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And in one mighty stream, invisible,
Immense, the whole excited atmosphere,
Impetuous rushes o'er the founding world :
Strain'd to the root, the stooping forest pours
A rustling shower of yet untimely leaves.
High-beat, the circling mountains eddy in,
From the bare wild, the dissipated ftorm,
And send it in a torrent down the vale.
Expos’d, and naked, to its utmost rage,
Thro' all the sea of harvest rolling round,
The billowy plain floats wide ; nor can evade,
Tho' pliant to the blast, its seizing force;
Or whirl'd in air, or into vacant chaff
Shook waste. And sometimes too a burst of rain,
Swept from the black horizon, broad, descends
In one continuous flood. Still over head
The mingling tempeft weaves its gloom, and still
The deluge deepens; till the fields around
Lie sunk, and flatted, in the fordid wave.
Sudden, the ditches swell; the meadows swim.
Red, from the hills, innumerable streams
Tumultuous roar; and high above its banks
The river lift ; before whose rushing tide,
Herds, flocks, and harvests, cottages, and swains,
Roll mingled down; all that the winds had spar'd
In one wild moment ruin'd; the big hopes,
And well-earn'd treasures of the painful year.
Fled to fome eminence, the husbandman,
Helpless beholds the miserable wreck
Driving along; his drowning ox at once
Descending, with his labours scatter'd round,
He sees; and instant o'er his shivering thought
Comes Winter unprovided, and a train
Of clamant children dear. Ye masters, then,
Be mindful of the rough laborious hand,
That finks you foft in elegance and ease;
Be mindful of those limbs in russet clad,
Whose toil to yours is warmth, and graceful pride ;
And oh be mindful of that sparing board,
Which covers yours with luxury profuse,
Makes your glass fparkle, and your sense rejoice!
Nor cruelly demand what the deep rains,
And all-involving winds have swept away:
Here the rude clamour of the sportsman's joy,
The gun fast-thundering, and the winded horn,
Would tempt the Muse to sing the rural Game :
How in his mid-career, the spaniel ftruck,
Stiff, by the tainted gale, with open nose,
Outstretch'd, and finely sensible, draws full,
Fearful, and cautious, on the latent prey ;
As in the sun the circling covey bask
Their varied plumes, and watchful every way,
Thro' the rough stubble turn the secret eye.
Caught in the meshy snare, in vain they beat
Their idle wings, intangled more and more:
Nor on the surges of the boundless air,
Tho' borne triumphant, are they safe; the gun,
Glanc'd just, and sudden, from the fowler's eye
O’ertakes their sounding pinions; and again,
Immediate, brings them from the towering wing,
Dead to the ground; or drives them wide-disperz'd,
Wounded, and wheeling various, down the wind.
These are not subjects for the peaceful muse,
Nor will the stain with such her spotless song ;
Then most delighted, when she social sees
The whole mix'd animal-creation round
Alive and happy. 'Tis not joy to her,
This falsely-cheerful barbarous game of death;
This rage of pleasure, which the restless youth
Awakes, impatient, with the gleaming morn;
When beasts of prey retire, that all night long,
Urg'd by neceffity, had rang'd the dark,
As if their conscious ravage shun’d the light,
Asham’d. Not so the steady tyrant Man,
Who with the thoughtless infolence of power
Inflam'd, beyond the most infuriate wrath
Of the worst monster that e'er roam'd the waste,
For sport alone pursues the cruel chace,
Amid the beamings of the gentle days.
Upbraid, ye ravening tribes, our wanton rage,
For hunger kindles you, and lawless want;
But lavish fed, in Nature's bounty rolld,
To joy, at anguish, and delight in blood,
Is what your horrid bosoms never knew. f.
Poor is the triumph o'er the timid hare !
Scar'd from the corn, and now to some lone seat
Retir'd: the rushy fen; the ragged furze,
Stretch'd o'er the ftony heath; the stubble chapt;
The thiftly lawn; the thick entangled broom ;
Of the same friendly hue, the wither'd fern ;
The fallow ground laid open to the fun,
Concoctive; and the nodding fandy bank,
Hung o'er the mazes of the mountain brook.
Vain is her best precaution; tho' she fits
Conceal'd, with folding ears; unsleeping eyes,
By Nature rais'd to take the horizon in;
And head couch'd close betwixt her hairy feet,
In act to spring away. The scented dew
Betrays her early labyrinth; and deep,
In scattered fullen openings, far behind,
With every breeze she hears the coming storm.
But nearer, and more frequent, as it loads
The fighing gale, she springs amaz'd, and all
The savage foul of is
The pack full-opening, various; the shrill horn
Refounded from the hills; the neighing steed,
Wild for the chace; and the loud hunter's shout;
O'er a weak, harmless, flying creature, all
Mix'd in mad tumult, and discordant joy.
The ftag too, fingled from the herd, where long He rang’d the branching monarch of the shades, Before the tempest drives. At first, in speed Hes sprightly, puts his faith; and, rous'd by fear, Gives all his swift aërial soul to flight; Against the breeze he darts, that way the more To leave the leffening murderous cry behind : Deception short! tho' fleeter than the winds Blown o'er the keen-air'd mountain by the north, He bursts the thickets, glances thro' the glades, And plunges deep into the wildest wood; If flow, yet sure, adhesive to the track Hot-steaming, up behind him come again Th'inhuman rout, and from the shady depth Expel him, circling thro' his every shift. He sweeps the forest oft; and sobbing fees