« PreviousContinue »
She forms the doubling maze; then, ere the morn Thy early meal, or thy officious maids,
As wandering shepherds on th' Arabian plains Th' important work. Me other joys invite,
The horn sonorous calls, the pack awak'd
If once dismiss'd, no limits can contain
A thousand wanton gaieties express
Spare not the straggling cur that wildly roves; Th’inconstant winds, the fickle element,
But let thy brisk assistant on his back The wise experienc'd huntsman soon may find Imprint thy just resentments ; let each lash His subtle, various game, nor waste in vain Bite to the quick, till howling he return, His tedious hours, till his impatient hounds, And whining creep amid the trembling crowd. With disappointment vex'd, each springing lark Here on this verdant spot, where Nature kind Babbling pursue, far scatter'd o'er the fields. With double blessings crowns the farmer's hopes;
Now golden Autumn from her open lap Where flowers autumnal spring, and the rank mead Her fragrant bounties showers; the fields are shorn; Affords the wandering hares a rich repast; Inwardly smiling, the proud farmer views Throw off thy ready pack. See, where they spread, The rising pyramids that grace his yard,
And range around, and dash the glittering dew. And counts his large increase ; his barns are stor'd, If some staunch hound, with his authentic voice, And groaning staddles bend beneath their load. Avow the recent trail, the justling tribe All now is free as air, and the gay pack
Allend his call, then with one mutual cry In the rough bristly stubbles range unblam'd; The welcome news confirm, and echoing hills No widow's tears o'erflow, no secret curse Repeat the pleasing tale. See how they ihread Swells in the farmer's breast, which his pale lips The brakes, and up yon furrow drive along! Trembling conceal, by his fierce landlord aw'd : But quick they back recoil, and wisely check But courteous now he levels every fence,
Their eager haste; then o'er the fallow'd ground Joins in the common cry, and halloos loud, How leisurely they work, and many a pause Charm'd with the ratiling thunder of the field. Th' harmonious concert breaks ; till more assur'd Oh bear me, some kind power invisible!
With joy redoubled the low valleys ring. To that extended lawn, where the gay court What artsul labyrinths perplex their way! View the swift racers, stretching to the goal ; Ah! there she lies; how close ! she pants, she doubts Games more renown'd, and a far nobler train, If now she lives; she trembles as she sits, Than proud Elean fields could boast of old. With horror seiz'd. The wither'd grass that clings Oh! were a Theban lyre not wanting here, Around her head, of the same russet hue, And Pindar's voice, to do their merit right! Almost deceiv'd my sight, had not her eyes Or to those spacious plains, where the strain'd eye, With life full-beaming her vain wiles betray'd. In the wide prospect lost, beholds at last
At distance draw thy pack, let all be hush'd, Sarum's proud spire, that o'er the hills ascends, No clamor loud, no frantic joy be heard, And pierces through the clouds. Or to thy downs, Lest the wild hound run gadding o'er the plain Fair Cotswold, where the well-breath'd beagle climbs Untractable, nor hear thy chiding voice. With matchless speed thy green aspiring brow, Now gently put her off"; see how direct And leaves the lagging multitude behind. To her known mew she flies! Here, huntsman, bring
Hail, gentle Dawn! mild blushing goddess, hail ! (But without hurry) all thy jolly hounds, Rejoic'd I see thy purple mantie spread
And calmly lay them in. How low they stoop, O'er half the skies, gems pave thy radiant way, And seem to plow the ground! then all at once And orient pearls from every shrub depend. With greedy nostrils snuff the fuming steam Farewell, Cleora; here deep sunk in down That glads their fluttering hearts. As winds let looso Slumber secure, with happy dreams amus'd, From the dark caverns of the blustering god, Till grateful steams shall tempt thee to receive They burst away, and sweep the dewy lawn.
Hope gives them wings while she's spurr'd on by And each clean courser's speed. We scour along fear.
