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More genuine transports found, as on some tomb Ye youths of Albion's beauty-blooming isle,
To Melody's assuasive voice; to bend
Aud pour your sorrows to the pitying Moon, And shines the fairest of th' assembled fair. By many a slow trill from the bird of woe
When azure noontide cheers the dædal globe, Or: interrupted ; in embow'ring woods And the blest regent of the golden day
By darksome brook to muse, and there forget Rejoices in his bright meridian tower,
The solemn dullness of the tedious world, Ilow ost my wishes ask the night's return, While Fancy grasps the visionary fair: That best befriends the melancholy mind!
And now no more th'abstracted ear attends Hail, sacred Night! thou too shall share my song! The water's murm'ring lapse, th' entranced eye Sister of ebon-sceptred Hecate, hail!
Pierces no longer through th' extended rows Whether in congregated clouds thou wrapp'st of thick-rang:d trees; till haply from the depth Thy viewless chariot, or with silver crown The woodman's stroke, or distant tinkling team, Thy beaming head encirclest, ever hail!
Or heifers rustling through the brake, alarms What though beneath thy gloom the sorceress-strain, Th'illuded sense, and mars the golden dream. Far in obscured haunt of Lapland moors,
These are delights that absence drear has made With rhymes uncouth the bloody caldron bless ; Familiar to my soul, e'er since the form Though Murder wan beneath thy shrouding shade or young Sapphira, beauteous as the Spring, Summons her slow-ey'd vot'ries to devise
When from her vi'let-woven couch awak'd of secret slaughter, while by one blue lamp By frolic Zephyr's hand, her tender cheek In hideous conference sits the list'ning band, Graceful she lists, and blushing from her bow'r And start at each low wind, or wakeful sound : Issues to clothe in gladsome-glistering green What though thy stay the pilgrim curseth oft, The genial globe, first met my dazzled sight: As all benighted in Arabian wastes
These are delighis unknown to minds profane, He hears the wilderness around him howl And which alone the persive soul can taste. With roaming monsters, while on his hoar head The la perd choir, at the late hour of pray'r, The black-descending tempest ceaseless beats ; Oft let me tread, while to th' according voice Yel more delightful to my pensive mind
The many-sounding organ peals on high, Is thy return, than blooming Moru's approach, The clear slow-dittied chant, or varied hymn, Ev’n than, in youthful pride of opening May, Till all my soul is bathed in ecstasies, When from the portals of the saffron east
And lapp'd in paradise. Or let me sit
Nor when the lamps expiring yield to night,
The solcmn mansion, but attentive mark
The due clock swinging slow with sweepy sway, Hail not the sullen gloom : the waving elms Measuring time's flight with momentary sound. Thai, hoar through time and rang'd in thick array, Nor let me fail to cultivate my mind Inclose with slately row some rural hall,
With the sost thrillings of the tragic Muse, Are mute, nor echo with the clamors hoarse Divine Melpomene, sweet Pity's nurse, of rooks rejoicing on their airy boughs;
Queen of the stately slep, and flowing pall. While to the shed the dripping poultry crowd, Now let Monimia mourn with streaming eyes A mournful train : secure the village-bind
Her joys incestuous, and polluted love;
Or Jaffier kneel for one forgiving look.
By soft degrees the manly torrent steals
From my swoln eyes; and at a brother's woe
What are the splendors of the gaudy court, In magic Spenser's wildly-warbled song
Its tinsel trappings, and its pageant pomps ?
To me far happier seems the banish'd lord,
Who pines all lonesome, in the chambers hoar Upon the bosom bright of silver Thames of some high castle shul, whose windows diin Launches in all the lustre of brocade,
In distant ken discover trackless plains, Amid the splendors of the laughing Sun.
Where Winter ever whirls his icy car! The gay description palls upon the sense,
While still repeated objects of his view, And coldly strikes the mind with feeble bliss. The gloomy battlements, and ivied spires,
That crown the solitary dome, arise ;
of sunk magnificence! a blended scene While from the topmost turret the slow clock, of moles, fanes, arches, domes, and palaces, Far heard along th' inhospitable wastes,
Where, with his brother Horror, Ruin siis. With sad-returning chime awakes new grief; O come then, Melancholy, queen of thought! Ev'n he far happier seems than is the proud, O come with saintly look, and sted fast step, The potent satrap, whom he left behind
From forth thy cave embower'd with mournful yew 'Mid Moscow's golden palaces, to drown
Where ever to the curfew's solemn sound In ease and luxury the laughing hours.
