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The thick-sprung reeds, which watery marshes yield, The birds, dismiss'd, (while you remain,) Seem'd polish'd lances in a hostile field.
Bore back their empty car again :
with looks divinely mild, Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise.
In every heavenly feature smil'd,
And why I call'd you to my aid ?
What phrenzy in my bosom rag'd,
And by what care to be assuag'd ? The brittle forest into atoms flies,
What gentle youth I would allure, The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends,
Whom in my artful toils secure ? And in a spangled shower the prospect ends :
Who does thy tender heart subdue,
Tell me, my Sappho, tell me who?
Though now he shuns thy longing arms, And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees :
He soon shall court thy slighted charms; Like some deluded peasant, Merlin leads (meads : Though now thy offerings he despise, Through fragrant bowers, and through delicious He soon to thee shall sacrifice; While here enchanted gardens to him rise,
Though now he freeze, he soon shall burn, And airy fabrics there attract his eyes,
And be thy victim in his turn.
Celestial visitant, once more
Thy needful presence I implore ! And woods, and wilds, and thorny ways appear.
In pity come and ease my grief, A tedious road the weary wretch returns,
Bring my distemper'd soul relief :
Favour thy suppliant's hidden fires,
WILLIAM COLLINS. .
WILLIAM COLLINS, a distinguished modern poet, j of disorder in his mind, perceptible
to any but bin, was born at Chichester, in 1720 or 1721, where his self. He was reading the New Testament."! father exercised the trade of a hatter. He received have but one book," said he, " but it is the best." his education at Winchester College, whence he en- He was finally consigned to the care of his sister, in tered as a commoner of Queen's College, Oxford. whose arms he finished his short and melancholy In 1741, he procured his election into Magdalen course, in the year 1756. college as a demy; and it was here that he wrote It is from his Odes, that Collins derives his chien his poetical “ Epistle to Sir Thomas Hanmer,” poetical fame; and in compensation for the negler and his “ Oriental Eclogues ;" of both which with which they were treated at their first appear
. pieces the success was but moderate. In 1744, he ance, they are now almost universally regarded as came to London as a literary adventurer, and va- the first productions of the kind in our language rious were the projects which he formed in this with respect to vigour of conception, boldness and capacity. In 1746, however, he ventured to lay variety of personification, and genuine warmth of before the public a volume of “ Odes, Descriptive feeling. They are well characterised in an extent and Allegorical;” but so callous was the national prefixed to his works in an ornamented edition part taste at this time, that their
sale did not pay for the lished by Cadell and Davies, with which we shall printing. Collins, whose spirit was high, returned conclude this article. “ He will be acknowledged to the bookseller his copy-money, burnt all the un- (says the author) to possess imagination, sweetness sold copies, and as soon as it lay in his power, in- bold and figurative language. His numbers dwel demnified him for his small loss; yet among these on the ear, and easily fix themselves in the memory odes, were many pieces which now rank among the His vein of sentiment is by turns tender and lofty
, finest lyric compositions in the language. After always tinged with a degree of melancholy, but Det this mortification, he obtained from the booksellers possessing any claim to originality. His originalit a small sum for an intended translation of Aristotle's consists in his manner, in the highly figurative gart Poetics, and paid a visit
to an uncle, Lieutenant- in which he clothes abstract ideas, in the felicity d colonel Martin, then with the army in Germany. his expressions, and
his skill in embodying ideal The Colonel dying soon after, left Collins a legacy creations. He had much of the mysticism of poetry, of 20001., a sum which raised him to temporary and sometimes became obscure by aiming tin opulence; but he now soon became incapable of pressions stronger than he had clear and well-defined every mental exertion. Dreadful depression of ideas to support. Had his life been prolonged, and spirits was an occasional attendant on his malady, with life had he enjoyed that ease which is necessary for which he had no remedy but the bottle. It was for the undisturbed exercise of the faculties
, be about this time, that it was thought proper to con- would probably have risen far above most of his fine him in a receptacle of lunatics. Dr. Johnson contemporaries." paid him a visit at Islington, when there was nothing
ODE TO PITY. ()
THOU, the friend of man assign’d,
And charm his frantic woe:
His wild unsated foe!
But wherefore need I wander wide
Deserted stream, and mute ?
Be sooth'd by Pity's lute.
By Pella's bard, a magic name,
Receive my humble rite :
And eyes of dewy light!
There first the wren thy myrtles shed
To him thy cell was shown;
Thy turtles mix'd their own.
• A river in Sussex.
Come, Pity, come, by Fancy's aid,
Thy temple's pride design :
In all who view the shrine.
Wrapt in thy cloudy veil th' incestuous queen t,
Sigh'd the sad call her son and husband heard, When once alone it broke the silent scene,
And he the wretch of Thebes no more appear'd.
O Fear! I know thee by my throbbing heart,
Thy withering power inspir'd each mournful line; Though gentle Pity claim her mingled part,
Yet all the thunders of the scene are thine.
There Picture's toil shall well relate,
O'er mortal bliss prevail :
With each disastrous tale.
Thou who such weary lengths hast past, Where wilt thou rest, mad nymph, at last ? Say, wilt thou shroud in haunted cell, Where gloomy Rape and Murder dwell ? Or in some hollow'd seat, 'Gainst which the big waves beat, Hear drowning seamen's cries in tempests brought! Dark power, with shuddering meek submitted
And, lest thou meet my blasted view,
O thou, whose spirit most possest
Cuov, to whom the world unknown
I see thee near. know thy hurried step, thy haggard eye! ike thee I start, like thee disorder'd fly. or, lo, what monsters in thy train appear! Janger, whose limbs of giant mould Vhat mortal eye can fixt behold ? Tho stalks his round, a hideous form, Towling amidst the midnight storm, r throws him on the ridgy steep f some loose hanging rock to sleep : nd with him thousand phantoms join'd, ho prompt to deeds accurs'd the mind : ad those, the fiends, who, near allied, er Nature's wounds and wrecks preside; hile Vengeance, in the lurid air, fts her red arm, expos’d and bare : I whom that ravening brood of Fate, 10 lap the blood of Sorrow, wait; 10, Fear, this ghastly train can see, d look not madly wild, like thee?
