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I lead where ftags through tangled thickets tread,
And shake the saplings with their branching head;
I make the faulcons wing their airy way,
And foar to seize, or stooping strike their prey;
To snare the fish, I fix the luring bait ;
To wound the fowl, I load the
with fate. 'Tis thus through change of exercise I range, And strength and pleasure rise from every change.
Here, beauteous Health, for all the year remain ;
When the next comes, I'll charm thee thus again. Oh come, thou Goddess of
And bring thy daughter, calm Content, along,
Dame of the ruddy cheek and laughing eye,
From whose bright presence clouds of sorrow fly :
For her I mow my walks, I plat my bowers,
Clip my low hedges, and support my flowers ;
To welcome her, this summer-seat I drest,
And here I court her when she comes to rest;
When she from exercise to learned ease
Shall change again, and teach the change to please.
Now friends conversing my soft hours refine,
And Tully's Tusculum revives in mine :
Now to grave books I bid the mind retreat,
And such as make me rather good than great.
Or o'er the works of easy fancy rove,
Where Autes and innocence amuse the grove :
The native Bard, that on Sicilian plains
First sung the lowly manners of the swains ;
Or Maro's Mufe, that in the fairelt light
Paints rural prospects and the charms of fight;
These soft amusements bring Content along,
And fancy, void of forrow, turns to song.
Here, beauteous Health, for all the year remain ;
When the next comes, I'll charm thee thus again,
Hen in the river cows for coolness stand,
And sheep for breezes seek the lofty land,
A youth, whom Æsop taught that every tree,
Each bird and insect, spoke as well as he ;
Walk'd calmly musing in a shady way,
Where flowering hawthorns broke the sunny ray,
And thus instructs his moral pen to draw
A scene that obvious in the field he saw.
Near a low ditch, where shallow waters meet,
Which never learn’d to glide with liquid feet;
Whose Naiads never prattle as they play,
But screen’d with hedges slumber out the day,
There stands a slender fern's aspiring shade,
Whose answering branches regularly laid
Put forth their answering boughs, and proudly rise
Three stories upward, in the nether skies.
For shelter here, to fhun the noon-day heat,
An airy nation of the Flies retreat ;
Some in soft airs their filken pinions ply,
And some from bough to bough delighted Ay,
Some rise, and circling light to perch again ;
A pleasing murmur hums along the plain.
So, when a stage invites to pageant shows,
and small are like) appear the beaux ;
In boxes fome with spruce pretension fit,
Some change from seat to seat within the pit,
Some roam the scenes, or turnirg cease to roam ;
Preluding music fills the lofty dome.
When thus a Fly (if what a Fly can say
Deserves attention) rais'd the rural lay.
Where late Amintor made a nymph a bride,
Joyful I flew by young Favonia's fide,
Who, mindless of the feasting, went to fip
The balmy pleasure of the shepherd's lip,
I saw the Wanton, where I stoop'd to sup,
And half resolv'd to drown me in a cup;
Till, brush'd by careless hands, she foar'd above :
Cease, Beauty, cease to vex a tender love.
Thus ends the youth, the buzzing meadow rung,
And thus the rival of his music sung.
When suns by thousands shone on orbs of dew,
I wafted soft with Zephyretta flew;
Saw the clean pail, and fought the milky chear,
While little Daphne seiz'd my roving Dear.
Wretch that I was ! I might have warn’d the dame,
Yet sate indulging as the danger came.
But the kind huntress left her free to foar :
Ah! guard, ye lovers, guard a mistress more.
Thus from the fern, whose high projecting arms
The fleeting nation bent with dusky swarms,
The swains their love in easy music breathe,
When tongues and tumult stun the field beneath :
Black ants in teams come darkening all the road,
Some call to march, and some to lift the load;
They strain, they labour with incessant pains,
Press’d by the cumbrous weight of single grains.
The Flies struck silent gaze with wonder down :
The busy burghers reach their earthy town;
Where lay the burthens of a wintery store,
And thence unwearied part in search of more.
Yet one grave sage a moment's space attends,
And the small city's loftiest point ascends,
Wipes the salt dew that trickles down his face,
And thus harangues them with the gravest grace.
Ye foolish nurslings of the summer air,
These gentle tunes and whining songs forbear;
Your trees and whispering breeze, your grove and love,
Your Cupid's quiver, and his mother's dove;
Let Bards to business bend their vigorous wing,
And fing but seldom, if they love to sing :
Else, when the flowerets of the season fail,
And this your ferny shade forsakes the vale,
Though one would save you, not one grain of wheat,
Should pay such songsters idling at my gate.
He ceas'd: the Flies, incorrigibly vain, Heard the Mayor's speech, and fell to sing again.
AN ELEGY, TO AN OLD BEAUTY.
N vain, poor nymph, to please our youthful fight
You sleep in cream and frontlets all the night,
Your face with patches soil, with paint repair,
Dress with gay gowns, and shade with foreign hair.
If truth, in spite of manners, must be told,
Why really fifty-five is something old.
Once you were young; or one, whose life's so long She might have borne my mother, tells me wrong. And since Envy's dead before
The women own, you play'd a sparkling eye,
Taught the light foot a modifh little trip,
And pouted with the prettiest purple lip.
To some new charmer are the roses fled,
Which blew, to damask all thy cheek with red ;
Youth calls the Graces there to fix their reign,
And airs by thousands fill their easy train.
So parting Summer bids her flowery prime
Attend the Sun to dress some foreign clime,
While withering seasons in succession, here,
Strip the gay gardens, and deform the year.
But thou, since nature bids, the world resign,
'Tis now thy daughter's daughter's time to shine.
With more address, or such as pleases more,
She runs her female exercises o’er,
Unfurls or closes, raps or turns the fan,
And smiles, or blushes at the creature man.