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it, O how alter'd was its sprightlier tone! hen Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue, Her bow across her shoulder slung,

While, nurs'd by you, she sees her myrtles bloom,

Green and unwither'd, o'er his honour'd tomb:
Excuse her doubts, if yet she fears to tell

let buskins gemm'd with morning dew,

w an aspiring air, that dale and thicket rung, What secret transports in her bosom swell; The hunter's call to Faun and Drvad known; With conscious awe she hears the critic's fame, The oak-crown'd sisters, and their chaste-And blushing hides her wreath at Shakspeare's


Hard was the lot those injur'd strains endur'd,
Unown'd by science, and by years obscur'd.
[spear. Fair Fancy wept; and echoing sighs confess'd
A fix'd despair in every tuneful breast.
Not with more grief th' afflicted swains appear,
When wintry winds deform the plenteons year;
When lingering frosts the ruin'd seats invade
Where Peace resorted, and the Graces play'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
Preserv'd through time, the speaking scenes in-
Each changeful wish of Phædra's tortur'd
Or paint the curse that mark'd the Theban's


eyed queen,

atyrs and sylvan boys, were seen
'eeping from forth their alleys green
wn Exercise rejoic'd to hear,
and Sport leap'd up and seiz'd his beechen


t came Joy's ecstatic trial. with viny crown adyancing, irst to the lively pipe his hand address'd, soon he saw the brisk-awakening vio!, hose sweet entrancing voice he lov'd the [strain, They would have thought, who heard the They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids, Amidst the festal sounding shades, ome unwearied minstrel dancing, 'hile, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings, ve fram'd with Mirtha gay fantastic round: Jose were her tresses seen, her zone un-A bed incestuous, and a father slain. nd he, amidst his frolic play, [bound, f he would the charming air repay, k thousand odours from his dewy wings. usic, sphere-descended maid, id of pleasure, wisdom's aid! , Goddess, why to us denied, t thou thy ancient lyre aside? that lov'd Athenian bow'r learn'd an all-commanding pow'r; mimic soul, O nymph endear'd! well recall what then it heard. re is thy native simple heart, te to virtue, faney, art ? , as in that elder time, n, energetic, chaste, sublime! wonders in that godlike age, hy recording sister's pageaid, and I believe the tale, humblest reed could more prevail, more of strength, diviner rage, all which charins this laggard age, all at once together found ia's mingled world of soundd our vain endeavours cease, e the just designs of Greece, rn in all thy simple state, irm the tales her sons relate!


triot's hand protects a poet's lays;

• The Oedipus of Sophocles,

With kind concern our pitying eyes o'erflow,
Trace the sad tale, and own another's woe.

To Rome remov'd, with wit secure to please,
The comic sisters keep their native ease.
With jealous fear declining Greece beheld
Her own Menander's art almost excell'd!
But every Muse essay'd to raise in vain
Some labour'd rival of her tragic strain;
lissus' laurels, though transferr'd with toil,
Droop'd their fair leaves, nor knew the un-
friendly soil.

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,
And Cosmo own'd them in th' Etrurian shade.
Then, deeply skill'd in love's engaging theme,
The soft Provencal pass to Arno's stream:
With graceful ease the wanton lyre he strung,
Sweet How'd the lays-but love was all he sung.
The gay description could not fail to move;
For, led by nature, all are friends to love.

But heaven, still various in its works, decreed
The perfect boast of time should last succeed..
The beauteous union must appear at length
Of Tuscan fancy and Athenian strength :
One greater Muse Eliza's reign adorn,
And e'en a Shakspeare to her fame be born!
Yet ah! so bright her morning's opening ray,
In vain our Britain hop'd an equal day!


1. An Epistle, addressed to Sir Thomas No second growth the western isle could bear, anmer, on his Edition of Shakspeare's At once exhausted with too rich a year. COLLINS. Too nicely Jonson knew the critic's part; HILE, born to bring the Muse's happier Nature in him was almost lost in art. Of softer mold the gentle Fletcher came, The next in order, as the next in name: Julius II. the immediate predecessor of Leo X.


With pleas'd attention 'midst his scenes we find What wondrous draughts might rise from Each glowing thought that warms the female


Each melting sigh, and every tender tear,
The lover's wishes, and the virgin's fear.
His every strain the Smiles and Graces own;
But stronger Shakspeare felt for man alone:
Drawn by his pen, our ruder passions stand
Th'unrivall'd picture of his early hand.

With t gradual steps, and slow, exacter France
Saw Art's fair empire o'er her shores advance;
By length of toil a bright perfection knew,
Correctly bold and just in all she drew.
Till late Corneille, with ↑ Lucan's spirit fir'd,
Breath'd the free strain, as Rome and he in-

And classic judgment gain'd to sweet Racine
The temperate strength of Maro's chaster line.
But wilder far the British laurel spread,
And wreaths less artful crown our poet's head.
Yet he alone to every scene could give
Ph' historian's truth, and bid the manners live.
Wak'd at his call, I view with glad surprise
Majestic forms of mighty monarchs rise..
There Henry's trumpets spread their loud

every page!

What other Raphaels charm a distant age!

Methinks e'en now I view some free desiza, Where breathing Nature lives in every line: Chaste and subdued the modest lights decay, Steal into shades, and mildly melt away. -And see, where § Anthony in tears appro Guards the pale relics of the chief he lov'd: O'er the cold corse the warrior seems to bad, Deep sunk in grief, and mourns his murderü friend!

Still as they press, he calls on all around,
Lifts the torn robe, and points the bleeding

But who is he whose brows exalted bar
A wrath impatient, and a fiercer air?
Awake to all that injur'd worth can fiel,
On his own Rome he turns th' aveng og stee
Yet shall not war's insatiate fury fall
(So heaven ordains it) on the ésun'd wall.
See the fond mother, 'midst the plaintive tr
Hang on his knees, and prostrate on the p
Touch'd on the soul, in vain he strives to
a-The son's affection in the Roman's pre.
O'er all the man conflicting passione,
Rage grasps the sword, while pity melts t

And laureli'd Conquest waits her hero's arms.
Here gentler Edward claims a pitying sigh,
Scarce barn to honours and so soon to die!
Yet shall thy throne, unhappy infant, bring
No beam of comfort to the guilty king:
The time shall come whenGlo'ster's heart shall
' bleed,

In life's last hours, with horror of the deed:
When dreary visions shalt at last present
Thy vengeful image in the midnight tent;
Thy hand unseen the secret death shall bear,
Blunt the weak sword, and break th' oppressive

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 vallies smile,
And spring diffusive decks th' enchanted isle.

O, more than all in powerful genius blest,
Come, take thine empire o'er the willing breast!
Whate'er the wounds this youthful heart shall$


Thy songs support me, and thy morals heal!
Tire every thought the poet's warmth may


There native music dwells in all the lays.
O, might some yerse with happiest skill persuade
Expressive picture to adopt thine aid,


Thus, generous Critic, as thy bird in on
The sister Arts shall nurse their dre
Each from his scenes her stores alum
Blend the fair tiuts, or wake the vocal
Those Sybi-leaves, the sport of every Wil
(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, the harmonijus 47



Ev'n Homer's numbers' charm'd by f
Their own Ulysses scarce had wander'd m
By winds and waters, cast on every shote:
When, rais'd by fate, some former Ha


Each beauteous image of the boundless mo
And bade, like thee. his Athens ever claim
A fond alliance with the Poet's name.

160. Dirge in Cymbeline, sung by Guidera and Arviragus over Fidele, supposed to COLLIS



fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing Spring.

The characters are thus distinguished by Mr. Dryden. About the time of Shakspeare, the poet Hardy was in great repute in France. He wrote, cording to Fontenelle, six hundred plays. The French poets after him applied themselves in gener to the correct improvement of the stage, which was almost totally disregarded by, those of our ow country, Jonson excepted.

I The favourite author of the Elder Corneille.
Coriolanus. See Mr. Spence's Dialogue on the Odyssey,

See the tragedy of Julius Casar.


No wailing ghost shall dare appear
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove;
But shepherd lads assemble here,

And melting virgins own their love. No wither'd witch shall here be seen, No goblins lead their nightly crew; The female favs shall haunt the green, And dress thy grave with pearly dew. The red-breast oft at evening hour Shall kindly lend his little aid, With hoary moss, and gather'd flow'rs, To deck the ground where thou art laid. When howling winds, and beating rain, In tempests shake thy sylvan cell; Or 'midst the chace on every plain, The tender thought on thee shall dwell; Zach lonely scene shall thee restore, For thee the tear be duly shed; lelov'd, till life can charm no more; And mourn'd, ull Pity's self be dead.

§ 161. Ode on the Death of Mr. Thomson. COLLINS. The Scene of the following Staneas is supposed to lie on the Thames, near Richmond. Nyonder grave a Druid lies, Where slowly. winds the stealing wave: he year's best sweets shall duteous rise To deck its Poet's sylvan grave. von deep bed of whispering reeds His airy harp shall now be laid, hat he, whose heart in sorrow bleeds, May love through life the soothing shade. hen maids and youths shall linger here, And, while its sounds at distance swell, all sadly seem in Pity's ear

To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell. emembrance oft shall haunt the shore When Thames in summer wreaths is drest, nd oft suspend the dashing oar To bid his gentle spirit rest! nd oft as Ease and Health retire To breezy lawn, or forest deep, The friend shall view yon whitening + spire, And 'mid the varied landscape weep; ut thou, who own'st that earthy bed, Ah! what will every dirge avail? r tears, which Love and Pity shed, That mourn beneath the gliding sail ! et lives there one whose heedless eye Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering ith him, sweet bard, may Fancy die, And Joy desert the blooming year! at thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide No sedge-crown'd sisters now attend,


Now waft me from the green hill's side Whose cold turf hides the buried friend! And see, the fairy valleys fade,

Dun night has veil'd the solemn view ; Yet once again, dear parted shade, Meek nature's child, again adieu! The genial meads 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!"

$162. Verses written on a Paper which contained a Piece of Bride Cake. COLLINS.

YE curious hands, that, hid from vulgar eyes, By search prophane shall find this hallow'd cake,

With virtue's awe forbear the sacred prize,

Nor dare a theft, for love and pity's sake! This precious relic, form'd by magic pow'r,

Beneath the shepherd's haunted pillow laid, Was meant by love to charm the silent hour, The secret present of a matchless maid. The Cyprian queen, at Hymen's fond request,

Each nice ingredient chose with happiest art; Fears, sighs, and wishes of th'enamour'd breast, And pains that please, are mix'd 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; Reluctant pride, and amorous faint consent,

And meeting ardours, and exulting youth. Sleep, wayward god, hath sworn, while these remain, [tear; With flattering dreams to dry his nightly 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 plain

tive 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.

• The Harp of Æolus, of which see a description in the Castle of Indolence.

+ Mf. Thomson was buried in Richmond church.

Mr. Thomson resided in the neighbourhood of Richmond some time before his death.

§ 163.


§ 163. To e Mouse, on turning her up in her Alas! its no thy neebor sweet
Nest with the Plough, November, 1785. The bonie lark, companion meet!
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet!
Wi' spreckl'd breast,
When upwards springing, blythe, to greet
The purpling east:

WEE, sleek it, cowrin, tim'rous beastic,
O, what a pannic's in thy breastie !
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi' bickering brattle!

I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal.

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A diamen-icker in a thrave

'S a sma' request;

I'll get a blessing wis the lave,
An' never miss 't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the wins are strewing;
An' naething, now, to big a new ane

An' bleak December's wind, ensuing,
Baith snell and keen!

Thou saw the field laid bare and waste,
An' weary winter coming fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till, crash! the cruel coulter
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o'leaves an' stibble
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,

To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain :
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley,

An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But, och I backward cast my e'e
On prospects drear!

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An' forward, tho' I canna see,

I guess an' fear.

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Cauld blew the bitter biting-north
Upon thy early humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth
Amid the storm,

Scarce rear'd above the parent-earth
Thy tender form.

The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield,
High sheltering woods an' wa's maun shield;
But thou, beneath the random bield
O' clod or stane,

Adorns the histie stibble-field,
Unseen, alane.

There in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sunward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise;

But now the share up tears thy bed,
And low thou lies!

Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet flowret of the rural shade
By love's simplicity betray'd,

And guiltless trust,

Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid
Low i' the dust.

Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life's rough occan luckless starr'd!
Unskilful he to note the card

Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,
And whelm him o'er!

Such fate to suffering Worth is giv'n,
Who long with wants and woes has striv
By human pride or cunning driv'n
To Mis'ry's brink,

Till wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heaven,
He, ruin'd, sink!

Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
That fate is thine-no distant date:
Stern ruin's plough-share drives elate,
Full on thy bloom,
Till, crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,
Shall be thy doom!

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e written picture we applaud or blame fat as the just proportions are the same. 30, driven with ungovernable fire,

void of art, beyond these bounds aspire, antic forms and monstrous births alone duce, which Nature shock'd disdains


true reflection I would see my face, y brings the fool a magnifying glass? at poetry in fiction takes delight, nd mounting in bold figures out of sight, [Alight: eaves Truth behind in her audacious ables and metaphors, that always lie, nd rash hyperboles that soar so high, nd ev'ry ornament of verse, must die." ake me not: no figures I exclude, but forbid intemperance, not food. would with care some happy fiction frame, imics truth, it looks the very same; rais'd to force, or feign'd in Nature's scorn, meant to grace, illustrate, and adorn. ortant truths still let your fables hold, moral mysteries with art unfold: es and beaus to please, is all the task; the sharp critic will instruction ask. eils transparent cover, but not hide, 1 metaphors appear, when right applied; thro' the phrase we plainly see the sense, h with such obvious meanings will dispense.

I would condemn, but that, in spite of sense,
The admiring world still stands in his defence:
The gods permitting traitors to succeed,
Become not parties in an impious deed;
And, by the tyrant's murder, we may find
That Cato and the gods were of a mind.
Thus forcing truth with such preposterous


Our characters we lessen when we'd raise;
Like castles built by magic art in air,
That vanish at approach, such thoughts appear;
But, rais'd on truth by some judicious hand,
As on a rock they shall for ages stand.
Our king return'd, and banish'd
peace restor'd,
The Muse ran mad to see her exit'd lord ;
On the crack'd stage the Bedlam heroes roar'd,
And scarce could speak one reasonable word :
Dryden himself, to please a frantic age,
Was fore'd to let his judgment stoop to rage;
To a wild audience he conform'd his voice,
Complied to custom, but not err'd thro' choice.
Deem then the people's, not the writer's sin,
Almansor's rage, and rants of Maximin;
That fury spent in each elaborate piece,
Hevies for fame with ancient Rome and Greece.
Roscommon first, then Mulgrave rose, like

To clear our darkness, and to guide our flight;
With steady judgment, and in lofty sounds,
They gave us patterns, and they set us bounds,
The Stagyrite and Horace laid aside:.
Inform'd by them, we need no foreign guide.
Who seek from poetry a lasting nanie,
May from their lessons learn the road to fame;
But let the bold adventurer be sure
That ev'ry line the test of truth endure;
On this foundation may the fabric rise,
Firm and unshaken, till it touch the skies,
From pulpits banish'd, from the court, from

reader what in reason's due believes, can we call that false which not deceives: rboles, so daring and so bold, ining bounds, are yet by rules controul'd; e the clouds, but yet within our sight, * mount with Truth, and make a tow'ring nting things impossible to view, [flight: wander through incredible to true. hoods thus mix'd like metals are refin'd; Truth, like silver, leaves the dross behind. Poetry has ample space to soar, aeeds forbidden regions to explore; vaunts as his, who can with patience. read,

Abandon'd Truth seeks shelter in the grove;
Cherish, ye Muses, the forsaken fair, [derer.
And take into your train this beauteous wan-

thus describes his hero when he's dead-§ heat of action slain, yet scorns to fall, it still maintains the war, and fights atAll?"

noisy culverin, o'ercharg'd, lets fly, bursts, unaiming, in the rended sky; frantic flights are like a madman's dream, nature suffers in the wild extreme. captive cannibal, opprest with chains, aves his foes, reviles, provokes, disdains; ature fierce, untameable, and proud, ids defiance to the gaping crowd; spent at last, and speechless, as he lies, hery glances mocks their rage, and dies. is the utmost stretch that nature can, all bevond is fulsome, false, and vain. Roman wit, who impiously divides ero and his gods to different sides,

166. To Mr. Spence, prefixed to the Essay on Pope's Odyssey.


IS done-restor'd thy immortal pen, The critic's noble name revives again; Once more that great, that injur'd name we see Shine forth alike in Addison and thec.

Like curs, our critics haunt the poet's feast, And feed on scraps refus'd by ev'ry guest; From the old Thracian dog they learn'd the


To snarl in want, and grumble o'er their preys
As though they grudg'd themselves the joys
they feel,
Vex'd to be charm'd, and pleas'd against their
Such their inverted taste, that we expect [lect.
For faults their thanks, for beauties their neg-
So the fell snake rejects the fragrant flow'rs,
And ev'ry poison of the field devours.

Zoilus, so called by the ancients.

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