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1746.
How sleep the brave, who sink to rest, By all their country's wishes blest ! When Spring, with dewy fingers cold, Returns to deck their hallow'd mould, She there shall dress a sweeter sod, Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By Fairy hands their knell is rung,
earliest Greece, to thee, with partial choice, The grief-full Muse address'd her infant tongue; 2 maids and matrons, on her aweful voice, ülent and pale, in wild amazement hung.
he, the bard * who first invok'd thy name, Disdain'd in Marathon its power to feel : not alone he nurs'd the poet's flame, But reach'd from Virtue's hand the patriot's steel. : who is he, whom later garlands grace, Vho left awhile o'er Hybla's dews to rove, h trembling eyes thy dreary steps to trace, Vhere thou and furies shar'd the baleful grove ?
Where'er from time thou court'st relief,
The Muse shall still, with social grief,
Her gentlest promise keep:
E'en humble Harting's cottag'd vale
Shall learn the sad repeated tale,
And bid her shepherds weep.
Written May, 1745.
ODE TO EVENING.
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear,
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales;
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
O'erhang his wavy bed:
Now air is hush’d, save where the weak-ey'd bal
, By rapid Scheld's descending wave
With short shrill shriek Aits by on leathern wing,
Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,
As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:
Now teach me, maid compos'd,
To breathe some soften'd strain,
Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening sale
May not unseemly with its stillness suit,
As, musing slow, I bail
Thy genial lov'd return !
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
The pensive pleasures sweet
Prepare thy shadowy car.
Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene,
Or find some ruin ʼmidst its dreary dells,
Whose walls more aweful nod
By thy religious gleams.
Or if chill blustering winds, or driving rain,
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut,
That from the mountain's side
Views wilds and swelling floods
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil.
While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he work
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light:
While sallow fills Autumn thy lap with leaves
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
So long, regardful of thy quie: rule,
Or dwell in willow'd meads more near,
Those whom the rod of Alva bruis'd,
Whose crown a British queen refus'd!
Hail, nymph, ador'd by Britain, hail !
Beyond the measure vast of thought, Who shall awake the Spartan fife,
The works, the wizard Time has wrought! And call in solemn sounds to life,
The Gaul, 't is held of antique story, The youths, whose locks divinely spreading, Saw Britain link'd to his now adverse strand +, Like vernal hyacinths in sullen hue,
No sea between, nor cliff sublime and hoary, At once the breath of fear and virtue shedding, He pass'd with unwet feet through all our land. Applauding Freedom lov'd of old to view ?
To the blown Baltic then, they say, What new Alceus, fancy-blest,
The wild waves found another way, Shall sing the sword, in myrtles drest,
Where Orcas howls, his wolfish mountains rounding; At Wisdom's shrine awhile its flame concealing, Till all the banded west at once 'gan rise, (What place so fit to seal a deed renown'd?) A wide wild storm e'en Nature's self confounding,
Till she her brightest lightnings round revealing, Withering her giant sons with strange uncouth It leap'd in glory forth, and dealt her prompted
This pillar'd earth so firm and wide, O goddess, in that feeling hour,
By winds and inward labours torn, When most its sounds would court thy ears, In thunders dread was push'd aside, Let not my shell's misguided power
And down the shouldering billows borne. E'er draw thy sad, thy mindful tears.
And see, like gems, her laughing train, No, Freedom, no, I will not tell,
The little isles on every side, How Rome, before thy face,
Mona , once hid from those who search the main, With heaviest sound, a giant-statue, fell,
Where thousand elfin shapes abide, Push'd by a wild and artless race,
And Wight, who checks the westering tide, From off its wide ambitious base,
For thee consenting Heaven has each bestow'd, When Time his northern sons of spoil awoke, A fair attendant on her sovereign pride :
And all the blended work of strength and grace To thee this blest divorce she ow'd,
With many a rude repeated stroke, (broke. For thou hast made her vales thy lov'd, thy last abode! And many a barbarous yell, to thousand fragments
Then too, 't is said, an hoary pile,
Yet, e'en where'er the least appear'd
The Dutch, amongst whom there are very severe penalties for those who are convicted of killing this bird. They are kept tame in almost all their towns, and particularly at the Hague, of the arms of which they make a part. The common people of Holland are said to entertain a superstitious sentiment, that if the whole species of them should become extinct, they should lose their liberties.
+ This tradition is mentioned by several of our old historians. Some naturalists, too, have endeavoured to support the probability of the fact, by arguments drawn from the correspondent disposition of the two opposite coasts. I do not remember that any poetical use has been hitherto made of it.
There is a tradition in the Isle of Man, that a mermaid, becoming enamoured of a young man of extraordinary beauty, took an opportunity of meeting him one day as he walked on the shore, and opened her passion to him, but was received with a coldness, occasioned by his horrour and surprise at her appearance. This, however, was so misconstrued by the sea-lady, that, in revenge for his treatment of her, she punished the whole island, by covering it with a mist, so that all who attempted to carry on any coinmerce with it, either never arrived at it, but wandered up and down the sea, or were on a sudden wrecked upon its cliffs.