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A subtle, pilfering foe, prowling around
Wide-gaping threatens death. The craggy steep In midnight shades, and wakeful to destroy. Where the poor dizzy shepherd crawls with care, In the full fold, the poor defenceless lamb, And clings to every twig, gives us no pain; Seiz'd by his guileful arts, with sweet warm blood But down we sweep, as stoops the falcon bold Supplies a rich repast. The mournful ewe, To pounce his prey. Then up th' opponent hill, Her dearest treasure lost, through the dun night By the swift motion slung, we mount aloft : Wanders perplex'd, and darkling bleats in vain : So ships in winter-seas now sliding sink While in th' adjacent bush, poor Philomel
Adown the steepy wave, then toss'd on high (Herself a parent once, till wanton churls
Ride on the billows, and defy the storm. Despoil'd her nest) joins in her loud laments, What lengths we pass! where will the wanderin With sweeter notes, and more melodious woe. Lead us bewilder'd! smooth as swallows skim For these nocturnal thieves, huntsman, prepare
The new-shorn mead, and far more swift, we is. Thy sharpest vengeance. Oh ! how glorious "tis See my brave pack ; how to the head they press, To right th' oppress'd, and bring the felon vile Jostling in close array, then more diffuse To just disgrace! Ere yet the morning peep, Obliquely wheel, while from their opening mouths Or stars retire from the first blush of day,
The vollied thunder breaks. So when the cranes With thy far-echoing voice alarm thy pack, Their annual voyage steer, with wanton wing And rouse thy bold compeers. Then to the copse, Their figure oft they change, and their loud clanz Thick with entangling grass, or prickly furze, From cloud to cloud rebounds. How far behind With silence lead thy many-colour'd hounds, The hunter-crew, wide-straggling o'er the plain! In all their beauty's pride. See ! how they range The panting courser now with trembling nerves Dispers’d, how busily this way, and that,
Begins to reel; urg'd by the goring spur, They cross, examining with curious nose
Makes many a faint effort: he snorts, he foams, Each likely haunt. Hark! on the drag I hear The big round drops run trickling down his sides, Their doubtful notes, preluding to a cry
With sweat and blood distain'd. Look back and rien More nobly full, and swell’d with every mouth. The strange confusion of the vale below, As straggling armies, at the trumpet's voice,
Where sour vexation reigns; see yon poor jade! Press to their standard ; hither all repair,
In vain th' impatient rider frets and swears; And hurry through the woods; with hasty step With galling spurs harrows his mangled sides: Rustling, and full of hope; now driven on heaps He can no more : his stiff unpliant limbs They push, they strive; while from his kennel Rooted in earth, unmov'd and fix'd he stands, sneaks
For every cruel curse returns a groan, The conscious villain. See! he skulks along, And sobs, and faints, and dies. Who without grid Sleek at the shepherd's cost, and plump with meals can view that pamper'd steed, his master's jor, Purloin'd. So thrive the wicked here below. His minion, and his daily care, well cloth'd Though high his brush he bear, though tipt with Well fed with every nicer cate; no cost, white
No labour spar'd; who, when the flying Chase It gaily shine ; yet ere the Sun declin'd
Broke from the copse, without a rival led Recall the shades of night, the pamper'd rogue The numerous train : now a sad spectacle Shall rue his fate revers'd, and at his heels
Of pride brought low, and humbl'd insolence, Behold the just avenger, swift to seize
Drove like a pannier'd ass, and scourg'd along. His forfeit head, and thirsting for his blood. [hearts While these, with loosen'd reins and dangling heeks
, Heavens! what melodious strains ! how beat our Hang on their reeling palfreys, that scarce bear Big with tumultuous joy! the loaded gales Their weights : another in the treacherous bog Breathe harmony; and as the tempest drives Lies floundering, half ingulph'd. What biting From wood to wood, through every dark recess
thoughts The forest thunders, and the mountains shake. Torment th' abandon'd crew! Old age laments The chorus swells ; less various, and less sweet, His vigour spent: the tall, plump, brawny youth The trilling notes, when those very groves,
Curses his cumberous bulk; and envies now The feather'd choristers salute the Spring,
