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A subtle, pilfering foe, prowling around
Wide-gaping threatens death. The craggy steep, In midnight shades, and wakeful to destroy. Where the poor dizzy shepherd crawls with care, In the full fold, the poor defenceless lamb, And clings to every twig, gives us no pain ; Seiz'd by his guileful arts, with sweet warm blood But down we sweep, as stoops the falcon bold Supplies a rich repast. The mournful ewe, To pounce his prey. Then up th' opponent hill, Her dearest treasure lost, through the dun night By the swift motion slung, we mount aloft: Wanders perplex'd, and darkling bleats in vain : So ships in winter-seas now sliding sink While in th' adjacent bush, poor Philomel Adown the steepy wave, then toss'd on high (Herself a parent once, till wanton churls Ride on the billows, and defy the storm. (Chase Despoil'd her nest) joins in her loud laments, What lengths we pass! where will the wandering With sweeter notes, and more melodious woe. Lead us bewilder'd! smooth as swallows skim
For these nocturnal thieves, huntsman, prepare The new-shorn mead, and far more swift, we fly. Thy sharpest vengeance. Oh! how glorious 'tis See my brave pack; how to the head they press, To right th' oppress’d, and bring the felon vile Jostling in close array then more diffuse
To just disgrace! Ere yet the morning peep, Obliquely wheel, while from their opening mouths Or stars retire from the first blush of day,
The vollied thunder breaks. So when the cranes With thy far-echoing voice alarm thy pack, Their annual voyage steer, with wanton wing And rouse thy bold compeers. Then to the copse, Their figure oft they change, and their loud clang Thick with entangling grass, or prickly furze, From cloud to cloud rebounds. How far behind With silence lead thy many-color'd hounds, The hunter-crew, wide-straggling o'er the plain! In all their beauty's pride. See! how they range The panting courser now with trembling nerves Dispers’d, how busily this way, and that, Begins to reel; urg'd by the goring spur, They cross, examining with curious nose Makes many a faint effort: he snorts, he foams, Each likely haunt. Hark! on the drag I hear The big ind drops run trick down his sides, Their doubtful notes, preluding to a cry
With sweat and blood distain'd. Look back and view
In vain th' impatient rider frets and swears;
For every cruel curse returns a groan,
No labor spar'd; who, when the flying Chase It gaily shine; yet ere the Sun declin'd
Broke from the copse, without a rival led Recall the shades of night, the pamper'd rogue The numerous train: now a sad spectacle Shall rue his fate revers'd, and at his heels Of pride brought low, and humbled insolence, Behold the just avenger, swift to seize
Drove like a pannier'd ass, and scourg'd along. His forfeit head, and thirsting for his blood. [hearts While these, with loosen'd reins and dangling heels,
Heavens! what melodious strains ! how beat our Hang on their reeling palfreys, that scarce bear Big with tumultuous joy! the loaded gales Their weights: another in the treacherous bog Breathe harmony; and as the tempest drives Lies floundering, half ingulf’d. What biting thoughts From wood to wood, through every dark recess Torment th'abandon'd crew! Old age laments The forest thunders, and the mountains shake. His vigor spent : the tall, plump, brawny youth The chorus swells ; less various, and less sweet, Curses his cumbrous bulk; and envies now The trilling notes, when in those very groves, The short pygmean race he whilom kennd The feather'd choristers salute the Spring,
With proud insulting leer. A chosen few And every bush in concert join; or when Alone the sport enjoy, nor droop beneath The master's hand in modulated air,
Their pleasing toils. Here, huntsman, from this Bids the loud organ breathe, and all the powers
height Of music in one instrument combine,
Observe yon birds of prey; if I can judge, An universal minstrelsy. And now
'Tis there the villain lurks : they hover round. In vain each earth he tries, the doors are barr'd And claim him as their own. Was I not right? Impregnable, nor is the covert safe;
See! there he creeps along ; his brush he drags He pants for purer air. Hark! what loud shouts And sweeps the mire impure; from his wide jans Re-echo through the groves! he breaks away. His tongue unmoisten'd hangs; symptoms too sure Shrill horns proclaim his flight. Each straggling of sudden death. Ha! yet he flies, nor yields hound
To black despair. But one loose more, and all Strains o'er the lawn to reach the distant pack. His wiles are vain. Hark! through yon village now "Tis triumph all and joy. Now, my brave youths, The rattling clamor rings. The barns, the cols, Now give a loose to the clean generous steed; And leafless elms, return the joyous sounds Flourish the whip, nor spare the galling spur; Through every homestall, and through every yard, But, in the madness of delight, forget
His midnight walks, panting, forlorn, he flies; Your fears. Far o'er the rocky hills we range, Through every hole he sneaks, through every jakes And dangerous our course; but in the brave Plunging he wades besmear'd, and fondly hopes True courage never fails. In vain the stream In a superior stench to lose his own. In foaming eddies whirls; in vain the ditch But, faithful to the track, ih' unerring hounds
With peals of echoing vengeance close pursue. And avenue to Death. Hither he calls
A lamb is plac'd, just ravish'd from his dam.
And hunger keen, and pungent thirst of blood, Stretch'd at his feet, applauds the glorious deed, Rouse up the slothful beast, he shakes his sides, And grateful calls us to a short repast :
Slow-rising from his lair, and stretches wide In the full glass the liquid amber smiles, His ravenous paws, with recent gore distain'd. Our native product; and his good old mate The forests tremble, as he roars aloud, With choicest viands heaps the liberal board, Impatient to destroy. O'erjoyed he hears To crown our triumphs, and reward our toils. The bleating innocent, that claims in vain
Here must th' instructive Muse (but with respect) The shepherd's care, and seeks with piteous moan Censure that numerous pack, that crowd of state, The foodful teat; himself, alas! design'd With which the vain profusion of the great Another's meal. For now the greedy brute Covers the lawn, and shakes the trembling copse. Winds him from far; and leaping o'er the mound Pompous encumbrance! A magnificence To seize his trembling prey, headlong is plung'd Useless, vexatious! For the wily fox,
Into the deep abyss. Prostrate he lies Safe in th' increasing number of his foes,
Astunn'd and impotent. Ah! what avail Kens well the great advantage; slinks behind, Thine eyeballs flashing fire, thy length of tail, And slily creeps through the same beaten track, That lashes thy broad sides, thy jaws besmeard And hunts them step by step: then views, escap'd, With blood and offals crude, thy shaggy mane With inward ecstacy, the panting throng
The terror of the woods, thy stately port, In their own footsteps puzzled, foil'd, and lost. And bulk enormous, since by stratagem So when proud eastern kings summon to arms Thy strength is foil'd ? Unequal is the strife, Their gaudy legions, from far distant climes When sovereign reason combats brutal rage. They flock in crowds, unpeopling half a world : On distant Ethiopia's sun-burnt coasts, But when the day of battle calls them forth The black inhabitants a pitfall frame, To charge the well-train'd foe, a band compact But of a different kind, and different use. Of chosen veterans; they press blindly on, With slender poles the wide capacious mouth, In heaps confus'd by their own weapons fall, And hurdles slight, they close; o'er these is spread A smoking carnage scatter'd o'er the plain. A floor of verdant turf, with all its flowers
Nor hounds alone this noxious brood destroy : Smiling delusive, and from strictest search The plunder'd warrener full many a wile Concealing the deep grave that yawns below. Devises to entrap his greedy foe,
Then boughs of trees they cut, with tempting fruit Fat with nocturnal spoils. At close of day, of various kinds surcharg'd; the downy peach, With silence drags his trail; then from the ground The clustering vine, and of bright golden rind Pares thin the close-graz'd turf, there with nice hand The fragrant orange. Soon as evening grey Covers the latent death, with curious springs Advances slow, besprinkling all around Prepar'd to fly at once, whene'er the tread With kind refreshing dews the thirsty glebe, Of man or beast unwarily shall press
