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But soon they leap, and catch the swimming bait,
Plunge on the hook, and share an equal fate.
When a brisk gale against the current blows,
And all the watry plain in wrinkles flows,
Then let the sisherman his art repeat,
Where bubbling eddies favour 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 th' unfaithsul food';
Then downward plunges with the fraudsul prey,
And bears with joy the little spoil away.
Soon in smart pain he seels the dire mistake,
Lashes the wave and beats the foamy lake:
With sudden rage he now aloft appears,
And in his eye convulsive anguish bears;
And now again, impatient of the wound,
He rolls and wreaths his shining body round;
Then headlong shoots beneath the dashing tide.
The trembling sins the boiling wave divide.
Now hope exalts the sisher's beating heart,
Now he turns pale, and sears his dubious art;
He views the tumbling sish with longing eyes,
While the line stretches with th' unwieldy prize j
Each motion humours with his steady hands,
And one flight hair the mighty bulk commands-:
Till tir'd at last, despoil'd of all his strength,
The game athwart the stream unfolds his length.
He now, with pleasure, views the gasping prize
Gnash his sharp teeth, and roll his blood-shot eyes;
Then draws him to the shore with artsul care,
And lists his nostrils in the sickning air:
Upon the burden'd stream he floating lies,
Stretching his quivering sins, and gasping dies.
What he has given' us on the other rural diversions it. altogether as natural, and beautisul as the preceding.
Nor less the spaniel skilsul to betray,
Rewards the fowler with the seather'd prey.
Soon as the labouring horse with swelling veins,.
Hath sasely hous'd the farmer's doubtsul gains,.
To sweet repast th' unwary partridge flies,
With joy amid the scatter'd harvest lies;
Wandring in plenty, danger he forgets,
Nor dreads the flav'ry of entangling nets.
The subtle dog scours with fagacious nose
Along the sield, and snuffs each bretze that blows;
Against the wind he takes his prudent way,
While the strong gale directs him to the prey;
Now the warm scent assures the covey near,
He treads with caution, and he points with sear,
Then (lest some centry fowl the fraud descry,
And bid his sellows from the danger fly)
Close to the groand in expectation lies,
Till in the snare the flutt'ring covey rise.
Soon as the blushing light begins to spread,-
And glancing Plmbus gilds the mountain's head,
His early flight th' ill fated partr'dge tnkes,
And quits the friendly shelter of the brakes:
Or when the sun casts a declining ray,
And drives his chariot down the wtstern way,
Let yoor obsequious ranger search around,
Where yellow stubble withers on the ground:
Nor will the roving spy direct in vain,
But numerous covies gratify the pain.
When the meredian sun contracts the shade,
And frisking heisers seek the cooling glade,
Or when the country floats with sudden rains,
Or driving mists deface the moisten'd plains;
In vain his toils th' unskilsul fowler tries,
While in thick woods the feeding partridge lies.
Nor must the sporting verse the gun forbear,
But what's the fowler's be the muse's care.
See how the well-taught pointer leads the way:
The scent grows warm; he stops; he springs the prey;
The flutt'ring coveys from the fiubble 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;
Now to the copse thy lesser spaniel take,
Teach him to range the ditch and force the brake;
Not closest coverts can protect the game:
Hark! the dog opens; take thy certain aim;
The woodcock flatters; how he wav'ring flies'!
The wood resounds: he wheels, he drops, he dies.
The tov/ring hawk let suture 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 mountain 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 colours blaze:
Pride lures the little warbler from the skies,
The light enamour'd bird deluded dies.
