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Methinks I hear the full celestial choir
Through heaven's high dome their awful anther
Now chanting clear, and now they all conspire
To swell the lofty hymn from praise to praise.
Let me, ye wandering spirits of the wind.
Who, as wild fancy prompts you, touch the string,
Smit with your theme, be in your chorus join'd,
For, till you cease, my Muse forgets to sing.
Hail, mildly pleasing solitude, Companion of the wise and good, But, from whose holy, piercing eye, The herd of fools and villains fly. Oh! how I love with thee to walk, And listen to thy whisper'd talk, Which innocence and truth imparts, And melts the most obdurate hearts. A thousand shapes you wear with ease. And still in every shape you please. Now wrapt in some mysterious dream, A lone philosopher you seem ; Now quick from hill to vale you fly. And now you sweep the vaulted sky. A shepherd next, you haunt the plain, And warble forth your oaten strain. A lover now, with all the grace Of that sweet passion in your face: Then, calm'd to friendship, you assume The gentle-looking Hartford's bloom, As, with her Musidora, she (Her Musidora fond of thee) Amid the long withdrawing vale, Awakes the rival'd nightingale. Thine is the balmy breath of morn, Just as the dew-bent rose is born; And while meridian fervours beat, Thine is the woodland dumb retreat; But chief, when evening scenes decay, And the faint landskip swims away, Thine is the doubtful soft decline, And that best hour of musing thine. Descending angels bless thy train, The virtues of the sage, and swain; Plain innocence in white array'd, Before thee lifts her fearless head; Religion's beams around thee shine, And cheer thy glooms with light divine: About thee sports sweet liberty; And wrapt Urania sings to thee. Oh, let me pierce thy secret cell, And in thy deep recesses dwell! Perhaps from Norwood's oak-clad hill, When meditation has her fill, I just may cast my careless eyes, Where London's spiry turrets rise; Think of its crimes, its cares, its pain, Then shield me in my woods again.
A. PHILIPS–A. D. 1671-1749.
If we, O Dorset, quit the city-throng,
To Ineditate in shades the rural song,
By your command, be present; and, O bring
The Muse along! The Muse to you shall sing:
Her influence, Buckhurst, let me there obtain,
And I forgive the fam'd Sicilian swain.
Begin.—In unluxurious times of yore,
When flocks and herds were no inglorious store,
Lobbin, a shepherd-boy, one evening fair,
As western winds had cool'd the sultry air,
His number'd sheep within the fold now pent,
Thus plain'd him of his dreary discontent;
Beneath a hoary poplar's whispering boughs,
He, solitary, sat, to breathe his vows,
Venting the tender anguish of his heart,
As passion taught, in accents free of art:
And little did he hope, while, night by night,
His sighs were lavish'd thus on Lucy bright.
“Ah, well-a-day ! how long must I endure
This pining pain : Or who shall speed my cure :
Fond love no cure will have, seek no repose,
Delights in grief, nor any measure knows:
And now the moon begins in clouds to rise;
The brightening stars increase within the skies;
The winds are hush; the dews distil; and sleep
Hath clos’d the eye-lids of my weary sheep:
I only. with the prowling wolf, constrain’d
All night to wake: with hunger he is pain'd,
And I with love. His hunger he may tame;
But who can quench, O cruel love, thy flame?
Whilom did I, all as this poplar fair,
Up-raise my heedless head, then void of care,
*Mong rustic routs the chief for wanton game;
Nor could they merry make, till Lobbin came.
Who better seen than I in shepherd's arts,
To please the lads, and win the lasses' hearts
How deftly, to mine caten-reed so sweet,
Wont they upon the green to shift their feet?
And, weary'd in the dance, how would they yearn
Some well-devised tale from me to learn?
For many songs and tales of mirth had I,
To chase the loitering sun adown the sky:
But, ah : since Lucy coy deep-wrought her spight
within my heart, unmindful of delight,
The jolly grooms I fly, and, all alone,
To rocks and woods pour forth my fruitless moan.
Oh! quit thy wonted scorn, relentless fair!
Ere, lingering long, I perish through despair.
Had Rosalind been mistress of my mind,
Though not sofair, she would have prov'd more kind.
O think, unwitting maid, while yet is time,
How flying years impair thy youthful prime !
Thy virgin-bloom will not for ever stay,
And flowers, though left ungather'd, will decay:
The flowers, anew, returning seasons bring!
But beauty faded has no second spring.
My words are wind She, deaf to all my cries,
Takes pleasure in the mischief of her eyes.
Like frisking heifer, loose in flowery meads,
She gads where'er her roving fancy leads;
Yet still from me. Ah me, the tiresome chase!
Shy as the fawn, she flies my fond embrace.
She flies, indeed, but ever leaves behind,
Fly where she will, her likeness in my mind.
No cruel purpose, in my speed, I bear;
'Tis only love; and love why should'st thou fear?
What idle fears a maiden-breast alarm!
Stay, simple girl: a lover cannot harm.
Two sportive kidlings, both fair-fleck'd, I rear,
Whose shooting horns like tender buds appear:
A lambkin too, of spotless fleece, I breed,
And teach the fondling from my hand to feed:
Nor will I cease betimes to cull the fields
of every dewy sweet the morning yields:
From early spring to autumn late shalt thou
Receive gay girlonds, blooming o'er thy brow:
And when, But, why these unavailing pains?
The gifts, alike, and giver, she disdains:
And now, left heiress of the glen, she'll deem
Me, landless lad, unworthy her esteem:
Yet was she born, like me, of shepherd-sire:
And I may fields and lowing herds acquire.
O ! would my gifts but win her wanton heart,
Or could I half the warmth I feel impart,
How would I wander, every day, to find
The choice of wildings, blushing through the rind!
For glossy plums how lightsome climb the tree,
How risk the vengeance of the thrifty bee!
Or: if thou deign to live a shepherdess,
Thou Lobbin's flock, and Lobbin, shalt possess:
And fair my flock, nor yet uncomely I,
If liquid fountains flatter not ; and why
Should liquid fountains flatter us, yet show
The bordering flowerslessbeauteous than they grow?
O! come, my love; nor think th' employment mean,
The dams to milk, and little lambkins wean ;
To drive a-field, by morn, the fattening ewes,
Ere the warm sun drink up the cooly dews,
While, with my pipe, and with my voice, I cheer
Each hour, and through the day detain thine ear.
How would the crook beseem thy lily-hand 1
How would my younglings round thee gazing stand!
Ah! witless younglings! gaze not on her eye:
Thence all my sorrow; thence the death I die.
O, killing beauty! and O, sore desire!
Must then my sufferings, but with life, expire?
Though blossoms every year the trees adorn,
Spring after spring I wither, nipt with scorn:
Nor trow I when this bitter blast will end,
Or if yon stars will e'er my vows befriend.
Sleep, sleep, my flock; for happy ye may take
Sweet nightly rest, though still your master wake.”
Now to the waning moon the nightingale,
In slender warblings, tun'd her piteous tale.
The love-sick shepherd, listening, felt relief,
Pleas'd with so sweet a partner in his grief,
Till, by degrees, her notes and silent night
To slumbers soft his heavy heart invite.
The SECOND PASTORAL,
TheNot, coli NET.
Is it not Colinet I lonesome see,
Leaning with folded arms against the tree?
Or is it age of late bedims my sight?
'Tis Colinet, indeed, in woeful plight.
Thy cloudy look, why melting into tears,
Unseemly, now the sky so bright appears?
Why in this mournful manner art thou found,
Unthankful lad, when all things smile around
Or hear'st not lark and linnet jointly sing,
Their notes blithe-warbling to salute the spring 2
Colinet. Though blithe their notes, not so my wayward fate; Nor lark would sing, nor linnet, in my state. Each creature, Thenot, to his task is born; As they to mirth and music, I to mourn. Waking, at midnight, I my woes renew, My tears oft mingling with the falling dew.
