« PreviousContinue »
A subtle, pilfering foe, prowling around
In midnight shades, and wakeful to destroy.
In the full fold, the poor defenceless lamb,
Seiz'd by his guileful arts, with sweet warm blood
Supplies a rich repast. The mournful ewe,
Her dearest treasure lost, through the dun night
Wanders perplex'd, and darkling bleats in vain :
While in th' adjacent bush, poor Philomel
(Herself a parent once, till wanton churls
Despoil'd her nest) joins in her loud laments,
With sweeter notes, and more melodious woe.
For these nocturnal thieves, huntsman, prepare
Thy sharpest vengeance. Oh! how glorious 'tis
To right th' oppress'd, and bring the felon vile
To just disgrace! Ere yet the morning peep,
Or stars retire from the first blush of day,
With thy far-echoing voice alarm thy pack,
And rouse thy bold compeers. Then to the copse,
Thick with entangling grass, or prickly furze,
With silence lead thy many-color'd hounds,
In all their beauty's pride. See! how they range
Dispers'd, how busily this way, and that,
They cross, examining with curious nose
Each likely haunt. Hark! on the drag I hear
Their doubtful notes, preluding to a cry
More nobly full, and swell'd with every mouth.
As straggling armies, at the trumpet's voice,
Press to their standard; hither all repair,
And hurry through the woods; with hasty step
Rustling, and full of hope; now driven on heaps
They push, they strive; while from his kennel
The conscious villain. See! he skulks along,
Sleek at the shepherd's cost, and plump with meals
Purloin'd. So thrive the wicked here below.
Though high his brush he bear, though tipt with
It gaily shine; yet ere the Sun declin'd
Recall the shades of night, the pamper'd rogue
Shall rue his fate revers'd, and at his heels
Behold the just avenger, swift to seize
His forfeit head, and thirsting for his blood. [hearts
Heavens! what melodious strains! how beat our
Big with tumultuous joy! the loaded gales
Breathe harmony; and as the tempest drives
From wood to wood, through every dark recess
The forest thunders, and the mountains shake.
The chorus swells; less various, and less sweet,
The trilling notes, when in those very groves,
The feather'd choristers salute the Spring,
And every bush in concert join; or when
The master's hand in modulated air,
Bids the loud organ breathe, and all the powers
Of music in one instrument combine,
An universal minstrelsy. And now
In vain each earth he tries, the doors are barr'd
Impregnable, nor is the covert safe;
He pants for purer air. Hark! what loud shouts
Re-echo through the groves! he breaks away.
Shrill horns proclaim his flight. Each straggling
Strains o'er the lawn to reach the distant pack.
"Tis triumph all and joy. Now, my brave youths,
Now give a loose to the clean generous steed;
Flourish the whip, nor spare the galling spur;
But, in the madness of delight, forget
Your fears. Far o'er the rocky hills we range.
And dangerous our course; but in the brave
True courage never fails. In vain the stream
In foaming eddies whirls; in vain the ditch
What lengths we pass! where will the wandering
Lead us bewilder'd! smooth as swallows skim
The new-shorn mead, and far more swift, we fly.
See my brave pack; how to the head they press,
Jostling in close array then more diffuse
Obliquely wheel, while from their opening mouths
The vollied thunder breaks. So when the cranes
Their annual voyage steer, with wanton wing
Their figure oft they change, and their loud clang
From cloud to cloud rebounds. How far behind
The hunter-crew, wide-straggling o'er the plain!
The panting courser now with trembling nerves
Begins to reel; urg'd by the goring spur,
Makes many a faint effort: he snorts, he foams,
The big round drops run trickling down his sides,
With sweat and blood distain'd. Look back and view
The strange confusion of the vale below,
Where sour vexation reigns; see yon poor jade!
In vain th' impatient rider frets and swears;
With galling spurs harrows his mangled sides:
He can no more: his stiff unpliant limbs
Rooted in earth, unmov'd and fix'd he stands,
For every cruel curse returns a groan,
And sobs, and faints, and dies. Who without grief
Can view that pamper'd steed, his master's joy
His minion, and his daily care, well cloth'd,
Well fed with every nicer cate; no cost,
No labor spar'd; who, when the flying Chase
Broke from the copse, without a rival led
The numerous train: now a sad spectacle
Of pride brought low, and humbled insolence,
Drove like a pannier'd ass, and scourg'd along.
