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Shall compass thee around, die at thy feet, Is bred the perfect hound, in scent and speed
In vain malignant steams and winter fogs Through fire, and stnoke, and blood, and fields of Load the dull air, and hover round our coasts, death.
The huntsman ever gay, robust, and bold,
Defies the noxious vapour, and confides
His drooping herd, and cheer his heart with joy. Improve the piece, or wise Experience give
Ye vigorous youths, by smiling Fortune blest The proper finishing. When Nimrod bold, With large demesnes, hereditary wealth, That mighty hunter, first made war on beasts, Heap'd copious by your wise forefathers' care, And stain'd the woodland-green with purple dye, Hear and attend! while I the means reveal New, and unpolish'd was the huntsman's art; T' enjoy those pleasures, for the weak too strong, No stated rule, his wanton will his guide.
Too costly for the poor: To rein the steed With clubs and stones, rude implements of war, Swift stretching o'er the plain, to cheer the pack He arm'd his savage bands, a multitude
Opening in consorts of harmonious joy, Untrain'd; of twining osiers form'd, they pitch But breathing death. What though the gripe severe Their artless toils, then range the desert hills, Of brazen-fisted Time, and slow disease And scour the plains below; the trembling herd Creeping through every vein, and nerve unstrung, Start at th' unusual sound, and clamorous shout Afflict my shatter'd frame, undaunted still, Unheard before ; surpris'd, alas ! to find
Fix'd as a mountain ash, that braves the bolts Man now their foe, whom erst they deem'd their lord, Of angry Jove; though blasted, yet unfallen; But mild and gentle, and by whom as yet
Still can my soul in Fancy's mirrour view
First let the kennel be the huntsman's care,
And fronting to the ruddy dawn; its courts
On either hand wide opening to receive Of taste, nor skill'd as yet in nicer arts
The Sun's all-cheering beams, when mild he shines, Of pamper'd luxury. Devotion pure,
And gilds the mountain tops. For much the pack And strong necessity, thus first began
(Rous'd from their dark alcoves) delight to stretch The chase of beasts : though bloody was the deed, And bask in his invigorating ray: Yet without guilt. For the green herb alone Warn’d by the streaming light and merry lark, Unequal to sustain man's labouring race,
Forth rush the jolly clan; with tuneful throats Now every moving thing that liv'd on Earth They carol loud, and in grand chorus join'd Was granted him for food. * So just is Heaven, Salute the new-born day. For not alone To give us in proportion to our wants.
The vegetable world, but men and brutes Or chance or industry in after-time
Own his reviving influence, and joy Some few improvements made, but short as yet At his approach. Fountain of light! if chance Of due perfection. In this isle remote
Some envious cloud veil thy refulgent brow, Our painted ancestors were slow to learn,
In vain the Muses' aid ; untouch'd, unstrung, To arms devote, of the politer arts
Lies my mute barp, and thy desponding bard Nor skill'd nor studious ; till from Neustria's coasts Sits darkly musing o'er th' unfinish'd lay. Victorious William, to more decent rules
Let no Corinthian pillars prop the dome,
Better dispos'd, to clothe the tatter'd wretch,
O'er all let cleanliness preside, no scraps Dispers'd; to size, to sort their various tribes ; Bestrew the pavement, and no half-pick'd bones Te rear, feed, hunt, and discipline the pack. To kindle fierce debate, or to disgust
Hail, happy Britain! highly favour'd isle, That nicer sense, on which the sportsman's hope, And Heaven's peculiar care! To thee 'tis given And all his future triumphs, must depend. To train the sprightly steed, more fleet than those Soon as the growling pack with eager joy Begot by winds, or the celestial breed
Have, lapp'd their smoking viands, morn or eve, That bore the great Pelides through the press From the full cistern lead the ductile streams, Of heroes arm’d, and broke their crowded ranks; To wash thy court well pav'd, nor spare thy pains, Which, proudly neighing, with the Sun begins For much to health will cleanliness avail. Cheerful his course; and ere his beams decline, Seek'st thou for hounds to climb the rocky steep, Kas measur'd half thy surface unfatigued. And brush th' entangled covert, whose nice scent La thee alone, fair land of liberty!
O'er greasy fallows and frequented roads
Can pick the dubious way? Banish far off • Gen. chap. ix. ver. 3.