List’ning thou sitt'st, and with thy cypress bind Illustrious objects strike the gazer's mind Thy votary's hair, and seal him for thy son. With feeble bliss, and but allure the sight,
But never let Euphrosyné beguile Nor rouse with impulse quick th' unfeeling heart. With toys of wanton mirth iny fixed mind, Thus seen by shepherds from Hymettus' brow, Nor in my path her primrose-garland cast. What dædal landscapes smile! here palmy groves, Though ʼmid her train the dimpled Hebe bare Resounding once with Plato's voice, arise,
bosom to th' enamour'd view; Amid whose umbrage green her silver head Though Venus, mother of the Smiles and Loves, Th’unfading olive lifts: here vine-clad hills And Bacchus, ivy-crown'd, in citron-bow'r Lay forth their purple store, and sunny vales With her on nectar-streaming fruitage feast : In prospect vast their level laps expand,
What though 'tis hers to calm the low'ring skies, Amid whose beauties glistering Athens tow'rs. And at her presence mild th' embattled clouds Though through the blissful scenes llissus roll Disperse in air, and o'er the face of Heav'n His sage-inspiring flood, whose winding marge New day diffusive gleam at her approach ? The thick-wore lanrel shades; though roseate Morn Yet are these joys that Melancholy gives, Pour all her splendors on th' empurpled scene;
Than all her witless revels happier far; Yet feels the hoary hermit truer joys,
These deep-felt joys, by Contemplation taught. As from the cliff, ihat o'er his cavern hangs,
They ever, beauteous Contemplation, hail ! He views the piles of fallin Persepolis
From thee began, auspicious maid, my song, In deep arrangement hide the darksome plain. With thee shall end; for thou art fairer far Unbounded waste! the mould'ring obelisk
Than are the nymphs of Cirrha's mossy grot ; Here, like a blasted oak, ascends the clouds; To loftier rapture thou canst wake the thought, Here Parian domes their vaulled halls disclose Than all the fabling poet's bousted pow'rs. Horrid with thorn, where lurks th' unpitying thief, Hail
, queen divine! whom, as tradition tells,
And pileous bore with hospitable hand
William Mason, a poet of some distinction, born verse, made its appearance, of which the fourth and in 1725, was the son of a clergyman, who held the concluding book was printed in 1781. Its purpose living of Hull. He was admitted first of St. John's was to recommend the modern system of natural or College, and afterwards of Pembroke College, Cam- landscape gardening, to which the author adheres bridge, of the latter of which he was elected Fel- with the rigor of exclusive taste. The versification low in 1747. He entered into holy orders in 1754, is formed upon the best models, and the description, and, by the favor of the Earl of Holderness, was in many parts, is rich and vivid ; but a general air presented to the valuable rectory of Ashton, York- of stiffness prevented it from attaining any conshire, and became Chaplain to His Majesty. Some siderable share of popularity. Some of his following poems which he printed gave himn reputation, which poetic pieces express his liberal sentiments on politireceived a great accession from his dramatic poem cal subjects; and when the late Mr. Pitt came into of “ Elfrida." By this piece, and his * Caractacus,"| power, being then the friend of a free constitution, which followed, it was his aim to attempt the resto- Mason addressed him in an “Ode," containing many ration of the ancient Greek chorus in tragedy; but patriotic and manly ideas. But being struck with this is so evidently an appendage of the infant and alarm at the unhappy events of the French revoluimperfect state of the drama, that a pedantic at- tion, one of his latest pieces was a “ Palinody to tachment to the ancients could alone suggest its re- Liberty." He likewise revived, in an improved vival. In 1756, he published a small collection of form, and published, Du Fresnoy's Latin poem on “Odes," which were generally considered as display- the Art of Painting, enriching it with additions fur. ing more of the artificial mechanism of poetry, than nished by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and with a metrical of its genuine spirit. This was not the case with versjon. Few have been better executed than this, his “Elegies,” published in 1763, which, abating which unites to great beauties of language a correct some superfluity of ornament, are in general marked representation of the original. His tribute to the with the simplicity of language proper to this spe- memory of Gray, being an edition of his poems, cies of composition, and breathe noble sentiments of with some additions, and Memoirs of his Life and freedom and virtue. A collection of all his poems Writings, was favorably received by the public. which he thought worthy of preserving, was pub- Mason died in April, 1797, at the age of seventy. lished in 1764, and afterwards went through several two, in consequence of a mortification produced by editions. He had married an amiable lady, who a hurt in his leg. A tablet has been placed to his died of a consumption in 1767, and was buried in memory in Poets' Corner, in Westminster Abbey. the cathedral of Bristol, under a monument, on His character in private life was exemplary for which are inscribed some very tender and beautiful worth and active benevolence, though not without lines, by her husband.
a degree of stateliness and assumed superiority of In 1772, the first book of Mason's “ English Gar- manner. den," a didactic and descriptive poem, in blank
ODE TO MEMORY.
Mother of Wisdom! thou, whose sway
Accept this votive verse. Thy reign
Nor place can fix, nor power restrain.
The senses thee spontaneous serve,
That wake, and thrill through ev'ry nerve.
Else vainly sweet yon woodbine shade
Vainly, the cygnet spread her downy plume,
But swist to thee, alive and warm,
Devolves each tributary charm :
While every flower in Fancy's clime,
Each gem of old heroic time,
Hail, Mem'ry! hail. Behold, I lead
To that high sbrine the sacred maid :
She comes, and lo, thy realms expand'
Full in the midst, and o'er thy num'rous train
As now o'er this lone beach I stray, Displays the awful wonders of her reign.
Thy fav'rite swain* oft stole along, There thron'd supreme in native state,
And artless wove his Dorian lay, If Sirius flame with fainting heat,
Far from the busy throng. She calls ; ideal groves their shade extend, Thou heard'st him, goddess, strike the tender string, The cool gale breathes, the silent show’rs descend. And bad'st his soul with bolder passions move: Or, if bleak Winter, frowning round,
Soon these responsive shores forgot to ring,
See, visionary suns arise
Pointed with satire's keenest steel,
The shafts of wit he darts around ; See, sportive zephyrs fan the crisped streams;
Ev'nt mitred dullness learns to feel, Through shadowy brakes light glance the sparkling beams :
And shrinks beneath the wound. While, near the secret moss-grown cave,
In awful poverty his honest Muse That stands beside the crystal wave,
Walks forth vindictive through a venal land : Sweet Echo, rising from her rocky bed,
In vain corruption sheds her golden dews, Mimics the feather'd chorus o'er her head.
In vain oppression lifts her iron hand ;
He scorns them both, and, arm'd with truth alone, Rise, hallow'd Milton! rise, and say, Bids lust and folly tremble on the throne. How, at thy gloomy close of day,
Behold, like him, immortal maid,
The Muses' vestal fires I bring :
Here, at thy feet, the sparks I spread:
Propitious wave thy wing,
And fan them to that dazzling blaze of song, Say, what could then one cheering hope diffuse? What friends were thine, save Mem’ry and the Muse? Which glares tremendous on the sons of pride. Hence the rich spoils, thy studious youth
But, hark! methinks I hear her hallow'd tongue!
In distant trills it echoes o'er the tide ;
Now meets mine ear with warbles wildly free,
As swells the lark's meridian ecstasy.
Fond youth! to Marvell's patriot fame,
Thy humble breast must ne'er aspire. The tepid gales, through Tuscan glades that fly; Yet nourish still the lambent flame; The blue serene, that spreads Hesperia's sky;
Still strike thy blameless lyre : Were still thine own; thy ample mind Led by the moral Muse, securely rove;
Each charm receiv’d, retain'd, combin'd. And all the vernal sweets thy vacant youth
Recall'd the long-lost beams of grace, To arts like these devote thy tuneful toil,
And meet its fair reward in D'Arcy's smile.
Thy sick’ning soul; at that sad hour,
Thy duteous sorrows shower:
At that sad hour, when all thy hopes decline ;
When pining Care leads on her pallid train,
And sees thee, like the weak and widow'd vine,
And raise with friendship’s arm thy drooping head. And bid these ruffling gales of grief subside : Bid my calm'd soul with all thy influence shine; “ This fragrant wreath, the Muses' meed, As yon chaste orb along this ample tide
That bloom'd those vocal shades among, Draws the long lustre of her silver line,
Where never flatı'ry dar'd to tread, While the hush'd breeze its last weak whisper blows,
Or interest's servile throng; And lulls old Humber to his deep repose.
Receive, thou favor'd son, at my command,
And keep with sacred care, for D'Arcy's brow:
Tell him, 'twas wove by my immortal hand,
I breath'd on every flower a purer glow;
Say, for thy sake, I send the gift divine
To him, who calls thee his, yet makes thee mine."
* Andrew Marvell, born at Kingston upon-Hull in the Thy blush is warm content's ethereal glow;
year 1620. Thy smile is peace; thy step is liberty:
† See The Rehearsal Transposed, and an account of Thou scatter’st blessings round with lavish hand,
the effect of that satire, in the Biographia Britannica, As Spring with careless fragrance fills the land.