While these, with loosen'd reins and largling heels
Hang on their reeling palfreys, that scarce bear
Their weights: another in the treacherous bog
Lies floundering, half ingulf'd. What biting thoughts
Torment th' abandon'd crew! Old age laments
His vigor spent: the tall, plump, brawny youth
Curses his cumbrous bulk; and envies now
The short pygmean race he whilom kenn'd
With proud insulting leer. A chosen few
Alone the sport enjoy, nor droop beneath
Their pleasing toils. Here, huntsman, from this
Observe yon birds of prey; if I can judge,
'Tis there the villain lurks: they hover round,
And claim him as their own. Was I not right?
See! there he creeps along; his brush he drags,
And sweeps the mire impure; from his wide jaws
His tongue unmoisten'd hangs; symptoms too sure
Of sudden death. Ha! yet he flies, nor yields
To black despair. But one loose more, and all
His wiles are vain. Hark! through yon village now
The rattling clamor rings. The barns, the cots,
And leafless elms, return the joyous sounds.
Through every homestall, and through every yard
His midnight walks, panting, forlorn, he flies;
Through every hole he sneaks, through every jakes
Plunging he wades besmear'd, and fondly hopes
In a superior stench to lose his own.
But, faithful to the track, th' unerring hounds
With peals of echoing vengeance close pursue.
And now distress'd, no sheltering covert near,
Into the hen-roost creeps, whose walls with gore
Distain'd attest his guilt. There, villain, there
Expect thy fate deserv'd. And soon from thence
The pack inquisitive, with clamor loud,
Drag out their trembling prize; and on his blood
With greedy transport feast. In bolder notes
Each sounding horn proclaims the felon dead:
And all th' assembled village shouts for joy.
The farmer, who beholds his mortal foe
Stretch'd at his feet, applauds the glorious deed,
And grateful calls us to a short repast:
In the full glass the liquid amber smiles,
Our native product; and his good old mate
With choicest viands heaps the liberal board,
To crown our triumphs, and reward our toils.
Here must th' instructive Muse (but with respect)
Censure that numerous pack, that crowd of state,
With which the vain profusion of the great
Covers the lawn, and shakes the trembling copse.
Pompous encumbrance! A magnificence
Useless, vexatious! For the wily fox,
Safe in th' increasing number of his foes,
Kens well the great advantage; slinks behind,
And slily creeps through the same beaten track,
And hunts them step by step: then views, escap'd,
With inward ecstacy, the panting throng
In their own footsteps puzzled, foil'd, and lost.
So when proud eastern kings summon to arms
Their gaudy legions, from far distant climes
They flock in crowds, unpeopling half a world :
But when the day of battle calls them forth
To charge the well-train'd foe, a band compact
Of chosen veterans; they press blindly on,
In heaps confus'd by their own weapons fall,
A smoking carnage scatter'd o'er the plain.
Nor hounds alone this noxious brood destroy:
The plunder'd warrener full many a wile
Devises to entrap his greedy foe,
Fat with nocturnal spoils. At close of day,
With silence drags his trail; then from the ground
Pares thin the close-graz'd turf, there with nice hand
Covers the latent death, with curious springs
Prepar'd to fly at once, whene'er the tread
Of man or beast unwarily shall press
The yielding surface. By th' indented steel
With gripe tenacious held, the felon grins,
And struggles, but in vain: yet oft 'tis known,
When every art has fail'd, the captive fox
Has shar'd the wounded joint, and with a limb
Compounded for his life. But, if perchance
In the deep pitfall plung'd, there's no escape;
But unrepriev'd he dies, and bleach'd in air,
The jest of clowns, his reeking carcass hangs.