The short pygmean race he whilom kenn'd And every bush in concert joins; or when
With proud insulting leer. A chosen few The master's hand, in modulated air,
Alone the sport enjoy, nor droop beneath (herett Bids the loud organ breathe, and all the powers Their pleasing toils. Here, huntsman, from this Of music in one instrument combine,
Observe yon birds of prey; if I can judge, An universal minstrelsy. And now
'Tis there the villain lurks: they hover round In vain each earth he tries, the doors are barr'd And claim him as their own. Was I not right? Impregnable, nor is the covert safe ;
See! there he creeps along; his brush he drags, He pants for purer air. Hark! what loud shouts And sweeps the mire impure ; from his wide jaws Re-echo through the groves! he breaks away. His tongue unmoisten'd hangs; symptoms too sure Shrill horns proclaim his flight. Each straggling Of sudden death. Ha! yet he flies, nor yields hound
To black despair. But one loose more, and all Strains o'er the lawn to reach the distant pack. His wiles are vain. Hark! through yon village mos 'Tis triumph all and joy. Now, my brave youths, The rattling clamour rings. The barns, the cots, Now give a loose to the clean generous steed; And leafless elms return the joyous sounds. Flourish the whip, nor spare the galling spur; Through every homestall, and through every yard, But, in the madness of delight, forget
His midnight walks, panting, forlorn, be flies; Your fears. Far o'er the rocky hills we range, Through every hole he sneaks, through every jake And dangerous our course ; but in the brave Plunging he wades besmear'd, and fondly hopes True courage never fails. In vain the stream In a superior stench to lose his own : In foaming eddies whirls; in vain the ditch But, faithful to the track, th' unerring hounds
With peals of echoing vengeance close pursue. | And avenue to Death. Hither he calls
A lamb is plac'd, just ravish'd from his dam.
And hunger keen, and pungent thirst of blood, Stretch'd at his feet, applauds the glorious deed, Rouze up the slothful beast, he shakes his sides, And grateful calls us to a short repast :
Slow-rising from his lair, and stretches wide In the full glass the liquid amber smiles,
His ravenous paws, with recent gore distain'd. Dur native product; and his good old mate The forests tremble, as he roars aloud, With choicest viands heaps the liberal board, Impatient to destroy. O'erjoyed he hears so crown our triumphs, and reward our toils. The bleating innocent, that claims in vain
Here must th’ instructive Muse (but with respect) The shepherd's care, and seeks with piteous moan Censure that numerous pack, that crowd of state, The foodful teat; himself, alas ! design'd Vith which the vain profusion of the great Another's meal. For now the greedy brute Covers the lawn, and shakes the trembling copse. Winds him from far; and leaping o'er the mound Pompous encumbrance ! A magnificence To seize his trembling prey, headlong is plung'd Useless, vexatious! For the wily fox,
Into the deep abyss. Prostrate he lies lafe in th' increasing number of his foes,
Astunn'd and impotent. Ah! what avail (ens well the great advantage ; slinks behind, Thine eye-balls flashing fire, thy length of tail, Ind slyly creeps through the same beaten track, That lashes thy broad sides, thy jaws besmear'd Ind hunts them step by step : then views, escap'd, With blood and offals crude, thy shaggy mane Vith inward ecstasy, the panting thrung
The terrour of the woods, thy stately port, in their own footsteps puzzled, foil'd, and lost. And bulk enormous, since by stratagem To when proud eastern kings summon to arms Thy strength is foild ? Unequal is the strife, their gaudy legions, from far distant climes When sovereign reason combats brutal rage. Chey flock in crowds, unpeopling half a world : On distant Ethiopia's sun-burnt coasts, But when the day of battle calls them forth The black inhabitants a pitfall frame, o charge the well-train'd foe, a band compact But of a different kind, and different use. f chosen veterans; they press blindly on, With slender poles the wide capacious mouth, n heaps confus'd by their own weapons fall, And hurdles slight, they close ; o'er these is spread 1 smoking carnage scatter'd o'er the plain. A floor of verdant turf, with all its flowers
Nor hounds alone this noxious brood destroy: Smiling delusive, and from strictest search
Concealing the deep grave that yawns below.
Then boughs of trees they cut, with tempting fruit 'at with nocturnal spoils. At close of day, Of various kinds surcharg'd ; the downy peach, Vith silence drags his trail; then from the ground The clustering vine, and of bright golden rind 'ares thin the close-graz'd turf, there with nice hand The fragrant orange. Soon as evening grey 'overs the latent death, with curious springs Advances slow, besprinkling all around Prepar'd to fly at once, whene'er the tread With kind refreshing dews the thirsty glebe, f man or beast unwarily shall press
The stately elephant from the close shade The yielding surface. By th' indented steel With step majestic strides, eager to taste Vith gripe tenacious held, the felon grins,
The cooler breeze, that from the sea-beat shore Ind struggles, but in vain : yet oft 'tis known, Delightful breathes, or in the limpid stream When every art has fail'd, the captive fox
To lave his panting sides ; joyous he scents las shar'd the wounded joint, and with a limb The rich repast, unweeting of the death Compounded for luis life. But, if perchance That lurks within. And soon he sporting breaks in the deep pitfall plung'd, there 's no escape; The brittle boughs, and greedily devours But unrepriev'd he dies, and bleach'd in air, The fruit delicious. Ah! too dearly bought; l'he jest of clowns, his reeking carcass hangs. The price is life. For now the treacherous turf
of these are various kinds; not even the king Trembling gives way; and the unwieldy beast, Of brutes evades this deep devouring grave : Self-sinking, drops into the dark profound. But, by the wily African betray'd,
So when dilated vapours, struggling, heave Heedless of fate, within its gaping jaws
Th’ incumbent earth; if chance the cavern'd ground
With all its towers. Subtle, delusive man!
Fierce from his lair, springs forth the speckled pard
The huntsman flies, but to bis flight alone Assail the clouds. There 'inong the craggy rocks, Confides not: at convenient distance fix'd, And thickets intricate, trembling he views
A polish'd mirrour stops in full career His footsteps in the sand i the dismal read
The furious brute. he there his inage views :
Spots against spots with rage improving glow; The royal offspring, fairest of the fair,
Lead on the splendid train. Anna, more bright
Who unconcern'd can bear the piercing ray. Directs the pointed spear, by which transfix’d Amelia, milder than the blushing dawn, He dies, and with him dies the rival shade. With sweet engaging air, but equal power, Thus man innumerous engines forms, t'assail Insensibly subdues, and in soft chains The savage kind; but most the docile horse, Her willing captives leads. Illustrious maids, Swift and confederate with man, annoys
Ever triumphant! whose victorious charms, His brethren of the plains; without whose aid Without the needless aid of high descent, The hunter's arts are vain, unskill'd to wage
Had aw'd mankind, and taught the world's get With the more active brutes an equal war.
lords But borne by him, without the well-train'd pack, To bow and sue for grace. But who is he Man dares his foe, on wings of wind secure. Fresh as a rose-bud newly blown, and fair
Him the fierce Arab mounts, and, with his troop As opening lilies ; on whom every eye Of bold compeers, ranges the deserts wild; With joy and admiration dwells ? See, see, Where, by the magnet's aid, the traveller
He reins his docile barb with manly grace. Steers his untrodden course ; yet oft on land
Is it Adonis for the chase array'd ? Is wreck’d, in the high-rolling waves of sand
Or Britain's second hope? Hail, blooming youth Immerst and lost. While these intrepid bands, May all your virtues with your years improve Safe in their horses' speed, outfly the storm, (prey, Till in consummate worth, you shine the pride And scouring round, make men and beasts their Of these our days, and to succeeding times The grisly boar is singled from his herd,
A bright example. As his guard of mutes As large as that in Erimanthian woods,
On the great sultan wait, with eyes deject, A match for Hercules. Round him they fly And fix'd on earth, no voice, no sound is beard In circles wide ; and each in passing sends
Within the wide serail, but all is hushid, His feather'd death into his brawny sides.
