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Ne'er be I found, by thee o'er-awed,
In that thrice-hallow'd eve abroad,
When ghosts, as cottage-maids believe,
Their pebbled beds permitted leave,
And goblins haunt, from fire, or fen,
Or mine, or flood, the walks of men !
O thou, whose spirit most possest
The sacred seat of Shakspeare's breast !
By all that from thy prophet broke,
In thy diyine emotions spoke !
Hither again thy fury deal,
Teach me but once like him to feel :
meed decree, And I, O Fear, will dwell with thee!
O THOU, by Nature taught
To breathe her genuine thought,
In numbers warmly pure, and sweetly strong :
Who first on mountains wild,
In Fancy, loveliest child,
Thy babe, and Pleasure's, nursed the
powers of song! Thou, who with hermit heart
Disdain'st the wealth of art,
And gauds, and pageant weeds, and trailing pall:
But com'st a decent maid,
In Attic robe array'd,
O chaste, unboastful nymph! to thee I call !
By all the honey'd store
On Hybla's thymy shore,
By all her blooms, and mingled murmurs dear,
By her whose love-lorn woe,
In evening musings slow,
Soothed, sweetly sad, Electra's poet's ear:
By old Cephisus' deep,
Who spread his wavy sweep
In warbled wanderings round thy green retreat,
On whose enamell’d side,
When holy Freedom died,
No equal haunt allured thy future feet.
O sister meek of Truth,
To my admiring youth
Thy sober aid and native charms infuse !
The flowers that sweetest breathe,
Though beauty call'd the wreath, Still ask thy hand to range their order'd hues.
While Rome could none esteein
But virtue's patriot theme, You loved her hills, and led her laureate band;
But staid to sing alone
To one distinguish'd throne,
And turn'd thy face, and fled her alter'd land.
No more, in hall or bower,
The passions own thy power,
Love, only Love, her forceless numbers mean;
For thou hast left her shrine,
Nor olive more, nor vine,
Shall gain thy feet to bless the servile scene.
Though taste, though genius, bless
To some divine excess, Faint's the cold work till thou inspire the whole :
What each, what all supply,
May court, may charm our eye,
Thou ! only thou canst raise the meeting soul!
Of these let others ask,
To aid some mighty task,
I only seek to find thy temperate vale :
Where oft my reed might sound
To maids and shepherds round,
And all thy sons, 0 Nature ! learn my tale.
ON THE POETICAL CHARACTER.
As once, if not with light regard,
I read aright that gifted bard
(Him whose school above the rest
His loveliest Elfin queen has blest),
One, only one, unrivall’d fair,*
Migut hope the magic girdle wear,
At solemn turney hung on high,
The wish of each love-darting eye.
Lo! to each other nymph in turn applied,
As if, in air unseen, some hovering hand,
Some chaste and angel-friend to virgin-fame,
With whisperd spell had burst the starting band, It left unblest her loathed dishonour'd side;
Happier, hopeless fair, if never
Her baffled hand with vain endeavour
Had touch'd that fatal zone to her denied !
Young Fancy thus, to me divinest name,
To whom, prepared and bathed in heaven,
The cest of amplest power is given,
To few the god-like gift assigns,
To gird their blest prophetic loins,
And gaze her visions wild, and feel unmix'd her
The band, as fairy legends say,
Was wove on that creating day,
When He, who call’d with thought to birth
Yon tented sky, this laughing earth,
And drest with springs, and forests tall,
And pour'd the main engirting all,
Long by the loved enthusiast woo'd,
Himself in some diviner mood,
Retiring, sat with her alone,
And placed her on his sapphire throne,
The whiles, the vaulted shrine around,
Seraphic wires were heard to sound,
Now sublimest triumph swelling,
Now on love and mercy dwelling;
And she, from out the veiling cloud,
* Florimel. See Spenser, Leg, 4th.
Breathed her magic notes aloud :
And thou, thou rich-hair'd youth of morn,
And all thy subject life was born !
The dangerous passions kept aloof,
Far from the sainted growing woof;
But near it sat ecstatic Wonder,
Listening the deep applauding thunder :
And Truth, in sunny vest array'd,
By whose the Tarsel's eyes were made ;
And the shadowy tribes of Mind,
In braided dance their murmurs join'd,
And all the bright uncounted powers
Who feed on heaven's ambrosial flowers.
-Where is the bard whose soul can now
Its high presuming hopes avow?
Where he who thinks, with rapture blind,
This hallow'd work for him design'd ?
High on some cliff, to heaven up-piled,
Of rude access, of prospect wild,
Where, tangled round the jealous steep,
Strange shades o'erbrow the valleys deep,
And holy Genii guard the rock,
Its glooms embrown, its springs unlock,
While on its rich ambitious head
An Eden, like his own, lies spread, I view that oak, the fancied glades among, By which, as Milton lay, his evening ear, From many a cloud that dropp'd ethereal dew, Night sphered in heaven its native strains could hear; On which that ancient trump he reach'd was hung:
Thither oft his glory greeting,
From Waller's myrtle shades retreating,
With many a vow from Hope's aspiring tongue,
My trembling feet his guiding steps pursue ;
In vain-Such bliss to one alone,
Of all the sons of soul, was known, And Heaven, and Fancy, kindred powers, Have now o'erturn'd th' inspiring bowers, Or curtain'd close such scenes from every future view,
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,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung :
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay,
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there !
O THOU ! who sitt'st a smiling bride
By Valour's arm’d and awful side,
Gentlest of sky-born forms, and best adored :
Who oft, with songs, divine to hear,
Winn'st from his fatal grasp the spear,
And hidest in wreaths of flowers his bloodless sword !
Thou who, amidst the deathful field,
By godlike chiefs alone beheld,
Oft with thy bosom bare art found,
Pleading for him, the youth who sinks to ground :
See, Mercy, see ! with pure and loaded hands,
Before thy shrine my country's Genius stands, And decks thy altar still, though pierced with many a wound!
When he whom even our joys provoke,
The fiend of Nature, join'd his yoke,