Of these are various kinds; not even the king
Of brutes evades this deep devouring grave:
But, by the wily African betray'd,
Heedless of fate, within its gaping jaws
Expires indignant. When the orient beam
With blushes paints the dawn; and all the race
Carnivorous, with blood full gorg'd, retire
Into their darksome cells, there satiate snore,
O'er dripping offals, and the mangled limbs
Of men and beasts; the painful forester
Climbs the high hills, whose proud aspiring tops
With the tall cedar crown'd, and taper fir,
Assail the clouds. There 'mong the craggy rocks,
And thickets intricate, trembling he views
His footsteps in the sand; the dismal road
And avenue to Death. Hither he calls
His watchful bands; and low into the ground
A pit they sink, full many a fathom deep.
Then in the midst a column high is rear'd,
The but of some fair tree; upon whose top
A lamb is plac'd, just ravish'd from his dam.
And next a wall they build, with stones and earth
Encircling round, and hiding from all view
The dreadful precipice. Now when the shades
Of night hang lowering o'er the mountain's brow;
And hunger keen, and pungent thirst of blood,
Rouse up the slothful beast, he shakes his sides,
Slow-rising from his lair, and stretches wide
His ravenous paws, with recent gore distain'd.
The forests tremble, as he roars aloud,
Impatient to destroy. O'erjoyed he hears
The bleating innocent, that claims in vain
The shepherd's care, and seeks with piteous moan
The foodful teat; himself, alas! design'd
Another's meal. For now the greedy brute
Winds him from far; and leaping o'er the mound
To seize his trembling prey, headlong is plung'd
Into the deep abyss. Prostrate he lies
Astunn'd and impotent. Ah! what avail
Thine eyeballs flashing fire, thy length of tail,
That lashes thy broad sides, thy jaws besmear'd
With blood and offals crude, thy shaggy mane
The terror of the woods, thy stately port,
And bulk enormous, since by stratagem
Thy strength is foil'd? Unequal is the strife,
When sovereign reason combats brutal rage.
On distant Ethiopia's sun-burnt coasts,
The black inhabitants a pitfall frame,
But of a different kind, and different use.
With slender poles the wide capacious mouth,
And hurdles slight, they close; o'er these is spread
A floor of verdant turf, with all its flowers
Smiling delusive, and from strictest search
Concealing the deep grave that yawns below.
Then boughs of trees they cut, with tempting fruit
Of various kinds surcharg'd; the downy peach,
The clustering vine, and of bright golden rind
The fragrant orange.
Soon as evening grey
Advances slow, besprinkling all around
With kind refreshing dews the thirsty glebe,
The stately elephant from the close shade
With step majestic strides, eager to taste
The cooler breeze, that from the sea-beat shore
Delightful breathes, or in the limpid stream
To lave his panting sides; joyous he scents
The rich repast, unweeting of the death
That lurks within. And soon he sporting breaks
The brittle boughs, and greedily devours
The fruit delicious. Ah! too dearly bought;
The price is life. For now the treacherous turf
Trembling gives way; and the unwieldy beast,
Self-sinking, drops into the dark profound.
So when dilated vapors, struggling, heave
Th' incumbent earth; if chance the cavern'd ground
Shrinking subside, and the thin surface yield,
Down sinks at once the ponderous dome, ingulf'd
With all its towers. Subtle, delusive man!
How various are thy wiles! artful to kill
Thy savage foes, a dull unthinking race!
Fierce from his lair, springs forth the speckled pard
Thirsting for blood, and eager to destroy;
The huntsman flies, but to his flight alone
Confides not: at convenient distance fix'd,
A polish'd mirror stops in full career
The furious brute: he there his image views:
Spots against spots with rage improving glow;
Another pard his bristly whiskers curls,
Grins as he grins, fierce-menacing, and wide
Distends his opening paws; himself against
Himself opposed, and with dread vengeance arm'd.
The huntsman, now secure, with fatal aim
Directs the pointed spear, by which transfix'd
He dies, and with him dies the rival shade.
Thus man innumerous engines forms, t' assail
The savage kind; but most the docile horse,
Swift and confederate with man, annoys
His brethren of the plains; without whose aid
The hunter's arts are vain, unskill'd to wage
With the more active brutes an equal war.
But borne by him, without the well-train'd pack,
Man dares his foe, on wings of wind secure.
