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Of passion swelling with distress and To this their proper action and their pain,
end? To mitigate the sharp with gracious drops Ask thy own heart; when, at the midOf cordial Pleasure? Ask the faithful night hour, youth,
Slow through that studious gloom thy Why the cold urn of her whom long he pausing eye, loy'd
Led by the glimm’ring taper, moves So often fills his arms; so often draws
around His lonely footsteps, at the silent hour, The sacred volumes of the dead, the To pay the mournful tribute of his tears?
songs 0! he will tell thee, that the wealth of Of Grecian bards, and records writ by worlds
Fame Should ne'er seduce his bosom to forego For Grecian heroes, where the present That sacred hour, when, stealing from pow'r the noise
Of heav'n and earth surveys th’immortal Of Care and Envy, sweet Remembrance page, soothes,
E’en as a father blessing, while he With Virtue's kindest looks, his aching reads breast,
The praises of his son; if then thy soul, And turns his tears to rapture. -- Ask Spurning the yoke of these inglorious the crowd,
days, Which fies impatient from the village Mix in their deeds and kindle with their walk
flame : To climb the neighb’ring cliffs, when far Say, when the prospect blackens on thy below
view, The cruel winds have hurl'd upon the When rooted from the base, heroic states coast
Mourn in the dust, and tremble at the Some hapless bark; while sacred Pity frown melts
Of curs'd Ambition; - when the pious The gen’ral eye, or Terror's icy hand
band Smites their distorted limbs and horrent Of youths that fought for freedom and hair;
their sires While ev'ry mother closer to her breast Lie side by side in gore;
- when ruffian Catches her child, and, pointing where Pride the waves
Usurps the throne of Justice, turns the Foam through the shatter'd vessel, pomp shrieks aloud,
Of public pow'r the majesty of rule, As one poor wretch, that spreads his The sword, the laurel, and the purple piteous arms
robe, For succor, swallow'd by the roaring To slavish empty pageants, to adorn surge,
A tyrant's walk, and glitter in the eyes As now another, dash'd against the rock, Of such as bow the knee; -- when honDrops lifeless down. 0! deemest thou
or'd urns indeed
Of patriots and of chiefs, the awful bust No kind endearment here by Nature And storied arch, to glut the coward giv'n
rage To mutual Terror and Compassion's | Of regal envy, strew the public way tears?
With hallow'd ruins !-- when the muse's No sweetly-swelling softness, which at- haunt, tracts,
The marble porch where Wisdom, wont O'er all that edge of pain, the social to talk pow'rs
With Socrates or Tully, hears no more,
Save the hoarse jargon of contentious
ON TASTE. monks, Or female Superstition's midnight
[From Pleasures of the Imagination.j pray'r;
SAY, what is Taste, but the internal When ruthless Rapine from the hand of pow'rs Time
Active and strong, and feelingly alive Tears the destroying scythe, with surer To each fine impulse ? a discerning
blow To sweep the works of Glory from their Of decent and sublime, with quick dis base;
gust Till Desolation o'er the grass-grown From things deform’d, or disarrangd, street
or gross Expands his raven wings, and up the In species? This nor gems, nor stores wall,
of gold, Where senates once the pride of mon- Nor purple state, nor culture can bestow; archs doom'd,
But God alone, when first his active hand Hisses the gliding snake through hoary Imprints the sacred bias of the soul. weeds,
He, Mighty Parent! wise and just in all, That clasp the mould'ring column: Free as the vital breeze, or light of thus defac'd,
heav'n, Thus widely mournful when the prospect Reveals the charms of Nature. Ask the thrills
swain Thy beating bosom, when the patriot's Who journeys homeward from a sumtear
mer-day's Starts from thine eye, and thy extended Long labor, why, forgetful of his toils
And due repose, he loiters to behold In fancy hurls the thunderbolt of Jove, The sunshine gleaming as through amber To fire the impious wreath on Philip's clouds brow,
O’er all the western sky! Full soon, I Or dash Octavius from the trophied ween, car;
His rude expression, and untutor'd airs, Say, does thy secret soul repine to Beyond the pow'r of language, will untaste
fold The big distress? or wouldst thou then The form of Beauty smiling at his heart, exchange
How lovely! how commanding! But 'Those heart-ennobling sorrows for the though Heav'n lot
In every breast hath sown these early Of him who sits amid the gaudy herd
seeds Of mute barbarians bending to his Of love and admiration, yet in vain, nod,
Without fair Culture's kind parental aid, And bears aloft his gold-invested front, Without enliv'ning suns and genial And says within himself, “I am a king, show'rs, And wherefore should the clam'rous And shelter from the blast, in vain we voice of Woe
hope Intrude upon mine ear?” — The baleful The tender plant should rear its bloom. dregs
ing head, Of these late ages, this inglorious draught Or yield the harvest promis'din its spring. Of servitude and folly, have not yet, Nor yet will ev'ry soil with equal stures Blest be th' Eternal Ruler of the world! Repay the tiller's labor; or attend Defild to such a depth of sordid shame His will, obsequious, whether to produce The native honors of the human soul, The olive or the laurel, Diff'rent minds Nor so effac’d the image of its sire. Incline to diff'rent objects: one pursues The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild; Of pageant Honor, can seduce to leave Another sighs for harmony and grace, Those everblooming sweets, which from And gentlest beauty. Hence when light
the store ning fires
Of Nature fair Imagination culls, The arch of heav'n, and thunders rock To charm th' enliven'd soul! What the ground;
though not all When furious whirlwinds rend the howl- Of mortal offspring can attain the height ing air,
Of envied life; though only few possess AndOcean,groaning from his lowest bed, Patrician treasures, or imperial state: Heaves his tempestuous billows to the Yet Nature's care to all her children just, sky;
With richer treasures and an ampler state Amid the mighty uproar, while below Endows at large whatever happy man The nations tremble, Shakespeare looks Will deign to use them. His the city's abroad
pomp, From some high cliff, superior, and enjoys The rural honors his. What'er adorns The elemental war. But Waller longs, The princely dome, the column, and the Allon the margin of some flow'ry stream, arch, To spread his careless limbs, amid the The breathing marbles, and the sculptur'd cool
gold, Of plantane shades, and to the list’ning Beyond the proud possessor's narrow deer
claim, The tale of slighted vows and Love's His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the disdain
Spring Resounds, soft warbling, all the livelong Distils her dew, and from the silken day.
gem Consenting Zephyr sighs; the weeping Its lucid leaves unfolds; for him the rill
hand Joins in his plaint, melodious; mute the Of Autumn tinges every fertile branch groves;
With blooming gold, and blushes like And hill and dale with all their echoes
Each passing hour sheds tribute from Such and so various are the tastes of men. her wing;
And still new beauties meet his lonely
And loves unfelt attract him. THE PLEASURES OF A CULTI- breeze VATED IMAGINATION. Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud im
bibes (From Pleasures of the Imagination.]
The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain BLEST of Heav'n, whom not the lan- From all the tenants of the warbling guid songs
shade Jf Luxury, the siren ! not the bribes Ascend, but whence his bosom can par of sordid Wealth, nor all the gaudy take spoils
Fresh pleasure unreproved.
1721–1759. (WILLIAM COLLINS was born at Chichester on Christmas Day, 1721. It is believed that he went for a time to the Prebendal School of that city; and in 1733 he entered Winchester College, then under Dr. Burton. Before he left school he had written the Persian Eclogues (which in their later editions are called Oriental Eclogues); and he had printed a so-called sonnet in the “Gentleman's Magazine." In 1740 he entered as coinmoner of Queen's College, Oxford, there being no vacancy at New College; and next year he obtained a demyship at Magdalen. The Persian Eclogues were published in 1742; next year came the Epistle' to Sir T. Hanmer; and in 1744 he seems to have left Oxford for London, where he found a true friend in Johnson. His Odes, which he once meant to have published jointly with those of his old schoolfellow Joseph Warton, appeared alone in 1747. After this he went to live at Richmond, where he saw much of Thomson, Armstrong, and others of that company. In 1749 he wrote the Ode on the Death of Thomson, and the Ode on the Popular Superstitions of the Highlands. Soon afterwards he was attacked by the brain-disease from which, with certain intervals of partial recovery, he suffered for the rest of his life. His last years were spent at Chichester under the care of his sister, Mrs. Sempill. He died in 1759.) THE DEATH OF THE BRAVE.
