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is now in louder peals the loaded winds
Bring on the gathering storm, her fears prevail,
And o'er the plain, and o'er the mountain's ridge,
Away she flies ; nor, ships with wind and tide,
And all their canvass wings, scud half so fast.
Once more, ye jovial train, your courage try,
And each clean courser's speed. We scour along,
In pleasing hurry and confusion tost;
Oblivion to be wish'd. The patient pack
Hang on the scent unweary'd, up they climb,
And ardent we pursue ; our labouring steeds
We press, we gore; till once the summit gain’d,
Painfully panting ; there we breathe awhile;
Then, like a foaming torrent, pouring down
Precipitant, we smoke along the vale.
Happy the man who with unrivall’d speed
Can pass his fellows, and with pleasure view
The struggling pack; how in the rapid course
Alternate they preside, and jostling push
To guide the dubious scent; how giddy youth
Oft babbling errs, by wiser age reprov'd;
How, niggard of his strength, the wise old hound
Hangs in the rear, till some important point
Rouse all his diligence, or till the chase
Sinking he finds: then to the head he springs
With thirst of glory fir'd, and wins the prize.
Huntsman, take heed; they stop in full career.
Yon crowding flocks, that at a distance gaze,
Have haply foil'd the turf. See ! that old hound,
How busily he works, but dares not trust
His doubtful sense ; draw yet a wider ring.
Hark! now again the chorus fills. As bells
Sallyd awhile, at once their peal renew,
And high in air the tuneful thunder rolls.
See, how they toss, with animated rage
Recovering all they lost !- That eager haste
Some doubling wile foreshows. - Ah! yet once more
They're check’d, - hold back with speed-on either
They flourish round-ev'n yet persist — 'Tis right,
Away they spring ; the rustling stubbles bend
Beneath the driving storm. Now the poor Chase
Begins to flag, to her last shifts reduc’d.
From brake to brake she flies, and visits all
Her well-known haunts, where once she rang'd
secure, With love and plenty blest. See! there she goes, She reels along, and by her gait betrays Her inward weakness. See, how black she looks! The sweat, that clogs th’ obstructed pores, scarce
leaves A languid scent. And now in open view See, see, she flies ! each eager hound exerts His utmost speed, and stretches every nerve. How quick she turns ! their gaping jaws eludes, And yet a moment lives ; till, round enclos'd By all the greedy pack, with infant screams She yields her breath, and there reluctant dies, So when the furious Bacchanals assail'd Threician Orpheus, poor ill-fated bard ! Loud was the cry; hills, woods, and Hebrus' banks, Return'd their clamorous rage; distress'd he flies, Shifting from place to place, but flies in vain ; For eager they pursue, till panting, faint,
By noisy multitudes o'erpower'd, he sinks
To the relentless crowd a bleeding prey.
The huntsman now, a deep incision made,
Shakes out with hands impure, and dashes down
Her reeking entrails and yet quivering heart.
These claim the pack, the bloody perquisite
For all their toils. Stretch'd on the ground she lies
A mangled corse ; in her dim glaring eyes
Cold Death exults, and stiffens every limb.
Aw'd by the threatening whip, the furious hounds
Around her bay; or at their master's foot,
Each happy favourite courts his kind applause,
With humble adulation cowering low.
All now is joy. With cheeks full-blown they wind
Her solemn dirge, while the loud-opening pack
The concert swell, and hills and dales return
The sadly-pleasing sounds. Thus the poor hare,
A puny, dastard animal, but vers'd
In subtle wiles, diverts the youthful train.
But if thy proud, aspiring soul disdains
So mean a prey, delighted with the pomp,
Magnificence, and grandeur of the chase ;
Hear what the Muse from faithful records sings.
Why on the banks of Gemna, Indian stream, Line within line, rise the pavilions proud, Their silken streamers waving in the wind ? Why neighs the warrior horse ? From tent to tent, Why press in crowds the buzzing multitude ? Why shines the polish'd helm, and pointed lance, This way and that far beaming o'er the plain ? Nor Visapour nor Golconda rebel ; Nor the great Sophy, with his numerous host,
Lays waste the provinces ; nor glory fires
To rob and to destroy, beneath the name
And specious guise of war. A nobler cause
Calls Aurengzebe to arms. No cities sack'd,
No mother's tears, no helpless orphan's cries.
No violated leagues, with sharp remorse
Shall sting the conscious victor : but mankind
Shall hail him good and just For 'tis on beasts
He draws his vengeful sword! on beasts of prey
Full-fed with human gore. See, see, he comes !
Imperial Dehli, opening wide her gates,
Pours out her thronging legions, bright in arms,
And all the pomp of war. Before them sound
Clarions and trumpets, breathing martial airs,
And bold defiance. High upon his throne,
Borne on the back of his proud elephant,
Sits the great chief of Tamur's glorious race:
Sublime he sits, amid the radiant blaze
Of gems and gold. Omrahs about him crowd,
And rein th’ Arabian steed, and watch his nod:
And potent rajahs, who themselves preside
O'er realms of wide extent; but here submiss
Their homage pay, alternate kings and slaves.
Next these, with prying eunuchs girt around,
The fair sultanas of his court : a troop
Of chosen beauties, but with care conceal'd
From each intrusive eye ; one look is death.
Ah, cruel eastern law! (had kings a power
But equal to their wild tyrannic will)
To rob us of the Sun's all-cheering ray,
Were less severe. The vulgar close the march,
Slaves and artificers; and Dehli mourns
Her empty and depopulated streets.
Now at the camp arriv'd, with stern review,
Through groves of spears, from file to file he darts
His sharp experienc'd eye; their order marks,
Each in his station rang'd, exact and firm,
Till in the boundless line his sight is lost.
Not greater multitudes in arms appear'd
On these extended plains, when Ammon's son
With mighty Porus in dread battle join'd,
The vassal world the prize. Nor was that host
More numerous of old, which the great king
Pour'd out on Greece from all th' unpeopled East,
That bridg'd the Hellespont from shore to shore,
And drank the rivers dry. Meanwhile in troops
The busy hunter-train mark out the ground,
A wide circumference, full many a league
In compass round; woods, rivers, hills, and plains,
Large provinces ; enough to gratify
Ambition's highest aim, could reason bound
Man's erring will. Now sit in close divan
The mighty chiefs of this prodigious host.
He from the throne high-eminent presides,
Gives out his mandates proud, laws of the chase,
From ancient records drawn. With reverence low,
And prostrate at his feet, the chiefs receive ,
His irreversible decrees, from which
To vary is to die. Then his brave bands
Each to his station leads; encamping round,
Till the wide circle is completely form’d.
Where decent order reigns, what these command,