Thenot. Small cause, I ween, has lusty youth to plain : Or who may, then, the weight of eld sustain, When every slackening nerve begins to fail, And the load presseth as our days prevail? Yet, though with years my body downward tend, As trees beneath their fruit, in autumn, bend; Spite of my snowy head and icy veins, My mind a cheerful temper still retains: And why should man, mishap what will, repine, Sour every sweet, and mix with tears his wine? But tell me, then: it may relieve thy woe, To let a friend thine inward ailment know.
Colinet. Idly 'twill waste thee, Thenot, the whole day, Should'st thou give ear to all my grief can say. Thine ewes will wander; and the heedless lambs, In loud complaints, require their absent dams.
See Lightfoot, he shall tend them close; and I,
"Tween whiles, across the plain will glance mine eye.
Where to begin I know not, where to end.
Doth there one smiling hour my youth attend? Though few my days, as well my follies show, Yet are those days all clouded o'er with woe: No happy gleam of sunshine doth appear, My lowering sky, and wintery months, to cheer. My piteous plight in yonder naked tree, Which bears the thunder-scar, too plain I see: Quite destitute it stands of shelter kind, The mark of storms, and sport of every wind: The riven trunk feels not th’ approach of spring; Nor birds among the leafless branches sing: No more, beneath thy shade,shallshepherd, throng, With jocund tale, or pipe, or pleasing song. Ill-fated tree and more ill-fated Il From thee, from me, alike the shepherds fly. Thenot. Sure thou in hapless hour of time wast born, When blighting mildew spoils the rising corn, Or blasting winds o'er blossom'd hedge-rowspas, To kill the promis'd fruits, and scorch the grass; Or when the moon, by wizard charm'd, foreshows, Blood-stain'd in foul eclipse, impending woes. Untimely born, ill-luck betides thee still. Colinet. And can there, Thenot, be a greater ill? Thenot. Nor fox, nor wolf, nor rot among our sheep, From this good shepherd's care his flock may keep: Against ill-luck, alas! all forecast fails; Nortoil by day, nor watch by night, avails. Colinet. Ah me, the while! ah me, the luckless day! Ah, luckless lad! befits me more to say. Unhappy hour: when, fresh in youthful bud, I left, Sabrina fair, thy silvery flood. Ah, silly Il more silly than my sheep, Which on thy flowery banks I wont to keep. Sweet are thy banks! Oh, when shall I, once more, with ravish'd eyes review thine ame!" shore? When, in the crystal of thy water, * Each feature faded, and my colour."" When shall I see my hut, the small o, Myself did raise, and cover "o". - - nd humble ce!” Small though it be, a mean * dwell. Yet is there room for o o me to henot. wa And what enticement o o, * 'd home, an From by lood home; d ange lads and * o should ‘. of fame, unblest. and one. hat besides * n Thenot. - am didst thou not hi. Or, sooth to say, e lenty than In search of gain"." o of moverbs cr" A rolling-stone is ever old pro
d desi wains to know? A lewd desire, Ah, God I that e with wandering feet I sought I know not "
To drive my
To distant Cao”
To hoard up to myself such deal of woe!
Mysheep quite spent, through travel and ill-fare,
And, like their keeper, ragged grown and bare;
The damp, cold greensward, for my nightly bed,
And some slant willow’s trunk to rest my head.
Hard is to bear of pinching cold the pain;
And hard is want to the unpractis'd swain:
But neither want, nor pinching cold, is hard,
Toblasting storms of calumny compar'd:
Unkind as hail it falls; the pelting shower
Destroys the tender herb, and budding flower.
Sander, we shepherds count the vilest wrong:
And what wounds sorer than an evil tongue?
Untoward lads, the wanton imps of spite,
Make mock of all the ditties I indite.
In vain, O Colinet, thy pipe, so shrill,
Charms every vale, and gladdens every hill:
in vain thou seek'st the coverings of the grove,
In the cool shade to sing the pains of love:
Sing what thou wilt, ill-nature will prevail;
And every elf hath skill enough to rail :
But yet, though poor and artless be my vein,
Menalcas seems to like my simple strain:
And, while that he delighteth in my song,
Which to the good Menalcas doth belong,
Nor night, nor day, shall my rude music cease;
lask no more, so I Menalcas please.
Menalcas, lord of these fair fertile plains,
Preserves the sheep, and o'er the shepherds reigns:
For him our yearly wakes, and feasts, we hold,
And choose the fairest firstling from the fold:
He good to all who good deserve, shall give
Thy flock to feed, and thee at ease to live,
Shall curb the malice of unbridled tongues,
And bounteously reward thy rural songs.
First, then, shall lightsome birds forget to fly,
The briny ocean turn to pastures dry,
And every rapid river cease to flow,
Prelunmindful of Menalcas grow.
- - Thenot.
This night thy care with me forget; and fold
Thy flock with mine, toward th’ injurious cold.
Newmilk, and clouted cream, mild cheese and curd,
Wol *ome remaining fruit of last year's hoard,
shall be our evening fare, and, for the night,
Sweet herbs and moss, which gentle sleep invite:
Ad now behold the sun's departing ray,
Qer yonder hill, the sign of ebbing day:
With songs the jovial hinds return from plough;
And unyok'd heifers, loitering homeward, low.
THE ThirtD PASTORAL,
When Virgil thought no shame the Doric reed
To tune, and flocks on Mantuan plains to feed,
With young Augustus' name he grac'd his song:
And Spenser, when amid the rural throng
He caroll'd sweet, and graz'd along the flood
Of gentle Thames, made every sounding wood
With good Eliza's name to ring around;
Eliza's name on every tree was found :
Since then through Anna's cares at ease we live,
And see our cattle unmolested thrive,
While from our Albion her victorious arms
Drive wasteful warfare, loud in dire alarms,
Like them will I my slender music raise,
And teach the vocal valleys Anna's praise.
Meantime, on oaten pipe a lowly lay,
As my kids browse, obscure in shades I play :
Yet not obscure, while Dorset thinks no scorn
To visit woods, and swains ignobly born.
Two valley swains, both musical, both young,
In friendship mutual, and united long,
Retire within a mossy cave, to shun
The crowd of shepherds, and the noon-day sun.
A gloom of sadness overcasts their mind:
Revolving now, the solemn day they find,
when young Albino died. His image dear
Bedews their cheeks with many a trickling tear:
To tears they add the tribute of their verse;
These Angelot, those Palin, did rehearse.
Thus, yearly circling, by-past times return;
And yearly, thus, Albino's death we mourn.
Sent into life, alas! how short thy stay:
How sweet the rose ! how speedy to decay ! -
Can we forget, Albino dear, thy knell,
Sad-sounding wide from every village bell ?
Can we forget how sorely Albion moan'd,
That hills, and dales, and rocks, in echo groan'd,
Presaging future woe, when, for our crimes,
We lost Albino, pledge of peaceful times,
Fair boast of this fair island, darling joy
Of nobles high, and every shepherd boy?
Nojoyous pipe was heard, no flocks were seen,
Nor shepherd found upon the grassy green,
No cattle graz'd the field, nor drank the flood,
No birds were heard to warble through the wood.
In yonder gloomy grove outstretch'd he lay
His lovely limbs upon the dampy clay :
On his cold cheek the rosy hue decay’d,
And, o'er his lips, the deadly blue display'd:
Bleating around him lie his plaintive sheep,
And mourning shepherds come, in crowds, to weep.
Young Buckhurst comes: and, is there no redress:
As if the grave regarded our distress
The tender virgins come, to tears yet new,
And give, aloud, the lamentations due.
The pious mother comes, with grief opprest:
Ye trees, and conscious fountains, can attest
With what sad accents, and what piercing cries
She fill'd the grove, and importun'd the skies, -
And every star upbraided with his death,
When, in her widow’d arms, devoid of breath,
She clasp'd her son: nor did the nymph, for this
Place in her darling's welfare all her bliss, »
Him teaching, young, the harmless crook to wield
And rule the peaceful empire of the field. o
As milk-white swans on streams of silver show
And silvery streams to grace the meadows dow,