« PoprzedniaDalej »
With peals of echoing vengeance close pursue.
And now distress'd, no sheltering covert near,
Into the hen-roost creeps, whose walls with gore
Distain'd attest his guilt. There, villain, there
Expect thy fate deserv'd. And soon from thence
The pack inquisitive, with clamor loud,
Drag out their trembling prize; and on his blood
With greedy transport feast. In bolder notes
Each sounding horn proclaims the felon dead:
And all th' assembled village shouts for joy.
The farmer, who beholds his mortal foe
Stretch'd at his feet, applauds the glorious deed,
And grateful calls us to a short repast:
In the full glass the liquid amber smiles,
Our native product; and his good old mate
With choicest viands heaps the liberal board,
To crown our triumphs, and reward our toils.
Here must th' instructive Muse (but with respect) Censure that numerous pack, that crowd of state, With which the vain profusion of the great Covers the lawn, and shakes the trembling copse. Pompous encumbrance! A magnificence Useless, vexatious! For the wily fox, Safe in th' increasing number of his foes, Kens well the great advantage; slinks behind, And slily creeps through the same beaten track, And hunts them step by step: then views, escap'd, With inward ecstacy, the panting throng In their own footsteps puzzled, foil'd, and lost. So when proud eastern kings summon to arms Their gaudy legions, from far distant climes They flock in crowds, unpeopling half a world: But when the day of battle calls them forth To charge the well-train'd foe, a band compact Of chosen veterans; they press blindly on, In heaps confus'd by their own weapons fall, A smoking carnage scatter'd o'er the plain.
Nor hounds alone this noxious brood destroy: The plunder'd warrener full many a wile Devises to entrap his greedy foe,
Fat with nocturnal spoils. At close of day,
With silence drags his trail; then from the ground
Pares thin the close-graz'd turf, there with nice hand
Covers the latent death, with curious springs
Prepar'd to fly at once, whene'er the tread
Of man or beast unwarily shall press
The yielding surface. By th' indented steel
With gripe tenacious held, the felon grins,
And struggles, but in vain: yet oft 'tis known,
When every art has fail'd, the captive fox
Has shar'd the wounded joint, and with a limb
Compounded for his life. But, if perchance
In the deep pitfall plung'd, there's no escape;
But unrepriev'd he dies, and bleach'd in air,
The jest of clowns, his reeking carcass hangs.
Of these are various kinds; not even the king
Of brutes evades this deep devouring grave:
But, by the wily African betray'd,
Heedless of fate, within its gaping jaws
Expires indignant. When the orient beam
With blushes paints the dawn; and all the race
Carnivorous, with blood full gorg'd, retire
Into their darksome cells, there satiate snore,
O'er dripping offals, and the mangled limbs
Of men and beasts; the painful forester
Climbs the high hills, whose proud aspiring tops
With the tall cedar crown'd, and taper fir,
Assail the clouds. There 'mong the craggy rocks,
And thickets intricate, trembling he views
His footsteps in the sand; the dismal road
And avenue to Death. Hither he calls
His watchful bands; and low into the ground
A pit they sink, full many a fathom deep.
Then in the midst a column high is rear'd,
The but of some fair tree; upon whose top
A lamb is plac'd, just ravish'd from his dam.
And next a wall they build, with stones and earth
Encircling round, and hiding from all view
The dreadful precipice. Now when the shades
Of night hang lowering o'er the mountain's brow;
And hunger keen, and pungent thirst of blood,
Rouse up the slothful beast, he shakes his sides,
Slow-rising from his lair, and stretches wide
His ravenous paws, with recent gore distain'd.
The forests tremble, as he roars aloud,
Impatient to destroy. O'erjoyed he hears
The bleating innocent, that claims in vain
The shepherd's care, and seeks with piteous moan
The foodful teat; himself, alas! design'd
Another's meal. For now the greedy brute
Winds him from far; and leaping o'er the mound
To seize his trembling prey, headlong is plung'd
Into the deep abyss. Prostrate he lies
Astunn'd and impotent. Ah! what avail
Thine eyeballs flashing fire, thy length of tail,
That lashes thy broad sides, thy jaws besmear'd
With blood and offals crude, thy shaggy mane
The terror of the woods, thy stately port,
And bulk enormous, since by stratagem
Thy strength is foil'd? Unequal is the strife,
When sovereign reason combats brutal rage.
