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Ye nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and th’ Aonian maids,
Delight no more—O thou my voice inspire
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!
From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies:
Th' AEthereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
Ye Heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds shall fail;
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale ;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-rob’d Innocence from Heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise th' expected morn!
Oh, spring to light, auspicious babe, be born!
See, nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfume the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears!
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim th’ approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies;
Sink down, ye mountains; and ye vallies rise;
With heads declin'd, ye cedars homage pay;
Be smooth, ye rocks: ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes by ancient bards foretold:
Hear him, ye deaf; and all ye blind, behold !
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day:
'Tis he th' obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm th’ unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear;
From every face he wipes off every tear.
In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
And hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air;
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects;
The tender lambs he raises in his arms, Feeds from his hand and in his bosom warms; Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage, The promis'd father of the future age. No more shall nation against nation rise, Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes, Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er, The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more: But useless lances into scythes shall bend, And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end. Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun; Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield, And the same hand that sow'd, shall reap the field. The swain in barren deserts with surprise Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise; And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear New falls of water murmuring in his ear. On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes, The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods. Waste sandy valleys, once perplex'd with thorn, The spiry fir and shapely box adorn: To leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed, And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed. [mead. The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead : The steer and lion at one crib shall meet, And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet. The smiling infant in his hand shall take The crested basilisk and speckled snake; Pleas'd, the green lustre of the scales survey, And with their forky tongue shall innocently play. Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise! Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes! See along race thy spacious courts adorn ; See future sons, and daughters yet unborn, In crowding ranks on every side arise, Demanding life, impatient for the skies! See barbarous nations at thy gates attend, Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend; See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings, And heap'd with products of Sabean springs. For thee Idume's spicy forests blow, And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow. See Heaven its sparkling portals wide display, And break upon thee in a flood of day ! No more the rising sun shall gild the morn, Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;
But lost, dissolv’d in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
O'erflow thy courts: the Light himself shall shine
Reveal’d, and God's eternal day be thine!
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;
But fix’d his word, his saving power remains;
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns!
Thy forests, Windsor; and thy green retreats,
At once the monarch's and the Muse's seats,
Invite my lays. Be present, Sylvan maids!
Unlock your springs, and open all your shades.
Granville commands; your aid, O Muses, bring!
What Muse for Granville can refuse to sing
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 thern 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 confused;
Where order in variety we see,
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 opening 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.
Ev’n 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, or the balmy tree,
While by our oaks the precious loads are borne,
And realms commanded which those trees adorn.
Nor proud Olympus yields a nobler sight,
Though gods assembled grace his towering height,
Than what more humble mountains 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,
A dreary desert, and a gloomy waste,
To savage beasts and savage laws a prey,
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 ev'n the elements a tyrant sway’d
h vain kind seasons swell'd the teeming grain,
Soft showers 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, that the subject starv'd, the beast was fed.
Proud Nimrod first the bloody chace began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man:
Our haughty Norman boasts that barbarous name,
And makes his trembling slaves the royal game.
The fields are ravish'd from th’ industrious swains,
From men their cities, and from gods their fanes:
The levell'd towns with weeds lie cover'd o'er;
The hollow winds through 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 ev’n 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.
Then gathering flocks on unknown mountains fed,
O'er sandy wilds were yellow harvests spread;
The forests wonder'd at th' unusual grain,
And secret transport touch'd the conscious swain.
Fair Liberty, Britannia's goddess, rears
Her cheerful head, and leads the golden years.
Ye vigorous swains! while youth ferments your
And purer spirits swell the sprightly flood, [blood,
Now range the hills, the gameful woods beset,
Wind the shrill horn, or spread the waving net.
When milder autumn summer's heat succeeds,
And in the new-shorn field the partridge feeds;
Before his lord the ready spaniel bounds,
Panting with hope, he tries the furrow’d grounds;
But when the tainted gales the game betray,
Couch'd close he lies, and meditates the prey:
Secure the trust, th' unfaithful field beset,
Till hovering o'er them sweeps the swelling net.
Thus (if small things we may with great compare)
When Albion sends her eager sons to war,
Some thoughtless town, with ease and plenty blest,
Near and more near, the closing lines invest,
Sudden they seize th' amaz'd defenceless prize,
And high in air Britannia's standard flies. -
See! from the brake thewhirring pheasant springs,
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings:
Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground.
Ah! what avail his glossy varying dyes.
His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eye",
The vivid green his shining plumes unfold,
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold?
