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What wonder then, a beast or subject slain
Were equal crimes in a despotic reign?
Both, doom'd alike, for sportive tyrants bled ;
But, that the subject starv’d, the beast was fed.
Proud Nimrod first the bloody chace began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man:
The fields are ravish'd from th' industrious swains,
From men their cities, and from gods their fanes: Granville commands ; your aid, O Muses, bring! The levell’d towns with weeds lie cover'd o'er; care en What Muse for Granville can refuse to sing ?
The hollow winds through naked temples roar;
O'er heaps of ruin stalk'd the stately hind;
The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires, core'ditLike them in beauty, should be like in fame. And savage howlings fill the sacred quires.
Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain, Aw'd by his nobles, by his cominons curst,
Th’ Oppressor rul'd tyrannic where he durst; -betare
Not chaos-like together crush'd and bruis'd, 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, And where, though all things differ, all agree.
The wanton victims of his sport remain. all reap the Here waving groves a chequer'd scene display,
the man who spacious regions gave
A waste for beasts, himself deny'd a grare!
Stretch'd on the lawn his second hope survey,
At once the chaser, and at once the prey :
Bleeds in the forest like a wounded hart.
Succeeding monarchs heard the subjects' cries,
Then gathering flocks on unknown mountains fed,
O’er sandy wilds were yellow harvests spread; Herd 's That, crown'd with tufted trees and springing corn,
The forests wonder'd at th’ unusual grain, za ves Like verdant isles the sable waste adorn.
And secret transport touch'd the conscious swain. ead: Let India boast her plants, nor envy we
Fair Liberty, Britannia's goddess, rears
Her cheerful head, and leads the golden years.
Ye vigorous swains ! while youth ferments your And realms commanded which those trees adorn.
And purer spirits swell the sprightly flood, [blood, ale; Nor proud Olympus yields a nobler sight,
Now range the hills, the gameful woods beset, Though gods assembled grace his towering height,
Wind the shrill horu, or spread the waving net. Than what more humble mountains offer here,
When milder autumn summer's heat succeeds, Where, in their blessings, all those gods appear.
And in the new-shorn field the partridge feeds; See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crown'd;
Before his lord the ready spaniel bounds, HD;
Here blushing Flora paints th’ enamellid ground; Panting with hope, he tries the furrow'd grounds; born, Here Ceres' gifts in waving prospect stand,
But when the tainted gales the game betray, And nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand;
Couch'd close he lies, and meditates the prey:
Secure the trust, th' unfaithful field beset,
Till hovering o'er them sweeps the swelling net.
Thus (if small things we may with great compare)
When Albion sends her eager sons to war,
Some thoughtless town, with ease and plenty blest,
Sudden they seize th' amaz'd defenceless prize,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground.
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold?
Nor yet when moist Arcturus clouds the sky, And with her dart the flying deer she wounds. The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny. It chanc'd, as eager of the chace, the maid To plains with well-breath'd beagles we repair, Beyond the forest's verdant limits stray'd, And trace the mazes of the circling bare.
Pan saw and lov'd, and burning with desire (Beasts, urg'd by us, their fellow beasts pursue, Pursu'd her flight; her flight increas'd his fire. And learn of man each other to undo).
Not half so swift the trembling doves can fly, With slaughtering guns th' unweary'd fowler roves, When the fierce eagle cleaves the liquid sky; When frosts have whiten'd all the naked groves ; Not half so swiftly the fierce eagle moves, (dores; Where doves in flocks the leafless trees o'ershade, When through the clouds he drives the trembling And lonely woodcocks haunt the watery glade.
As from the god she flew with furious pace, He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye;
Or as the god, more furious, urg'd the chace. Straight a short thunder breaks the frozen sky: Now fainting, sinking, pale, the nymph appears; Oft, as in airy rings they skim the heath,
Now close behind, his sounding steps she hears; The clamorous lapwings feel the leaden death; And now his shadow reach'd her as she run, Oft, as the mounting larks their notes prepare,
His shadow lengthen’d by the setting sun; They fall, and leave their little lives in air.
And now his shorter breath, with sultry air, In genial spring, beneath the quivering shade, Pants on her neck, and fans her parting hair. Where cooling vapours breathe along the mead, In vain on father Thames she calls for aid, The patient fisher takes his silent stand,
Nor could Diana help her injur'd maid.
(vain : Intent, his angle trembling in his hand :
Faint, breathless, thus she pray'd, nor pray'd in With looks unmov'd, he hopes the scaly breed, “ Ah, Cynthia! ah - though banish'd from thy And eyes the dancing cork and bending reed.
train, Our plenteous streams a various race supply; Let me, O let me, to the shades repair, [there!" The bright-ey'd perch, with fins of Tyrian dye, My native shades! — there weep and murmur The silver eel, in shining volumes rollid,
She said, and melting as in tears she lay, The yellow carp, with scales bedropp'd with gold,
In a soft silver stream dissolv'd away. Swift trouts, diversified with crimson stains,
The silver stream her virgin coldness keeps, And pikes, the tyrants of the watery plains.
For ever murmurs and for ever weeps; Now Cancer glows with Phæbus' fiery car: Still bears the name the hapless virgin bore, The youth rush eager to the Sylvan war,
And bathes the forest where she rang'd before. Swarm o'er the lawns, the forest walks surround, In her chaste current oft the goddess laves, Rouse the fleet hart, and cheer the opening hound. And with celestial tears augments the waves. Th' impatient courser pants in every vein,
Oft in her glass the musing shepherd spies And, pawing, seems to beat the distant plain: The headlong mountains and the downward skies, Hills, vales, and floods, appear already cross'd, The watery landskip of the pendant woods, And, ere he starts, a thousand steps are lost. And absent trees that tremble in the floods; See the bold youth strain up the threat'ning steep,
In the clear azure gleam the flocks are seen, Rush through the thickets, down the vallies sweep,
And floating forests paint the waves with green; Hang o'er their coursers' heads with eager speed,
Through the fair scene roll slow the lingering And earth rolls back beneath the flying steed.
[Thames. Let old Arcadia boast her ample plain,
Then foaming pour along, and rush unto the Th’immortal huntress, and her virgin train; Thou too, great father of the British floods! Nor envy, Windsor! since thy shades have seen With joyful pride survey'st our lofty woods ; As bright a goddess, and as chaste a queen ; Where towering oaks their growing honours rear, Whose care, like her's, protects the Sylvan reign, And future navies on thy shores appear. The earth's fair light, and empress of the main. Not Neptune's self from all her streams receives Here too, 'tis sung, of old Diana stray'd,
A wealthier tribute, than to thine he gives. And Cynthus' top forsook for Windsor shade; No seas so rich, so gay no banks appear, Here was she seen o'er airy wastes to rove,
No lake so gentle, and no spring so clear. Seek the clear spring, or haunt the pathless grove; Nor Po so swells the fabling poet's lays, Here arm’d with silver bows, in early dawn, While led along the skies his current strays, Her buskin’d virgins trac'd the dewy lawn.
As thine, which visits Windsor's fam'd abodes, Above the rest a rural nymph was fam’d, To grace the mansion of our earthly gods: Thy offspring, Thames! the fair Lodona nam’d Nor all his stars above a lustre show, (Lodona's fate in long oblivion cast,
Like the bright beauties on thy banks below; The Muse shall sing, and what she sings shall last). Where Jove, subdu'd by mortal passion still, Scarce could the goddess from her nymphs be Might change Olympus for a nobler hill. known,
Happy the man whom this bright court approves, But by the crescent and the golden zone.
His sovereign favours, and his country loves : She scorn'd the praise of beauty, and the care ; Happy next him, who to these shades retires, A belt her waist, a fillet binds her hair;
Whom nature charms, and whom the Muse inspires; A painted quiver on her shoulder sounds,
Whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please,
ere Successive study, exercise, and ease.
