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Bane of elated life, of affluent states,
What dreary change, what ruin, is not thine ?
How doth thy bowl intoxicate the mind !
To the soft entrance of thy rosy cave
How dost thou lure the fortunate and great ! 540
Dreadful atrraction! while behind thee gapes
Th’unfathomable gulf where Ashur lies
O’erwhelm'd, forgotten, and high-boasting Cham,
And Elam's haughty pomp, and uteous Greece,
And the great queen of earth, imperial Rome! 545

THE FLEECE.

IN FOUR BOOKS.

Post majores quadrupedes ovilli pecoris secunda ratio est, quae prima sit

si ad utilitatis magnitudinem referas : nam id praecipue nos contra frigoris violentiam protegit, corporibusque nostris liberaliora praebit vela. mina.

COLUMELLA.

BOOK I.

The Argument. THE subicat proposed. Dedicatory address. Of pastures in general fit

for sheep: for fine-woollcd sheep: for long-woolled sheep. Defects of pastures, and their remedies, of climates. The moisture of the English climate vindicated. Particular beauties of England. Different kinds of English sheep: the two common sorts of rams described. Different kinds of freign sheep. The several sorts of food. The distempers arising from thence, with their remedies. Sheep led by instinct to their proper food and physic. Of the shepherd's scrip, and its furniture. Care of sheep in tupping-time. Of the castration of iambs, and the folding of sheep. Various precepts relative to changes of weather and seasons. Particular care of new fallen lambs. The advantages and security of the English Shepherd above those in hotter or colder climates exemplified, with respect to Lapland, Italy, and Arabia. Of sheep shearing. Song on that occasion. Custon in Wales of sprinkling the rivers with flowers. Sheep-shearing feast and merriments on the banks of the Severn.

The care of sheep, the labours of the looin,
And arts of trade, I sing. Ye rural Nymphs !
Ye Swains, and princely Merchants! aid the verse.

ye, high-trusted Guardians of our Isle, Whom public voice approves, or lot of birth, 5

And

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Degrees, all seets ! be present to my song.
So may distress, and wretchedness, and want,
The wide felicities of labour learn :
So may the proud attempts of restless Gaul
From our strong borders, like a broken wave,
In enipty foam retire. But chiefly thou,
The people's Shepherd, eminently plac'd,
Over the numerous swains of every vale,
With well-permitted power and watchful eye 15
On each gay field to shed beneficence,
Celestial office! Thou protect the song.

On spacious airy downs and gentle hills,
With grass and thyme o'erspread, and clorer

wild, Where smiling Phoebus tempers ev'ry breeze, The fairest flocks rejoice : they nor of halt, Hydropic tumours, nor of rot, complain, Evils deform’d and foul ; nor with hoarse cough Disturb the music of the past’ral pipe; But, crowding to the note, with silence soft 25 The close-woven carpet graze, where Nature blends Flow'rets and herbage of minutest size, Innoxious luxury. Wide airy downs Are Health's gay walks to shepherd and to sheep.

All arid soils, with sand or chalky flint, 30 Or shells deluvian mingled, and the turf, That mantles over rocks of brittle stone, Be thy regard ; and where low-tufted broom, Or box, or berry'd juniper, arise;

Or the tall growth of glossy-rinded beech ; 35 And where the burrowing rabbit turns the dust; And where the dappled deer delights to bound.

Such are the downs of Banstead, edg’d with woods And towery villas; such Dorcestrian fields, Whose flocks innumerous whiten all the land: 40 Such those slow.climbing wilds that lead the step Insensibly to Dover's windy cliff, Tremendous height! and such the clover'd lawns And sunny mounts of beauteous Normanton * Health's cheerful haunt, and the selected walk 45 Of Heathcote's leisure: such the spacious plain Of Sarum, spread like Ocean’s boundless round, Where solitary Stonehenge, gray with moss, Ruin of ages! nods : such, too, the leas And ruddy tilth which spiry Ross beholds,

50 From a green hillock, o'er her lofty elms; And Lemster’s brooky track and airy Croft t ; And such Harleian Eywood's I swelling turf, Wav'd as the billows of a rolling sea ; And Shobden ll, for its lofty terrace fam’d, 55 Which from a mountain's ridge, elate o'er woods, And girt with all Siluria Ş, sees around Regions on regions blended in the clouds.

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* Normanton, a seat of Sir John Heathcote in Rutiandshire.
+ Croft, a seat of sir Archer Croft.
I Eywood, a seat of the Earl of Oxford.
# Shutdeil, a seat of Lord Bateman.

Siluria, the part of England which lies west of the Severn, viz. Hereiurdshire, Monnivuthshire, &c

65

Pleasant Siluria ! land of various views,
Hills, rivers, woods, and lawns, and purple groves
Pomaceous, mingled with the curling growth 61
Of tendril hops, that flaunt upon their poles,
More airy wild than vines along the sides
Of treacherous Falernum*, or that hill
Vesuvius, where the bowers of Bacchus rose,
And Herculanean and Pompeian domes,

But if thy prudent care would cultivate
Leicestrian Fleeces, what the sinewy arm
Combs thro' the spiky steel in lengthen’d flakes :
Rich saponaceous loam, that slowly drinks 70
The blackening shower, and fattens with the draught,
Or marle with clay deep-mix’d, be then thy choice,
Of one consistence, one complexion spread
Thro’all thy glebe ; where no deceitful veins
Of envious gravel lurk beneath the turf, 75
To loose the creeping waters from their springs,
Tainting the pasturage : and let thy fields
In slopes descend and mount, that chilling rains
May trickle off, and hasten to the brooks.
Yet some defect in all on earth appears ;

80 All seek for help, all press for social aid. Too cold the grassy mantle of the marle, In stormy winter's long and dreary nights, For cumbent sheep; from broken slumber oft'

* Treacherous Falernum, because part of the hills of Falernum was many years ago overturned by an erupt.on of fire, and is now an high and barrea mount of cinders, called Monte Novo.

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