The stately elephant from the close shade The yielding surface. By th’indented steel With step majestic strides, eager to tasto With gripe tenacious held, the felon grins, The cooler breeze, that from the sea-beat shore And struggles, but in vain: get oft ʼtis known, Delightful breathes, or in the limpid stream When every art has fail'd, the captive fox To lave his panting sides ; joyous he scents Has shar'd the wounded joint, and with a limb The rich repast, unweeting of the death Compounded for his life. But, if perchance That lurks within. And soon he sporting breaks In the deep pitfall plung'd, there's no escape; The brittle boughs, and greedily devours But unrepriev'd he dies, and bleach'd in air, The fruit delicious. Ah! too dearly bought; The jest of clowns, his reeking carcass hangs. The price is life. For now the treacherous turf
Of these are various kinds; not even the king Trembling gives way; and the unwieldy beast, Of brutes evades this deep devouring grave : Self-sinking, drops into the dark profound. But, by the wily African betray'd,
So when dilated vapors, struggling, heave Heedless of fate, within its gaping jaws
Th’incumbent earth; if chance the cavern'd ground Expires indignant. When the orient beam Shrinking subside, and the thin surface yield, With blushes paints the dawn; and all the race Down sinks at once the ponderous dome, ingulf’d Carnivorous, with blood full gorg d, retire With all its towers. Subtle, delusive man! Into their darksome cells, there satiate spore, How various are thy wiles! artful to kill O'er dripping offals, and the mangled limbs Thy savage foes, a dull unthinking race ! of men and beasts; the painful forester
Fierce from his lair, springs forth the speckled pard Climbs the high hills, whose proud aspiring tops Thirsting for blood, and eager to destroy ; With the tall cedar crown'd, and ta per fir, The huntsman flies, but to his flight alone Assail the clouds. There 'mong the craggy rocks, Confides not: at convenient distance fir'd, And thickets intricate, trembling he views A polish'd mirror stops in full career His footsteps in the sand ; the dismal road The furious brute : he there his image views;
Spots against spots with rage improving glow; The royal offspring, fairest of the fair,
Lead on the splendid train. Anna, more bright
Ever triumphant! whose victorious charms, His brethren of the plains; without whose aid Without the needless aid of high descent, The hunter's arts are vain, unskill'd to wage Had aw'd mankind, and taught the world's great With the more active brutes an equal war.
Him the fierce Arab mounts, and, with his troop As opening lilies; on whom every eye
He reins his docile barb with manly grace.
A bright example. As his guard of mutes As large as that in Erimanthian woods,
On the great sultan wait, with eyes deject, A match for Hercules. Round him they fly And fix'd on earth, no voice, no sound is heard In circles wide; and each in passing sends Within the wide serail, but all is hush'd, His feather'd death into his brawny sides. And awful silence reigns; thus stand the pack But perilous th' attempt. For if the steed Mute and unmov'd, and cowering low to earth, Haply too near approach; or the loose earth While pass the glittering court, and royal pair: His footing fail, the watchful angry beast So disciplin'd those hounds, and so reserv'd, Th’advantage spies; and at one sidelong glance Whose honor 'tis to glad the hearts of kings. Rips up his groin. Wounded, he rears aloft, But soon the winding horn, and huntsman's voice, And, plunging, from his back the rider hurls Let loose the general chorus ; far around Precipitant; then bleeding spurns the ground, Joy spreads its wings, and the gay morning smiles And drags his reeking entrails o'er the plain. Unharbor'd now the royal stag forsakes Meanwhile the surly monster trots along,
His wonted lair; he shakes his dappled sides, But with unequal speed ; for still they wound, And tosses high his beamy head; the copse Swift-wheeling in the spacious ring. A wood Beneath his antlers bends. What doubling shifts Of darts upon his back he bears; adown He tries! not more the wily hare; in these His tortur'd sides, the crimson torrents roll Would still persist, did not the full-mouth'd pack From many a gaping font. And now at last With dreadful concert thunder in his rear. Staggering he falls, in blood and foam expires. The woods reply, the hunter's cheering shouts
But whither roves my devious Muse, intent Float through the glades, and the wide forest rings
The morning Sun, that gilds with trembling rays And pleasure in excess, sparkling exult
Thyself! when all the pangs that grind thy soul,
See the swift courser strains, his shining hoofs For our more favor'd shades : in proud parade Securely beat the solid ground. Who now These shine magnificent, and press around The dangerous pitfall fears, with tangling heath The royal happy pair. Great in themselves, High-overgrown? or who the quivering bog They smile superior; of external show
Soft-yielding to the step? All now is plain, Regardless, while their inbred virtues give Plain as the strand sea-lav'd, that stretches far A lustre to their power, and grace their court Beneath the rocky shore. Glades crossing glades, With real splendors, far above the pomp
The forest opens to our wondering view: Of Eastern kings, in all their tinsel pride. Such was the king's command. Let tyrants fierce Like troops of Amazons, the female band
Lay waste the world ; his the more glorious part Prance round their cars, not in refulgent arms To check their pride; and when the brazen voice As those of old ; unskill'd to wield the sword, Of war is hush'd (as erst victorious Rome) Or bend the bow, these kill with surer aim, T' employ his station'd legions in the works
of peace; to smooth the rugged wilderness, And lists his weary limbs with pain, that scarce
How melts my beating heart! as I behold Some prying eye surprise him; soon he rears
At his weak shifts and unavailing frauds. Their garments loosely waving in the wind, So midnight tapers waste their last remains, And all the flush of beauty in their checks ! Shine forth awhile, and as they blaze expire. While at their sides their pensive lovers wait, From wood to wood redoubling thunders roll, Direct their dubious course ; now chill’d with fear And bellow through the vales; the moving storm Solicitious, and now with love inflam'd.
Thickens amain, and loud triumphant shouts, O! grant, indulgent Heaven, no rising storm And horns sbrill-warbling in each glade, prelude May darken with black wings this glorious scene! To his approaching fate. And now in view Should some malignant power thus damp our joys, With hobbling gait, and high, exerts amaz'd Vain were the gloomy cave, such as of old What strength is left: to the last dregs of life Betray'd to lawless love the Tyrian queen.
Reduc'd, his spirits fail, on every side For Britain's virtuous nymphs are chaste as fair, Hemm'd in, besieg'd; not the least opening left Spotless, unblam'd, with equal triumph reign To gleaming hope, th' unhappy's last reserve. In the dun gloom, as in the blaze of day.
Where shall he turn? or whither fly? Despair Now the blown stag, through woods, bogs, roads, Gives courage to the weak. Resolv'd to die, and streams
He fears no more, but rushes on his foes, Has measur'd half the forest ; but alas !
And deals his deaths around; beneath his feet He flies in vain, he flies not from his fears. These grovelling lie, those by his antlers gor'd Though far he cast the lingering pack behind, Defile th' ensanguin'd plain. Ah! see distressid His haggard fancy still with horror views
He stands at bay against yon knotty trunk, The fell destroyer; still the fatal cry
That covers well his rear, his front presents Insults his ears, and wounds his trembling heart. An host of foes. O! shun, ye noble train, So the poor fury-haunted wreteh (his hands The rude encounter, and believe your lives In guiltless blood distaind) still seems to hear Your country's due alone. As now aloof The dying shrieks; and the pale threatening ghost They wing around, he finds his soul uprais'd, Moves as he moves, and as he flies, pursues. To dare some great exploit; he charges home See here his slot; up yon green hill he climbs, Upon the broken pack, that on each side Pants on its brow awhile, sadly looks back Fly diverse ; then as o'er the turf he strains, On his pursuers, covering all the plain;
He vents the cooling stream, and up the breeze But wrung with anguish, bears not long the sight, Urges his course with equal violence : Shoots down the steep, and sweats along the vale. Then takes the soil, and plunges in the flood There mingles with the herd, where once he reign'd Precipitant; down the mid-stream he wasts Proud monarch of the groves, whose clashing beain Along, till (like a ship distress'd, that runs His rivals aw'd, and whose exalted power Into some winding creek) close to the verge Was still rewarded with successful love.