Or raise old warriors, whose ador'd remains * He gathers health from herbs the forest yields,
In weeping vaults her hallow'd earth coutains ! And of their fragrant physic spoils the fields ;
With Edward's acts adorn the shining page, El sign With chemic art exalts the mineral powers,
Stretch his long triumphs down through every age; ex And draws the aromatic souls of flowers:
Draw monarchs chain'd, and Cressy's glorious field, ad Now marks the course of rolling orbs on high ;
The lilies blazing on the regal shield: O'er figur'd worlds now travels with his eye;
Then, from her roofs when Verrio's colours fall, 33 Of ancient writ unlocks the learned store,
And leave inanimate the naked wall, ale Consults the dead, and lives past ages o’er:
Still in thy song should vanquish'd France appear, 52 Or wandering thoughtful in the silent wood, And bleed for ever under Britain's spear. 5.1 Attends the duties of the wise and good;
Let softer strains ill-fated Henry mourn, To observe a mean, be to himself a friend,
And palms eternal flourish round his urn. To follow nature, and regard his end;
Here o'er the martyr-king the marble weeps, Or looks on heaven with more than mortal eyes,
And fast, behind him, once-fear'd Edward sleeps: Bids his free soul expatiate in the skies,
Whom not th' extended Albion could contain, Amid her kindred stars familiar roam,
From old Belerium to the northern main, Survey the region, and confess her home!
The grave unites; where ev'n the great find rest, Such was the life great Scipio once admir’d;
And blended lie th' oppressor and th' opprest! Thus Atticus and Trumbull thus retir’d.
Make sacred Charles's tomb for ever known Ye sacred Nine ! that all my soul possess,
(Obscure the place, and uninscrib'd the stone); Whose raptures fire me, and whose visions bless, Oh fact accurs'd! what tears has Albion shed! Bear me, Oh bear me to sequester'd scenes,
Heavens, what new wounds! and how her old have The bowery mazes, and surrounding greens ;
She saw her sons with purple deaths expire, [bled! To Thames's banks which fragrant breezes fill,
Her sacred domes involv'd in rolling fire, Op where the Muses sport on Cooper's Hill.
A dreadful series of intestine wars, (On Cooper's Hill eternal wreaths shall grow,
Inglorious triumphs, and dishonest scars. While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall At length great Anna said, “ Let discord cease !"
She said, the world obey'd, and all was peace ! I seem through consecrated walks to rove,
In that blest moment from the oozy bed I hear soft music die along the grove:
Old father Thames advanc'd his reverend head. led by the sound, I roam from shade to shade, His tresses dropp'd with dews, and o'er the stream By god-like poets venerable made:
His shining horns diffus'd a golden gleam: Here his first lays majestic Denham sung ;
Gravid on his urn appear'd the moon, that guides There the last numbers flow'd from Cowley'stongue.
His swelling waters, and alternate tides; O early lost! what tears the river shed,
The figur'd streams in waves of silver rollid, When the sad pomp along his banks was led !
And on their banks Augusta rose in gold; His drooping swans on every note expire,
Around his throne the sea-born brothers stood And on his willows hung each Muse's lyre. Who swell with tributary urns his flood !
Since fate relentless stopp'd their heavenly voice, First the fam'd authors of his ancient name,
The winding Isis, and the fruitful Thame:
The Loddon slow, with verdant alders crown'd; But hark! the groves rejoice, the forest rings! Cole, whose dark streams his flowery islands lave; Are these reviv'd ? or is it Granville sings ! And chalky Wey, that rolls a milky wave: *Tis yours, my Lord, to bless our soft retreats, The blue, transparent Vandalis appears ; And call the Muses to their ancient seats;
The gulfy Lee his sedgy tresses rears; To paint anew the flowery sylvan scenes,
And sullen Mole, that hides his diving flood; To crown the forest with immortal greens,
And silent Darent, stain'd with Danish blood. Make Windsor hills in lofty numbers rise,
High in the midst, upon his urn reclin'd, And lift her turrets nearer to the skies;
(His sea-green mantle waving with the wind) To sing those honours you deserve to wear,
The god appear's: he turn’d his azure eyes And add new lustre to her silver star.
