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Adınir'd Salopia! that with venial pride
Eyes her bright form in Severn's ambient wave,
Fam'd for her loyal cares in perils try'd,
Her daughters lovely, and her striplings brave:
Ah! midst the rest, may flowers adorn his grave,
Whose art did first these dulcet cates display!
A motive fair to Learning's imps he gave,
Who cheerless o'er her darkling region stray;
Till Reason's morn arise, and light them on their
HERE, here she lies, a budding rose
Blasted before its bloom,
Whose innocence did sweets disclose
Beyond that flower's perfume.
To those who for her death are griev'd,
This consolation's given;
She's from the storms of life reliv'd
To them more bright in Heaven.
I. ON A TABLET AGAINST A ROOT-HOUSE.
HERE, in cool grot and mossy cell,
We rural fays and faeries dwell;
Though rarely seen by mortal eye,
When the pale Moon, ascending high,
Darts through yon lines her quivering beams,
We frisk it near these crystal streams.
Her beams, reflected from the wave,
Afford the light our revels crave;
The turf, with daisies broider'd o'er,
Exceeds, we wot, the Parian floor;
Nor yet for artful strains we call,
But listen to the water's fall.
Would you then taste our tranquil scene,
Be sure your bosoms be serene.
Devoid of hate, devoid of strife,
Devoid of all that poisons life:
And much it 'vails you in their place,
To graft the love of human race.
And tread with awe these favour'd bowers,
Nor wound the shrubs, nor bruise the flowers;
So may your path with sweets abound;
So may your couch with rest be crown'd!
But harm betide the wayward swain,
Who dares our hallow'd haunts profane!
COME then, my friend, thy sylvan taste display,
Come, hear thy Faunus tune his rustic lay;
Ah, rather come, and in these dells disown
The care of other strains, and tune thine own.
IV. ON THE BACK OF A GOTHIC SEAT.
SHEPHERD, Would'st thou here obtain
Pleasure unalloy'd with pain?
Joy that suits the rural sphere?
Gentle shepherd, lend an ear.
Learn to relish calm delight,
Verdant vales and fountains bright;
Trees that nod on sloping hills,
Caves that echo tinkling rills.
If thou canst no charm disclose
In the simplest bud that blows;
Go, forsake thy plain and fold,
Join the crowd, and toil for gold.
Tranquil pleasures never cloy;
Banish each tumultuous joy:
All but love-for love inspires
Fonder wishes, warmer fires.
Love and all its joys be thine-
Yet, ere thou the reins resign,
Hear what Reason seems to say:
Hear attentive, and obey.
"Crimson leaves the rose adorn,
But beneath them lurks a thorn;
Fair and flowery is the brake,
Yet it hides the vengeful snake.
"Think not she, whose empty pride
Dares the fleecy garb deride,
Think not she, who, light and vain,
Scorns the sheep, can love the swaim
"Artless deed and simple dress
Mark the chosen shepherdess;
Thoughts by decency control'd,
Well conceiv'd, and freely told.
"Sense, that shuns each conscious air,
Wit, that falls ere well aware;
Generous pity, prone to sigh
If her kid or lambkin die.
"Let not lucre, let not pride,
Draw thee from such charms aside;
Have not those their proper sphere?
Gentler passions triumph here.
"See, to sweeten thy repose,
The blossom buds, the fouutain flows;
Lo! to crown thy healthful board,
All that milk and fruits afford.
"Seek no more-the rest is vain;
Pleasure ending soon in pain:
Anguish lightly gilded o'er :-
Close thy wish, and seek no more."
ON THE BACK OF A GOTHIC ALCOVÈ You that bathe in courtly blysse,
1 In Halesowen church-yard, on Miss Anne Powell,
Or toyle in Fortune's giddy spheare;
Do not too rashly deem amysse
Of him that bydes contented here.
Nor yet disdeigne the russet stoale,
Which o'er each carelesse lymbe he flyngs: Nor yet deryde the beechen bowle,
In whyche he quaffs the lympid springs.
Forgive him, if at eve or dawne,
Devoide of worldlye cark he stray :
Or all beside some flowerye lawne,
He waste his inoffensive daye.
