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several times of the day are observed, the rural employments in each season or time of day, and the rural scenes or places proper to such employments; not
without some regard to the several ages of man, and
the different passions proper to each age. But, after all, if they have any merit, it is to be
attributed to some good old authors, whose works,
as I had leisure to study, so, I hope, I have not wanted
caie to imitate. ■ ■
TO SIR WILLIAM TRUMBALL.
First in these fields I try the sylvan strains,
Nor blush to sport on Windsor's blissful plains:
Fair Thames! flow gently from thy sacred spring,
While on thy banks Sicilian muses sing;
Let vernal airs through trembling osiers play, J
And Albion's cliffs resound the rural lay.
You, that too wise for pride, too good for pow'r,
O let my muse her slender reed inspire,
Soon as the flocks shook of the nightly dews,
liapb. Hear how the birds on ev'ry bloomy spray, With joyous music wake the dawning day I Why sit we mute, when early linnets sing, 15
When warbling Philomel salutes the spring?
Sircpb. Sing then, and Damon shall attend ihe strain,
Here western winds on breathing roses blow.
Daph. And I this bowl, where wanton ivy twines, And swelling clusters bend the curling vines; 36
Four figures rising from the work appear,
Dam. Then sing by turns, by turns the Muses sing,
Strepb. Inspire me, Phcebus! in my Delia's praise, With Waller's strains, or Granville's moving lays: 46 A milk-white bull shall at your altars stand, That threats a fight, and spurns the rising sand.
Dapb. O, Lote! for Sylvia let me gain the prize, And make my tongue victorious as her eyes: 50
No Iambs or sheep for victims I'll impart,
Slrefb. Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain,
And by that laugh the willing fair is foundi-..
Dapb. Thasprightly Sylvia trips along the green; She runs, but hopes she does not run unseen; . While a kind glance.at,her pursuer flies, ......
How much at variance are her feet and eyes! 60
Slrtpb. O'er golden sands let rich JPactolus Bow, And trees weep Amber on the banks of Po; . .- . Blest Thames's shores the brightest beauties yield, Feed here my lambs, I'll seek no distant field.
Dapb. Celestial Venus haunts Idalia's groves; . 6$ Diana Cynthus, Ceres Hybla loves; If Windsor shades delight the matchless maid, Cynthus and Hybla yield to Windsor shade.
Stnpb. All Nature mourns, the skies relent in show'B, Hush'd are the birds, and clos'd the drooping flow'rs; If Delia smile the flow'rs begin to spring, 71
The skies to brighten, and the birds to sing.
Dapb. Al l Nature laughs, the groves are fresh and fair, The sun's mild lustre warms the vital air; If Sylvia smiles, new glories gild the shore, 75
And vanquish'd Nature seems to charm no more.
Strepb. In spring the fields, in autumn hills I love, At morn the plains, at noon the shady grove, But Delia always; absent from her sight, Nor plains at morn, nor groves at noon delight. 80
Daph. Sylvia's like autumn ripe, yet mild as May, More bright than noon, yet fresh as early day .Ev'n spring displeases, when she shines not here; But bless'd with her, 'tis spring throughout the year.
Streph. Say, Daphnis, say, in what glad soil appears, A wond'rous tree, that sacred Monarchs bears? 86 Tell me but this, and I'll disclaim the prize, And give the conquest to thy Sylvia's eyes.
Daph. Nay, tell me first, in what more happy fields The thistle springs, to which the Lily yields: 90
And then a nobler prize I will resign;
Dam. Cease to contend: for, Daphnis, I decree
And from the Pleiads fruitful show'rs de.-cend.
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Volumt I. . H