Page images
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

By turns, astony'd, every twig survey,
And, from their fellows' hateful wounds,

beware; Knowing, I wist, how each the same may

share; Till fear has taught them a performance

meet, And to the well-known chest the dame

repair ; Whence oft with sugar'd cates she doth

them greet, And ginger-bread y-rare ; now certes, doubly


See to their seats they hye with merry glee,
And in beseemly order sitten there ;
All but the wight of bum y-galled, he
Abhorreth bench, and stool, and fourm,

and chair; (This hand in mouth y-fixed, that rends his

hair ;) And eke with snubs profound, and heaving

breast, Convulsions intermitting! does declare His grievous wrong; his dame's unjust

behest; And scorns her offer'd love and shuns to be


Yet nursed with skill, what dazzling fruits

appear! E'en now sagacious Foresight points to

show A little bench of heedless bishops here, And there a chancellor in embryo, Or bard sublime, if bard may e'er be so, As Milton, Shakspeare, names that ne'er

shall die ! Though now he crawl along the ground so

low, Nor, weeting how the Muse should soar on

high, Wisheth, poor starveling elf ! his paper kite

may fly. And this perhaps, who, censuring the

design, Low lays the house which that of cards

doth build, Shall Dennis be! if rigid Fate incline, And many an epic to his rage shall yield; And many a poet quit th' Aonian field; And, sour'd by age, profound he shall

appear, , As he who now with 'sdainful fury thrill'd Surveys mine work; and levels many a

sneer, And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, “ What

stuff is here?"

His face besprent with liquid crystal

shines, His blooming face that seems a purple

flower, Which low to earth its drooping head de

clines, All smear'd and sullied by a vernal shower. O the hard bosoms of despotic power! All, all, but she, the author of his shame, All, all, but she, regret this mournful hour : Yet hence the youth, and hence the flower

shall claim, If so I deem aright, transcending worth and


But now Dan Phæbus gains the middlo

skie, And Liberty unbars her prison-door ; And like a rushing torrent out they fly, And now the grassy cirque han cover'd o'er

[blocks in formation]

With boisterous revel-rout and wild uproar;
A thousand ways in wanton rings they run,
Heaven shield their short-lived pastimes, I

implore ! For well may Freedom erst so dearly won, Appear to British elf more gladsome than the

Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive

And chase gay flies, and cull the fairest

flowers ;
For when my bones in grass-green sods are

For never may ye taste more careless hours
In knightly castles, or in ladies' bowers.
O vain to seek delight in earthly thing !
But most in courts where proud Ambition

Deluded wight! who weens fair Peace can

spring Beneath the pompous dome of kesar or of

king. See in each sprite some various bent

These rudely carol most incondite lay ;
Those sauntering on the green, with jocund

Salute the stranger passing on his way;
Some builden fragile tenements of clay ;
Some to the standing lake their courses

With pebbles smooth at duck and drake to

play ; Thilk to the huxter's savory cottage tend, In pastry kings and queens th' allotted mite

to spend. Here, as each season yields a different

Each season's stores in order rangèd

been ;
Apples with cabbage-net y-cover'd o'er,
Galling full sore the unmoney'd wight, are
And goose-b'rie clad in livery red or green ;
And here of lovely dye, the catherine pear,
Fine pear! as lovely for thy juice, I ween:

O may no wight e'er pennyless come there, Lest smit with ardent love he pine with hope.

less care! See! cherries here, ere cherries yet abound, With thread so white in tempting posies

tied, Scattering like blooming maid their glances

With pamper'd look draw little eyes aside ;
And must be bought, though penury

The plum all azure and the nut all brown,
And here each season do those cakes abide,
Whose honour'd names the inventive city

own, Rendering through Britain's isle Salopia's

praises known;

seen ;

Ye shepherds so cheerful and gay,

Whose flocks never carelessly roam ; Should Corydon's happen to stray,

Oh! call the poor wanderers homo. Allow me to muse and to sigh,

Nor talk of the change that ye find; None once was so watchful as I ;

I have left my dear Phyllis behind. Now I know what it is, to have strove

With the torture of doubt and desire ; What it is to admire and to love,

And to leave her we love and admire. Ah ! lead forth my flock in the morn,

And the damps of each evening repel; Alas! I am faint and forlorn :

-I have bade my dear Phyllis farewell. Since Phyllis vouchsafed me a look,

I never once dreamt of my vine :
May I lose both my pipe and my crook,

If I knew of a kid that was mine!
I prized ev'ry hour that went by,

Beyond all that had pleased me before ; But now they are past, and I sigh ;

And I grieve that I prized them no more. But why do I languish in vain ;

Why wander thus pensively here? Oh! why did I come from the plain,

Where I fed on the smiles of my dear? They tell me, my favourite maid,

The pride of that valley, is flown ; Alas! where with her I have stray'd,

I could wander with pleasure, alone.
When forced the fair nymph to forego,

What anguish I felt at my heart !
Yet I thought-but it might not be so-

'Twas with pain that she saw me depart. She gazed, as I slowly withdrew ;

My path I could hardly discern; So sweetly she bade me adieu,

I thought that she bade me return.

[ocr errors]

The pilgrim that journeys all day

To visit some far distant shrine, If he bear but a relique away,

Is happy, nor heard to repine. Thus widely removed from the fair,

Where my vows, my devotion, I owe, Soft Hope is the relique I bear,

And my solace wherever I go.

Can a bosom so gentle remain

Unmoved when her Corydon sighs ? Will a nymph that is fond of the plain,

These plains and this valley despise ? Dear regions of silence and shade!

