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Fancy they see the lessening shores retire,
And sigh a farewell to the sinking hills.

Could I recall those notes which once the Muse
Heard at a shearing, near the woody sides
Of blue-topp'd Wrekin!1 Yet the carols sweet,
Through the deep maze of the memorial cell,
Faintly remurmur. First arose in song

Hoar-headed Damon, venerable swain,
The soothest shepherd of the flowery vale.
'This is no vulgar scene: no palace roof
Was e'er so lofty, nor so nobly rise

Their polished pillars, as these aged oaks,
Which o'er our fleecy wealth and harmless sports
Thus have expanded wide their sheltering arms.
Thrice told an hundred summers. Sweet content,
Ye gentle shepherds, pillow us at night.'

'Yes, tuneful Damon, for our cares are short, Rising and falling with the cheerful day,'


Colin replied, and pleasing weariness
Soon our unaching heads to sleep inclines.
Is it in cities so? where, poets tell,
The cries of sorrow sadden all the streets,
And the diseases of intemperate wealth.

Alas, that any ills from wealth should rise!

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May this clear stream, these lawns, those snow-white


Which, with a pretty innocence of look,

Skip on the green, and race in little troops;

May that great lamp, which sinks behind the


And streams around variety of lights,

Recall them erring: this is Damon's wish.

1'Wrekin: a high hill in Shropshire.


'Huge Breaden's 1 stony summit once I climbed 654 After a kidling: Damon, what a scene!

What various views unnumber'd spread beneath! Woods, towers, vales, caves, dells, cliffs, and torrent floods;

And here and there, between the spiry rocks,
The broad flat sea. Far nobler prospects these,
Than gardens black with smoke in dusty towns, 660
Where stenchy vapours often blot the sun:
Yet flying from his quiet, thither crowds
Each greedy wretch for tardy-rising wealth,
Which comes too late; that courts the taste in vain,
Or nauseates with distempers. Yes, ye rich,
Still, still be rich, if thus ye fashion life;
And piping, careless, silly shepherds we;
We silly shepherds, all intent to feed
Our snowy flocks, and wind the sleeky fleece.'

'Dream not, howe'er, our occupation mean,'
Damon replied, 'while the Supreme accounts
Well of the faithful shepherd, ranked alike
With king and priest: they also shepherds are:
For so th' All-seeing styles them, to remind
Elated man, forgetful of his charge.

'But haste, begin the rites: see! purple Eve Stretches her shadows: all ye nymphs and swains Hither assemble. Pleased with honours due,

Sabrina, guardian of the crystal flood,


Shall bless our cares, when she by moonlight clear, 680
Skims e'er the dales, and eyes our sleeping folds:
Or in hoar caves, around Plinlimmon's brow,
Where precious minerals dart their purple gleams,
Among her sisters she reclines; the loved
Vaga, profuse of graces, Ryddol rough,

1 'Breaden:' a high hill on the borders of Montgomeryshire.

Blithe Ystwith, and Clevedoc1 swift of foot;
And mingles various seeds of flowers and herbs
In the divided torrents, ere they burst


Through the dark clouds, and down the mountain roll,
Nor taint-worm shall infect the yeaning herds,
Nor penny-grass, nor spearwort's poisonous leaf.'
He said: with light fantastic toe, the nymphs
Thither assembled, thither every swain;
And o'er the dimpled stream a thousand flowers,
Pale lilies, roses, violets, and pinks,

Mixed with the greens of burnet, mint, and thyme,
And trefoil, sprinkled with their sportive arms.
Such custom holds along the irriguous vales,
From Wrekin's brow, to rocky Dolvoryn,2
Sabrina's early haunt, ere yet she fled
The search of Gwendolen, her stepdame proud,
With envious hate enraged. The jolly cheer,
Spread on a mossy bank, untouched abides,
Till cease the rites: and now the mossy bank
Is gaily circled, and the jolly cheer
Dispersed in copious measure; early fruits,
And those of frugal store, in husk or rind;
Steeped grain, and curdled milk with dulcet cream
Soft tempered, in full merriment they quaff,
And cast about their gibes; and some apace
Whistle to roundelays: their little ones
Look on delighted: while the mountain-woods,
And winding valleys, with the various notes
Of pipe, sheep, kine, and birds, and liquid brooks,
Unite their echoes: near at hand the wide
Majestic wave of Severn slowly rolls