So may he pardonne fraud and strife,
If such in courtlye haunt he see :
For faults there beene in busye life,
From whyche these peaceful glennes are free.
VI. ON A SEAT, UNDER A SPREADING
Hoc erat in votis: modus agri non ita magnus,
Hortus ubi, et tecto vicinus jugis aquæ fons,
Et paulum sylvæ super his foret. Auctius atque
Dii melius fecere.-
IOSEPHO SPENCE, EXIMIO NOSTRO CRITONI ;
CVI DICARI VELLET
MVSARVM OMNIVM ET GRATIARVM CHORVS,
VIII. ON THE ASSIGNATION SEAT. NERINE Galatea! thymo mihi dulcior Hyblæ, Candidior cygnis, hedera formosior alba! Cum primum pasti repetent præsepia tauri, Si quæ tui Corydonis habet te cura, venito.
IX. ON AN ORNAMENTED URN. Inscribed to Miss DOLMAN, a beautiful and amiable relation of Mr. SHENSTONE's, who died of the small-pox, about twenty-one years of age.
PER AMABILI SVAE CONSOBRINAE
On the other side:
AH FLORE VENVSTATIS ABREPTA, VALE!
HEV QVANTO MINVS EST
CVM RELIQUIS VERSARI,
AT THE BOTTOM OF A LARGE ROOT, ON THE SIDE
OF A SLOPE.
O LET me haunt this peaceful shade;
Nor let Ambition e'er invade
The tenants of this leafy bower,
That shun her paths, and slight her power!
Hither the peaceful Halcyon flies
From social meads and open skies;
Pleas'd by this rill her course to steer,
And hide her sapphire plumage here.
The trout, bedropt with crimson stains,
Forsakes the river's proud domains;
Forsakes the Sun's unwelcome gleam,
To lurk within this humble stream.
And sure I hear the Naïad say,
"Flow, flow, my stream, this devious way,
Though lovely soft thy murmurs are,
Thy waters lovely cool and fair.
"Flow, gentle stream, nor let the vain
Thy small unsully'd stores disdain :
Nor let the pensive sage repine,
Whose latent course resembles thine."
XII. ON A SMALL OBELISK IN VIRGIL'S
P. VIRGILIO MARONI
LAPIS ISTE CVM LVCO SACER ESTO.
XIII. ON A STONE, BY A-CHALYBEAT
DIVAE QUAE SECESSV ISTO FRVI CONCEDIT.
XIV. ON A STONE SEAT, MAKING PART
OF A CAVE.
INTVS AQVAE DULCIS, VIVOQUE SEDILIA SAXO ;
- NYMPHARVM DOMVS.
XV. ON TWO SEATS, TO TWO OF HIS
MOST PARTICULAR FRIENDS.
The first thus:
AMICITIAE ET MERITIS
IPSAE TE, TITYRE, PINVS,
IPSI TE FONTES, ISPA HAEC ARBVSTA VOCABANT.
AMICITIAE ET MERITIS
X. ON A SEAT.
PROPE FONTES ILLI NON FASTIDITOS
Quæ tibi, quæ tali reddam pro carmine dona ? Nam neque me tantum venientis sibilus austri, Nec percussa juvant fluctu tam litora, nec quæ Saxosas inter decurrunt flumina valles.
XVI. ON A STATUE OF VENUS DE
To Venus, Venus here retir'd,
My sober vows I pay:
Not her on Paphian plains admir'd,
The bold, the pert, the gay.
Not her whose amorous leer prevail'd
To bribe the Phrygian boy;
Not her who, clad in armour, fail'd
To save disastrous Troy.
Fresh rising from the foamy tide,
She every bosom warms:
While half withdrawn she seems to hide,
And half reveals, her charms.
Learn hence, ye boastful sons of taste,
Who plan the rural shade;
Learn hence to shun the vicious waste
Of pomp, at large display'd,
Let sweet concealment's magic art
Your mazy bounds invest;
And while the sight unveils a part,
Let fancy paint the rest.
Let coy reserve with cost unite
To grace your wood or field;
No ray obtrusive pall the sight,
In aught you paint, or build.
And far be driven the sumptuous glare Of gold, from British groves;
And far the meretricious air
Of China's vain alcoves.
