic vanity: observed in the names

TIE COTTER'S 'COAT OF ARMS.' - THE TWO CHARLESES. of their children. Relation of the vestry debate on a

GODIVA. THE GREAT OX.-XELSOX. foundling : Sir Richard Monday. Children of various inhabitants. The poor farmer. Children of a profligate : Above the mantel, bound with riband blue, his character and fate. Conclusion of the portraits.

The swain's emblazoned Arms demand our view. INTRODUCTION.

In meadow vert, there feeds in gules a cow, THE SUBJECT STATED ; ANNALS OF THE PARISH. Beneath an argent share and sable plough ; The year revolves, and I again explore

While for a crest an azure arm sustains The simple annals of my parish poor ;

In or a wheat-sheaf, rich with bristling grains. What infant members, in my flock, appear ;

There is King Charles, and all his Golden Rules, What pairs I blest, in the departed year ;

Who proved Misfortune's was the best of schools ; And who, of old or young, of nymphs or swains, And there his son, when tried by years of pain, Are lost to life, its pleasures and its pains.

Who proved misfortunes may be sent in vain. No muse I ask, before my view to bring

The magic-mill that grinds the gran’nams young, The humble actions of the swains I sing.

Close at the side of kind Godiva hung ; How passed the youthful, how the old their days, She, of her favorite place the pride and joy, Who sank in sloth, and who aspired to praise ; Of charms at once most lavish and most coy ; Their tempers, manners, morals, customs, arts, By wanton act the purest fame could raise, What parts they had, and how they employed their And give the boldest deed the chastest praise. By what elated, soothed, seduced, depressed, [parts; There stands the stoutest ox that England fed ; Full well I know – these records give the rest. There fights the boldest Jew, Whitechapel bred ;

And here Saint Monday's worthy votaries live, XO RURAL PARADISE EXISTS. Is there a place, save one the poet sees,

In all the joys that ale and skittles give. A land of love, of liberty, and ease ;

Now, lo ! on Egypt's coast, that hostile fleet, Where labor wearies not, nor cares suppress

That nations dreaded and that Nelson beat; Th' eternal flow of rustic happiness ;

And here will soon that other fleet be shown,

That Nelson made the ocean's and our own,
Where no proud mansion frowns in awful state,
Or keeps the sunshine from the cottage-gate ;

Distressing glory! grievous boon of fate !
Where young and old, intent on pleasure, throng,

The proudest conquest, at the dearest rate. And half man's life is holiday and song?

BOOKS OF THE LABORER'S COT. Vain search for scenes like these ! no view appears,

On shelf of deal beside the cuckoo-clock By sighs unruffled or unstained by tears ; Since Vice the world subdued, and waters drowned, Learning we lack, not books, but have a kind

Of cottage-reading rests the chosen stook ; Auburn and Eden can no more be found.

For all our wants, a meat for every mind : THE HUMBLE COTTAGE DESCRIBED. — ITS ORNAMENTS. The tale for wonder, and the joke for whim, Hence good and evil mixed, but man has skill The half-sung sermon, and the half-groaned hymn.

« AnteriorContinuar »