On distant Ethiopia's sun-burnt coasts, The black inhabitants a pitfall frame, But of a different kind, and different use. With slender poles the wide capacious mouth, And hurdles slight, they close; o'er these is spread A floor of verdant turf, with all its flowers Smiling delusive, and from strictest search Concealing the deep grave that yawns below. Then boughs of trees they cut, with tempting fruit Of various kinds surcharg'd; the downy peach, The clustering vine, and of bright golden rind The fragrant orange. Soon as evening grey Advances slow, besprinkling all around With kind refreshing dews the thirsty glebe, The stately elephant from the close shade With step majestic strides, eager to taste The cooler breeze, that from the sea-beat shore Delightful breathes, or in the limpid stream To lave his panting sides; joyous he scents The rich repast, unweeting of the death That lurks within. And soon he sporting breaks The brittle boughs, and greedily devours The fruit delicious. Ah! too dearly bought; The price is life. For now the treacherous turf Trembling gives way; and the unwieldy beast, Self-sinking, drops into the dark profound. So when dilated vapors, struggling, heave Th' incumbent earth; if chance the cavern'd ground Shrinking subside, and the thin surface yield, Down sinks at once the ponderous dome, ingulf'd With all its towers. Subtle, delusive man! How various are thy wiles! artful to kill Thy savage foes, a dull unthinking race! Fierce from his lair, springs forth the speckled pard Thirsting for blood, and eager to destroy; The huntsman flies, but to his flight alone Confides not: at convenient distance fix'd, A polish'd mirror stops in full career The furious brute: he there his image views;
Spots against spots with rage improving glow;
Another pard his bristly whiskers curls,
Grins as he grins, fierce-menacing, and wide
Distends his opening paws; himself against
Himself opposed, and with dread vengeance arm'd.
The huntsman, now secure, with fatal aim
Directs the pointed spear, by which transfix'd
He dies, and with him dies the rival shade.
Thus man innumerous engines forms, t' assail
The savage kind; but most the docile horse,
Swift and confederate with man, annoys
His brethren of the plains; without whose aid
The hunter's arts are vain, unskill'd to wage
With the more active brutes an equal war.
But borne by him, without the well-train'd pack,
Man dares his foe, on wings of wind secure.
To bow and sue for grace. But who is he
Fresh as a rose-bud newly blown, and fair
As opening lilies; on whom every eye
With joy and admiration dwells? See, see,
He reins his docile barb with manly grace.
Is it Adonis for the chase array'd?
Or Britain's second hope? Hail, blooming youth!
May all your virtues with your years improve,
Him the fierce Arab mounts, and, with his troop
Of bold compeers, ranges the deserts wild;
Where, by the magnet's aid, the traveller
Steers his untrodden course; yet oft on land
Is wreck'd, in the high-rolling waves of sand
Immerst and lost. While these intrepid bands,
Safe in their horses' speed, outfly the storm, [prey, Till in consummate worth, you shine the pride
And scouring round, make men and beasts
The grisly boar is singled from his herd,
As large as that in Erimanthian woods,
A match for Hercules. Round him they fly
In circles wide; and each in passing sends
His feather'd death into his brawny sides.
But perilous th' attempt. For if the steed
Haply too near approach; or the loose earth
His footing fail, the watchful angry beast
Th' advantage spies; and at one sidelong glance
Rips up his groin. Wounded, he rears aloft,
And, plunging, from his back the rider hurls
Precipitant; then bleeding spurns the ground,
And drags his reeking entrails o'er the plain.
Meanwhile the surly monster trots along,
But with unequal speed; for still they wound,
Swift-wheeling in the spacious ring. A wood
Of darts upon his back he bears; adown
His tortur'd sides, the crimson torrents roll
From many a gaping font. And now at last
Staggering he falls, in blood and foam expires.
their Of these our days, and to succeeding times
A bright example. As his guard of mutes
On the great sultan wait, with eyes deject,
And fix'd on earth, no voice, no sound is heard
Within the wide serail, but all is hush'd,
And awful silence reigns; thus stand the pack
Mute and unmov'd, and cowering low to earth,
While pass the glittering court, and royal pair:
So disciplin'd those hounds, and so reserv'd,
Whose honor 'tis to glad the hearts of kings.
But soon the winding horn, and huntsman's voice,
Let loose the general chorus; far around
Joy spreads its wings, and the gay morning smiles
Unharbor'd now the royal stag forsakes
His wonted lair; he shakes his dappled sides,
And tosses high his beamy head; the copse
Beneath his antlers bends. What doubling shifts
He tries! not more the wily hare; in these
Would still persist, did not the full-mouth'd pack
With dreadful concert thunder in his rear.
The woods reply, the hunter's cheering shouts
Float through the glades, and the wide forest rings
How merrily they chant! their nostrils deep
Inhale the grateful steam. Such is the cry,
And such the harmonious din, the soldier deems
The battle kindling, and the statesman grave
Forgets his weighty cares; each age, each sex,
In the wild transport joins; luxuriant joy,
And pleasure in excess, sparkling exult
On every brow, and revel unrestrain'd.
How happy art thou, man, when thou 'rt no more
Thyself! when all the pangs that grind thy soul,
In rapture and in sweet oblivion lost,
Yield a short interval and ease from pain!
See the swift courser strains, his shining hoofs
Securely beat the solid ground. Who now
The dangerous pitfall fears, with tangling heath
High-overgrown? or who the quivering bog
Soft-yielding to the step? All now is plain,
Plain as the strand sea-lav'd, that stretches far
Beneath the rocky shore. Glades crossing glades,
The forest opens to our wondering view:
Such was the king's command. Let tyrants fierce
Lay waste the world; his the more glorious part
To check their pride; and when the brazen voice
Of war is hush'd (as erst victorious Rome)
[T" employ his station'd legions in the work
But whither roves my devious Muse, intent
On antique tales? while yet the royal stag
Unsung remains. Tread with respectful awe [bard,
Windsor's green glades; where Denham, tuneful
Charm'd once the listening Dryads, with his song
Sublimely sweet. O! grant me, sacred shade,
To glean submiss what thy full sickle leaves.
The morning Sun, that gilds with trembling rays
Windsor's high towers, beholds the courtly train
Mount for the chase, nor views in all his course
A scene so gay; heroic, noble youths,
In arts and arms renown'd, and lovely nymphs
The fairest of this isle, where Beauty dwells
Delighted, and deserts her Paphian grove
For our more favor'd shades: in proud parade
These shine magnificent, and press around
The royal happy pair. Great in themselves,
They smile superior; of external show
Regardless, while their inbred virtues give
A lustre to their power, and grace their court
With real splendors, far above the pomp
Of Eastern kings, in all their tinsel pride.
Like troops of Amazons, the female band
Prance round their cars, not in refulgent arms
As those of old; unskill'd to wield the sword,
Or bend the bow, these kill with surer aim.
The royal offspring, fairest of the fair,
Lead on the splendid train. Anna, more bright
Than summer suns, or as the lightning keen,
With irresistible effulgence arm'd,
Fires every heart. He must be more than man,
Who unconcern'd can bear the piercing ray.
Amelia, milder than the blushing dawn,
With sweet engaging air, but equal power,
Insensibly subdues, and in soft chains
Her willing captives leads. Illustrious maids,
Ever triumphant! whose victorious charms,
Without the needless aid of high descent,
Had aw'd mankind, and taught the world's great
Of peace; to smooth the rugged wilderness,
To drain the stagnate fen, to raise the slope
Depending road, and to make gay the face
Of Nature, with th' embellishments of Art.