Where Windsor-domes and pompous turrets rise ; Here noble Surrey felt the sacred rage,
Then bow'd, and spoke; the winds forget to roar, Surrey, the Granville of a former age :
And the hush'd waves glide softly to the shore. Matchless his pen, victorious was his lance,
Hail, sacred peace! hail, long-expected days, Bold in the lists and graceful in the dance:
That Thames's glory to the stars shall raise ! In the same shades the Cupids tun'd his lyre, Though Tiber's streams immortal Rome behold, To the same notes, of love, and soft desire : Though foaming Hermus swells with tides of gold, Fair Geraldine, bright object of his vow,
From Heaven itself the seven-fold Nilus flows, Then fill'd the groves, as heavenly Mira now. And harvests on a hundred realms bestows;
Oh wouldst thou sing what heroes Windsor bore, These now no more shall be the Muses' themes, What king first breath'd upon her winding shore; Lost in my fame, as in the sea their streams.
Let Volga's banks with iron squadrons shine, The thoughts of gods let Granville's verse recite, And groves of lances glitter on the Rhine;
And bring the scenes of opening fate to light: Let barbarous Ganges arm a servile train:
My humble Muse, in unambitious strains, Be mine the blessings of a peaceful reign.
Paints the green forests and the flowery plains, No more my sons shall dye with British blood Where peace descending bids her olive spring, Red Iber's sands, or Ister's foaming flood:
And scatters blessings from her dove-like wing. Safe on my shore each unmolested swain
Ev'n I more sweetly pass my careless days, Shall tend the flocks, or reap the bearded grain; Pleas'd in the silent shade with empty praise ; The shady empire shall retain no trace
Enough for me, that to the listening swains Of war or blood, but in the sylvan chace;
First in these fields I sung the sylvan strains.
ODE ON SOLITUDE.
Written when the Author was about Twelve years old. Behold! Augusta's glittering spires increase,
Happy the man, whose wish and care
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground. There mighty nations shall inquire their doom, Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread, The world's great oracle in times to come ;
Whose flocks supply him with attire ; There kings shall sue, and suppliant states be seen Whose trees in summer yield him shade, Once more to bend before a British queen.
In winter fire.
Blest who can unconcern’dly find
Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease, Where clearer flames glow round the frozen pole; Together mix'd; sweet recreation, Or under southern skies exalt their sails,
And innocence, which most does please,
Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
ESSAY ON CRITICISM.
'Tis hard to say if greater want of skill Earth’s distant ends our glory shall behold,
Appear in writing or in judging ill; And the new world launch forth to seek the old.
But of the two, less dangerous is th' offence Then ships of uncouth form shall stem the tide, To tire our patience, than mislead our sense. And feather'd people crowd my wealthy side, Some few in that, but numbers err in this, And naked youths and painted chiefs admire Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss ; Our speech, our colour, and our strange attire! A fool might once himself alone expose, Oh, stretch thy reign, fair peace! from shore to shore, Now one in verse makes many more in prose. Till conquest cease, and slavery be no more;
'Tis with our judgments as our watches; none Till the freed Indians in their native groves
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
True taste as seldom is the critic's share ;
Both must alike from Heaven derive their light, Exil'd by thee from earth to deepest hell,
These born to judge, as well as those to write. In brazen bonds shall barbarous discord dwell:
Let such teach others who themselves excel, Gigantic pride, pale terror, gloomy care,
And censure freely who have written well: And mad ambition, shall attend her there:
Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true; There purple vengeance bath'd in gore retires, But are not critics to their judgment too? Her weapons blunted, and extinct her fires:
Yet, if we look more closely, we shall find There hateful envy her own snakes shall feel, Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind: And persecution mourn her broken wheel: Nature affords at least a glimmering light; [righe There faction roar, rebellion bite her chain, The lines, though touch'd but faintly, are drawa And gasping furies thirst for blood in vain.
