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All seemed so peaceful, that from them conveyed To me, their peace by kind contagion spread.
But when the huntsman, with diftended cheek, 'Gan make his instrument of music speak, And from within the wood that crash was heard, Though not a hound from whom it burst appeared, The Theep recumbent, and the theep that grazed, All huddling into phalanx, stood and gazed, Admiring, terrified, the novel strain, Then coursed the field around, and coursed it round
again; But, recollecting with a sudden thought, That flight in circles urged advanced them nought, They gathered close around the old pit's brink, And thought again—but knew not what to think.
The man to solitude accustomed long, Perceives in every thing that lives a tongue;Not animals alone, but shrubs and trees, Have speech for him, and understood with ease; After long drought, when rains abundant fall, He hears the herbs and flowers rejoicing all: Knows what the freshness of their hue implies, How glad they catch the largess of the skies;
But, with precision nicer still, the mind
He scans of every loco: motive kind;
Birds of all feather, beasts of every name,
That serve mankind, or fhun them, wild or tame;
The looks and gestures of their griefs and fears
Have all articulation in his ears;
He spells them true by intuition's light,
And needs no gloffary to set him right.
This truth premised was needful as a test,
To win due credence to what follows next.
Awhile they mused; surveying every face,
Thou hadît supposed them of superior race;
Their periwigs of wool, and fears combined,
Stamped on each countenance such marks of mind,
That sage they seemed, as lawyers o'er à doubt,
Which, puzzling long, at last hey puzzle out;
Or academic tutors, teaching youths,
Sure ne'er to want them, mathematic truths;
When thus a mutton, statelier than the rest,
· A ram, the ewes and wethers sad, addressed.
Friends! we have lived too long. I never heard
Sounds such as these, so worthiy to be feared.
Could I believe that winds for ages pent
In earth's dark womb have found at last a vent,
And from their prison-house below arise,
With all these hideous howlings to the skies,
I could be much composed, nor should appear
For such a cause to feel the slightest fear.
Yourselves have seen,what time the thunders rolled
All night, we resting quiet in the fold.
Or heard we that tremendous bray alone,
I could expound the melancholy tone;
Should deem it by our old companion made,
The ass; for he, we know, has lately strayed,
And being lost perhaps, and wandering wide,
Might be supposed to clamour for a guide.
But ah! those dreadful yells what soul can hear,
That owns a carcase, and not quake for fear?
Dæmons produce them doubtless, brazen-clawed
And fanged with brass the dæmons are abroad;
I hold it therefore wisest and most fit,
That life to save, we leap into the pit.
Him answered then his loving mate and true, But more discreet than he, a Cambrian ewe.
How? leap into the pit our life to save To save our life leap all into the grave? For can we find it less? Contemplate first The depth how awful! falling there, we burst:
Or should the brambles, interpofed, our fall
In part abate, that happiness were small;
For with a race like theirs no chance I see
Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we.
Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple's bray,
Or be it not, or be it whose it may,
And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues
Of dæmons uttered, from whatever Jungs,
Sounds are but sounds, and till the cause appear
We have at least commodious standing here.
Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast
From earth or hell, we can but plunge at laft.
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals,
For Reynard, close attended at his heels
By panting dog, tired man, and spattered horse,
Thro' mere good fortune, took a different course.
The flock grew calm again, and I, the road
Following, that led me to my own abode,
Much wondered that the filly sheep had found
Such cause of terror in an empty found
So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound.
Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day,
Live till to-morrow, will have passed away.
When the British warrior queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods, Sought, with an indignant mien,
Counsel of her country's gods,
Sage beneath the spreading oak
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Every burning word he spoke
Full of rage, and full of grief.
III. : Princess! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 'Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues.