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The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad known; The oak-crown'd sisters, and their chaste-ey'd
Satyrs and sylvan boys were seen, Peeping from forth their alleys green; Brown Exercise rejoic'd to hear,
And Sport leapt up, and seiz'd his beechen spear. Last came Joy's ecstatic trial, He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest, But soon he saw the brisk-awakening viol, Whose sweet entrancing voice he lov'd the best. They would have thought, who heard the strain, They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids, Amidst the festal sounding shades,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing,
While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings,
As if he would the charming air repay,
ADDRESSED TO. SIR THOMAS HANMER, ON HIS EDITION
WHILE, born to bring the Muse's happier days,
Hard was the lot those injur'd strains endur'd,
Each rising art by just gradation moves, Toil builds on toil, and age on age improves : The Muse alone unequal dealt her rage,
And grac'd with noblest pomp her earliest stage.
With kind ncern our pitying eyes o'erflow,
To Rome remov'd, with wit secure to please,
As arts expir'd, resistless Dulness rose; Goths, priests, or Vandals,-all were learning's foes.
Till Julius first recall'd each exil'd maid,
But Heaven, still various in its works, decreed
Yet, ah! so bright her morning's opening ray, In vain our Britain hop'd an equal day!
No second growth the western isle could bear,
Of softer mould the gentle Fletcher came,
Fach melting sigh, and every tender tear,
With gradual steps,4 and slow, exacter France
The Edipus of Sophocles.
2. Julias II., the immediate predecessor of Leo X, 3 Their characters are thus distinguished by Mr. Dryden.
4 About the time of Shakespeare, the poet Hardy was in great repute in France. He wrote, according to Fontenelle, six hundred plays. The French poets after him applied themselves in general to the correct improvement of the stage, which was almost totally disregarded by those of our own country, Jonson excepted,
Till late Corneille, with Lucan's 5 spirit fir'd,
Th' historian's truth, and bid the manners live.
The time shall come when Glo'ster's heart shall bleed
Thy hand unseen the secret death shall bear,
Where'er we turn, by Fancy charm'd, we find Some sweet illusion of the cheated mind. Oft, wild of wing, she calls the soul to rove With humbler nature, in the rural grove; Where swains contented own the quiet scene, And twilight fairies tread the circled green: Dress'd by her hand, the woods and valleys smile, And Spring diffusive decks th' enchanted isle.
O, more than all in powerful genius blest,
O, might some verse with happiest skill persuade
What other Raphaels charm a distant age!
Methinks e'en now I view some free design,
A wrath impatient, and a fiercer air?
5 The favourite author of the elder Corneille.
6 See the tragedy of Julius Cæsar.
7 Coriolanus. See Mr. Spence's dialogue on the Odyssey.
Thus, generous critic, as thy bard inspires, The sister Arts shall nurse their drooping fires: Each from his scenes her stores alternate bring, Blend the fair tints, or wake the vocal string: Those Sibyl-leaves, the sport of every wind, (For poets ever were a careless kind) By thee dispos'd, no farther toil demand, But, just to Nature, own thy forming hand.
So spread o'er Greece, th' harmonious whole unknown,
E'en Homer's numbers charm'd by parts alone.
DIRGE IN CYMBELIN,
SUNG BY GUIDERUS AND ARVIRAGUS OVER FIDELE, SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD.
To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
And melting virgins own their love.
No goblins lead their nightly crew;
To deck the ground where thou art laid.
ON THE DEATH OF MR. THOMSON.
THE SCENE OF THE FOLLOWING STANZAS IS SUPPOSED TO LIE ON THE THAMES, NEAR RICHMOND,
IN yonder grave a Druid lies
Where slowly winds the stealing wave:
In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
The harp of Eolus, of which see a description in the Castle of Indolence.
Then maids and youths shall linger here,
To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell.
When Thames in summer wreaths is drest, And oft suspend the dashing oar
To bid his gentle spirit rest! And oft as Ease and Health retire
To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
The friend shall view yon whitening spire',
Or tears which Love and Pity shed,
That mourn beneath the gliding sail! Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye
Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering near? With him, sweet bard, may Fancy die,
And Joy desert the blooming year.
