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Thus man innumerous engines forms, t' assail
The savage kind; but most the docile horse,
Swift and confederate with man, annoys
His brethren of the plains; without whose aid
The hunter's arts are vain, unskill'd to wage
With the more active brutes an equal war.
But borne by him, without the well-train'd pack,
Man dares his foe, on wings of wind secure.
Him the fierce Arab mounts, and, with his troop
Of bold compeers, ranges the deserts wild;
Where, by the magnet's aid, the traveller
Steers his untrodden course ; yet oft on land
Is wreck'd, in the high-rolling waves of sand
Immerst and lost. While these intrepid bands,
Safe in their horses' speed, outfly the storm, (prey,
And scouring round, make men and beasts their
The grisly boar is singled from his herd,
As large as that in Erimanthian woods,
A match for Hercules. Round him they fly
In circles wide ; and each in passing sends
His feather'd death into his brawny sides.
But perilous th' attempt. For if the steed
Haply too near approach ; or the loose earth
His footing fail, the watchful angry beast
Th' advantage spies; and at one sidelong glance
Rips up his groin. Wounded, he rears aloft,
And, plunging, from his back the rider hurls
Precipitant; then bleeding spurns the ground,
And drags his reeking entrails o'er the plain.
Meanwhile the surly monster trots along,
But with unequal speed; for still they wound,
Swift-wheeling in the spacious ring. A wood
Of darts upon his back he bears ; adown
His tortur'd sides, the crimson torrents roll
From many a gaping font. And now at last
Staggering he falls, in blood and foam expires.
But whither roves my devious Muse, intent
On antique tales ? while yet the royal stag
Unsung remains. Tread with respectful awe [bard,
Windsor's green glades; where Denham, tuneful
Charm'd once the listening Dryads, with his song
Sublimely sweet. O! grant me, sacred shade,
To glean submiss what thy full sickle leaves.
The morning Sun, that gilds with trembling rays Windsor's high towers, beholds the courtly train Mount for the chase, nor views in all his course A scene so gay; heroic, noble youths, In arts and arms renown'd, and lovely nymphs The fairest of this isle, where Beauty dwells Delighted, and deserts her Paphian grove For our more favour'd shades : in proud parade These shine magnificent, and press around The royal happy pair. Great in themselves, They smile superior; of external show Regardless, while their inbred virtues give A lustre to their power, and grace their court With real splendours, far above the pomp Of Eastern kings, in all their tinsel pride. Like troops of Amazons, the female band Prance round their cars, not in refulgent arms As those of old ; unskill'd to wield the sword, Or bend the bow, these kill with surer aim. The royal offspring, fairest of the fair, Lead on the splendid train. Anna, more bright
Than summer suns, or as the lightning keen,
With irresistible effulgence arm’d,
Fires every heart. He must be more than man,
Who unconcern'd can bear the piercing ray.
Amelia, milder than the blushing dawn,
With sweet engaging air, but equal power,
Insensibly subdues, and in soft chains
Her willing captives leads. Illustrious maids,
Ever triumphant! whose victorious charms,
Without the needless aid of high descent,
Had aw'd mankind, and taught the world's great
To bow and sue for grace. But who is he
Fresh as a rose-bud newly blown, and fair
As opening lilies; on whom every eye
With joy and admiration dwells ?' See, see,
He reins his docile barb with manly grace.
Is it Adonis for the chase array'd ?
Or Britain's second hope? Hail, blooming youth!
May all your virtues with your years improve,
Till in consummate worth, you shine the pride
Of these our days, and to succeeding times
A bright example. As his guard of mutes
On the great sultan wait, with eyes deject,
And fix'd on earth, no voice, no sound is heard
Within the wide serail, but all is hush'd,
And awful silence reigns; thus stand the pack
Mute and unmov'd, and cowering low to earth,
While pass the glittering court, and royal pair :
So disciplin'd those hounds, and so reserv'd,
Whose honour 'tis to glad the hearts of kings.
But soon the winding horn, and huntsman's voice,
Let loose the general chorus ; far around
Joy spreads its wings, and the gay morning smiles.
Unharbour'd now the royal stag forsakes
His wonted lair; he shakes his dappled sides,
And tosses high his beamy head, the copse
Beneath his antlers bends. What doubling shifts-
He tries! not more the wily hare ; in these
Would still persist, did not the full-mouth'd pack
With dreadful concert thunder in his rear.
The woods reply, the hunter's cheering shouts
Float through the glades, and the wide forest rings.
How merrily they chant! their nostrils deep
Inhale the grateful steam. Such is the cry,
And such th' harmonious din, the soldier deems
The battle kindling, and the statesman grave
Forgets his weighty cares; each age, each sex,
In the wild transport joins; luxuriant joy,
And pleasure in excess, sparkling exult
On every brow, and revel unrestrain'd.
How happy art thou, man, when thou 'rt no more
Thyself ! when all the pangs that grind thy soul,
In rapture and in sweet oblivion lost,
Yield a short interval and ease from pain!
See the swift courser strains, his shining hoofs Securely beat the solid ground. Who now The dangerous pitfall fears, with tangling heath High-overgrown? or who the quivering bog Soft-yielding to the step? All now is plain, Plain as the strand sea-lav'd, that stretches far Beneath the rocky shore. Glades crossing glades, The forest opens to our wondering view: Such was the king's command. Let tyrants fierce
Lay waste the world; his the more glorious part
To check their pride ; and when the brazen voice
Of war is hush'd (as erst victorious Rome)
T employ his station'd legions in the works
Of peace; to smooth the rugged wilderness,
To drain the stagnate fen, to raise the slope
Depending road, and to make gay the face
Of Nature, with th' embellishments of Art.
How melts my beating heart ! as I behold
Each lovely nymph, our island's boast and pride,
Push on the generous steed, that strokes along
O'er rough, o'er smooth, nor heeds the steepy hill,
Nor faulters in th' extended vale below :
Their garments loosely waving in the wind,
And all the flush of beauty in their cheeks !
While at their sides their pensive lovers wait,
Direct their dubious course; now chill'd with fear
Solicitous, and now with love inflam'd.
O! grant, indulgent Heaven, no rising storm
May darken with black wings this glorious scene!
Should some malignant power thus damp our joys,
Vain were the gloomy cave, such as of old
Betray'd to lawless love the Tyrian queen.
For Britain's virtuous nymphs are chaste as fair,
Spotless, unblam’d, with equal triumph reign
In the dun gloom, as in the blaze of day.
Now the blown stag, through woods, bogs, roads,
Has measur'd half the forest ; but alas!
He fies in vain, he flies not from his fears.
Though far he cast the lingering pack behind,
His haggard fancy still with horrour views