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Plump Ceres golden tresses wear,
And poppy-top-knots deck her hair,
And lilver streams through meadows stray,
And Naiads on the margin play,
And lesser nymphs on fide of hills
From play-thing urns pour down the rills.
Thus shelter'd, free from care and strife,
May I enjoy a calm through life;
See faction, safe in low degree,
As men at land see storms at sea,
And laugh at miserable elves,
Not kind so much as to themselves,
Curs'd with such fouls of base alloy,
As can possess, but not enjoy ;
Debarr'd the pleasure to impart
By av'rice, sphincter of the heart,
Who wealth, hard-earn'd by guilty cares,
Bequeath untouch'd to thankless heirs.
May I, with look ungloom'd by guile,
And wearing Virtue's liv'ry smile,
Prone the distressed to relieve,
And little trefpasses forgive,
With income not in Fortune's pow'r,
And skill to make a busy hour,
With trips to town life to amuse,
To purchase books, and hear the news,
To see old friends, brush off the clown,
And quicken taste at coming down,
Unhurt by sickness' blasting rage,
And flowly mellowing in age,
When Fate extends its gathering gripe,
Fall off like fruit grown fully ripe,
Quit a worn being without pain,
In hope to blossom soon again.
ELEGY to a YOUNG NOBLEMAN leaving the
RE yet, ingenuous youth, thy steps retire
From Cam's smooth margin, and the peaceful vale,
, Where Science call'd thee to her ftudious quire,
And met thee mufing in her cloysters pale; O! let thy friend (and may he boast the name) Breathe from his artless reed one parting lay; H
A lay like this thy early virtues claim,
And this let voluntary, friendship pay.
Yet know, the time arrives, the dangerous time,
When all those virtues, opening now fo fair,
Transplanted to the world's tempestuous clime,
Muit learn each paffion's boilt'rous breath to bear. There, if Ambition peftilent and pale,
Or Luxury should taint their vernal glow; If cold Self-intereft, with her chilling gale,
Should blast th' unfolding blossoms ere they blow; If mimic hues, by Art, or Fashion spread,
Their genuine, simple colouring should supply;
O! with them may these laureate honours fade;
And with them (if it can) my friendship die.
And do not bìame, if, thothyself inspire,
Cautious I strike the panegyric string;
The muse full oft pursues a meteor fire,
And, vainly vent'rous, soars on waxen wing.
Too actively awake at Friend hip's voice,
The poet's bosom pours the fervent ftrain,
Till sad reflection blames the hasty choice,
And oft invokes oblivion's aid in vain.
Go then, my friend, nor let thy candid breast
Condemn me, if I check the plaufive string;
Go to the wayward world; compleat the rest;
Be, what the purest muse would wish to sing. Be ttíll thyself; that open path of truth,
Which led thee here, let manhood firm pursue;
Retain the sweet fimplicity of youth,
And, all thy virtue dictates, dare to do.
Still scorn, with conscious pride, the mask of art;
On vice's front let fearful caution lour,
And teach the diffident, discreeter part
Of knaves that plot, and fools that fawn for power. So, round thy brow when age's honours spread,
When Death's cold hand unarings thy Mason's lyre, When the green turf lies lightly on his head,
Thy worth shall fome superior bard inspire: He, to the amplest bounds of Time's domain,
On Rapture's plume shall give thy name to Ay; For trust, with rev'rence trult this Sabine strain :
56 The Muse forbids the virtuous man to die."
SHEEP-SHEARING: SONG on that OCCASION :
Sheep-fhcaring Feast and Merriments.
TOW, jolly swains, the harvest of your cares
Prepare to reap, and seek the founding caves
Of high Brigantium, * where, by ruddy flames,
Vulcan's strong fons, with nervous arm, around
The steady anvil, and the glaring mass,
Clatter their heavy hammers down by turns,
Flatt'ning the steel ; from their rough hands receive
The sharpen'd inftrument, that from the flock
Severs the Aeece. If verdant elder spreads
Her silver Aowr's; if humble daisies yield
To yellow crow-foot, and luxuriant grass,
Gay fhearing-time approaches. First, howe'er,
Drive to the double fold, upon the brim
Of a clear river, gently drive the flock,
And plunge them one by one into the food :
Plung'd in the flood, not long the struggler finks,
With his white fakes, that glisten thro' the tide;
The sturdy ruftic, in the middle wave,
Awaits to seize him rising; one arm bears,
His lifted head above the limpid stream,
While the full clammy fleece the other laves
Around, laborious, with repeated toil;
And then resigns him to the funny bank,
Where, bleating loud, he fhakes his dripping locks,
Shear them the fourth or fifth return of morn,
Left touch of busy fly-blows wound their skin:
Thy peaceful subjects without murmur yield
Their yearly tribute : 'tis the prudent part
To cherish and be gentle, while ye strip
The downy vesture from their tender fides
Press not too close; with caution turn the points;
And from the head in reg'lar rounds proceed :
But speedy, when ye chance to wound, with car
Prevent the wingy Twarm and scorching heat ;
And careful house them, if the low'ring clouds
Mingle their stores tumultuous: through the gloom
Then thunder oft with pond'rous wheels rolls loud,
And breaks the crystal urns of heav'n : adown
Falls streaming rain. Sometimes among the steeps
* The caves of Brigantium--the forges of Sheffield in Yorkshire, where the shepherds fhears and all edge-tools are made,
. Of Cambrian glades, (pity the Cambrian glades)
Fast tumbling brooks on brooks enormous (well,
And sudden overwhelm their vanish'd fields :
Down with the flood away the naked sheep,
Bleating in vain, are borne, and straw-built huts,
And rifted trees, and heavy enormous rocks,
Down with the rapid torrent to the deep.
At fhearing-time, along the lively vales,
Rural festivities are often heard :
Beneath each blooming arbour all is joy
And lusty merriment: while on the grass
The mingled youth in gaudy circles sport,
We think the golden age again return'd,
And all the fabled Dryades in dance.
Leering they bound along, with laughing air,
To the thrill pipe, and deep remurm'ring cords
Of th' ancient harp, or tabor's hollow sound.
While th' old apart, upon a bank reclin'd,
Attend the tuneful carol, softly mixt
With ev'ry murmur of the sliding wave,
And ev'ry warble of the feather'd choir;
Music of paradife! which ftill is heard,
When the heart listens; still the views appear
Of the first happy garden, when content
To nature's flow'ry scenes directs the fight.
Yet we abandon those Elyfian walks,
Then idly for the loft delight repine:
As greedy mariners, whose desp'rate fails
Skim o'er the billows of the foamy flood,
Fancy they see the lefs'ning shores retire,
And sigh a farewel to the sinking hills.
Could I recall those notes, which once the Muse
Heard at a shearing, near the woody fides
Of blue-top'd Wreakin*. Yet the carols sweet,
Through the deep maze of the memorial cell,
Faintly remurmur. First arose in fong
Hoar-headed DAMON, venerable swain,
The footheft shepherd of the flow'ry vale.
“ This is no vulgar scene: no palace roof
" Was e'er so lofty, nor fo nobly rise
" Their polith'd pillars, as these aged oaks,
" Which o'er our feecy wealth and harmless sports
* Thus have expanded wide their fhelt'ring arms,
66 Thrice * Wreakin, a high hill in Shropshire.
“ Thrice told an hundred fummers. Sweet content, “ Ye gentle shepherds, pillow us at night.”
“ Yes, tuneful DAMON, for our cares are short, “ Rising and falling with the chearful day, COLIN reply'd, “and pleasing weariness “ Soon our unaching heads to seep inclines. " Is it in cities for where, poets tell, “ The cries of forrow fadden all the streets, “ And the diseases of intemperate wealth. " Alas, that any ilts from wealth Tould rise !
"May the fweet nightingale on yonder spray, “ May this clear stream, these lawns, those snow-white
lambs, “ Which, with a pretty innocence of look, “ Skip on the green, and race in little troops ; “ May that great lamp, which finks behind the hills, “ And streams around variety of lights, “ Recall them erring: this is DAMON’s wish.
Huge Breaden's * stony summit once I climb'd “ After a kiddling : DAMON, what a scene ! “ What various views unnumber'd' spread beneath ! “ Woods, tow'rs, vales, caves, d'ells, cliffs, and torrent
foods; “ And here and there, between the spiry rocks, ". The broad flat sea. Far nobler prospect these, “ Than gardens black with smoak in dusty towns, " Where stenchy vapours often blot the sun : " Yet flying from his quiet, thither crowds “ Each greedy wretch for tardy-rising wealih, " Which comes too late ; that courts the taste in vain, 66 Or nauseates with distempers. Yes, ye rich, “ Still, still be rich, if thus ye fashion life; “ And piping, careless, filly shepherds we, “ We filly shepherds, all intent to feed “ Our snowy flocks, and wind the sleeky fleece.
Deem not, howe'er, our occupation mean,' Damon reply'd, while the Supreme accounts “ Well of the faithful shepherd, rank'd alike “ With king and priest : they also shepherds are ; “ For so th' All-feeing ftiles them, to remind “ Elated man, forgetful of his charge."
'66 But haste, begin the rites : see purple Eve “ Stretches her shadows: all ye nymphs and swains
“ Hither * Breaden, a hill on the borders of Montgomeryshire.