Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

WINDSOR-FOREST.

To the Right Honourable
GEORGE LORD LANSDOWN.

Non injussa cano: te nostræ, Vare, myricæ,
te nemus omne canet: nec Phæbo gratior ulla est,
quam sibi

quæ Vari præscripsit pagina nomen. Virg.

5

10

Thy forests, Windsor! and thy green retreats, at once the Monarch's and the Muses' seats, invite my lays. Be present, sylvan Maids ! unlock your springs, and open all your shades. Granville commands, your aid, O Muses bring, what muse for Granville can refuse to sing?

The groves of Eden, vanish'd now so long, live in description, and look green in song: these, were my breast inspir'd with equal flame, like them in beauty, should be like in fame. Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain, here earth and water seem to strive again; not chaos-like together crush'd and bruis'd, but, as the world, harmoniously confus'd; where order in variety we see, and where, tho' all things differ, all agree. Here waving groves a chequer'd scene display, and part admit, and part exclude the day; as some coy nymph her lover's warm address, nor quite indulges, nor can quite repress. There interspers’d in lawns and op'ning glades, thin trees arise that shun each other's shades, Here in full light the russet plains extend; there wrapt in clouds, the bluish hills ascend, Literary Miscellany, No. 79.

[merged small][ocr errors]

1

Even the wild heath displays her purple dyes,? 25 and 'midst the desert fruitful fields arise, that crown'd with tufted trees and springing corn, like verdant isles, the sable waste adorn. Let India boast her plants, nor envy we thy weeping amber or the balmy tree,

30 while by our oaks the precious loads are borne, and realms commanded which those trees adorn. Not proud Olympus yields a nobler sight, tho' gods assembled grace his tow'ring height, than what more humble mountains offer here, 85 where, in their blessings, all those gods appear. See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crown'd, here blushing Flora paints th' enamelld ground, here Ceres' gifts in waving prospect stand, and nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand;

40 rich industry sits siniling on the plains, and peace and plenty tell, a Stuart reigns.

Not thus the land appear'd in ages past, a dreary desert, and a gloomy waste, to savage beasts and savage laws a prey,

45 and kings more furious and severe than they; who claim'd the skies, dispeopled air and floods, the lonely lords of empty wilds and woods: Cities laid waste, they storm'd the dens and cares, (for wiser brutes were backward to be slaves.) What could be free, when lawless beasts obey'd, and ev'n the elements a tyrant sway'd ? in vain kind seasons swelld the teening grain, soft show'rs distilld, and suns grew warm in vain: the swain with tears his frustrate labour yields, and famish'd dies amidst his ripen'd fields. What wonder then, a beast or subject slain were equal crimnes in a despotic reign?

50

[ocr errors]

75

both doom'd alike, for sportive tyrants bled, but while the subject starv'd, the beast was fed. 60 Proud Nimrod first the bloody chaçe began, a mighty hunter, and his prey was man: our haughty Norman boasts that barb'rous name, and makes his trembling slaves the royal game. The fields are ravish'd from th’industrious swains, 65 from men their cities, and from gods their fanes : the levelld towns with weeds lie cover'd o'er; the hollow winds thro' naked temples roar; round broken columns clasping ivy twin'd; o'er heaps of ruin stalk'd the stately hind; 70 the fox obscene to gaping tombs retires, and savage howlings fill the sacred quires. Aw'd by his nobles, by his commons curst, th'

oppressor ruld tyrannic where he durst, stretch'd o'er the poor and church bis iron rod, and serv'd alike his vassals and his God. Whom ev'n the Saxon spar'd, and bloody Dane, the wanton victims of his sport remain. But see, the man, who spacious regions gave a waste for beasts, himself deny'd a grave! stretch'd on the lawn his second hope survey, at once the chaser, and at once the prey: Jo Rufus, tugging at the deadly dart, bleeds in the forest like a wounded hart. Succeeding monarchs heard the subjects' cries, 85 nor saw displeas'd the peaceful cottage rise: then gath’ring flocks on unknown mountains fed, o'er sandy wilds where yellow harvests spread, the forest wonder'd at th' unusual grain, and secret transports touch'd the conscious swaiu. 90 Fair Liberty, Britannia's goddess, rears, her cheerful head, and leads the golden years.

80

« ПредишнаНапред »