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ABDOLOXYMUS AT THE ALTAR.
That preached from whispering trees, and babbling And rich pomegranate, wrapped in dulcet pulp
Meanwhile the lawn beneath the scattered shade Though Strato, great alone in Persia's gold,
Spread its serene extent ; a stately file Uncalled, unhallowed by the people's choice, Of circling cypress marked the distant bound. Usurped the throne of his brave ancestors,
THE STREAMLET, FALL, AND BASIN. Yet was his soul all peace ; a garden's care
Now, to the left, the path ascending pierced His only thought, its charms his only pride. A smaller sylvan theatre, yet decked
But now the conquering arms of Macedon With more majestic foliage. Cedars here, Had humbled Persia. Now Phoenicia's realm Coëval with the sky-crowned mountain's self, Receives the Son of Ammon ; at whose frown Spread wide their giant arms : whence, from a rock Her tributary kings or quit their thrones,
Craggy and black, that seemed its fountain head, Or at his smile retain ; and Sidon, now
The stream fell headlong ; yet still higher rose, Freed from her tyrant, points the victor's step Even in the eternal snows of Lebanon, To where her rightful sovereign, doubly dear That hallowed spring ; thence, in the porous earth By birth and virtue, pruned his garden grove. Long while engulfed, its crystal weight here forced
Its way to light and freedom. Down it dashed; LEBANON AND THE SHORES OF SYRIA AT SUNRISE.
A bed of native marble pure received 'T was at that early hour, when now the sun
The new-born Naiad, and reposed her wave, Behind majestic Lebanon's dark veil
Till with o’erflowing pride it skimmed the lawn. Hid his ascending splendor ; yet through each Her cedar-vested sides his slanting beams Shot to the strand, and purpled all the main,
Fronting this lake there rose a solemn grot, Where commerce saw her Sidon's freighted wealth,
O'er which an ancient vine luxuriant flung With languid streamers, and with folded sails,
Its purple clusters, and beneath its roof Float in a lake of gold. The wind was hushed ;
An unhewn altar.
Rich Sabæan gums And, to the beach, each slowly-lifted wave,
That altar piled, and there with torch of pine Creeping with silver curl, just kissed the shore,
The venerable Sage, now first descried And slept in silence. At this tranquil hour
The fragrant incense kindled. Age had shed
That dust of silver o'er his sable locks,
Which spoke his strength mature beyond its prime, The secret glade that veiled the man of toil.
Yet vigorous still, for from his healthy cheek
Time had not cropped a rose, or on his brow
One wrinkling furrow ploughed : his eagle eye Now near the mountain's foot the chief arrived, Had all its youthful lightning, and each limb Where, round that glade, a pointed aloe screen, The sinewy strength that toil demands, and gives. Entwined with myrtle, met in tangled brakes,
PRAYER OF ABDOLOXYMC8. That barred all entrance, save at one low gate,
The warrior saw and paused : his nod withheld Whose time-disjointed arch, with ivy chained,
The crowd at awful distance, where their ears, Bade stoop the warrior train. A pathway brown
In mute attention, drank the Sage's prayer. Led through the pass, meeting a fretful brook,
* Parent of Good,' he cried, 'behold the gifts And wandering near its channel, while it leaped
Thy humble votary brings, and may thy smile O'er many a rocky fragment, where rude art
Hallow his customed offering. Let the hand Had eased, perchance, but not prescribed its way.
That deals in blood with blood thy shrines distain ;
Be mine this harmless tribute. If it speaks Close was the vale and shady ; yet ere long
A grateful heart, can hecatombs do more? Its forest sides, retiring, left a lawn
Parent of Good ! they cannot. Purple Pomp Of ample circuit, where the widening stream May call thy presence to a prouder fane Now o’er its pebbled channel nimbly tripped
Than this poor cave ; but will thy presence there In many a lucid maze. From the flowered verge
Be more devoutly felt? Parent of Good ! of this clear rill now strayed the devious path, It will not. Here then shall the prostrate heart, Amid ambrosial tufts where spicy plants,
That deeply feels thy presence, lift its prayer. Weeping their perfumed tears of myrrh, and nard, But what has he to ask who nothing needs, Stood crowned with Sharon's rose ; or where, apart, Save, what, unasked, is from thy heaven of heavens The patriarch palm his load of sugared dates Given in diurnal good? Yet, holy Power ! Showered plenteous ; where the fig, of standard Do all that call Thee, Father, thus exult strength,
In thy propitious presence? Sidon sinks
Beneath a tyrant's scourge. Parent of Good ! 1 Abdolonymus, who, from a gardener, was made a king ; see his story, in Diodorus Siculus, Plutarch, Justin, or
O free my captive country.' Sudden here Quintus Curtius.
He paused and sighed. And now, the raptured crowd
THE GARDEX OF ABDOLONYMUS DESCRIBED.
Murmur applause : he heard, he turned and saw
From the youth, Who bore its state, the conqueror's own right hand Snatched the rich wreath, and bound it on his brow. His swift attendants o'er his shoulders cast The robe of empire, while the trumpet's voice Proclaimed him King of Sidon. Stern he stood, Or, if he smiled, 't was a contemptuous smile, That held the pageant honors in disdain. Then burst the people's voice, in loud acclaim, And bade him be their father. At the word, The honored blood, that warmed him, flushed his His brow expanded ; his exalted step [cheek ; Marched firmer ; graciously he bowed the head, And was the sire they called him. “Tell me, king,' Young Ammon cried, while o'er his brightning He cast the gaze of wonder, “how a soul [form Like thine could bear the toils of penury.' O grant me, gods !' he answered, so to bear This load of royalty. My toil was crowned With blessings lost to kings; yet, righteous powers ! If to my country ye transfer the boon, I triumph in the loss. Be mine the chains That fetter sovereignty ; let Sidon smile With your best blessings, Liberty and Peace.'
That ill can mimic even the humblest charms
TASTE TO BE CURBED BY REASON.
Yes, I will hear thee, dear lamented shade, And hold each dictate sacred. What remains Unsung shall so each leading rule select As if still guided by thy judgment sage ; While, as still modelled to thy curious ear, Flow my melodious numbers ; so shall praise, If aught of praise the verse I weave may claim, From just posterity reward my song.
THE MANAGEMENT OF FORESTING IN LANDSCAPE GARDENING ;
NOT SUNG BY VIRGIL.
TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF GRAY. Closed is that curious ear, by Death's cold hand, That marked each error of my careless strain With kind severity ; to whom my muse Still loved to whisper, what she meant to sing In louder accent; to whose taste supreme She first and last appealed, nor wished for praise, Save when his smile was herald to her fame. Yes, thou art gone! yet Friendship’s faltering
tongue Invokes thee still; and still, by Fancy soothed, Fain would she hope her Gray attends the call. Why, then, alas ! in this my favorite haunt, Place I the urn, the bust, the sculptured lyre, Or fix this votive tablet, fair inscribed With numbers worthy thee, for they are thine ? Why, if thou hear'st me still, these symbols sad Of fond memorial ?i Ah! my pensive soul ! He hears me not, nor evermore shall hear The theme his candor, not his taste approved. THE MAJESTIC BEAUTY OF NATURE INIMITABLE. - SKIDDAW.
BORROWDALE. LODORE. -DOVE. Oft, 'smiling as in scorn,' oft would he cry, “Why waste thy numbers on a trivial art,
1 The poet Gray died July 31st, 1771 ; this book was begun a few months after. Mason placed a medallion of his friend Gray, in a rustic alcove of his garden, with an urn; and over the entrance & lyre, with Gray's motto to his odes, from Pindar. Beneath were four lines from Gray's Elegy, beginning, . Here scattered oft,' etc.
Erewhile to trace the path, to form the fence, To mark the destined limits of the lawn, The muse,
with measured step, preceptive, paced. Now from the surface with impatient fight She mounts, Sylvanus ! o'er thy world of shado To spread her pinions. Open all thy glades, Greet her from all thy echoes. Orpheus-like, Armed with the spells of harmony, she comes, To lead thy forests forth to lovelier haunts, Where Fancy waits to fix them ; from the dell Where now they lurk she calls them to possess Conspicuous stations ; to their varied forms Allots congenial place ; selects, divides, And blends anew in one Elysian scene.
Yet while I thus exult, my weak tongue feels Its ineffectual powers, and seeks in vain That force of ancient phrase which, speaking, paints And is the thing it sings. Ah, Virgil ! why, By thee neglected, was this loveliest theme Left to the grating voice of modern reed? Why not array it in the splendid robe of thy rich diction, and consign the charge To Fame, thy hand-maid, whose immortal plume Had borne its praise beyond the bounds of time?
Who crushed his country's freedom.