Him the fierce Arab mounts, and, with his troop
Of bold compeers, ranges the deserts wild;
Where, by the magnet's aid, the traveller
Steers his untrodden course; yet oft on land
Is wreck'd, in the high-rolling waves of sand
Immerst and lost. While these intrepid bands,
Safe in their horses' speed, outfly the storm, [prey,
And scouring round, make men and beasts their
The grisly boar is singled from his herd,
As large as that in Erimanthian woods,
A match for Hercules. Round him they fly
In circles wide; and each in passing sends
His feather'd death into his brawny sides.
But perilous th' attempt. For if the steed
Haply too near approach; or the loose earth
His footing fail, the watchful angry beast
Th' advantage spies; and at one sidelong glance
Rips up his groin. Wounded, he rears aloft,
And, plunging, from his back the rider hurls
Precipitant; then bleeding spurns the ground,
And drags his reeking entrails o'er the plain.
Meanwhile the surly monster trots along,
But with unequal speed; for still they wound,
Swift-wheeling in the spacious ring. A wood
Of darts upon his back he bears; adown
Ilis tortur'd sides, the crimson torrents roll
From many a gaping font. And now at last
Staggering he falls, in blood and foam expires.
But whither roves my devious Muse, intent
On antique tales? while yet the royal stag
Unsung remains. Tread with respectful awe [bard,
Windsor's green glades; where Denham, tuneful
Charm'd once the listening Dryads, with his song
Sublimely sweet. O! grant me, sacred shade,
To glean submiss what thy full sickle leaves.
The morning Sun, that gilds with trembling rays
Windsor's high towers, beholds the courtly train
Mount for the chase, nor views in all his course
A scene so gay; heroic, noble youths,
In arts and arms renown'd, and lovely nymphs
The fairest of this isle, where Beauty dwells
Delighted, and deserts her Paphian grove
For our more favor'd shades: in proud parade
These shine magnificent, and press around
The royal happy pair. Great in themselves,
They smile superior; of external show
Regardless, while their inbred virtues give
A lustre to their power, and grace their court
With real splendors, far above the pomp
Of Eastern kings, in all their tinsel pride.
Like troops of Amazons, the female band
Prance round their cars, not in refulgent arms
As those of old; unskill'd to wield the sword,
Or bend the bow, these kill with surer aim.
The royal offspring, fairest of the fair,
Lead on the splendid train. Anna, more bright
Than summer suns, or as the lightning keen,
With irresistible effulgence arm'd,
Fires every heart. He must be more than man,
Who unconcern'd can bear the piercing ray.
Amelia, milder than the blushing dawn,
With sweet engaging air, but equal power,
Insensibly subdues, and in soft chains
Her willing captives leads. Illustrious maids,
Ever triumphant! whose victorious charms,
Without the needless aid of high descent,
Had aw'd mankind, and taught the world's great
To bow and sue for grace. But who is he
Fresh as a rose-bud newly blown, and fair
As opening lilies; on whom every eye
With joy and admiration dwells? See, see,
He reins his docile barb with manly grace.
Is it Adonis for the chase array'd?
Or Britain's second hope? Hail, blooming youth!
May all your virtues with your years improve,
Till in consummate worth, you shine the pride
Of these our days, and to succeeding times
A bright example. As his guard of mutes
On the great sultan wait, with eyes deject,
And fix'd on earth, no voice, no sound is heard
Within the wide serail, but all is hush'd,
And awful silence reigns; thus stand the pack
Mute and unmov'd, and cowering low to earth,
While pass the glittering court, and royal pair:
So disciplin'd those hounds, and so reserv'd,
Whose honor 'tis to glad the hearts of kings.
But soon the winding horn, and huntsman's voice,
Let loose the general chorus; far around
Joy spreads its wings, and the gay morning smiles
Unharbor'd now the royal stag forsakes
His wonted lair; he shakes his dappled sides,
And tosses high his beamy head; the copse
Beneath his antlers bends. What doubling shifts
He tries! not more the wily hare; in these
Would still persist, did not the full-mouth'd pack
With dreadful concert thunder in his rear.
The woods reply, the hunter's cheering shouts
Float through the glades, and the wide forest rings
How merrily they chant! their nostrils deep
Inhale the grateful steam.
