Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

HUNTING THE DEER.

POLY-OLBION.

SONG XIII.

Thus sing away the morn, until the mounting sun DESCRIPTION OF MORNING, BIRDS, AND

Through thick exhaled fogs his golden head hath

run, And through the twisted tops of our close covert

creeps When Phæbus lifts his head out of the winter's To kiss the gentle shade, this while that sweetly wave,

sleeps. No sooner doth the earth her flowery bosom brave,

And near to these our thicks, the wild and frightAt such time as the year brings on the pleasant

ful herds, spring,

Not hearing other noise but this of chattering birds, But hunts-up to the morn the feather'd sylvans Feed fairly on the lawns; both sorts of season'd deer: sing:

Here walk the stately red, the freckled fallow there : And in the lower grove, as on the rising knoll,

The bucks and lusty stags amongst the rascals l'pon the highest spray of every mounting pole,

strew'd, Those quiristers are percht with many a speckled As sometime gallant spirits amongst the multitude.

Of all the beasts which we for our venerial name, breast. Then from her burnisht gate the goodly glitt’ring of which most princely chase sith none did e'er

The hart among the rest, the hunter's noblest game: east Gilds every lofty top, which late the humorous night

report, Bespangled had with pearl, to please the morning's Or by description touch, t express that wondrous sight :

sport On which the mirthful quires, with their clear open (Yet might have well beseem’d th' ancients nobler throats,

songs) Unto the joyful morn so strain their warbling notes,

To our old Arden here, most fitly it belongs : That hills and valleys ring, and even the echoing air

Yet shall she not invoke the muses to her aid ; Seems all composed of sounds, about them every

But thee, Diana bright, a goddess and a maid : where.

In many a huge-grown wood, and many a shady The throstel, with shrillsharps; as purposely he sung

grove, T' awake the lustless sun ; or chiding, that so long

Which oft hast borne thy bow (great huntress, used He was in coming forth, that should the thickets to rove) thrill;

At many a cruel beast, and with thy darts to pierce The woosel near at hand, that hath a golden bill; The lion, panther, ounce, the bear, and tiger fierce; As nature him had markt of purpose, t' let us see

And following thy fleet game, chaste mighty forest's That from all other birds his tunes should different queen, be :

With thy disheveld nymphs attired in youthful For, with their vocal sounds, they sing to pleasant green, May ;

About the lawns hast scour'd, and wastes both far l'pon his dulcet pipe the merle doth only play. When in the lower brake, the nightingale hard by, Brave huntress; but no beast shall provethy quarries In such lamenting strains the joyful hours doth ply, As though the other birds she to her tunes would

Save those the best of chase, the tall and lusty red, draw

The stag for goodly shape, and stateliness of head, And, but that nature (by her all-constraining law)

Is fitt'st to hunt at force. For whom, when with his Each bird to her own kind this season doth invite, hounds They else, alone to hear that charmer of the night, The labouring hunter tufts the thick unbarbed (The more to use their ears) their voices sure would grounds

Where harbour'd is the hart ; there often from his spare, That moduleth her tunes so admirably rare,

feed As man to set in parts at first had learn’d of her. The dogs of him do find; or thorough skilful heed, To Philomel the next, the linnet we prefer ;

The huntsman by his slot, or breaking earth, perAnd by that warbling bird, the wood-lark place we

ceives, then,

[wren. On ent’ring of the thick by pressing of the greaves, The red-sparrow, the nope, the red-breast, and the Where he had gone to lodge. Now when the hart The yellow-pate; which though she hurt the bloom

doth hear ing tree,

The often-bellowing hounds to vent his secret leir, Yet scarce hath any bird a finer pipe than she. He rousing rusheth out, and through the brakes And of these chaunting fowls, the goldfinch not doth drive, behind,

Is though up by the roots the bushes he would That hath so many sorts descending from her kind. rive. The tydy for her notes as delicate as they,

Ind through the cumbrous thicks, as fearfully he The laughing hecco, then the counterfeiting jay, makes, The softer with theshrill(some hidamong the leaves, 'le with his branched head the tender saplings Some in the taller trees, some in the lower greaves) shakes,

and near,

here ;

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

That sprinkling their moist pearl do seem for him

to weep; When after goes the cry, with yellings loud and

deep, That all the forest rings, and every neighbouring

place : And there is not a hound but falleth to the chase. Rechating with his horn, which then the hunter

cheers, Whilst still the lusty stag his high-palm'd head

upbears, His body showing state, with unbent knees upright, Expressing from all beasts, his courage in his

flight. But when th' approaching foes still following he

perceives, That he his speed must trust, his usual walk he

leaves : And o'er the champain flies : which when th'

assembly find, Each follows, as his horse were footed with the

wind. But being then imbost, the noble stately deer When he hath gotten ground (the kennel cast

arrear) Doth beat the brooks and ponds for sweet refreshing

soil : That serving not, then proves if he his scent can foil, And makes amongst the herds, and flocks of shag

wool'd sheep, Them frighting from the guard of those who had

their keep. But when as all his shifts his safety still denies, Put quite out of his walk, the ways and fallows

tries, Whom when the ploughman meets, his team he

letteth stand T'assail him with his goad : so with his hook in hand, The shepherd him pursues, and to his dog doth