And awful silence reigns; thus stand the park But perilous th' attempt. For if the steed
Mute and unmov'd, and cowering low to earth Haply too near approach ; or the loose earth While pass the glittering court, and royal pair: His footing fail, the watchful angry beast
So disciplin'd those hounds, and so reservil, Th' advantage spies; and at one sidelong glance
Whose honour 'tis to glad the hearts of kings Rips up his groin. Wounded, he rears aloft, But soon the winding horn, and huntsman's voice And, plunging, from his back the rider hurls Let loose the general chorus; far around Precipitant; then bleeding spurns the ground, Joy spreads its wings, and the gay inorning snilo And drags his reeking entrails o'er the plain,
Unharbour'd now the royal stag forsakes Meanwhile the surly monster trots along,
His wonted lair ; he shakes his dappled sides But with unequal speed; for still they wound,
And tosses high his beamy head, the copse Swift-wheeling in the spacious ring. A wood Beneath his antlers bends. What doubling sit: Of darts upon his back he bears; adown
He tries! not more the wily hare ; in these His tortur'd sides, the crimson torrents roll Would still persist, did not the full-mouth'd parte From many a gaping font. And now at last With dreadful concert thunder in his rear. Staggering he falls, in blood and foam expires, The woods reply, the hunter's cheering shouts
But whither roves my devious Muse, intent Float through the glades, and the wide forest rinn On antique tales? while yet the royal stag
How merrily they chant! their nostrils deep Unsung remains. Tread with respectful awe (bard, Inhale the grateful steam.
Such is the cry, Windsor's green glades; where Denham, tuneful And such th' harmonious din, the soldier dans Charm'd once the listening Dryads, with his song
The battle kindling, and the statesman grare Sublimely sweet. 0! grant me, sacred shade, Forgets his weighty cares ; each age, each sei, To glean submiss what thy full sickle leaves. In the wild transport joins; luxuriant joy,
The morning Sun, that gilds with trembling rays And pleasure in excess, sparkling exult
Thyself ! when all the pangs that grind thy soul,
See the swift courser strains, his shining boefs For our more favour'd shades: in proud parade Securely beat the solid ground. Who now These shine magnificent, and press around
The dangerous pitfall fears, with tangling heath The royal happy pair. Great in themselves, High-overgrown? or who the quivering bog They smile superior; of external show
Soft-yielding to the step? All now is plain, Regardless, while their inbred virtues give
Plain as the strand sea-lav'd, that stretches far A lustre to their power, and grace their court Beneath the rocky shore. Glades crossing glaca With real splendours, far above the pomp
The forest opens to our wondering view: Of Eastern kings, in all their tinsel pride.
Such was the king's command. Let tyrants ferLike troops of Amazons, the female band
Lay waste the world; his the more glorious part Prance round their cars, not in refulgent arms To check their pride; and when the brazen voica As those of old; unskill'd to wield the sword, Of war is hush'd (as erst victorious Rome) Or bend the bow, these kill with surer aim. Temploy his station'd legions in the works
Of peace; to smooth the rugged wilderness, And lifts his weary limbs with pain, that scarce
How melts my beating heart! as I behold Some prying eye surprize him ; soon he rears
At his weak shifts and unavailing frauds. Their garments loosely waving in the wind, So midnight tapers waste their last remains, And all the flush of beauty in their cheeks ! Shine forth awhile, and as they blaze expire. While at their sides their pensive lovers wait, From wood to wood redoubling thunders roll, Direct their dubious course ; now chill'd with fear And bellow through the vales; the moving storm Solicitous, and now with love inflam’d.
Thickens amain, and loud triumphant shouts, O! grant, indulgent Heaven, no rising storm And horns shrill-warbling in each glade, prelude May darken with black wings this glorious scene! To his approaching fate. And now in view Should some malignant power thus damp our joys, With hobbling gait, and high, exerts amaz’d Vain were the gloomy cave, such as of old
What strength is left : to the last dregs of life Betray'd to lawless love the Tyrian queen.
Reduc'd, his spirits fail, on every side For Britain's virtuous nymphs are chaste as fair, Hemm'd in, besieg'd; not the least opening left Spotless, unblam'd, with equal triumph reign To gleaming hope, th' unhappy's last reserve. In the dun gloom, as in the blaze of day.
Where shall he turn? or whither fly? Despair Now the blown stag, through woods, bogs, roads, Gives courage to the weak. Resolv'd to die, and streams
He fears no more, but rushes on his foes, Has measur'd half the forest ; but alas !
