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HE land that answers best the farmer's care,
And silvers to maturity the Hop:
When to inhume the plants; to turn the glebe;
And wed the tendrils to th' aspiring poles:
Under what sign to pluck the crop, and how
5 To cure, and in capacious sacks infold, I teach in verse Miltonian. Smile the muse, And meditate an honour to that land Where first I breath'd, and struggled into life Impatient, Cantium, to be calls thy fon.
Oh! cou'd I emulate Dan Sydney's muse,
Thy Sydney, Cantium----He from court retir’d
In Penshurit's sweet elysium sung delight,
Şung transport to the soft-responding stream:
Of Medway, and enliven’d all her groves:
While ever near him, goddess of the green,
Fair* Pembroke fat, and smild immense applause.
With vocal fascination charm'd the + Hours
Unguarded left Heav'ns adamantine gate,
And to his lyre, swift as the winged sounds
That skim the air, danc'd unperceiv'd away. .
Had I such pow'r, no peasants toil, no hops
Shou'd e'er debase my lay: far nobler themes,
The high atchievements of thy warrior kings
Shou'd raise my thoughts, and dignify my song.
But I, young rustic, dare not leave my cot,
For so enlarg’d a sphere---ah! muse beware,
Left the loud larums of the braying trump,
Left the deep drum shou'd drown thy tender reed,
And mar its puny joints: me, lowly swain,
Every unshaven arboret, me the lawns,
Me the voluminous Medway's silver wave,
Content inglorious, and the hopland shades!
Yeomen, and countrymen attend my song: Whether you shiver in the marshy g Weald, Egregious shepherds of unnumber'd flocks, Whose fleeces, poison’d into purple, deck
* Sister to Sir Philip Sydney.
+--Πυλαι μυκον ερανε ας εχον Ωραι. .
| Rura mihi, & rigui placeant in vallibus amnes, Flumina amem, sylvasque in glorius!
$ Commonly, but improperly call'd, the Wild.
All Europe's kings: or in fair * Madum's vale
Imparadis’d, blest denizons, ye dwell ;
Or + Dorovernia's awful tow’rs ye love:
Or plough Tunbridgia's falutiferous hills
Industrious, and with draughts chalybiate heald,
Confess divine Hygeia’s blissful seat;
The muse demands your presence, ere she tune
Her monitory voice; observe her well,
And catch the wholesome dictates as they fall.
'Midst thy paternal acres, Farmer, say
Has gracious heav'n bestow'd one field, that basks
Its loamy bosom in the mid-day sun,
Emerging gently from the abject vale,
Nor yet obnoxious to the wind, secure
There shall thou plant thy hop. This soil, perhaps,
Thou'lt say, will fill my garners. Be it so.
But Ceres, rural goddess, at the best
Meanly supports her vot’ry', enough for her,
If ill-persuading hunger she repell,
And keep the soul from fainting: to enlarge,
To glad the heart, to sublimate the mind,
And wing the flagging spirits to the sky,
Require th’ united influence and aid
Of Bacchus, God of hops, with Ceres join'd
'Tis he shall gen’rate the buxom beer.
Then on one pedestal, and hand in hand,
Sculptur’d in Parian stone (so gratitude
Indites) let the divine co-part'ners rise.
Stands eastward in thy field a wood? 'tis well.
Esteem it as a bulwark of thy wealth,
And cherish all its branches; tho’ we'll grant,
Its leaves umbrageous may intercept
The morning rays, and envy some small share
Of Sols beneficence to the infant germ.
Yet grutch not that: when whistling Eurus comes,
With all his worlds of insects in thy lands
To hyemate, and monarchize o'er all
Thy vegetable riches, then thy wood
Shall ope it's arms expansive, and embrace
The storm reluctant, and divert its
Armies of animalc'les urge their way
In vain : the ventilating trees oppose
Their airy march. They blacken distant plains.
This site for thy young nurfery obtain’d,
Thou hast begun auspicious, if the soil
(As sung before) be loamy; this the hop
Loves above others, this is rich, is deep,
Is viscous, and tenacious of the pole.
Yet maugre all its native worth, it may
Be meliorated with warm compoft. See!