« НазадПродовжити »
How rich the Peacock ! * what bright glories rur
Who taught the Hawk to find, in seasons wise,
Tho’ strong the Hawk t, tho' practis'd well to fly,
the wild ass; but none that could reach this creature. A thousand golden ducats, or a hundred camels, was the stated price of a horse that could equal their speed.
* Though this bird is but just mentioned in my author, I could not forbear going a little farther, and spreading those beautiful plumes (which are there shut up) in half a dozen lines. The circumstance I have marked of his opening his plumes to the sun is true : Expandit colores adverfo maxime fule, quia fic fulgentius radiant. Plin. l. x. c. 20.
of Thyanus (de Re Accip.) mentions a hawk that few from Paris te London in a night.
And the Egyptians, in regard to its swiftness, made it their fymbol for the wind; for which reason we may suppose the hawk, as well as the crow above, to have been a bird of note in Egypt.
* Thence wide o'er nature takes her dread survey,
+ Know'ft Thou how many moons, by Me assign'd,
Will the tall Reem, which knows no Lord but Me,
great his strength, go trust him, void of care; Lay on his neck the toil of all the year ;
* The eagle is said to be of so acute a fight, that when she is so high in air that man cannot see her, she can discern the smallett fish under water. My author accurately understood the nature of the creatures he describes, and seems to have been a Naturalist as well as a Poet, which the next note will confirm.
+ The meaning of this question is, Knowest thou the time and cir. cumstances of their bringing forth? For to know the time only was easy, and had nothing extraordinary in it; but the circumstances had something peculiarly expresfive of God's Providence, which makes the question proper in this place. Pliny observes, that the hind with young is by instinct directed to a certain herb called Sefelis, which facilitates the birth. Thunder also (which looks like the more immediate hand of Providence) has the same effect. Pf. xxix. In so early an age to observe these things, may stile our author a Natu, ralist.
Bid him bring home the seasons to thy doors,
Didst thou from service the Wild-Ass discharge
Survey the warlike Horse! didft Thou invest With thunder, his robụst distended chest ? No sense of fear his dauntless soul allays ; 'Tis dreadful to behold his nostrils blaze ; To paw the vale he proudly takes delight, And triumphs in the fulness of his might; High-rais'd he snuffs the battle from afar, And burns to plunge amid the raging war; And mocks at death, and throws his foam around, And in a storm of fury shakes the ground. How does his firm, his rising heart, advance Full on the brandish'd sword, and shaken lance; While his fix'd eye-balls meet the dazzling shield, Gaze, and return the lightning of the field ! He finks the sense of pain in gen'rous pride, Nor feels the shaft that trembles in his fide; But neighs to the shrill trumpet's dreadful blast Till death; and when he groans,
his last. But, fiercer still, the lordly Lion stalks, Grimly majestic in his lonely walks ; When round he glares, all living creatures Aly; He clears the defart with his rolling eye.
Say, mortal, does he roufe at thy command,
Mild is my Behemoth, though large his frame;
* Pursuing their prey by night is true of most wild beasts, particularly the lion. Ps. cvi. 20. The Arabians have one among their 500 names for the lion, which fignifies the hunter by mamahine.
The mountains feed him ; there the beasts admire
His eye drinks Jordan up, when fir'd with drought,
+ Go to the Nile, and, from its fruitful fide,
Shall pompous banquets swell with such a prize?
* Cepkefi glaciale caput quo fuetus anbelam
Stat. Theb. V. 349.
Claud. Pref. in Ruf.
+ The taking the crocodile is most difficult. Diodorus says, they are not to be taken but by iron nets. When Augufus conquered Egypt; he struck a medal, the impress of which was a crocodile chained to a palm-tree, with this inscription, Nemo antca rcligavit.