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Proud Nimrod first the bloody chase began;
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man:
Our haughty Norman boasts that barbarous name,
And makes his trembling slaves the royal game.
The fields are ravish'd from th' industrious swains;
From men their citi and from gods their fanes:
The levell’d towns with weeds lie cover'd o'er ;
The hollow winds through naked temples roar;
Round broken columns clasping ivy twined ;
O'er heaps of ruins stalk'd the stately hind 5
The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires ;
And savage howlings fill the sacred quires.
Awed by his nobles, by his commons cursed,
Th' oppressor ruled tyrannic where he durst;
Stretch'd o'er the poor and church his iron rod,
And served alike his vassals and his God.
Whom ev'n the Saxon spared, and bloody Dane,
The wanton victims of his sport remain.
But see the man who spacious regions gave
A waste for beasts, himself denied a grave!
Stretch'd on the lawn, his second hope survey,
At once the chaser, and at once the prey :
Lo! Rufus, tugging at the deadly dart,
Bleeds in the forest, like a wounded hart.
Succeeding monarchs heard the subject's cries,
Nor saw displeased the peaceful cottage rise.
Then gathering flocks on unknown mountains fed,
O’er sandy wilds were yellow harvests spread ;
The forests wonder'd at th’ unusual grain,
And secret transport touch'd the conscious swain,
Fair Liberty, Britannia's goddess, rears
Her cheerful head, and leads the golden years. ;

Ye vigorous swains! while youth ferments your blood, And purer spirits swell the sprightly flood, Now range the hills, the gameful woods beset, , Wind the shrill horn, or spread the waving net. When milder autumn summer's heat succeeds, And in the new-shorn field the partridge feeds, Before his lord the ready spaniel bounds, Panting with hope, he tries the furrow'd grounds; But when the tainted gales the game betray, Couch'd close he lies, and meditates the prey : Secure, they trust th' unfaithful field beset, Till, hovering o'er them, sweeps the swelling net. Thus (if small things we may with great compare) When Albion sends her eager sons to war, Some thoughtless town, with ease and plenty bless'd, Near and more near the closing lines invest; Sudden they seize th? amazed, defenceless prize, And high in air Britannia's standard flies.

See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs,
And mounts, exulting, on triumphant wings:
Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground.
Ah! what avails his glossy varying dyes,
His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes !
The vivid green his shining plumes unfold,
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold!

Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky,
The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny.
To plains with well-breath'd beagles we repair,
And trace the mazes of the circling hare:
(Beasts, urged by us, their fellow beasts pursue,
And learn of man each other to undo.)

With slaughtering guns th' unwearied fowler roves,
When frosts have whiten'd all the naked groves,
Where doves in flocks the leafless trees o'ershade,
And lonely woodcocks haunt the watery glade.
He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye;
Straight a short thunder breaks the frozen sky:
Oft, as in airy rings they skim the heath,
The clamorous lapwings feel the leaden death :
Oft, as the mounting larks their notes prepare,
They fall, and leave their little lives in air.

In genial spring, beneath the quivering shade, Where cooling vapors breathe along the mead, , The patient fisher takes his silent stand, Intent, his angle trembling in his hand : With looks unmoved, he hopes the scaly breed, And eyes the dancing cork and bending reed. Our plenteous streams a various race supply, The bright-eyed perch, with fins of Tyrian dye, The silver eel, in shining volumes rollid, The yellow carp, in scales bedropp'd with gold, Swift trout, diversified with crimson stains, And pikes, the tyrants of the watery plains. Now Cancer glows with Phæbus' fiery car: The youth rush eager to the sylvan war, Swarm o'er the lawns, the forest walks surround, Rouse the fleet hart, and cheer the opening hound. Th' impatient courser pants in every vein, And pawing, seems to beat the distant plain : Hills, vales, and floods appear already cross'd, And, ere he starts, a thousand steps are lost. See the bold youth strain up the threatening steep, Rush through the thickets, down the valleys sweep,

Hang o'er their coursers heads with eager speed ;
And earth rolls back beneath the flying steed.
Let old Arcadia boast her ample plain,
Th’immortal huntress, and her virgin train;
Nor envy, Windsor, since thy shades have seen
As bright a goddess, and as chaste a queen:
Whose care, like hers, protects the sylvan reign;
The earth's fair light, and empress of the maiu.

Here too, 'tis sung, of old Diana stray’d,
And Cynthus’ top forsook for Windsor shade;
Here was she seen o'er airy wastes to rove,
Seek the clear spring, or haunt the pathless grove ;
Here, arm'd with silver bows, in early dawn,
Her buskind virgins traced the dewy lawn.

Above the rest a rural nymph was famed,
Thy offspring, Thames! the fair Lodona named ;
(Lodona's fate, in long oblivion cast,
The Muse shall sing, and what she sings shall last.)
Scarce could the goddess from her nymph be known,
But by the crescent, and the golden zone.
She scorn'd the praise of beauty, and the care ;
A belt her waist, a fillet binds her hair :
A pointed quiver on her shoulder sounds,
And with her dart the flying deer she wounds.
It chanced, as, eager of the chase, the maid
Beyond the forest's verdant limits stray'd,
Pan saw, and loved ; and, burning with desire,
Pursued her flight; her flight increased his fire.
Not half so swift the trembling doe can fly,
When the fierce eagle cleaves the liquid sky;
Not half so swiftly the fierce eagle moves,
When through the clouds he drives the trembling doves,
As from the god she flew with furious pace,
Or as the god, more furious, urged the chase.
Now fainting, sinking, pale, the nymph appears ;
Now, close behind, his sounding steps she hears ;
And now his shadow reach'd her as she run,
His shadow, lengthen’d by the setting sun ;
And now his shorter breath, with sultry air,
Pants on her neck, and fans her parting hair.
In vain on father Thames she calls for aid,
Nor could Diana help her injured maid.
Faint, breathless, thus she pray'd, nor pray'd in vain:
“ Ah Cynthia! ah-though banish'd from thy train,
* Let me, 0 let me to the shades repair,
•* My native shades—there weep, and murmur there."
She said, and melting as in tears she lay,
In a soft silver stream dissolved away.
The silver stream her virgin coldness keeps
For ever murmurs, and for ever weeps ;
Still bears the name the hapless virgin bore,
And bathes the forest where she ranged before.
I'n her chaste current oft the goddess laves,
And with celestial tears augments the waves.
Oft in her glass the musing shepherd spies
The headlong mountains and the downward skies;
The watery landscape of the pendent woods,
And absent trees that tremble in the floods;
In the clear azure gleam the flocks are seen,
And floating forests paint the waves with green ;
Through the fair scene roll slow the lingering streams,
Then foaming pour along, and rush into the Thames.

Thou, too, great father of the British floods! With joyful pride survey'st our lofty woods :

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