THE HOP-GARDEN. A GEORGIC.
In Two BOOKS.
Me quoque Parnassi per lubicra culmina raptat
Laudis amor: studium sequor insanabile vatis,
Ausus non operam, non formidare poetae
Nomen, adoratum quondam, nunc paene procaci
Monstratum digito. —Van. Praed. Rust.
THE HOP-GARDEN. A GEORGIC. BOOK the FIRST.
1 THE land that answers best the farmer's care,
2 And silvers to maturity the Hop:
3 When to inhume the plants; to turn the glebe;
4 And wed the tendrils to th' aspiring poles:
5 Under what sign to pluck the crop, and how
6 To cure, and in capacious sacks infold,
7 I teach in verse Miltonian. Smile the muse,
8 And meditate an honour to that land
9 Where first I breath'd, and struggled into life
10 Impatient, Cantium, to be call'd thy son.
11 Oh! cou'd I emulate Dan Sydney's muse,
12 Thy Sydney, Cantium — He from court retir'd
13 In Penshurst's sweet elysium sung delight,
14 Sung transport to the soft-responding streams
15 Of Medway, and enliven'd all her groves:[Page 104]
16 While ever near him, goddess of the green,
* Sister to Sir Philip Sydney. Pembroke sat, and smil'd immense applause.
18 With vocal fascination charm'd the†
† —〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉HOM. E. Hours
19 Unguarded left Heav'ns adamantine gate,
20 And to his lyre, swift as the winged sounds
21 That skim the air, danc'd unperceiv'd away.
22 Had I such pow'r, no peasants toil, no hops
23 Shou'd e'er debase my lay: far nobler themes,
24 The high atchievements of thy warrior kings
25 Shou'd raise my thoughts, and dignify my song.
26 But I, young rustic, dare not leave my cot,
27 For so enlarg'd a sphere — ah! muse beware,
28 Lest the loud larums of the braying trump,
29 Lest the deep drum shou'd drown thy tender reed,
30 And mar its puny joints: me, lowly swain,
31 Every unshaven arboret, me the lawns,
32 Me the voluminous Medway's silver wave,
Content inglorious, and the hopland shades!
Rura mihi, & rigui placeant in vallibus amnes,
Flumina amen, sylvasque in glorius! VIRG. GEORG. 2.
34 Yeomen, and countrymen attend my song:
35 Whether you shiver in the marshy§
§ Commonly, but improperly call'd, the Wild. Weald,
36 Egregious shepherds of unnumber'd flocks,
37 Whose fleeces, poison'd into purple, deck[Page 105]
38 All Europe's kings: or in fair*
* Maidstone. Madum's vale
39 Imparadis'd, blest denizons, ye dwell;
† Canterbury. Dorovernia's awful tow'rs ye love:
41 Or plough Tunbridgia's salutiferous hills
42 Industrious, and with draughts chalybiate heal'd,
43 Confess divine Hygeia's blissful seat;
44 The muse demands your presence, ere she tune
45 Her monitory voice; observe her well,
46 And catch the wholesome dictates as they fall.
47 'Midst thy paternal acres, Farmer, say
48 Has gracious heav'n bestow'd one field, that basks
49 Its loamy bosom in the mid-day sun,
50 Emerging gently from the abject vale,
51 Nor yet obnoxious to the wind, secure
52 There shall thou plant thy hop. This soil, perhaps,
53 Thou'lt say, will fill my garners. Be it so.
54 But Ceres, rural goddess, at the best
55 Meanly supports her vot'ry', enough for her,
56 If ill-persuading hunger she repell,
57 And keep the soul from fainting: to enlarge,
58 To glad the heart, to sublimate the mind,
59 And wing the flagging spirits to the sky,
60 Require th' united influence and aid
61 Of Bacchus, God of hops, with Ceres join'd[Page 106]
62 'Tis he shall gen'rate the buxom beer.
