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These, were my breast inspir'd with equal Alame,
Like them in beauty, should 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.
There, interspers’d in lawns and op’ning glades,
Thin trees arife that shun each other's shades.
Here in full light the ruffet 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 isles the fable waste adorn.
Let India boast her plants, nor envy we
The weeping amber or the balmy tree,
30 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 suns or air,
Whose 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 Olympus yields a nobler light,
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 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 or the plains,
And peace and plenty tell, a STUART reigns.
Not thus the land appear'd in ages past,
A dreary desert, and a gloomy waste,
To savage beasts and savage laws a prey, 45
And kings more furious and severe than they;
Who claim'd the skies, dispeopled air and Aoods,
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 saves.) 50
What could be free, when lawless beasts obey'd,
Ánd ev’n the elements a Tyrant sway'd ?
In 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 swelld 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 fubject 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 ravith'd from th' industrious swains,
From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes :
The leveli'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 Ver.65. The fields are ravib'd, etc. ) Alluding to the destruction made in the New Forest, and the tyrannies exercised there by William I. P.
From towns laid waste, to dens and caves they ran
(For who first stoop'd to be a llave was man.)
VER. 57, etc.
No wonder favages or subjects slain
But subjects starv'd while savages were fed. It was originally thus, but the word savages is not pro. perly applied to beasts but to men ; which occasioned the alteration. P.
IMITATIONS. Ver. 65. The fields were ravil'd from th induftrious Swains, From men their cities, and from Gods tbair fanes)
The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires,
And savage howlings fill the sacred quires.
Aw'd by his Nobles, by his Commons curst,
Th'Oppreffor ruld tyrannic where he durst,
Stretch'd o'er the Poor and Church his iron rod, 75
And serv'd alike his Vaffals and his God.
Whom ev'n 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 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. bimself deny'd 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 : fo 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.
VARIATION S. 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.
IMITATION S. Translated from,
Templa adimit divis, fora civibus, arva coloris, an old monkish writer, I forget who. P.
Then gath'ring flocks on unknown mountains fede
O'er fandy wilds were yellow harvests spread,
The forests wonder'd at th' unusual grain,
And secret transport touch'd the conscious swain.
Fair Liberty, Britannia's Goddess, rears gr
Her chearful head, and leads the golden years.
Ye vig'rous swains ! while youth ferments your
And purer fpirits 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-fhorn field 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,
Couch'd close he lies, and meditates the prey :
Oh may no more a foreign master's rage,
With wrongs yet legal, curse a future age !
Still spread, fair Liberty! thy heav'nly wings,
Breath plenty on the fields, and fragrance on the
When yellow autumn summer's heat succeeds,
And into wine the purple harvest bleeds *;
The partridge feeding in the new-shorn fields,
Both morning sports and ev'ning pleasures yields. * Perhaps the Author thought it not allowable to describe the reason fon by a circumftance not proper to our climate the vintage. Po
IMITATIONS. VER. 89. Miraturque novas frondes et non fua poma.