Or throws him on the ridgy steep
Of some loose hanging rock to sleep : (Written in the beginning of the year 1746.]
And with him thousand phantoms join'd, How sleep the brave, who sink to rest Who prompt to deeds accurs’d the mind : By all their country's wishes blest ! And those the fiends, who, near allied, When spring, with dewy fingers cold, O'er Nature's wounds and wrecks preReturns to deck their hallow'd mould, side; She there shall dress a sweeter sod While Vengeance in the lurid air Than fancy's feet have ever trod. Lifts her red arm, expos'd and bare:
On whom that ravening brood of Fare, By fairy hands their knell is rung, Who lap the blood of Sorrow, wait; By forms unseen their dirge is sung: Who, Fear, this ghastly train can see, There Honor comes, a pilgrim gray, And look not madly wild, like thee? To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
Thou, who such weary lengths has And Freedom shall awhile repair,
pass'd, To dwell a weeping hermit there. Where wilt thou rest, mad Nymph, at
last? Say, wilt thou shroud in haunted cell,
Where gloomy Rape and Murder dwel!? ODE TO FEAR.
Or in some hollow'd seat, Thou, to whom the world unknown, 'Gainst which the big waves beat, With all its shadowy shapes is shown; Hear drowning seamen's cries in temWho seest appallid th' unreal scene,
pests brought, While Fancy lifts the veil between: Dark pow'r, with shudd'ring meek subAh Fear! ah frantic Fear!
mitted Thought? I see, I see thee near.
Be mine, to read the visions old, I know thy hurried step, thy haggard Which thy awak’ning bards have told, eye!
And, lest thou meet my blasted view, Like thee I start, like thee disorder'd fly; Hold each strange tale devoutly true; For lo, what monsters in thy train ap- Ne'er be I found, by thee o'eraw'd, pear!
In that thrice hallow'd eve abroad, Danger, whose limbs of giant mould When ghosts, as cottage-maids believe, What mortal eye can fix'd behold? The pebbled beds permitted leave, Who stalks his round, a hideous form, And goblins haunt, from fire, or fen, Howling amidst the midnight storm, Or mine, or flood, the walks of men !
O thou whose spirit most possess'd The sacred seat of Shakespeare's breast ! By all that from thy prophet broke, In thy divine emotions spoke! Hither again thy fury deal, Teach me but once like himn to feel; His cypress wreath my meed decree, And I, O Fear! will dwell with thee.
ODE TO EVENING.
Thy springs, and dying gales;
hair'd Sun Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy
O’erhang his wavy bed :
eyed bat, With short shrill shriek flits by on
His small but sullen horn,
And sheds the freshening dew, and,
Prepare thy shadowy car.
scene; Or find some ruin 'midst its dreary dells,
Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious gleams. Or, if chill blustering winds, or driving
rain, Prevent my willing feet, be mine the
Views wilds, and swelling floods, And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd
spires; And hears their simple bell, and marks
The gradual dusky veil.
oft he wont, And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest
Beneath thy lingering light;
leaves : Or Winter yelling through the troublous
And rudely rends thy robes;
Whose numbers, stealing through thy
darkening vale May not unseemly with its stillness suit;
As, musing slow, I hail
For when thy folding-star arising shows His paly circlet, at his warning
lamp, The fragrant Hours, and Elves
Who slept in buds the day. And many a Nymph who wreathes her
brows with sedge,'
1 The water-nymphs, Naiads, are so crowned.