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To the Right Honourable
Non injussa cano: te nostræ, Vare, myricæ,
Thy forests, Windsor! and thy green retreats, at once the Monarch's and the Muses' seats, invite my lays. Be present, sylvan Maids! unlock your springs, and open all your shades. Granville commands, your aid, O Muses bring, what muse for Granville can refuse to sing?
The groves of Eden, vanish'd now so long, live in description, and look green in song: these, were my breast inspir'd with equal flame, like them in beauty, should be like in fame. Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain, bere 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, tbin trees arise that shun each other's shades, Here in full light the russet plains extend; there wrapt in clouds, the bluish hills ascend, Literary Miscellany, No. 79. 1
Even the wild heath displays her purple dyes, 25 and ’midst the desert fruitful fields arise, that crown'd with tufted trees and springing corn, like verdant isles, the sable waste adorn. Let India boast her plants, nor envy we thy weeping amber or the balmy tree,
30 while by our oaks the precious loads are borne, and realms commanded which those trees adorn. Not proud Olympus yields a nobler sight, 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' enamelld ground, here Ceres' gifts in waving prospect stand, and nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand; 40 rich industry sits siniling on 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 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 ? in vain kind seasons swelld the teeming grain, soft show'rs distilld, and suns grew warm in vain: the swain with tears his frustrate labour yields, 55 and famish'd dies amidst his ripen'd fields. What wonder then, a beast or subject slain were equal crimnes 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 chaçe 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 ravish'd from th’industrious swains, 65 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 the fox obscene to gaping tombs retires, and savage howlings fill the sacred quires. Aw'd by his nobles, by his commons curst, th' oppressor rul'd tyrannic where he durst, stretch'd o'er the poor and church his iron rod, 75 and serv'd alike his vassals 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: then gath’ring flocks on unknown mountains fed, o'er sandy wilds where yellow harvests spread, the forest wonder'd at th' unusual grain, and secret transports touch'd the conscious swain. 90 Fair Liberty, Britannia's goddess, rears, her cheerful head, and leads the golden years.
Ye vig'rous swains! while youth ferments your and purer spirits swell the sprightly flood, [blood, 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-shorn 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, 101 couch'd close be lies, and meditates the prey ; secure they trust th' unfaithful field beset, 'till hov'ring o'er 'em sweeps the swelling net. Thus (if small things we may with great compare) when Albion sends her eager sons to war,
106 some thoughtless town, with ease and plenty blest, near, and more near, the closing lines invest; sudden they seize th' amaz'd, defenceless prize, and in high air Britannia's standard flies.
110 See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs, and mounts exulting on triumphant wings: short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound, flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground. Ah! what avail his glossy, varying dyes,
115 his purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes, the vivid green bis shining plumes unfold, his painted wings, and breast that flames with gold?
Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky, the woods and fields their pleasing toils deny. 120 To plains with well-breath'd beagles we repair, and trace the mazes of the circling hare; (Beasts, urg'd by us, their fellow-beasts pursue, and learn of man each other to undo.) With slaught'ring guns th' unweary'd fowler roves, when frosts have whiten'd all the naked groves, 126 where doves in flocks the leafless trees o'ershade, and lonely woodcocks haunt the wat’ry glade. he lifts the tube, and levels with his eye; straight a short thunder breaks the frozen sky: 130 oft, as in airy rings they skim the heath, the clam'rous lapwings feel the leaden death: oft, as the mounting larks their notes prepare, they fall, and leave their little lives in air.
In genial spring, beneath the quiv'ring shade, 135 where cooling vapours breathe along the mead, the patient fisher takes his silent stand, intent, his angle trembling in his hand: with looks unmov'd, he hopes the scaly breed, and eyes the dancing cork and bending reed. 140 Our plenteous streams a various race supply, the bright-ey'd perch with fins of Tyrian dye, the silver eel, in shining volumes rollid, the yellow carp, in scales bedropp'd with gold, swist trouts, diversify'd with crimson stains, 145 and pikes, the tyrants of the watery plains.
Now Cancer glows with Phæbus' fiery car; the youth rush eager to the Sylvan war, swarm o'er the lawns, the forest walks surround, rouze the fleet hart, and cheer the opening hound. Th’impatient courser pants
151 and, pawing, seems to beat the distant plain: hills, vales, and floods, appear already cross'd. and, ere he starts, a thousand steps are lost. See the bold youth strain up the threat’ning steep, rush through the thickets, down the vallies sweep, hang o'er their coursers heads with eager speed, and earth rolls back beneath the flying steed. Let old Arcadia boast her ample plain, th' immortal huntress, and her virgin train; 160 No. 79.