But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
Dun Night has veil'd the solemn view!
Meek Nature's child, again adieu!
The genial meads 3 assign'd to bless
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom! Their hinds and shepherd-girls shall dress With simple hands thy rural tomb. Long, long, thy stone, and pointed clay
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes, "O! vales, and wild woods," shall he say, "In yonder grave your Druid lies!"
WRITTEN ON A PAPER, WHICH CONTAINED A PIECE OF
YE curious bands, that, hid from vulgar eyes,
Nor dare a theft for Love and Pity's sake!
Each nice ingredient chose with happiest art; Fears, sighs, and wishes, of th' enamour'd breast, And pains that please, are mixt in every part. With rosy hand the spicy fruit she brought,
From Paphian hills, and fair Cytherea's isle; And temper'd sweet with these the melting thought, The kiss ambrosial, and the yielding smile. Ambiguous looks, that scorn and yet relent, Denials mild, and firm unalter'd truth,
2 Mr. Thomson was buried in Richmond church. 3 Mr. Thomson resided in the neighbourhood of Richmond some time before his death.
Reluctant pride, and amorous faint consent,
And meeting ardours, and exulting youth. Sleep, wayward god! hath sworn, while these remain, With flattering dreams to dry his nightly tear, And cheerful Hope, so oft invok'd in vain, With fairy songs shall soothe his pensive ear. If, bound by vows to Friendship's gentle side, And fond of soul, thou hop'st an equal grace, If youth or maid thy joys and griefs divide, O, much entreated, leave this fatal place. Sweet Peace, who long hath shunn'd my plaintive day, Consents at length to bring me short delight, Thy careless steps may scare her doves away, And Grief with raven note usurp the night.
HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND;
THE SUBJECT OF POETRY.
INSCRIBED TO MR. JOHN HOME.
HOME, thou return'st from Thames, whose Naiads
Shall melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song '.
Whom, long endear'd, thou leav'st by Lavant's Together let us wish him lasting truth
And joy untainted with his destin'd bride.
Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand, And paint what all believe, who own thy genial land. There must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill;
'Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett'st thy feet; Where still, 't is said, the fairy people meet, Beneath each birken shade, on mead or hill. There each trim lass, that skims the milky store To the swart tribes, their creamy bowls alots; By night they sip it round the cottage-door,
While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. There, every herd, by sad experience, knows How, wing'd with fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food forgoes,
Or, stretch'd on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Such airy beings awe th' untutor'd swain: [lect; Nor thou, tho' learn'd, his homelier thoughts neg
How truly did Collins predict Home's tragic powers!
2 A gentleman of the name of Barrow, who introduced Home to Collins.
ON THE SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND. 207
Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain ;
E'en yet preserv'd, how often mayst thou hear,
Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around, With uncouth lyres, in many-colour'd vest,
Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crown'd: Whether thou bidd'st the well-taught hind repeat The choral dirge that mourns some chieftain brave, When every shrieking maid her bosom beat,
And strew'd with choicest herbs his scented grave; Or, whether sitting in the shepherd's shiel 3,
Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war's alarms; When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel,
The sturdy clans pour'd forth their brawny swarms, And hostile brothers met, to prove each other's arms. "T is thine to sing, how, framing hideous spells, In Sky's lone isle, the gifted wizard-seer, Lodg'd in the wintery cave with Fate's fell spear, Or in the depth of Uist's dark forest dwells: [gross, How they, whose sight such dreary dreams enWith their own vision oft astonish'd droop;
When, o'er the watery strath, or quaggy moss, They see the gliding ghosts unbodied troop.
Or, if in sports, or on the festive green,
For them the viewless forms of air obey;
They know what spirit brews the stormful day, And heartless, oft like moody madness, stare [pare. To see the phantom train their secret work preTo monarchs dear, some hundred miles astray, Oft have I seen Fate give the fatal blow!
The seer, in Sky, shriek'd as the blood did flow, When headless Charles warm on the scaffold lay!
3 A summer hut, built in the high part of the mountains, to tend their flocks in the warm season, when the pasture is fine.
