Abbildungen der Seite

To sweet repast th' unwary partridge fries,
With joy amid the scatter'd harvest lies;
Wandring in plenty, danger he forgets,
Nor dreads the slav'ry of entangling nets,'
The subtle dog scours with fagacious nose
Along the sieldy and snuffs each breeze that blows;
Against the wind he takes his prudent way,
While the strong gale directs him to the prey i
Now the warm scent assures the covey near,
He treads with caution, and he points with sear,
Then (lest sume centry fowl the fraud descry,
And bid his sellows from the danger fly)
Close to the ground in expectationlies,
Till in the snare the flutt'ring covey rife.
Soon as the blushing light begins to spread,-
And glancing Phœbus gilds the mountain's head,
His early flight th' ill-fated partridge takes,
And quits the friendly shelter of the brakes:
Or when the fun cafe 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 covies gratisy the paim
When the meredian fun contracts the shade,"
And frisking heisers seek the cooling glade,
Or when the'eountry 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 seeding 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 stubble rrse,
And on swift wing divide the suunding 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-1

Not closest coverts can protect the game: Hark! the dog opens ; take thy certain aim ; The woodcock flutters; how he wav'ring flies ! The wood refounds : he wheels, he drops, he dies. The tow’ring hawk let future poets fing, Who terror bears upon his foaring wing : Let them on high the frighted hern furvey, And lofty numbers paint their airy fray. Nor shall the mountain lark the mufe detain, That greets the morning with his early strain ; When, 'midft his fong, the twinkling glass betrays, While from each angle flash the glancing rays, And in the fun the tranfient colours blaze : Pride lures the little warbler from the skies, The light enamour'd bird deluded dies. But still the chafe, 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 chearful horn, Summons the dogs, and greets the dappled morn; The jocund thunder wakes th' enliven'd hounds, They roufe from sleep, and answer founds for founds ; Wide through the furzy field their route they take, Their bleeding bosoms force the thorny brake : The flying game their fmoaking nostrils trace, No bounding hedge obstructs their eager pace ; The distant mountains echo from afar, And hanging woods refound the flying war : The tuneful noife the sprightly courser hears, Paws the green turf, and pricks his trembling ears ; The flacken'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 fhelter fiņd ? 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 pạnts and heaves for breath, Then lays her down, and waits devouring death.

We cannot part from Mr. Gay without taking fome 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, digreffions 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 despife,
Desended by the riding-hood's disguife:
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 i
Or sweating slaves support the shady load,
When eastern monarchs mow their state abroad;
Britain in winter only knows its aid,
To guard from chilly show'rs the walking maid.
But, O! forget not, muse, the patten's praife,
That semale impkment 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 foil,
A goodly yeoman liv'd grown white with toil:
One only daughter blest his nuptial bed,
Who from her infant hand the poultry sed:
Martha (her careful 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 Patty* fame o'er at;l 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 he* ancle rose the chalky clay.
Vulcan by chance-the blooming maiden-spies,
With innocence and beauty in her eyes,

He faw, he sov'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 Paphian spouse,
Think how her eyes dart inexhausted charms,
And canst thou leave her bed for Patty's arms?

The Lemnian power forfakes the realms above,
His bofom glowing with terrestrial love:
Far in the lane a lonely hut he found,
No tenant ventur'd on th' unwholesume ground.
Here smokes his forge, he bares his sinewy arm,
And early strokes the suunding 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 suothing tales me seigns delays;
What woman can resist the force of praife?

At sirst she coyly ev'ry kisi 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 foothing tales, his presents wore,
And granted kisses, but would grant no more: .,.'••
Yet winter chilPd her seet, with cold she pines,
And on her cheek the fading rose declines.; . -<;. .

No more her humid eyes their luJtoe boast, 1- •
And in hoarse suunds 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 raife, . .-...•.
And bear her fasely through the wintry ways.; 4

Straight the new engine on the anvil glows, :' 1 '';.
Andvthe pale virgin on the patten rose. •»• '..,1 v. c .
No more her lungs are shook with dropping rheums,'
And on her cheek reviving beauty blooms.
The God obfain'd his suit; though statt'ry sail, . .
Presents with semale virtue must prevail.
The patten now supports each frugal dame, :J^.. 11,1

Which from the btoffey'di^a;ii takes *he name. •.. . :./ , . .a-.i.i..!^ 1 ..'Jt..;,', Las ,i!.i; ..4. i.:.r: .' . 'i,~ nl Another

Another fable, or rather epifode, he has inserted, in which, with great humour he employs the heathen Gods and Goddesses in making materials to set up a black-shoeboy, who was sun to the Goddess Ctoacina, whence the poet derives the origin of that trade; and what makes it yet more droll and diverting, he has gravely introduced it -with a ridicule on one of the rules laid down to render these fort os poems the more agreeable.

What though *he gath'ring mire thy seet besmear,
The voice of industry is always near.
Hark, the boy calls thee to Jiis destin'd stand,
And the shoe shines beneath his oily hand.
Here let the muse, fatigu'd amid the throng,
Adorn her precepts with digressive sung;
'Of shirtless youths the secret rife to trace,
And show the parent of the fable race.

Like mortal man, great Jove (grown fond of change)
Of old was wont this nether world to range
To seek amours 4 the vice the monarch lov'd
Soon through the wide.ethereal court improv'd,
And e'en the proudest Goddess now and then
Would lodge a night among the fons of men;
To vulgar deities descends the fashion,
Each, like her better:, had; her earthly passion.
Then Qoacin* (Goddess of the tide
Whose fable streams beneath the city glide)
Jndulg'd the modish slame; the town she rov'd;
A mortal scavenger she faw, flie lov'd;
The muddy spots that dry'd upon his face,
Like semale patches, heighten'd ev'ry grace:
She gaz'd, she sigh'd. For love can beauties spy
In what seems faults to every common eye.

Now had the watchman walk'd his second round;
When Cloacina hears the rumbling found
Of her brown lover's cart, for well she knows
That pleasing thunder: swift the Goddess rose,
And through the streets purso'd the distant noise,
Her bofom panting witn expected joys.
With the night-wandring harlot's airs she past,
Brush'd near his side, and wanton gl«aiccs«ast;


« ZurückWeiter »