Images de page
PDF
ePub

Thus sung the shepherds till th' approach of night, The skies yet blushing with departing light, When falling dews with spangles deck'd the glade, And the low sun had lengthen'd ev'ry shade.

IV. >

WINTER; OR, DAPHNE.

TO THE MEMORY OF MRS. TEMPEST,

Lycidas.

100

THYRSIS! the music of that murm'ring spring
Is not so mournful as the strains you sing;
Nor rivers winding through the vales below,
So sweetly warble, or so smoothly flow.
Now sleeping flocks on their soft fleeces lie,
The moon, serene in glory, mounts the sky,
Whilst silent birds forget their tuneful lays,
Oh, sing of Daphne's face, and Daphne's praise!
Thyr. Behold the groves that shine with silver frost,
Their beauty wither'd, and their verdure lost.
Here shall I try the sweet Alexis' strain,
That call'd the list'ning Dryads to the plain?
Thames heard the numbers, as he flow'd along,
And bade his willows learn the moving song.

11

16.

Lyc. So may kind rains their vital moisture yield, And swell the future harvest of the field.. Begin; this charge the dying Daphne gave, And said, "Ye shepherds, sing around my grave," Sing, while beside the shaded tomb I mourn, And with fresh bays her rural shrine adorn,

20

Thyr. Ye gentle Muses, leave your crystal spring; Let nymphs and sylvans cypress-garlands bring; Ye weeping Loves, the stream with myrtles hide, And break your bows, as when Adonis died; And with your golden darts, now useless grown, 25 Inscribe a verse on this relenting stone:

"Let nature change, let heaven and earth deplore; "Fair Daphne's dead, and love is now no more!"

[blocks in formation]

30

35

'Tis done; and Nature's various charms decay; See gloomy clouds obscure the cheerful day! Now hung with pearls the dropping trees appear, Their faded honours scatter'd on her bier. See, where on earth the flow'ry glories lie; With her they flourish'd, and with her they die. Ah! what avail the beauties Nature wore? Fair Daphne's dead, and beauty is no more! For her the flocks refuse their verdant food, The thirsty heifers shun the gliding flood, The silver swans her hapless fate bemoan, In notes more sad than when they sing their own; 40 In hollow caves sweet Echo silent lies, Silent, or only to her name replies;

50

Her name with pleasure once she taught the shore;
Now Daphne's dead, and pleasure is no more!
No grateful dews descend from ev'ning skies, 45
Nor morning odours from the flow'rs arise;
No rich perfumes refresh the fruitful field,
Nor fragant herbs their native incense yield.
The balmy zephyrs, silent since her death,
Lament the ccasing of a sweeter breath;
Th' industrious bees neglect their golden store :
Fair Daphne's dead, and sweetness is no more!
No more the mounting larks, while Daphne sings,
Shall, list'ning in mid air, suspend their wings;
No more the birds shall imitate her lays,
Or, hush'd with wonder, hearken from the sprays;
No more the streams their murmurs shall forbear,
A sweeter music than their own to hear:
But tell the reeds, and tell the vocal shore,
Fair Daphne's dead, and music is no more!

Her fate is whisper'd by the gentle breeze,
And told in sighs to all the trembling trees;
The trembling trees, in ev'ry plain and wood,
Her fate remurmur to the silver flood;
The silver flood, so lately calm, appears
Swell'd with new passion, and o'erflows with tears;

55

60

65

The winds, and trees, and floods, her death deplore, Daphne, our grief, our glory, now no more!

70

75

But see! where Daphne wond'ring mounts on high, Above the clouds, above the starry sky! Eternal beauties grace the shining scenes, Fields ever fresh, and groves for ever green; There while you rest in amaranthine bow'rs, Or from those meads select unfading flow 'rs, Behold us kindly, who your name implore, Daphne, our goddess, and our grief, no more! Lyc, How all things listen, while thy muse comSuch silence waits on Philomela's strains, [plains! In some still ev'ning, when the whisp'ring breeze Pants on the leaves, and dies upon the trees. To thec, bright Goddess, oft a lamb shall bleed, If teeming ewes increase my fleecy breed. While plants their shade, or flow'rs their odours give, Thy name, thy honour, and thy praise shall live! Thyr. But sce, Orion sheds unwholesome dews; Arise, the pincs a noxious shade diffuse; Sharp Boreas blows, and Nature feels decay; Time conquers all, and we must Time obey,

80

86

90

Adieu, ye Vales, ye Mountains, Streams, and Groves;
Adieu, ye Shepherds' rural Lays and Loves;
Adieu, my Flocks; farewell, ye Sylvan Crew;
Daphne, farewell; and all the World adieu!

WINDSOR FOREST.

TO THE

RT. HON. GEORGE LORD LANSDOWN,

Non injussa cano: te nostræ, Vare, myricæ,
Te nemus omne canet: nec Phœbo gratior ulla est,
Quam sibi quæ Vari prescripsit pagina nomen.

Virg

THY forest, 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! 5
What muse for Granville can refuse to sing?

[ocr errors]

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,

10

15

20

25

And where, though 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.
E'en the wild heath displays her purple dyes,
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
The weeping amber of the balmy tree,
While by our oaks the precious loads are borne,
And realms commanded which those trees adorn.
Not proud Olympus yields a nobler sight,
Though Gods assembled grace his tow'ring height,
Than what more humble nountains offer here,
Where, in their blessings, all those Gods appear.
See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crown'd;
Here blushing Flora paints th' enamell'd ground;
Here Ceres' gifts in waving prospect stand,
And nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand;
Rich industry sits smiling on the plains,
And peace and plenty tell, a Stuart reigns.
Not thus the land appear'd in ages past,

30

35

40

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 caves,
(For wiser brutes were backward to be slaves.)
What could be free, when lawless beasts obey'd,
And e'en the elements a tyrant sway'd?

50

55

In vain kind seasons swell'd the teeming grain, Soft show'rs distill'd, 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 crimes in a despotic reign? Both doom'd alike, for sportive tyrants bled; But while the subject starv'd, the beast was fed. 60 Proud Nimrod first the bloody chace 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 levell'd 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; 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 rul'd tyrannic where he durst, Stretch'd o'er the poor and church his iron-rod, And serv'd alike his vassals and his God. Whom e'en 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: Lo Rufus, tugging at the deadly dart, Bleeds in the forest like a wounded hart. Succeeding monarchs heard the subjects' cries, Nor saw displeas'd the peaceful cottage rise:

70

113

75

80

85

« PrécédentContinuer »