Sacred tree, Ne'er be thy brighter verdure thus debased ! Far happier thou, in this sequestered bower, To shroud thy poet, who, with fostering hand, Here bade thee flourish, and with grateful strain Now chants the praise of thy maturer bloom. And happier far that poet, if, secure His hearth and altars from the pilfering slaves Of power, his little eve of lonely life May here steal on, blest with the heartfelt calm That competence and liberty inspire.
THE INFINITY OF THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM. — BEST TREES
Countless is Vegetation's verdant brood As are the stars that stud yon cope of heaven ; To marshal all her tribes, in ordered file Generic, or specific, might demand His science, wondrous Swede! whose ample mind, Like ancient Tadmor's philosophic king, Stretched from the hyssop creeping on the wall To Lebanon's proudest cedars. Skill like this, Which spans a third of Nature's copious realm, Our art requires not, sedulous alone To note those general properties of form, Dimension, growth, duration, strength, and hue, Then first imprest, when, at the dawn of time, The form-deciding, life-inspiring Word Pronounced them into being. These prime marks Distinctive, docile Memory makes her own, That each its shadowy succor may supply To her wished purpose ; first, with needful shade, To veil w bate'er of wall, or fence uncouth, Disgusts the eye, which tyrant Use has reared, And stern Necessity forbids to change.
NATIVE ENGLISH SURUBBERY - LAUREL TO BE MIXED WITH
LILACS, SYRINGA, WOODBINE. Nor are the plants which England calls her own Few, or unlovely, that, with laurel joined, And kindred foliage of perennial green, Will form a close-knit curtain. Shrubs there are Of bolder growth, that, at the call of Spring, Burst forth in blossomed fragrance : lilacs robed In snow-white innocence, or purple pride ; The sweet syringa yielding but in scent To the rich orange ; or the woodbine wild, That loves to hang, on barren boughs remote, Her wreaths of flowery perfume. These beside Myriads, that here the muse neglects to name, Will add a vernal lustre to thy veil.
CHANCE EFFECTS. - PROVIDE FOR SPRING AND SUMMER
RATHER THAN AUTUMN. - EVERGREENS INDISPENSABLE.
SHRUBS BETTER THAN TREES FOR SCREENS. - PINES.-THORN.
-HOLLY-BOXPRIVET, - PYRACANTH.
Lured by their hasty shoots, and branching stems, Planters there are who choose the race of pine For this great end, erroneous ; witless they That, as their arrowy heads assault the sky, They leave their shafts unfeathered : rather thou Select the shrubs that, patient of the knife, Will thank thee for the wound, the hardy thorn, Holly, or box, privet, or pyracanth. They, thickening from their base, with ten-fold shade Will soon replenish all thy judgment pruned.
And what if chance collects the varied tribes, Yet fear not thou but unexpected charms Will from their union start.
But if our song Supply one precept here, it bids retire Each leaf of deeper dye, and lift in front Foliage of paler verdure, so to spread A canvas, which when touched by Autumn's hand Shall gleam with dusky gold or russet rays. But why prepare for her funereal hand That canvas ? she but comes to dress thy shades, As lovelier victims for their wintry tomb. Rather to flowery Spring, to Summer bright, Thy labors consecrate ; their laughing reign, The youth, the manhood of the growing year, Deserves that labor, and rewards its pain. Yet, heedful ever of that ruthless time When Winter shakes their stems, preserve a filo With ever-during leaf to brave his arm, And deepening spread their undiminished gloom.
TALLER TREES MUST NOT INTERCEPT AIR AXD SUNSHINE FROM
THE ENGLISH LAUREL, LAURO-CERASUS, THE BEST SCREEN.
But chief, with willing aid, her glittering green Shall England's laurel bring ; swift shall she spread Her broad-leaved shade, and float it fair, and wide, Proud to be called an inmate of the soil. Let England prize this daughter of the East ! Beyond that Latian plant, of kindred name, That wreathed the head of Julius ; basely twined Its flattering foliage on the traitor's brow
But, if the tall defect demands a screen Of forest shade high-towering, some broad roof Perchance of glaring tile that guards the stores Of Ceres ; or the patched disjointed choir Of some old fane, whose steeple's Gothic pride Or pinnacled, or spired, would bolder rise • In tufted trees high bosomed,' here allot Convenient space to plant that lofty tribe Behind underwood, lest o'er its head The forest tyrants shake their lordly arms,
1 The common English laurel was sent, with the horseehestnut, from Constantinople to Holland, in 1576, to Clusius,
ho named it lauro-cerasus ; it was called Trabison curmasi, or date of Trebisond.
