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She forms the doubling maze; then, ere the morn
Hail, gentle Dawn! mild blushing goddess, hail!
Thy early meal, or thy officious maids,
Plot their destruction; or perchance in hopes
Now golden Autumn from her open lap
Or to those spacious plains, where the strain'd eye, With life full-beaming her vain wiles betray'd.
At distance draw thy pack, let all be hush'd,
Huntsman, lead on! behind the clustering pack
Here on this verdant spot, where Nature kind
Hope gives them wings while she's spurr'd on by fear.
The welkin rings, men, dogs, hills, rocks, and woods
And each clean courser's speed. We scour along
The grass unbruis'd; with emulation fir'd
Huntsman! her gait observe; if in wide rings
Hark! from yon covert, where those towering oaks See, how they toss, with animated rage
Recovering all they lost!-That eager haste
They flourish round-ev'n yet persist-"Tis right,
Her well-known haunts, where once she rang'd
With love and plenty blest. See! there she goes,
Her inward weakness. See, how black she looks!
A languid scent. And now in open view
Loud was the cry; hills, woods, and Hebrus' banks,
The huntsman now, a deep incision made,
With humble adulation cowering low.
In compass round; woods, rivers, hills, and plains, All now is joy. With cheeks full-blown they wind Large provinces ; enough to gratify Her solemn dirge, while the loud-opening pack Ambition's highest aim, could reason bound The concert swell, and hills and dales return Man's erring will. Now sit in close divan The sadly-pleasing sounds. Thus the poor hare, The mighty chiefs of this prodigious host. A puny, dastard animal, but vers'd
He from the throne high-eminent presides, In subtle wiles, diverts the youthful train. Gives out his mandates proud, laws of the chase, But if thy proud, aspiring soul disdains
From ancient records drawn. With reverence low, So mean a prey, delighted with the pomp, And prostrate at his feet, the chiefs receive Magnificence, and grandeur of the chase ; His irreversible decrees, from which Hear what the Muse from faithful records sings. To vary is to die. Then his brave bands
Why on the banks of Gemna, Indian stream, Each to his station leads; encamping round, Line within line, rise the pavilions proud, Till the wide circle is completely form'd Their silken streamers waving in the wind ? Where decent order reigns, what these command, Why neighs the warrior horse? From tent to tent, Those execute with speed, and punctual care, Why press in crowds the buzzing multitude ? In all the strictest discipline of war: Why shines the polish'd helm, and pointed lance, As if some watchful foe, with bold insult, This way and that far-beaming o'er the plain? Hung lowering o'er their camp. The high resolve, Vor Visa pour nor Golconda rebel ;
That Mies on wings through all th' encircling line, Nor the great Sophy, with his numerous host, Each motion steers, and animates the whole. Lays waste the provinces; nor glory fires So by the Sun's attractive power controllid, To rob and to destroy, beneath the name The planets in their spheres roll round his orb: And specious guise of war. A nobler cause On all he shines, and rules the great machine. Calls Aurengzebe to arms. No cities sack'd,
Ere yet the morn dispels the fleeting mists, No mother's tears, no helpless orphan's cries, The signal given by the loud trumpet's voice, No violated leagues, with sharp remorse
Now high in air th' imperial standard waves, Shall sting the conscious victor: but mankind Emblazon'd rich with gold, and glittering gems, Shall hail him good and just. For 'lis on beasts And like a sheet of fire, through the dun gloom He draws his vengeful sword! on beasts of prey Streaming meteorous. The soldiers' shouts, Full-fed with human gore. See, see, he comes! And all the brazen instruments of war, Imperial Delhi, opening wide her gates,
With mutual clamor, and united din, Pours out her thronging legions, bright in arms, Fill the large concave.
While from camp to camp And all the pomp of war. Before them sound They catch the varied sounds, floating in air, Clarions and trumpets, breathing martial airs, Round all the wide circumference, ugers fell And bold defiance. High upon his throne, Shrink at the noise, deep in his gloomy den Borne on the back of his proud elephant,
The lion starts, and morsels yet unchew'd Sits the great chief of Tamur's glorious race: Drop from his trembling jaws. Now all at once Sublime he sits, amid the radiant blaze
Onward they march embattled, to the sound Of gems and gold. Omrahs about him crowd, Of martial harmony; fifes, cornets, drums, And rein th' Arabian steed, and watch his nod: That rouse the sleepy soul to arms, and bold And potent rajahs, who themselves preside Heroic deeds. In parties here and there O'er realms of wide extent; but here submiss Detach'd o'er hill and dale, the hunters range Their homage pay, alternate kings and slaves. Inquisitive ; strong dogs, that match in fight Next these, with prying eunuchs girt around, The boldest brute, around their masters wait, The fair sultanas of his court: a troop
A faithful guard. No haunt unsearch'd, they drive Of chosen beauties, but with care conceal'd From every covert, and from every den, From each intrusive eye; one look is death. The lurking savages. Incessant shouts Ah, cruel eastern law! (had kings a power Re-echo through the woods, and kindling fires But equal to their wild tyrannic will)
Gleam from the mountain tops; the forest seems To rob us of the Sun's all-cheering ray,
One mingling blaze: like flocks of sheep they fly Were less severe. The vulgar close the march, Before the flaming brand : fierce lions, pards, Slaves and artificers; and Delhi mourns
Boars, tigers, bears and wolves; a dreadful crew Her empty and depopulated streets.
Of grim blood-thirsty foes; growling along, Now at the camp arriv’d, with stern review, They stalk indignant; but fierce vengeance still Through groves of spears, from file to file he darts Hangs pealing on their rear, and pointed spears His sharp experienc'd eye; their order marks, Present immediate death. Soon as the Night Each in his station rang'd, exact and firm, Wrapt in her sable veil forbids the chase, Till in the boundless line his sight is lost. They pitch their tents, in even ranks, around Not greater multitudes in arms appeard
The circling camp. The guards are placid, and fires On these extended plains, when Ammon's son At proper distances ascending rise, With mighty Porus in dread battle join'd,
And paint th' horizon with their ruddy light. The vassal world the prize. Nor was that host So round some island's shore of large extent, More numerous of old, which the great king* Amid the gloomy horrors of the night, Pour'd out on Greece from all th' unpeopled East, The billows breaking on the pointed rocks, That bridg'd the Hellespont from shore to shore, Seem all one flame, and the bright circuit wide And drank the rivers dry. Meanwhile in troops Appears a bulwark of surrounding fire. The busy hunter-train mark out the ground, What dreadful howlinge, and what hideous roar, A wide circumference, full many a league Disturb those peaceful shades! where erst the bird
That glads the night had cheer'd the listening groves * Xerxes.
With sweet complainings. Through the silent gloom
Oft they the guards assail; as oft repell'd
A strange promiscuous carnage, drench'd in blood,
At last, within the narrow plain confin'd, A listed field, mark'd out for bloody deeds, An amphitheatre more glorious far Than ancient Rome could boast, they crowd in heaps, Dismay'd, and quite appall'd. In meet array, Sheath'd in refulgent arms, a noble band Advance; great lords of high imperial blood, Early resolv'd t' assert their royal race, And prove by glorious deeds their valor's growth Mature, ere yet the callow down has spread Its curling shade. On bold Arabian steeds With decent pride they sit, that fearless hear The lion's dreadful roar; and down the rock Swift shooting ange, or o'er the mountain's ridge Stretching along, the greedy tiger leave Panting behind. On foot their faithful slaves With javelins arm'd attend; each watchful eye Fix'd on his youthful care, for him alone He fears, and, to redeem his life, unmov'd Would lose his own. The mighty Aurengzebe, From his high-elevated throne, beholds His blooming race; revolving in his mind What once he was, in his gay spring of life, When vigor strung his nerves. Parental joy Melts in his eye, and flushes in his cheek. Now the loud trumpet sounds a charge. The shouts Of eager hosts, through all the circling line, And the wild howlings of the beasts within, Rend wide the welkin; flights of arrows, wing'd With death, and javelins lanch'd from every arm, Gall sore the brutal band, with many a wound Gor'd through and through. Despair at last prevails, When fainting Nature shrinks, and rouses all Their drooping courage. Swell'd with furious rage, Their eyes dart fire; and on the youthful band They rush implacable. They their broad shields Quick interpose; on each devoted head Their flaming falchions, as the bolts of Jove, Descend unerring. Prostrate on the ground The grinning monsters lie, and their foul gore Defiles the verdant plain. Nor idle stand The trusty slaves; with pointed spears they pierce Through their tough hides; or at their gaping mouths An easier passage find. The king of brutes In broken roarings breathes his last; the bear Grumbles in death; nor can his spotted skin, Though sleek it shine, with varied beauties gay, Save the proud pard from unrelenting fate. The battle bleeds, grim Slaughter strides along, Glutting her greedy jaws, grins o'er her prey: Men, horses, dogs, fierce beasts of every kind,
Of death had been complete; and Aurengzebe
Lowly they bend, and humbly sue, to save
Ye proud oppressors, whose vain hearts exult In wantonness of power 'gainst the brute race, Fierce robbers like yourselves, a guiltless war Wage uncontroll'd: here quench your thirst of blood :
But learn from Aurengzebe to spare mankind.
Of king Edgar, and his imposing a tribute of wolves' heads upon the kings of Wales: from hence a transition to fox-hunting, which is described in all its parts. Censure of an over-numerous pack. Of the several engines to destroy foxes, and other wild beasts. The steel-trap described, and the manner of using it. Description of the pitfall for the lion; and another for the elephant. The ancient way of hunting the tiger with a mirror. The Arabian manner of hunting the wild boar. Description of the royal stag-chase at Windsor Forest. Concludes with an address to his Majesty, and an eulogy upon mercy.
In Albion's isle, when glorious Edgar reign'd,
A subtle, pilfering foe, prowling around
Wide-gaping threatens death. The craggy steep, In midnight shades, and wakeful to destroy. Where the poor dizzy shepherd crawls with care, In the full fold, the poor defenceless lamb, And clings to every twig, gives us no pain ; Seiz'd by his guileful arts, with sweet warm blood But down we sweep, as stoops the falcon bold Supplies a rich repast. The mournful ewe, To pounce his prey. Then up th' opponent hill, Her dearest treasure lost, through the dun night By the swift motion slung, we mount aloft: Wanders perplex'd, and darkling bleats in vain : So ships in winter-seas now sliding sink While in th'adjacent bush, poor Philomel Adown the steepy wave, then toss'd on high (Herself a parent once, till wanton churls
Ride on the billows, and defy the storm. (Chase Despoil'd her nest) joins in her loud laments, What lengths we pass ! where will the wandering With sweeter notes, and more melodious woe. Lead us bewilderd! smooth as swallows skim
For these nocturnal thieves, huntsman, prepare The new-shorn mead, and far more swift, we fly. Thy sharpest vengeance. Oh! how glorious 'tis See my brave pack; how to the head they press, To right th' oppress'd, and bring the felon vile Jostling in close array then more diffuse To just disgrace! Ere yet the morning peep, Obliquely wheel, while from their opening mouths Or stars retire from the first blush of day,
The vollied thunder breaks. So when the cranes With thy far-echoing voice alarm thy pack, Their annual voyage steer, with wanton wing And rouse thy bold compeers. Then to the copse, Their figure oft they change, and their loud clang Thick with entangling grass, or prickly furze, From cloud to cloud rebounds. How far behind With silence lead thy many-color'd hounds, The hunter-crew, wide-straggling o'er the plain! In all their beauty's pride. See! how they range The panting courser now with trembling nerves Dispers'd, how busily this way, and that,
Begins to reel ; urg'd by the goring spur, They cross, examining with curious nose Makes many a faint effort: he snoris, he foams, Each likely haunt. Hark! on the drag I hear The big round drops run trickling down his sides, Their doubtful notes, preluding to a cry
With sweat and blood distain'd. Look back and view More nobly full, and swell’d with every mouth. The strange confusion of the vale below, As straggling armies, at the trumpel's voice, Where sour vexation reigns; see yon poor jade! Press to their standard ; hither all repair, In vain th’impatient rider frets and swears ; And hurry through the woods ; with hasty step With galling spurs harrows his mangled sides : Rustling, and full of hope ; now driven on heaps He can no more : his stiff unpliant limbs They push, they strive; while from his kennel Rooted in earth, unmov'd and fix'd he stands, sneaks
For every cruel curse returns a groan, The conscious villain. See! he skulks along, And sobs, and faints, and dies. Who without grief Sleek at the shepherd's cost, and plump with meals Can view that pamper'd steed, his master's joy, Purloin'd. So thrive the wicked here below. His minion, and his daily care, well clothd, Though high his brush he bear, though tipt with Well fed with every nicer cate; no cost, white
No labor spar'd; who, when the flying Chase It gaily shine; yet ere the Sun declin'd
Broke from the copse, without a rival led Recall the shades of night, the pamper'd rogue The numerous train: now a sad spectacle Shall rue his fate revers'd, and at his heels Of pride brought low, and humbled insolence, Behold the just avenger, swift to seize
Drove like a pannier'd ass, and scourg'd along. His forfeit head, and thirsting for his blood. [hearts While these, with loosen'd reins and dangling heels,
Heavens! what melodious strains ! how beat our Hang on their reeling palfreys, that scarce bear Big with tumultuous joy! the loaded gales Their weights: another in the treacherous bog Breathe harmony; and as the tempest drives Lies floundering, half ingulf'd. What biting thoughts From wood to wood, through every dark recess Torment th' abandon'd crew! Old age laments The forest thunders, and the mountains shake. His vigor spent : the tall, plump, brawny youth The chorus swells; less various, and less sweet, Curses his cumbrous bulk; and envies now The trilling notes, when in those very groves, The short pygmean race he whilom kennd The feather'd choristers salute the Spring, With proud insulting leer. A chosen few And every bush in concert join; or when Alone the sport enjoy, nor droop beneath The master's hand in modulated air,
Their pleasing toils. Here, huntsman, from this Bids the loud organ breathe, and all the powers
height Of music in one instrument combine,
Observe yon birds of prey; if I can judge, An universal minstrelsy. And now
"Tis there the villain lurks : they hover round, In vain each earth he tries, the doors are barr'd And claim him as their own. Was I not right? Impregnable, nor is the covert safe;
See! there he creeps along; his brush he drags, He pants for purer air. Hark! what loud shouts And sweeps the mire impure; from his wide jaws Re-echo through the groves! he breaks away. His tongue unmoisten'd hangs; symptoms too sure Shrill horns proclaim his flight. Each straggling Of sudden death. Ha! yet he flies, nor yields hound
To black despair. But one loose more, and all Strains o'er the lawn to reach the distant pack. His wiles are vain. Hark! through yon village now "Tis triumph all and joy. Now, my brave youths, The rattling clamor rings. The barns, the cols, Now give a loose to the clean generous steed; And leafless elms, return the joyous sounds. Flourish the whip, nor spare the galling spur; Through every homestall, and through every yard But, in the madness of delight, forget
His midnight walks, panting, forlorn, he flies ; Your fears. Far o'er the rocky hills we range, Through every hole he sneaks, through every jakes And dangerous our course ; but in the brave Plunging he wades besmear’d, and fondly hopes True courage never fails. In vain the stream In a superior stench to lose his own. In foaming eddies whirls; in vain the ditch But, faithful to the track, th' unerring hounds