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SPRING; OR DAMON.
TO SIR WILLIAM TRUMBAL,
FIRST in these fields I try the silvan strains,
You, that too wise for pride, too good for pow'r, Enjoy the glory to be great no more,
And, carrying with you all the world can boast,
Soon as the flocks shook off the nightly dews,
Daph. Hear how the birds on every blooming With joyous music wake the dawning day! [spray Why sit we mute, when early linnets sing, When warbling Philomel salutes the spring? Why sit we sad, when Phosphor shines so clear, And lavish Nature paints the purple year? [strain, Strep. Sing then, and Damon shall attend the While yon slow oxen turn the furrow'd plain : Here the bright crocus and blue violet glow; Here western winds on breathing roses blow. I'll stake yon lamb, that near the fountain plays, And from the brink his dancing shade surveys.
Daph. And I, this bowl where wanton ivy twines, And swelling clusters bend the curling vines: Four figures rising from the work appear, The various seasons of the rolling year; And what is that, which binds the radiant sky, Where twelve fair signs in beauteous order lie? Dam. Then sing by turns, by turns the Muses
Now hawthorns blossom, now the daisies spring; Now leaves the trees, and flowers adorn the ground: Begin, the vales shall every note rebound.
Streph. Inspire me, Phœbus! in my Delia's praise, With Waller's strains, or Granville's moving lays: A milk-white bull shall at your altars stand, That threats a fight, and spurns the rising sand. Daph. O Love! for Sylvia let me gain the prize, And make my tongue victorious as her eyes : No lambs or sheep for victims I'll impart, Thy victim, Love, shall be the shepherd's heart. Streph. Me gentle Delia beckons from the plain, Then, hid in shades, eludes her eager swain; But feigns a laugh, to see me search around, And by that laugh the willing fair is found.
Daph. The sprightly Sylvia trips along the green; She runs, but hopes she does not run unseen ; While a kind glance at her pursuer flies,
How much at variance are her feet and eyes!
If Windsor-shades delight the matchless maid,
Streph. All nature mourns, the skies relent in show'rs,
Hush'd are the birds,and clos'd the drooping flow'rs;
Daph. All nature laughs, the groves are fresh and The sun's mild lustre warms the vital air; If Sylvia smiles, new glories gild the shore, And vanquish'd nature seems to charm no more. Streph. In spring the fields, in autumn hills I love, At morn the plains, at noon the shady grove, But Delia always; absent from her sight, Nor plains at morn, nor groves at noon delight. Daph. Sylvia's like autumn ripe, yet mild as May, More bright than noon, yet fresh as early day: Ev'n spring displeases, when she shines not here; But bless'd with her, 'tis spring throughout the year. Streph. Say, Daphnis, say, in what glad soil appears
A wondrous tree, that sacred monarchs bears 1?
An allusion to the royal oak, in which Charles II. had been hid from his pursners after the battle of Worcester.
Tell me but this, and I'll disclaim the prize,
Dam. Cease to contend; for, Daphnis, I decree The bowl to Strephon, and the lamb to thee. Bless'd swains, whose nymphs in every grace excel; Bless'd nymphs, whose swains those graces sing so well!
Now rise, and haste to yonder woodbine bow'rs,
A SHEPHERD'S boy (he seeks no better name)
2 Alludes to the device of the Scots monarchs, the thistle, worn by Queen Anne; and to the arms of France, the flear de lys. The two riddles are in imitation of those in Virg. Ecl. 3d.
The Naïads wept in every watry bow't,
Accept, O Garth! the Muse's early lays,
Where stray ye, Muses! in what lawn or grove, While your Alexis pines in hopeless love? In those fair fields where sacred Isis glides, Or else where Cam his winding vales divides? As in the crystal spring I view my face, Fresh rising blushes paint the watry glass; But since those graces please thy eyes no more, I shun the fountains which I sought before. Once I was skill'd in every herb that grew, And every plant that drinks the morning dew; Ah, wretched shepherd, what avails thy art, To cure thy lambs, but not to heal thy heart! Let other swains attend the rural care, Feed fairer flocks, or richer fleeces sheer: But nigh yon mountain let me tune my lays, Embrace my love, and bind my brows with bays. That flute is mine which Colin's tuneful breath Inspir'd when living, and bequeath'd in death;