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Or wreathe like Abbas, full of fair renown,
“ Be every youth like royal Abbas mov'd;
AGIB AND SECANDER; OR, THE FUGITIVES.
Scene, A MOUNTAIN IN CIRCASSIA.-Time, MIDNIGHT.
IN fair Circassia, where, to love inclin'd,
O stay thee, Agib, for my feet deny,
groves, already past with pain ! Yon ragged cliff, whose dangerous path we tried ! And last this lofty mountain's weary side !
Weak as thou art, yet hapless must thou know The toils of flight, or some severer woe! Still as I haste, the Tartar shouts behind, And shrieks and sorrows load the saddening wind : In rage of heart, with ruin in his hand, He blasts our harvests, and deforms our land. Yon citron grove, whence first in fear we came, Droops its fair honours to the conquering flame: Far fly the swains, like us, in deep despair, And leave to ruffian bands their fleecy care.
Unhappy land, whose blessings tempt the sword, In vain, unheard, thou call'st thy Persian lord ! In vain thou court’st him, helpless, to thine aid, To shield the shepherd, and protect the maid ! Far off, in thoughtless indolence resign’d, Soft dreams of love and pleasure sooth his mind :
’Midst fair sultavas lost in idle joy,
Yet these green hills, in summer's sultry heat, Have lent the monarch oft a cool re at. Sweet to the sight is Zabran’s flowery plain, And once by maids and shepherds lov’d in vain ! No more the virgins shall delight to rove By Sargis' banks, or Irwan's shady grove; On Tarkie's mountain catch the cooling gale, Or breathe the sweets of Aly's flowery vale: Fair scenes! but, ah! no more with peace possest, With ease alluring, and with plenty blest. No more the shepherd's whitening tents appear, Nor the kind products of a bounteous year; No more the date, with snowy blossoms crown'd! But Ruin spreads her baleful fires around.
In vain Circassia boasts her spicy groves, For ever fam'd for pure and happy loves : In vain she boasts her fairest of the fair, Their eye's blue languish, and their golden hair! Those
in tears their fruitless grief must send; Those hairs the Tartar's cruel hand shall rend.
Ye Georgian swains that piteous learn from far Circassia's ruin, and the waste of war;
Some weightier arms than crooks and staffs prepare,
He said ; when loud along the vale was heard
The passions of men are uniform; but, modified by climate, government, manners, and local circumstances, they present an inexhaustible variety, from the Song of Solomon, breathing of cassia, myrrh, and cinnamon, to the Gentle Shepherd of Ramsay, whose damsels carry the milking pails through the frost and snows of their less genial, but not less pastoral country. The province of Pastoral may, in this way, be enlarged to take in all the beautiful and all the grand appearances of nature, which observation or reading may have brought the poet acquainted with.-B.
These Eclogues may be considered as spirited sketches of a new kind of Pastoral, which is susceptible of unlimit. ed variety and improvement.-B.
DESCRIPTIVE AND ALLEGORICAL.
The genius of Collins was capable of every degree of excellence in lyric poetry. Possessed of a native ear for all the varieties of harmony and modulation, susceptible of the finest feelings of tenderness and humanity, but, above all, carried away by that high enthusiasm, which gives to imagination its strongest colouring, he was, at once, capable of soothing the ear with the melody of his numbers, of influencing the passions by the force of his Pathos, and of gratifying the fancy by the luxury of description.
In consequence of these powers he chose such subjects for his lyric essays as were most favourable for the indulgence of description and allegory; where he could exercise his powers in moral and personal painting; where he could exert his invention in conferring new attributes on images or objects already known and described ; where he might give an uncommon eclat to his figures, by placing them in happier attitudes, or in more advantageous lights, and introduce new forms from the moral and intellectual world into the society of impersonated beings.