63 Then on one pedestal, and hand in hand,
64 Sculptur'd in Parian stone (so gratitude
65 Indites) let the divine co-part'ners rise.
66 Stands eastward in thy field a wood? 'tis well.
67 Esteem it as a bulwark of thy wealth,
68 And cherish all its branches; tho' we'll grant,
69 Its leaves umbrageous may intercept
70 The morning rays, and envy some small share
71 Of Sol's beneficence to the infant germ.
72 Yet grutch not that: when whistling Eurus comes,
73 With all his worlds of insects in thy lands
74 To hyemate, and monarchize o'er all
75 Thy vegetable riches, then thy wood
76 Shall ope it's arms expansive, and embrace
77 The storm reluctant, and divert its rage.
78 Armies of animalc'les urge their way
79 In vain: the ventilating trees oppose
80 Their airy march. They blacken distant plains.
81 This site for thy young nursery obtain'd,
82 Thou hast begun auspicious, if the soil
83 (As sung before) be loamy; this the hop
84 Loves above others, this is rich, is deep,
85 Is viscous, and tenacious of the pole.
86 Yet maugre all its native worth, it may
87 Be meliorated with warm compost. See![Page 107]
* Boxley-Hill, which extends through great part of Kent. Yon craggy mountain, whose fastidious head,
89 Divides the star-set hemisphere above,
90 And Cantium's plains beneath; the Appennine
91 Of a free Italy, whose chalky sides
92 With verdant shrubs dissimilarly gay,
93 Still captivate the eye, while at his feet
94 The silver Medway glides, and in her breast
95 Views the reflected landskip, charm'd she views
96 And murmurs louder ectasy below.
97 Here let us rest awhile, pleas'd to behold
98 Th' all-beautiful horizon's wide expanse,
99 Far as the eagle's ken. Here tow'ring spires
100 First catch the eye, and turn the thoughts to heav'n.
101 The lofty elms in humble majesty
102 Bend with the breeze to shade the solemn groves,
103 And spread an holy darkness; Ceres there
104 Shines in her golden vesture. Here the meads
105 Enrich'd by Flora's daedal hand, with pride
106 Expose their spotted verdure. Nor are you
107 Pomona absent; you 'midst th' hoary leaves
108 Swell the vermilion cherry; and on you trees
109 Suspend the pippen's palatable gold.
110 There old Sylvanus in that moss-grown grot
111 Dwells with his wood-nymphs: they with chaplets green
112 And russet mantles oft bedight, aloft[Page 108]
113 From yon bent oaks, in Medway's bosom fair
114 Wonder at silver bleak, and prickly pearch,
115 That swiftly thro' their floating forests glide.
116 Yet not even these — these ever-varied scenes
117 Of wealth and pleasure can engage my eyes
118 T' o'erlook the lowly hawthorn, if from thence
119 The thrush, sweet warbler, chants th' unstudied lays
120 Which Phoebus' self vaulting from yonder cloud
121 Refulgent, with enliv'ning ray inspires.
122 But neither tow'ring spires, nor lofty elms,
123 Nor golden Ceres, nor the meadows green,
124 Nor orchats, nor the russet-mantled nymphs,
125 Which to the murmurs of the Medway dance,
126 Nor sweetly warbling thrush, with half those charms
127 Attract my eyes, as yonder hop-land close,
128 Joint-work of art and nature, which reminds
129 The muse, and to her theme the wand'rer calls.
130 Here then with pond'rous vehicles and teams
131 Thy rustics send, and from the caverns deep
132 Command them bring the chalk: thence to the kiln
133 Convey, and temper with Vulcanian fires.
134 Soon as 'tis form'd, thy lime with bounteous hand
135 O'er all thy lands disseminate; thy lands
136 Which first have felt the soft'ning spade, and drank
137 The strength'ning vapours from nutricious marl.
138 This done, select the choicest hop, t' insert
139 Fresh in the opening glebe. Say then, my muse,
140 Its various kinds, and from th' effete and vile,
141 The eligible separate with care.
142 The noblest species is by Kentish wights
143 The Master-hop yclep'd. Nature to him
144 Has giv'n a stouter stalk, patient of cold,
145 Or Phoebus ev'n in youth, his verdant blood
146 In brisk saltation circulates and flows
147 Indesinently vigorous: the next
148 Is arid, fetid, infecund, and gross
149 Significantly styl'd the Fryar: the last
150 Is call'd the Savage, who in ev'ry wood,
151 And ev'ry hedge unintroduc'd intrudes.
152 When such the merit of the candidates,
153 Easy is the election; but, my friend
154 Would'st thou ne'er fail, to Kent direct thy way,
155 Where no one shall be frustrated that seeks
156 Ought that is great or good. *
Hail, Cantium, hail!
Salve magna parens frugum, Saturnia tellus
Magna virûm; tibi res antiquae laudis & artis
Ingredior, sanctos ausus recludere fontes,
Ascraeumque cano Romana per oppida carmen. VIRG. GEORG. 2.
