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Soon the sagacious brute, his curling tail
pursues ; till at the cot
Should some more curious sportsman here inquire Whence this sagacity, this wondrous power Of tracing, step by step, or man or brute ? What guide invisible points out their way O'er the dank marsh, bleak hill, and sandy plain ? The courteous Muse shall the dark cause reveal. The blood that from the heart incessant rolls In many a crimson tide, then here and there In smaller rills disparted, as it flows Propell’d, the serous particles evade Through th' open pores, and with the ambient air Entangling mix. As fuming vapours rise, And hang upon the gently purling brook, There by th' incumbent atmosphere compress'd: The panting Chase grows warmer as he flies,
And through the net-work of the skin perspires;
Glean science, season'd with good-natur'd wit.
Argument. Of the power of instinct in brutes. Two remark
able instances in the hunting of the roe-buck, and in the hare going to seat in the morning. Of the variety of seats or forms of the hare, according to the change of the season, weather, or wind. Description of the hare-hunting in all its parts, interspersed with rules to be observed by thuse who follow that chase. Transition to the Asiatic way of hunting, particularly the magnificent manner of the Great Mogul, and other Tartarian
princes, taken from Monsieur Bernier, and the history of Gengiscan the Great. Concludes with a short reproof of tyrants and oppressors of mankind.
Nor will it less delight th' attentive sage
'Tis Instinct that directs the jealous hare
As wandering shepherds on th' Arabian plains No settled residence observe, but shift Their moving camp, now, on some cooler hill With cedars crown'd, court the refreshing breeze; And then, below, where trickling streams distil From some penurious source, their thirst allay, And feed their fainting flocks : so the wise hares Oft quit their seats, lest some more curious eye Should mark their haunts, and by dark treacherous
Plot their destruction; or perchance in hopes Of plenteous forage, near the ranker mead, Or matted blade, wary and close they sit. When spring shines forth, season of love and joy, In the moist marsh, 'mong beds of rushes hid, They cool their boiling blood. When summer suns Bake the cleft earth, to thick wide-waving fields Of corn full-grown, they lead their helpless young : But when autumnal torrents and fierce rains Deluge the vale, in the dry crumbling bank Their forms they delve, and cautiously avoid The dripping covert : yet when winter's cold Their limbs benumbs, thither with speed return'd In the long grass they skulk, or shrinking creep Among the wither'd leaves, thus changing still, As fancy prompts them, or as food invites. But every season carefully observ'd, Th' inconstant winds, the fickle element, The wise experienc'd huntsman soon may find His subtle, various game, nor waste in vain His tedious hours, till his impatient hounds, With disappointment ver’d, each springing lark Babbling pursue, far scatter'd o'er the fields.
Now golden Autumn from her open lap Her fragrant bounties showers; the fields are shorn; Inwardly smiling, the proud farmer views The rising pyramids that grace his yard, And counts his large increase; his barns are stor'd, And groaning staddles bend beneath their load. All now is free as air, and the gay pack In the rough bristly stubbles range unblam’d; No widow's tears o'erflow, no secret curse