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WINDSOR - FOREST.
To the Right Honourable GEORGE Lord LANSDOWN.
HY forefts, Windfor! and thy green retreats,
At once the Monarch's and the Mufe's feats, Invite my lays. Be prefent fylvan maids! Unlock your fprings, and open all your fhades. Granville commands; your aid O Muses bring! What Mufe for Granville can refuse to fing?
The groves of Eden, vanish'd now fo long, Live in description, and look green in fong: Thefe, were my breaft infpir'd with equal flame, Like them in beauty, fhould be like in fame. Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain, Here earth and water feem to ftrive again.
Not Chaos-like together crush'd and bruis'd,
But as the world, harmoniously confus'd:
Where order in variety we fee,
And where, tho' all things differ, all agree,
Here waving groves a checquer'd scene display,
And part admit, and part exclude the day;
As fome coy nymph her lover's warm addrefs
..Nor quite indulges, nor can quite repréfs.
There, interfpers'd in lawns and opening glades,
Thin trees arife that fhun each others fhades.
Here in full light the ruffet plains extend;
There wrapt in clouds the blueish hills afcend:
Ev'n the wild heath difplays her purple dyes,
And 'midft the defert fruitful fields arife,"
That crown'd with tufted trees and springing corn;
Like verdant ifles the fable wafte adorn.
Let India boaft her plants, nor envy we
The weeping amber or the balmy tree,
While by our oaks the precious loads are born,
And realms commanded which thofe trees adorn.
Not proud Olympus yields a nobler fight,
Tho' Gods affembled grace his tow'ring height, "Than what more humble mountains offer here, "Where, in their bleffings, all thofe Gods appear.
See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crown'd,
Here blushing Flora paints th' enamell'd ground,
Here Ceres' gifts in waving profpect ftand,
And nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand,
Rich industry fits smiling on the plains,
And peace and plenty tell, a Stuart reigns.
Not thus the land appear'd in ages paft,
A dreary defert and a gloomy waste,
To favage beafts and * favage laws a prey,
And Kings more furious and fevere than they:
Who claim'd the fkies, difpeopled air and floods,
The lonely Lords of empty wilds and woods.
Cities laid waste, they ftorm'd the dens and caves,
(For wiser brutes were backward to be flaves.)
What could be free, when lawless beafts obey'd,
And ev'n the elements a tyrant fway'd?
In vain kind feafons fwell'd the teeming grain,
Soft fhow'rs diftill'd, and funs grew warm in vain;
The fwain with tears to beafts his labour yields,
And famifh'd dies amidst his ripen'd fields.
No wonder favages or fubjects flain
Were equal crimes in a defpotic reign,
Both doom'd alike for fportive tyrants bled,
But fubjects ftarv'd while favages were fed.
Proud Nimrod first the bloody chace began,
A mighty hunter, and his prey was man.
Our haughty Norman boasts that barb’rous name,
And makes his trembling flaves the royal game.
The fields are ravish'd from th' industrious swains,
From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes:
The levell'd towns with weeds lie cover'd o're;
The hollow winds thro' naked temples roar;
Round broken columns clafping ivy twin'd;
O'er heaps of ruin stalk'd the stately hind;
The fox obfcene to gaping tombs retires,
And wolves with howling fill the facred quires.
Aw'd by his Nobles, by his Commons curft,
Th' oppreffor rul'd tyrannick where he durft,
Stretch'd o'er the Poor, and Church, his iron rod,
And treats alike his vaffals and his God.
Whom ev'n the Saxon fpar'd, and bloody Dane,
The wanton victim of his fport remain.
But fee the man who fpacious regions gave
A wafte for beafts, himfelf deny'd a grave!
↑ Alluding to the new forest, and the tyrannies exercis'd there by William I.