157 Illustrious parent of the finest fruits,
158 Illustrious parent of the best of men!
159 For thee Antiquity's thrice sacred springs[Page 110]
160 Placidly stagnant at their fountain head,
161 I rashly dare to trouble (if from thence,
162 If ought for thy util'ty I can drain)
163 And in thy towns adopt th' Ascraean muse.
164 Hail heroes, hail invaluable gems,
165 Splendidly rough within your native mines,
166 To luxury unrefined, better far
167 To shake with unbought agues in your weald,
168 Than dwell a slave to passion and to wealth,
169 Politely paralytic in the town!
170 Fav'rites of heav'n! to whom the general doom
171 Is all remitted, who alone possess
172 Of Adam's sons fair Eden — rest ye here,
173 Nor seek an earthly good above the hop;
174 A good! untasted by your ancient kings,
175 And almost to your very sires unknown.
176 In those blest days when great Eliza reign'd
177 O'er the adoring nation, when fair peace
178 Or spread an unstain'd olive round the land,
179 Or laurell'd war did teach our winged fleets
180 To lord it o'er the world, when our brave sires
181 Drank valour from uncauponated beer;
182 Then th' hop (before an interdicted plant,
183 Shun'd like fell aconite) began to hang
184 Its folded floscles from the golden vine,
185 And bloom'd a shade to Cantium's sunny shores[Page 111]
186 Delightsome, and in chearful goblets laught
187 Potent, what time Aquarius' urn impends
188 To kill the dulsome day — potent to quench
189 The Syrian ardour, and autumnal ills
190 To heal with mild potations; sweeter far
191 Than those which erst the subtile*
* See the following story told at large in Lambarde's perambulation of Kent. Hengist mix'd