'Tis bashful beauty ever twines
The most coercive chain;
'Tis she, that sovereign rule declines, Who best deserves to reign."
BY THE LATE LADY LUXBOROUGH.
'Tis Nature here bids pleasing scenes arise,
And wisely gives them Cynthio to revise:
To veil each blemish; brighten every grace;
Yet still preserve the lovely parent's face.
How well the Bard obeys, each valley tells;
These lucid streams, gay meads, and lonely cells;
Where modest Art in silence lurks conceal'd,
While Nature shines so gracefully reveal'd,
That she triumphant claims the total plan,
And, with fresh pride, adopts the work of man.
SEE! the tall youth, by partial Fate's decree,
To affluence born, and from restraint set free,
Eager he seeks the scenes of gay resort,
The mall, the rout, the play-house, and the court:
Soon for some varnish'd nymph of dubious fame,
Or powder'd peeress, counterfeits a flame.
Behold him now, enraptur'd, swear and sigh,
Dress, dance, drink, revel, all he knows not why;
Till, by kind Fate restor'd to country air,
He marks the roses of some rural fair:
Smit with her unaffected native charms,
A real passion soon his bosom warms :
And, wak'd from idle dreams, he takes a wife,
And tastes the genuine happiness of life.
Thus, in the vacant season of the year,
Some Templar gay begins his wild career.
From seat to seat o'er pompous scenes he flies,
Views all with equal wonder and surprise;
Till, sick of domes, arcades, and temples grown,
He hies fatigued, not satisfied, to town.
Yet if some kinder Genius point his way
To where the Muses o'er thy Leasowes stray,
Charm'd with the sylvan beauties of the place,
Where Art assumes the sweets of Nature's face,
Each hill, each dale, each consecrated grove,
Each lake, and falling stream, his rapture move.
Like the sage captive in Calypso's grot,
The cares, the pleasures, of the world forgot,
Of calm content he hails the genuine sphere,
And longs to dwell a blissful hermit here.
RECEIVED BY THE POST, FROM A LADY UNKNOWN, 1761.
HEALTH to the bard in Leasowes' happy groves ;
Health, and sweet converse with the Muse he loves!
The humblest votary of the tuneful Nine,
With trembling hand, attempts her artless line,
In numbers such as untaught Nature brings;
As flow, spontaneous, like thy native springs.
But ah! what airy forms around me rise?
The russet mountain glows with richer dyes;
In circling dance a pigmy crowd appear,
And hark! an infant voice salutes my ear:
"Mortal, thy aim we know, thy task approve
His merit honour, and his genius love :
For us what verdant carpets has he spread,
Where nightly we our mystic mazes tread!
For us, each shady grove and rural seat,
His falling streams and flowing numbers sweet!
Didst thou not mark, amid the winding dell,
What tuneful verse adorns the mossy cell?
There every Fairy of our sprightly train
Resort, to bless the woodland and the plain.
There, as we move, unbidden beauties glow,
The green turf brightens, and the violets blow;
And there with thoughts sublime we bless the swain,
Nor we inspire, nor he attends, in vain.
"Go, simple rhymer! bear this message true ; The truths that Fairies dictate none shall rue. Say to the Bard in Leasowes' happy grove, Whom Dryads honour, and whom Fairies love'Content thyself no longer that thy lays, By others foster'd, lend to others praise; No longer to the favouring world refuse The welcome treasures of thy polish'd Muse; The scatter'd blooms, that boast thy valued name, Collect, unite, and give the wreath to fame : Ne'er can thy virtues, or thy verse, engage More solid praise than in this happiest age, When sense and merit's cherish'd by the Throne, And each illustrious privilege their own. Though modest be thy gentle Muse, I ween, Oh, lead her blushing from the daisied green, A fit attendant on Britannia's Queen."
HA! what art thou, whose voice unknown
Pours on these plains its tender moan?
Art thou the nymph in Shenstone's dale,
Who dost with plaintive note bewail
That he forsakes th' Aonian maids,
To court inconstant rills and shades?
Mourn not, sweet nymphs-alas, in vain
Do they invite, and thou complain-
Yet, while he woo'd the gentle throng,
With liquid lay and melting song,
The listening herd around him stray'd,
In wanton frisk the lambkins play'd,
And every Naïad ceas'd to lave
Her azure limbs amid the wave.
