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And now they trill, and now they fall and rise,
And swift and slow they change with sweet sur
Attentive she doth scarce the sounds retain; In rural strains we first our music try,
But to herself first cons the puzzling strain,
And tracing, heedful, note by note repays
The shepherd in his own harmonious lays,
Through every changing cadence runs at length,
And adds in sweetness what she wants in strength. Thy growing virtues, Sackville, shall engage Then Colin threw his fife disgrac'd aside, My riper verse, and more aspiring age.
While she loud triumph sings, proclaiming wide The Sun, now mounted to the noon of day, Her mighty conquest, and within her throat Began to shoot direct his burning ray; [shade Twirls many a wild unimitable note, When, with the flocks, their feeders sought the To foil her rival. What could Colin more? A venerable oak wide-spreading made:
A little harp of maple ware he bore : What should they do to pass the loitering time? The little harp was old, but newly strung, As Fancy led, each form’d his tale in rhyme: Which, usual, he across his shoulders hung. And some the joys, and some the pains, of love, Now take, delightful bird, my last farewel,' And some to set out strange adventures, strove; He said, and learn from hence thou dost excel The trade of wizards some, and Merlin's skill, No trivial artist :' and anon he wound And whence, to charms, such empire o'er the will. The murmuring strings, and order'd every sound : Then Cuddy last (who Cuddy can excel
Then earnest to his instrument he bends, In neat device?) his tale began to tell.
And both hands pliant on the strings extends : “ When shepherds flourish'd in Eliza's reign,
His touch the strings obey, and various move, There liv'd in high repute a jolly swain,
The lower answering still to those above : Young Colin Clout; who well could pipe and sing,
His fingers, restless, traverse to and fro, And by his notes invite the lagging Spring.
As in pursuit of harmony they go: He, as his custom was, at leisure laid
Now, lightly skimming, o'er the strings they pass, In wondland bower, without a rival play'd,
Like winds which gently brush the plying grass, Soliciting his pipe to warble clear,
While melting airs arise at their command : Enchantment sweet as ever wont to hear
And now, laborious, with a weighty hand Belated wayfarers, from wake or fair
He sinks into the chords with solemn pace, Detain’d by music, hovering on in air:
To give the swelling tones a bolder grace; Drawn by the magic of th’ enticing sound,
And now the left, and now by turns the right, What troops of mute admirers flock'd around!
Each other chase, harmonious both in flight: The steerlings left their food; and creatures, wild
Then his whole fingers blend a swarm of sounds, By Nature form'd, insensibly grew mild.
Till the sweet tumult through the harp rebounds. He makes the gathering birds about him throng,
Cease, Colin, cease, thy rival cease to vex; And loads the neighbouring branches with his song:
The mingling notes, alas! her ear perplex: There, with the crowd, a nightingale of fame,
She warbles, diffident, in hope and fear, Jealous, and fond of praise, to listen came:
And hits imperfect accents here and there, She turn'd her car, and pause by pause, with pride, And fain would utter forth some double tone, Like echo to the shepherd's pipe replied.
When soon she falters, and can utter none: The shepherd heard with wonder, and again,
Again she tries, and yet again she fails; To try her more, renew'd his various strain :
For still the harp's united power prevails. To all the various strain she plies her throat,
Then Colin play'd again, and playing sung : And adds peculiar grace to every note.
She, with the fatal love of glory stung, If Colin in complaining accent grieve,
Hears all in pain: her heart begins to swell: Or brisker motion to his measure give,
In pitcous notes she siglis, in notes which tell If gentle sounds he modulate, or strong,
Her bitter anguish: he, still singing, plies She, not a little vain, repeats the song;
His limber joints: her sorrows higher rise. But so repeats, that Colin half-despis'd
How shall she bear a conqueror, who, before, His pipe and skill, around the country priz'd:
No equal through the grove in music bore ! • And sweetest songster of the winged kind,
She droops, she hangs her flagging wings, she moans,
And fetcheth from her breast melodious groans. What thanks,' said he,' what praises, shall I find
Opprest with grief at last too great to quell,
Down, breathless, on the guilty harp she fell.
Then Colin loud lamented o'er the dead,
And unavailing tears profusely shed, Aloft in air she sate, provoking still The vanquish'd swain. Provok'd, at last, he strove And broke his wicked strings, and curs’d his skill;
And best to make atonement for the ill, To show the little minstrel of the grove
If, for such ill, atonement might be made, His utmost powers, determin'd once to try
He builds her tomb beneath a laurel shade, How Art, exerting, might with Nature vie;
Then adds a verse, and sets with flowers the ground, For vie could none with either in their part,
And makes a fence of winding osiers ronnd. With her in Nature, nor with him in Art.