But as the slightest sketch, if justly trac'd, Here cease thy flight, nor with unhallow'd lays Is by ill colouring but the more disgrac'd, Touch the fair fame of Albion's golden days. So by false learning is good sense defac'd:
Some are bewilder'd in the maze of schools,
Those rules of old discover'd, not devis'd,
By the same laws which first herself ordain'd. Each burns alike, who can, or cannot write,
Hear how learn'd Greece her useful rules endites, Or, with a rival's, or an eunuch's spite.
When to repress, and when indulge our flights: All fools have still an itching to deride,
High on Parnassus' top her sons she shew'd, And fain would be upon the laughing side.
And pointed out those arduous paths they trod: If Mævius scribble in Apollo's spite,
Held from afar, aloft, th’immortal prize, There are who judge still worse than he can write. And urg'd the rest by equal steps to rise.
Some have at first for wits, then poets past; Just precepts thus from great examples given, Turn'd critics next, and prov'd plain fools at last. She drew from them what they deriv'd from Heaven. Some neither can for wits nor critics pass,
The generous critic fannd the poet's fire, As heavy mules are neither horse nor ass.
And taught the world with reason to admire. Those half-learn’d witlings, numerous in our isle, Then criticism the Muse's handmaid prov'd, As half-form'd insects on the banks of Nile;
To dress her charms, and make her more belov'd: Unfinish'd things, one knows not what to call, But following wits from that intention stray'd, Their generation 's so equivocal:
Who could not win the mistress, woo'd the maid; To tell them would a hundred tongues require, Against the poets their own arms they turn'd, Or one vain wit's, that might a hundred tire. Sure to hate most the men from whom they learn’d.
But you, who seek to give and merit fame, So modern 'pothecaries taught the art And justly bear a critic's noble name,
By doctors' bills to play the doctor's part, Be sure yourself and your own reach to know, Bold in the practice of mistaken rules, How far your genius, taste, and learning, go; Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools. Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet, Some on the leaves of ancient authors prey, And mark that point where sense and dulness meet. Nor time nor moths e'er spoil'd so much as they; Nature to all things fix'd the limits fit,
Some drily plain, without invention's aid, And wisely curb'd proud man's pretending wit: Write dull receipts how poems may be made. As on the land while here the ocean gains,
These leave the sense, their learning to display, In other parts it leaves wide sandy plains;
And those explain the meaning quite away. (steer, Thus in the soul while memory prevails,
You then whose judgment the right course would The solid power of understanding fails;
Know well each ancient's proper character: Where beams of warm imagination play,
His fable, subject, scope in every page; The memory's soft figures melt away.
Religion, country, genius of his age: One science only will one genius fit;
Without all these at once before your eyes, So vast is art, so narrow human wit:
Cavil you may, but never criticise. Not only bounded to peculiar arts,
Be Homer's works your study and delight, But oft in those confin'd to single parts.
Read them by day, and meditate by night; Like kings, we lose the conquests gain'd before, Thence form your judgment, thence your maximns By vain ambition still to make them more:
And trace the Muses upward to their spring; [bring, Each might his several province well command,
Still with itself compar'd, his text peruse ; Would all but stoop to what they understand. And let your comment be the Mantuan Muse.
First follow nature; and your judgment frame When first young Maro, in his boundless mind By her just standard, which is still the same: A work t' outlast immortal Rome design'd, Unerring nature, still divinely bright,
Perhaps he seem'd above the critic's law, One clear, unchang’d, and universal light,
And but from nature's fountains scorn'd to draw: Life, force, and beauty, must to all impart, But when t' examine every part he came, At once the source, and end, and test of art.
Nature and Homer were, he found, the same.
As if the Stagyrite o’erlook'd each line.
Some beauties yet no precepts can declare,
Music resembles poetry; in each For wit and judgment often are at strife,
Are nameless graces which no methods teach, Though meant each others aid, like man and wife. And which a master-hand alone can reach. 'Tis more to guide, than spur the Muse's steed; If, where the rules not far enough extend, Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed:
(Since rules were made but to promote their end), The winged courser, like a generous horse,
Some lucky license answer to the full Shows most true mettle when you check his course. Th’intent propos'd, that license is a rule.