Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
 
Extract from The Chase, Book I
By William Somerville (1675–1742)
 
  YE vigorous youths, by smiling fortune blest
With large demesnes, hereditary wealth,
Heap’d copious by your wise forefathers’ care,
Hear and attend! while I the means reveal
T’ enjoy those pleasures, for the weak too strong,        5
Too costly for the poor: to rein the steed
Swift-stretching o’er the plain, to cheer the pack
Opening in concerts of harmonious joy,
But breathing death. What tho’ the gripe severe
Of brazen-fisted time, and slow disease        10
Creeping thro’ ev’ry vein, and nerve unstrung,
Afflict my shattered frame, undaunted still,
Fixed as a mountain ash, that braves the bolts
Of angry Jove; tho’ blasted, yet unfallen;
Still can my soul in fancy’s mirror view        15
Deeds glorious once, recall the joyous scene
In all its splendours decked, o’er the full bowl
Recount my triumphs past, urge others on
With hand and voice, and point the winding way:
Pleased with that social sweet garrulity,        20
The poor disbanded veteran’s sole delight.
  First let the kennel be the huntsman’s care,
Upon some little eminence erect,
And fronting to the ruddy dawn; its courts
On either hand wide op’ning to receive        25
The sun’s all-cheering beams, when mild he shines,
And gilds the mountain tops. For much the pack
(Roused from their dark alcoves) delight to stretch
And bask, in his invigorating ray:
Warned by the streaming light, and merry lark,        30
Forth rush the jolly clan; with tuneful throats
They carol loud, and in grand chorus joined
Salute the new-born day.
 
 
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