192 T' inthral voluptuous Vortigern. He, with love
193 Emasculate and wine, the toils of war,
194 Neglected, and to dalliance vile and sloth
195 Emancipated, saw th' incroaching Saxons
196 With unaffected eyes; his hand which ought
197 T' have shook the spear of justice, soft and smooth,
198 Play'd ravishing divisions on the lyre:
199 This Hengist mark'd, and (for curs'd insolence
200 Soon fattens on impunity! and becomes
201 Briareus from a dwarf) fair Thanet gain'd.
202 Nor stopt he here; but to immense attempts
203 Ambition sky-aspiring led him on
204 Adventrous. He an only daughter rear'd,
205 Roxena, matchless maid! nor rear'd in vain.
206 Her eagle-ey'd callidity, grave deceit,
207 And fairy fiction rais'd above her sex,
208 And furnish'd her with thousand various wiles
209 Preposterous, more than female; wondrous fair[Page 112]
210 She was, and docile, which her pious nurse
211 Observ'd, and early in each female fraud
212 Her 'gan initiate: well she knew to smile,
213 Whene'er vexation gall'd her; did she weep?
214 'Twas not sincere, the fountains of her eyes
215 Play'd artificial streams, yet so well forc'd
216 They look'd like nature; for ev'n art to her
217 Was natural, and contrarieties
218 Seem'd in Roxena congruous and allied.
219 Such was she, when brisk Vortigern beheld,
220 Ill-fated prince! and lov'd her. She perceiv'd,
221 Soon she perceiv'd her conquest; soon she told,
222 With hasty joy transported, her old sire.
223 The Saxon inly smil'd, and to his isle
224 The willing prince invited, but first bad
225 The nymph prepare the potions; such as fire
226 The blood's meand'ring rivulets, and depress
227 To love the soul. Lo! at the noon of night
228 Thrice Hecate invok'd the maid — and thrice
229 The goddess stoop'd assent; forth from a cloud
230 She stoop'd, and gave the philters pow'r to charm.
231 These in a splendid cup of burnish'd gold
232 The lovely sorceress mix'd, and to the prince
233 Health, peace, and joy propin'd, but to herself
234 Mutter'd dire exorcisms, and wish'd effect
235 To th' love-creating draught: lowly she bow'd
236 Fawning insinuation bland, that might[Page 113]
237 Deceive Laertes' son; her lucid orbs
238 Shed copiously the oblique rays; her face
239 Like modest Luna's shone, but not so pale,
240 And with no borrow'd lustre; on her brow
241 Smil'd Fallacy, while summoning each grace,
242 Kneeling she gave the cup. The prince (for who!
243 Who cou'd have spurn'd a suppliant so divine?)
244 Drank eager, and in ecstasy devour'd
245 Th' ambrosial perturbation; mad with love
246 He clasp'd her, and in Hymeneal bands
247 At once the nymph demanded and obtain'd.
248 Now Hengist, all his ample wish fulfill'd,
249 Exulted; and from Kent th' uxorious prince
250 Exterminated, and usurp'd his seat.
251 Long did he reign; but all-devouring time
252 Has raz'd his palace walls — Perchance on them
253 Grows the green hop, and o'er his crumbled bust
254 In spiral twines ascends the scancile pole. —
255 But now to plant, to dig, to dung, to weed;
256 Tasks how indelicate? demand the muse.
257 Come, fair magician, sportive Fancy come,
258 With thy unbounded imagery; child of thought,
259 From thy aeriel citadel descend,
260 And (for thou canst) assist me. Bring with thee
261 Thy all-creative Talisman; with thee
262 The active spirits ideal, tow'ring flights,[Page 114]
263 That hover o'er the muse-resounding groves,
264 And all thy colourings, all thy shapes display.
265 Thou too be here, Experience, so shall I
266 My rules nor in low prose jejunely say,
267 Nor in smooth numbers musically err;
268 But vain is Fancy and Experience vain,
269 If thou, O Hesiod! Virgil of our land,
270 Or hear'st thou rather, Milton, bard divine,
271 Whose greatness who shall imitate, save thee?
272 If thou O*
* Mr. John Philips, author of Cyder, a poem. Philips fav'ring dost not hear
273 Me, inexpert of verse; with gentle hand
274 Uprear the unpinion'd muse, high on the top
275 Of that immeasurable mount, that far
276 Exceeds thine own Plinlimmon, where thou tun'st
277 With Phoebus' self thy lyre. Give me to turn
278 Th' unwieldly subject with thy graceful ease,
279 Extol its baseness with thy art; but chief
280 Illumine, and invigorate with thy fire.
281 When Phoebus looks thro' Aries on the spring,
282 And vernal flow'rs promise the dulcet fruit,
283 Autumnal pride! delay not then thy setts
284 In Tellus' facile bosom to depose
285 Timely: if thou art wise the bulkiest chuse:
286 To every root three joints indulge, and form[Page 115]
287 The Quincunx with well regulated hills.
288 Soon from the dung-enriched earth, their heads
289 Thy young plants will uplift, their virgin arms
290 They'll stretch, and marriageable claim the pole.
291 Nor frustrate thou their wishes, so thou may'st
292 Expect an hopeful issue, jolly Mirth,
293 Sister of taleful Jocus, tuneful Song,
294 And fat Good-nature with her honest face.
295 But yet in the novitiate of their love,
296 And tenderness of youth suffice small shoots
297 Cut from the widow'd willow, nor provide
298 Poles insurmountable as yet. 'Tis then
299 When twice bright Phoebus' vivifying ray,
300 Twice the cold touch of winter's icy hand,
301 They've felt; 'tis then we fell sublimer props.
302 'Tis then the sturdy woodman's axe from far
303 Resounds, resounds, and hark! with hollow groans
304 Down tumble the big trees, and rushing roll
305 O'er the crush'd crackling brake, while in his cave
306 Forlorn, dejected, 'midst the weeping dryads
307 Laments Sylvanus for his verdant care.
308 The ash, or willow for thy use select,
309 Or storm-enduring chesnut; but the oak
310 Unfit for this employ, for nobler ends
311 Reserve untouch'd; she when by time matur'd,
312 Capacious, of some British demi-god,
313 Vernon, or Warren, shall with rapid wing[Page 116]
314 Infuriate, like Jove's armour-bearing bird,
315 Fly on thy foes; They, like the parted waves,
316 Which to the brazen beak murmuring give way
317 Amaz'd, and roaring from the fight recede. —
318 In that sweet month, when to the list'ning swains
319 Fair Philomel sings love, and every cot
320 With garlands blooms bedight, with bandage meet
321 The tendrils bind, and to the tall pole tie,
322 Else soon, too soon their meretricious arms
323 Round each ignoble clod they'll fold, and leave
324 Averse the lordly prop. Thus, have I heard
325 Where there's no mutual tye, no strong connection
326 Of love-conspiring hearts, oft the young bride
327 Has prostituted to her slaves her charms,
328 While the infatuated lord admires
* Miraturque novas frondes, & non sua poma. VIRG. Fresh-budding sprouts, and issue not his own.
