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but princes'swords are sharper than their styles: and thus to th’ages past he makes amends, their charity destroys, their faith defends. Then did Religion in a lazy cell, in empty airy contemplations dwell, and like the block unmoved lay; but our's, as much too active, like the stork devours. Is there no temp'rate region can be known betwixt their Frigid and our Torrid zone Could we not wake from that lethargic dream, but to be restless in a worse extreme? and for that lethargy was there no cure but to be cast into a calenture? Can knowledge have no bound, but must advance so far, to make us wish for ignorance, and rather in the dark to grope our way than led by a false guide to err by day? Who sees these dismal heaps but would demand what barbarous invader sack'd the land ? but when he bears no Goth, no Turk, did bring this desolation, but a Christian king; when nothing but the name of zeal appears 'twixt our best actions and the worst of their's; what does he think our sacrilege would spare, when such th' effects of our devotions are? parting from thence 'twixt anger, shame, and fear, those for what's past, and this for what's too near, my eye descending from the Hill, surveys where Thames among the wanton vallies strays. Thames! the most lov'd of all the Ocean's sons, by his old sire, to his embraces runs, hasting to pay his tribute to the sea, like mortal life to meet eternity; tho' with those streams he no resemblance hold, whose foam is amber, and their gravel gold:
his genuine and less guilty wealth t explore, . search not his bottom, but survey his shore, o'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing, and hatches plenty for th' ensuing spring; por then destroys it with too fond a stay, like mothers which their infants overlay; nor with a sudden and inpetuous wave, like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave. ::. No unexpected ioundations spoil the mower's hopes, nor mock the ploughman's toit; but godlike bis unweary'd bounty flows; first loves to do, then loves the good he does. Nor are his blessings to his banks confin'd, but free and common as the sea or wind; when he, to boast or to disperse his stores, full of the tributes of his grateful shores, visits the world, and in his flying tow'rsbrings home to us, and makes both Indies our's; *** finds wealth where 't is, bestows it where it wants, cities in deserts, woods in cities, plants. So that to us no thing, no place, is strange, while his fair bosom is the world's exchange. O could I flow like thee! and make thy stream my great example, as it is my theme; . tho' deep yet clear, tho' gentle yet not dull; strong without rage, without o'erflowing full. . Heav'n her Eridanus no more shall boast, i whose fame in thine, like lesser current, 's lost; thy nobler streams shall visit Jove's abodes, to shine among the stars,* and bathe the gods. Here Nature, whether more intent to please '. us for herself with strange varieties, (for things of wonder give no less delight i to the wise Maker's than beholder's sight;
* The forest,
tho' these delights from several causes move, for so our children, thus our friends, we love) wisely, she knew the harmony of things, as well as that of sounds, from discord springs. Such was the discord which did first disperse form, order, beauty, through the universe; while dryness moisture, coldness heat resists, all that we have, and that we are, subsists; while the steep horrid roughness of the wood strives with the gentle calmness of the flood, such huge extremes when Nature doth unite, wonder from thence results, from thence delight. The stream is so transparent, pure, and clear, that had the self-enamour'd youth † gaz'd here, so fatally deceiv'd he had not been, while he the bottom, not his face, had seen. But his proud head the airy mountain hides among the clouds; his shoulders and his sides a shady mantle clothes; his curled brows frown on the gentle stream, which calmly flows, while winds and storms his lofty forehead beat; the common fate of all that's high or great. Low at his foot a spacious plain is plac'd, between the mountain and the stream embrac'd, which shade and shelter from the Hill derives, while the kind river wealth and beauty givés, and in the mixture of all these appears variety, which all the rest endears. This scene had some bold Greek or British bard beheld. of old, what stories had we heard of Fairies, Satyrs, and the Nymphs their dames, their feasts, their revels, and their am'rous flames? 'Tis still the same, although their airy shape all but a quick poetic sight escape.
There Faunus and Sylvanus keep their courts, .
then tries his friends; among the baser herd, where he so lately was obey'd and fear'd, his safety seeks: the herd, unkindly wise, or chases him from thence or from him flies. Like a declining statesman, left forlorn to his friends' pity, and pursuers' scorn, with shame remembers, while himself was one of the same herd, himself the same had done. Thence to the coverts and the conscious groves, the scenes of his past triumphs and his loves, sadly surveying where he rang'd alone, prince of the soil, and all the herd his own, and like a bold knight-errant did proclaim combat to all, and bore away the dame, and taught the woods to echo to the stream his dreadful challenge, and his clashing beam; yet faintly now declines the fatal strife, so much his love was dearer than his life. Now ev'ry leaf, and ev'ry moving breath presents a foe, and ev'ry foe a death. Weary'd, forsaken, and pursu'd, at last all safety in diespair of safety plac'd, courage he thence resumes, resolv'd to bear all their assaults, since 't is in vain to fear. And now, too late, he wishes for the fight that strength he wasted in ignoble flight; but when he sees the eager chace renew'd, himself by dogs, the dogs by men pursu'd, he straight revokes his bold resolve, and more repents his courage than his fear before; finds that uncertain ways unsafest are, and doubt a greater mischief than despair. Then to the stream, when neither friends, nor force, nor speed, nor art, avail, he shapes his course; thinks not their rage so desp'rate to essay