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Would indulgent heav'n had granted
Me some rural damfel's part!
Then had been my shepherd's heart.
Then, with him, o'er hills and mountains,
Free from fetters, might I rove:
Peaceful sleep beneath the grove.
Rusticks had been more forgiving;
Partial to my virgin bloom :
None had triumph'd o'er my tomb.
URVEY, my fair! that lucid stream
Adown the smiling valley stray ;
To regulate its winding way?
So pleas'd I view thy shining hair
In loose dishevel'd ringlets flow : Not all thy art, nor all thy care
Can there one single grace bestow.
Survey again that verdant hill,
With native plants enameld o'er; Say, can the painter's utmost skill
Instruct one flow'r to please us more?
As vain it were, with artful dye,
To change the bloom thy cheeks disclose; And oh may Laura, ere she try,
With fresh vermilion paint the rose.'
Hark, how the wood-lark's tuneful throat
Can every study'd grace excel; Let art constrain the rambling note,
And will she, Laura, pleafe so well?
Oh ever keep thy native ease,
By no pedantic laws confind !
So Laura's words be not unkind.
VERSES written towards the close of the Year
1748, to WILLIAM LYTTELTON, Efq;
By the Same.
OW blithely pass'd the summer's day!
How bright was every flow'r!
To visit Damon's bow'r.
But now, with filent step, I range
Along some lonely shore;
Is gay with friends no more.
Away to crowds and cities borne
In quest of joy they fteer ;
To weep the parting year!
O pensive Autumn! how I grieve
Thy forrowing face to fee!
Of every drooping tree.
Ah let me not, with heavy eye,
This dying scene survey !
Compleat my bow'r's decay.
Ill can I bear the motley caft
Yon' fickening leaves retain; That speak at once of pleasure paft,
And bode approaching pain.
At home unbleft, I gaze around,
My diftant fcenes require;
Are hamlet, hill, and spire.
Tho' Thomson, sweet descriptive bard!
Inspiring Autumn fung;
That stopp'd his flowing tongue ?
Ah luckless months, of all the rest,
To whose hard share it fell ! For sure he was the gentleft breast
That ever sung so well.
And see, the swallows now difown
The roofs they lov'd before ;
To glad fome happier shore.
The wood-nymph eyes, with pale affright,
The sportsman's frantick deed;
To drown the Muse's reed.
Ye fields with blighted herbage brown!
Ye skies no longer blue !
To bear these frowns from you.
Where is the mead's unsullied green ?
The zephyr's balmy gale?
That brighten'd every vale?
What tho' the vine disclose her dyes,
And boast her purple store ;
Can soothe our sorrows more.
He ! he is gone, whose moral strain
Could wit and mirth refine;
Surpass’d the pow'r of wine.
Faft by the streams he deign'd to praise,
In yon' sequefter'd grove, To him a votive urn I raise;
To him, and friendly love.