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While labouring oxen, spent with toil and heat,
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strain! Now bright Arcturus glads the teeming grain; Now golden fruits on loaded branches shine, And grateful clusters swell with floods of wine; Now blushing berries paint the yellow grove. Just gods! shall all things yield returns but love? Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay; The shepherds cry, 'Thy flocks are left a prey.' Ah! what avails it me the flocks to keep, Who lost my heart while I preserved my sheep? Pan came, and ask'd, what magic caused my smart, Or what ill eyes malignant glances dart? What eyes but hers, alas, have power to move? And is there magic but what dwells in love?
Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful strains! I'll fly from shepherds, flocks, and flowery plains. From shepherds, flocks, and plains, I may remove, Forsake mankind, and all the world but love; I know thee, Love! on foreign mountains bred; Wolves gave thee suck, and savage tigers fed: Thou wert from Etna's burning entrails torn, sot by fierce whirlwinds, and in thunder born. Resound, ye hills, resound my mournful lay! Farewell, ye woods; adieu, the light of day; One leap from yonder cliff shall end my pains. No more, ye hills, no more resound my strains. Thus sang the shepherds till the approach of night The skies yet blushing with departed light,
When falling dews with spangles deck the glade, And the low sun had lengthen'd every shade.
THE FOURTH PASTORAL; OR, DAPHN£ To the Memory of Mrs. Tempest
THYRSIS, the music of that murmuring spring Is not so mournful as the strains you sing: Nor rivers winding through the vales below, So sweetly warble, or so smoothly flow. Now sleeping flocks on their soft fleeces lie, The moon, serene in glory, mounts the sky, While silent birds forget their tuneful lays, O sing of Daphne's fate, and Daphne's praise! THYRSIS.
Behold the groves that shine with silver frost, Their beauty wither'd, and their verdure lost: Here shall I try the sweet Alexis' strain, That call'd the listening Dryads to the plain: Thames heard the numbers as he flow'd along, And bade his willows learn the moving song. LYCIDAS.
So may kind rains their vital moisture yield, And swell the future harvest of the field. Begin; this charge the dying Daphne gave, And said, 'Ye shepherds, sing around my grave? Sing, while beside the shaded tomb I mourn And with fresh bays her rural shrine adorn. THYRSIS.
Ye gentle muses, leave your chrystal spring, Let nymphs and sylvans cypress garlands bring: Ye weeping Loves, the stream with myrtles hide, And break your bows as when Adonis died;
And with your golden darts, now useless grown,
Her name with pleasure once she taught the shore:
No more the mounting larks, while Daphne sing
The trembling trees, in every plain and wood,
Swell'd with new passion, and o'erflows with tears;
But see! where Daphne wondering mounts on high Above the clouds, above the starry sky! Eternal beauties grace the shining scene, Fields ever fresh, and groves for ever green! There, while you rest in amaranthine bowers, Or from those meads select unfading flowers, Behold us kindly, who your name implore, Daphne, our goddess, and our grief no more! LYCIDAS.
How all things listen, while thy muse complains! Such silence waits on Philomela's strains, In some still evening, when the whispering breeze Pants on the leaves, and dies upon the trees. To thee, bright goddess, oft a lamb shall bleed, If teeming ewes increase my fleecy breed.
While plants their shade, or flowers their odours give, Thy name, thy honour, and thy praise, shall live!
But see! Orion sheds unwholesome dews; Arise, the pines a noxious shade diffuse; Sharp Boreas blows, and Nature feels decay;
Time conquers all, and we must Time obey.
Adieu, ye vales, ye mountains, streams, and groves; Adieu, ye shepherd's rural lays and loves;
Adieu, my flocks; farewell, ye sylvan crew:
Daphne, farewell! and all the world, adieu!
A sacred Eclogue in Imitation of Virgil's Pollio.
n reading several passages of the prophet Isaiah, which foretell the coming of Christ, and the felicities attending it, I could not but observe a remarkable parity be tween many of the thoughts, and those in the Pollio of Virgil. This will not seem surprising when we re. flect, that the eclogue was taken from a Sibylline prophecy on the same subject. One may judge that Virgil did not copy it line for line; but selected such ideas as best agreed with the nature of pastoral poetry, and disposed them in that manner which served most to beautify his piece. I have endeavoured the same in this imitation of him, though without admitting any thing of my own; since it was written with this particular view, that the reader by comparing the several thoughts, might see how far the images and descriptions of the prophet are superior to those of the poet.
YE nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
Rapt into future times, the bard begun :
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies: 10
And on its top descends the mystic dove.
Ye heavens !2 from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick3 and weak the healing plant shall aid, 15 From storm a shelter, and from heat a shade.
(1) Isa. xi. ver 1. (2) Ch. xlv. ver. 8. (3) Ch. xxv