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To Geron I my voice and skill commend:
Unbiass’d, he to both is equal friend.
Begin then, boys, and vary well your song;
Nor fear, from Geron's upright fentence, wrong.
A boxen hautboy, loud, and sweet of found,
All varnish'd, and with brazen ringlets bound,
I to the victor give: no small reward,
If with our usual country pipes compar'd.
The snows are melted, and the kindly rain
Descends on ev'ry herb, and ev'ry grain ;
Soft balmy breezes breathe along the sky:
The bloomy season of the year is nigh.
The cuckoo tells aloud her painful love;
The turtle's voice is heard in ev'ry grove:
The pastures change, the warbling linnets ling:
Prepare to welcome in the gaudy spring.
When locufts in the fearny bushes cry,
When ravens pant, and snakes in caverns lie;
Then graze in woods, and quit the burning plain;.
Else shall ye press the fpungy teat in vain.
When greens to yellow vary, and
The ground bestrewed with fruits of ev'ry tree,
And stormy winds are heard; think winter near,
Nor trust too far to the declining year.
Full fain, O bleft Eliza! would I praise
Thy maiden rule, and Albion's golden days.
Then gentle Sidney liv'd, the shepherd's friend:
Eternal blessings on his shade attend!
Thrice happy shepherds now! for Dorset loves
The country muse, and our delightful groves,
While Anna reigns. O ever may she reign,
And bring on earth a golden age again!
I love in secret all a beauteous maid,
And have my love in fecret all repaid.
This coming night she does reserve for me:
Divine her name; and thou the victor be.
Mild as the lamb, and harmless as the dove,
True as the turtle, is the maid I love.
How we in secret love, I shall not say :
Divine her name; and I give up the day.
Soft, on a cowslip bank, my love and I Together lay: a brook ran murm’ring by. A thousand tender things to me the faid, And I a thousand tender things repaid.
LANQUET. In summer shade, beneath the cocking hay, What soft, endearing words did she not say! Her lap, with apron deck'd, the kindly spread, And strok'd my cheeks, and lull’d my leaning head.
Breathe soft, ye winds; ye waters, gently flow;
Shield her, ye trees; ye flowers, around her grow;
Ye fwains, I beg you, pass in filence by;
My love in yonder vale asleep does lie.
Once Delia slept, on easy mofs reclin'd,
Her lovely limbs half bare, and rude the wind:
I smooth'd her coats, and stole a silent kiss.
Condemn me, shepherds, if I did amiss.
As Marian bath'd, by chance I passed by;
She blush'd, and at me cast a fidelong eye:
Then swift beneath the crystal wave she try'd
Her beauteous form, but all in vain, to hide.
As I, to cool me, bath'd one sultry day,
Fond Lydia lurking in the sedges lay :
The wanton laugh’d, and seem'd in hafte to fly,
Yet often stopp'd, and often turn'd her eye.
When first I saw, would I had never seen! Young Lyset lead the dance on yonder green; Intent upon
her beauties as she mov’d,
Poor, heedless wretch, at unawares I lov'do
When Lucy decks with flow'rs her swelling breast,
And on her elbow leans, diffembling reft;
Unable to refrain my madding mind,
Nor sheep nor pasture worth my care I find.
Come, Rosalind, O come! for, without thee,
What pleasure can the country have for me?
Come, Rosalind, O come! my brinded kine,
My snowy sheep, my farm, and all is thine.
Come, Rosalind, O come! here fhady bow'rs,
Here are cool fountains, and here springing flow'cs.
Come, Rosalind: here ever let us stay,
And sweetly waste our live-long time away.
In vain the seasons of the moon I know, .
The force of healing herbs, and where they grow;
There is no herb, no feason, may remove
my fond heart the racking pains of love.
What profits me, that I in charms have skill,
And ghosts and goblins order as I will;
Yet have, with all my charms, no pow'r to lay
The sprite, that breaks my quiet night and day?
O that like Colin I had skill in rhymes, To purchase credit with succeeding times! Sweet Colin Clout! who never yet had
peer, Who sung thro' all the seasons of the year.
LANQUET. Let me like Wrenock fing: his voice had pow'r To free the 'clipsing moon at midnight hour: And, as he sung, the fairies, with their queen, In mantles blue came tripping o'er the green.
Here end your pleasing strife. Both victors are;
And both with Colin may in rhyme compare.
A boxen hautboy, loud, and sweet of found,
All varnish’d, and with brazen ringlets bound,
To both I give. A mizzling mist descends
Adown that steepy rock; and this way tends
Yon distant rain. Shore-ward the vessels strive ;
And, fee, the boys their focks to shelter drive.
ON THE DIFFICULTIES WHICH MEN OF GENIUS HAY)
AH! who can tell how hard it is to climb
The steep where Fame's proud temple shines afar!
Ah! who can tell how many a foul sublime
Has felt the influence of malignant ftar,
And waged with Fortune an eternal war!
Check'd by the scoff of Pride, by Envy's frown,
And Poverty's unconquerable bar,
In life's low vale remote has pined alone,
Then dropt into the grave, unpitied and unknown!
And yet the languor of inglorious days
Not equally oppressive is to all.
Him, who ne'er liften'd to the voice of Praise,
The filence of Neglect can ne'er appal.