Know, ye were formd to range yon azure field,
Force then, secure in Faith's protecting shield,
The sting from Death, the vict'ry from the Grave
Is this the bigot's rant? Away, ye vain, It pauses now; and now, with rising knell,
Your hopes, your fears, in doubt, in dullness steep Flings to the hollow gale its sullen sound.
Go, soothe your souls in sickness, grief, or pain, Yes, **** is dead. Attend the strain,
With the sad solace of eternal sleep. Daughters of Albion! Ye that, light as air,
Yet will I praise you, triflers as ye are, So oft have tript in her fantastic train,
More than those preachers of your fav’rite creed With hearts as gay, and faces half as fair:
Who proudly swell the brazen throat of war, For she was fair beyond your brightest bloom;
Who form the phalanx, bid the battle bleed; (This envy owns, since now her bloom is fled ;)
Nor wish for more: who conquer, but to die. Fair as the forms, that, wove in fancy's loom,
Hear, Folly, hear, and triumph in the tale : Float in light vision round the poet's head.
Like you, they reason; not, like you, enjoy Whene'er with soft serenity she smild,
The breeze of bliss, that fills your silken sail : Or caught the orient blush of quick surprise,
On Pleasure's glitt'ring stream ye gaily steer
Your little course to cold oblivion's shore:
They dare the storm, and, through th' inclement year That o'er her form its transient glory cast:
Stem the rough surge, and brave the torrent's roar. Some lovelier wonder soon usurp'd the place,
Is it for glory? that just Fate denies.
Long must the warrior moulder in his shroud, Chas'd by a charm still lovelier than the last.
Ere from her trump the heav'n-breath'd accents rise That bell again! it tells us what she is :
That lift the hero from the fighting crowd.
Is it his grasp of empire to extend ?
To curb the fury of insulting foes?
Ambition, cease: the idle contest end : Maria claims it from that sable bier, Where cold and wan the slumberer rests her head; And why must murder'd myriads lose their all,
'Tis but a kingdom thou canst win or lose. In still small whispers to reflection's ear, She breathes the solemn dictates of the dead.
(If life be all, why desolation lower,
With famish'd frown, on this affrighted ball,
That thou may'st flame the meteor of an hour!
Go wiser ye, that flutter life away, Hear it, ye young, ye vain, ye great, ye proud!
Crown with the mantling juice the goblet high; 'Tis Nature speaks, and Nature will be heard.
Weave the light dance, wiih festive freedom gay, Yes, ye shall hear, and tremble as ye hear, While, high with health, your hearts uxulting leap; Yet know, vain sceptics, know, th’ Almighty mind,
And live your moment, since the next ye die. Evin in the midst of Pleasure's mad career,
Who breath'd on man a portion of his fire, The mental monitor shall wake and weep.
Bade his free soul, by earth nor time confin'd For say, than ****'s propitious star,
To Heav'n, to immortality aspire. What brighter planet on your births arose :
Nor shall the pile of hope, his mercy rear'd, Or gave of Fortune's gifts an ampler share,
By vain philosophy be e'er destroy'd : In life to lavish, or by death to lose !
Eternity, by all or wish'd or fear'd,
Shall be by all or suffer'd or enjoy'd.
The wintry storm that sweeps you to the tomb.
EPITAPH ON MRS. MASON.
IN THE CATHEDRAL OF BRISTOL.
Take, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear : Each fond delusion from her soul to steal;
Take that best gift which Heav'n so lately gare : Teach her from folly peaceably to part,
To Bristol's fount I bore with trembling care And wean her from a world she lov'd so weil. Her faded form ; she bow'd to taste the wave, Say, are ye sure his mercy shall extend
And died. Does youth, does beauty, read the line ! To you so long a span ? Alas, ye sigh :
Does sympathetic fear their breasts alarm? Make then, while yet ye may, your God, your friend, Speak, dead Maria! breathe a strain divine : And learn with equal ease to sleep or die!
Ev'n from the grave thou shalt have power to Nor think the Muse, whose sober vice ye hear,
charın. Contracts with bigot frown her sullen brow; Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee; Casts round Religion's orb the mists of fear,
Bid them in duty's sphere as meekly move; Or shades with horrors, what with smiles should And if so fair, from vanity as free; glow.
As firm in friendship, and as fond in love No; she would warm you with seraphic fire, Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die, Heirs as ye are of Heav'n's eternal day;
('Twas ev'n to thee) yet the dread path once trod Would bid you boldly to that Heav'n aspire, Heav'n lifts its everlasting portals high,
Not sink and slumber in your cells of clay. And bids “the pure in heart behold their God.”