網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

That harmless, honest, guileless animal,
In what has he offended? he, whose toil,
Patient and ever ready, clothes the land
With all the pomp of harvest; shall he bleed,
And struggling groan beneath the cruel hands
E'en of the clown he feeds ? and that, perhaps,
To swell the riot of the autumnal feast,
Won by his labour? thus the feeling heart
Would tenderly suggest : but 'tis enough,
In this late age, adventurous, to have touch'd
Light on the numbers of the Samian sage."
High Heaven forbids the bold presumptuous strain,
Whose wisest will has fix'd us in a state
That must not yet to pure perfection rise.

Now when the first foul torrent of the brooks
Swell’d with the vernal rains, is ebb'd away,
And, whitening, down their mossy tinctured stream
Descends the billowy foam: now is the time,
While yet the dark brown water aids the guile,"
To tempt the trout. The well dissembled Ay, ..
The rod fine tapering, with elastic spring, fi "sil!!!
Snatch'd from the hoary steed the floating line, 1).
And all thy slender watery stores prepare. "", ili
But let not on thy book the tortured worm, ) ;*
Convulsive, twist in agonizing folds; , hittar o
Which, by rapacious hunger swallow'd deep, .!
Gives, as you tear it from the bleeding breast **
Of the weak helpless uncomplaining wretch,
Harsh pain and horror to the tender hand.

When with his lively ray the potent sun Has pierced the streams, and roused the finny race, Then, issuing cheerful, to thy sport repair ; Chief should the western breezés curling play, And light o'er ether bear the shadowy clouds. High to their fount, this day, amid the hills, And woodlands warbling round, trace up the brooks; The next pursue their rocky-channel'd maze, Down to the river, in whose ample wave Their little naiads love to sport at large. Just in the dubious point, where with the pool Is mix'd the trembling stream, or where it boils Around the stone, or from the hallow'd bank Reverted plays in undulating flow, There throw, nice-judging, the delusive fly; And as you lead it round in artful curve, With eye attentive mark the springing game. Straight as above the surface of the flood They wanton rise, or urged by hunger leap, Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook : Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank, And to the shelving shore slow-dragging some, With various hand proportion'd to their force. If yet too young, and easily deceived, A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod, Him, piteous of his youth and the short space He has enjoy'd the vital light of heaven, Soft disengage, and back into the stream The speckled captive throw. But should you lure

.

From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots
Of pendent trees, the monarch of the brook, ..
Behoves you then to ply your finest art. 1
Long time he, following cautious, scans the fly;
And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft . com
The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear.
At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun
Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death,
With sullen plunge. At once he darts along,
Deep-struck, and runs out all the lengthen'd line;
Then seeks the furthest ooze, the sheltering weed,
The cavern'd bank, his old secure abode; ..*
And flies aloft, and flounces round the pool,
Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand,
That feels him still, yet to his furious course
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now -
Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage:
Till floating broad upon his breathless side,
And to his fate abandon'd, to the shore
You gaily drag your unresisting prize.

Thus pass the temperate hours; but when the sun
Shakes from his noonday throne the scattering clouds,
E'en shooting listless languor through the deeps;
Then seek the bank where flowering alders crowd, .
Where scatter'd wild the lily of the vale
Its balmy essence breathes, where cowslips hang
The dewy head, where purple violets lurk,
With all the lowly children of the shade:
Or lie reclined beneath yon spreading ash, xam

Hung o'er the steep; whence, borne on liquid wing,
The sounding culver shoots ; or where the hawk,
High in the beetling cliff his eyry builds.
There let the classic page thy fancy lead
Through rural scenes ; such as the Mantuan swain
Paints in the matchless harmony of song.
Or catch thyself the landscape, gliding swift
Athwart imagination's vivid eye:
Or by the vocal woods and waters lullid,
And lost in lonely musing, in the dream,
Confused, of careless solitude, where mix
Ten thousand wandering images of things,
Sooth every gust of passion into peace;
All but the swellings of the soften'd heart,
That waken, not disturb, the tranquil mind.

Behold yon breathing prospect bids the Muse
Throw all her beauty forth. But who can paint
Like Nature ? Can imagination boast,
Amid its gay creation, hues like hers?
Or can it mix them with that matchless skill,
And lose them in each other, as appears
In every bud that blows? If fancy then
Unequal fails beneath the pleasing task,
Ah, what shall language do? Ah, where find words
Tinged with so many colours; and whose power,
To life approaching, may perfume my lays
With that fine oil, those aromatic gales,
That inexhaustive flow continual round?

Yet, though successless, will the toil delight.

Come then, ye virgins and ye youths, whose hearts
Have felt the raptures of refining love; mons !!
And thou, Amanda, come, pride of my song! .
Form’d by the Graces, loveliness itself!....
Come with those downcast eyes, sedate and sweet,
Those looks demure, that deeply pierce the soul,
Where, with the light of thoughtful reason mix'd,
Shines lively fancy and the feeling heart: ..bi !
Oh come! and while the rosy-footed May,,
Steals blushing on, together let us tready. I byen "}
The morning dews, and gather in their primero 11
Fresh blooming flowers, to grace thy braided hair,
And thy loved bosom, that improves their sweets. -

See, where the winding vale its lavish stores,
Irriguous, spreads. See, how the lily drinks
The latent rill, scarce oozing through the grass,
Of growth luxuriant; or the humid bank, .
In fair profusion decks. Long let us walk, *. ,,
Where the breeze blows from yon extended fields
Of blossom’d beans. Arabia cannot boast Ilid teist
A fuller gale of joy than, liberal, thence from
Breathes through the sense, and takes the ravish'd soul,
Nor is the mead unworthy of thy foot,'

troq host Full of fresh verdure and unnumber'd flowers, , ,!

The negligence of Nature, wide and wild; -hill - Where, undisguised by mimic Art, she spreads litt Unbounded beauty to the roving eye. . Here their delicious task the fervent bees, 11102e Ht; }} In swarming millions, tend: around, athwart,lut hu

« 上一頁繼續 »