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Such were the pleasing triumphs of the sky,
For James his late nocturnal victory :
The pledge of his almighty Patron's love,
The fireworks which his angels made above.
I saw myself 2 the lambent easy light
Gild the brown horror, and dispel the night :
The messenger with speed the tidings bore ;
News, which three labouring nations did restore ;
But heav'n's own Nuntius was arriv'd before.
By this, the Hind had reach'd her lonely cell,
And vapours rose, and dews unwholsom fell.
When she, by frequent observation wife,
As one who long on heaven had fix'd her eyes,
Discern’d a change of weather in the skies.
The western borders were with crimson spread,
The moon descending look'd all-flaming red;
She thought good manners bound her to invite
The stranger dame to be her guest that night.
'Tis true, coarse diet, and a fhort repast,
(She said) were weak inducements to the tafte
Of one so nicely bred, and so unus'd to fast :
But what plain fare her cottage could afford,
A hearty welcome at a homely board,
Was freely hers; and, to supply the rest,
An honest meaning, and an open breast :
Laft, with content of mind, the poor man's wealth,
A grace-cup to their common patron's health.
This the desir'd her to accept, and stay,
For fear she might be wilder'd in her way,
Because she wanted an unerring guide,
And then the dew-drops on her filken hide
Her tender constitution did declare,
Too lady-like a long fatigue to bear,
And rough inclemencies of raw nocturnal air.
But most she fear'd that, travelling so late,
Some evil-minded beasts might lie in wait,
And without witness wreak their hidden hate.
The Panther, though she lent a listening ear,
Had more of lion in her than to fear :
Yet wisely weighing, since she had to deal
With many foes, their numbers might prevail,
Return'd her all the thanks she could afford;
And took her friendly hostess at her word:
Who entering first her lowly roof, a shed
With hoary moss, and winding ivy spread,
Honeft enough to hide an humble hermit's head,
Thus graciously bespoke her welcome guest:
So might these walls, with your fair presence bleft,
Become your dwelling-place of everlasting reft;
Not for a night, or quick revolving year,
Welcome an owner, not a sojourner.
This peaceful seat my poverty secures;
War feldom enters but where wealth allures :
Nor yet despise it; for this poor abode
Has oft receiv'd, and
receives a God;
A God victorious of a Stygian race
Here laid his sacred limbs, and fanctify'd the place.
This mean retreat did mighty Pan contain :
Be emulous, of him, and pomp disdain,
And dare not to debase your soul to gain.
The filent stranger stood amaz’d to see
Contempt of wealth, and wilful poverty:
And, tho’ill habits are not soon controul'd,
A while fufpended her defire of gold.
But civilly drew in her sharpen'd paws,
Not violating hospitable laws,
And pacify'd her tail, and lick'd her frothy jaws.
The Hind did first her country cates provide;
Then couch'd herself securely by her side.
UCH malice 3 mingled with a little wit,
centure this mysterious writ:
Because the muse has peopled Caledon
With Panthers, Bears, and Wolves, and bealls
As if we were not stock'd with monsters of our own.
Let Æsop answer, who has set to view
Such kinds as Greece and Phrygia never knew;
And 4 mother Hubberd, in her homely dress,
Has sharply blam'd a British Lioness;
That queen, whose feast the factious rabble keep,
Expos'd obscenely naked and afleep.
Led by those great examples, may not I
The wanted organs of their words fupply?
If men transact like brutes, 'tis equal then
For brutes to claim the privilege of men.
Others our Hind of folly will indite,
To entertain a dangerous guest by night,
Let those remember, that she cannot die
Till rolling time is loft in round eternity;
Nor need fhe fear the Panther, tho' antam'd,
Because the 5 Lion's peace was now proclain’d:
The wary favage would not give offence,
To forfeit the protection of her prince;
But watch'd the time her vengeance to complete,
When all her furry fons in frequent senate met,
Mean-while she quench'd her fury at the flood,
And with a lenten sallad cool'd her blood.
ş Dryden, aware of the cenfures to which his subject might expore him, here makes an apology for the contrivance of the poem.
a. This alludes to Mother Hubherd's tale, written by Spenser. 5 Liberty of conscience, and toleration of all religions.
Their commons, tho' but coarse, were nothing fcant,
Nor did their minds an equal banquet want.
For now the Hind, whose noble nature strove
T'express her plain fimplicity of love,
Did all the honours of her house so well,
No sharp debates difturb'd the friendly meal.
She turn'd the talk, avoiding that extreme.
To common dangers past, a sadly-pleasing theme ;
Remembring every storm which tois'd the state,
When both were objects of the public hate,
And dropt a tear betwixt for her own childrens fate.
Nor fail'd she then a full review to make
Of what the Panther suffer'd for her fake :
Her loft esteem, her truth, her loyal care,
Her faith unshaken 6 to an exil'd heir,
Her strength to endure, her courage to defy;
Her choice of honourable infamy.
On these, prolixly thankful, the enlarg'd;
Then with acknowledgment herself the charg'd;
For friendship, of itself an holy tie,
Is made more sacred by adversity.
Now should they part, malicious tongues would say,
They met like chance companions on the way,
Whom mutual fear of robbers had possess’d;
While danger lafted, kindness was profess'd;
But that once o'er the short-liv'd union ends :
The road divides, and there divide the friends.
The Panther nodded when her speech was done,
And thank'd her coldly in a hollow tone:
But said her gratitude had gone too far
For common offices of christian care..
If to the lawful heir she had been true,
She paid but Cæsar what was Cæsar's due.
to an exil'd beir, The duke of York while oppos'd by the favourers and abettors of the bill of exclufion was obliged to retire from London.
I might, she added, with like praise describe
Your suffering fons, and so return your bribe:
But incense from my hands is poorly priz’d;
For gifts are scorn'd where givers are despis’d.
I feri'd a turn, and then was cast away;
You, like the gaudy fly, your wings display,
And fip the sweets, and balk in your great patron's day.
This heard, the matron was not flow to find
What fort of malady had seiz'd her mind:
Disdain, with gnawing envy, feN despight,
And canker’d malice stood in open fight:
Ambition, interest, pride without controul,
And jealousy, the jaundice of the foul';
Revenge, the bloody minister of ill,
With all the lean tormentors of the will.
'Twas easy now to guess from whence arose
Her new-made union with her ancient foes,
Her forc'd civilities, her faint embrace,
Affected kindness with an alter'd face:
Yet durft she not too deeply probe the wound,
As hoping still the nobler parts were found :
Bat strove with anodynes to affwage the smart,
And mildly thus her med'cine did impart.
Complaints of lovers help to ease their pain ;
It shows a rest of kindness to complain;
A friendship loth to quit its former hold;
And conscious merit may be justly bold.
But much more just your jealousy would shew,
If other's good were injury to you:
Witness, ye heavens, how I rejoice to see
Rewarded worth and rising loyalty.
Your warrior offspring that upheld the crown,
The scarlet donour of your peaceful gown,
Are the most pleafing objects I can find,
Charms to my sight, and cordials to my mind:
When virtue spooms before a prosperous gale, '
My heaving wishes help to fill the fail;