Of a small island, for his weary feet But the base herd have learn'd the ways of men, Sure anchorage he finds, there skulks immers'd. Averse they fly, or with rebellious aim
His nose alone above the wave draws in Chase him from thence: needless their impious deed, The vital air; all else beneath the flood The huntsman knows him by a thousand marks, Conceald, and lost, deceives each prying eye Black, and imbost; nor are his hounds deceiv'd; Of man or brute. In vain the crowding pack Too well distinguish these, and never leave Draw on the margin of the stream, or cut Their once devoted foe; familiar grows
The liquid wave with oary feet, that move His scent, and strong their appetite to kill. In equal time. The gliding waters leave Again he flies, and with redoubled speed
No trace behind, and his contracted pores Skims o'er the lawn; still the tenacious crew But sparingly perspire : the huntsman strains Hang on the track, aloud demand their prey, His laboring lungs, and puffs his cheeks in vain : And push him many a league. If haply then At length a blood-hound bold, studious to kill, Too far escap'd, and the gay courtly train And exquisite of sense, winds him from far; Behind are cast, the huntsman's clanging whip Headlong he leaps into the flood, his mouth Stops full their bold career; passive they stand, Loud opening spends amain, and his wide throat Unmov’d, an humble, an obsequious crowd, Swells every note with joy; then fearless dives As if by stern Medusa gaz'd to stones,
Beneath the wave, hangs on his haunch, and wounds So at their general's voice whole armies halt Th' unhappy brute, that flounders in the stream In full pursuit, and check their thirst of blood. Sorely distress'd, and struggling strives to mount Soon at the king's command, like hasty streams The steepy shore. Haply once more escap'd, Damm'd up awhile, they foam, and pour along Again he stands at bay, amid the groves With fresh recruited might. The stag, who hop'd of willows, bending low their downy heads. His foes were lost, now once more hears astunnid Outrageous transport fires the greedy pack ; The dreadful din; he shivers every limb, These swim the deep, and those crawl up with pain He starts, he bounds, each bush presents a foe. The slippery bank, while others on firm land Press'd by the fresh relay, no pause allow'd, Engage; the stag repels each bold assault, Breathless, and faint, he falters in his pace, Maintains his post, and wounds for wounds returns. As when some wily corsair boards a ship
Should he not kill, as erst the Samian sage Full-freighted, or from Afric's golden coasts, Taught unadvis'd, and Indian brachmans now Or India's wealthy strand, his bloody crew As vainly preach; the teeming ravenous brutes Upon her deck he slings; these in the deep Might fill the scanty space of this terrene, Drop short, and swim to reach her steepy sides, Encumbering all the globe: should not his care And clinging climb aloft; while those on board Improve his growing stock, their kinds might fail; Urge on the work of Fate ; the master bold, Man might once more on roots and acorns feed, Press'd to his last retreat, bravely resolves And through the deserts range, shivering, forlorn, To sink his wealth beneath the whelming wave, Quite destitute of every solace dear, His wealth, his foes, nor unreveng'd to die. And every smiling gaiety of life. So fares it with the stag: so he resolves
The prudent huntsman therefore will supply To plunge at once into the flood below,
With annual large recruits his broken pack, Himself, his foes, in one deep gulf immers'd. And propagate their kind; as from the root Ere yet he executes this dire intent,
Fresh scions still spring forth and daily yield In wild disorder once more views the light; New blooming honors to the parent-iree. Beneath a weight of woe he groans distress'd, Far shall his pack be fam’d, far sought his breed, The tears run trickling down his hairy cheeks; And princes at their tables feast those hounds He weeps, nor weeps in vain. The king beholds His hand presents, an acceptable boon. His wretched plight, and tenderness innate
Ere yet the Sun through the bright Ram has urg'd Moves his great soul. Soon at his high command His steepy course, or mother Earth unbound Rebuk'd, the disappointed, hungry pack
Her frozen bosom to the Western gale; Retire submiss, and grumbling quit their prey. When feather'd troops, their social leagues dissold, Great Prince! from thee what may thy subjects Select their mates, and on the leafless elm hope ;
The noisy rook builds high her wicker nest, So kind, and so beneficent to brutes!