4 By the public prints we are informed, that a Scotch clergyman lately discovered Collins's rude draught of this poem. It is, however, said to be very imperfect. The fifth stanza, and the half of the sixth, say those prints, being deficient, has been supplied by Mr. Mackenzie; whose lines are here annexed, for the purpose of comparison, and to do justice to the elegant author of the Man of Feeling. "Or on some bellying rock that shades the deep, They view the lurid signs that cross the sky, Where in the west the brooding tempests lie; And hear their first, faint, rustling pennons sweep. Or in the arched cave, where deep and dark
The broad, unbroken billows heave and swell, In horrid musings rapt, they sit to mark
The lab'ring Moon; or list the nightly yell Of that dread spirit, whose gigantic form
The seer's entranced eye can well survey, Through the dim air who guides the driving storm, And points the wretched bark its destin'd prey.
As Boreas threw his young Aurora forth,
In the first year of the first George's reign, And battles rag'd in welkin of the North,
They mourn'd in air, fell, fell Rebellion slain! And as, of late, they joy'd in Preston's fight,
Saw at sad Falkirk all their hopes near crown'd! They rav'd! divining thro' their second sight",
Pale, red Culloden, where these hopes were drown'd!
Illustrious William7! Britain's guardian name!
[broke, But thou, more glorious, Slavery's chain hast To reign a private man, and bow to Freedom's yoke! These, too, thou 'It sing! for well thy magic
Can to the topmost heaven of grandeur soar; Or stoop to wail the swain that is no more! Ah, homely swains! your homeward steps ne'er loose;
Let not dank Will mislead you to the heath: Dancing in mirky night, o'er fen and lake,
He glows, to draw you downward to your death, In his bewitch'd, low, marshy, willow brake! What though far off, from some dark dell espied,
His glimmering mazes cheer th' excursive sight, Yet turn, ye wanderers, turn your steps aside, Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light; For watchful, lurking, 'mid th' unrustling reed, At those mirk hours the wily monster lies, And listens oft to hear the passing steed,
And frequent round him rolls his sullen eyes, If chance his savage wrath may some weak wretch surprise.
Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unblest, indeed!
Whom late bewilder'd in the dank, dark fen, Far from his flocks, and smoking hamlet, then! To that sad spot where hums the sedgy weed: Shall never look with pity's kind concern, On him, enrag'd, the fiend, in angry mood,
Or him who hovers on his flagging wing,
O'er the dire whirlpool, that, in ocean's waste, Draws instant down whate'er devoted thing
The distant seaman hears, and flies with trembling The falling breeze within its reach hath plac'd— Or, if on land the fiend exerts his sway, [haste. Silent he broods o'er quicksand, bog or fen,
Far from the sheltering roof and haunts of men, When witched darkness shuts the eye of day, And shrouds each star that wont to cheer the
Or, if the drifted snow perplex the way,
With treacherous gleam he lures the fated wight, And leads him floundering on and quite astray."
5 By young Aurora, Collins undoubtedly meant the first appearance of the northern lights, which happened about the year 1715; at least, it is most highly probable, from this peculiar circumstance, that no antient writer whatever has taken any notice of them, nor even any one modern, previous to the above period.
6 Second sight is the term that is used for the divination of the Highlanders.
7 The late duke of Cumberland, who defeated the pretender at the battle of Culloden.
8 A fiery meteor, called by various names, such as Will with the Wisp, Jack with the Lantern, &c. It hovers in the air over marshy and fenny places.
But instant, furious, raise the whelming flood O'er its drown'd banks, forbidding all return! Or, if he meditate his wish'd escape, To some dim hill that seems uprising near,
To his faint eye, the grim and grisly shape, In all its terrours clad, shall wild appear.
Meantime the watery surge shall round him rise, Pour'd sudden forth from every swelling source!
What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs? His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthly force, And down the waves he floats, a pale and breathless corse!
