Слике страница

With quavering laugh and rural jests resounds.
Ease, and content, and undissembled love,
Shine in each face; the thoughts of labour past
Increase their joy: As, from retentive cage
When sullen Philomel escapes, her notes
She varies, and of past imprisonment
Sweetly complains; her liberty retriev'd
Cheers her sad soul, improves her pleasing song.
Gladsome they quaff, yet not exceed the bounds
Of healthy temperance, nor encroach on night,
Season of rest, but well bedew'd repair
Each to his home, with unsupplanted feet.
Ere Heaven's emblazon'd by the rosy dawn,
Domestic cares awake them; brisk they rise,
Refresh'd, and lively with the joys that flow
From amicable talk, and moderate cups
Sweetly interchang'd. The pining lover finds
Present redress, and long oblivion drinks
Of coy Lucinda. Give the debtor wine;
His joys are short, and few; yet when he drinks,
His dread retires, the flowing glasses add
Courage and mirth: magnificent in thought,
Imaginary riches he enjoys,

And in the gaol expatiates unconfin'd.
Nor can the poet Bacchus' praise indite,
Debarr'd his grape : the Muses still require
Humid regalement, nor will aught avail
Imploring Phœbus, with unmoisten'd lips.
Thus to the generous bottle all incline,
By parching thirst allur'd: with vehement suns
When dusty Summer bakes the crumbling clods,
How pleasant is 't, beneath the twisted arch

Of a retreating bower, in mid-day's reign
To ply the sweet carouse, remote from noise,
Secur'd of feverish heats! When th' aged year
Inclines, and Boreas' spirit blusters frore,
Beware th' inclement Heavens; now let thy hearth
Crackle with juiceless boughs; thy lingering blood
Now instigate with th' apple's powerful streams.
Perpetual showers, and stormy gusts confine
The willing ploughman, and December warns
To annual jollities; now sportive youth
Carol incondite rhymes, with suiting notes,
And quaver unharmonious; sturdy swains
In clean array for rustic dance prepare,
Mixt with the buxom damsels; hand in hand
They frisk and bound, and various mazes weave,
Shaking their brawny limbs, with uncouth mien,
Transported, and sometimes an oblique leer
Dart on their loves, sometimes an hasty kiss
Steal from unwary lasses; they with scorn,
And neck reclin'd, resent the ravish'd bliss.
Meanwhile blind British bards with volant touch
Traverse loquacious strings, whose solemn notes
Provoke to harmless revels; these among,
A subtle artist stands, with wondrous bag
That bears imprison'd winds (of gentler sort
Than those, which erst Laertes' son enclos'd.)
Peaceful they sleep; but let the tuneful squeeze
Of labouring elbow rouze them, out they fly
Melodious, and with sprightly accents charm.
'Midst these desports, forget they not to drench
Themselves with bellying goblets; nor, when Spring
Returns, can they refuse to usher in



The fresh-born year with loud acclaim, and store
Of jovial draughts, now, when the sappy boughs
Attire themselves with blooms, sweet rudiments
Of future harvest. When the Gnossian crown
Leads on expected autumn, and the trees
Discharge their mellow burthens, let them thank
Boon Nature, that thus annually supplies
Their vaults, and with her former liquid gifts
Exhilarates their languid minds, within

The golden mean confin'd: beyond there's nought
Of health, or pleasure. Therefore, when thy heart
Dilates with fervent joys, and eager soul
Prompts to pursue the sparkling glass, be sure
'Tis time to shun it; if thou wilt prolong
Dire compotation, forthwith Reason quits
Her empire to confusion, and misrule,
And vain debates; then twenty tongues at once
Conspire in senseless jargon, nought is heard
But din, and various clamour, and mad rant:
Distrust, and jealousy to these succeed,
And anger-kindling taunt, the certain bane
Of well-knit fellowship. Now horrid frays
Commence, the brimming glasses now are hurl'd
With dire intent; bottles with bottles clash
In rude encounter, round their temples fly
The sharp-edg'd fragments, down their batter'd

Mix'd gore and cider flow.
What shall we say
Of rash Elpenor, who in evil hour
Dry'd an immeasurable bowl, and thought
T'exhale his surfeit by irriguous sleep,
Imprudent? him Death's iron-sleep opprest,

Descending careless from his couch; the fall
Luxt his neck-joint, and spinal marrow bruis'd.
Nor need we tell what anxious cares attend
The turbulent mirth of wine; nor all the kinds
Of maladies, that lead to Death's grim cave,
Wrought by intemperance, joint-racking gout,
Intestine stone, and pining atrophy,
Chill even when the Sun with July heats
Fries the scorch'd soil, and dropsy all a-float,
Yet craving liquids: nor the Centaurs tale
Be here repeated; how, with lust and wine
Inflam'd, they fought, and split their drunken souls
At feasting hour. Ye heavenly Powers, that guard
The British isles, such dire events remove
Far from fair Albion, nor let civil broils
Ferment from social cups: may we, remote
From the hoarse, brazen sound of war, enjoy
Our humid products, and with seemly draughts
Enkindle mirth, and hospitable love.
Too oft, alas! has mutual hatred drench'd
Our swords in native blood; too oft has pride,
And hellish discord, and insatiate thirst
Of others rights, our quiet discompos'd.
Have we forgot, how fell Destruction rag'd
Wide-spreading, when by Eris' torch incens'd
Our fathers warr'd? what heroes, signalis'd
For loyalty and prowess, met their fate
Untimely, undeserv'd! how Bertie fell,
Compton, and Granville, dauntless sons of Mars,
Fit themes of endless grief, but that we view
Their virtues yet surviving in their race!
Can we forget, how the mad, headstrong rout

Defy'd their prince to arms, nor made account
Of faith or duty, or allegiance sworn?
Apostate, atheist rebels! bent to ill,
With seeming sanctity, and cover'd fraud,
Instill'd by him, who first presum'd t' oppose
Omnipotence; alike their crime, th' event
Was not alike; these triumph'd, and in height
Of barbarous malice, and insulting pride,
Abstain'd not from imperial blood. O fact
Unparallel'd! O Charles, O best of kings!
What stars their black disastrous influence shed
On thy nativity, that thou should'st fall
Thus, by inglorious hands, in this thy realm,
Supreme and innocent, adjudg'd to death
By those thy mercy only would have sav'd!
Yet was the Cider-land unstain'd with guilt;
The Cider-land, obsequious still to thrones,
Abhorr'd such base disloyal deeds, and ail
Her pruning-hooks extended into swords,
Undaunted, to assert the trampled rights
Of monarchy: but, ah! successless she,
However faithful! then was no regard
Of right, or wrong. And this once happy land,
By homebred fury rent, long groan'd beneath
Tyrannic sway, till fair revolving years
Our exil'd kings and liberty restor❜d.
Now we exult, by mighty Anna's care
Secure at home, while she to foreign realms
Sends forth her dreadful legions, and restrains
The rage
of kings: here, nobly she supports
Justice oppress'd; here, her victorious arms
Quell the ambitious: from her hand alone

« ПретходнаНастави »