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They rise benumb’d, and vainly shift the couch;
Their wasted sides their evil plight declare : 86
Hence, tender in his care, the shepherd swain
Seeks each contrivance. Here it would avail
At a meet distance from the upland ridge
To sink a trench, and on the hedge-long bank 90
Sow frequent sand, with lime, and dark manure,
Which to the liquid element will yield
A porous way, a passage to the foe.
Plough not such pastures; deep in spungy grass
The oldest carpet is the warmest lair,
95 And soundest: in new herbage coughs are heard.
Nor love too frequent shelter, such as decks
The vale of Severn, Nature's garden wide,
By the blue steeps of distant Malvern * wallid,
Solemnly vast. The trees of various shadle,
Scene behind scene, with fair delusive pomp
Enrich the prospect, but they rob the lawns.
Nor prickly brambles, white with woolly theft,
Should tuft thy fields. Applaud not the remiss
Dimetians t, who along their mossy dales
IOS Consume, like grashoppers, the summer hour, While round them stubborn thorns and furze in
crease, And creeping briars. I knew a careful swain Who gave them to the crackling flames, and spread Their dust saline upon the deepening grass;
• Malvern, a high ridge of hills near Worcester.
Dimetia, Caermarthenshire, in South Wales.
And oft' with labour-strengthen d arm he delvid
The draining trench across his verdant slopes,
To intercept the small meand'ring rills
Of upper hamlets. Haughty trees that sour
The shaded grass, that weaken thorn-set moulds,
And harbour villain crows, he rare allow'd; 116
Only a slender tuft of useful ash,
And mingled beech and elm, securely tall,
The little smiling cottage warm embower'd;
The little smiling cottage! where at eve
He meets his rosy children at the duor,
Prattling their welcomes, and his honest wife,
With good brown cake and bacon slice, intent
To cheer his hunger after labour hard.
Nor only soil, there also must be found 125
Felicity of clime, and aspect bland,
Where gentle sheep may nourish locks of price.
In vain the silken Fleece on windy brows,
And northern slopes of cloud-dividing hills,
Is sought, tho'soft Iberia spreads her lap
Ijo Beneath their rugged feet, and names their heights Biscaian or Segovian. Bothnic realms, And dark Norwegian, with their choicest fields, Dingles, and dells, by lofty fir embower'd, In vain the bleaters court. Alike they shun 135 Libya's hot plains. What taste have they for groves Of palm, or yellow dust of gold? no more Food to the flock than to the miser wealth, Who kneels upon the glittering heap and starvés.
Ev’n Gallic Abbeville the shining Fleece, 140
That richly decorates her loom, acquires
Basely from Albion, by th’ensnaring bribe,
The bait of avarice, which with felon fraud
For its own wanton mouth from thousands steals.
How erring oft' the judgment in its hate
Or fond desire ! Those slow-descending showers,
Those hovering fogs, that bathe our growing vales
In deep November, (loath'd by trifling Gaul,
Effeminate) are gifts the Pleiads shed,
Britannia's bandmaids : as the beverage falls 750
Her hills rejoice, her vallies laugh and sing.
Hail, noble Albion ! where no golden mines,
No soft perfumes, nor oils, nor myrtle bowers,
The vigorous frame and lofty heart of man
Enervate : round whose stern cerulean brows 155
White-winged snow, and clouds, and pearly rain,
Frequent attend, with solemn majesty :
Rich queen of Mists and Vapours ! these thy sons
With their cool arms compress, and twist their nerves
For deeds of excellence and high renown.
160 Thus form’d, our Edwards, Henries, Churchills,
Our Lockes, our Newtons, and our Miltons, rose.
See the sun gleams, the living pastures rise,
After the nurture of the fallen shower,
How beautiful! how blue th'ethereal vault !
165 How verdurous the lawns ! how clear the brooks! Such noble warlike steeds, such herds of kine,
So sleek, so vast! such spacious flocks of sheep,
Like flakes of gold illumining the green,
What other paradise adorn but thine,
Britannia ! happy if thy sons would know
Their happiness. To these thy naval streams,
Thy frequent towns superb of busy trade,
And ports magnific, add, and stately ships
Innumerous. But whither strays my Muse? 175
Pleas'd, like a traveller upon the strand
Arriv'd of bright Augusta, wild he roves,
From deck to deck, thro' groves immense of masts;
'Mong crowds, bales, cars, the wealth of either Ind;
Thro’ wharfs, and squares, and palaces, and domes,
In sweet surprise, unable yet to fix
181 His raptur'd mind, or scan in order'd course Each object singly, with discoveries new His native country studious to enrich.
Ye shepherds ! if your labours hope success, 185 Be first your purpose to procure a breed To soil and clime adapted. Every soil And clime, e'en every tree and herb, receives Its habitant peculiar : each to each The Great Invisible, and each to all,
190 Thro'earth, and sea, and air, harmonious suits. Tempestuous regions, Darwent's naked peaks *, Snowden and blue Plynlymmon, and the wide Aërial sides of Cader-yddris huge ti
Darwent's naked Peaks, the peaks of Derbyshire † Snowden, Plyniyimon, and Cader-yderis, ligh bills in North Wales.
These are bestow'd on goat-horn’d sheep, of Fleece
Hairy and coarse, of long and nimble shank, 196
Who rove o'er bog or heath, and graze or brouze
Alternate, to collect, with due dispatch,
O’er the bleak wild, the thinly-scatter'd meal:
But hills of milder air, that gently rise
O'er dewy dales, a fairer species boast,
Of shorter limb, and frontlet more ornate :
Such the Silurian. If thy farm extends
Near Cotswold downs, or the delicious groves
Of Symmonds, honour'd thro' the sandy soil 205
Of elmy Ross *, or Devon's myrtle vales,
That drink clear rivers near the glassy sea,
Regard this sort, and hence thy sire of lambs
Select : his tawny Fleece in ringlets curls ;
Long swings his slender tail; his front is fenc'd
With horns Ammonian, circulating iwice
Around each open ear, like those fair scrolls
That grace the columns of th' Ionic dome.
Yet should thy fertile glebe be marly clay,
Like Melton pastures, or Tripontian fields t, 215
Where ever-gliding Avon's limpid wave
Thwarts the long course of dusty Watling-street;
That larger sort, of head defenceless, seek,
Whose Fleece is deep and clammy, close and plain :
The ram short-limb’d, whose form compact describes
I Ross, a town in Herefordshire.
Tripontian fields, the country between Rugby in Warwickshire and Lute