« PreviousContinue »
A painted quiver on her shoulder sounds,
And with her dart the flying deer she wounds.
It chanc'd, as, eager of the chase, 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,
When through the clouds he drives the trembling doves;
As from the gods she flew with furious pace,
Or as the god, more furious, urg'd the chase.
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.
Faint, breathless, thus she pray'd, nor pray'd in vain;
Ah, Cynthia! ah--though banish'd from thy train, Let me, O let me, to the shades repair,
My native shades! there weep, and murmur there!"`
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 helpless 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 landscape of the pendent 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,
Then foaming pour along, and rush into the Thames.
Thou, too, great father of the British floods!
With joyful pride survey'st our lofty woods;
Where towering oak3 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, subdued 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 humbler joys 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 chymic 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, O bear me to sequester'd scenes,
The bowery mazes, and surrounding greens;
To Thames's banks which fragrant breezes fill,
Or where ye, 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 godlike poets venerable made:
Here his first lays majestic Denham sung;
There the last numbers flow'd from Cowley's tongue.
O 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;
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? 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 forests 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:
In 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 thou sing what heroes Windsor bore,
What kings 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 Cressi'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 beside 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 bled!'
She saw her sons with purple deaths expire,
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 his 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 cels renown'd;
The Loddon slow, with verdant alders crown'd;
Cole, whose dark streams his flowery islands
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 Tyber's streams immortal Rome behold,
Though foaming Hermus swells with tides of gold,
From heaven itself though sevenfold 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: