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Come, Pity, come, by Fancy's aid,
Thy temple's pride design;
In all who view the shrine.
But who is he, whom later garlands grace,
Who left awhile o'er Hybla's dews to rove, With trenibling eyes thy dreary steps to trace,
Where thou and furies shar'd the baleful grove ?
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
There Picture's toil shall well relate,
O'er mortal bliss prevail :
With each disastrous tale.
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 let me oft, retir'd by day,
Allow'd with thee to dwell :
To hear a British shell !
ODE TO FEAR.
Thou, to whom the world unknown
Ah, Fear! ah, frantic Fear!
I see, I see thee near. I know thy hurried step, thy haggard eye! Like thee 1 start, like thee disorder'd fly. For, lo, what monsters in thy train appear! Danger, whose limbs of giant mould What mortal eye can fixt behold ? Who stalks his round, a hideous form, Howling amidst the midnight storm, Or throws him on the ridgy steep Of some loose hanging rock to sleep: And with him thousand phantoms join'd, Who prompt to deeds accursd the mind : And those, the fiends, who, near allied, O’er Nature's wounds and wrecks preside; While Vengeance, in the lurid air, Lifts her red arm, expos'd and bare ; On whom that ravening brood of Fate, Who lap the blood of Sorrow, wait; Who, Fear, this ghastly train can see, And look not madly wild, like thee?
ANTISTROPHE. 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,
When ghosts, as cottage-maids believe,
O thou, whose spirit most possest
His cypress wreath my meed decree,
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.
In earliest Greece, to thee, with partial choice
The grief-full Muse address'd her infant tongue; 'The maids and matrons, on her awful voice,
Silent and pale, in wild amazement hung.
Yet he, the bard * who first invok'd thy name,
Disdain'd in Mara ihon its power to feel : For not alone he nurs'd the poet's flame,
But reach'd from Virtue's hand the patriot's steel.
By Fairy hands their knell is rung,
Where'er from time thou court'st relief,
The Muse shall still, with social grief,
Her gentlest promise keep :
Shall learn the sad repeated tale,
And bid her shepherds weep.
ODE TO EVENING.
IF aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear, The wreaths of cheerful May:
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales ; The thoughts which musing Pity pays, And fond Remembrance loves to raise, O nymph reserv'd, while now the bright-hair'd Sun Your faithful hours attend :
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts, Still Fancy, to herself unkind,
With brede ethereal wove,
O'erhang his wavy bed :
Now air is hush'd, save where the weak-ey'd bat, By rapid Scheld's descending wave
With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing, His country's vows shall bless the grave,
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 vale, And, fall'n to save his injur'd land,
May not unseemly with its stillness suit,
As, musing slow, I hail
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
sedge, Old Edward's sons, unknown to yield,
And sheds the freshening dew, and lovelier still,
The pensive pleasures sweet
Prepare thy shadowy car.
Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene,
Or find some ruin 'midst its dreary dells,
Whose walls more awful 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 wild and swelling floods,
And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires,
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil.
While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light:
While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves,
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes :
So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Thy gentlest influence own,
Or dwell in willow'd meads more near,
ODE TO LIBEP TY.
Who shall awake the Srutan fife,
Beyond the measure vast of thought,
The works, the wizard Time has wrought! Like vernal hyacirths in sullen hue,
The Gaul, 'tis held of antique story, At once the breath of fear and virtue shedding,
Saw Britain link'd to his now adverse strand,t Applauding F endom lov'd of old to view ? No sea between, nor cliff sublime and hoary, What new Alrers, fancy-blest,
He pass'd with unwet feet through all our land. Shall sing te sword, in myrtles drest,
To the blown Baltic then, they say, At Wisden's shrine a while its flame concealing,
The wild waves found another way, (What place so fit to seal a deed renown'd ?)
here Orcas howls, his wolfish mountains rounding; T:}| she her brightest lightnings round revealing,
Till all the banded west at once 'gan rise, It 'eap'd in glory forth, and dealt her prompted A wide wild storm e'en Nature's self confounding, wound !