• A verse and tomb is all I now can give; He draws-in breath, his rising breath to fill :
And here thy name at least,' he said, shall live, v Throughout the wood his pipe is heard to shrill. From note to note, in haste, his fingers fly;
Thus ended Cuddy with the setting Sun, Still more and more the numbers multiply: And, by his tale, unenvied praises won.
THE SIXTH PASTORAL.
I love, in secret all, a beauteous maid,
This coming night she plights her troth to me:
How we in secret love, I shall not say :
Soft on a cowslip-bank my love and I
Together lay; a brook ran murmuring by:
In summer shade, behind the cocking hay,
What kind endearing words did she not say! To Geron I my voice and skill commend,
Her lap, with apron deck'd, she fondly spread, A candid umpire, and to both a friend.
And strok'd my cheek, and lull'd my leaning head. GERON. Begin then, boys; and vary well your song: Breathe soft, ye winds; ye waters, gently flow; Begin; nor fear, from Geron's sentence, wrong.
Shield her, ye trees; ye flowers, around her grows A boxen hautboy, loud, and sweet of sound,
Ye swains, I beg you, pass in silence by;
My love, in yonder vale, asleep does lie.
Once Delia slept on easy moss reclin'd,
Her lovely limbs half bare, and rude the wind :
I smooth'd her coats, and stole a silent kiss:
Condemn me, shepherds, if I did amiss.
As Marian bath'd, by chance I passed by ; The cuckoo calls aloud his wandering love;
She blush'd, and at me glanc'd a sidelong eye: The tartle's moan is heard in every grove;
Then, cowering in the treacherous stream, she tried The pastures change; the warbling linnets sing :
Her tempting form, yet still in vain, to hide. Prepare to welcome-in the gaudy spring.
As I, to cool me, bath'd one sultry day, When locusts in the ferny bushes cry,
Fond Lydia, lurking, in the sedges lay: When ravens pant, and snakes in caverns lie,
The wanton langh’d, and seem'd in haste to fly, Graze then in woods, and quit the shadeless plain,
Yet oft she stopp'd, and oft she turn'd her eye. Else shall ye press the spongy teat in vain. LANQUET.
When first I saw (would I had never seen!) When greens to yellow vary, and ye see
Young Lyset lead the dance on yonder green, The ground bestrew'd with fruits of every tree, Intent upon her beauties as she mov'd, And stormy winds are heard, think winter near, Poor heedless wretch! at unawares I lov'd. Nor trust too far to the declining year.
When Lucy decks with flowers her swelling Woe then, alack! befall the spendthrift swain,
breast, When frost, and snow, and hail, and sleet, and rain, And on her elbow leans, dissembling rest, By tums chastise him, while, through little care,
Unable to refrain my madding mind,
Come, Rosalind, 0 come! for, wanting thee,
My snowy sheep, my farm, and all are thine.
Tell me, shepherds, have ye seen
THE HAPPY SWAIN.
When, anon, the lark, on wing,
While the nightingale, unseen,
To the Moon and stars, full bright, And see their dance ? And I can show the ring,
Lonesome chants the hymn of night? Where, hand in hand, they shift their feet so light:
Have ye seen the broider'd May
Breezes opening, every hour,
This, and that, expecting flower,
While the iningling birds prolong, Fam'd Oberon, with damask'd robe so gay,
From each bush, the vernal song ? And gemmy crown, by moonshine sparkling far,
Have ye seen the damask-rose And azure sceptre, pointed with a star ?
Her unsullied blush disclose,
Or the lily's dewy bell,
Morning, evening, night, or day,
Judge, by them, the joys I find,
To my vows, for ever mine.
TO A FRIEND,
ON THE DEATH OF KING WILLIAM. When her ruddy lip ye view, 'T is a berry moist with dew:
April 20, 1702. And her breath, oh, 't is a gale
Trust me, dear George, could I in verse but show Passing o'er a fragrant vale,
What sorrow I, what sorrow all men, owe Passing, when a friendly shower
To Nossau's fate; or could I hope to raise Freshens every herb and flower.
A song proportion'd to the monarch's praise; Wide her bosom opens, gay
Could I his merits, or my grief, express, As the primrose-dell in May,
And proper thoughts in proper language dress; Sweet as violet-borders growing
Unbidden should my pious numbers flow, Over fountains ever-flowing.
The tribute of a heart o'ercharg'd with woe: Like the tendrils of the vine,
But, rather than profane bis sacred hearse Do her auburn tresses twine,
With languid praises, and unhallow'd verse, Glossy ringlets all behind
My sighs I to myself in silence keep, Streaming buxom to the wind,
And inwardly, with secret anguish, weep. When along the lawn she bounds,
Let Halifax's Muse (he knew him well) Light, as hind before the hounds:
His virtues to succeeding ages tell. And the youthful ring she fires,
Let him, who sung the warrior on the Boyne, Hopeless in their fond desires,
(Provoking Dorset in the task to join) As her Aitting feet advance,
And show'd the hero more than man before, Wanton in the winding dance.
Let him th’ illustrious mortal's fate deplore ;
WHO DESIRED ME TO WRITE
A mournful theme: while, on raw pinions, I All, that I will, I can; but then, I will
As reason bids; I meditate no ill;
And, pleas'd with things which in my level lie, I can but like some love-sick fopling rhyme, Leave it to madmen o'er the clouds to fly. To some kind-hearted mistress make my court, But this is all romance, a dream to you, And, like a modish wit, in sonnet sport.
Who fence and dance, and keep the court in view. Let others, more ambitious, rack their brains White staffs and truncheons, seals and golden keys, In polish'd sentiments, and labour'd strains : And silver stars, your towering genius please : To blooming Phyllis I a song compose,
Such manly thoughts in every infant rise, And, for a rhyme, compare her to the rose; Who daily for some tinsel trinket cries. Then, while my fancy works, I write down morn, Go on, and prosper, sir: but first from me To paint the blush that does her cheek adorn; Learn your own temper; for I know you free. And, when the whiteness of her skin I show, You can be honest; but you cannot bow, With ecstasy bethink myself of snow,
And cringe, beneath a supercilious brow: Thus, without pains, I tinkle in the close,
You cannot fawn; your stubborn soul recoils And sweeten into verse insipid prose.
At baseness ; and your blood too highly boils. The country scraper, when he wakes his erowd, From Nature some submissive tempers have: And makes the tortur'd cat-gut squeak aloud, Unkind to you, she form'd you not a slave. Is often ravish'd, and in transport lost:
A courtier must be supple, full of guile, What more, my friend, can fam'd Corelli boast, Must learn to praise, to flatter, to revile, When Harmony herself from heaven descends, The good, the bad, an enemy, a friend, And on the artist's moving bow attends ?
To give false hopes, and on false hopes depend. Why then, in making verses, should I strain Go on, and prosper, sir: but learn to hide For wit, and of Apollo beg a vein ?
Your upright spirit : 't will be construed pride. Who study Horace and the Stagyrite?
The splendour of a court is all a cheat ; Why cramp my dullness, and in torment write? You must be servile, ere you can be great. Let me transgress by nature, not by rule,
Besides, your ancient patrimony wasted, An artless idiot, not a studied fool,
Your youth run out, your schemes of grandeur A Withers, not a Rymer, since I aim
blasted, At nothing less, in writing, than a' name.
You may perhaps retire in discontent,
And frown in earnest, though he smil'd in jest. FROM HOLLAND, TO A FRIEND IN ENG- Man, only from himself, can suffer wrong; LAND, IN THE YEAR 1703.
His reason fails, as his desires grow strong:
Hence, wanting ballast, and too full of sail, From Utrecht's silent walks, by winds, I send
He lies expos’d to every rising gale. Health and kind wishes to my absent friend.
From youth to age, for happiness he's bound: The winter spent, I feel the poet's fire;
He splits on rocks, or runs his bark aground; The Sun advances, and the fogs retire:
Or, wide of land, a desert ocean views, The genial Spring unbinds the frozen earth,
And, to the last, the flying port pursues: Dawns on the trees, and gives the primrose birth.
Yet, to the last, the port he does not gain,
And dying finds, too late, he liv'd in vain.
TO THE EARL OF DORSET.
Copenhagen, March 9, 1709. 0, Marlborough, come! fresh laurels for thee From frozen climes, and endless tracts of snow, rise:
From streams which northern winds forbid to flow, One conquest more; and Gallia will grow wise. What present shall the Muse to Dorset bring, Old Lewis makes his last effort in arms,
Or how, so near the pole, attempt to sing ? And shows how, evin in age, ambition charms. The hoary winter here conceals from sight Meanwhile, my friend, the thickening shades 1 All pleasing objects which to verse invite. haunt,
The hills and dales, and the delightful woods, And smooth canals, and after rivulets pant: The flowery plains, and silver-streaming floods, The smooth canals, alas, too lifeless show! By snow disguis'd, in bright confusion lie, Nor to the eye, nor to the ear, they flow.
