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Led by the glimm'ring taper moves around The sacred volumes of the dead, the songs Of Grecian bards, and records writ by fame For Grecian heroes, where the preferit pow'r Of heav'n and earth surveys th' immortal page, E'en as a father's blesting, while he reads. The praises of his fon; if then thy soul, Spurning the yoke of these inglorious days, Mix in their deeds and kindle with their flamé : Say, when the prospect blackens on thy view, When rooted from the base, heroic states Mourn in the dust and tremble at the frown Of curft ambition ;-when the pious band Of youths that fought for freedom and their fires: Lie fide by fide in gore; when ruffian pride Usurps the throne of justice, turns the pomp Of public pow'r, the majesty of rule, The sword, the laurel, and the purple robiex To Navish empty pageants, to ador A tyrant's walk, and glitter in the eyes Of such as bow the knee'; when honour'd urnsOf patriots and of chiefs, the awful buft And storied arch, to glut the coward rage Of regal envy, strew the publie way With hallow'd ruins when the muse's haunt, The marble porch- where wisdom wont to talk With Socrates or Fully, hear's no more, Save the hoarse jargon of contentious monks, Of female fuperftition's midnight pray'r; When ruthless rapine from the harid of time Tears the destroying feythe, with surer blow To sweep the works of glory from their base; Till desolation o'er the grass-grown street Expands his raven-wings, and up the wall, Where senates, once the pride of monarchs doom'd,

Hisses the gliding snaké thro' hoary weeds That clasp the mould'ring column :thus defac'd, Thus widely mournful when the prospect thrills Thy beating bosom; when the patriot's tear Starts from thine eye, and thy extended arm In fancy hurls the thunderbolt of Jove To fire the impious wreath on Philip's brow, Or dath Octavius from the trophied car; Say, does thy secret soul repine to taste The big distress? Or wouldst thou then exchange Those heart-ennobling forrows, for the lot Of him who fits amid the gaudy herd Of mute barbarians bending to his nod; And bears aloft his gold-invested front, And says within himself, “ I am a king, And wherefore should the clam'rous voice of woe Intrude upon mine ear ?". The baleful dregs Of these late ages, this inglorious draught Of servitude and folly, have not yet, (Blest be th' eternal Ruler of the world !) Defil'd to such a depth of fordid shame The native honours of the human soul, Nor so effac'd the image of its fire.

AKENSIDE.

CHAPTER XXV.

ON TASTE.

SAY, what is taste, but the internal pow'rs
Active, and strong, and feelingly alive
To each fine impulse ? a discerning sense
Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust
From things deforin'd, or disarrang'd, or gross
In species? This nor gems, nor stores of gold,

Nor purple state, nor culture can bestow;
But God alone, when first his active hand
Imprints the facred bias of the soul.
He, miglity Parent! wise and just in all,
Free as the vital breeze or light of heav'n
Reveals the charms of nature. Ask the swain
Who journies homeward from a summer day's
Long labour, why forgetful of his toils
And due repose, he lojters to behold
The sunshine gleaming as thro' amber clouds,
O'er all the western sky? Full fuon, I ween,
llis rude expression and untutor'd airs,
Beyond the pow'r of language, will unfold
The form of beauty smiling at his heart,
How lovely! how commanding! But tho' Heav'n
in every breast hath sown these early seeds
Of love and admiration, yet in vain,
Without fair culture's kind parental aid,
Without enliv'ning suns, and genial show'rs,
And shelter from the blast, in vain we hope
The tender plant should rear its blooming head,
Or yield the harvek promis'd in its spring.
Nor yet will every soil with equal stores
Repay the tiller's labour; or attend
His will, obsequious, whether to produce
The olive or the laurel: diff'rent minds
Incline to diff'rent objects: one pursues
The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild;
Another fighs for harmony, and grace,
And gentleft beauty. Hence when lightning fires
The arch of Heav'n, and thunders rock the ground;
When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air,
And ocean, groaning from his lowest bed,
Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky;
Amid the mighty uproar, while below

The nations tremble, Shakspeare looks abroad
From some high cliff, fuperior, and enjoys
The elementat war. But Waller longs,
All on the margin of some flow'ry Atream,
To spread his careless. limbs amid the cool
Of plantain shades, and to the lift'ning deer,
The tale of Nighted vows and love's disdain
Resounds soft warbling, all the live-long day :
Confenting zephyrfighs; the weeping rill
Joins in his plaint, melodious; mute the groves ;
And hill and dale with all their echoes mourn.
Such and so various are the tastes of men.

AKENSIDE

CHAPTER XXVI.

THE PLEASURES ARISING FROM A

CULTIVATED IMAGINATION.

O blest of hear'n, whom not the languid fongs
Of luxury, the Siren ! not the bribes
Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils
Of pageant honour, can reduce to leave
Thofe ever-blooming sweets, which from the store
Of nature, fair imagination culs
To charm th' enliven'd foul! what tho' not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the height
Of envied life; tho only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial ftate :
Yet nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler ftate
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,
The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,

The breathing marbles and the sculptur'd gold, Beyond the proud poffeffor's narrow claim, His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the spring Distils her dews, and from the filken gem Its lucid leaves unfolds ; for him the hand Of autumn tinges every fertile branch With blooming gold, and blufhes like the morn, Each pafling hour sheds tribute from her wings : And still new beauties meet his lonely walk, And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes The setting fun's effulgence, not a strain From all the tenants of the warbling shade Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake Fresh pleasure, unreprov'd. Nor then partakes Fresh pleasure only: for th' attentive mind By this harmonious action on her pow'rs, Becomes herself harmonious': wont so oft In outward things to meditate the charm Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home To find a kindred order, to exert Within herself this elegance of love, This fair-inspir'd delight : her temper'd pow'rs Refine at length, and every passion wears A chafter, milder, more attractive mien, But if to'ampler prospects, if to gaze On nature's form, where negligent of all These lefser graces, she assumes the port Of that eternal Majesty that weigh'd The world's foundations ; if to these the mind Exalts her daring eye! then mightier far Will be the change, and nobler, Would the forms Of servile custom cramp her gen'rous pow'rs? Would sordid policies, the barb'rous growth Of ignorance and rapine, bow her down

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