« ZurückWeiter »
nor envy, Windsor! since thy shades have seen as bright a goddess, and as chaste a queen; whose care, like her's protects the Sylvan reign, the earth's fair light, and empress of the main.
Here, too, 't is sung, of old Diana stray'd, and Cynthus' top forsook for Windsor shade; here was she seen o'er airy wastes to rove, seek the clear spring, or haunt the pathless grove; here arm'd with silver bows, in early dawn, her buskin'd virgins trac'd the dewy lawn. Above the rest a rural nymph was fam'd, thy offspring, Thames! the fair Lodona nam'd (Lodona's fate, in long oblivion cast.
the muse shall sing, and what she sings shall last). Scarce could the goddess from her nymph be known but by the crescent and the golden zone.
She scorn'd the praise of beauty, and the care; a belt her waist a fillet blind her hair; a painted quiver on her shoulder sounds, and with her dart the flying deer she wounds. It chanc'd as, eager of the chace, the maid beyond the forest's verdant limits stray'd, Pan saw and lov'd, and burning with desire pursu'd her flight; her flight increas'd his fire. Not half so swift the trembling doves can fly, when the fierce eagle cleave the liquid sky; not half so swift by the fierce eagle moves, when through the clouds he drives the trembling as from the god she flew with furious pace, [doves: or as the god, more furious, urg'd the chace. Now fainting, sinking, pale, the nymph appears; now close behind, his sounding steps she hears; and now his shadow reach'd her as she run, bis shadow lengthen'd by the setting sun;
and now his shorter breath, with sultry air, pants on her neck, and fans her parting air. In vain on father Thames she calls for aid, nor could Diana help her injur'd maid. Faint, breathless, thus she pray'd, nor pray'd in vain; "Ah, Cynthia! ah-tho' banish'd from thy train, let me, O let me, to the shades repair,
my native shades-there weep, and murmur there." She said, and melting as in tears she lay, in a soft silver stream dissolv'd away.
The silver stream her virgin coldness keeps, for ever murmurs, and for ever weeps: still hears the name the hapless virgin bore, and bathes the forest where she rang❜d before. In her chaste current oft the goddess laves, and with celestial tears augments the waves. Oft in her glass the musing shepherd spies the headlong mountains and the downward skies; the wat❜ry landscape of the pendant woods, and absent trees that tremble in the floods; in the clear azure gleam the flocks are seen, and floating forests paint the waves with green. Thro' the fair scene roll slow the ling'ring streams, then foaming pour along, and rush into the Thames, Thou, too, great father of the British floods! with joyful pride survey'st our lofty woods; where tow'ring oaks their growing honours rear, and future navies on thy shores appear. Not Neptune's self from all his streams receives a wealthier tribute than to thine he gives. No seas so rich, so gay no banks appear, no lake so gentle, and no spring so clear. Nor Po so swells the fabling poets lays, while led along the skies his current strays,
as thine, which visits Windsor's fam❜d abodes,
Happy the man whom this bright court approves, his sov'reign favours, and his country loves: happy next him, who to these shades retires, whom nature charms, and whom the Muse inspires: whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please, successive study, exercise, and ease.
He gathers health from herbs the forest yields,
or looks on Heav'n with more than mortal eyes,
Ye sacred Nine! that all my soul possess, whose raptures fire me, and whose visions bless, 260 bear me, oh bear me to sequester'd scenes, the bow'ry mazes, and surrounding greens;
to Thames's banks, which fragrant breezes fill, or where ye Muses sport on Cooper's Hill. (On Cooper's Hill eternal wreaths shall grow, while lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall flow.) I seem through consecrated walks to rove, I hear soft music die along the grove:
led by the sound, I roam from shade to shade, by godlike poets venerable made:
here his first lays majestic Denham sung;
there the last numbers flow'd from Cowley's tongue. O early lost! what tears the river shed,
when the sad pomp along his banks was led?
Since Fate relentless stopp'd their heav'nly voice, no more the forests ring, or groves rejoice; who now shall charm the shades where Cowley strung his living harp, and lofty Denham sung? But hark! the groves rejoice, the forest rings! are these reviv'd? or is it Granville sings? 't is yours, my Lord, to bless our soft retreats, and call the Muses to their ancient seats; to paint anew the flow'ry sylvan scenes, to crown the forests with immortal greens : make Windsor-hills in lofty numbers rise, 5 and lift her turrets nearer to the skies; to sing those honours you deserve to wear, and add new lustre to her silver star.
Here noble Surrey felt the sacred rage, Surrey, the Granville of a former age; matchless his pen, victorious was his lance, bold in the lists, and graceful in the dance: in the same shades the Cupids tun'd his lyre, to the same notes, of love, and soft desire:
fair Geraldine, bright object of his vow,
then fill'd the groves, as heav'nly Mira now.
Oh wouldst thou sing what heroes Windsor bore, what kings first breath'd upon her winding shore, or raise old warriors, whose ador'd remains in weeping vaults her hallow'd earth contains! with Edward's acts adorn the shining page, stretch his long triumphs down through ev'ry age, draw monarchs chain'd, and Cressi's glorious field, the lilies blazing on the regal shield:
then, from her roofs when Verrio's colours fall, and leave inanimate the naked wall,
still in thy song should vanquish'd France appear, and bleed for ever under Britain's spear. Let softer strains ill-fated Henry mourn, and palms eternal flourish round his urn. Here o'er the martyr-king the marble weeps, and, fast beside him, once fear'd Edward sleeps: whom not th' extended Albion could contain, from old Belerium to the northern main, the grave unites; where ev'n the great find rest, and blended lie th' oppressor and th' opprest!
Make sacred Charles's tomb for ever known, (obscure the place, and uninscrib'd the stone); 320 oh fact accurs'd! what tears has Albion shed, Heav'ns! what new wounds! and how her old have she saw her sons with purple death expire, her sacred domes involv'd in rolling fire, a dreadful series of intestine wars, inglorious triumphs, and dishonest scars.
At length great Anna said, “Let discord cease!" she said; the world obey'd, and all was peace!
In that blest moment from his oozy bed
old father Thames advanc'd his reverend head; 330