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Not yet the hawthorn bore her berries red, With which the fieldfare, wintry guest, is fed ; Nor autumn yet had brush'd from ev'ry spray, With her chill hand, the mellow leaves away; But corn was hous'd, and beans were in the stack, Now, therefore, issued forth the spotted pack, With tails high mounted, ears hung low, and throats With a whole gamut fillid of heav'nly notes, For which, alas !* my destiny fevere, Though ears she gave me two, gave me no ear.
The sun, accomplishing his early march, His lamp now planted on heav'n's topmost arch, When, exercise and air my only aim, And heedless whither, to that field I came, Ere yet with ruthless joy the happy hound Told hill and dale that Reynard's track was found, Or with the high-rais'd horn's melodious clang All Kilwick * and all Dingle-derry * rang.
Sheep graz'd the field; fome with soft bosom press'd The herb as soft, while nibbling stray'd the rest ; Nor noise was heard but of the hasty brook, Struggling, detain'd in many a petty nook, All seem'd so peaceful, that from them convey'd To me, their peace by kind contagion spread.
* Two woods belonging to John Throckmorton, Esq.
But when the huntsman, with diftended cheek,
The man to solitude accustom'd long,
He spells them true by intuition's light,
This truth premis'd was needful as a text,
Awhile they musid ; surveying ev'ry face, Thou hadit suppos'd them of superior race; Their periwigs of wool, and fears combin'd, Stamp'd on each countenance such marks of mind, That sage they seem'd, as lawyers o'er a doubt, Which, puzzling long, at last they puzzle out; Or academic tutors, teaching youths, Sure ne'er to want them, mathematic truths; When thus a mutton, statelier than the rest,
the ewes and wethers, sad, address’d.
we that tremendous bray alone,
Should deem it by our old companion made,
Him answer'd then his loving mate and true,
How ? leap into the pit our life to save? To save our life leap all into the grave ? For can we find it less ? Contemplate first The depth how awful ! falling there, we burft; Or should the brambles, interpos'd, our fall In part abate, that happiness were small; For with a race like theirs no chance I fee Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we. Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple's bray, Or be it not, or be it whose it may, And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues Of dæmons utter'd, from whatever lungs, Sounds are but sounds, and till the cause appear We have at least commodious standing here,
Come, fiend, come, fury, giant, monster, blast From earth or hell, we can but plunge at last.
While thus the spake, I fainter heard the peals, For Reynard, close attended at his heels, By panting dog, tir'd man, and spatter'd horse, Through mere good fortune, took a diffrent course. The flock grew calm again, and I, the road Following that led me to my own abode, Much wonder'd that the filly sheep had found Such cause of terror in an empty sound, So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound.
Beware of despirate steps. The darkest day (Live till to-morrow) will have pass’d away,