In pleasing hurry and confusion tost; The welkin rings, men, dogs, hills, rocks, and woods Oblivion to be wish'd. The patient pack In the full concert join. Now, my brave youths, Hang on the scent unwearied, up they climb, Stripp'd for the chase, give all your souls to joy! And ardent we pursue ; our laboring steeds See how their coursers, than the mountain roe We press, we gore; till once the summit gain'd, More fleet, the verdant carpet skim, thick clouds Painfully panting, there we breathe awhile; Snorting they breathe, their shining hoofs scarce Then, like a foaming torrent, pouring down print
Precipitant, we smoke along the vale. The grass unbruis'd ; with emulation fir'd Happy the man who with unrivall'd speed They strain to lead the field, top the barr'd gate, Can pass his fellows, and with pleasure view O'er the deep ditch exulting bound, and brush The struggling pack; how in the rapid course The thorny-twining hedge : the riders bend Alternate they preside, and jostling push O'er their arch'd necks; with steady hands, by turns To guide the dubious scent; how giddy youth Indulge their speed, or moderate their rage. Oft babbling errs, by wiser age reprov'd ; Where are their sorrows, disappointments, wrongs, How, niggard of his strength, the wise old hound Vexations, sickness, cares? All, all are gone, Hangs in the rear, till some important point And with the panting winds lag far behind. Rouse all his diligence, or till the chase
Huntsman! her gait observe; if in wide rings Sinking he finds: then to the head he springs She wheel her mazy way, in the same round With thirst of glory fir'd, and wins the prize. Persisting still, she'll foil the beaten track. Huntsman, take heed; they stop in full career. Bui if she fly, and with the favoring wind Yon crowding flocks, that at a distance gaze, Urge her bold course ; less intricate thy task : Have haply foil'd the turf. See! that old hound, Push on thy pack. Like some poor exil'd wretch, How busily he works, but dares not trust The frighted Chase leaves her late dear abodes, His doubtful sense ; draw yet a wider ring. O'er plains remote she stretches far away, Hark! now again the chorus fills. As bells Ah! never to return! For greedy Death
Sallied awhile, at once their peal renew, Hovering exults, secure to seize his prey.
And high in air the tuneful thunder rolls. Hark! from yon covert, where those towering oaks See, how they toss, with animated rage Above the bumble copse aspiring rise,
Recovering all they lost That eager haste What glorious triumphs burst in every gale Some doubling wile foreshows.-Ah! yet once more Upon our ravishd ears! The hunters shout, They're check'd-hold back with speed-on either The clanging horns swell their sweet-winding notes,
hand The pack wide opening load the trembling air They flourish round-ev'n yet persist—'Tis right, With various melody; from tree to tree
Away they spring ; the rustling stubbles bend The propagated cry redoubling bounds,
Beneath the driving storm. Now the poor Chase And winged zephyrs waft the floating joy Begins to flag, to her last shists reduc'd. Through all the regions near: afflictive birch From brake to brake she flies, and visits all No more the school-boy dreads; his prison broke, Her well-known haunts, where once she rang'd Scampering he flies, nor heeds his master's call;
secure, The weary traveller forgets his road,
With love and plenty blest. See! there she goes,
How quick she turns! their gaping jaws eludes, Maze within maze. The covert's utmost bound And yet a moment lives ; till, round inclos'd Slily she skirts; behind them cautious creeps ; By all the greedy pack, with infant screams And in that very track, so lately stain'd
She yields her breath, and there reluctant dies. By all the steaming crowd, seems to pursue
So when the furious Bacchanals assail'd The foe she flies. Let cavillers deny
Threïcian Orpheus, poor ill-fated, bard! That brutes have reason ; sure 'tis something more, Loud was the ery; hills, woods, and Hebrus' banks, "Tis Heaven directs, and stratagems inspires Return'd their clamorous rage; distress'd he flies, Beyond the short extent of human thought. Shifting from place to place, but flies in vain; But hold-I see her from the covert break; For eager they pursue, tilf panting, faint, Sad on yon liule eminence she sits;
By noisy multitudes o'erpower'd, he sinks Intent she listens with one ear erect,
To the relentless crowd a bleeding prey. Pondering, and doubifül what new course to take, The huntsman now, a deep incision made, And how t' escape the fierce blood-thirsty crew, Shakes out with hands impure, and dashes down That still urge on, and still in volleys loud Her reeking entrails and yet quivering heart. Insult her woes, and mock her sore distress. These claim the pack, the bloody perquisite As now in louder peals the loaded winds
For all their toils. Stretch'd on the ground she lies Bring on the gathering storm, her fears prevail, A mangled corse; in her dim glaring eyes And o'er the plain, and o'er the mountain's ridge, Cold Death exults, and stiffens every limb. Away she flies; nor ships with wind and tide, Aw'd by the threatening whip, the furious hounds. And all their canvas wings, scud half so fast. Around her bay; or at their master's foot, Once more, ye jovial train, your courage try, Each happy favorite courts his kind applause.
