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A blacken'd corse, was struck the beauteous maid.
But who can paint the lover, as he stood,
Pierced by severe amazement, hating life,
Speechless, and fix'd in all the death of woe!
So, faint resemblance! on the marble tomb,
The well-dissembled mourner stooping stands,
For ever silent and for ever sad.
Among the bending willows, falsely he
Of Musidora's cruelty complain'd.
She felt his flame; but deep within her breast
In bashful coyness, or in maiden pride,
The soft return conceal'd; save when it stole
In sidelong glances from her downcast eye,
Or from her swelling soul in stifled sighs.
As from the face of Heaven the shatter'd clouds Touch'd by the scene, no stranger to his vows,
Tumultuous rove, the interminable sky
Sublimer swells, and o'er the world expands
A purer azure. Through the lighten'd air
A higher lustre and a clearer calm,
Diffusive, tremble; while, as if in sign
Of danger past, a glittering robe of joy,
Set off abundant by the yellow ray,
Invests the fields; and nature smiles revived.
'Tis beauty all, and grateful song around,
Join'd to the low of kine, and numerous bleat
Of flocks thick-nibbling through the clover'd vale.
And shall the hymn be marr'd by thankless Man,
Most-favoured! who with voice articulate
Should lead the chorus of this lower world;
Shall he, so soon forgetful of the Hand
That hush'd the thunder, and serenes the sky,
Extinguish'd feel that spark the tempest waked,
That sense of powers exceeding far his own,
Ere yet his feeble heart has lost its fears?
Cheer'd by the milder beam, the sprightly youth
Speeds to the well-known pool, whose crystal depth
A sandy bottom shows. Awhile he stands
Gazing the inverted landscape, half afraid
To meditate the blue profound below;
Then plunges headlong down the circling flood.
His ebon tresses, and his rosy cheek
Instant emerge; and through the obedient wave,
At each short breathing by his lip repell'd,
With arms and legs according well, he makes,
As humour leads, an easy-winding path;
While, from his polish'd sides, a dewy light
Effuses on the pleased spectators round.
This is the purest exercise of health,
The kind refresher of the summer-heats;
Nor when cold Winter keens the brightening flood,
Would I weak-shivering linger on the brink.
Thus life redoubles, and is oft preserved,
By the bold swimmer, in the swift elapse
Of accident disastrous. Hence the limbs
Knit into force; and the same Roman arm,
That rose victorious o'er the conquer'd earth,
First learn'd, while tender, to subdue the wave.
Even from the body's purity the mind
Receives a secret sympathetic aid.
Close in the covert of a hazel copse,
Where, winded into pleasing solitudes,
Runs out the rambling dale, young Damon sat,
Pensive, and pierc'd with love's delightful pangs.
There to the stream that down the distant rocks
Hoarse-murmuring fell, and plaintive breeze that
He framed a melting lay, to try her heart;
And, if an infant passion struggled there,
To call that passion forth. Thrice happy swain!
A lucky chance that oft decides the fate
Of mighty monarchs, then decided thine.
For lo! conducted by the laughing Loves,
This cool retreat his Musidora sought:
Warm in her cheek the sultry season glow'd;
And, robed in loose array, she came to bathe
Her fervent limbs in the refreshing stream.
What shall he do? In sweet confusion lost,
And dubious flutterings, he a while remain'd:
A pure ingenuous elegance of soul,
A delicate refinement, known to few,
Perplex'd his breast, and urged him to retire :
But love forbade. Ye prudes in virtue, say,
Say, ye severest, what would you have done?
Meantime, this fairer nymph than ever blest
Arcadian stream, with timid eye around
The banks surveying, stripp'd her beauteous limbs,
To taste the lucid coolness of the flood.
Ah then! not Paris on the piny top
Of Ida panted stronger, when aside
The rival-goddesses the veil divine
Cast unconfined, and gave him all their charms,
Than, Damon, thou; as from the snowy leg,
And slender foot, the inverted silk she drew;
As the soft touch dissolved the virgin zone:
And, through the parting robe, the alternate breast,
With youth wild-throbbing, on thy lawless gaze
In full luxuriance rose. But, desperate youth
How durst thou risk the soul-distracting view,
As from her naked limbs of glowing white,
Harmonious swell'd by Nature's finest hand,
In folds loose floating fell the fainter lawn;
And fair exposed she stood, shrunk from herself,
With fancy blushing, at the doubtful breeze
Alarm'd, and starting like the fearful fawn?
Then to the flood she rush'd; the parted flood
Its lovely guest with closing waves received;
And every beauty softening, every grace
Flushing anew, a mellow lustre shed:
As shines the lily through the crystal mild;
Or as the rose amid the morning dew,
Fresh from Aurora's hand, more sweetly glows,
While thus she wanton'd, now beneath the wave
But ill-conceal'd; and now with streaming locks,
That half-embraced her in a humid veil,
Rising again, the latent Damon drew
Such maddening draughts of beauty to the soul,
As for a while o'erwhelm'd his raptured thought
With luxury too daring. Check'd, at last,
By love's respectful modesty, he deem'd
The theft profane, if aught profane to love
Can e'er be deem'd; and struggling from the
With headlong hurry fled: but first these lines,
Traced by his ready pencil, on the bank
To whose exalting eye a fairer world,
Of which the vulgar never had a glimpse,
Displays its charms; whose minds are richly
With philosophic stores, superior light;
And in whose breast, enthusiastic, burns
Virtue, the sons of interest deem romance;
With trembling hand he threw:-' Bathe on, my Now call'd abroad enjoy the falling day: fair,
Yet unbeheld save by the sacred eye
Of faithful love: I go to guard thy haunt,
To keep from thy recess each vagrant foot,
And each licentious eye.' With wild surprise,
As if to marble struck, devoid of sense,
A stupid moment motionless she stood:
So stands the statue* that enchants the world,
So bending tries to veil the matchless boast,
The mingled beauties of exulting Greece.
Recovering, swift she flew to find those robes
Which blissful Eden knew not; and, array'd
In careless haste, the alarming paper snatch'd.
But, when her Damon's well known hand she
Her terrors vanish'd, and a softer train
Of mix'd emotions, hard to be described,
Her sudden bosom seized: shame void of guilt,
The charming blush of innocence, esteem,
And admiration of her lover's flame,
By modesty exalted: e'en a sense
Of self-approving beauty stole across
Her busy thought. At length a tender calm
Hush'd by degrees the tumult of her soul;
Now to the verdant Portico of woods,
To Nature's vast Lyceum forth they walk;
By that kind School where no proud master
The full free converse of the friendly heart,
Improving and improved. Now from the world,
Sacred to sweet retirement, lovers steal,
And pour their souls in transport, which the Sire
Of love approving hears, and calls it good.
Which way, Amanda, shall we bend our course?
The choice perplexes. Wherefore should we
All is the same with thee. Say, shall we wind
Along the streams? or walk the smiling mead?
Or court the forest glades? or wander wild
Among the waving harvests? or ascend,
While radiant Summer opens all its pride,
Thy hill, delightful Shene ?* Here let us sweep
The boundless landscape: now the raptured eye,
Exulting swift, to huge Augusta send,
Now to the Sister-Hillst that skirt her plain,
To lofty Harrow now, and now to where
Majestic Windsor lifts his princely brow.
In lovely contrast to this glorious view
And on the spreading beech, that o'er the streamCalmly magnificent, then will we turn
Incumbent hung, she with the sylvan pen
Of rural lovers this confession carved,
Which soon her Damon kiss'd with weeping joy:
'Dear youth! sole judge of what these verses
By fortune too much favour'd, but by love,
Alas! not favour'd less, be still as now
Discreet: the time may come you need not fly.'
The sun has lost his rage: his downward orb
Shoots nothing now but animating warmth
And vital lustre; that with various ray
To where the silver Thames first rural grows.
There let the feasted eye unwearied stray:
Luxurious, there, rove through the pendant woods
That nodding hang o'er Harrington's retreat;
And, stooping thence to Ham's embowering walks,
Beneath whose shades, in spotless peace retired,
With Her the pleasing partner of his heart,
The worthy Queensberry yet laments his Gay,
And polish'd Cornbury woos the willing Muse,
Slow let us trace the matchless vale of Thames;
Fair winding up to where the Muses haunt
Lights up the clouds, those beauteous robes of In Twit'nam's bowers, and for their Pope imHeaven,
Incessant roll'd into romantic shapes,
The dream of waking fancy! broad below,
Cover'd with ripening fruits, and swelling fast
Into the perfect year, the pregnant earth
And all her tribes rejoice. Now the soft hour
Of walking comes: for him who lonely loves
To seek the distant hills, and there converse
With Nature; there to harmonize his heart,
And in pathetic song to breathe around
The harmony to others. Social friends,
Attuned to happy unison of soul;
The healing God; to royal Hampton's pile,
To Clermont's terraced height, and Esher's
Where in the sweetest solitude, embraced
By the soft windings of the silent Mole,
From courts and senates Pelham finds repose.
Inchanting vale! beyond whate'er the Muse
Has of Achaia or Hesperia sung!
The old name of Richmond, signifying in Saxon, Shining, or Splendour.
+ Highgate and Hampstead.
In his last sickness,
O vale of bliss! O softly swelling hills!
On which the Power of Cultivation lies,
And joys to see the wonders of his toil.
Heavens! what a goodly prospect spreads around, Of hills, and dales, and woods, and lawns, and spires,
And glittering towns, and gilded streams, till all
The stretching landscape into smoke decays!
Happy Britannia! where the Queen of Arts,
Inspiring vigour, Liberty abroad
Walks, unconfined, even to thy farthest cots,
And scatters plenty with unsparing hand.
Rich is thy soil, and merciful thy clime;
Thy streams unfailing in the Summer's drought;
Unmatch'd thy guardian oaks; thy valleys float
With golden waves: and on thy mountains flocks
Bleat numberless! while, roving round their sides,
Bellow the blackening herds in lusty droves..
Beneath, thy meadows glow, and rise unquell'd
Against the mower's scythe. On every hand
Thy villas shine. Thy country teems with wealth;
And property assures it to the swain,
Pleased and unwearied, in his guarded toil.
Full are thy cities with the sons of Art; And trade and joy, in every busy street, Mingling are heard; e'en Drudgery himself, As at the car he sweats, or dusty hews The palace stone, looks gay. Thy crowded ports, Where rising masts an endless prospect yield, With labour burn, and echo to the shouts Of hurried sailor, as he hearty waves His last adieu, and loosening every sheet, Resigns the spreading vessel to the wind.
Bold, firm, and graceful are thy generous youth, By hardship sinew'd, and by danger fired, Scattering the nations where they go; and first Or on the listed plain, or stormy seas. Mild are thy glories too, as o'er the plans Of thriving peace thy thoughtful sires preside; In genius, and substantial learning, high; For every virtue, every worth renown'd; Sincere, plain-hearted, hospitable, kind; Yet like the mustering thunder when provoked, The dread of tyrants, and the sole resource Of those that under grim oppression groan. Thy sons of Glory many! Alfred thine, In whom the splendour of heroic war, And more heroic peace, when govern'd well, Combine; whose hallow'd name the Virtues saint, And his own Muses love; the best of kings! With him thy Edwards and thy Henries shine, Names dear to fame; the first who deep impress'd On haughty Gaul the terror of thy arms, That awes her genius still. In statesmen thou, And patriots, fertile. Thine a steady More, Who, with a generous though mistaken zeal, Withstood a brutal tyrant's useful rage, Like Cato firm, like Aristides just, Like rigid Cincinnatus nobly poor,
A dauntless soul erect, who smiled on death. Frugal and wise, a Walsingham is thine, A Drake, who made thee mistress of the deep, And bore thy name in thunder round the world. Then flamed thy spirit high: but who can speak The numerous worthies of the Maiden Reign? In Raleigh mark their every glory mix'd; Raleigh, the scourge of Spain! whose breast with a The sage, the patriot, and the hero burn'd, Nor sunk his vigour, when a coward-reign The warrior fetter'd, and at last resigned, To glut the vengeance of a vanquish'd foe. Then active still and unrestrain'd, his mind Explored the vast extent of ages past, And with his prison-hours enrich'd the world; Yet found no times, in all the long research, So glorious, or so base, as those he proved, In which he conquer'd, and in which he bled. Nor can the Muse the gallant Sidney pass, The plume of war! with early laurels crown'd, The lover's myrtle, and the poet's bay. A Hampden too is thine, illustrious land, Wise, strenuous, firm, of unsubmitting soul, Who stemm'd the torrent of a downward age To slavery prone, and bade thee rise again, In all thy native pomp of freedom bold. Bright, at his call, thy Age of Men effulged, Of Men on whom late time a kindling eye Shall turn, and tyrants tremble while they read. Bring every sweetest flower, and let me strew The grave where Russel lies; whose temper'd blood With calmest cheerfulness for thee resign'd, Stain'd the sad annals of a giddy reign; Aiming at lawless power, though meanly sunk In loose inglorious luxury. With him His friend, the British Cassius,* fearless bled; Of high determined spirit, roughly brave, By ancient learning to the enlighten'd love Of ancient freedom warm'd. Fair thy renown In awful sages and in noble bards; Soon as the light of dawning Science spread Her orient ray, and waked the Muses' song. Thine is a Bacon; hapless in his choice, Unfit to stand the civil storm of state, And through the smooth barbarity of courts, With firm but pliant virtue, forward still To urge his course: him for the studious shade Kind Nature form'd, deep, comprehensive, clear, Exact, and elegant: in one rich soul, Plato, the Stagyrite, and Tully join'd. The great deliverer he! who from the gloom Of cloister'd monks, and jargon-teaching schools, Let forth the true philosophy, there long Held in the magic chain of words and forms, And definitions void: he led her forth, Daughter of Heaven! that slow-ascending still, Investigating sure the chain of things,
With radiant finger points to Heaven again.
The generous Ashley* thine, the friend of man;
Who scann'd his nature with a brother's eye,
His weakness prompt to shade, to raise his aim,
To touch the finer movements of the mind,
And with the moral beauty charm the heart.
Why need I narae thy Boyle, whose pious search
Amid the dark recesses of his works,
The great Creator sought? And why thy Locke,
Who made the whole internal world his own?
Let Newton, pure intelligence, whom God
To mortals lent, to trace His boundless works
From laws sublimely simple, speak thy fame
In all philosophy. For lofty sense,
Creative fancy, and inspection keen
Through the deep windings of the human heart,
On gentle deeds, and shedding tears through smiles;
Undaunted Truth, and Dignity of mind:
Courage composed, and keen: sound Temperance,
Healthful in heart and look; clear Chastity,
With blushes reddening as she moves along,
Disorder'd at the deep regard she draws;
Rough Industry; Activity untired,
With copious life inform'd, and all awake:
While in the radiant front, superior shines
That first paternal virtue, Public Zeal;
Who throws o'er all an equal wide survey,
And, ever musing on the common weal,
Still labours glorious with some great design.
Low walks the sun, and broadens by degrees,
Just o'er the verge of day. The shifting clouds
Assembled gay, a richly gorgeous train,
Is not wild Shakspeare thine and Nature's boast? | In all their pomp attend his setting throne.
Is not each great, each amiable Muse
Of classic ages in thy Milton met?
A genius universal as his theme;
Astonishing as chaos, as the bloom
Of blowing Eden fair, as Heaven sublime!
Nor shall my verse that elder bard forget,
The gentle Spenser, fancy's pleasing son;
Who, like a copious river, pour'd his song
O'er all the mazes of enchanted ground;
Nor thee, his ancient master, laughing sage,
Chaucer, whose native manners-painting verse,
Air, earth, and ocean, smile immense. And now,
As if his weary chariot sought the bowers
Of Amphitritè, and her tending nymphs,
(So Grecian fable sung) he dips his orb;
Now half-immersed; and now a golden curve
Gives one bright glance, then total disappears.
For ever running an enchanted round
Passes the day, deceitful, vain, and void;
As fleets the vision o'er the formful brain,
This moment hurrying wild the impassion'd soul,
The next in nothing lost. 'Tis so to him,
Well moralised, shines through the gothic cloudThe dreamer of this earth, an idle blank:
Of time and language o'er thy genius thrown.
May my song soften as thy daughters I,
Britannia, hail! for beauty is their own,
The feeling heart, simplicity of life,
And elegance and taste: the faultless form,
Shaped by the hand of harmony; the cheek,
Where the live crimson, through the native white
Soft-shooting, o'er the face diffuses bloom,
And every nameless grace; the parted lip,
Like the red rose bud moist with morning dew,
Breathing delight; and, under flowing jet,
Or sunny ringlets, or of circling brown,
The neck slight-shaded, and the swelling breast;
The look resistless, piercing to the soul,
And by the soul inform'd, when dress'd in love
She sits high smiling in the conscious eye.
Island of bliss! amid the subject seas,
That thunder round thy rocky coast, set up,
At once the wonder, terror, and delight
Of distant nations; whose remotest shores
Can soon be shaken by thy naval arm;
Not to be shook thyself, but all assaults
Baffling, as thy hoar cliffs the loud sea-wave.
O Thou! by whose Almighty nod the scale
Of empire rises, or alternate falls,
Send forth the saving Virtues round the land,
In bright patrol: white Peace and social Love;
The tender-looking Charity, intent
Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury.
A sight of horror to the cruel wretch,
Who all day long in sordid pleasure roll'd,
Himself a useless load, has squander'd vile,
Upon his scoundrel train, what might have cheer'd
A drooping family of modest worth.
But to the generous still-improving mind,
That gives the hopeless heart to sing for joy,
Diffusing kind beneficence around,
Boastless, as now descends the silent dew;
To him the long review of order'd life
Is inward rapture, only to be felt.
Confess'd from yonder slow-extinguish'd clouds,
All ether softening, sober Evening takes
Her wonted station in the middle air;
A thousand shadows at her beck. First this
She sends on earth; then that of deeper dye
Steals soft behind; and then a deeper still,
In circle following circle, gathers round,
To close the face of things. A fresher gale
Begins to wave the wood, and stir the stream,
Sweeping with shadowy gust the fields of corn;
While the quail clamours for his running mate.
Wide o'er the thistly lawn, as swells the breeze,
A whitening shower of vegetable down
Amusive floats. The kind impartial care
Of Nature nought disdains: thoughtful to feed
Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year,
From field to field the feather'd seed she wings.
His folded flock secure, the shepherd home
Hies, merry-hearted; and by turns relieves
The ruddy milk-maid of her brimming pail;
The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart,
Unknowing what the joy-mix'd anguish means,
Sincerely loves, by that best language shown
Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds.
Onward they pass, o'er many a panting height,
And valley sunk, and unfrequented; where
At fall of eve the fairy people throng,
In various game, and revelry, to pass
The summer night, as village stories tell.
But far about they wander from the grave
Of him, whom his ungentle fortune urged
Against his own sad breast to lift the hand
Of impious violence. The lonely tower
Is also shunn'd; whose mournful chambers hold,
So night-struck Fancy dreams, the yelling ghost.
Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge,
The glow-worm lights his gem; and through the
A moving radiance twinkles. Evening yields
The world to Night; not in her winter-robe
Of massy stygian woof, but loose array'd
In mantle dun. A faint erroneous ray,
Glanced from the imperfect surfaces of things,
Flings half an image on the straining eye;
While wavering woods, and villages, and streams,
And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long retain'd
The ascending gleam, are all one swimming scene,
Uncertain if beheld. Sudden to Heaven
Thence weary vision turns; where, leading soft
The silent hours of love, with purest ray
Sweet Venus shines; and from her genial rise,
When day-light sickens till it springs afresh,
Unrival'd reigns the fairest lamp of Night.
As thus the effulgence tremulous I drink,
They see the blazing wonder rise anew,
In seeming terror clad, but kindly bent
To work the will of all-sustaining Love:
From his huge vapoury train perhaps to shake
Reviving moisture on the numerous orbs,
Through which his long ellipsis wind; perhaps
To lend new fuel to declining suns,
To light up worlds, and feed the eternal fire.
With thee, serene Philosophy, with thee,
And thy bright garland, let me crown my song!
Effusive source of evidence, and truth!
A lustre shedding o'er the ennobled mind,
Stronger than summer-noon; and pure as that,
Whose mild vibrations sooth the parted soul,
New to the dawning of celestial day.
Hence through her nourish'd powers, enlarged by
She springs aloft, with elevated pride,
Above the tangling mass of low desires,
That bind the fluttering crowd; and, angel.
The heights of science and of virtue gains,
Where all is calm and clear; with Nature round,
Or in the starry regions, or the abyss,
To Reason's and to Fancy's eye display'd:
The First up-tracing, from the dreary void,
The chain of causes and effects to Him,
The world-producing Essence, who alone
Possesses being; while the Last receives
The whole magnificence of heaven and earth,
And every beauty, delicate or bold,
Obvious or more remote, with livelier sense,
Diffusive painted on the rapid mind.
Tutor'd by thee, hence Poetry exalts
Her voice to ages; and informs the page
With cherish'd gaze, the lambent lightnings shoot With music, image, sentiment, and thought,
Across the sky; or horizontal dart
Never to die! the treasure of mankind!
In wondrous shapes: by fearful murmuring Their highest honour, and their truest joy! crowds
Portentous deem'd. Amid the radiant orbs,
That more than deck, that animate the sky,
The life-infusing suns of other worlds:
Lo! from the dread immensity of space
Returning, with accelerated course,
The rushing comet to the sun descends;
And as he sinks below the shading earth,
With awful train projected o'er the heavens,
The guilty nations tremble. But, above
Those superstitious horrors that enslave
The fond sequacious herd, to mystic faith
Without thee what were unenlightened Man?
A savage roaming through the woods and wilds,
In quest of prey; and with the unfashion'd fur
Rough-clad; devoid of every finer art,
And elegance of life. Nor happiness
Domestic, mix'd of tenderness and care,
Nor moral excellence, nor social bliss,
Nor guardian law were his; nor various skill
To turn the furrow, or to guide the tool
Mechanic; nor the heaven-conducted prow
Of navigation bold, that fearless braves
The burning line or dares the wintry pole;
And blind amazement prone, the enlighten'd few, Mother severe of infinite delights!
Whose godlike minds philosophy exalts,
The glorious stranger hail. They feel a joy
Divinely great; they in their powers exult,
That wondrous force of thought, which mounting
This dusky spot, and measures all the sky;
While, from his far excursion through the wilds
Of barren ether, faithful to his time,
Nothing, save rapine, indolence, and guile,
And woes on woes, a still-revolving train!
Whose horrid circle had made human life
Than non-existence worse: but, taught by thee,
Ours are the plans of policy and peace;
To live like brothers, and conjunctive all
Embellish life. While thus laborious crowds
Ply the tough oar, Philosophy directs