Page images

He opes his fist, the treasure's fled,
He sees a halter in its stead.
She bids Ambition hold a wand ;
He grasps a hatchet in his hand.
A box of charity she shows;
Blow here; and a churchwarden blows.
'Tis vanish d with conveyance neat,
And on the table smokes a treat.
She shakes the dice, the board she knocks,
And from all pockets fills her box.
A counter in a miser's hand
Grew twenty guineas at command;
She bids his heir the sum retain,
And 't is a counter now again.
A guinea with her touch you see
Take every shape but Charity;
And not one thing you saw or drew,
But changed from what was first in view.
The Juggler now, in grief of heart,
With this submission own'd her art;


"Can I such matchless sleight withstand ?
How practice hath improved your hand!
But now and then I cheat the throng;
You every day, and all day long."



Ere yet the morning peep, Or stars retire from the first blush of day, With thy far-echoing voice alarm thy pack, And rouse thy bold compeers. Then to the copas,


Thick with entangling grass, or prickly furze,
With silence lead thy many-colour'd hounds,
In all their beauty's pride. See! how they range
Dispersed, how busily this way, and that,
They cross, examining with curious nose
Each likely haunt. Mark! on the drag I hear
Their doubtful notes, preluding to a cry
More nobly full, and swellid with every mouth.
As straggling armies, at the trumpet's voice,
Press to their standard; hither all repair,
And hurry through the woods ; with hasty step
Rustling, and full of hope; now driven on heaps
They push, they strive; while from his kennel sneaks
The conscious villain. See! he skulks along,
Sleek at the shepherd's cost, and plump with meals
Purloin'd. So thrive the wicked here below.
Though high his brush he bear, though tipp'd with

It gaily shine; yet ere the sun declined
Recall the shades of night, the pamper'd rogue
Shall rue his fate reversed; and at his heels
Behold the just avenger, swift to seize
His forfeit head, and thirsting for his blood.

And now
In vain each earth he tries, the doors are barr'd
Impregnable, nor is the covert safe;
He pants for purer air. Hark! what loud shouts
Re-echo through the groves! he breaks away.
Shrill horns proclaim his night. Each straggling

Strains o'er the lawn to reach the distant pack.
'Tis triumph all and joy. Now, my brave youths,
Now give a loose to the clean generous steed;
Flourish the whip, nor spare the galling spur;
But, in the madness of delight, forget
Your fears. Far o'er the rocky hills we range,
And dangerous our course; but in the brave
True courage never fails. In vain the stream
In foaming eddies whirls; in vain the ditch,
Wide gaping, threatens death. The craggy stoep,

Where the poor dizzy shepherd crawls with care,
And clings to every twig, gives us no pain;
But down we sweep, as stoops the falcon bold
To pounce his prey. Then up th' opponent hill,
By the swift motion slung, we mount aloft:
So ships in winter-seas now sliding sink
Adown the steepy wave, then, toss'd on high,
Ride on the billows, and defy the storm.
What lengths we pass! where will the wandering

Lead us bewilder'd! smooth as swallows skim
The new-shorn mead, and far more swift, we fly.
See my brave pack; how to the head they press,
Jostling in close array, then more diffuse
Obliquely wheel, while from their opening mouths
The vollied thunder breaks. So when the cranes
Their annual voyage steer, with wanton wing
Their figure oft they change, and their loud clang
From cloud to cloud rebounds. How far behind
The hunter-crew, wide-straggling o'er the plain!
The panting courser now with trembling nerves
Begins to reel; urged by the goring spur,
Makes many a faint effort: he snorts, he foams,
The big round drops run trickling down his sides,
With sweat and blood distain'd. Look back and view
The strange confusion of the vale below,
Where sour vexation reigns; see yon poor jade,
In vain th' impatient rider frets and swears;
With galling spurs harrows his mangled sides;
He can no more: his stiff unpliant limbs
Rooted in earth, unmoved and fix'd he stands,
For every cruel curse returns a groan,
And sobs, and faints, and dies. Who without grief
Cab view that pamper'd steed, his master's joy,
His minion, and his daily care, well clothed,
Well fed with every nicer cate; no cost,
No labour spared ; who, when the flying chase
Broke from the copse, without a rival led
The numerous train: now a sad spectacle
Of pride brought low, and humble insolence

[ocr errors]

Drove like a pannier'd ass, and scourged along.
While these, with loosen'd reins and dangling heels,
Hang cn their reeling palfreys, that scarce bear
Their weights : another in the treacherous bog
Lies foundering half engulf'd. What biting thoughts
Torment th' abandon'd crew! Old age laments
His vigour spent: the tall, plump brawny youth
Curses his cumberous bulk; and envies now
The short pygmean race, he whilom kenn'd
With proud insulting leer. A chosen few
Alone the sport enjoy, nor droop beneath
Their pleasing toils. Here, huntsman, from this height
Observe yon birds of prey; if I can judge,
"Tis there the villain Turks: they hover round,
And claim him as their own. Was I not right?
See! there he creeps along; his brush he drags,
And sweeps the mire impure; from his wide jaws,
His tongue unmoisten'd hangs; symptoms too sure
Of sudden death. Ha! yet he flies, nor yields
To black despair. But one loose more, and all
His wiles are vain. Hark! through yon village now
The rattling clamour rings. The barns, the cots,
And leafless elms, return the joyous sounds.
Through every homestall, and through every yard,
His midnight walks, panting forlorn, he flies ;
Through every hole he sneaks, through every jakes
Plunging he wades besmear'd, and fondly hopes
In a superior stench to lose his own:
But, faithful to the track, th' unerring hounds
With peals of echoing vengeance close pursue.
And now distress'd, no sheltering covert near,
Into the hen-roost creeps, whose walls, with gore
Distain'd, attest his guilt. There, villain, there
Expect thy fate deserved. And soon from thence
The pack inquisitive, with clamour loud,
Drag out their trembling prize; and on his blood
With greedy transport feast. In bolder notes
Each sounding horn proclaims the felon dead:
And all th' assembled village shouts for joy.
The farmer, who beholds his mortal foe


Stretch'd at his feet, applauds the glorious deed,
And grateful calls us to a short repast:
In the full glass the liquid amber smiles,
Our native product. And his good old mate
With choicest viands heaps the liberal board,
To crown our triumphs, and reward our toils.


WoE to the youth, whom Fancy gains,
Winning from reason's hand the reins,
Pity and woe! for such a mind
Is soft, contemplative, and kind ;
And woe to those who train such youth,
And spare to press the rights of truth,
The mind to strengthen and anneal,
While on the stithy glows the steel!
O teach him, while your lessons last,
To judge the present by the past;,
Remind him of each wish

How rich it glow'd with promised good;
Remind him of each wish enjoy'd,
How soon his hopes possession cloy'd!
Tell him, we play unequal game,
Whene'er we shoot by Fancy's aim;
And, ere he strip him for his race,
Show the conditions of the chase.
Two sisters by the goal are set,
Cold Disappointment and Regret;
One disenchants the winner's eyes,
And strips of all its worth the prize,
While one augments its gaudy show,
More to enhance the loser's woe.
The victor sees his fairy gold
Transform’d, when won,

to drossy mould ;
But still the vanquish'd mourns his loss,
And rues, as gold, that glittering dross.


« PreviousContinue »