Each noisome stench, let no offensive smell
Invade thy wide enclosure, but admit
But husband thou thy pleasures, and give scope The nitrous air and purifying breeze.
To all her subtle play: by Nature led Water and shade no less demand thy care : A thousand shifts she tries; ť unravel these In a large square th' adjacent field enclose, Th’ industrious beagle twists his waving tail, There plant in equal ranks the spreading elm, Through all her labyrinths pursues, and rings Or fragrant lime; most happy thy design,
Her doleful knell. See there with countenance If at the bottom of thy spacious court,
blithe, A large canal, fed by the crystal brook,
And with a courtly grin, the fawning hound From its transparent bosom shall reflect
Salutes thee cowering, his wide opening nose Downward thy structure and inverted grove. Upward he curls, and his large sloe-black eyes Here when the Sun's too potent gleams annoy Melt in soft blandishments and humble joy; The crowded kennel, and the drooping pack, His glossy skin, or yellow-pied, or blue, Restless, and faint, loll their unmoisten’d tongues, In lights or shades by Nature's pencil drawn, And drop their feeble tails, to cooler shades Reflects the various tints; his ears and legs Lead forth the panting tribe; soon shalt thou find Fleckt here and there, in gay enameli'd pride, The cordial breeze their fainting hearts revive : Rival the speckled pard ; his rush-grown tail Tumultuous soon they plunge into the stream, O’er his broad back bends in an ample arch; There lave their reeking sides, with greedy joy On shoulders clean, upright and firm he stands; Gulp down the flying wave, this way and that His round cat foot, strait hams, and wide-spread From shore to shore they swim, while clamour loud
thighs, And wild uproar torments the troubled food : And his low-dropping chest, confess his speed, Then on the sunny bank they roll and stretch His strength, his wind, or on the steepy hill, Their dripping limbs, or else in wanton rings | Or far-extended plain ; in every part Coursing around, pursuing and pursued,
So well proportion'd, that the nicer skill The merry multitude disporting play.
Of Phidias himself can't blame thy choice.
Observe, nor the large hound prefer, of size
Torn and embarrass'd bleeds : But if too small,
in the clogging clay, panting they lag Then on their haunches rear'd, rampant they seize
Behind inglorious; or else shivering creep
And crown thy pleasing labours with success.
Are well repaid, if mighty George approve.
But above all take heed, nor mix thy hounds Each vicious ferment. Thus the hand divine Of different kinds ; discordant sounds shall grate Of Providence, beneficent and kind
Thy ears offended, and a lagging line
But if the amphibious otter be thy chase,
Delight thy ravishd ears ; the deep-flew'd hound His master's side, or slumbers at his ease
Breed up with care, strong, heavy, slow, but sure ; Beneath the bending shade; there many a ring Whose ears down-hanging from his thick round head Runs o'er in dreams; now on the doubtful foil Shall sweep the morning dew, whose clanging voice Puzzles perplex'd, or doubles intricate
Awake the mountain Echo in her cell, Cautious unfolds, then, wing'd with all his speed, And shake the forests : The bold Talbot kind Bounds o'er the lawn to seize his panting prey,
Of these the prime ; as white as Alpine snows; And in imperfect whimperings speaks his joy. And great their use of old. Upon the banks
A different hound for every different chase Of Tweed, slow winding through the vale, the seat Select with judgment; nor the timorous hare Of war and rapine once, ere Britons knew O'ermatch'd destroy, but leave that vile offence The sweets of peace, or Anna's dread commands To the mean, murderous, coursing crew; intent To lasting leagues the haughty rivals aw'd, On blood and spoil. O blast their hopes, just There dwelt a pilfering race; well train'd and skill'd Heaven !
In all the mysteries of theft, the spoil And all their painful drudgeries repay
Their only substance, feuds and war their sport: With disappointment and severe remorse.