How melts my beating heart! as I behold
Each lovely nymph, our island's boast and pride,
Push on the generous steed, that strokes along
O'er rough, o'er smooth, nor heeds the steepy hill,
Nor falters in th' extended vale below:
Their garments loosely waving in the wind,
And all the flush of beauty in their cheeks!
While at their sides their pensive lovers wait,
Direct their dubious course; now chill'd with fear
Solicitious, and now with love inflam'd.
O! grant, indulgent Heaven, no rising storm
May darken with black wings this glorious scene!
Should some malignant power thus damp our joys,
Vain were the gloomy cave, such as of old
Betray'd to lawless love the Tyrian queen.
For Britain's virtuous nymphs are chaste as fair,
Spotless, unblam'd, with equal triumph reign
In the dun gloom, as in the blaze of day.
Has measur'd half the forest; but alas!
He flies in vain, he flies not from his fears.
Though far he cast the lingering pack behind,
His haggard fancy still with horror views
The fell destroyer; still the fatal cry
Insults his ears, and wounds his trembling heart.
So the poor fury-haunted wretch (his hands
In guiltless blood distain'd) still seems to hear
The dying shrieks; and the pale threatening ghost
Moves as he moves, and as he flies, pursues.
See here his slot; up yon green hill he climbs,
Pants on its brow awhile, sadly looks back
On his pursuers, covering all the plain;
But wrung with anguish, bears not long the sight,
Shoots down the steep, and sweats along the vale.
There mingles with the herd, where once he reign'd
Proud monarch of the groves, whose clashing beam
His rivals aw'd, and whose exalted power
Was still rewarded with successful love.
But the base herd have learn'd the ways of men,
Averse they fly, or with rebellious aim
Chase him from thence: needless their impious deed,
The huntsman knows him by a thousand marks,
Black, and imbost; nor are his hounds deceiv'd;
Too well distinguish these, and never leave
Their once devoted foe; familiar grows
His scent, and strong their appetite to kill.
Again he flies, and with redoubled speed
Skims o'er the lawn; still the tenacious crew
Hang on the track, aloud demand their prey,
And push him many a league. If haply then
Too far escap'd, and the gay courtly train
Behind are cast, the huntsman's clanging whip
Stops full their bold career; passive they stand,
Unmov'd, an humble, an obsequious crowd,
As if by stern Medusa gaz'd to stones.
So at their general's voice whole armies halt
In full pursuit, and check their thirst of blood.
Soon at the king's command, like hasty streams
Damm'd up awhile, they foam, and pour along
With fresh recruited might. The stag, who hop'd
His foes were lost, now once more hears astunn'd
The dreadful din; he shivers every limb,
He starts, he bounds, each bush presents a foe.
Press'd by the fresh relay, no pause allow'd,
Breathless, and faint, he falters in his pace,
And lifts his weary limbs with pain, that scarce
Sustain their load: he pants, he sobs appall'd!
Drops down his heavy head to earth, beneath
His cumbrous beams oppress'd. But if perchance
Some prying eye surprise him; soon he rears
Erect his towering front, bounds o'er the lawn
With ill-dissembled vigor, to amuse
The knowing forester; who inly smiles
At his weak shifts and unavailing frauds.
So midnight tapers waste their last remains,
Shine forth awhile, and as they blaze expire.
From wood to wood redoubling thunders roll,
And bellow through the vales; the moving storm
Thickens amain, and loud triumphant shouts,
And horns shrill-warbling in each glade, prelude
To his approaching fate. And now in view
With hobbling gait, and high, exerts amaz'd
What strength is left: to the last dregs of life
Reduc'd, his spirits fail, on every side
Hemm'd in, besieg'd; not the least opening left
To gleaming hope, th' unhappy's last reserve.
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,
He fears no more, but rushes on his foes,
And deals his deaths around; beneath his feet
These grovelling lie, those by his antlers gor'd
Defile th' ensanguin'd plain. Ah! see distress'd
He stands at bay against yon knotty trunk,
That covers well his rear, his front presents
An host of foes. O! shun, ye noble train,
The rude encounter, and believe your lives
Your country's due alone. As now aloof
They wing around, he finds his soul uprais'd,
To dare some great exploit; he charges home
Upon the broken pack, that on each side
Fly diverse; then as o'er the turf he strains,
He vents the cooling stream, and up the breeze
Urges his course with equal violence :
Then takes the soil, and plunges in the flood
Precipitant; down the mid-stream he wafts
Along, till (like a ship distress'd, that runs
Into some winding creek) close to the verge
Of a small island, for his weary feet
Sure anchorage he finds, there skulks immers'd.