And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye. Studious of ease, and fond of humble things, No gentle breathing breeze prepares the spring, Below the smiles, below the frowns of kings, No birds within the desert region sing. Thanks to my stars, I prize the sweets of life: The ships, unmov'd, the boisterous winds defy, No sleepless nights I count, no days of strife. While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly. Content to live, content to die, unknown,
The vast Leviathan wants room to play, Lord of myself, accountable to none;
And spout his waters in the face of day.
And to the Moon in icy valleys howl.
There solid billows of enormous size,
No longer now shall France and Spain, combin'd, Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.
Strong in their golden Indies, awe mankind. And yet but lately have I seen, ev'n here, Brave Catalans, who for your freedom strive, The winter in a lovely dress appear.
And in your shatter'd bulwarks yet survive, Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasur'd snow, For you alone, worthy a better fate, Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow, O, may this happy change not come too late ! At evening a keen eastern breeze arose,
| Great in your sufferings !--But, my Muse, forbear; And the descending rain unsullied froze.
Nor damp the public gladness with a tear: Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew, The hero has receiv'd their just complaint, 'l he ruddy morn disclos'd at once to view
Grac'd with the name of our fam'd patron-saint: The face of Nature in a rich disguise,
Like him, with pleasure he forgoes his rest, And brighten'd every object to my eyes :
And longs, like him, to succour the distrest. For every shrub, and every blade of grass, Firm to his friends, tenacious of his word, And every pointed thorn, seem'd wrought in glass; As Justice calls, he draws or sheaths the sword; In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show, Matur'd by thought, his councils shall prevail : While through the ice the crimson berries glow. Nor shall his promise to his people fail. The thick-sprung reeds, which watery marshes He comes, desire of nations! England's boast! Seem'd polish'd lances in a hostile field. syield, | Already bas he reach'd the Belgian coast. The stag, in limpid currents, with surprise, Our great deliverer comes ! and with him brings Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise.
A progeny of late-sncceeding kings, The spreading oak, the beech, and towering pine, Fated to triumph o'er Britannia's foes Glaz'd over, in the freezing ether shine.
In distant years, and fix the world's repose. The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
The floating squadrons now approach the shore; Which wave and glitter in the distant sun.
Lost in the sailors' shouts the capnons' roar: When if a sudden gust of wind arise,
And now, behold, the sovereign of the main, The brittle forest into atoms flies,
lligh on the deck, amidst his shining train, The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends, Surveys the subject flood. An eastern gale And in a spangled shower the prospect ends : Plays through the shrouds, and swells in every sail: Or, if a southern gale the region warm,
Th'obsequious waves his new dominion own, And by degrees unbind the wintery charm,
And gently waft their monarch to his throne. The traveller a miry country sees,
Now the glad Britons hail their king to land, And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees: Hang on the rocks, and blacken all the strand : Like soine deluded peasant, Merlin leads (meads: But who the silent ecstasy can show, Through fragrant bowers, and through delicious | The passions which in nobler bosoms glow? While here enchanted gardens to him rise,
Who can describe the godlike patriot's zeal ? And airy fabrics there attract his eyes,
Or who, my lord, your generous joys reveal ? His wandering feet the magic paths pursue,
Ordain'd, once more, our treasure to advance, And, while he thinks the fair illusion true,
Retrieve our trade, and sink the pride of France; The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air,
Once more the long-neglected arts to raise,
Accept the present of a grateful song;
To Cam and Isis shall the joyful news,
E'en now the vocal tribe in verse conspires;
And I already hear their sounding lyres:
To them the mighty labour I resign, ONE OF THE LORDS JUSTICES APPOINTED BY HIS Give up the theme, and quit the tuneful Nine. MAJESTY. 1714.
So when the Spring first smiles among the trees, PATRON of verse, O Halifax, attend,
And blossoms open to the vernal breeze,
The watchful nightingale, with early strains, The Muse's favourite, and the poet's friend!
Summons the warblers of the woods and plains, Approaching joys my ravish'd thoughts inspire :
But drops her music, when the choir appear,
And listens to the concert of the year.
THE HONOURABLE JAMES CRAGGS, ESQ., Whilst here Religion, smiling to the skies,
SECRETARY AT WAR, AT HAMPTON-COURT. 1717. Her thanks expresses with up-lifted eyes.
But who advances next, with cheerful grace, Though Britaiv's hardy troops demand your care, Joy in her eye, and plenty in her face?
And cheerful friends your hours of leisure share; A wheaten garland does her head adorn:
O, Craggs, for candour known ! indulge awhile O Property! O goddess, English-born !
My fond desire, and on my labour smile:
To read a long epistle, though in rhyme.