Not more expert in every fraudful art
The arch felon was of old, who hy the tail With tender blossoms teeming, kindly spare Drew back his lowing prize : in vain his wiles, Thy sleeping pack, in their warm beds of straw In vain the shelter of the covering rock,
Low-sinking at their ease ; listless they shrink In vain the sooty cloud, and ruddy flames
Into some dark recess, nor hear thy voice That issued from his mouth; for soon be paid Though oft invok'd; or haply if thy call His forfeit life: a debt how justly due
Rouse up the slumbering tribe, with heavy eyes To wrong'd Alcides, and avenging Heaven! Glaz'd, lifeless, dull, downward they drop their tails Veild in the shades of night they ford the stream, Inverted ; high on their bent backs erect Then prowling far and near, whate'er they seize Their pointed bristles stare, or 'mong the tufts Becomes their prey: nor flocks nor herds are safe, Of ranker weeds, each stomach-healing plant Nor stalls protect the steer, nor strong-barr'd doors Curious they crop, sick, spiritless, forlorn. Secure the favourite horse. Soon as the morn These inauspicious days, on other cares Reveals his wrongs, with ghastly visage wan Employ thy precious hours; th' improving friend The plunder'd owner stands, and from his lips With open arms embrace, and from his lips A thousand thronging curses burst their way: Glean science, season’d with good-natur'd wit. He calls his stout allies, and in a line
But if the inclement skies and angry Jove His faithful hound he leads, then with a voice Forbid the pleasing intercourse, thy books That utters loud his rage, attentive cheers :
Invite thy ready hand, each sacred page Soon the sagacious brute, his curling tail
Rich with the wise remarks of heroes old. Flourish'd in air, low bending plies around Converse familiar with th' illustrious dead; His busy nose, the steaming vapour snuffs
With great examples of old Greece or Rome, Inquisitive, nor leaves one turf untried,
Enlarge thy free-born heart, and bless kind Heaven, Tilī, conscious of the recent stains, his heart That Britain yet enjoys dear Liberty, Beats quick; his snuffling nose, his active tail, That balm of life, that sweetest blessing, cheap Attest his joy; then with deep opening mouth, Though purchas'd with our blood. Well-bred, That makes the welkin tremble, he proclaims
And rusty couples gingling by his side.
Transporting pleasures were by Heaven ordain'd Arriv'd, and seizing by his guilty throat
Wisdom's relief, and Virtue's great reward.
in the hare going to seat in the morning. Of In many a crimson tide, then here and there
the variety of seats or forms of the hare, accordIn smaller rills disparted, as it flows
ing to the change of the season, weather, or wind. Propell’d, the serous particles evade
Description of the hare-hunting in all its parts, Through th' open pores, and with the ambient air interspersed with rules to be observed by those Entangling mix. As fuming vapours rise,
who follow that chase. Transition to the Asiatic And hang upon the gently purling brook,
way of hunting, particularly the magnificent There by th' incumbent atmosphere compress'd: manner of the Great Mogul, and other Tartarian The panting Chase grows warmer as he flies,
princes, taken from Monsieur Bernier, and the And through the net-work of the skin perspires ; history of Gengiscan the Great. Concludes with Leaves a long-streaming trail behind, which by & short reproof of tyrants and oppressors of The cooler air condens'd, remains, unless
mankind. By some rude storm dispers'd, or rarified By the meridian Sun's intenser heat.
Nor will it less delight th' attentive sage To every shrub the warm effluvia cling,
T' observe that Instinct, which unerring guides Hang on the grass, impregnate earth and skies, The brutal race, which mimics reason's lore, (swift With nostrils opening wide, o'er hill, o'er dale And oft transcends : Heaven-taught, the roe-buck The vigorous hounds pursue, with every breath Loiters at ease before the driving pack Inhale the grateful steam, quick pleasures sting
And mocks their vain pursuit ; nor far he flies, Their tingling nerves, while they their thanks repay, But checks his ardour, till the steaming scent And in triumphant melody confess
That freshens on the blade provokes their rage. The titillating joy. Thus on the air
Urg'd to their speed, his weak deluded foes Depend the hunter's bopes. When ruddy streaks Soon flag fatigued; strain'd to excess each nerve, At eve forebode a blustering stormy day,
Each slacken'd sinew fails; they pant, they foam; Or lowering clouds blacken the mountain's brow, Then o'er the lawn he bounds, o'er the high hills When nipping frosts, and the keen biting blasts Stretches secure, and leaves the scatter'd crowd Of the dry parching east, menace the trees To puzzle in the distant vale below.
'Tis Instinct that directs the jealous hare • Cacus, Virg. En. lib, viii.
To chuse her soft abode. With step revers'd
She forms the doubling maze; then, ere the morn Thy early meal, or thy officious maids,
As wandering shepherds on th' Arabian plains Th' important work. Me other joys invite,
The horn sonorous calls, the pack awak'd
If once dismiss'd, no limits can contain
So from their kennel rush the joyous pack;
Loud-clanging, and thy harsher voice obey: But every season carefully observ'd,
Spare not the straggling cur that wildly roves; Th' inconstant winds, the fickle element,
But let thy brisk assistant on his back The wise experienc'd huntsman soon may find Imprint thy just resentinents ; let each lash His subtle, various game, nor waste in vain Bite to the quick, till howling he return, His tedious hours, till his impatient hounds, And whining creep amid the trembling crowd. With disappointment vex'd, each springing lark Here on this verdant spot, where Nature kind Babbling pursue, far scatter'd o'er the fields. With double blessings crowns the farmer's hopes;
Now golden Autumn from her open lap Where Aowers autumnal spring, and the rank mead Her fragrant bounties showers ; the fields are shorn; Affords the wandering hares a rich repast ; Inwardly smiling, the proud farmer views
Throw off thy ready pack. See, where they spread, The rising pyramids that grace his yard,
And range around, and dash the glittering dew.
Attend his call, then with one mutual cry
Repeat the pleasing tale. See how they thread Swells in the farmer's breast, which his pale lips The brakes, and up yon furrow drive along! Trembling conceal, by his fierce landlord awid: But quick they back recoil, and wisely check But courteous now he levels every fence,
Their eager haste; then o'er the fallow'd ground Joins in the common cry, and halloos loud, How leisurely they work, and many a pause Charm'd with the rattling thunder of the field. Th' harmonious concert breaks ; till more assur'd Oh bear me, some kind power invisible !
With joy redoubled the low valleys ring. To that extended lawn, where the gay court What artful labyrinths perplex their way! View the swift racers, stretching to the goal ; Ah! there she lies; how close : she pants, she doubts Games more renown'd, and a far pobler train, If now she lives; she trembles as she sits, Than proud Elean fields could boast of old. With horrour seiz'd. The wither'd grass that clings Oh! were a Theban lyre not wanting here, Around her head, of the same russet hue, And Pindar's voice, to do their merit right! Almost deceiv'd my sight, had not her eyes Or to those spacious plains, where the strain'd eye, With life full-beaming her vain wiles betray'd. In the wide prospect lost, beholds at last
At distance draw thy pack, let all be hush'd, Sarum's proud spire, that o'er the hills ascends, No clamour loud, no frantic joy be heard, And pierces through the clouds. Or to thy downs, Lest the wild hound run gadding o'er the plain Fair Cotswold, where the well-breath'd beagle climbs Untractable, nor hear thy chiding voice. With matchless speed thy green aspiring brow, Now gently put her off; see how direct And leaves the lagging multitude behind.
To her known mew she flies ! Here, huntsman, bring Hail, gentle Dawn! mild blushing goddess, hail ! | (But without hurry) all thy jolly hounds, Rejoic'd I see thy purple mantle spread
And calmly lay them in. How low they stoop, O'er half the skies, gems pave thy radiant way, And seem to plough the ground! then all at once And orient pearls from every shrub depend. With greedy nostrils snuff the fuming steam Farewell, Cleora ; here deep sunk in down That glads their fluttering hearts. As winds let loos Sluinber secure, with happy dreams amus'd, From the dark caverns of the blustering god, Till grateful steams shall tempt thce to receive They burst away, and sweep the dewy lawn.
Hope gives them wings while she's spurr'd on by And each clean courser's speed. We scour along, fear.