And deals his deaths around ; beneath his feet He Aies in vain, he flies not from his fears.
These grovelling lie, those by his antlers gor'd Tliough far he cast the lingering pack behind, Defile th' ensanguin'd plain. Ah! see distressid His haggard fancy still with horrour views
He stands at bay against yon knotty trunk, The fell destroyer ; still the fatal cry
That covers well his rear, his front presents Insults his ears, and wounds his trembling heart. An host of foes. O! shun, ye noble train, So the poor fury-haunted wretch (his hands The rude encounter, and believe your lives In guiltless blood distain'd) still seems to hear Your country's due alone. As now aloof The dying shrieks; and the pale threatening ghost They wing around, he finds his soul uprais'd, Moves as he moves, and as he flies, pursues. To dare some great exploit; he charges home See here his slot; up yon green hill he climbs, Upon the broken pack, that on each side Pants on its brow awhile, sadly looks back
Fly diverse; then as o'er the turf he strains, On his pursuers, covering all the plain;
He vents the cooling stream, and up the breeze But wrung with anguish, bears not long the sight, Urges his course with equal violence : Shoots down the steep, and sweats along the vale. Then takes the soil, and plunges in the flood There mingles with the herd, where once he reign's Precipitant; down the mid-stream he wafts Proud monarch of the groves, whose clashing beam Along, till (like a slip distress'd, that runs His rivals aw'd, and whose exalted power
Into some winding creek) close to the verge Was still rewarded with successful love.
Of a small island, for his weary feet But the base herd have learn'd the ways of men, Sure anchorage he finds, there skulks immers'd. Averse they fly, or with rebellious aim
His nose alone above the wave draws in Chase him from thence: needless their impious deed, The vital air ; all else beneath the flood The huntsman knows him by a thousand marks, Conceal'd, and lost, deceives each prying eye Black, and imbost ; nor are his hounds deceiv'd; Of man or brute. In vain the crowding pack Too well distinguish these, and never leave
Draw on the margin of the stream, or cut Their once devoted foe ; familiar grows
The liquid wave with vary feet, that inove His scent, and strong their appetite to kill. In equal time. The gliding waters leave Again he flies, and with redoubled speed
No trace behind, and his contracted pores Skims o'er the lawn ; still the tenacious crew But sparingly perspire: the huntsman strains Hang on the track, aloud demand their prey, His labouring lungs, and puffs his cheeks in vain : Aud push him many a league. If haply then At length a blood-hound bold, studious to kill, Too far escap'd, and the gay courtly train
And exquisite of sense, winds him from far; Behind are cast, the huntsman's clanging whip Headlong he leaps into the flood, his mouth Stops full their bold career; passive they stand, Loud opening spends amain, and his wide throat Unmov'd, an humble, an obsequious crowd, Swells every note with joy; then fearless dives As if by stern Medusa gaz'd to stones.
Beneath the wave, hangs on his haunch, and wounds So at their general's voice whole armies halt Th' unhappy brute, that flounders in the stream In full pursuit, and check their thirst of blood. Sorely distress'd, and struggling strives to mount Soon at the king's command, like hasty streams The steepy shore. Haply once more escap'd, Damm'd up awhile, they foam, and pour along Again he stands at bay, amid the groves With fresh recruited might. The stag, who hop'd of willows, bending low their downy lieads. His foes were lost, now once inore hears astunn'd Outrageous transport fires the greedy pack ; The dreadful din; he shivers every limb,
These swim the deep, and those crawl up with pain He starts, he bounds, each bush presents a foe. The slippery bank, while others on firm land Press'd by the fresh relay, no pause allow'd, Engage; the stag repels each boid assault,
As when some wily corsair boards a ship
Should he not kill, as erst the Samian sage Full-freighted, or from Afric's golden coasts, Taught unadvis'd, and Indian brachmans now Or India's wealthy strand, his bloody crew
As vainly preach; the teeming ravenous brutes Upon her deck he slings; these in the deep Might fill the scanty space of this terrene, Drop short, and swim to reach her steepy sides, Encumbering all the globe : should not his care And clinging climb aloft; while those on board Improve his growing stock, their kinds might ful Urge on the work of Fate; the master bold, Man might once more on roots and acorns feed, Press'd to his last retreat, bravely resolves
And through the deserts range, shivering, forlorn
, To sink his wealth beneath the whelming wave, Quite destitute of every solace dear, His wealth, his foes, nor unreveng'd to die. And every smiling gaiety of life. So fares it with the stag : so lie resolves
The prudent huntsman therefore will supply To plunge at once into the flood below,
With annual large recruits his broken pack, Himself, his focs, in one deep gulph immers'd. And propagate their kind: as from the rock Ere yet he executes this dire intent,
Fresh scions still spring forth and daily yield In wild disorder once more views the light ;
New blooming honours to the parent-tree. Beneath a weight of woe he groans distress'd, Far shall his pack be fam'd, far sought huis breed The tears run trickling down his hairy checks; And princes at their tables feast those hounds He weeps, nor weeps in vain. The king bcholds His hand presents, an acceptable boon. His wretched plight, and tenderness innate
Ere yet the Sun through the bright Ram has ug'l Moves his great soul. Soon at his high command | His steepy course, or mother Earth unbound Rebuk'd, the disappointed, hungry pack,
Her frozen bosom to the Western gale ; Retire submiss, and grumbling quit their prey. When feather'd troops, their social leagues disser's
T Great Prince ! from thee what may thy subjects Select their mates, and on the leafless elm hope ;
The noisy rook builds high her wicker nest, So kind, and so beneficent to brutes!
Mark well the wanton females of thy pack, O Mercy, heavenly born! sweet attribute!
That curl their taper tails, and frisking court Thou great, thou best prerogative of power! Their pyebald mates enamour'd; their red eyes
ke Justice may guard the throne, but, join’d with thee, Flash fires impure; nor rest, nor food they take On rocks of adamant it stands secure,
Goaded by furious love. In separate cells
The growling rivals in dread battle join,
Heroes of old with far less fury fought
For the bright Spartan dame, their valour's priza
Mangled and torn thy favourite hounds stail lit, Argument.
Stretch'd on the ground; thy kennel shall ap;«
A field of blood: like some unhappy town of the necessity of destroying some beasts, and pre- In civil broils confus'd, while Discord shales
serving others for the use of man. Of breeding Her bloody scourge aloft, fierce parties rage, of hounds; the season for this business. The Staining their impious hands in mutual death. choice of the dog, of great moment. Of the And still the best beloved, and bravest fall : litter of whelps. Of the number to be reared. Such are the dire effects of lawless love. Of setting them out to their several walks. Care Huntsman ! these ills by timely prudent care to be taken to prevent their hunting too soon. Prevent: for every longing dame select
By Of entering the whelps. Of breaking them Some happy paramour; to him alone from running at sheep. Of the diseases of In leagues connubial join. Consider well
Dube hounds. Of their
age, Of madness; two sorts His lineage ; what his fathers did of old, of it described, the dumb and outrageous mad- Chiefs of the pack, and first to climb the rock
, ness : its dreadful effects. Burning of the wound Or plunge into the deep, or tread the brake
. The infectious hounds to be separated, and fed
His foolish offspring shall offend thy ears
. Weate'er of earth is form d, to earth returns Nor less the shifting cur avoid, that breaks Dissolv'd: the various objects we behold,
Illusive from the pack ; to the next hedge.
ten Plants, animals, this whole material mass,
Devious he strays, there every muse he tries : A re ever changing, ever new. The soul
If haply then he cross the steaming scent, Of man alone, that particle divine,
Away he flies vain-glorious; and exults Escapes the wreck of worlds, when all things fail. As of the pack supreme, and in his speed
1 Hence great the distance 'twist the beasts that perish, And strength unrivall’d. Lo! cast far behind, And God's bright image, man's immortal race. His vex'd associates pant, and labouring strain The brute creation are his property,
To climb the steep ascent. Subservient to his will, and for him made.
Th’ insulting boaster, his false courage fails, As hurtful these he kills, as useful those
Behind he lags, doom'd to the fatal noose, Preserves; their sole and arbitrary king.
His master's hate, and scorn of all the held
Soon as they reach