Thomas Parnell

(1679 - 1718 / Ireland)

An Eclogue


Now early shepheards ore ye meadow pass,
And print long foot-steps in the glittering grass;
The Cows unfeeding near the cottage stand,
By turns obedient to the Milkers hand,
Or loytring stretch beneath an Oaken shade,
Or lett the suckling Calf defraud the maid.

When Harry softly trod the shaven lawn,
Harry a youth from Citty care with drawn,
Unlike the lowly swains Arcadia bore,
Their Pipes but sounded in the days of yore:
Now Gales regardless range the Vaults above,
And No fond swain believes they sigh for love,
No more the Waters sympathising weep;
Our Lads unskilld in musick tend the sheep;
For Tom and Will our Yellow Ceres waves,
And Kate instead of Chloris binds ye sheaves.
Sicilian Muse thy higher strains explore,
Thy higher strains may suit with nature more.

Long was the pleasing Walk he wanderd through;
A Coverd arbour closd ye distant View:
Cross-sloping railes a lattice front supplyd,
And twind the flowring woodbine crept aside.
There rests the Youth, and while the featherd throng
Raise their wild Musick, thus contrives a song.

Here wafted o're by mild Etesian air
Thou Country Goddess Beautious Health repair;
Here lett my breast thro' quiv'ring trees inhale,
Thy rosy blessings with the Morning gale.
The Months that wake ye fragrant year renew,
The Sun is golden and the skys are blue,
Fair silver sprinklings fill ye walk with light,
The boughs are verdant and the blossoms white;
Yet what are these, or those, or all I see,
Ah Joyless all! if not enjoyd with thee.

Come Country Goddess come, nor thou suffice,
But bring thy Mountain Sister Exercise.
Calld by thy lively voice she turns her pace,
Her winding horn proclaims a finishd chace,
She bounds the rocks, she skims ye level plain,
Dogs hawks and horses croud her early train,
Her hardy face repells the tanning wind,
And lines and meshes loosely float behind.
These all as means of toil the feeble see,
But these are helps of pleasure all wth thee.

O come the Goddess of my rural Song,
And bring thy daughter calm content along,
Dame of the ruddy cheek & laughing eye,
From whose bright presence clouds of trouble fly;
For her I mow my walks, I platt my bowrs,
Clip my low hedges & support my flowrs.
To wellcome her this summer seat I drest;
And here Ile court her when she comes to rest.
She'le lead from exercise to learned Ease,
And Change again, & teach ye change to please.

Joy to my soul! I feel the Goddess nigh,
The face of Nature cheers as well as I.
Ore the flat Green refreshing Breezes run
To make young Dazys blow beneath the sun;
While limpid waters to the bottom seen
Lave the soft margin of the lovely Green,
Brisk chirping birds from all the compass rove
To tempt ye warbling Ecchoes of ye grove,
High sunny summits, deeply-shaded dales,
Thick mossy banks, and flowry winding vales,
With Various prospect gratify the sight,
And scatter fixd attention with delight.
Till the raisd soul by gay confusion wrought
Within a sphear of pleasure rolls on thought.
Here beautious Health for all ye year remain,
When ye next comes I'le charm thee thus again.

But rustling boughs yt round my temples play,
Drive the deep doze of Vision swift away.
Lett sloth ly softning till the noon in down,
Or lolling fan her in the sultry town,
Unnerve with rest & turn her own disease,
Or foster others in luxurious ease.
I mount the Courser, call ye deep'ning hounds,
The fox unkennelld flys to covert grounds.
I lead where stags through cumbrous thickets tread,
And shake the saplings with their branching head.
I make the falcons wing their airy way,
And soar to seize, or stooping, strike ye prey.
To snare ye fish I fix ye luring bait.
To Wound ye fowl I load ye gun with fate.
Tis thus through changing shows of toil I range,
And strength & pleasure rise in ev'ry change.
Here beautious Health for all ye year remain,
When the next comes Ile charm thee thus again.

Now friends my life with usefull talk refine,
And Tullys Tusculum revives in mine.
Now to grave books I bid ye mind retreat,
And such as make me rather good than great.
Or o're the works of easy fancy rove,
Where pipes and innocence amuse ye grove:
The Native Bard that on Sicilian plains
Best sung the lowly manners of the Swains;
Great Maro's Muse, that in the finest light
Paints Country prospects and the charms of sight;
Strong Spencers Calender, whose Moons appear
To trace their Changes in the rural year;
Sweet Pope whose lays along with Nature run
Through all the seasons which divide ye sun;
The tender Philips lines, who lately tryd
To plant Arcadia by the Severn side;
And Gentle Gays that happily explore
Those British Shepheards Spencer sought before.
The Soft Amusements bring content Along,
And Fancy, void of sorrow, runs to song.
Here Beautious Health for all ye year remain,
When the next comes Ile charm thee thus again.

So sung the Youth. But now ye cool wth drew;
The sun had dryd the shaking drops of dew,
Then ragd with flames insufferably bright,
& shot the lattice with a checq'ring light;
The Zephirs fall, tho' not to hear his lay,
And in his shade the Flyes offensive play.

Submitted: Saturday, April 17, 2010

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