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Non injussa cano: te nostræ, Vare, myricæ,
Te nemus omne canet: nec Phoebo gratior ulla est,
Quam sibi quæ Vari præscripsit pagina nomen.
THY forest, Windsor! and thy green retreats, At ouce the monarch's and the Muses seats, Invite my lays. Be present, sylvan maids ! Unlock your springs, and open all your shades. Granville commands; your aid, O Muses, bring: 5 What Muse for Granville can refuse to sing ? The groves
of Eden, vanish'd now so long, Live in description, and look green in song: These, were my breast inspir'd with equal flame, Like them in beauty, should be like in fame. 10
Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain,
Here earth and water seem to strive again ;
Not chaos-like, together crush'd and bruis'd,
But, as the world, harmoniously confus'd;
Where order in variety we see,
And where, tho' all things differ, all agree.
Here waving groves a chequer'd scene display,
And part admit, and part exclude the day;
As some coy nymph her lover's warm address,
Nor quite indulges, nor can quite repress. 20
There interspers'd in lawns and op'ning glades,
Thin trees arise that shun each others' shades.
Here in full light the russet plains extend ;
There wrapt in clouds, the blueish hills ascend.
E'en the wild heath displays her purple dyes, 25
And 'midst the desert fruitful fields arise,
That, crown'd with tufted trees and springing corn,
Like verdant isles the sable waste adorn.
Let India boast her plants, nor envy we
The weeping amber of the balmy tree,
While by our oaks the precious loads are borne,
And realms commanded which those trees adorn.
Not proud Olympus yields a nobler sight,
Tho' gods assembled grace his tow'ring height,
Than what more humble mountains offer here, 35
Where, in their blessings, all those gods appear.
See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crowa'd;
Here blushing Flora paints th' 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 plaius,
And peace and plenty tell a Stuart reigns.
Not thus the land appear'd in ages past,
A dreary desert and a gloomy waste;
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 e'en the elements a tyrant sway'd ?
In vain kind seasons swell'd the teenuing grain,
Soft show'rs distill'd, and suns grew warm in vain :
The swain with tears his frustrate labour 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 starv'd, the beast was fed. 60
Proud Nimrod first the bloody chace began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man;
Our haughty Norman boasts that barb'rous name,
And makes his trembling slaves the royal game.
The fields are ravish'd from th’industrious swains, 65
From men their cities, and from gods their fanes;
The levell'd towns with weeds lie cover'd o'er;
The hollow winds thro’ naked temples roar ;
Round broken columns clasping ivy twin'd;
O'er heaps of ruin stalk'd the stately hind; 70
The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires,
And savage howlings fills the sacred choirs.
Aw'd by his nobles, by his commons curst,
Th’ oppressor ruļd tyrannic where he durst,
Stretch'd o’er the poor and church his iron rod, 75
And serv'd alike his vassals and his God.
Whom e'en the Saxon spar'd, 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! 80
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 displeas'd the peaceful cottage rise :
Then gath’ring flocks on unknown mountains fed,
O'er sandy wilds were yellow harvests spread;
The forest wonder'd at th' unusual grain,
And secret transports touch'd the conscious swain.
Fair Liberty, Britannia's goddess, rears
91 Her cheerful head, and leads the golden years. Ye vig'rous swains! while youth ferments your
blood, 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. When milder autumn summer's heat succeeds, And in the new shorn fields 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, 101 Couch'd close he lies, and meditates the prey; Secure they trust th' unfaithful field beset, 'Till hov'ring o'er 'em sweeps the swelling net. Thus (if small things we may with great compare) When Albion sends her eager sons to war, 106 Some thoughtless town, with ease and plenty blest, Near, and more near, the closing lines invest; Sudden they seize th' amaz'd defenceless prize, And in high 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.