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Or o'er the sculptures, quaint and rude,
That grace my gloomy solitude,
I teach in winding wreaths to stray
Fantastic ivy's gadding spray.
4 At eve, within yon studious nook,
ope my brass-embossed book,
Portray'd with many a holy deed
Of martyrs, crown'd with heavenly meed :
Then, as my taper waxes dim,
Chant, ere I sleep, my measured hymn ;
And, at the close, the gleams behold
Of parting wings bedropp'd with gold.
5 While such pure joys my bliss create,
Who but would smile at guilty state ?
Who but would wish his holy lot
In calm Oblivion's humble grot?
Who but would cast his pomp away,
To take my staff, and amice gray ;
And to the world's tumultuous stage
Prefer the blameless hermitage ?
INSCRIPTION OVER A CALM AND CLEAR
SPRING IN BLENHEIM GARDENS.
HERE quench your thirst, and mark in me
An emblem of true Charity;
Who, while my bounty I bestow,
Am neither heard nor seen to flow.
INSCRIBED ON A BEAUTIFUL GROTTO
NEAR THE WATER.
1 The Graces sought in yonder stream
To cool the fervid day,
When Love's malicious godhead came,
And stole their robes away.
2 Proud of the theft, the little god
Their robes bade Delia wear ;
While they, ashamed to stir abroad,
Remain all naked here.
spare his youth, 0 stay thy threatening hand, Nor break too soon young wedlock's early band ! But if his gentle and ingenuous mind, The generous temper, and the taste refined, A soul unconscious of corruption's stain, If learning, wit, and genius plead in vain, O let the mourning Bride, to stop thy spear, Oppose the meek resistance of a tear ! And when to soothe thy force his virtues fail, Let weeping faith and widow'd love prevail !
TRANSLATIONS AND PARAPHRASES.
DECLARE, if heavenly wisdom bless thy tongue,
When teems the Mountain Goat with promised young ;
The stated seasons tell, the month explain,
When feels the bounding Hind a mother's pain ;
While, in th' oppressive agonies of birth,
Silent they bow the sorrowing head to earth ;
Why crop their lusty seed the verdant food ?
Why leave their dams to search the gloomy wood ?
Say, whence the Wild Ass wantons o’er the plain,
Sports uncontroll’d, unconscious of the rein.
'Tis his o'er scenes of solitude to roam,
The waste his house, the wilderness his home ;
He scorns the crowded city's pomp and noise,
Nor heeds the driver's rod, nor hears his voice ;
At will on every various verdure fed,
His pasture o'er the shaggy cliffs is spread.
Will the fierce Unicorn obey thy call,
Enslaved to man, and patient of the stall ?
Say, will he stubborn stoop thy yoke to bear,
And through the furrow drag the tardy share ?
Say, canst thou think, 0 wretch of vain belief,
His labouring limbs will draw thy weighty sheaf?
Or canst thou tame the temper of his blood
With faithful feet to trace the destined road?
Who paints the Peacock’s train with radiant eyes,
And all the bright diversity of dyes ?
Whose hand the stately Ostrich has supplied
With glorious plumage, and her snowy pride ?
Thoughtless she leaves amid the dusty way
Her eggs, to ripen in the genial ray ;
Nor heeds, that some fell beast, who thirsts for blood,
Or the rude foot, may crush the future brood.
In her no love the tender offspring share,
No soft remembrance, no maternal care ;
For God has steeld her unrelenting breast,
Nor feeling sense, nor instinct mild impress’d,
Bade her the rapid-rushing steed despise,
Outstrip the rider's rage, and tower amidst the skies.
Didst thou the Horse with strength and beauty deck ?
Hast thou in thunder clothed his nervous neck ?
Will he, like grovelling grasshoppers afraid,
Start at each sound, at every breeze dismay'd ?
A cloud of fire his lifted nostrils raise,
And breathe a glorious terror as they blaze.
He paws indignant, and the valley spurns,
Rejoicing in his might, and for the battle burns.
When quivers rattle, and the frequent spear
Flies flashing, leaps his heart with languid fear?
Swallowing with fierce and greedy rage the ground,
“ Is this,” he cries, “ the trumpet's warlike sound ?” 50
Eager he scents the battle from afar,
And all the mingling thunder of the war.
Flies the fierce Hawk by thy supreme command, To seek soft climates, and a southern land? Who bade th' aspiring Eagle mount the sky, And build her firm aërial nest on high ? On the bare cliff, or mountain's shaggy steep, Her fortress of defence she dares to keep; Thence darts her radiant eye's pervading ray, Inquisitive to ken the distant prey ; Seeks with her thirsty brood th' ensanguined plain, There bathes her beak in blood, companion of the slain.
A PASTORAL IN THE MANNER OF SPENSER.
FROM THEOCRITUS, IDYLL. XX.
1 As late I strove Lucilla's lip to kiss,
She with discurtesee reproved my will ;
“Dost thou,” she said, “affect so pleasant bliss,
A simple shepherd, and a losell vile ?
Not Fancy's hand should join my courtly lip
To thine, as I myself were fast asleep.”
2 As thus she spake, full proud and boasting lasse,
And as a peacocke pearke, in dalliance
She bragly turned her ungentle face,
And all disdaining eyed my shape askaunce :
But I did blush, with grief and shame yblent,
Like morning-rose with hoary dewe besprent.
3 Tell me, my fellows all, am I not fair ?
Has fell enchantress blasted all my charms ?
Whilom mine head was sleek with tressed hayre,
My laughing eyne did shoot out love's alarms :
E'en Kate did deemen me the fairest swain,
When erst I won this girdle on the plain.
4 My lip with vermil was embellished,
My bagpipe's notes loud and delicious were,
The milk-white lily, and the rose so red,
Did on my face depeinten lively cheere,
My voice as soote as mounting larke did shrill,
My look was blythe as Margaret's at the mill.