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Nor did my fearch of liberty begin
MELI BOE US.
We flood amaz'd to fee your miftrefs mourn,
What fhould I do? while here I was enchain'd, No glimpse of godlike liberty remain'd; Nor could I hope in any place but there To find a God fo prefent to my pray'r. There first the youth of heav'nly birth I view'd, For whom our monthly victims are renew❜d. He heard my vows, and graciously decreed My grounds to be reftor'd, my former flocks to feed.
MELIB OE US.
O fortunate old man! whofe farm remains
Your teeming ewes fhall no ftrange meadows try,
Behold yon bord'ring fence of fallow trees
Is fraught with flow'rs, the flow'rs are fraught with bees :
The bufy bees, with a soft murm'ring strain,
Th' inhabitants of feas and fkies fhall change,
MELIB OE US.
But we must beg our bread in climes unknown, Beneath the scorching or the freezing zone ; And fome to fair Oaxis fhall be fold, Or try the Lybian heat, or Scythian cold; The reft among the Britons be confin'd, A race of men from all the world disjoin'd. O! muft the wretched exiles ever mourn? Nor, after length of rolling years return? Are we condemn'd by fate's unjust decree, No more our houses and our homes to fee? Or fhall we mount again the rural throne, And rule the country, kingdoms once our own? Did we for these barbarians plant and fow, On thefe, on thefe, our happy fields bestow? Good heav'n, what dire effects from civil difcord flow Now let me graft my pears, and prune the vine; The fruit is theirs, the labour only mine. Farewel my pastures, my paternal stock, My fruitful fields, and my more fruitful flock! No more, my goats, fhall I behold you climb The steepy cliffs, or crop the flow'ry thyme; No more extended in the grot below, Shall fee you browzing on the mountain's brow, The prickly fhrubs, and after on the bare Lean down the deep abyfs and hang in air! No more my heep fhall fip the morning dew No more my fong fhall please the rural crew: Adieu, my tuneful pipe! and all the world adieu!
This night, at least, with me forget your care;
Spenfer was the firft of our own countrymen, who acquired any confiderable reputation by this method of writing. We fhall infert his fixth eclogue, or that for June, which is allegorical, as will be seen by the
"Hobbinol, from a description of the pleasures of the place, excites Colin to the enjoyment of them. Colin declares himself incapable of delight, by reafon of his ill fuccefs in love, and his lofs of Rofalind, who had treacherously forfaken him for Menalcas, another fhepherd. By Tityrus (mentioned before in Spenfer's fecond eclogue, and again in the twelfth) is plainly meant Chaucer, whom the author fometimes profefs'd to imitate. In the person of Colin, is represented the author himself; and Hobbinol's inviting him to leave the hilly country, feems to allude to his leaving the North, where, as is mention'd in his life, he had for fome time refided."
Lo! Colin, here the place, whofe pleasant fight
So calm, fo cool, as no where else I find :
The bramble-bufh, where birds of every kind
O! happy Hobbinol, I blefs thy ftate,
Here wander may thy flock early or late,
Thy lovely lays here mayft thou freely boaft: But I, unhappy man! whom cruel fate,
And angry Gods pursue from coast to coast, Can no where find, to fhroud my luckless pate.
Then if by me thou lift advised be, Forfake the foil, that so doth thee bewitch: Leave me those hills, where harbroughnis to fee, Nor holly-bufh, nor brere, nor winding ditch;
And to the dales refort, where shepherds rich, And fruitful flocks been every where to fee:
Here no night-ravens lodge, more black than pitch, Nor elvish ghofts, nor ghaftly owls do flee.
But friendly fairies met with many graces, And light-foot nymphs can chace the ling'ring night, With heydeguies, and trimly trodden traces; Whilst fifters nine, which dwell on Parnas' hight,
Do make them music, for their more delight; And Pan himfelf to kifs their chrystal faces,
Will pipe and daunce, when Phoebe fhineth bright: Such peerless pleasures have we in these places.
And I, whilft youth, and course of careless years, Did let me walk withouten links of love,
In fuch delights did joy amongst my peers:
My fancy eke from former follies move
(As garments doen, which waxen old above)
Tho couth I fing of love and tune my pipe
Tho would I feek for queen-apples unripe,
Dight gawdy girlonds, was my common trade,
Colin, to hear thy rhimes and roundelay's, Which thou wert wont on wasteful hills to fing, I more delight, than lark in sommer days : Whofe echo made the neighbour groves to ring,
And taught the birds, which in the lower spring Did shroud in fhady leaves from funny rays;
Frame to thy fong their cheerful cheriping
I faw Calliope with muses moe,
Their ivory lutes and tamburins forgo:
But when they came, where thou thy fkill didft show,
Of mufes, Hobbinol, I con no skill,
For they been daughters of the highest Jove,
And holden fcorn of homely fhepherds quill: For fith I heard that Pan with Phoebus ftrove
Which him to much rebuke and danger drove, I never lift prefume to Parnafs' hill,
But piping low, in fhade of lowly grove, I play to please myself, albeit ill.
Nought weigh I, who my fong doth praise or blame, Ne strive to win renown, or pass the rest: With fhepherds fits not follow flying fame, But feed his flocks in fields, where falls him beft. I wote my rimes been rough, and rudely dreft; The fitter they, my careful cafe to frame: Enough is me to paint out my unreft, And pour my piteous plaints out in the fame.
The God of fhepherds, Tityrus is dead, Who taught me homely, as I can, to make:
He, whilft he lived was the fovereign head Of shepherds all, that been with love ytake.