Page images

Out-lives them all; and from his bury's flock
Retiring, full of rumination sad,
Laments the weakness of these latter times.

But if the rougher sex by this fierce sport
Is hurried wild, let not such horrid joy
E'er stain the bosom of the British FAIR.
Far be the spirit of the chace from them!
Uncomely courage, unbeseeming skill ;
To spring the fence, to rein the prancing steed;
The cap, the whip, the masculine attire;
In which they roughen to the sense, and all
The winning softness of their sex is loft.
In them 'tis graceful to diffolve at woe;
With every motion, every word, to wave
Quick o'er the kindling cheek the ready blush;
And from the smallest violence to shrink
Unequal, then the loveliest in their fears ;
And by this filent adulation, foft,
To their protection more engaging Man.


eyes no miserable fight, Save weeping lovers, fee! a nobler game, Thro' Love's enchanting wiles pursu'd, yet fled, In chace ambiguous. May their tender limba Float in the loose fimplicity of dress! And, fashion'd all to harmony, alone

O may

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Know they to seize the captivated soul,
In rapture warbled from love-breathing lips;
To teach the lute to languish ; with smooth step,
Disclosing motion in its every charm,
To swim along, and swell the mazy dance;
To train the foliage o'er the snowy lawn;
To guide the pencil, turn the tuneful page;
To lend new flavour to the fruitful

And heighten Nature's dainties ; in their race
To rear their


into second life;
To give Society its highest taste;
Well-ordered Home Man's best delight to make ;
And by submissive wisdom, modeft skill,
With every gentle care-eluding art,
To raise the virtues, animate the bliss,
And sweeten all the toils of human life :
This be the female dignity, and praise.

Ye swains now hasten to the hazel bank ;
Where, down yon dale, the wildly-winding brook
Falls hoarse from steep to fteep. In clofe array,
Fit for the thickets and the tangling shrub,
Ye virgins come. For you their latest song
The woodlands raise; the clustering nuts for you
The lover finds amid the secret shade ;
And, where they burnish on the topmost bough,

[ocr errors]

With active vigour crushes down the tree;
Or shakes them ripe from the resigning husk,
A glofly shower, and of an ardent brown,
As are the ringlets of MELINDA's hair :
MELINDA! form'd with every grace complete,
Yet these neglecting, above beauty wise,
And far transcending such a vulgar praise.

Hence from the busy joy-resounding fields,
In cheerful error, let us tread the maze
Of Autumn, unconfin'd; and taste, reviv'd,
The breath of orchard big with bending fruit.
Obedient to the breeze and beating ray,
From the deep-loaded bough a mellow shower
Inceflant melts away. The juicy pear
Lies, in a soft profufion, scattered round.
A various sweetness swells the gentle race;
By Nature's all-refining hand prepar'd;
Of temper'd fun, and water, earth, and air,
In ever changing composition mixt.
Such, falling frequent thro' the chiller night,
The fragrant stores, the wide projected hcaps
Of apples, which the lufty-handed year,
Innumerous, o'er the blushing orchard fhakes.
A various fpirit, fresh, delicious, keen,
Dwells in their gelid pores ; and, active, points

[ocr errors]

The piercing cyder for the thirsty tongue :
Thy native theme, and boon inspirer too,
Phillips, Pomona's bard, the second thou
Who nobly durft, in rhyme-unfetter'd verse,
With British freedom fing the British song :
How, from Silurian vats, high-sparkling wines
Foam in transparent floods; some strong, to cheer
The wintry revels of the labouring hind;
And tasteful fome, to cool the fummer-hours.

In this glad feason, while his sweetest beams
The fun sheds equal o'er the meekened day;
Oh lose me in the green delightful walks
Of, DODINGTON, thy seat, serene, and plain ;
Where fimple Nature reigns; and every view,
Diffufive, spreads the pure Dorsetian downs,
In boundless prospect ; yonder shagg'd with wood,
Here rich with harvest, and there white with flocks!
Meantime the grandeur of thy lofty dome,
Far-fplendid, seizes on the ravish'd eye.
New beauties rife with each revolving day ;
New columns swell; and still the fresh Spring finds
New plants to quicken, and new groves to green,
Full of thy genius all! the Muses' seat :
Where in the secret bower, and winding walk,
For virtuous Young and thee they twine the bay.

[ocr errors]

Here wandering oft, fir’d with the restless thirst
Of thy applause, I solitary court
Th' inspiring breeze: and meditate the book
Of Nature ever open ; aiming thence,
Warm from the heart, to learn the moral song.
Here, as I steal along the funny wall,
Where Autumn basks, with fruit empurpled deep,
My pleasing Theme continual prompts my thought:
Presents the downy peach ; the shining plum;
The ruddy, fragrant nectarine; and dark,
Beneath his ample leaf, the luscious fig.
The vine too here her curling tendrils shoots;
Hangs out her clusters, glowing to the south;
And scarcely wishes for a warmer sky. X

Turn we a moment Fancy's rapid flight
To vigorons foils, and climes of fair extent;
Where, by the potent sun elated high,
The vineyard swells refulgent on the day;
Spreads o'er the vale; or up the mountain climbs,
Profuse; and drinks amid the funny rocks,
From cliff to cliff encreas'd, the heightened blaze.
Low bend the weighty boughs. The clusters clear,
Half thro' the foliage seen, or ardent flame,
Or shine transparent; while perfection breathes
White o'er the turgent film the living dew.

« PreviousContinue »