Nor yet when moist Arcturus clouds the sky, , The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny. To plains with well-breath'd beagles we repair, And trace the mazes of the circling hare. (Beasts, urg'd by us, their fellow beasts pursue, And learn of man each other to undo). With slaughtering guns th' unweary'd fowler roves, When frosts have whiten’d all the naked groves; Where doves in flocks the leafless trees o'ershade, And lonely woodcocks haunt the watery glade. He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye; Straight a short thunder breaks the frozen sky: Oft, as in airy rings they skim the heath, The clamorous lapwings feel the leaden death; Oft, as the mounting larks their notes prepare, They fall, and leave their little lives in air.
In genial spring, beneath the quivering shade, Where cooling vapours breathe along the mead, The patient fisher takes his silent stand, Intent, his angle trembling in his hand: With looks unmov’d, he hopes the scaly breed, And eyes the dancing cork and bending reed. Our plenteous streams a various race supply; The bright-ey'd perch, with fins of Tyrian dye, The silver eel, in shining volumes roll'd, The yellow carp, with scales bedropp'd with gold, Swift trouts, diversified with crimson stains, And pikes, the tyrants of the watery plains.
Now Cancer glows with Phoebus' fiery car: The youth rush eager to the Sylvan war, Swarm o'er the lawns, the forest walks surround, Rouse the fleet hart, and cheer the opening hound. Th’ impatient courser pants in every vein, And, pawing, seems to beat the distant plain: Hills, vales, and floods, appear already cross'd, And, ere he starts, a thousand steps are lost. See the bold youth strain up the threat'ning steep, Rush through the thickets, down the vallies sweep,
Hang o'er their coursers' heads with eager speed,
And earth rolls back beneath the flying steed.
Let old Arcadia boast her ample plain,
Th’ immortal huntress, and her virgin train;
Nor envy, Windsor since th y shades have seen
As bright a goddess, and as chaste a queen;
Whose care, like her’s, protects the Sylvan reign,
The earth's fair light, and empress of the main.
Here too, 'tis sung, of old Diana stray'd,
And Cynthus' top forsook for Windsor shade ;
Here was she seen o'er airy wastes to rove,
Seek the clear spring, or haunt the pathless grove;
Here arm'd with silver bows, in early dawn,
Her buskin'd virgins trac'd the dewy lawn.
Above the rest a rural nymph was fam’d,
Thy offspring, Thames! the fair Lodona nam'd
(Lodona's fate in long oblivion cast,
The Muse shall sing, and what she sings shall last).
Scarce could the goddess from her nymphs be
But by the crescent and the golden zone.
She scorn'd the praise of beauty, and the care;
A belt her waist, a fillet binds her hair;
* Pointed quiver on her shoulder sounds,
And with her dart the flying deer she wounds. It chanc'd, as eager of the chace, the maid Beyond the forest's verdant limits stray'd, Pan saw and lov'd, and burning with desire Pursu'd her flight; her flight increas'd his fire. Not half so swift the trembling doves can fly, When the fierce eagle cleaves the liquid sky; Not half so swiftly the fierce eagle moves, [doves: When through the clouds he drives the trembling As from the god she flew with furious pace, Or as the god, more furious, urg'd the chace. Now fainting, sinking, pale, the nymph appears; Now close behind, his sounding steps she hears; And now his shadow reach'd her as she run, His shadow lengthen'd by the setting sun; And now his shorter breath, with sultry air, Pants on her neck, and fans her parting hair. In vain on father Thames she calls for aid, Nor could Diana help her injur'd maid. Ivain: Faint, breathless, thus she pray'd, nor pray'd in “Ah, Cynthias ab —though banish'd from thy train, Let me, O let me, to the shades repair, [there!" My native shades! — there weep and murmur She said, and melting as in tears she lay, In a soft silver stream dissolv'd away. The silver stream her virgin coldness keeps, For ever murmurs and for ever weeps; Still bears the name the hapless virgin bore, And bathes the forest where she rang'd before. In her chaste current oft the goddess laves, And with celestial tears augments the waves. Oft in her glass the musing shepherd spies The headlong mountains and the downward skies, The watery landskip of the pendant woods, And absent trees that tremble in the floods; In the clear azure gleam the flocks are seen, And floating forests paint the waves with green; Through the fair scene roll slow the lingering streams, [Thames. Then foaming pour along, and rush unto the Thou too, great father of the British floods! With joyful pride survey'st our lofty woods; Where towering oaks their growing honours rear, And future navies on thy shores appear. Not Neptune's self from all her streams receives A wealthier tribute, than to thine he gives. No seas so rich, so gay no banks appear, No lake so gentle, and no spring so clear. Nor Po so swells the fabling poet's lays, While led along the skies his current strays, As thine, which visits Windsor's fam'd abodes, To grace the mansion of our earthly gods: Nor all his stars above a lustre show, Like the bright beauties on thy banks below; Where Jove, subdu'd by mortal passion still, Might change Olympus for a nobler hill. Happy the man whom this bright court approves, His sovereign favours, and his country loves: Happy next him, who to these shades retires, Whom nature charms, and whom the Muse inspires; Whom humblerjoys of home-felt quiet please,
Successive study, exercise, and ease.