Such is the cry,
And such the harmonious din, the soldier deems
The battle kindling, and the statesman grave
Forgets his weighty cares; each age, each sex,
In the wild transport joins; luxuriant joy,
And pleasure in excess, sparkling exult
On every brow, and revel unrestrain'd.
How happy art thou, man, when thou'rt no more
Thyself! when all the pangs that grind thy soul,
In rapture and in sweet oblivion lost,
Yield a short interval and ease from pain!
See the swift courser strains, his shining hoofs
Securely beat the solid ground. Who now
The dangerous pitfall fears, with tangling heath
High-overgrown? or who the quivering bog
Soft-yielding to the step? All now is plain,
Plain as the strand sea-lav'd, that stretches far
Beneath the rocky shore. Glades crossing glades,
The forest opens to our wondering view:
Such was the king's command. Let tyrants fierce
Lay waste the world; his the more glorious part
To check their pride; and when the brazen voice
Of war is hush'd (as erst victorious Rome)
T'employ his station'd legions in the works
Of peace; to smooth the rugged wilderness,
To drain the stagnate fen, to raise the slope
Depending road, and to make gay the face
Of Nature, with th' embellishments of Art.
How melts my beating heart! as I behold
Each lovely nymph, our island's boast and pride,
Push on the generous steed, that strokes along
O'er rough, o'er smooth, nor heeds the steepy hill,
Nor falters in th' extended vale below:
Their garments loosely waving in the wind,
And all the flush of beauty in their cheeks!
While at their sides their pensive lovers wait,
Direct their dubious course; now chill'd with fear
Solicitious, and now with love inflam'd.
O grant, indulgent Heaven, no rising storm
May darken with black wings this glorious scene!
Should some malignant power thus damp our joys,
Vain were the gloomy cave, such as of old
Betray'd to lawless love the Tyrian queen.
For Britain's virtuous nymphs are chaste as fair,
Spotless, unblam'd, with equal triumph reign
In the dun gloom, as in the blaze of day.
Now the blown stag, through woods, bogs, roads, and streams
Has measur'd half the forest; but alas! He flies in vain, he flies not from his fears. Though far he cast the lingering pack behind, His haggard fancy still with horror views The fell destroyer; still the fatal cry Insults his ears, and wounds his trembling heart. So the poor fury-haunted wretch (his hands In guiltless blood distain'd) still seems to hear The dying shrieks; and the pale threatening ghost Moves as he moves, and as he flies, pursues. See here his slot; up yon green hill he climbs, Pants on its brow awhile, sadly looks back On his pursuers, covering all the plain; But wrung with anguish, bears not long the sight, Shoots down the steep, and sweats along the vale. There mingles with the herd, where once he reign'd Proud monarch of the groves, whose clashing beam His rivals aw'd, and whose exalted power Was still rewarded with successful love. But the base herd have learn'd the ways of men, Averse they fly, or with rebellious aim Chase him from thence: needless their impious deed, The huntsman knows him by a thousand marks, Black, and imbost; nor are his hounds deceiv'd; Too well distinguish these, and never leave Their once devoted foe; familiar grows His scent, and strong their appetite to kill. Again he flies, and with redoubled speed Skims o'er the lawn; still the tenacious crew Hang on the track, aloud demand their prey, And push him many a league. If haply then Too far escap'd, and the gay courtly train Behind are cast, the huntsman's clanging whip Stops full their bold career;, passive they stand, Unmov'd, an humble, an obsequious crowd, As if by stern Medusa gaz'd to stones. So at their general's voice whole armies halt In full pursuit, and check their thirst of blood. Soon at the king's command, like hasty streams Damm'd up awhile, they foam, and pour along With fresh recruited might. The stag, who hop'd His foes were lost, now once more hears astunn'd The dreadful din; he shivers every limb, He starts, he bounds, each bush presents a foe. Press'd by the fresh relay, no pause allow'd, Breathless, and faint, he falters in his pace,
And lifts his weary limbs with pain, that scarce
Sustain their load: he pants, he sobs appall'd!
