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And grateful umbrage, all the tribes around,
And their lean flocks, whose various bleatings fill
The echoing caverns: then is absent none,
Fair nymph or shepherd, each inspiring each 545
To wit, and song, and dance, and active feats ;
In the same rustic scene, where Jacob won
Fair Rachel's bosom, when a rock's vast weight
From the deep dark-mouth'd well his strength re-
And to her circling sheep refreshment gave. [mov’d,

Such are the perils, such the toils, of life, 551 In foreign climes. But speed thy flight, my Muse! Swift turns the year, and our unnumber'd flocks On Fleeces overgrown uneasy

lie. Now, jolly Swains ! the harvest of your cares Prepare to reap, and seek the sounding caves 556 Of high Brigantium t, where, by ruddy flames Vulcan's strong sons, with nervous arm, around The steady anvil and the glaring mass Clatter their heavy hammers down by turns, 560 Flatt’ning the steel : from their rough hands receive The sharpend instrument that from the flock Severs the Fleece. If verdant elder spreads Her silver flow'rs; if humble daisies yield To yellow crow-foot and luxuriant grass, Gay shearing-time approaches. First, howe cr, Drive to the double fold, upon the brim Of a clear river, gently drive the flock,

565

# The caves of Brigantium----the forges of Sheffield, in Yorkshire, where

And plunge them one by one into the flood : 569
Plung'd in the flood, not long the struggler sinks,
With his white flakes that glisten thro' the tide ;
The sturdy rustic, in the middle wave,
Awaits to seize him rising ; one arm bears
His lifted head above the limpid stream,
While the full clammy Fleece the other laves 575
Around, laborious, with repeated toil :
And then resigns him to the sunny bank,
Where, bleating loud, he shakes his dripping locks.

Shear them the fourth or fifth return of morn,
Lest touch of busy fly-blows wound their skin. 580
Thy peaceful subjects without murmur yield
Their yearly tribute : 'tis the prudent part
To cherish, and be gentle, while ye strip
The downy vesture from their tender sides.
Press not too close; with caution turn the points,
And from the head in regular rounds proceed : 586
But speedy, when you chance to wound, with tar
Prevent the wingy swarm and scorching heat ;
And careful house them, if the low'ring clouds 589
Mingle their stores tumultuous : thro' the gloom
Then thunder oft' with pond'rous wheels rolls loud,
And breaks the crystal urns of heav'n ; adown
Falls streaming rain. Sometimes among the steeps
Of Cambrian glades (pity the Cambrian glades!)
Fast tumbling brooks on brooks enormous swell,
And sudden overwhelm their vanish'd fields : 596
Down with the flood away the naked sheep,

600

Bleating in vain are borne; and straw-built huts, And rifted trees, and heavy enormous rocks, Down with the rapid torrent to the deep.

At shearing-time along the lively vales
Rural festivities are often heard;
Beneath each blooming arbour all is joy
And lusty merriment. While on the grass
The mingled youth in gaudy circles sport, 605
We think the Golden Age again return'd,
And all the fabled Dryades in dance :
Leering they bound along, with laughing air,
To the shrill pipe, and deep-remurm’ring cords
Of th' ancient harp, or tabor's hollow sound. 610

While th' old apart, upon a bank reclin'd,
Attend the tuneful carol, softly mix'd
With every murmur of the sliding wave,
And every warble of the feather'd choir,
Music of Paradise! which still is heard
When the heart listens, still the views appear
Of the first happy garden, when Content
To Nature's flowery scenes directs the sight.
Yet we abandon those Elysian walks,
Then idly for the lost delight repine ;

620
As greedy mariners, whose desp’rate sails
Skim o'er the billows of the foamy flood,
Fancy they see the lessening shores retire,
And sigh a farewell to the sinking hills.

Could I recall those notes which once the Muse

615

630

Of blue-topp'd Wreakin t ! Yet the carols sweet Thro' the deep maze of the memorial cell Faintly remurmur. First arose in song Hoar-headed Damon, venerable Swain ! The soothest shepherd of the flow'ry vale. - This is no vulgar scene; no palace-roof “ Was e'er so lofty, nor so nobly rise “ Their polish'd pillars as these aged oaks, 634 “ Which o'er our Fleecy wealth and harmless sports “ Thus have expanded wide their shelt’ring arms “ Thrice told an hundred summers. Sweet Content, “ Ye gentle Shepherds ! pillow us at night.”

“ Yes, tuneful Damon, for our cares are short, “ Rising and falling with the cheerful day," 640 Colin reply'd ; " and pleasing weariness “ Soon our unaching heads to sleep inclines. " Is it in cities so? where, poets tell, " The cries of Sorrow sadden all the streets, “ And the diseases of intemp'rate wealth.

645 “ Alas ! that any ills from wealth should rise!

“ May the sweet nightingale on yonder spray, “ May this clear stream, these lawns, those snow.

white lambs, " Which with a pretty innocence of look “ Skip on the green, and race in little troops; 653 May that great lamp which sinks behind the hills, “ And streams around variety of lights, “ Recall them erring ! this is Damon's wish."

† Wreakin, a high hill in Shropshire.

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“ Huge Breaden's f stony summit once I climb’d “ After a kidling : Damon, what a scene ! " What various views unnumber'd spread beneath! “Woods, tow'rs, vales, caves, dells, cliffs, and tor

rent floods, ! And here and there, between the spiry rocks, " The broad flat sea. Far nobler prospects these " Than gardens black with smoke in dusty towns, Where stenchy vapours oft

blot the sun : 661 " Yet, flying from his quiet, thither crowds :“Each greedy wretch for tardy-rising wealth, “Which comes too late, that courts the taste in vain,

“Or nauseates with distempers. Yes, ye Rich! 665 "“Still, still be sich, if thus ye fashion life ; "And piping, careless, silly shepherds we, "We silly shepherds, all intent to feed "Our snowy flocks, and wind the sleeky Fleece.”

“Deein not, howe'er, our occupation mean," 670 Damon reply'd," while the Supreme accounts “ Well of the faithful shepherd, rank'd alike " With king and priest: they also shepherds are ; “For so th’All-seeing stiles them, to remind “Elated man, forgetful of his charge." 675

“ But haste, begin the rites : see purple Eve “Stretches her shadows: all ye Nymphs and Swains! “ Hither assemble. Pleas'd with honours due, " Sabrina, guardian of the crystal food, 679 “ Shall bless our cares, when she by moonlight clear “ Skims o'er the daies, and eyes our sleeping folds ;

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