330 Now turn the glebe: soon with correcting hand
331 When smiling June in jocund dance leads on
332 Long days and happy hours, from ev'ry vine
333 Dock the redundant branches, and once more
334 With the sharp spade thy numerous acres till.
335 The shovel next must lend its aid, enlarge
336 The little hillocks, and erase the weeds.
337 This in that month its title which derives[Page 117]
338 From great Augustus' ever sacred name!
339 Sovereign of Science! master of the Muse!
340 Neglected Genius' firm ally! Of worth
341 Best judge, and best rewarder, whose applause
342 To bards was fame and fortune! O! 'twas well,
343 Well did you too in this, all glorious heroes!
344 Ye Romans! — on Time's wing you've stamp'd his praise,
345 And time shall bear it to eternity.
346 Now are our labours crown'd with their reward,
347 Now bloom the florid hops, and in the stream
348 Shine in their floating silver, while above
349 T'embow'ring branches culminate, and form
350 A walk impervious to the sun; the poles
351 In comely order stand; and while you cleave
352 With the small skiff the Medway's lucid wave,
353 In comely order still their ranks preserve,
354 And seem to march along th' extensive plain.
355 In neat arrangement thus the men of Kent,
356 With native oak at once adorn'd and arm'd,
357 Intrepid march'd; for well they knew the cries
358 Of dying Liberty, and Astraea's voice,
359 Who as she fled, to echoing woods complain'd.
360 Of tyranny, and William; like a god,
361 Refulgent stood the conqueror, on his troops
362 He sent his looks enliv'ning as the sun's,
363 But on his foes frown'd agony, frown'd death. [Page 118]
364 On his left side in bright emblazonry
365 His falchion burn'd; forth from his sevenfold shield
366 A basilisk shot adamant; his brow
367 Wore clouds of fury! — on that with plumage crown'd
368 Of various hue sat a tremendous cone:
369 Thus sits high-canopied above the clouds,
370 Terrific beauty of nocturnal skies,
* Aurora Borealis, or lights in the air; a phoenomenon which of late years has been very frequent here, and in all the more northern countries. Northern Aurora; she thro' th' azure air
372 Shoots, shoots her trem'lous rays in painted streaks
373 Continual, while waving to the wind
374 O'er Night's dark veil her lucid tresses flow.
375 The trav'ler views th' unseasonable day
376 Astound, the proud bend lowly to the earth,
377 The pious matrons tremble for the world.
378 But what can daunt th' insuperable souls
379 Of Cantium's matchless sons? On they proceed,
380 All innocent of fear; each face express'd
381 Contemptuous admiration, while they view'd
382 The well-fed brigades of embroider'd slaves
383 That drew the sword for gain. First of the van,
384 With an enormous bough, a shepherd swain
385 Whistled with rustic notes; but such as show'd
386 A heart magnanimous: The men of Kent[Page 119]
387 Follow the tuneful swain, while o'er their heads
388 The green leaves whisper, and the big boughs bend.
389 'Twas thus the Thracian, whose all-quick'ning lyre
390 The floods inspir'd, and taught the rocks to feel,
391 Play'd before dancing Haemus, to the tune,
392 The lute's soft tune! The flutt'ring branches wave,
393 The rocks enjoy it, and the rivulets hear,
394 The hillocks skip, emerge the humble vales,
395 And all the mighty mountain nods applause.
396 The conqueror view'd them, and as one that sees
397 The vast abrupt of Scylla, or as one
398 That from th' oblivious Lethaean streams
399 Has drank eternal apathy, he stood.
400 His host an universal panic seiz'd
401 Prodigious, inopine; their armour shook,
402 And clatter'd to the trembling of their limbs;
403 Some to the walking wilderness gan run
404 Confus'd, and in th' inhospitable shade
405 For shelter sought — Wretches! they shelter find,
406 Eternal shelter in the arms of death!
407 Thus when Aquarius pours out all his urn.
408 Down on some lonesome heath, the traveller
409 That wanders o'er the wint'ry waste, accepts
410 The invitation of some spreading beech
411 Joyous; but soon the treach'rous gloom betrays
412 Th' unwary visitor, while on his head
413 Th' inlarging drops in double show'rs descend.
414 And now no longer in disguise the men
415 Of Kent appear; down they all drop their boughs,
416 And shine in brazen panoply divine.
417 Enough — Great William (for full well he knew
418 How vain would be the contest) to the sons
419 Of glorious Cantium, gave their lives, and laws,
420 And liberties secure, and to the prowess
421 Of Kentish wights, like Caesar, deign'd to yield.
422 Caesar and William! Hail immortal worthies,
423 Illustrious vanquish'd! Cantium, if to them,
424 Posterity with all her chiefs unborn,
425 Ought similar, ought second has to boast,
426 Once more (so prophecies the Muse) thy sons
427 Shall triumph, emulous of their sires — till then
428 With olive, and with hop-land garlands crown'd,
429 O'er all thy land reign Plenty, reign fair Peace.
THE HOP-GARDEN. A GEORGIC. BOOK the SECOND.
Omnia quae multo ante memor provisa repones,
Si te digna manet divini gloria ruris.
VIRG. Geor. lib. 1.
THE HOP-GARDEN. A GEORGIC. BOOK the SECOND.
1 AT length the Muse her destin'd task resumes
2 With joy; agen o'er all her hop-land groves
3 She longs t' expatiate free of wing. Long while
4 For a much-loving, much-lov'd youth she wept,
5 And sorrow'd silence o'er th' untimely urn.
6 Hush then, effeminate sobs; and thou, my heart,
7 Rebel to grief no more — And yet a while,
8 A little while, indulge the friendly tears.
9 O'er the wild world, like Noah's dove, in vain
10 I seek the olive peace, around me wide
11 See! see! the wat'ry waste — In vain, forlorn
12 I call the Phoenix fair Sincerity;
13 Alas! — extinguish'd to the skies she fled,
14 And left no heir behind her. Where is now
15 Th' eternal smile of goodness? Where is now[Page 124]
16 That all-extensive charity of soul,
17 So rich in sweetness, that the classic sounds
18 In elegance Augustan cloath'd, the wit
19 That flow'd perennial, hardly were observ'd,
20 Or, if observ'd, set off a brighter gem.
21 How oft, and yet how seldom did it seem!
22 Have I enjoy'd his converse? — When we met,
23 The hours how swift they sweetly fled, and till
24 Agen I saw him, how they loiter'd. Oh!
* Mr. Theophilus Wheeler, of Christ-College, Cambridge. THEOPHILUS, thou dear departed soul,
26 What flattering tales thou told'st me? How thou'dst hail
27 My Muse, and took'st imaginary walks
28 All in my hopland groves! Stay yet, oh stay!
29 Thou dear deluder, thou hast seen but half —
30 He's gone! and ought that's equal to his praise
31 Fame has not for me, tho' she prove most kind.
32 Howe'er this verse be sacred to thy name,
33 These tears, the last sad duty of a friend.
34 Oft i'll indulge the pleasurable pain
35 Of recollection; oft on Medway's banks
36 I'll muse on thee full pensive; while her streams
37 Regardful ever of my grief, shall flow
38 In sullen silence silverly along
39 The weeping shores — or else accordant with
40 My loud laments, shall ever and anon
41 Make melancholy music to the shades,[Page 125]
42 The hopland shades, that on her banks expose
43 Serpentine vines and flowing locks of gold.
44 Ye smiling nymphs, th' inseparable train
45 Of saffron Ceres; ye, that gamesome dance,
46 And sing to jolly Autumn, while he stands
47 With his right hand poizing the scales of heav'n,
48 And with his left grasps Amalthea's horn:
49 Young chorus of fair bacchanals, descend,
50 And leave a while the sickle; yonder hill,
51 Where stand the loaded hop-poles, claims your care.
52 There mighty Bacchus stradling cross the bin,
53 Waits your attendance — There he glad reviews
54 His paunch, approaching to immensity
55 Still nearer, and with pride of heart surveys
56 Obedient mortals, and the world his own.
57 See! from the great metropolis they rush,
58 Th' industrious vulgar. They, like prudent bees,
59 In Kent's wide garden roam, expert to crop
60 The flow'ry hop, and provident to work,
61 Ere winter numb their sunburnt hands, and winds
62 Engoal them, murmuring in their gloomy cells.
63 From these, such as appear the rest t' excell
64 In strength and young agility, select.
65 These shall support with vigour and address
66 The bin-man's weighty office; now extract
67 From the sequacious earth the pole, and now[Page 126]
68 Unmarry from the closely clinging vine.
69 O'er twice three pickers, and no more, extend
70 The bin-man's sway; unless thy ears can bear
71 The crack of poles continual, and thine eyes
72 Behold unmoved the hurrying peasant tear
73 Thy wealth, and throw it on the thankless ground.
74 But first the careful planter will consult
75 His quantity of acres, and his crop,
76 How many and how large his kilns; and then
77 Proportion'd to his wants the hands provide.
78 But yet, of greater consequence and cost,
79 One thing remains unsung, a man of faith
80 And long experience, in whose thund'ring voice
81 Lives hoarse authority, potent to quell
82 The frequent frays of the tumultuous crew.
83 He shall preside o'er all thy hop-land store,
84 Severe dictator! His unerring hand,
85 And eye inquisitive, in heedful guise,
86 Shall to the brink the measure fill, and fair
87 On the twin registers the work record.
88 And yet I've known them own a female reign,
89 And gentle*
* The Author's youngest Sister. Marianne's soft Orphean voice
90 Has hymn'd sweet lessons of humanity
91 To the wild brutal crew. Oft her command
92 Has sav'd the pillars of the hopland state,[Page 127]
93 The lofty poles from ruin, and sustain'd,
94 Like ANNA, or ELIZA, her domain,
95 With more than manly dignity. Oft I've seen,
96 Ev'n at her frown the boist'rous uproar cease,
97 And the mad pickers, tam'd to diligence,
98 Cull from the bin the sprawling sprigs, and leaves
99 That stain the sample, and its worth debase.
100 All things thus settled and prepared, what now
101 Can let the planters purposes? Unless
102 The Heavens frown dissent, and ominous winds
103 Howl thro' the concave of the troubled sky.
104 And oft, alas! the long experienc'd wights
105 (Oh! could they too prevent them) storms foresee.
106 *[Page 128] *
For, as the storm rides on the rising clouds,
Numquam imprudentibus imber
Obfuit. Aut illum surgentem vallibus imis
Aëriae fugere grues: aut bucula coelum
Suspiciens, patulis captavit naribus auras:
Aut arguta lacus circumvolitavit hirundo:
Et veterem in limo ranae cecinere querelam.
Saepius & tectis penetralibus extulit ova
Angustum formica terens iter, & bibit ingens
Arcus & e pastu decedens agmine magno
Corvorum increpuit densis exercitus alis.
Jam varias pelagi volucres, & quae Asia circum
Dulcibus in stagnis rimantur prata Caystri,
Certatim largos humeris infundere rores;
Nunc caput objectare fretis, nunc currere in undas,
Et studio incassum videas gestire lavandi.
Tum cornix plena pluviam vocat improba voce,
Et sola in sicca secum spatiatur arena.
Nec nocturna quidem carpentes pensa puellae
Nescivere hyemem. VIRG. Georg. 1.