For him in vain his anxious wife shall wait,
His babes shall linger at th' unclosing gate;
Her travell❜d limbs in broken slumbers steep, With drooping willows drest his mournful sprite Shall visit sad, perchance, her silent sleep: Then he perhaps, with moist and watery hand, Shall fondly seem to press her shuddering cheek, And with his blue-swoln face before her stand, And, shivering cold, these piteous accents speak: "Pursue, dear wife, thy daily toils, pursue,
At dawn or dusk, industrious as before; Nor e'er of me one helpless thought renew, While I lie weltering on the osier'd shore,
And of its eggs despoil the solan's nest.
Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give.
Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there! Nor need'st thou blush that such false themes enThy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest; [gage For not alone they touch the village breast, But fill'd in elder time th' historic page. [crown'd, There, Shakespeare's self, with ev'ry garland Flew to those fairy climes his fancy sheen,
In musing hour; his wayward sisters found, And with their terrours dress'd the magic scené. From them he sung, when, 'mid his bold design, Before the Scot, afflicted, and aghast!
The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant pass'd. Proceed! nor quit the tales which, simply told, Could once so well my answering bosom pierce; Proceed, in forceful sounds, and colour bold, To such adapt thy lyre, and suit thy powerful verse. The native legends of thy land rehearse; In scenes like these, which, daring to depart
From sober truth, are still to Nature true, And call forth fresh delight to Fancy's view, Th' heroic Muse employ'd her Tasso's art.
How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke,
Drown'd by the Kelpie's 9 wrath, nor e'er shall aid Its gushing blood the gaping cypress pour'd!
Unbounded is thy range; with varied skill [spring
Whose bones the delver with his spade upthrows, And culls them, wond'ring, from the hallow'd ground! Or thither, where beneath the show'ry west
The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid : Once foes, perhaps, together now they rest,
No slaves revere them, and no wars invade : Yet frequent now, at midnight solemn hour,
The rifted mounds their yawning cells unfold, And forth the monarchs stalk with sovereign power, . In pageant robes, and wreath'd with sheeny gold, And on their twilight tombs aërial council hold.
But, oh, o'er all, forget not Kilda's race, [tides, On whose bleak rocks, which brave the wasting Fair Nature's daughter, Virtue, yet abides. Go! just, as they, their blameless manners trace! Then to my ear transmit some gentle song, Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain, Their bounded walks the rugged cliffs along, And all their prospect but the wintery main.
With sparing temperance at the needful time They drain the scented spring; or, hunger-prest, Along th' Atlantic rock, undreading, climb,
9 The water fiend.
When each live plant with mortal accents spoke, And the wild blast upheav'd the vanish'd sword! How have I sat, when pip'd the pensive wind, To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung!
Prevailing poet! whose undoubting mind Believ'd the magic wonders which he sung!
Hence, at each sound, imagination glows! Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here!
Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows! Melting it flows, pure, murmuring, strong, and clear, And fills th' empassion'd heart, and wins th' harmonious ear!
All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail !
Ye splendid friths and lakes, which, far away, Are by smooth Anan 13 fill'd, or past'ral Tay '3, Or Don's 13 romantic springs, at distance, hail! The time shall come, when I, perhaps, may tread
Your lowly glens140'erhung with spreading broom; Or o'er your stretching heaths, by Fancy led; Then will I dress once more the faded bower, Or o'er your mountains creep, in awful gloom!
Where Jonson sat in Drummond's classic shade15; Or crop, from Tiviotdale, each lyric flower, [laid! And mourn, on Yarrow's banks, where Willy's Meantime, ye powers, that on the plains which bore The cordial youth, on Lothian's plains16, attend!Where'er Home dwells, on hill or lowly moor,
To him I lose, your kind protection lend, And, touch'd with love like mine, preserve my absent friend!
12 An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of which the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the
13 Three rivers in Scotland.
10 One of the Hebrides is called the Isle of Pig-Hebrides, chiefly subsist. mies; where it is reported that several miniature bones of the human species have been dug up in the ruins of a chapel there.
"Icolmkill, one of the Hebrides, where near sixty of the ancient Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian kings are interred.
15 Ben Jonson paid a visit on foot, in 1619, to the Scotch poet, Drummond, at his seat of Hawthornden, within four miles of Edinburgh.
Barrow, it seems, was at the Edinburgh University, which is in the county of Lothian.