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Ode To The Woods And Forests
by [?]



Let other bards to groves repair,
Where linnets strain their tuneful throats;
Mine be the Woods and Forests where
The Treasury pours its sweeter notes.

No whispering winds have charms for me,
Nor zephyr’s balmy sighs I ask;
To raise the wind for Royalty
Be all our Sylvan zephyr’s task!

And ‘stead of crystal brooks and floods,
And all such vulgar irrigation,
Let Gallic rhino thro’ our Woods
Divert its “course of liquidation.”

Ah, surely, Vergil knew full well
What Woods and Forests ought to be,
When sly, he introduced in hell
His guinea-plant, his bullion-tree;[1]–

Nor see I why, some future day,
When short of cash, we should not send
Our Herries down–he knows the way–
To see if Woods in hell will lend.

Long may ye flourish, sylvan haunts,
Beneath whose “branches of expense”
Our gracious King gets all he wants,–
Except a little taste and sense.

Long, in your golden shade reclined.
Like him of fair Armida’s bowers,
May Wellington some wood-nymph find,
To cheer his dozenth lustrum’s hours;

To rest from toil the Great Untaught,
And soothe the pangs his warlike brain
Must suffer, when, unused to thought,
It tries to think and–tries in vain.

Oh long may Woods and Forests be
Preserved in all their teeming graces,
To shelter Tory bards like me
Who take delight in Sylvan places!

[1] Called by Vergil, botanically, “species aurifrondentis.”