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HY forests, Windsor! and thy green retreats,
At once the Monarch's and the Muse's seats,
Invite my lays. Be present, fylvan maids !
Unlock your springs, and open all your shades.
GRANVILLE commands; your aid, O Muses,
What Muse for GRANVILLE can refuse to sing?
The Groves of Eden, vanish'd now so long,
Live in description, and look green in fong:
This Poem was written at two different times: the first part
of it, which relates to the couotry, in the year 1704, at
the fame time with the Pastorals : the latter part was not added till the year 1713, in which it was published. P.
VER. 3, etc, originally thus,
Chaste Goddess of the woods,
Nymphs of the vales, and Naiads of the floods,
Lead me thro’arching bow'rs, and glimm’ring glades.
Unlock your springs
VER.6. neget quis carmina Gallo? Virg.
These, were my breast inspir'd with equal Alame,
Like them in beauty, fhould be like in fame.
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 other's shades.
Here in full light the russet plains extend:
There wrapt in clouds the blueish hills ascend.
Ev’n the wild heath displays her purple dyes, 25
And ’midst the desart fruitful fields arise,
That crown'd with tufted trees and springing corn,
Like verdant ifles the fable waste adorn.
Let India boast her plants, nor envy we
The weeping amber or the balmy tree,
While by our oaks the precious loads are born,
And realms commanded which those trees adorn.
VER. 25. Originally thus ;
Why should I fing our better funs or air,
Whofe vital draughts prevent the leach's care,
While thro' fresh fields th' enliv'ning odours breathe,
Or spread with vernal blooms the purple heath? P.
Not proud O'ympus yields a nobler fight,
Tho' Gods afsembled 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 crown'd,
Here blushing Flora paints th' enamel'd ground,
Here Ceres' gifts in waving prospect stand,
And nodding tempt the joyful reapers hand; 40
Rich Industry fits smiling on the plains,
And peace and plenty tell, a STUART reigns.
Not thus the land appear'd in ages past,
A dreary defert, 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.) 50
What could be free, when lawless beasts obey'd,
And ev’n the elements a Tyrant sway'd ?
Ver. 33. Not proud Olympus, etc.) Sir J. Denham, in his Cooper's Hill, had said,
Than which a nobler weight no mountain bears,
But Atlas only, which supports the spheres. The comparison is childish, for this story of Atlas being fabulous, leaves no room for a compliment. OurPoet has been more artful (though he employs as fabulous a circumstance in his comparison) by shewing in what the nobility of the hills of Windsor. Forest consists
Where, in their blessings, all those Gods appear, etc.
not to speak of the beautiful turn of wit.
VER:45. Savage laws] The Forest Laws.
Ver. 49. Originally thus in the MS.
In vain kind seasons fwell’d the teeming grain,
Soft show'rs distill’d, and suns grew warm in vain ;
The swain with tears his frustrate labour yields, 55
And familh'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 llaves the royal game.
The fields are ravish'd from th' industrious swains,
From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes :
The levelld 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
Ver.65. The fields are ravish'd, etc ) Alluding to the destruction made in the New Forest, and the tyrannies exercised there by William I. P.
V.A R I ATIONS.
From towns laid waite, to dens and caves they ran
(For who first stoop'd to be a slave was man.) VER, 57, etc.
No wonder savages or subjects flain
But subjects starv'd while lavages were fed. It was originally thus, but the word favages is not properly applied to beasts but to men; which occafioned the alteration. P.
IMITATIONS. VER. 65. The fields were ravish'd from th' industrious fwains, From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes:]
The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires,
And favage howlings fill the sacred quires.
Aw'd by his Nobles, by his Commons curst,
Th’Oppressor ruld tyrannic where he durft,
Stretch'd o'er the Poor and Church his iron rod, 75
And sery'd alike his Vassals and his God.
Whom ev'n the Saxon fpar'd and bloody Dane,
The wanton victims of his sport remain.
But see, the man who spacious regions gave
A waste for beasts, himself deny'd 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.
VER. 80. himself denyd a grave!) The place of his interment at Caen in Normandy was claimed by a gentleman as his inheritance, the moment his servants were going to put him in his tomb : so that they were obliged to compound with the owner before they could perform the King's obsequies.
Ver. 81. second hope) Richard, second son of William the Conqueror.
VARIATIONS. Ver. 72. And wolves with howling fill, etc. The Author thought this an error, wolves not being com. mon in England at the time of the Conqueror. P.
IMITATIONS. Translated from,
Templa adimit divis, fora civibus, arva coloris, an old monkish writer, I forget who. P.