The Graces danc'd; the rosy band
Of Smiles and Loves went hand in hand;
And purple Pleasures strew'd the way
With sweetest flowers: and every ray
Of each fond Muse, with rapture fir'd,
To glowing thought his breast inspir'd.
The hills rejoic'd, the valleys rung,
All Nature smil'd, while Shenstone sung.
So charm'd his lay; but now no more—
Ah! why dost thou repeat-" no more?"
E'en now he hies to deck the grove,
To deck the scene the Muses love;
And soon again will own their sway,
And thou resound the peerless lay,
And with immortal numbers fill
Each rocky cave and vocal hill.
VERSES BY MR. DODSLEY,
ON HIS FIRST ARRIVAL AT THE LEASOWES, 1754. "How shall I fix my wandering eye? Where find The source of this enchantment? Dwells it in The woods? or waves there not a magic wand O'er the translucent waters? Sure, unseen, Some favouring power directs the happy lines That sketch these beauties; swells the rising hills, And scoops the dales, to Nature's finest forms, Vague, undetermin'd, infinite; untaught By line or compass, yet supremely fair." So spake Philenor, as with raptur'd gaze He travers'd Damon's farm. From distant plains Hesought his friend's abode: nor had the fame Of that new-form'd Arcadia reach'd his ear.
And thus the swain, as o'er each hill and dale, Through lawn or thicket he pursued his way: "What is it gilds the verdure of these meads With hues more bright than fancy paints the flowers
Of Paradise? What Naïad's guiding hand
Leads, through the broider'd vale, the lucid rills,
That, murmuring as they flow, bear melody
Along their banks; and through the vocal shades
Improve the music of the woodland choir ?
What pensive Dryad rais'd yon solemn grove,
Where minds contemplative, at close of day
Retiring, muse o'er Nature's various works,
Her wonders venerate, or her sweets enjoy-
What room for doubt? Some rural deity,
Presiding, scatters o'er th' unequal lawns,
In beauteous wildness, yon fair-spreading trees;
And mingling woods and waters, hills and dales,
And herds and bleating flocks, domestic fowl,
And those that swim the lake, sees rising round
More pleasing landscapes than in Tempe's vale
Peneus water'd. Yes, some sylvan god
Spreads wide the varied prospect; waves the woods,
Lifts the proud hills, and clears the shining lakes;
While, from the congregated waters pour'd,
The bursting torrent tumbles down the steep
In foaming fury; fierce, irregular,
Wild, interrupted, cross'd with rocks and roots
And interwoven trees; till, soon absorb'd,
An opening cavern all its rage entombs.
So vanish human glories! Such the pomp
Of swelling warriors, of ambitious kings,
Who fret and strut their hour upon the stage
Of busy life, and then are heard no more!
"Yes, 't is enchantment all-And see, the spells,
The powerful incantations, magic verse,
Inscrib'd on every tree, alcove, or urn-
Spells!-Incantations !-ah, my tuneful friend!
Thine are the numbers! thine the wondrous work!-
Yes, great magician! now I read thee right,
And lightly weigh all sorcery but thine.
No Naiad's leading step conducts the rill;
Nor sylvan god presiding skirts the lawn
In beauteous wildness, with fair-spreading trees;
Nor magic wand has circumscrib'd the scene.
'Tis thine own taste, thy genius that presides,
Nor needs there other deity, nor needs
More potent spells than they."-No more the swain,
For lo, his Damon, o'er the tufted lawn
Advancing, leads him to the social dome.
TO MR. R. D. ON THE DEATH OF MR. SHENSTONE.
Thee, shepherd, thee, the woods and desert caves, With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, And all their echoes mourn. MILT.
'Tis past, my friend; the transient scene is clos'd! The fairy pile, th' enchanted vision rais'd By Damon's magic skill, is lost in air!
What though the lawns and pendant woods remain,
Each tinkling stream, each rushing cataract,
With lapse incessant echoes through the dale?
Yet what avails the lifeless landscape now?
The charm's dissolv'd; the genius of the wood,
Alas! is flown-for Damon is no more.
As when from fair Lyceum crown'd with pines, Or Manalus with leaves autumnal strew'd,