[PASTORAL 06] THE SIXTH PASTORAL.
GERON, HOBBINOL, LANQUET.
1 How still the Sea! behold; how calm the Sky!
2 And how, in sportive Chase, the Swallows fly!
3 My Goats, secure from Harm, small Tendance need,
4 While high on yonder hanging Rock they feed:
5 And here below, the banky Shore along,
6 Your Heifers graze: And I to hear your song
7 Dispos'd. As eldest, Hobbinol, begin;
8 And Lanquet's Under-Song by Turns come in.
9 Let others meanly stake upon their Skill,
10 Or Kid, or Lamb, or Goat, or what they will;[Page 41]
11 For Praise we sing, nor Wager ought beside:
12 And, whose the Praise, let Geron's Lips decide.
13 To Geron I my Voice and Skill commend:
14 Unbias'd he, to both is equal Friend.
15 Begin then, Boys, and vary well your Song;
16 Nor fear, from Geron's upright Sentence, Wrong.
17 A boxen Haut-boy, loud, and sweet of Sound,
18 All varnish'd, and with brazen Ringlets bound,
19 I to the Victor give: No small Reward,
20 If with our usual Country Pipes compar'd.
21 The Snows are melted, and the kindly Rain
22 Descends on ev'ry Herb, and ev'ry Grain;
23 Soft balmy Breezes breathe along the Sky;
24 The bloomy Season of the Year is nigh.
25 The Cuckoo calls aloud his wandering Love;
26 The Turtle's Voice is hear'd in ev'ry Grove;
27 The Pastures change; the warbling Linnets sing:
28 Prepare to welcome in the gawdy Spring.
29 When Locusts in the ferny Bushes cry,
30 When Ravens pant, and Snakes in Caverns lye;
31 Then graze in Woods, and quit the burning Plain,
32 Else shall ye press the spungy Teat in vain.
33 When Greens to Yellow vary, and ye see
34 The Ground bestrew'd with Fruits off ev'ry Tree,
35 And stormy Winds are heard, think Winter near,
36 Nor trust too far to the declining Year.
37 Full fain, O bless'd Eliza! would I praise
38 Thy Maiden Rule, and Albion's Golden Days:[Page 43]
39 Then gentle Sidney liv'd, the Shepherd's Friend:
40 Eternal Blessings on his Shade attend!
41 Thrice happy Shepherds now: For Dorset loves
42 The Country-Muse, and our delightful Groves;
43 While ANNA reigns. O ever may she reign!
44 And bring on Earth a Golden Age again.
45 I love in secret all a beauteous Maid,
46 And have my Love in secret all repaid.
47 This coming Night she does reserve for me.
48 Divine her Name; and thou the Victor be.
49 Mild as the Lamb, unharmful as the Dove,
50 True as the Turtle, is the Maid I love.
51 How we in secret love, I shall not say.
52 Divine her Name, and I give up the Day.
53 Soft on a Cowslip Bank, my Love and I
54 Together lay: A Brook ran murm'ring by.
55 A thousand tender things to me she said;
56 And I a thousand tender Things repaid.
57 In Summer Shade, beneath the cocking Hay,
58 What soft, endearing Words did she not say?
59 Her Lap, with Apron deck'd, she fondly spread,
60 And stroak'd my Cheeks, and lull'd my leaning Head.
61 Breathe soft ye Winds, ye Waters gently flow;
62 Shield her, ye Trees; ye Flowers around her grow;
63 Ye Swains, I beg you, pass in Silence by;
64 My Love, in yonder Vale asleep does lye.
65 Once Delia slept, on easie Moss reclin'd;
66 Her lovely Limbs half bare, and rude the Wind:[Page 45]
67 I smooth'd her Coats, and stole a silent Kiss.
68 Condemn me, Shepherds, if I did amiss.
69 As Marian bath'd, by chance I passed by;
70 She blush'd, and at me glanc'd a sidelong Eye:
71 Then swift beneath the crystal Wave she try'd
72 Her tempting Form, but all in vain, to hide.
73 As I, to cool me, bath'd one sultry Day,
74 Fond Lydia, lurking in the Sedges lay.
75 The Wanton laugh'd, and seem'd in haste to fly;
76 Yet often stopp'd, and often turn'd her Eye.
77 When first I saw, would I had never seen,
78 Young Lyset lead the Dance on yonder Green;
79 Intent upon her Beauties as she mov'd,
80 Poor, heedless Wretch, at unawares I lov'd.
81 When Lucy decks with Flow'rs her swelling Breast,
82 And on her Elbow leans, dissembling Rest;
83 Unable to refrain my madding Mind,
84 Nor Sheep nor Pasture worth my Care I find.
85 Come Rosalind, O come! For, without thee,
86 What Pleasure can the Country have for me?
87 Come Rosalind, O, come! My brinded Kine,
88 My snowy Sheep, my Farm, and all is thine.
89 Come Rosalind, O come! Here shady Bow'rs,
90 Here are cool Fountains, and here springing Flow'rs.
91 Come Rosalind: Here ever let us stay,
92 And sweetly waste our live-long Time away.
93 In vain the Seasons of the Moon I know,
94 The Force of healing Herbs, and where they grow;[Page 47]
95 There is no Herb, no Season, may remove
96 From my fond Heart the racking Pains of Love.
97 What profits me, that I in Charms have skill,
98 And Ghosts and Goblins order as I will;
99 Yet have, with all my Charms, no Pow'r to lay
100 The Sprite, that breaks my Quiet Night and Day.
101 O that, like Colin, I had Skill in Rhymes:
102 To purchase Credit with succeeding Times!
103 Sweet Colin Clout! who never yet had Peer,
104 Who sung thro' all the Seasons of the Year.
105 Let me like Wrenock sing; his Voice had Pow'r
106 To free the clipsing Moon at Midnight Hour:
107 And, as he sung, the Fairies, with their Queen,
108 In Mantles blue came tripping o'er the Green.
109 Here end your pleasing Strife. Both Victors are;
110 And both with Colin may in Rhyme compare.
111 A Boxen Haut-Boy, loud, and sweet of Sound,
112 All varnish'd, and with brazen Ringlets bound,
113 To both I give. A mizling Mist descends
114 Adown that steepy Rock: And this way tends
115 Yon distant Rain. Shore-ward the Vessels strive;
116 And, see, the Boys their Flocks to Shelter drive.