« ForrigeFortsett »
Byt corn was housed, and beans were in the stack,
The sun, accomplishing his early march,
pressed The herb as soft, while nibbling strayed the rest; Nor noise was heard but of the hasty brook, Struggling, detained in many a petty nook. All seemed so peaceful, that from them conveyed To me, their peace by kind contagion spread.
But when the huntsman, with distended cheek, 'Gan make his instrument of music speak, And from within the wood that crash was heard, Though not a hound from whom it burst appeared,
The sheep recumbent, and the sheep that grazed,
The man to solitude accustomed long,
He spells them true by intuition's light,
This truth premised was needful as a text, in To win due credence to what follows next.
Awhile they mused; surveying every face, Thou hadst supposed them of superior race; Their periwigs of wool, and fears combined, Stamped on each countenance such marks of mind, That sage they seemed, as lawyers o'er a doubt, Which, puzzling long, at last they puzzle out; Or academic tutors, teaching youths, Sure ne'er to want them, mathematic truths; When thus a mutton, statelier than the rest, A ram, the ewes and wethers sad, addressed.
Friends! we have lived too long. I never heard Sounds such as these, so worthy to be feared, Could I believe that winds for ages pent In earth's dark womb have found at last a vent, And from their prison-house below arise, With all these hideous howlings to the skies, I could be much composed, nor should appear For such a cause to feel the slightest fear. Yourselves have seen, what time the thunders rolled All night, we resting quiet in the fold. Or heard we that tremendous bray alone, I could expound the melancholy tone; Should deem it by our old companion made, The ass ; for he, we know, has lately strayed, And being lost perhaps, and wandering wide, Might be supposed to clamour for a guide.
But ah! those dreadful yells what soul can hear,
Him answered then his loving mate and true, But more discreet than he, a Cambrian ewe.
How? leap into the pit our life to save ? To save our life leap all into the grave? For can we find it less ? Contemplate first The depth how awful ! falling there, we burst : Or should the brambles, interposed, our fall In part abate, that happiness were small ; For with a race like theirs no chance I see Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we. Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple’s bray, Or be it not, or be it whose it may, And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues Of dæmons uttered, from whatever lungs, Sounds are but sounds, and till the cause appear We have at least commodious standing here. Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast From earth or hell, we can but plunge at last.
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals, For Reynard, close attended at his heels
By panting dog, tired man, and spattered horse,
Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day,
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Full of rage, and full of grief.