But lbll the chase, a pleasing 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 a chearsul horn, Summons the dogs, and greets the dappled morn; The jocund thunder wakes th' enliven'd hounds, They rouse from sleep, and answer sounds for sounds; Wide through the surzy sield their route they take, Their bleeding bosoms force the thorny brake: The flying game their smoaking nostrils trace, No bounding hedge obstructs their eager pace; The distant mountains echo from afar, And hanging woods resound the flying war: The tunesul noise the sprightly courser hears, Paws the green turf, and pricks his trembling ears; The slacken'd rein now gives him all his speed, Back flies the rapid ground beneath the steed; Hills, dales, and forests far behind remain, While the warm scent draws on the deep-mouth'd train Where shall the trembling hair a shelter sind? Hark! death advances in each gustos 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,
We cannot part from Mr. Gay without taking some notice of his Trivia, or Art of Walking the Streets; a didactic poem of the burlesque kind, which he has heighten'd and made entertaining, by many diverting sictions, similies, digressions and descriptions, very poetically and artsully introduced. Of these the following fable, by which he accounts for the rise of the Patten, is sinely conceived.
Good housewives all the winter's rage despise,
Desended by the riding-hood's disguise:
Or underneath th' umbrella's oily shed,
Sase through the wet on clinking pattens tread.
Let Persian dames th' umbrella's ribs display,
To guard their beauties from the sunny ray;
Or sweating slaves support the shady load,
When eastern monarchs show their state abroad;
Britain in winter only knows its aid,
To guard from chilly show'rs the walking maid.
But, OI forget not, muse, the patten's praise,
That semale implement shall grace thy lays;
Say from what art divine th' invention came,
And from its origin deduce its name.
Where Lincoln wide extends her senny soil,
A goodly yeoman liv'd grown white with toil:
One only daughter blest his nuptial bed,
Who from her infant hand the poultry fed:
Martha (her caresul mother's name) she bore,
But now her caresul mother was no more.
Whilst on her father's knee the damsel play'd,
Patty he fondly called the smiling maid;
As years increas'd, her ruddy beauty grew,
And Pattys fame o'er all the village flew.
Soon as the grey-ey'd morning streaks the skies,
And in the doubtsul day the woodcock flies,
Her cleanly pail the pretty housewise bears,
And singing to the distant sield repairs:
And when the plains with ev'ning dews are spread,
The milky burden smokes upon her head,
Deep, thro' a miry-lane she pick'd her way,
Above her ancle rose the chalky clay.
Vulcan by chance the blooming maiden spies,
With innocence and beauty in her eyes,
He faw, he lov'd, for yet he ne'er had known
Sweet innocence and beauty meet in one.
Ah Mulciber! recal thy nuptial vows,
Think on the graces of thy Papbian spouse,
Think how her eyes dart inexhausted charms,
And canst thou leave her bed for Pattys arms?
The Lemnian power forfakes the realms above,
His bosom glowing with terrestrial love:
Far in the lane a lonely hut he found,
No tenant ventur'd on th' unwholesome ground.
Here smokes his forge, he bares his sinewy arm,
And early strokes the sounding anvil warm:
Around his shop the steely sparkles flew,
As for the steed he shap'd the bending shoe.
When blue-ey'd Patty near his window came,
His anvil rests, his forge forgets to flame.
To hear his soothing tales she seigns delays;
What woman can resist the force of praise?
At sirst she coyly ev'ry kiss withstood,
And all her cheek was flush'd with modest blood:
With headless nails he now surrounds her shoes,
To fave her steps from rains and piercing dews;
She lik'd his soothing tales, his presents wore,
And granted kisses, but would grant no more:
Yet winter chill'd her seet, with cold she pines,
And on her cheek the fading rose declines;
No more her humid eyes their lustre boast,
And in hoarse sounds her melting voice is lost.
This Vulcan faw, and in his heav'nly thought,
A new machine mechanic fancy wrought,
Above the mire her shelter'd steps to raise,
And bearher fasely through the wintry ways 5
Straight the new engine on the anvil glows,
And the pale virgin on the patten rose.
No more her lungs are shook with dropping rheums,
And on her cheek reviving beauty blooms.
The God obtain'd his suit; though flatt'ry fail,
Presents with semale virtue must prevail.
The patten now supports each frugal dame,
rVhich from the blue ey'd Patty takes the name.