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The glades, mild opening to the golden day;
Where, in kind contest, with his butting friends
He wont to struggle, or his loves enjoy.
Oft in the full-descending flood he tries
To lose the scent, and lave his burning fides :
Oft seeks the herd; the watchful herd, alarm’d,
With felfish care avoid a brother's woe.
What shall he do? His once fo vivid nerves,
So full of buoyant spirit, now no more
Inspire the course; but fainting breathless toil,
Sick, seizes on his heart: he stands at bay;
And puts his last weak refuge in despair.
The big round tears run down his dappled face ;
He groans in anguish ; while the growling pack,
Blood-happy, hang at his fair jutting cheft,
And mark his beauteous checker'd fides with gore.
Of this enough. But if the filvan youth,
Whose fervent blood boils into violence,
Must have the chace; behold, despising flight,
The rous’d-up lion, resolute, and Now,
Advancing full on the protended spear,
And coward-band, that circling wheel aloof.
Slunk from the cavern, and the troubled wood,
See the grim wolf; on him his shaggy foe
Vindictive fix, and let the ruffian die:
Or, growling horrid, as the brindled boar
Grins fell destruction, to the monster's heart
Let the dart lighten from the nervous arm.
These Britain knows not ; give, ye Britons, then
Your sportive fury, pityless, to pour
Loose on the nightly robber of the fold:
Him, from his craggy winding haunts unearth'à,
Let all the thunder of the chace pursue.
Throw the broad ditch behind you ; o'er the hedge
High-bound, refiftless; nor the deep morafs
Refuse, but thro’ the shaking wilderness
Pick your nice way; into the perilous flood
Bear fearless, of the raging instinct full ;
And as you ride the torrent, to the banks
Your triumph sound sonorous, running round,
From rock to rock, in circling echos tost;
Then scale the mountains to their woody tops ;
Rush down the dangerous steep; and o'er the lawn,
In fancy swallowing up the space between,
Pour all your speed into the rapid game.
For happy he! who tops the wheeling chace;
Has every maze evolv'd, and every guile
Disclos'd; who knows the merits of the pack;
Who saw the villain seiz'd, and dying hard,
Without complaint, tho' by an hundred mouths
Relentless torn: O glorious he, beyond
His daring peers! when the retreating horn
Calls them to ghostly halls of grey renown,
With woodland honours grac'd; the fox's fur,
Depending decent from the roof; and spread
Round the drear walls, with antick figures fierce,
The ftag's large front: he then is loudest heard,
When the night staggers with severer toils,
With feats Theffalian Centaurs never knew,
And their repeated wonders shake the dome,
But first the fuel'd chimney blazes wide ;
The tankards foam ; and the strong table groans
Beneath the smoking sirloin, stretch'd immense
From side to side ; in which, with desperate knife,
They deep incision make, and talk the while
Of ENGLAND's glory, ne'er to be defac'd
While hence they borrow vigour: or amain
Into the pasty plung’d, at intervals,
If ftomach keen can intervals allow,
Relating all the glories of the chace.
Then sated Hunger bids his brother Thirst
Produce the mighty bowl; the mighty bowl,
Swell's high with fiery juice, fteams liberal round
A potent gale, delicious, as the breath
Of Maia to the love-fick shepherdess,
On violets diffus'd, while soft she hears
Her panting shepherd stealing to her arms.
Nor wanting is the brown October, drawn,
Mature and perfect, from his dark retreat
Of thirty years ; and now his honest front
Flames in the light refulgent, not afraid
Even with the vineyards best produce to vie.
To chcat the thirsty moments, whift a while
Walks his dull round, beneath a cloud of smoke,
Wreath’d, fragrant, from the pipe; or the quick dice,
In thunder leaping from the box, awake
The founding gammon : while romp-loving miss
Is haul'd about, in gallantry robuft.
At last these puling idlenesses laid
Afide, frequent and full, the dry divan
Clofe in firm circle ; and fet, ardent, in
For serious drinking, Nor evasion lly,
Nor sober shift, is to the puking wretch
Indulg'd apart; but earneft, brimming bowls
Lave every soul, the table floating round,
And pavement, faithless to the fuddled foot.
Thus as they swim in mutual swill, the talk,
Vociferous at once from twenty tongues,
Reels fast from theme to theme; from horses,
To church or mistress, politics or ghost,
In endless mazes, intricate, perplex'd.
Meantime, with sudden interruption, loud,
Th' impatient catch bursts from the joyous heart ;
That moment touch'd is every kindred soul ;
And, opening in a full-mouth'd Cry of joy,
The laugh, the Nap, the jocund curfe go round;
While, from their slumbers shook, the kennel'd hounds
Mix in the music of the day again.
As when the tempest that has vex'd the deep
The dark night long, with fainter murmurs falls :
So gradual finks their mirth. Their feeble tongues
Unable to take up the cumbrous word,
Lie quite diffolv'd. Before their maudlin eyes,
Seen dim, and blue, the double tapers dance,
Like the fun wading thro' the misty sky.
Then sliding foft, they drop. Confus'd above,
Glaffes and bottles, pipes and gazetteers,
As if the table even itself was drunk,
Lie a wet broken scene; and wide, below,
Is heap'd the focial Naughter: where aftride
The lubber Power in filthy triumph fits,
Slumbrous, inclining still from side to side,
And steeps them drench'd in potent sleep till morn.
Perhaps some doctor, of tremendous paunch,
Awful and deep, a black abyss of drink,