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So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
ODE TO LIBEPTY.
WHO shall awake the Spartan fife,
The youths, whose locks divinely spreading,
Like vernal hyacinths in sullen hue,
Till she her brightest lightnings round revealing, It 'eap'd in glory forth, and dealt her prompted wound!
O goddess, in that feeling hour,
When most its sounds would court thy ears, Let not my shell's misguided power E'er draw thy sad, thy mindful tears. No, Freedom, no, I will not tell,
How Rome, before thy face,
With heaviest sound, a giant-statue, fell,
When Time his northern sons of spoil awoke,
Yet, e'en where'er the least appear'd,
In jealous Pisa's olive shade!
See small Marino joins the theme,
Ah, no! more pleas'd thy haunts I seek,
Or dwell in willow'd meads more near,
The perfect spell shall then avail,
Beyond the measure vast of thought,
No sea between, nor cliff sublime and hoary, He pass'd with unwet feet through all our land.
To the blown Baltic then, they say,
The wild waves found another way, Where Orcas howls, his wolfish mountains rounding; Till all the banded west at once 'gan rise,
wide wild storm e'en Nature's self confounding, Withering her giant sons with strange uncouth surprise.
This pillar'd earth so firm and wide,
And down the shouldering billows borne
Mona, once hid from those who search the main,
And Wight, who checks the westering tide,
For thee consenting Heaven has each bestow'd, A fair attendant on her sovereign pride:
To thee this blest divorce she ow'd,
For thou hast made her vales thy lov'd, thy last abode!
Then too, 'tis said, an hoary pile, 'Midst the green navel of our isle,
The Dutch, amongst whom there are very severe penalties for those who are convicted of killing this bird. They are kept tame in almost all their towns, and particularly at the Hague, of the arms of which they make a part. The common people of Holland are said to en. tertain 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 of it.
There is a tradition in th Isle of Man, that à mermaid, becoming enamoured of a young man of extraordinary 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, however, was so misconstrued by the sea-lady, that, in revenge 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,
How may the poet now unfold,
Ye forms divine, ye laureate band, That near her inmost altar stand! Now soothe her, to her blissful train Blithe Concord's social form to gain : Concord, whose myrtle wand can steep E'en Anger's blood-shot eyes in sleep: Before whose breathing bosom's balm, Rage drops his steel, and storms grow calm; Her let our sires and matrons hoar Welcome to Britain's ravag'd shore, Our youths, enamour'd of the fair, Play with the tangles of her hair, Till, in one loud applauding sound, The nations shout to her around, "O, how supremely art thou blest, Thou, lady, thou shalt rule the West!"
AN ODE FOR MUSIC.
WHEN Music, heavenly maid, was young,
From the supporting myrtles round
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid, 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, In one rude clash he struck the lyre, And swept with hurried hand the strings
With woful measures wan Despair
Low sullen sounds his grief beguil'd, A solemn, strange, and mingled air,
"Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure? Still it whisper'd promis'd pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail! Still would her touch the strain prolong,
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, She call'd on Echo still through all the song; And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close, And Hope enchanted smil'd, and wav'd her golden hair. And longer had she sung-but, with a frown, Revenge impatient rose,
He threw his blood-stain'd sword in thunder down,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,
Were ne'er prophetic sound so full of woe.
The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad known; The oak-crown'd sisters, and their chaste-ey'd queen,
Satyrs and sylvan boys were seen, Peeping from forth their alleys green; Brown Exercise rejoic'd to hear,
And Sport leapt up, and seiz'd his beechen spear. Last came Joy's ecstatic trial,
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest,
While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings,
As if he would the charming air repay,
O Music, sphere-descended maid,
To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom, And rifle all the breathing Spring.
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 fays shall haunt the green, And dress thy grave with pearly dew.
The red-breast oft at evening hours
When howling winds, and beating rain,
The tender thought on thee shall dwell.
Each lonely scene shall thee restore,
THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS OF THE
THE SUBJECT OF POETRY.