He gathers health from herbs the forest yields,
And of their fragrant physic spoils the fields;
With chemic art exalts the mineral powers,
And draws the aromatic souls of flowers:
Now marks the course of rolling orbs on high ;
O'er figur'd worlds now travels with his eye;
Of ancient writ unlocks the learned store,
Consults the dead, and lives past ages o'er:
Or wandering thoughtful in the silent wood,
Attends the duties of the wise and good;
T observe a mean, be to himself a friend,
To follow nature, and regard his end;
Or looks on heaven with more than mortal eyes,
Bids his free soul expatiate in the skies,
Amid her kindred stars familiar roam,
Survey the region, and confess her home !
Such was the life great Scipio once admir’d;
Thus Atticus and Trumbull thus retir’d.
Ye sacred Nine ! that all my soul possess,
Whose raptures fire me, and whose visions bless,
Bear me, Oh bear me to sequester'd scenes,
The bowery mazes, and surrounding greens;
To Thames's banks which fragrant breezes fill,
Or where the Muses sport on Cooper's Hill.
(On Cooper's Hill eternal wreaths shall grow,
While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall
I seem through consecrated walks to rove,
I hear soft music die along the grove:
Led by the sound, I roam from shade to shade,
By god-like poets venerable made:
Here his first lays majestic Denham sung;
There the last numbers flow'd from Cowley'stongue.
0 early lost! what tears the river shed,
When the sad pomp along his banks was led !
His drooping swans on every note expire,
And on his willows hung each Muse's lyre.
Since fate relentless stopp'd their heavenly voice,
No more the forests ring, or groves rejoice; [strung
Who now shall charm the shades, where Cowley
His living harp, and lofty Denham sung
But hark the groves rejoice, the forest rings
Are these reviv'd 2 or is it Granville sings
'Tis yours, my Lord, to bless our soft retreats,
And call the Muses to their ancient seats;
To paint anew the flowery sylvan scenes,
To crown the forest with immortal greens,
Make Windsor hills in lofty numbers rise,
And lift her turrets nearer to the skies;
To sing those honours you deserve to wear,
And add new lustre to her silver star.
Here noble Surrey felt the sacred rage,
Surrey, the Granville of a former age:
Matchless his pen, victorious was his lance,
Bold in the lists and graceful in the dance:
h the same shades the Cupids tun'd his lyre,
To the same notes, of love, and soft desire:
Fair Geraldine, bright object of his vow,
then fill'd the groves, as heavenly Mira now.
Oh wouldst thousing what heroes Windsor bore,
What king first breath’d upon her winding shore;
Or raise old warriors, whose ador'd remains
In weeping vaults her hallow'd earth contains!
With Edward's acts adorn the shining page,
Stretch his long triumphs down through every age;
Draw monarchs chain'd, and Cressy's glorious field,
The lilies blazing on the regal shield:
Then, from her roofs when Verrio's colours fall,
And leave inanimate the naked wall,
Still in thy song should vanquish'd France appear,
And bleed for ever under Britain's spear.
Let softer strains ill-fated Henry mourn,
And palms eternal flourish round his urn.
Here o'er the martyr-king the marble weeps,
And fast, behind him, once-fear'd Edward sleeps:
Whom not th' extended Albion could contain,
From old Belerium to the northern main,
The grave unites; where ev'n the great find rest,
And blended lie th' oppressor and th' opprest!
Make sacred Charles's tomb for ever known
(Obscure the place, and uninscrib'd the stone);
Oh fact accurs'd : what tears has Albion shed
Heavens, what new wounds ! and how her old have
She saw her sons with purple deaths expire, [bled !
Her sacred domes involv’d in rolling fire,
A dreadful series of intestine wars,
Inglorious triumphs, and dishonest scars.
At length great Anna said, “Let discord cease!”
She said, the world obey'd, and all was peace!
In that blest moment from the oozy bed
Old father Thames advanc'd his reverend head.
His tresses dropp'd with dews, and o'er the stream
His shining horns diffus'd a golden gleam:
Grav'd on his urn appear'd the moon, that guides
His swelling waters, and alternate tides;
The figur'd streams in waves of silver roll’d,
And on their banks Augusta rose in gold;
Around his throne the sea-born brothers stood
who swell with tributary urns his flood!
First the fam'd authors of his ancient name,
The winding Isis, and the fruitful Thame:
The Kennet swift, for silver eels renown'd;
The Loddon slow, with verdant alders crown'd;
Cole, whose dark streams his flowery islands lave;
And chalky Wey, that rolls a milky wave;
The blue, transparent Vandalis appears;
The gulfy Lee his sedgy tresses rears;
And sullen Mole, that hides his diving flood;
And silent Darent, stain'd with Danish blood.