NATIVE PLANTS ALONE TO BE DEPENDED ON FOR EFFECTS.
And shed their baleful dews. Each plant that springs For objects interposed, the pigmy race
Their offspring o'er the lawn, scorning to patch
And polished foreground she confines their growth
Where o'er their heads the liberal eye may range.
EXOTICS PRECARIOUS. -NATIVE PLANTS.
Nor will her prudence, when intent to form What next we from the Dryad powers implore
One perfect whole, on feeble aid depend, Is grace, is ornament : for see ! our lawn,
And give exotic wonders to our gaze. Though clothed with softest verdure, though relieved
She knows and therefore fears the faithless train ; By many a gentle fall and easy swell,
Sagely she calls on those of hardy class Expects that harmony of light and shade,
Indigenous, who, patient of the change Which foliage only gives. Come, then, ye plants ! From heat to cold which Albion hourly feels, That, like the village troop when Maia dawns,
Are braced with strength to brave it. These alone Delight to mingle social ; to the crest
She plants, and prunes, nor grieves if nicer eyes Of yonder brow we safely may conduct
Pronounce them vulgar. These she calls her friends, Your numerous train ; no eye obstructed there
That veteran troop who will not for a blast
Of nipping air, like cowards, quit the field.
THE FATE OF EXOTICS ON THE BANKS OF THE SWALE. - A
Far to the north of thy imperial towers, Had there been scattered from the affrighted beak
Augusta ! in that wild and Alpine vale, 0some maternal bird whom the fierce hawk
Thro' which the Swale, by mountain-torrents swelled, Pursued with felon claw. Her young meanwhile
Flings his redundant stream, there lived a youth Callow, and cold, from their moss-woven nest
Of polished manners ; ample his domain, Peep forth ; they stretch their little eager throats
And fair the site of his paternal dome. Broad to the wind, and plead to the lone spray
He loved the art I sing ; a deep adept Their famished plaint importunately shrill.
In Nature's story, well he knew the names
Of all her verdant lineage ; yet that skill DISTANT SCENERY MOST NOT BE SHUT OUT. - CEDARS.
Misled his taste ; scornful of every bloom
That spreads spontaneous, from remotest Ind Yet in this wild disorder Art presides,
He brought his foliage ; careless of its cost, Designs, corrects, and regulates the whole,
E'en of its beauty careless ; it was rare, Herself the while unseen. No cedar broad
And therefore beauteous. Now his laurel screen, Drops his dark curtain where a distant scene
With rose and woodbine negligently wove, Demands distinction. Here the thin abele
Bows to the axe ; the rich magnolias claim Of lofty bole, and bare, the smooth-stemmed beech,
The station ; now herculean beeches felled Or slender alder, give our eye free space
Resign their rights, and warm Virginia sends Beneath their boughs to catch each lessening charm,
Her cedars to usurp them; the proud oak E'en to the far horizon's azure bound.
Himself, even he, the sovereign of the shade, REGARD MUST BE HAD TO SIMULTANEOUSNESS OF LEAFING; Yields to the fir that drips with Gilead's balm. NATURAL HABITATS, AND SIZE.
Now, Albion, gaze at glories not thy own! Nor will that sovereign arbitress admit,
Pause, rapid Swale ! and see thy margin crowned Where'er her nod decrees a mass of shade,
With all the pride of Ganges ; vernal showers Plants of unequal size, discordant kind,
Have fixed their roots ; nutritious summer suns Or ruled by foliation's different laws ;
Favored their growth ; and mildest autumn smiled But for that needful purpose those prefers
Benignant o'er them : vigorous, fair, and tall, Whose hues are friendly, whose coë val leaves They waft a gale of spices o'er the plain. The earliest open, and the latest fade.
But winter comes, and with him watery Jove, Nor will she, scorning truth and taste, devote And with him Boreas in his frozen shroud ; To strange and alien soils her seedling stems ; The savage spirit of old Swale is roused; Fix the dank sallow on the mountain's brow,
He howls amidst his foam. At the dread sight Or to the moss-grown margin of the lake
The aliens stand aghast ; they bow their heads. Bid the dry pine descend. From Nature's laws In vain the glassy penthouse is supplied : She draws her own ; Nature and she are one. The pelting storm with icy bullets breaks Nor will she, led by fashion's lure, select,
Its fragile barrier ; see! they fade, they die.
ABELE. - BEECH. - ALDER.
TASTE CANNOT BE TAUGHT BY SPECIAL RULES.
CHANGE BY GROWTH.
HOW TO DISPOSE OF EXOTICS.
E’en ere the planter's life has past its prime, Warned by his error, let the planter slight
Will Albion's garden frown an Indian wild. These shivering rarities ; or if, to please
NATURE'S CHANGES SHOULD NOT DISCOURAGE. Fastidious fashion, he must needs allot
Foreboding fears, avaunt! be ours to urge Some space for foreign foliage, let him choose Each present purpose by what favoring means A sidelong glade, sheltered from east and north, May work its end designed ; why deprecate And free to southern and to western gales;
The change that waits on sublunary things,
Its tide into a flood ? or that yon Sun,
Now on the Lion mounted, to his noon Of softer episode, yet leaves unbroke
Impels him, shaking from his fiery mane
A heat may parch its channel ? O, ye caves,
Claims all your coolness ; in your humid cells What else to shun of formal, false, or vain,
Permit me to forget the planter's toil ; Of long-lined vistas, or plantations quaint,
And, while I woo your Naiads to my aid, Our former strains have taught. Instruction now
Involve me in impenetrable gloom. Withdraws ; she knows her limits ; knows that grace
ABCXDANCE OF WATER DESIRABLE. -" WATER-WORKS » Is caught by strong perception, not from rules ; That undressed Nature claims for all her limbs
Blest is the man (if bliss be human boast) Some simple garb peculiar, which, howe'er
Whose fertile soil is washed with frequent streams, Distinct their size and shape, is simple still.
And springs salubrious. He disdains to toss This garb to choose, with clothing dense, or thin,
In rainbow dews their crystal to the sun ; A part to hide, another to adorn,
Or sink in subterranean cisterns deep ; Is Taste's important task ; preceptive song
That so, through leaden siphons upward drawn, From error in the choice can only warn.
Those streams may leap fantastic. He his ear THE GARDENER'S AND THE PAINTER'S ARTS COMPARED.
Shuts to the tuneful trifling of the bard, 2
Who tricked a Gothic theme with classic flowers, But vain that warning voice ; vain every aid
And sung of fountains bursting from the shells Of Genius, Judgment, Fancy, to secure
Of brazen Tritons, spouting through the jaws The planter's lasting fame : there is a power,
Of Gorgons, Hydras, and Chimæras dire.' A hidden power, at once his friend and foe :
Peace to his manes ! let the nymphs of Seine 'Tis Vegetation. Gradual to his groves
Cherish his fame. Thy poet, Albion ! scorns, She gives their wished effect ; and, that displayed,
Even for a cold unconscious element, O, that her power would pause! but, active still,
To forge the fetters he would scorn to wear. She swells each stem, prolongs each vagrant bough,
His song shall reprobate each effort vile, And darts with unremitting vigor bold
That aims to force the Genius of the stream From grace to wild luxuriance. Happier far
Beyond his native height; or dares to press Are you, ye sons of Claude ! who, from the mine,
Above that destined line the unwilling wave. The earth, or juice of herb or flower concrete,
MANAGEMENT OF WATER IN LANDSCAPE GARDENING. - THE Mingle the mass whence your Arcadias spring :
ARTIFICIAL LAKE. The beauteous outline of your pictured shades
Is there within the circle of thy view Still keeps the bound you gave it ; time, that pales Some sedgy flat, where the late-ripened sheaves Your vivid hues, respects your pleasing forms. Stand brown with unblest mildew? 't is the bed Not so our landscapes : though we paint like you,
On which an ample lake in crystal peace We paint with growing colors ; every year,
Might sleep majestic. Pause we yet ; perchance O’erpassing that which gives the breadth of shade Some midway channel, where the soil declines, We sought, by rude addition mars our scene. Might there be delved, by levels duly led
In bold and broken curves : for water loves
A wilder outline than the woodland path,
The shelving spade may toil, till wintry showers The spreading evil : thin the crowded glades, Find their free course down each declining bank. While yet of slender size each stem will thrive Quit then the thought : a river's winding form, Transplanted : twice repeat the annual toil ;
1 Written during the remarkably hot weather of June, Nor let the axe its beak, the saw its tooth,
1778. Refrain, whene'er some random branch has strayed
? René Rapin, a French Jesuit, who wrote a Latin poem
on Gardens, in four books, as a supplement to Virgil's Beyond the bounds of beauty ; else full soon, Georgics.