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4 Not my fields, in the prime of the year, More charms than my cattle unfold; Not a brook that is limpid and clear, But it glitters with fishes of gold.
A tear bedews my Delia's eye
To think yon playful kid must die;
From crystal spring and flow'ry mead
Must in his prime of life recede !
Erewhile, in sportive circles round,
She saw him wheel, and frisk, and bound :
From rock to rock pursue his way,
And on the fearful margin play.
Pleas'd on his various freaks to dwell,
She saw him climb my rustic cell,
Thence eye my lawns with verdure bright,
And seem all ravish'd at the sight.
She tells with what delight he stood
To trace his features in the flood,
Then skipp'd aloof with quaint amaze,
And then drew near again to gaze.
She tells me how with eager speed
He flew to hear my vocal reed;
And how with critic face profound,
And steadfast ear, devour'd the sound.
His ev'ry frolic, light as air,
Deserves the gentle Delia's care;
And tears bedew her tender eye,
To think the playful kid must die.
But knows my Delia, timely wise,
How soon this blameless era Aies !
While violence and craft succeed,
Unfair design, and ruthless deed !
Soon would the vine his wourds deplore,
And yield her purple gifts no more ;
Ah! soon eras'd from ev'ry grove
Were Delia's name and Strephon's love.
No more those bow'rs might Strephon see,
Where first he fondly gaz'd on thee;
No more those beds of flow'rets find,
Which for thy charming brows he twin'd.
Each wayward passion soon would tear
His bosom, now so void of care,
And when they left his ebbing vein,
What but insipid age remain ?
Then mourn not the decrees of Fate,
That gave his life so short a date,
And I will join my tend’rest sighs,
To think that youth so swiftly flies!
To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.
No wailing ghost shall dare appear,
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove,
But shepherd-lads assemble here,
And melting virgins own their love.
No wither'd witch shall here be seen,
No goblins lead their nightly crew;
The female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew.
The red-breast oft at evening hours
Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss and gather'd flow'rs
To deck the ground where thou art laid.
When howling winds and beating rain
In tempests shake the sylvan cell,
Or 'midst the chase, on every plain
The tender thought on thee shall dwell:
Each lonely scene shall thee restore,
For thee the tear be duly shed;
Belov'd till life can charm no more,
And mourn'd till Pity's self be dead.
1 Come, Shepherds ! we'll follow the hearse, And see our lov'd Corydon laid : Tho' sorrow may blemish the verse, Yet let the sad tribute be paid. They call’d him the Pride of the Plain : In sooth he was gentle and kind; He mark'd in his elegant strain The graces that glow'd in his mind.
On purpose he planted yon' trees,
That birds in the covert might dwell;
He cultur’d his thyme for the bees,
But never would rifle their cell.
Ye lambkins ! that play'd at his feet,
Go bleat, and your master bemoan;
His music was artless and sweet,
His manners as mild as your own.
No verdure shall cover the vale,
No bloom on the blossoms appear;
The sweets of the forest shall fail,
And winter discolour the year.
Nó birds in our hedges shall sing,
(Our hedges, so vocal before,)
Since he that should welcome the spring
Can greet the gay season no more.
His Phyllis was fond of his praise,
And poets came round in a throng;
They listened, and envied his lays,
But which of them equall’d his song ?
Ye Shepherds! henceforward be mute,
For lost is the pastoral strain;
So give me my Corydon's flute,
And thus— let me break it in twain.
Happy the man whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Bless'd who can unconcern’dly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day;