Drops down his heavy head to earth, beneath
His cumbrous beams oppress'd. But if perchance
Some prying eye surprise him; soon he rears
Erect his towering front, bounds o'er the lawn
With ill-dissembled vigor, to amuse
The knowing forester; who inly smiles
At his weak shifts and unavailing frauds.
So midnight tapers waste their last remains,
Shine forth awhile, and as they blaze expire.
From wood to wood redoubling thunders roll,
And bellow through the vales; the moving storm
Thickens amain, and loud triumphant shouts,
And horns shrill-warbling in each glade, prelude
To his approaching fate. And now in view
With hobbling gait, and high, exerts amaz'd
What strength is left: to the last dregs of life
Reduc'd, his spirits fail, on every side
Hemm'd in, besieg'd; not the least opening left
To gleaming hope, th' unhappy's last reserve.
Where shall he turn? or whither fly? Despair
Gives courage to the weak. Resolv'd to die,
He fears no more, but rushes on his foes,
And deals his deaths around; beneath his feet
These grovelling lie, those by his antlers gor'd
Defile th' ensanguin'd plain. Ah! see distress'd
He stands at bay against yon knotty trunk,
That covers well his rear, his front presents
An host of foes. O! shun, ye noble train,
The rude encounter, and believe your lives
Your country's due alone. As now aloof
They wing around, he finds his soul uprais'd,
To dare some great exploit; he charges home
Upon the broken pack, that on each side
Fly diverse; then as o'er the turf he strains,
He vents the cooling stream, and up the breeze
Urges his course with equal violence :
Then takes the soil, and plunges in the flood
Precipitant; down the mid-stream he wafts
Along, till (like a ship distress'd, that runs
Into some winding creek) close to the verge
Of a small island, for his weary feet
Sure anchorage he finds, there skulks immers'd.
His nose alone above the wave draws in
The vital air; all else beneath the flood
Conceal'd, and lost, deceives each prying eye
Of man or brute. In vain the crowding pack
Draw on the margin of the stream, or cut
The liquid wave with oary feet, that move
In equal time. The gliding waters leave
No trace behind, and his contracted pores
But sparingly perspire: the huntsman strains
His laboring lungs, and puffs his cheeks in vain:
At length a blood-hound bold, studious to kill,
And exquisite of sense, winds him from far;
Headlong he leaps into the flood, his mouth
Loud opening spends amain, and his wide throat
Swells every note with joy; then fearless dives
Beneath the wave, hangs on his haunch, and wounds
Th' unhappy brute, that flounders in the stream
Sorely distress'd, and struggling strives to mount
The steepy shore. Haply once more escap'd,
Again he stands at bay, amid the groves
Of willows, bending low their downy heads.
Outrageous transport fires the greedy pack;
These swim the deep, and those crawl up with pain
The slippery bank, while others on firm land
Engage; the stag repels each bold assault,
Maintains his post, and wounds for wounds returns
As when some wily corsair boards a ship
Full-freighted, or from Afric's golden coasts,
Or India's wealthy strand, his bloody crew
Upon her deck he slings; these in the deep
Drop short, and swim to reach her steepy sides,
And clinging climb aloft; while those on board
Urge on the work of Fate; the master bold,
Press'd to his last retreat, bravely resolves
To sink his wealth beneath the whelming wave,
His wealth, his foes, nor unreveng'd to die.
So fares it with the stag: so he resolves
To plunge at once into the flood below,
Himself, his foes, in one deep gulf immers'd.
Ere yet he executes this dire intent,
In wild disorder once more views the light;
Beneath a weight of woe he groans distress'd,
The tears run trickling down his hairy cheeks;
He weeps, nor weeps in vain. The king beholds
His wretched plight, and tenderness innate
Moves his great soul. Soon at his high command
Rebuk'd, the disappointed, hungry pack
Retire submiss, and grumbling quit their prey.
Great Prince! from thee what may thy subjects
So kind, and so beneficent to brutes!
O Mercy, heavenly born! sweet attribute!
Thou great, thou best prerogative of power!
Justice may guard the throne, but, join'd with thee,
On rocks of adamant it stands secure,
And braves the storm beneath: soon as thy smiles
Gild the rough deep, the foaming waves subside,
And all the noisy tumult sinks in peace.
