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Poem by William Somerville
Behold, my friend! the rosy-finger'd morn With blushes on her face, Peeps o'er yon azure hill; Rich gems the trees enchase, Pearls from each bush distill; Arise, arise, and hail the light new-born. Hark! hark! the merry horn calls, Come away: Quit, quit thy downy bed; Break from Amynta's arms; Oh! let it ne'er be said That all, that all her charms, Though she's as Venus fair, can tempt thy stay. Perplex thy soul no more with cares below, For what will pelf avail? Thy courser paws the ground, Each beagle cocks his tail, They spend their mouths around, While health and pleasure smiles on every brow. Try, huntsmen! all the brakes, spread all the plain; Now, now, she's gone away, Strip, strip, with speed pursue! The jocund god of day, Who fain our sport would view, See, see, he flogs his fiery steeds in vain! Pour down, like a flood from the hills, brave boys! On the wings of the wind The merry beagles fly, Dull sorrow lags behind: Ye shrill echoes! reply, Catch each flying sound, and double our joys. Ye rocks, woods, and caves! our music repeat: The bright spheres thus above, A gay refulgent train, Harmoniously move, O'er yon celestial plain Like us whirl along, in concert so sweet. Now puss threads the brakes, and heavily flies; At the head of the pack Old Fidler bears the bell, Every foil he hunts back, And aloud rings her knell, Till, forc'd into view, she pants, and she dies! In life's dull round thus we toil and we sweat; Diseases, grief, and pain, An implacable crew, While we double in vain, Unrelenting pursue, Till, quite hunted down, we yield with regret. This moment is ours, come live while ye may: What's decreed by dark Fate Is not in our own pow'r; Since to-morrow's too late, Take the present kind hour: With wine cheer the night, as sports bless the day.
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