107 Fly the fleet wild-geese far away, or else
108 The heifer towards the zenith rears her head,
109 And with expanded nostrils snuffs the air:
110 The swallows too their airy circuits weave,
111 And screaming skim the brook; and fen-bred frogs
112 Forth from their hoarse throats their old grutch recite:
113 Or from her earthly coverlets the ant
114 Heaves her huge eggs along the narrow way:
115 Or bends Thaumantia's variegated bow
116 Athwart the cope of heav'n: or sable crows
117 Obstreperous of wing, in crouds combine:
118 Besides, unnumber'd troops of birds marine,
119 And Asia's feather'd flocks, that in the muds
120 Of flow'ry-edg'd Cayster wont to prey,
121 Now in the shallows duck their speckled heads,
122 And lust to lave in vain, their unctious plumes
123 Repulsive baffle their efforts: Next hark
124 How the curs'd raven, with her harmful voice,
125 Invokes the rain, ahd croaking to herself,
126 Struts on some spacious solitary shore.
127 Nor want thy servants and thy wife at home
128 Signs to presage the show'r; for in the hall
129 Sheds Niobe her prescious tears, and warns
130 Beneath thy leaden tubes to fix the vase,
131 And catch the falling dew-drops, which supply
132 Soft water and salubrious, far the best
133 To soak thy hops, and brew thy generous beer. [Page 129]
134 But tho' bright Phoebus smile, and in the skies
135 The purple-rob'd serenity appear;
136 Tho' every cloud be fled, yet if the rage
137 Of Boreas, or the blasting East prevail,
138 The planter has enough to check his hopes,
139 And in due bounds confine his joy; for see
140 The ruffian winds, in their abrupt career,
141 Leave not a hop behind, or at the best
142 Mangle the circling vine, and intercept
143 The juice nutricious: Fatal means, alas!
144 Their colour and condition to destroy.
145 Haste then, ye peasants; pull the poles, the hops;
146 Where are the bins? Run, run, ye nimble maids,
147 Move ev'ry muscle, ev'ry nerve extend,
148 To save our crop from ruin, and ourselves.
149 Soon as bright Chanticleer explodes the night
150 With flutt'ring wings, and hymns the new-born day,
151 The bugle-horn inspire, whose clam'rous bray
152 Shall rouse from sleep the rebel rout, and tune
153 To temper for the labours of the day.
154 Wisely the several stations of the bins
155 By lot determine. Justice this, and this
156 Fair Prudence does demand; for not without
157 A certain method cou'dst thou rule the mob
158 Irrational, nor every where alike
159 Fair hangs the hop to tempt the picker's hand.
160 Now see the crew mechanic might and main
161 Labour with lively diligence, inspir'd
162 By appetie of gain and lust of praise:
163 What mind so petty, servile, and debas'd,
164 As not to know ambition? Her great sway
165 From Colin Clout to Emperors she exerts.
166 To err is human, human to be vain.
167 'Tis vanity, and mock desire of fame,
168 That prompts the rustic, on the steeple top
169 Sublime, to mark the outlines of his shoe,
170 And in the area to engrave his name.
171 With pride of heart the churchwarden surveys,
172 High o'er the bellfry, girt with birds and flow'rs,
173 His story wrote in capitals: "'Twas I
174 " That bought the font; and I repair'd the pews. "
175 With pride like this the emulating mob
176 Strive for the mastery — who first may fill
177 The bellying bin, and cleanest cull the hops.
178 Nor ought retards, unless invited out
179 By Sol's declining, and the evening's calm,
180 Leander leads Laetitia to the scene
181 Of shade and fragrance — Then th' exulting band
182 Of pickers male and female, seize the fair
183 Reluctant, and with boist'rous force and brute,
184 By cries unmov'd, they bury her in the bin.
185 Nor does the youth escape — him too they seize,
186 And in such posture place as best may serve[Page 131]
187 To hide his charmer's blushes. Then with shouts
188 They rend the echoing air, and from them both
189 (So custom has ordain'd) a largess claim.
190 Thus much be sung of picking — next succeeds
191 Th' important care of curing — Quit the field,
192 And at the kiln th' instructive muse attend.
193 On your hair-cloth eight inches deep, nor more,
194 Let the green hops lie lightly; next expand
195 The smoothest surface with the toothy rake.
196 Thus far is just above; but more it boots
197 That charcoal flames burn equably below,
198 The charcoal flames, which from thy corded wood,
199 Or antiquated poles, with wond'rous skill,
200 The sable priests of Vulcan shall prepare.
201 Constant and moderate let the heat ascend;
202 Which to effect, there are, who with success
203 Place in the kiln the ventilating fan.
204 Hail, learned, useful*
* Dr. Hales. man! whose head and heart
205 Conspire to make us happy, deign t' accept
206 One honest verse; and if thy industry
207 Has serv'd the hopland cause, the Muse forebodes
208 This sole invention, both in use and fame,
† Mystica Vannus Iacchi. VIRG. Geor. 1. mystic fan of Bacchus shall exceed.