hallo : When, with tempestuous speed, the hounds and

huntsmen follow; Until the noble deer through toil bereaved of

strength, His long and sinewy legs then failing him at length, The villages attempts, enraged, not giving way To anything he meets now at his sad decay. The cruel ravenous hounds and bloody hunters

near, This noblest beast of chase, that vainly doth but

fear, Some bank or quickset finds: to which his haunch

opposed, He turns upon his foes, that soon bave him inclosed. The churlish-throated hounds then holding him at

bay, And as their cruel fangs on his harsh skin they lay, With his sharp-pointed head he dealeth deadly

wounds. The hunter,coming in to help his wearied hounds, He desperately assails ; until opprest by force, He who the mourner is to his own dying corse, Upon the ruthless earth his precious tears lets fall.

BALLAD OF DOWSABEL.

Far in the country of Arden,
There won’d a knight, hight Cassamen,

As bold as Isenbras :
Fell was he and eager bent,
In battle and in tournament,

As was the good Sir Topas.
He had, as antique stories tell,
A daughter cleped Dowsabel,

A maiden fair and free.
And for she was her father's heir,
Full well she was ycond the leir

Of mickle courtesy.
The silk well couth she twist and twine,
And make the fine march-pine,

And with the needle work :
And she couth help the priest to say
His mattins on a holy-day,

And sing a psalm in kirk.
She wore a frock of frolic green,
Might well become a maiden queen,

Which seemly was to see ;
A hood to that so neat and fine,
In colour like the columbine,

Iwrought full featously.
Her features all as fresh above,
As is the grass that grows by Dove,

And lythe as lass of Kent.

Her skin as soft as Lemster wool,
As white as snow, on Peakish Hull,

Or swan that swims in Trent.
This maiden in a morn betime,
Went forth when May was in the prime,

To get sweet setywall,
The honey-suckle, the harlock,
The lily, and the lady-smock,

To deck her summer hall.
Thus as she wander'd here and there,
And picked off the bloomy brier,

She chanced to espy
A shepherd sitting on a bank,
Like chanticleer he crowned crank,

And piped full merrily.
He learn’d his sheep, as he him list,
When he would whistle in his fist,

To feed about him round.
Whilst he full many a carol sang,
Until the fields and meadows rang,

And all the woods did sound.
In favour this same shepherd swain
Was like the bedlam Tamerlane,

Which held proud kings in awe :
But meek as any lamb might be ;
And innocent of ill as he

Whom his lewd brother slaw.
The shepherd wore a sheep-gray cloak,
Which was of the finest lock,

That could be cut with sheer.
His mittens were of bauzons' skin,
His cockers were of cordiwin,

His hood of miniveer.
His awl and lingel in a thong,
His tar.box on his broad belt hung,

His breech of Cointree blue.
Full crisp and curled were his locks,
His brows as white as Albion rocks,

So like a lover true.
And piping still he spent the day,
So merry as the popinjay,

Which liked Dowsabel ;
That would she ought, or would she nought,
This lad would never from her thought,

She in love-longing fell.
At length she tucked up her frock,
White as a lily was her smoek,

She drew the shepherd nigh :
But then the shepherd piped a good,
That all his sheep forsook their food,

To hear this melody.
Thy sheep, quoth she, cannot be lean,
That have a jolly shepherd swain,

The which can pipe so well :
Yea but (saith he) their shepherd may,
If piping thus he pine away,

In love of Dowsabel.

Of love, fond boy, take thou no keep,
Quoth she, look well unto thy sheep,

Lest they should hap to stray.
Quoth he, so had I done full well,
Had I not seen fair Dowsabel

Come forth to gather May.
With that she gan to veil her head,
Her cheeks were like the roses red,

But not a word she said.
With that the shepherd 'gan to frown,
He threw his pretty pipes adown,

And on the ground him laid.
Saith she, I may not stay till night,
And leave my summer hall undight,

And all for love of thee.
My cote, saith he, nor yet my fold,
Shall neither sheep nor shepherd hold,

Except thou favour me.
Saith she, yet lever I were dead,
Than I should lose my maidenhead,

And all for love of men.
Saith he, yet are you too unkind,
If in your heart you cannot find

To lore us now and then.
And I to thee will be as kind,
As Colin was to Rosalind,

Of courtesy the flower.
Then will I be as true, quoth she,
As ever maiden yet might be

Unto her paramour.
With that she bent her snow-white knee,
Down by the shepherd kneeled she,

And him she sweetly kist. With that the shepherd whoop'd for joy ; Quoth he, there's never shepherd's boy

That ever was so blest.

SONNET

TO HIS FAIR IDEA.

In pride of wit, when high desire of fame
Gave life and courage to my labouring pen,
And first the sound and virtue of my name
Won grace and credit in the ears of men ;
With those the thronged theatres that press,
I in the circuit for the laurel strove,
Where, the full praise, I freely must confess,
In heat of blood, a modest mind might move.
With shouts and claps, at every little pause,
When the proud round on every side hath rung,
Sadly I sit unmoved with the applause,
As though to me it nothing did belong :
No public glory vainly 1 pursue ;
The praise I strive, is to eternize you.

« ZurückWeiter »