Soft scenes of contentment and ease ? Where I could have pleasingly stray'd,

If aught, in her absence, could please. But where does my Phyllida stray ?

And where are her grots and her bowers ? Are the groves and the valleys as gay,

And the shepherds as gentle as ours ? The groves may perhaps be as fair,

And the face of the valleys as fine ; The swains may in manners compare,

But their love is not equal to mine.

My banks they are furnish'd with bees,

Whose murmur invites one to sleep ;
My grottoes are shaded with trees,

And my hills are white over with sheep. I seldom have met with a loss,

Such health do my fountains bestow : My fountains all border'd with moss,

Where the harebells and violets grow.


Not a pine in my grove is there seen,

But with tendrils of woodbine is bound: Not a beech's more beautiful green,

But a sweet-brier entwines it around. Not my fields, in the prime of the year,

More charms than my cattle unfold; Not a brook that is limpid and clear,

But it glitters with fishes of gold. One would think she might like to retire

To the bower I have labour'd to rear ; Not a shrub that I heard her admire,

But I hasted and planted it there. O how sudden the jessamine strove

With the lilac to render it gay! Already it calls for my love,

To prune the wild branches away.

Why will you my passion reprove ?

Why term it a folly to grieve ? Ere I show you the charms of my love,

She's fairer than you can believe. With her mien she enamours the brave ;

With her wit she engages the free ; With her modesty pleases the grave;

She is everyway pleasing to me.

O you that have been of her train, /

Come and join in my amorous lays ;
I could lay down my life for the swain,

That will sing but a song in her praise. When he sings, may the nymphs of the

town Come trooping, and listen the while; Nay on him let not Phyllida frown;

-But I cannot allow her to smile.

From the plains, from the woodlands and

groves, What strains of wild melody flow! How the nightingales warble their loves

From thickets of roses that blow ! And when her bright form shall appear,

Each bird shall harmoniously join In a concert so soft and so clear,

As—she may not be fond to resign.

For when Paridel tries in the dance

Any favour with Phyllis to find, O how, with one trivial glance,

Might she ruin the peace of my mind ! In ringlets he dresses his hair,

And his crook is bestudded around; And his pipe-oh my Phyllis, beware

Of a magic there is in the sound.

I have found out a gift for my fair ;
I have found where the wood - pigeons

breed :
But let me that plunder forbear,

She will say 'twas a barbarous deed. For he ne'er could be true, she averr’d,

Who would rob a poor bird of its young : And I loved her the more when I heard

Such tenderness fall from her tongue.

'Tis his with mock passion to glow,

'Tis his in smooth tales to unfold, How her face is as bright as the snow,

And her bosom, be sure, is as cold. How the nightingales labour the strain,

With the notes of his charmer to vie; How they vary their accents in vain,

Repine at her triumphs, and die.
To the grove or the garden he strays,

And pillages every sweet ;
Then, suiting the wreath to his lays,

He throws it at Phyllis's feet.
“O Phyllis," he whispers, more fair,

More sweet than the jessamine's flower ! What are pinks in a morn to compare ?

What is eglantine after a shower ?

I have heard her with sweetness unfold

How that pity was due to-a dove : That it ever attended the bold;

And she call'd it the sister of love. But her words such a pleasure convey,

So much I her accents adore, Let her speak, and whatever she say,

Methinks I should love her the more.

[blocks in formation]

Ye shepherds, give ear to my lay,

And take no more heed of my sheep; They have nothing to do but to stray;

I have nothing to do but to weep. Yet do not my folly reprove ;

She was fair-and my passion begun ; She smiled-and I could not but love;

She is faithless—and I am undone.

Perhaps I was void of all thought :

Perhaps it was plain to foresee, That a nymph so complete would be sought,

By a swain more engaging than me.
Ah ! love every hope can inspire ;

It banishes wisdom the while ;
And the lip of the nymph we admire

Seems for ever adorn'd with a smile.

She is faithless, and I am undone ;

Ye that witness the woes I endure, Let reason instruct you to shun

What it cannot instruct you to cure. Beware how you loiter in vain

Amid nymphs of a higher degree: It is not for me to explain

How fair, and how fickle they be.

And bring that garland to my sight,

With which my favour'd crook she bound; And bring that wreath of roses bright

Which then my festive temples crown'd;
And to my raptured ear convey
The gentle things she deign'd to say.
And sketch with care the Muse's bower,

Where Isis rolls her silver tide ;
Nor yet omit one reed or flower

That shines on Cherwell's verdant side;
If so thou may'st those hours prolong,
When polish'd Lycon join'd my song.
The song it 'vails not to recite-

But sure, to soothe our youthful dreams, Those banks and streams appear'd more

Than other banks, than other streams :
Or, by thy softening pencil shown,
Assume thy beauties not their own!
And paint that sweetly vacant scene,

When, all beneath the poplar bough,
My spirits light, my soul serene,

I breathed in verse one cordial vow : That nothing should my soul inspire, But friendship warm, and love entire. Dull to the sense of new delight,

On thee the drooping Muse attends;
As some fond lover, robb’d of sight,

On thy expressive power depends;
Nor would exchange thy glowing lines,
To live the lord of all that shines.
But let me chase those vows away

Which at ambition's shrine I made;
Nor ever let thy skill display

Those anxious moments, ill repaid : Oh! from my breast that season raze, And bring my childhood in its place.

[blocks in formation]

« PreviousContinue »