His nose alone above the wave draws in
The vital air; all else beneath the flood
Conceal'd, and lost, deceives each prying eye
Of man or brute. In vain the crowding pack
Draw on the margin of the stream, or cut
The liquid wave with oary feet, that move
In equal time. The gliding waters leave
No trace behind, and his contracted pores
But sparingly perspire: the huntsman strains
His laboring lungs, and puffs his cheeks in vain:
At length a blood-hound bold, studious to kill,
And exquisite of sense, winds him from far;
Headlong he leaps into the flood, his mouth
Loud opening spends amain, and his wide throat
Swells every note with joy; then fearless dives
Beneath the wave, hangs on his haunch, and wounds
Th' unhappy brute, that flounders in the stream
Sorely distress'd, and struggling strives to mount
The steepy shore. Haply once more escap'd,
Again he stands at bay, amid the groves
Of willows, bending low their downy heads.
Outrageous transport fires the greedy pack;
These swim the deep, and those crawl up with pain
The slippery bank, while others on firm land
Engage; the stag repels each bold assault,
Maintains his post, and wounds for wounds returns
As when some wily corsair boards a ship
Full-freighted, or from Afric's golden coasts,
Or India's wealthy strand, his bloody crew
Upon her deck he slings; these in the deep
Drop short, and swim to reach her steepy sides,
And clinging climb aloft; while those on board
Urge on the work of Fate; the master bold,
Press'd to his last retreat, bravely resolves
To sink his wealth beneath the whelming wave,
His wealth, his foes, nor unreveng'd to die.
So fares it with the stag: so he resolves
To plunge at once into the flood below,
Himself, his foes, in one deep gulf immers'd.
Ere yet he executes this dire intent,
In wild disorder once more views the light;
Beneath a weight of woe he groans distress'd,
The tears run trickling down his hairy cheeks;
He weeps, nor weeps in vain. The king beholds
His wretched plight, and tenderness innate
Moves his great soul. Soon at his high command
Rebuk'd, the disappointed, hungry pack
Retire submiss, and grumbling quit their prey.
Great Prince! from thee what may thy subjects
So kind, and so beneficent to brutes!
O Mercy, heavenly born! sweet attribute!
Thou great, thou best prerogative of power!
Justice may guard the throne, but, join'd with thee,
On rocks of adamant it stands secure,
And braves the storm beneath: soon as thy smiles
Gild the rough deep, the foaming waves subside,
And all the noisy tumult sinks in peace.
Should he not kill, as erst the Samian sage
Taught unadvis'd, and Indian brachmans now
As vainly preach; the teeming ravenous brutes
Might fill the scanty space of this terrene,
Encumbering all the globe: should not his care
Improve his growing stock, their kinds might fail;
Man might once more on roots and acorns feed,
And through the deserts range, shivering, forlorn,
Quite destitute of every solace dear,
And every smiling gaiety of life.
For the bright Spartan dame, their valor's prize.
Mangled and torn thy favorite hounds shall lie,
Stretch'd on the ground; thy kennel shall appear
A field of blood: like some unhappy town
In civil broils confus'd, while Discord shakes
Her bloody scourge aloft, fierce parties rage,
Staining their impious hands in mutual death;
And still the best belov'd, and bravest fall:
Such are the dire effects of lawless love.
Huntsman! these ills by timely prudent care
Prevent: for every longing dame select
Some happy paramour; to him alone
Of the necessity of destroying some beasts, and preserving others for the use of man. Of breeding of hounds; the season for this business. The choice of the dog, of great moment. Of the litter of whelps. Of the number to be reared. Of setting them out to their several walks. Care to be taken to prevent their hunting too soon. 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 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 huntsmen less regard cures for this malady. The dismal effects of the His inward habits: the vain babbler shun, biting of a mad dog, upon man, described. De- Ever loquacious, ever in the wrong. scription of the otter hunting. The conclusion. His foolish offspring shall offend thy ears With false alarms, and loud impertinence. Nor less the shifting cur avoid, that breaks Illusive from the pack; to the next hedge Devious he strays, there every muse he tries: If haply then he cross the steaming scent, Away he flies vain-glorious; and exults As of the pack supreme, and in his speed And strength unrivall'd. Lo! cast far behind, His vex'd associates pant, and laboring strain To climb the steep ascent. Soon as they reach Th' insulting boaster, his false courage fails, Behind he lags, doom'd to the fatal noose, His master's hate, and scorn of all the field.
WHATE'ER of earth is form'd, to earth returns
Dissolv'd the various objects we behold,
Plants, animals, this whole material mass,
Are ever changing, ever new. The soul
Of man alone, that particle divine,
Escapes the wreck of worlds, when all things fail.
Hence great the distance 'twixt the beasts that perish,
And God's bright image, man's immortal race.
The brute creation are his property,
Subservient to his will, and for him made.
As hurtful these he kills, as useful those
Preserves; their sole and arbitrary king.
The prudent huntsman therefore will supply
With annual large recruits his broken pack,
And propagate their kind; as from the root
Fresh scions still spring forth and daily yield
New blooming honors to the parent-tree.
Far shall his pack be fam'd, far sought his breed.
And princes at their tables feast those hounds
His hand presents, an acceptable boon.
Ere yet the Sun through the bright Ram has urg'd
His steepy course, or mother Earth unbound
Her frozen bosom to the Western gale;
When feather'd troops, their social leagues dissolv'd,
Select their mates, and on the leafless elm
The noisy rook builds high her wicker nest,
Mark well the wanton females of thy pack,
That curl their taper tales, and frisking court
Their piebald mates enamour'd; their red eyes
Flash fires impure; nor rest nor food they take,
Goaded by furious love. In separate cells
Confine them now, lest bloody civil wars
Annoy thy peaceful state. If left at large,
The growling rivals in dread battle join,
And rude encounter; on Scamander's streams
Heroes of old with far less fury fought
What can from such be hop'd, but a base brood Of coward curs, a frantic, vagrant race?
When now the third revolving Moon appears, With sharpen'd horns, above th' horizon's brink, Without Lucina's aid, expect thy hopes
Are amply crown'd; short pangs produce to light The smoking litter; crawling, helpless, blind, Nature their guide, they seek the pouting teat That plenteous streams. Soon as the tender dam Has form'd them with her tongue, with pleasure view
The marks of their renown'd progenitors,
Sure pledge of triumphs yet to come.
Select with joy; but to the merciless flood
Expose the dwindling refuse, nor o'erload
Th' indulgent mother. If thy heart relent,
Unwilling to destroy, a nurse provide,
And to the foster-parent give the care
Of thy superfluous brood; she'll cherish kind
The alien offspring; pleas'd thou shalt behold
Her tenderness, and hospitable love.
If frolic now and playful they desert
Their gloomy cell, and on the verdant turf,
With nerves improv'd, pursue the mimic chase,
Coursing around; unto the choicest friends
Commit thy valued prize: the rustic dames
Shall at thy kennel wait, and in their laps
Receive thy growing hopes, with many a kiss
Caress, and dignify their little charge
With some great title, and resounding name
Of high import. But cautious here observe
To check their youthful ardor, nor permit
The unexperienc'd younker, immature,
Alone to range the woods, or haunt the brakes
Where dodging conies sport; his nerves unstrung,
And strength unequal; the laborious chase
Shall stint his growth, and his rash forward youth
Contract such vicious habits, as thy care
And late correction never shall reclaim.
The panting wretch; till, breathless and astunn'd
Stretch'd on the turf he lie. Then spare not thou
The twining whip, but ply his bleeding sides
Lash after lash, and with thy threatening voice,
Harsh-echoing from the hills, inculcate loud
His vile offence. Sooner shall trembling doves
Escap'd the hawk's sharp talons, in mid air,
Assail their dangerous foe, than he once more
Disturb the peaceful flocks. In tender age
Thus youth is train'd; as curious artists bend
The taper pliant twig, or potters form
Their soft and ductile clay to various shapes.
Nor is 't enough to breed; but to preserve,
Must be the huntsman's care. The staunch old
When to full strength arriv'd, mature and bold, Conduct them to the field; not all at once, But as thy cooler prudence shall direct, Select a few, and form them by degrees To stricter discipline. With these consort The staunch and steady sages of thy pack, By long experience vers'd in all the wiles And subtle doublings of the various Chase. Easy the lesson of the youthful train When instinct prompts, and when example guides. If the too forward younker at the head Press boldly on in wanton sportive mood, Correct his haste, and let him feel abash'd The ruling whip. But if he stoop behind In wary modest guise, to his own nose Confiding sure; give him full scope to work His winding way, and with thy voice applaud His patience, and his care: soon shalt thou view The hopeful pupil leader of his tribe, And all the listening pack attend his call.
Oft lead them forth where wanton lambkins play, And bleating dams with jealous eyes observe Their tender care. If at the crowding flock He bay presumptuous, or with eager haste Pursue them scatter'd o'er the verdant plain, In the foul fact attach'd, to the strong ram Tie fast the rash offender. See! at first His horn'd companion, fearful and amaz'd, Shall drag him trembling o'er the rugged ground; Then, with his load fatigu'd, shall turn ahead, And with his curl'd hard front incessant peal
Guides of thy pack, though but in number few,
Are yet of great account; shall oft untie
The Gordian knot, when reason at a stand
Puzzling is lost, and all thy art is vain.
O'er clogging fallows, o'er dry plaster'd roads,
O'er floated meads, o'er plains with flocks distain'd
Rank-scenting, these must lead the dubious,
As party-chiefs in senates who preside,
With pleaded reason and with well-turn'd speech,
Conduct the staring multitude; so these
Direct the pack, who with joint cry approve,
And loudly boast discoveries not their own.
Unnumber'd accidents, and various ills,
Attend thy pack, hang hovering o'er their heads,
And point the way that leads to Death's dark
Short is their span; few at the date arrive
Of ancient Argus, in old Homer's song
So highly honor'd: kind, sagacious brute!
Not ev'n Minerva's wisdom could conceal
Thy much-lov'd master from thy nicer sense.
Dying his lord he own'd, view'd him all o'er
With eager eyes, then clos'd those eyes, well pleas'd.
Of lesser ills the Muse declines to sing,
Nor stoops so low; of these each groom can tell
The proper remedy. But O! what care,
What prudence, can prevent madness, the worst
Of maladies? Terrific pest! that blasts
The huntsman's hopes, and desolation spreads
Through all th' unpeopled kennel unrestrain'd,
More fatal than th' envenom'd viper's bite;
Or that Apulian spider's poisonous sting,
Heal'd by the pleasing antidote of sounds.
When Sirius reigns, and the Sun's parching beams Bake the dry gaping surface, visit thou
Each ev'n and morn, with quick observant eye,
Thy panting pack. If, in dark sullen mood,
The glouting hound refuse his wonted meal,
Retiring to some close, obscure retreat,
Gloomy, disconsolate; with speed remove
The poor infectious wretch, and in strong chains
Bind him suspected. Thus that dire disease
Which art can't cure, wise caution may prevent.
But, this neglected, soon expect a change,
A dismal change, confusion, frenzy, death.
Or in some dark recess the senseless brute
Sits sadly pining; deep melancholy,
And black despair, upon his clouded brow
Hang lowering; from his half-opening jaws
The clammy venom, and infectious froth,
Distilling fall; and from his lungs inflam'd,
Malignant vapors taint the ambient air,
Breathing perdition; his dim eyes are glaz'd,
He droops his pensive head, his trembling limbs
No more support his weight; abject he lies,