Should he not kill, as erst the Samian sage
Taught unadvis'd, and Indian brachmans now
As vainly preach; the teeming ravenous brutes
Might fill the scanty space of this terrene,
Encumbering all the globe: should not his care
Improve his growing stock, their kinds might fail;
Man might once more on roots and acorns feed,
And through the deserts range, shivering, forlorn,
Quite destitute of every solace dear,
And every smiling gaiety of life.
The prudent huntsman therefore will supply
With annual large recruits his broken pack,
And propagate their kind; as from the root
Fresh scions still spring forth and daily yield
New blooming honors to the parent-tree.
Far shall his pack be fam'd, far sought his breed,
And princes at their tables feast those hounds,
His hand presents, an acceptable boon.
Ere yet the Sun through the bright Ram has urg'ð His steepy course, or mother Earth unbound Her frozen bosom to the Western gale; When feather'd troops, their social leagues dissolv'd, Select their mates, and on the leafless elm The noisy rook builds high her wicker nest, Mark well the wanton females of thy pack, That curl their taper tales, and frisking court Their piebald mates enamour'd; their red eyes Flash fires impure; nor rest nor food they take, Goaded by furious love. In separate cells Confine them now, lest bloody civil wars Annoy thy peaceful state. If left at large, The growling rivals in dread battle join, And rude encounter; on Scamander's streams Heroes of old with far less fury fought For the bright Spartan dame, their valor's prize. Mangled and torn thy favorite hounds shall lie, Stretch'd on the ground; thy kennel shall appear A field of blood: like some unhappy town In civil broils confus'd, while Discord shakes Of the necessity of destroying some beasts, and pre- Her bloody scourge aloft, fierce parties rage, serving others for the use of man. Of breeding Staining their impious hands in mutual death; of hounds; the season for this business. The And still the best belov'd, and bravest fall: choice of the dog, of great moment. Of the Such are the dire effects of lawless love. litter of whelps. Of the number to be reared. Huntsman! these ills by timely prudent care Of setting them out to their several walks. Care Prevent: for every longing dame select to be taken to prevent their hunting too soon. Some happy paramour; to him alone Of entering the whelps. Of breaking them from In leagues connubial join. Consider well running at sheep. Of the diseases of hounds. His lineage; what his fathers did of old, Of their age. Of madness; two sorts of it de-Chiefs of the pack, and first to climb the rock, scribed, the dumb and outrageous madness: its Or plunge into the deep, or thread the brake dreadful effects. Burning of the wound recom- With thorn sharp-pointed, plash'd, and briers in mended as preventing all ill consequences. The
WHATE'ER of earth is form'd, to earth returns
Dissolv'd the various objects we behold,
Plants, animals, this whole materia. mass,
Are ever changing, ever new. The soul
infectious hounds to be separated, and fed apart. Observe with care his shape, sort, color, size.
The vanity of trusting to the many infallible Nor will sagacious huntsmen less regard
cures for this malady. The dismal effects of the His inward habits: the vain babbler shun,
biting of a mad dog, upon man, described. De- Ever loquacious, ever in the wrong.
scription of the otter hunting. The conclusion. His foolish offspring shall offend thy ears
With false alarms, and loud impertinence.
Nor less the shifting cur avoid, that breaks
Illusive from the pack; to the next hedge
Devious he strays, there every muse he tries:
If haply then he cross the steaming scent,
Away he flies vain-glorious; and exults
As of the pack supreme, and in his speed
And strength unrivall'd. Lo! cast far behind,
His vex'd associates pant, and laboring strain
To climb the steep ascent. Soon as they reach
Th' insulting boaster, his false courage fails,
Behind he lags, doom'd to the fatal noose,
His master's hate, and scorn of all the field.
Of man alone, that particle divine,
Escapes the wreck of worlds, when all things fail.
Hence great the distance 'twixt the beasts that perish,
And God's bright image, man's immortal race.
The brute creation are his property,
Subservient to his will, and for him made.
As hurtful these he kills, as useful those
Preserves; their sole and arbitrary king.