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-Campos, ubi Troja fuit."
Where Kensington high o'er the neighb'ring lands
'Midst greens and sweets, a regal fabrick ! stands,
And sees each spring luxuriant in her bow'rs,
A snow of blossoms and a wild of flow'rs,
The dames of Britain oft'in clouds repair
To gravel walks and unpolluted air :
Here while the Town in damps and darkness lies
They breathe in sunshine and see azure skies;
Each walk with robes of various dies bespread
Seems from afar a moving tulip bed,
Where rich brocades and glossy damaiks glow,
And chints, the rival of the show'ry bow.
Here England's daughter, darling of the land! Sometimes surrounded with her virgin band Gleams thro' the shades; she tow'ring o'er the rest Stands fairef of the fairer kind confeít,
16 Form'd to gain hearts that Brunswick’s caufe deny'd, And charm a people to her father's side.
Long have these Groves to royalguests been known, Nor Nassau first preferr'd them to a throne. Ere Norman banners wav'd in British air, Ere lordly Hubba with the golden hair
Pour'd in his Danes, ere elder Julius came,
Or Dardan Brutus gave our ifle a name,
A prince of Albion's lineage grac'd the wood, 25
The scene of wars, and stain’d with lovers' blood.
You who thro'gazing crowds your captive throng
Throw pangs and passions as you move along,
Turn on the left, ye Fair! your radiant eyes,
Where all unlevell’d the gay Garden lies.
30 If gen'rous anguish for another's pains Ere heav'd your hearts or shiver'd thro'your veins, Look down attentive on the pleasing Dale, And listen to my melancholy tale. That hollow space where now in living rows
Line above line the yew's sad verdure grows
Was ere the planter's hand its beauty gave
A common pit, a rude unfashion'd cave.
The landscape now so sweet we well may praise,
But far far sweeter in its ancient days,
Far sweeter was it when its peopled ground
With Fairy domes and dazzling tow’rs was crown'd!
Where in the midst those verdant pillars spring
Rose the proud palace of the Elfin king;
For every hedge of vegetable green
In happier years a crowded street was seen;
Nor all thofe leaves that now the prospect grace
Could match the numbers of its pigmy race.
What urg'd this mighty empire to its fate,
A tale of wo and wonder, 1 rclate.
When Albion rul'd the land, whose lineage came From Neptune mingling with a mortal dame, Their midnight pranks the sprightly Fairies play'd On ev'ry hill, and danc'd in ev'ry shade; But foes to sunshine, most they took delight 55 In dells and dales conceal'd from human fight, There hew'd their houses in the arching rock, Or scoop'd the bofom of the blasted oak, Or heard o'ershadow'd by some shelving hill The distant murmurs of the falling rill;
60 They rich in pilfer'd spoils indulg'd their mirth, And pity'd the huge wretched fons of earth: Ev’n now it is said the hinds o'erhear their strain, And strive to view their airy forms in vain ; They to their cells at man's approach repair, Like the shy lev'ret or the mother hare, The whilst poor mortals startle at the sound Of unseen footsteps on the haunted ground.
Amid this Garden then with woods o'ergrown Stood the lov'd seat of royal Oberon :
70 From ev'ry region to his palace gate Came peers and princes of the Fairy ftate, Who rank'd in council round the facred shade Their monarch's will and great behests obey'd. From Thames' fair banks, by lofty tow'rs adorn'd, 75 With loads of plunder oft' his chiefs return'd; Hence in proud robes and colours bright and gay Shone ev'ry knight and ev'ry lovely Fay.
Whoe'er on Powell's dazzling stage display'd
Hath fam'd King Pepin and his court survey'd 80
May guess, if old by modern things we trace,
The pomp and splendour of the Fairy race.
By magick fenc'd, by spells encompass'd round,
No mortal touch'd this interdicted ground;
No mortal enter'd, those alone who came
Stol'n from the couch of some terrestrial danie;
For oft' of babes they robb’d the matron's bed,
And left some fickly changeling in their stead.
It chanc'd a youth of Albion's royal blood
Was foster'd here, the wonder of the wood. 90
Milkah, for wiles above her peers renown'd,
Deep skill'd in charms and many a mystick sound,
As thro’the regal dome she fought for prey
Observ'd the infant Albion where he lay
In mantles broider'd o'er with gorgeous pride, 95
And stole him from the sleeping mother's side.
Who now but Milkah triumphs in her mind!
Ah, wretched Nymph! to future evils blind;
The time fhall come when thou shalt dearly pay
The theft hardhearted of that guilty day:
Thou in thy turn shalt like the queen repine,
And all her sorrows doubled shall be thine.
He who adorns thy house, the lovely boy
Who now adorns it, thall at length destroy.
Two hundred moons in their pale course had seen The gay-rob’d Fairies glimmer on the green,
And Albion now had reach'd in youthful prime
To nineteen years, as mortals measure time.
Flush'd with refifless charms he fir'd to love
Each nymph and little Dryad of the grove;
For skilful Milkah spar'd not to employ
Her utmost art to rear the princely boy;
Each supple limb she swath’d and tender bone,
And to the Elfin standard kept him down;
She robb'd dwarf elders of their fragrant fruit, 115
And sed him early with the daisy's root,
Whence thro' his veins the pow'rful juices ran,
And form'd in beauteous miniature the man;
Yet still two inches taller than the rest
His lofty port his human birth confeft:
A foot in height how stately did he show!
How look superiour on the crowd below!
What knight like him could toss the ruíny lance!
Who move fo graceful in the mazy dance!
A shape so nice, or features half fo fair,
What Elf could boast! or such a flow of hair!
Bright Kenna saw, a princess born to reign,
And felt the charmer burn in ev'ry vein.
She, heiress to this empire's potent lord,
Prais'd like the stars, and next the moon ador'd, 130
She whom at distance thrones and princedoms view'd,
To whom proud Oriel and Azuriel su'd,
In her high palace languish’d, void of joy,
And pin’d in secret for a mortal boy.