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' ON HIS FIRST ARRIVAL AT THE
BY DODSLEY. ‘How shall I fix my wandering eye? where find The source of this enchantment? Dwelis it in The woods ? or waves there not a magic wand O'er the translucent waters? Sure, unseen, Some favouring power directs the happy lines That sketch these beauties; swells the rising hills, And scoops the dales to Nature's finest forms, Vague, undetermin’d, infinite; untaught By line or compass, yet supremely fair !' So spake Philenor, as with raptur'd gaze He travers'd Damon's farm: from distant plains He sought his friend's, abode; nor had the fame Of that new-form'd Arcadia reach'd his ear.
And thus the swain, as o’er each hill and dale, Through lawn or thicket, he pursued his way :• What is it gilds the verdure of these meads With hues more bright than Fancy paints the flowers Of Paradise? Wbat naiad's guiding hand Leads, through the broider'd vale, these lucid rills, That, murmuring as they flow, bear melody Along their banks, and through the vocal shades Improve the music of the woodland choir? What pensive dryad rais'd yon solemn grove, Where minds contemplative at close of day Retiring, muse o'er Nature's various works, Her wonders venerate, or her sweets enjoy ? What room for doubt? some rural deity, Presiding, scatters o'er the’ unequal lawns,
In beauteous wildness, yon fair-spreading trees,
• Yes, 'tis enchantment all-And see! the spells,
MR. ROBERT DODSLEY,
* Thee, Shepherd ! thee the woods and desert caves,
'Tis past, my friend! the transient scene is clos'd! The fairy pile, the enchanted vision, rais'd By Damon's magic skill, is lost in air! [main ;
What though the lawns and pendent woods reEach tinkling stream, each rushing cataract, With lapse incessant echoes through the dale? Yet what avails the lifeless landscape now? The charni's dissolv'd; the genius of the wood, Alas! is flown—for Damon is no more.
As when from fair Lycæum, crown'd with pines, Or Mänalus, with leaves autumnal strew'd, The tuneful Pan retires, the vocal hills Resound no more, and all Arcadia mourns.
Yet here we fondly dream'd of lasting joys; Here we had hop'd, from noisy throngs retird, To drink large draughts of Friendship’s cordial
stream, In sweet oblivion wrapt, by Damon's verse, And social converse, many a summer's day.
Romantic wish! in vain frail mortals trace The' imperfect sketch of human bliss—Whilst yet The' enraptur'd sire his well-plann'd structure views Majestic rising midst his infant groves,
Sees the dark laurel spread its glossy shade,
Oh! teach me then, like you, my friend! to raise
fauns, Or naïd leaning o'er her tinkling urn. Oh! could I learn to sanctify my strains With hymns, like those by tuneful Meyrick sunga Or rather catch the melancholy sounds From Warton's reed, or Mason's lyre-to paint The sudden gloom that damps iny soulBut see! Melpomene herself has snatch'd the pipe With which sad Lyttleton his Lucia mourn'd, And plaintive cries, My Shenstone is no more!'
NEAR BIRMINGHAM, 1756.
Ille terrarum mihi præter omnes
Would you these lov'd recesses trace,
What though no pageant trifles here,
1 IMITATION. Whate'er the beauties others boast, That spot of ground delights me most.