Mark well the wanton females of thy pack, O Mercy, heavenly born! sweet attribute ! That curl their ta per tales, and frisking court Thou great, thou best prerogative of power! Their piebald mates enamour'd; their red eyes Justice may guard the throne, but, join'd with thee, Flash fires impure; nor rest nor food they take, On rocks of adamant it stands secure,
Goaded by furious love. In separate cells
The growling rivals in dread batile join,
Heroes of old with far less fury fought
For the bright Spartan dame, their valor's prize.
Stretch'd on the ground; thy kennel shall appear Argument.
A field of blood : like some unhappy town
In civil broils confus'd, while Discord shakes of the necessity of destroying some beasts, and pre. Her bloody scourge aloft, fierce parties rage,
serving others for the use of man. Of breeding Staining their impious hands in mutual death; of hounds; the season for this business. The And still the best belov'd, and bravest fall : choice of the dog, of great moment. of the Such are the dire effects of lawless love. litter of whelps. Of the number to be reared. Huntsman! these ills by timely prudent care Of setting them out to their several walks. Care Prevent: for every longing dame select to be taken to prevent ibeir hunting too soon. Some happy paramour; to him alone Of entering the whelps. Of breaking them from In leagues connubial join. Consider well running at sheep. Of the diseases of hounds. His lineage; what his fathers did of old, of their age. Of madness; two sorts of it de-Chiefs of the pack, and first to climb the rock, scribed, the dumb and outrageous madness: its Or plunge into the deep, or thread the brake dreadful effects. Burning of the wound recom- With thorn sharp-pointed, plash'd, and briers inmended as preventing all ill consequences. The
Woven ; infectious hounds to be separated, and fed apart. Observe with care his shape, sort, color, size. The vanity of trusting to the many infallible Nor will sagacious huntsnuen less regard cures for this malady. The dismal effects of the His inward habits: the vain babbler shun, biling of a mad dog, upon man, described. De-Ever loquacious, over in the wrong. scription of the otter hunting. The conclusion. His foolish offspring shall offend thy ears
With false alarms, and loud impertinence. WHATE'ER of earth is form’d, to earth returns Nor less the shifting cur avoid, that breaks Dissolv’d: the various objects we behold,
Ilusive from the pack; to the next hedge Plants, animals, this whole material mass,
Devious he strays, there every muse he tries : Are ever changing, ever new. The soul
If haply then he cross the steaming scent, Of man alone, that particle divine,
Away he flies vain-glorious; and exults Escapes the wreck of worlds, when all things fail. As of the pack supreme, and in his speed Hence great the distance 'twixt the beasts that perish, And strength unrivalld. Lo! cast far behind, And God's bright image, man's immortal race. His vex'd associates pant, and laboring strain The bruto creation are his property,
To climb the steep ascent. Soon as they reach Subservient to bis will, and for him made. Th'insulting boaster, his false courage fails, As hurtful these he kills, as useful those
Behind he lags, doom'd to the fatal noose. Preserves; their sole and arbitrary king.
His master's hate, and scorn of all the field.