High in the midst, upon his urn reclin'd,
(His sea-green mantle waving with the wind)
The god appear'd; he turn'd his azure eyes
Where Windsor-domes and pompous turrets rise;
Then bow'd, and spoke ; the winds forget to roar,
And the hush'd waves glide softly to the shore.
Hail, sacred peace! hail, long-expected days,
That Thames's glory to the stars shall raise!
Though Tiber's streams immortal Rome behold,
Though foaming Hermus swells with tides of gold,
From Heaven itself the seven-fold Nilus flows,
And harvests on a hundred realms bestows;
These now no more shall be the Muses' themes,
Lost in my fame, as in the sea their streams.
Let Volga's banks with iron squadrons shine,
And groves of lances glitter on the Rhine;
Let barbarous Ganges arm a servile train:
Be mine the blessings of a peaceful reign.
No more my sons shall dye with British blood
Red Iber's sands, or Ister's foaming flood:
Safe on my shore each unmolested swain
Shall tend the flocks, or reap the bearded grain;
The shady empire shall retain no trace
Of war or blood, but in the sylvan chace;
The trumpet sleep, while cheerful horns are blown,
And arms employ'd on birds and beasts alone.
Behold! th' ascending villas on my side
Project long shadows o'er the crystal tide.
Behold! Augusta's glittering spires increase,
And temples rise, the beauteous works of peace.
I see, I see, where two fair cities bend
Their ample bow, a new Whitehall ascend!
There mighty nations shall inquire their doom,
The world's great oracle in times to come ;
There kings shall sue, and suppliant states be seen
Once more to bend before a British queen.
Thy trees, fair Windsor! now shall leave their
And half thy forests rush into thy floods; [woods,
Bear Britain's thunder, and her cross display,
To the bright regions of the rising day:
Tempt icy seas, where scarce the waters roll,
Where clearer flames glow round the frozen pole;
Or under southern skies exalt their sails,
Led by new stars, and borne by spicy gales!
For me the balm shall bleed, and amber flow,
The coral redden, and the ruby glow,
The pearly shell its lucid globe unfold,
And Phoebus warm the ripening ore to gold.
The time shall come, when free as seas or wind
Unbounded Thames shall flow for all mankind,
Whole nations enter with each swelling tide,
And seas but join the regions they divide;
Earth's distant ends our glory shall behold,
And the new world launch forth to seek the old.
Then ships of uncouth form shall stem the tide,
And feather'd people crowd my wealthy side,
And naked youths and painted chiefs admire
Our speech, our colour, and our strange attire
Oh, stretch thy reign, fair peace! from shore to shore,
Till conquest cease, and slavery be no more;
Till the freed Indians in their native groves
Reap their own fruits, and woo their sable loves;
Peru once more a race of kings behold,
And other Mexicos be roof'd with gold.
Exil'd by thee from earth to deepest hell,
In brazen bonds shall barbarous discord dwell:
Gigantic pride, pale terror, gloomy care,
And mad ambition, shall attend her there:
There purple vengeance bath'd in gore retires,
Her weapons blunted, and extinct her fires:
There hateful envy her own snakes shall feel,
And persecution mourn her broken wheel:
There faction roar, rebellion bite her chain,
And gasping furies thirst for blood in vain.
Here cease thy flight, nor with unhallow'd lays
Touch the fair same of Albion's golden days.
The thoughts of gods let Granville's verse recite,
And bring the scenes of opening fate to light:
My humble Muse, in unambitious strains,
Paints the green forests and the flowery plains,
where peace descending bids her olive spring,
And scatters blessings from her dove-like wing.
Ev’n I more sweetly pass my careless days,
Pleas'd in the silent shade with empty praise;
Enough for me, that to the listening swains
First in these fields I sung the sylvan strains.
ODE ON SOLITUDE. Written when the Author was about Twelve Years old.
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread.
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Blest who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
Together mix’d; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die,
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
'Tis hard to say if greater want of skill
Appear in writing or in judging ill;
But of the two, less dangerous is th' offence
To tire our patience, than mislead our sense.
Some few in that, but numbers err in this,
Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss;
A fool might once himself alone expose,
Now one in verse makes many more in prose.
'Tis with our judgments as our watches; none
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
In poets as true genius is but rare,
True taste as seldom is the critic's share;
Both must alike from Heaven derive their light,
These born to judge, as well as those to write.
Let such teach others who themselves excel,
And censure freely who have written well:
Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true;
But are not critics to their judgment too :
Yet, if we look more closely, we shall find
Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind:
Nature affords at least a glimmering light; [rig"
The lines, though touch'd but faintly, are draw.”
But as the slightest sketch, if justly trac'd,
Is by ill colouring but the more disgrac'd,
So by false learning is good sense defac'd: