[Page 190]



1 HENCE, pestilential Mars,
2 Of sable-vested night and chaos bred,
3 On matter's formless bed,
4 'Mid the harsh din of elemental jars:
5 Hence with thy frantic crowd,
6 Wing'd Flight, pale Terror, Discord cloath'd in fire,
7 Precipitate retire;
8 While mad Bellona cracks her snaky thong,
9 And hurries headlong on,
10 To Ach'ron's brink and Phlegethon's flaming flood.
11 But hail, fair Peace! so mild and meek,
12 With polish'd brow and rosy cheek;
13 That, on thy fleece-white cloud descending,
14 Hither, soft-ey'd queen, art tending
15 Gently o'er thy favourite land
16 To wave thy genial myrtle wand:
17 To shake from off thy turtle wing
18 Th' ambrosial dews of endless spring;
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19 Spring, like that, which poets feign,
20 Gilded Saturn's easy reign:
21 For Saturn's first born daughter thou;
22 Unless, as later bards avow,
23 The youthful god with spangled hair
24 Closely clasp'd Harmonia fair:
25 For, banish'd erst heaven's star-pav'd floor,
26 (As sings my legendary lore)
27 As Phoebus fat by weeping brook,
28 With shepherds scrip and shepherds crook,
29 Pensive 'midst a savage train
30 (For savage then was all the plain)
31 Fair Harmonia left her bower,
32 To join her radiant paramour:
33 Hence didst thou spring; and at thy birth
34 Lenient Zephyrs fann'd the earth,
35 Rumbling thunders growl'd no more,
36 Prowling wolves forgot to roar,
37 And man, from fiercer rage possest,
38 Smil'd Dissension from his breast.
39 She comes, she comes, ye nymphs, prepare
40 Gay floral wreaths to bind your hair;
41 Ye swains, inspire the mellow flute
42 To dulcet strains, which aptly suit
43 The featly-footed saraband
44 Of Phillis trim and Marian bland,
45 When nimbly light each simpering lass
46 Trips it o'er the pliant grass.
47 But see, her social smiling train,
48 Now invests th' inraptur'd plain!
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49 Plenty's treasure teeming horn
50 Show'rs its fruits, its flowers, its corn;
51 Commerce spreads his amplest sail;
52 Strong-nerv'd Labour lift his flail;
53 Sylvanus too attends ('tis he
54 That bears the root-pluck'd cypress tree)
55 He shall my youngling footsteps lead
56 Thro' tufted lawn and fringed mead,
57 By scooped valley, heaped hill,
58 Level river, dancing rill,
59 Where the shepherds all appear,
60 To shear and wash their fleecy care,
61 Which bleating stand the streams around,
62 And whiten all the close-cropt ground:
63 Or when the maids in bonnets sheen,
64 Cock the hay upon the green;
65 Or up yon steep rough road the swains
66 Drive slow along their rolling wains
67 (Where laughing Ceres crowns the stack,
68 And makes the ponderous axle crack)
69 Then to the village on the hill,
70 The barns capacious jaws to fill,
71 Where the answering flails rebound,
72 Beating bold with thundering sound.
73 Enchanted with this rural scene,
74 Here let me weave my arb'rets green:
75 Here arch the woodbine, mantling neat,
76 O'er my noon-tide cool retreat;
77 Or bind the oak with ivy-twine;
78 Or wed the elm and purpling vine;
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79 But if my vagrant fancy pants
80 For charms, which simple Nature wants,
81 Grant, Power beningn, admittance free
82 To some rang'd academy:
83 There to give to arts refin'd
84 All the impulse of my mind;
85 And oft observant take my stand,
86 Where the painter's magic hand
87 From sketches rude, with gradual art,
88 Calls dawning life to every part,
89 Till, with nice tints all labour'd high;
90 Each starting hero meets the eye:
91 Oft too, O! let me nice inspect
92 The draughts of justest architect:
93 And hence delighted let me pass,
94 Where others mould the ductile brass;
95 Or teach the Parian stone to wear
96 A letter'd sage's musing air.
97 But ah! these arts have fix'd their home
98 In Roman or in Gallic dome:
99 Tho' strange beseems, that arts shou'd spread
100 Where frowns black Slavery's baleful shade;
101 And stranger far that arts decay
102 Where Freedom deals her warmest ray:
103 This then deny'd, I'll swift retreat,
104 Where Camus winds with murmur sweet:
105 There teach me, piercing Locke, t' explore
106 The busy mind's ideal store;
107 There, heaven-rapt Newton, guide my way
108 'Mid rolling worlds, thro' floods of day,
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109 To mark the vagrant comet's road,
110 And thro' his wonders trace the God.
111 Then, to unbend my mind, I'll roam
112 Amidst the cloysters silent gloom:
113 Or, where rank'd oaks their shades diffuse,
114 Hold dalliance with my darling muse,
115 Recalling oft some heaven-born strain,
116 That warbled in Augustan reign;
117 Or turn well pleas'd the Grecian page,
118 If sweet Theocritus engage,
119 Or blith Anacreon, mirthful wight,
120 Caroll his easy love-lay light.
121 Yet let not all my pleasure lie
122 Confin'd to one Phoebeian joy;
123 But ever give my fingers wings,
124 Lightly to skim the trembling strings,
125 And from some bower to tune the lay:
126 While list'ning birds crowd every spray,
127 Or hovering silent o'er my head,
128 Their quivering wings exulting spread
129 Save but the turtles, they alone
130 With tender plaintive faithful moan,
131 Shall tell, to all the secret grove,
132 Their soft thick-warbled tale of love:
133 Sweet birds! your mingling bliss pursuing,
134 Ever billing, ever cooing,
135 Ye! constant pair! I love to note
136 Your hoarse strain gurgling in your throat;
137 And ye unheard from sidelong hills
138 The liquid lapse of whispering rills,
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139 I hist to hear: such sounds diffuse
140 Sweet transports to the thoughtful muse.
141 Thus summer sees me brisk and light,
142 Till winter spreads her 'kerchief white;
143 Then to the city's social walls
144 Where tolling clock to business calls.
145 There the weaver's shuttle speeds
146 Nimbly thro' the fine-spun threads;
147 There the vocal anvil rings,
148 While the smith his hammer swings;
149 And every man and every boy,
150 Briskly join in warm employ,
151 Thro' such throng'd scenes full oft I'll range,
152 Oft crowd into the rich exchange:
153 Or to yon wharf; aside the mote,
154 Where the anchor'd ships do float,
155 And others, hastening into bay,
156 Swell their sails in fair array:
157 Wasting to Albion's sons the store
158 That each Peruvian mine can pour;
159 Wafting to Albion's smiling dames
160 The ruby's glow, the diamond's flames,
161 Till all the Indies rush into the Thames,
162 Joys vast as these my fancy claims;
163 And joys like these if Peace inspire,
164 Peace with thee, I string the lyre.


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About this text

Author: William Mason
Themes: war
Genres: pastoral; imitation
References: DMI 21817

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Source edition

A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. I. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770, pp. 190-195. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1122)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.