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, They fly reluctant, with bot boiling rage
And heaps on heaps amassid. What yet remain Stung to the quick, and mad with wild despair. Alive, with vain assault contend to break Thus day by day they still the chase renew, Th' impenetrable line. Others, whom fear Ai night encamp; till now in straiter bounds Inspires with self-preserving wiles, beneath The circle lessens, and the beasts perceive The bodies of the slain for shelter creep. The wall that hems them in on every side. Aghast they fly, or hide their heads dispers'd. And now their fury bursts, nd knows no mean; And now perchance (had Heaven but pleas'd) the From man they turn, and point their ill-judg'd rage
work Against their fellow-brutes. With teeth and claws of death had been complete; and Aurengzebe The civil war begins; grappling they tear.
By one dread frown extinguish'd half their race. Lions on tigers prey, and bears on wolves : When lo! the bright sultanas of his court Horrible discord! till the crowd behind
Appear, and to his ravish'd eyes display
Leave a large void for their retreating foes.
Ye proud oppressors, whose vain hearts exult Than ancient Rome could boast, they crowd in heaps, In wantonness of power 'gainst the brute race, Dismay'd, and quite appallid. In meet array, Fierce robbers like yourselves, a guiltless war Sheath'd in refulgent arms, a noble band Wage uncontrolld: here quench your thirst of Advance; great lords of high imperial blood,
blood : Early resolv'd t'assert their royal race,
But learn from Aurengzebe to spare mankind.
Of king Edgar, and his imposing a tribute of wolves' Panting behind. On foot their faithful slaves heads upon the kings of Wales : from hence a With javelins arr'd attend; each watchful eye transition to fox-hunting, which is described in Fixd on his youthful care, for him alone
all its parts. Censure of an over-numerous pack. He fears, and, to redeem his life, unmov'd
of the several engines to destroy foxes, and Would lose his own. The mighty Aurengzebe, other wild beasts. The steel-trap described, and From his high-elevated throne, beholds
the manner of using it. Description of the pitHis blooming race; revolving in his mind
fall for the lion; and another for the elephant. What once he was, in his gay spring of life, The ancient way of hunting the tiger with a When vigor strung his nerves. Parental joy mirror. The Arabian manner of hunting the Melis in his eye, and flushes in his check.
wild boar. Description of the royal stag-chase Now the loud trumpet sounds a charge. The shouts at Windsor Forest. Concludes with an address Of eager hosts, thro all the circling line,
to his Majesty, and an eulogy upon mercy. And the wild howlings of the beasts within, Rend wide the welkin ; flights of arrows, wing'd In Albion's isle, when glorious Edgar reign'd, With death, and javelins lanch'd from every arm, He, wisely provident, from her white cliffs Gall sore the brutal band, with many a wound Launch'd half her forests, and with numerous fleets Gor'd through and through. Despair at last prevails, Cover'd his wide domain : there proudly rode When fainting Nature shrinks, and rouses all Lord of the deep, the great prerogative Their drooping courage. Swell’d with furious rage, or British monarchs. Each invader bold, Their eyes dart fire; and on the youthful band Dane and Norwegian, at a distance gaz'd, They rush implacable. They their broad shields And, disappointed, gnash'd his teeth in vain. Quick interpose ; on each devoted head
He scour'd the seas, and to remotest shores Their flaming falchions, as the bolts of Jove, With swelling sails the trembling corsair fled. Descend unerring. Prostrate on the ground Rich commerce flourish'd ; and with busy oars The grinning monsters lie, and their foul gore Dash'd the resounding surge. Nor less at land Defiles the verdant plain. Nor idle stand His royal cares; wise, potent, gracious prince! The trusty slaves; with pointed spears they pierce His subjects from their cruel foes he savid, Through their tough hides; or at their gaping mouths And from rapacious savages their flocks : An easier passage sind. The king of brutes Cambria's proud kings (though with reluctance) paid In broken roarings breathes his last; the bear Their tributary wolves; head after head, Grumbles in death ; nor can his spotted skin, In full account, till the woods yield no more, Though sleek it shine, with varied beauties gay, And all the ravenous race extinct is lost. Save the proud pard from unrelenting late. In fertile pastures, more securely graz'd The battle bleeds, grim Slaughter strides along, The social troops; and soon their large increase Glutting her greedy jaws, grins o'er her prey: Wiih curling fleeces whiten'd all the plains. Men, horses, dogs, fierce beasts of every kind, But yet, alas! the wily fox remain'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