Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 ravish'd from th’industrious swains,
From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes:
The levell’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;
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,

VARIATIONS.
Ver. 72. And wolves with howling fill etc.]
The Author thought this an error, wolves not being common
in England at the time of the Conqueror. P.

REMARKS. VER. 65. The fields are ravish'd etc.] Alluding to the destru&tion made in the New Forest, and the Tyrannies exercised there by William I. P.

IMITATIONS. VER. 65. The fields were ravishd from th’industrious swains, From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes :] Translated from

Templa adimit divis, fora civibus, arva colonis, an old monkish writer, I forget who, P.

70

Stretch'd o'er the Poor and Church his iron rod,
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 hartı
Succeeding monarchs heard the subjects cries, 83
Nor saw displeas'd the peaceful cottage rise,
Then gath’ring flocks on unknown mountains fed,
O'er sandy 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
Her chearful head, and leads the golden years.

91

REMARKS. VER. 80. himself 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 : so that they were obliged to compound with the owner before they could perform the King's obsequies.

Ver 81. fecond hope) Richard, second son of William the Conqueror.

IMITATIONS. VER. 89. Miraturque novas frondes et non fua poma. Virg.

Ye vig'rous swains! while youth ferments your

blood, 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, 101 Couch'd close he 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

VARIATIONS.

VER. 91.

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 springs. P.

Ver. 97

When yellow autumn summer's heat succeeds,
And into wine the purple harvest bleeds“,
The partridge feeding in the new-fhorn fields,

Both morning sports and ev’ning pleasures yields. a Perhaps the Author thought it not allowable to describe the fcason by a circumstance not proper to our climate, the vintage. P.

[ocr errors]

Some thoughtless Town, with ease and plenty bleft, Near, and more near, the closing lines invest; Sudden they seize th' amaz’d, defenceless prize, And high in air Britannia's standard flies.

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 his 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:

[ocr errors]

VARIATIONS.
VER. 107. It stood thus in the first Editions:

Pleas’d, in the Gen'rals fight, the host lie down
Sudden before fome unsuspecting town;
The young, the old, one instant makes our prize,
And o'er their captive heads Britannia's standard fies.

VER. 115

IMITATIONS.

nec te tua plurima, Pantheu, Labentem pietas, vel Apollinis insula texit.

Virg.

124

(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; Where doves in flocks the leaflefs trees o'ershade, And lonely woodcocks haunt the wat’ry glade. He lifts the tube, and levels with his

eye ; Strait 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, Where cooling vapours breathe along the mead, The patient fisher takes his silent stand,

137
Intent, his angle trembling in his hand:
With looks unmov’d, he hopes the scaly breed,
And eyes the dancing cork, and bending reed.
Our plenteous streams a various race supply, 141
The bright-eyd perch with fins of Tyrian dye,

VARIATIONS.
Ver. 126. O'er rustling leaves around the naked groves.
Ver. 129. The fowler lifts his leveli'd tube on high. P.

IMITATIONS.
Ver. 134. Præcipites alta vitam sub nube relinquunt. Virg.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »