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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 fage.
High Heaven forbids the bold presumptuous strain,
Whose wifeft 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 mosfy-tinctur'd stream
Descends the billowy foam : now is the time,
While yet the dark brown water aids the guile,
To tempt the trout. The well-diffembled fly,
The rod fine-tapering with elastic spring,
Snatch'd from the hoary steed the floating line,
And all thy slender watery stores prepare.
But let not on thy hook the tortur'd warm,
Convulsive, twist in agonizing folds ;
Which, by rapacious hunger swallow'd deep,
Gives, as you tear it from the bleeding breast
Of the weak helpless uncomplaining wretchi,
Harsh pain and horror to the tender hand.
When with his lively ray the potent fun Has pierc'd the streams, and rous'd the finny race, Then, issuing cheerful, to thy sport repair;
Chief should the western breezes 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. V
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 hollow'd bank
Reverted plays in undulating flow,
There throw, nice-judging, the delusive fly;
lead it round in artful
With eye attentive mark the springing game.
Strait as above the surface of the flood
They wanton rise, or urg'd by hunger leap,
Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook :
Some lightly toffing to the graffy bank,
And to the shelving shore flow-dragging fome,
With various hand proportion’d to their force.
If yet too young, and easily deceiv’d,
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 pendant trees, the monarch of the brook,
you then to ply your finest art.
Long time he, following cautious, fcans the fly;
And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft
The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear.
At last, while haply o’er the shaded fun
Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death,
With sullen plunge. . At once he darts along,
Deep-ftruck, and runs out all the lengthened line ;
Then seeks the fartheft ooze, the sheltering weed,
The cavern'd bank, his old secure abode ;
And Aies aloft, and founces round the pool,
Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand,
That feels him still, yeť to his furious course
Gives way, you, now retiring, following now
Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage :
Till floating broad upon his breathless fide,
And to his fate abandon'd, to the shore
You gaily drag your unresisting prize.
Thus pass the temperate hours ; but when the fun
Shakes from his noon-day throne the scattering clouds,
Even shooting listless languor thro' the deeps ;
Then seek the bank where flowering elders crowd,
Where scatter'd wide 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 reclin'd beneath yon spreading ash,
Hung o'er the steep; whence, borne on liquid wing,
The founding culver shoots; or where the hawk,
High, in the beetling cliff, his airy builds.
There let the classic page thy fancy lead
Thro' 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 lulld,
And loft in lonely musing, in the dream,
Confus'd, of careless folitude, where mix
Ten thousand wandering images of things,
Soothe every guft 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 Mufe
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 talk,
Ah what shall language do? ah where find words
Ting'd with so many colours; and whose power,
To life approaching, may perfume my lays
With that fine oil, thofe aromatic gales,
That inexhaustive flow continual round?
Yet, tho' successless, will the toil delight.
Come then, ye virgins and ye youths, whose hearts
Have felt the raptures of refining love;
And thou; AMANDA, come, pride of my fong!
Form'd by the Graces, loveliness itself!
Come with those downcast eyes, fedate 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 :
O come ! and while the rosy-footed May
Steals blushing on, together let us tread
The morning dews, and gather in their prime
Fresh-blooming flowers, to grace thy braided hair,
And thy lov'd bofom that improves their sweets.
See, where the winding vale its lavish ftores, Irriguous, spreads. See, how the lily drinks The latent rill, scarce oozing thro' the grass,