210 When the fourth hour expires, with careful hand
211 The half-bak'd hops turn over. Soon as time
212 Has well exhausted twice two glasses more,
213 They'll leap and crackle with their bursting seeds,
214 For use domestic, or for sale mature.
215 There are, who in the choice of cloth t'enfold
216 Their wealthy crop, the viler, coarser sort,
217 With prodigal oeconomy prefer:
218 All that is good is cheap, all dear that's base.
219 Besides, the planter shou'd a bait prepare,
220 T' intrap the chapman's notice, and divert
221 Shrewd Observation from her busy pry.
222 When in the bag thy hops the rustic treads,
223 Let him wear heel-less sandals; nor presume
224 Their fragrancy barefooted to defile:
225 Such filthy ways for slaves in Malaga
226 Leave we to practise — Whence I've often seen,
227 When beautiful Dorinda's iv'ry hands
228 Had built the pastry-fabric (food divine
229 For Christmas gambols and the hour of mirth)
230 As the dry'd foreign fruit, with piercing eye,
231 She cull'd suspicious — lo! she starts, she frowns
232 With indignation at a negro's nail.
233 Should'st thou thy harvest for the mart design,
234 Be thine own factor; nor employ those drones[Page 133]
235 Who've stings, but make no honey, selfish slaves!
236 That thrive and fatten on the planter's toil.
237 What then remains unsung? unless the care
238 To stack thy poles oblique in comely cones,
239 Lest rot or rain destroy them — 'Tis a sight
240 Most seemly to behold, and gives, O Winter!
241 A landskip not unpleasing ev'n to thee.
242 And now, ye rivals of the hopland state,
243 Madum and Dorovernia rejoice,
244 How great amidst such rivals to excel!
* Greenwich, where Q. Elizabeth was born. Grenovicum boast (for boast she may)
246 The birth of great Eliza. — Hail, my queen!
247 And yet I'll call thee by a dearer name,
248 My countrywoman, hail! Thy worth alone
249 Gives fame to worlds, and makes whole ages glorious!
250 Let Sevenoaks vaunt the hospitable seat
† The seat of the Duke of Dorset. Knoll most ancient: Awefully, my Muse,
252 These social scenes of grandeur and delight,
253 Of love and veneration, let me tread.
254 How oft beneath you oak has amorous Prior
255 Awaken'd Echo with sweet Chloe's name!
256 While noble Sackville heard, hearing approv'd,[Page 134]
257 Approving, greatly recompens'd. But he,
258 Alas! has number'd with th' illustrious dead,
259 And orphan merit has no guardian now!
260 Next Shipbourne, tho' her precincts are confin'd
261 To narrow limits, yet can shew a train
262 Of village beauties, pastorally sweet,
263 And rurally magnificent. Here*
* The seat of Lord Vane. Fairlawn
264 Opes her delightful prospects: Dear Fairlawn
265 There, where at once at variance and agreed,
266 Nature and art hold dalliance. There where rills
267 Kiss the green drooping herbage, there where trees,
268 The tall trees-tremble at th' approach of heav'n,
269 And bow their salutation to the sun,
270 Who fosters all their foliage — These are thine,
271 Yes, little Shipbourne, boast that these are thine —
272 And if — But oh! — and if 'tis no disgrace,
273 The birth of him who now records thy praise.
274 Nor shalt thou, Mereworth, remain unsung,
275 Where noble Westmoreland, his country's friend,
276 Bids British greatness love the silent shade,
277 Where piles superb, in classic elegance,
278 Arise, and all is Roman, like his heart.
279 Nor Chatham, tho' it is not thine to shew
280 The lofty forest or the verdant lawns,[Page 135]
281 Yet niggard silence shall not grutch thee praise.
282 The lofty forests by thy sons prepar'd
283 Becomes the warlike navy, braves the floods,
284 And gives Sylvanus empire in the main.
285 Oh that Britannia, in the day of war,
286 Wou'd not alone Minerva's valour trust,
287 But also hear her wisdom! Then her oaks
288 Shap'd by her own mechanics, wou'd alone
289 Her island fortify, and fix her fame;
290 Nor wou'd she weep, like Rachael, for her sons,
291 Whose glorious blood, in mad profusion,
292 In foreign lands is shed — and shed in vain.
293 Now on fair Dover's topmost cliff I'll stand,
294 And look with scorn and triumph on proud France.
295 Of yore an isthmus jutting from this coast,
296 Join'd the Britannic to the Gallic shore;
297 But Neptune on a day, with fury fir'd,
298 Rear'd his tremendous trident, smote the earth,
299 And broke th' unnatural union at a blow. —
300 "'Twixt you and you, my servants and my sons,
301 " Be there (he cried) eternal discord — France
302 "Shall bow the neck to Cantium's peerless offspring,
303 " And as the oak reigns lordly o'er the shrub,
304 "So shall the hop have homage from the vine."