14 Vaga, Ryddol, Ystwith, and Clevedoc:' rivers, the springs of which rise in the sides of Plinlimmon.-2 Dolvoryn:' a ruinous castle in Montgomeryshire, on the banks of the Severn

Along the deep-divided glebe: the flood,
And trading bark with low contracted sail,
Linger among the reeds and copsy banks
To listen; and to view the joyous scene.





Recommendation of mercifulness to animals. Of the winding of wool. Diversity of wool in the fleece: skill in the assorting of it; particularly among the Dutch. The uses of each sort. Severe winters pernicious to the fleece. Directions to prevent their effects. Wool lightest in common fields: inconveniencies of common fields. Vulgar errors concerning the wool of England: its real excellencies; and directions in the choice. No good wool in cold or wet pastures: yet all pastures improvable; exemplified in the drainage of Bedford level. Britain in ancient times not esteemed for wool. Countries esteemed for wool before the Argonautic expedition. Of that expedition, and its consequences. Countries afterwards esteemed for wool. The decay of arts and sciences in the barbarous ages: the revival, first at Venice. Countries noted for wool in the present times. Wool the best of all the various materials for clothing. The wool of our island, peculiarly excellent, is the combing wool. Methods to prevent its exportation. Apology of the author for treating this subject. Bishop Blaise, the inventor of wool-combing. Of the dyeing of wool. Few dyes the natural product of England: necessity of trade for importing them. The advantages of trade, and its utility in the moral world; exemplified in the prosperity and ruin of the elder Tyre.

Now of the severed lock begin the song,
With various numbers, through the simple theme
To win attention: this, ye shepherd swains,
This is a labour. Yet, O Wray, if thou
Cease not with skilful hand to point her way,
The lark-winged muse, above the grassy vale,
And hills, and woods, shall, singing, soar aloft;
And he, whom learning, wisdom, candour, grace,
Who glows with all the virtues of his sire,
Royston, approve, and patronise the strain.

Through all the brute creation, none, as sheep,
To lordly man such ample tribute pay.


For him their udders yield nectareous streams;
For him the downy vestures they resign;

For him they spread the feast: ah! ne'er may he
Glory in wants which doom to pain and death
His blameless fellow creatures. Let disease,
Let wasted hunger, by destroying live;

And the permission use with trembling thanks,
Meekly reluctant: 'tis the brute beyond:
And gluttons ever murder, when they kill.
Even to the reptile every cruel deed
Is high impiety. Howe'er not all,
Not of the sanguinary tribe are all;

All are not savage. Come, ye gentle swains,
Like Brahma's healthy sons on Indus' bank,
Whom the pure stream and garden fruits sustain,
Ye are the sons of nature; your mild hands
Are innocent: ye, when ye shear, relieve.
Come, gentle swains, the bright unsullied locks
Collect; alternate songs shall soothe your cares,
And warbling music break from every spray.
Be faithful, and the genuine locks alone
Wrap round, nor alien flake, nor pitch enfold;
Stain not your stores with base desire to add
Fallacious weight; nor yet, to mimic those,
Minute and light, of sandy Urchinfield,'
Lessen, with subtle artifice, the fleece:
Equal the fraud. Nor interpose delay,
Lest busy ether through the open wool
Debilitating pass, and every film

Ruffle and sully with the valley's dust.

Guard too from moisture and the fretting moth
Pernicious: she, in gloomy shade conceal'd,
Her labyrinth cuts, and mocks the comber's care.

1 'Urchinfield:' the country about Ross in Herefordshire.

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