Withering her giant sons with strange uncouth O goddess, in that feeling hour,
surprise. When most its sounds would court thy ears, This pillar'd earth so firm and wide, Let not my shell's misguided power
By winds and inward labors torn, E'er draw thy sad, thy mindful tears.
In thunders dread was push'd aside, No, Freedom, no, I will not tell,
And down the shouldering billows borne How Rome, before thy face,
And see, like gems, her laughing train, With heaviest sound, a giant-statue, fell,
The little isles on every side, Push'd by a wild and artloss race,
Mona,f once hid from those who search the main, From off its wide ambitious base,
Where thousand elfin shapes abide,
And all the blended work of strength and grace For thee consenting Heaven has each bestow'd,
A fair attendant on her sovereign pride : And many a barbarous yell, to thousand fragments To thee this blest divorce she ow'd, broke.
For thou hast made her vales thy lov'd, thy last abode!
Then too, 'tis said, an hoary pile,
Yet, e'en where'er the least appear'd,
* The Dutch, amongst whom there are very severe pen. alties for those who are convicted of killing this bird. They are kept tame in almost all their towns, and par. ticularly 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 endeavored 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 it.
1 There is a tradition in the Isle of Man, that a mer. maid, becoming enamoured of a young man of extraordi. nary 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 horror and surprise at her appearance. This, how. ever, was so misconstrued by the sea-lady, that, in re. venge for his treatment of her, she punished the whole island, by covering it with a mist, so that all who at. tempted to carry on any commerce with it, either never arrived at it, but wandered up and down the sea, or were on a sudden wrecked upon its cliffs.
Thy shrine in some religious wood,
From the supporting myrtles round O soul-enforcing goddess, stood !
They snatch'd her instruments of sound, There oft the painted native's feet
And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid, 'T'were hard for modern song to tell.
And back recoil'd, he knew not why,
E'en at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rush'd, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings own'd his secret stings, Amidst the bright pavilion'd plains,
In one rude clash he struck the lyre, The beauteous model still remains.
And swept with hurried hand the strings,
With woful measures wan Despair-
Low sullen sounds his grief beguild,
A solemn, strange, and mingled air, Hear their consorted Druids sing
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. Their triumphs to th' immortal string.
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair, How may the poet now unfold,
What was thy delighted measure? What never tongue or numbers told ?
Still it whisper'd promis'd pleasure, How learn delighted, and amaz'd,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail! What hands unknown that fabric rais'd ?
Still would her touch the strain prolong, E'en now, before his favor'd eyes,
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, In Gothic pride it seems to rise!
She call'd on Echo still through all the song; Yet Grecia's graceful orders join,
And where her sweetest theme she chose, Majestic, through the mix'd design;
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close, The secret builder knew to choose,
And Hope enchanted smil'd, and wav'd her golden Each sphere-found gem of richest hues :
hair. Whate'er Heaven's purer mould contains,
And longer had she sung—but, with a frown, When nearer suns emblaze its veins;
Revenge impatient rose, There on the walls the patriot's sight
He threw his blood-stain'd sword in thunder down. May ever hang with fresh delight,
And, with a withering look, And, 'grav'd with some prophetic rage,
The war-denouncing trumpet took, Read Albion's fame through every age.
And blew a blast so loud and dread, Ye forms divine, ye laureate band,
Were ne'er prophetic sound so full of woe. That near her inmost altar stand!
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat;
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between, E'en Anger's blood-shot eyes in sleep:
Dejected Pity at his side Before whose breathing bosom's balm,
Her soul-subduing voice applied;
Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien, Rage drops his steel, and storms grow calm ;. While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd bursting Her let our sires and matrons hoar
from his head. Welcome to Britain's ravag'd shore, Our youths, enamour'd of the fair,
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd, Play with the tangles of her hair,
Sad proof of thy distressful state, Till, in one loud applauding sound,
Of differing themes the veering song was mix’d, The nations shout to her around,
And now it courted Love, now raving callid on
Hate. “O, how supremely art thou blest, Thou, lady, thou shalt rule the West!" With eyes up-rais'd, as one inspir'd,
Pale Melancholy sat retir'd,
And from her wild sequester'd seat,
In notes by distance made more sweet,
Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul:
And dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels join'd the sound ; Wien Music, heavenly maid, was young, Through glades and glooms the mingled measurestole While yet in early Greece she sung,
Or o'er some haunted streams with fond delay, The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Round an holy calm diffusing, Throng'd around her magic cell,
and lonely musing, Exulling, trembling, raging, fainting,
In hollow murmurs died away. Possest beyond the Muse's painting ;
But, o, how alter'd was its sprightlier tone! By turns they felt the glowing mind
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue, Disturb’d, delighted, rais'd, refin'd;
Her bow across her shoulder Aung, Till once, 'tis said, when all were fir'd,
Her buskins gemm'd with morning dew, Fill'd with fury, rapt, inspir'd,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung.
AN ODE FOR MUSIC.
The red-breast oft at evening hours
Shall kindly lend his liule aid,
To deck the ground where thou art laid.
When howling winds, and beating rain,
In tempests shake thy sylvan cell;
The tender thought on thee shall dwell.
The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad known;
Peeping from forth their alleys green;
And Sport leapt up, and seiz'd his beochen spear.
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest,
They would have thought, who heard the strain,
Amidst the festal-sounding shades,
While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings,
And he, amidst his frolic play,
Each lonely scene shall thee restore,
For thee the tear be duly shed;
And mourn'd, till Pity's self be dead.
THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF THE
HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND;
INSCRIBED TO MR. JOHN HOME.
O Music, sphere-descended maid,
THE SUBJECT OF POETRY.
HOME, thou return'st from Thames, whose Naiads As in that lov'd Athenian bower,
long You learn'd an all-commanding power,
Have seen thee lingering with a fond delay, Thy mimic soul, O nymph endear'd,
Mid those soft friends, whose hearts some future day Can well recall what then it heard.
Shall melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song.* Where is thy native simple heart,
Go, not unmindful of that cordial youthf Devote to virtue, fancy, art?
Whom, long endear'd, thou leav'st by Lavant's side; Arise, as in that elder time,
Together let us wish him lasting truth Warm, energic, chaste, sublime !
And joy untainted with his destin'd bride. Thy wonders, in that godlike age,
Go! nor regardless, while these numbers boast Fill thy recording sister's page
My short-liv'd bliss, forget my social name; "Tis said, and I believe the tale,
But think, far off, how, on the Southern coast, Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
I met thy friendship with an equal flame! Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Fresh to that soil thou turn’st, where every vale Than all which charms this laggard age, Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand : E'en all at once together found
To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail ; Cæcilia's mingled world of sound
Thou need'st but take thy pencil 10 thy hand, O, bid our vain endeavors cease,
And paint what all believe, who own thy genial land. Revive the just designs of Greece, Return in all thy simple state !
There must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill; Confirm the tales her sons relate!
'Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett'st thy feet;
Where still, 'tis 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 allots ; DIRGE IN CYMBELINE,
By night they sip it round the cottage-door,
While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. SUNG BY GUIDERUS and ArviragUS OVER FIDELE, There, every herd, by sad experience, knows
How, wing'd with fate, their elf-shot arrows fly. SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD.
When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes, To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Or, stretch'd on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Soft maids and village hinds shall bring Such airy beings awe th’untutor'd swain : Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom,
Nor thou, though learn'd, his homelier thoughts And rifle all the breathing Spring.
Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain; No wailing ghost shall dare appear
These are the themes of simple, sure effect, To vex with shrieks this quiet grove, That add new conquests to her boundless reign, But shepherd lads assemble here,
And fill with double force her heart-commanding And melting virgins own their love.
No wither'd witch shall here be seen,
No goblins lead their nightly crew; The female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew.
* How truly did Collins predict Home's tragic powers!
† A gentleman of the name of Barrow, who introduced Home to Collins.