HOME, thou return'st from Thames, whose Naiads
Have seen thee lingering with a fond delay,
Whom, long endear'd, thou leav'st by Lavant's side;
And joy untainted with his destin'd bride. Go! nor regardless, while these numbers boast
My short-liv'd bliss, forget my social name; But think, far off, how, on the Southern coast,
There must thou wake perforce thy Doric quill;
"Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett'st thy feet;
DIRGE IN CYMBELINE,
To the swart tribes, their creamy bowls allots; 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
SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD.
How, wing'd with fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes,
Or, stretch'd on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Such airy beings awe th' untutor'd swain:
Nor thou, though learn'd, his homelier thoughts neglect;
Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain;
These are the themes of simple, sure effect, That add new conquests to her boundless reign, And fill with double force her heart-commanding
I met thy friendship with an equal flame! Fresh to that soil thou turn'st, where every vale
Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand: To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail;
Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand, And paint what all believe, who own thy genial land.
*How truly did Collins predict Home's tragic powers! † A gentleman of the name of Barrow, who introduced Home to Collins.
E'en yet preserv'd, how often may'st thou hear,
At every pause, before thy mind possest,
Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around, With uncouth lyres, in many-color'd vest,
Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crown'd: Whether thou bidd'st the well-taught hind repeat The choral dirge that mourns some chieftain brave, When every shrieking maid her bosom beat,
And strew'd with choicest herbs his scented grave;
Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war's alarms;
And hostile brothers met, to prove each other's arms.
In Sky's lone isle, the gifted wizard-seer,
They see the gliding ghosts unbodied troop.
Their destin'd glance some fated youth descry, Who now, perhaps, in lusty vigor seen,
And rosy health, shall soon lamented die. For them the viewless forms of air obey;
Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair. They know what spirit brews the stormful day,
And heartless, oft like moody madness, stare
To monarchs dear, some hundred miles astray,
These, too, thou 'lt sing! for well thy magic Muse
Let not dank Wills mislead you to the heath:
Dancing in mirky night, o'er fen and lake,
In his bewitch'd, low, marshy, willow brake!
His glimmering mazes cheer th' excursive sight, Yet turn, ye wanderers, turn your steps aside,
Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light; For watchful, lurking, 'mid th' unrustling reed, At those mirk hours the wily monster lies, And listens oft to hear the passing steed,
And frequent round him rolls his sullen eyes, If chance his savage wrath may some weak wretch surprise.
Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unblest, indeed!
Whom late bewilder'd in the dank, dark fen,
Shall never look with pity's kind concern,
O'er its drown'd banks, forbidding all return!
To some dim hill that seems uprising near,
In all its terrors clad, shall wild appear.
Pour'd sudden forth from every swelling source What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs? His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthly force,
And down the waves he floats, a pale and breathless corse!
For him in vain his anxious wife shall wait,
Or wander forth to meet him on his way;
In the first year of the first George's reign, And battles rag'd in welkin of the North,
They mourn'd in air, fell, fell Rebellion slain!
Saw at sad Falkirk all their hopes near crown'd!
One William sav'd us from a tyrant's stroke;
And, shivering cold, these piteous accents speak: "Pursue, dear wife, thy daily toils, pursue,
But thou, more glorious, Slavery's chain hast
At dawn or dusk, industrious as before;
To reign a private man, and bow to Freedom's Drown'd by the Kelpie's wrath, nor e'er shall aid
Her travell'd limbs in broken slumbers steep,
Then he, perhaps, with moist and watery hand,
Shall fondly seem to press her shuddering cheek,
Unbounded is thy range; with varied skill
Thy Muse may, like those feathery tribes which spring
From their rude rocks, extend her skirting wing Round the moist marge of each cold Hebrid isle,
*By young Aurora, Collins undoubtedly meant the first appearance of the northern lights, which happened about the year 1715; at least, it is most highly probable, from this peculiar circumstance, that no ancient writer whatever has taken any notice of them, nor even any one modern, previous to the above period.
Second-sight is the term that is used for the divination of the Highlanders.
The late Duke of Cumberland, who defeated the Pre- the air over marshy and fenny places. tender at the battle of Culloden.
§ A fiery meteor, called by various names, such as Will with the Wisp, Jack with the Lantern, &c. It hovers in