In pleasing hurry and confusion tost ; The welkin rings, men, dogs, hills, rocks, and woods Oblivion to be wish'd. The patient pack In the full concert join. Now, my brave youths, Hang on the scent unweary'd, up they climb, Stripp'd for the chase, give all your souls to joy! And ardent we pursue ; our labouring steeds See how their coursers, than the mountain roe We press, we gore; till once the summit gain’d, More fleet, the verdant carpet skim, thick clouds Painfully panting; there we breathe awhile; Snorting they breathe, their shining hoofs scarce Then, like a foaming torrent, pouring down print
Precipitant, we smoke along the vale. The grass unbruis'd; with emulation fir'd
Happy the man who with unrivall'd speed They strain to lead the field, top the barr'd gate, Can pass his fellows, and with pleasure view O'er the deep ditch exulting bound, and brush The struggling pack ; how in the rapid course The thorny-twining hedge: the riders bend Alternate they preside, and jostling push O'er their arch'd necks; with steady hands, by turns To guide the dubious scent; how giddy youth Indulge their speed, or moderate their rage. Oft babbling errs, by wiser age reprov'd; Where are their sorrows, disappointments, wrongs, How, niggard of his strength, the wise old bound Vexations, sickness, cares ? All, all are gone, Hangs in the rear, till some important point And with the panting winds lag far behind. Rouse all his diligence, or till the chase
Huntsman! her gait observe; if in wide rings Sinking he finds : then to the head he springs She wheel her mazy way, in the same round With thirst of glory fir'd, and wins the prize. Persisting still, she 'll foil the beaten track. Huntsman, take heed; they stop in full career. But if she fly, and with the favouring wind Yon crowding flocks, that at a distance gaze, Urge her bold course ; less intricate thy task : Have haply foil'd the turf. See ! that old hound, Push on thy pack. Like some poor exil'd wretch, How busily he works, but dares not trust The frighted Chase leaves her late dear abodes, His doubtful sense ; draw yet a wider ring. O'er plains remote she stretches far away,
Hark! now again the chorus fills. As bells Ah! never to return! For greedy Death
Sally'd awhile, at once their peal renew, Hovering exults, secure to seize his prey.
And high in air the tuneful thunder rolls. Hark! from yon covert, where those towering oaks See, how they toss, with animated rage Above the humble copse aspiring rise,
Recovering all they lost ! That eager haste What glorious triumphs burst in every gale Some doubling wile foreshows. · Ah! yet once more Upon our ravish'd ears! The hunters shout, They're check'd, - hold back with speed-on either The clanging horns swell their sweet-winding notes,
hand The pack wide opening load the trembling air They flourish round-ev'n yet persist—'Tis right, With various melody; from tree tu trec
Away they spring ; the rustling stubbles bend The propagated cry bling bounds,
Beneath the driving storm. Now the poor Chase And winged zephyrs waft the floating joy
Begins to flag, to her last shifts reduc'd. Through all the regions near : afflictive birch From brake to brake she flies, and visits all No more the school-boy dreads, his prison broke, Her well-known haunts, where once she rang'd Scampering he flies, nor heeds his master's call;
secure, The weary traveller forgets his road,
With love and plenty blest. See ! there she
How quick she turns ! their gaping jaws eludes,
She yields her breath, and there reluctant dies, By all the steaming crowd, seems to pursue
So when the furious Bacchanals assaild The foe she flies. Let cavillers deny
Threïician Orpheus, poor ill-fated bard! That brutes have reason ; sure 'tis something more, Loud was the cry; hills, woods, and Hebrus' banks, 'Tis Heaven directs, and stratagems inspires Return'd their clamorous rage; distress'd he flies, Beyond the short extent of human thought. Shifting from place to place, but flies in vain ; But hold - I see her from the covert break; For eager they pursue, till panting, faint, Sed on yon little eminence she sits ;
By noisy multitudes o'erpower'd, he sinks Intent she listens with one ear erect,
To the relentless crowd a bleeding prey. Pondering, and doubtful what new course to take, The huntsman now, a deep incision made, And how † escape the fierce blood-thirsty crew, Shakes out with hands impure, and dashes down That still urge on, and still in vollies loud
Her reeking entrails and yet quivering heart Insalt her woes, and mock her sore distress. These claim the pack, the bloody perquisite As now in louder peals the loaded winds
For all their toils. Stretch'd on the ground she lies Bring on the gathering storm, her fears prevail, A mangled corse ; in her dim glaring eyes And o'er the plain, and o'er the mountain's ridge, Cold Death exults, and stiffens every limb. Away she flies; nor ships with wind and tide, Aw'd by the threatening whip, the furious hounds And all their canvass wings, scud half so fast. Around her bay ; or at their master's foot, Once more, ye jovial train, your courage try,
Each happy favourite courts his kind applause,