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Of dark oblivion; thus collecting all
The various forms of being to present,
Before the curious aim of mimic Art,
Their largest choice: like Spring's unfolded blooms
Exhaling sweetness, that the skilful bee
May taste at will, from their selected spoils
To work her dulcet food. For not the expanse
Of living lakes in Summer's noontide calm,
Reflects the bordering shade, and sun-bright heavens,
With fairer semblance; not the sculptur'd gold
More faithful keeps the graver's lively trace,
Than he, whose birth the sister powers of Art
Propitious view'd, and from his genial star
Shed influence to the seeds of fancy kind;
Than his attemper'd bosom must preserve
The seal of Nature. There alone unchang'd,
Her form remains. The balmy walks of May
There breathe perennial sweets: the trembling chord
Resounds for ever in the abstracted ear,
Melodious and the virgin's radiant eye,
Superior to disease, to grief, and time,
Shines with un'bating lustre. Thus at length
Endow'd with all that Nature can bestow,
The child of Fancy oft in silence bends

O'er these mixt treasures of his pregnant breast,
With conscious pride. From them he oft resolves
To frame he knows not what excelling things;
And win he knows not what sublime reward
Of praise and wonder. By degrees, the mind
Feels her young nerves dilate: the plastic powers
Labor for action: blind emotions heave
His bosom, and with loveliest frenzy caught,
From Earth to Heaven he rolls his daring eye,
From Heaven to Earth. Anon ten thousand shapes,
Like spectres trooping to the wizard's call,
Flit swift before him. From the womb of Earth,
From Ocean's bed, they come; the eternal Heavens
Disclose their splendors, and the dark Abyss
Pours out her births unknown. With fixed gaze
He marks the rising phantoms. Now compares
Their different forms; now blends them, now
Enlarges, and extenuates by turns;
Opposes, ranges in fantastic bands,
And infinitely varies. Hither now,
Now thither fluctuates his inconstant aim,

And feature after feature, we refer
To that sublime exemplar whence it stole
Those animating charms. Thus beauty's palm
Betwixt them wavering hangs: applauding love
Doubts where to choose; and mortal man aspires
To tempt creative praise. As when a cloud
Of gathering hail, with limpid crusts of ice
Inclos'd and obvious to the beaming Sun,
Collects his large effulgence; straight the Heavens
With equal flames present on either hand
The radiant visage: Persia stands at gaze,
Appall'd; and on the brink of Ganges doubts
The snowy-vested seer, in Mithra's name,
To which the fragrance of the south shall burn,
To which his warbled orisons ascend.

Such various bliss the well-tun'd heart enjoys,
Favor'd of Heaven! while, plung'd in sordid cares
The unfeeling vulgar mocks the boon divine:
And harsh Austerity, from whose rebuke
Young Love and smiling Wonder shrink away
Abash'd, and chill of heart, with sager frowns
Condemns the fair enchantment. On my strain,
Perhaps even now, some cold fastidious judge
Casts a disdainful eye; and calls my toil,
And calls the love and beauty which I sing,
The dream of folly. Thou, grave censor! say,
Is Beauty then a dream, because the glooms
Of dullness hang too heavy on thy sense,
To let her shine upon thee? So the man
Whose eye ne'er open'd on the light of Heaven,
Might smile with scorn while raptur'd vision tells
Of the gay-color'd radiance flushing bright
O'er all creation. From the wise be far
Such gross unhallow'd pride; nor needs my song
Descend so low; but rather now unfold,
If human thought could reach, or words unfold,
By what mysterious fabric of the mind,
The deep-felt joys and harmony of sound
Result from airy motion; and from shape
The lovely phantoms of sublime and fair.
By what fine ties hath God connected things
When present in the mind, which in themselves
Have no connexion? Sure the rising Sun
O'er the cerulean convex of the sea,


With equal brightness and with equal warmth
Might roll his fiery orb; nor yet the soul

Exulting in the splendor she beholds;

Like a young conqueror moving through the pomp
Of some triumphal day. When join'd at eve,
Soft murmuring streams and gales of gentlest breath
Melodious Philomela's wakeful strain
Attemper, could not man's discerning ear
Through all its tones the sympathy pursue;
Nor yet this breath divine of nameless joy
Steal through his veins, and fan the awaken'd heart,
Mild as the breeze, yet rapturous as the song!

With endless choice perplex'd. At length his plan Thus feel her frame expanded, and her powers
Begins to open. Lucid order dawns;
And as from Chaos old the jarring seeds
Of Nature at the voice divine repair'd
Each to its place, till rosy Earth unveil'd
Her fragrant bosom, and the joyful Sun
Sprung up the blue serene; by swift degrees
Thus disentangled, his entire design
Emerges. Colors mingle, features join;
And lines converge: the fainter parts retire;
The fairer eminent in light advance;
And every image on its neighbor smiles.
Awhile he stands, and with a father's joy
Contemplates. Then with Promethean art,
Into its proper vehicle he breathes
The fair conception; which, embodied thus,
And permanent, becomes to eyes or ears
An object ascertain'd; while thus inform'd,
The various organs of his mimic skill,
The consonance of sounds, the featur'd rock,
The shadowy picture and impassion'd verse,
Beyond their proper powers attract the soul
By that expressive semblance, while in sight
Of Nature's great original we scan
The lively child of Art; while line by line,

But were not Nature still endow'd at large
With all which life requires, though unadorn'd
With such enchantment: wherefore then her form
So exquisitely fair? her breath perfum'd
With such ethereal sweetness? whence her voice
Inform'd at will to raise or to repress

The impassion'd soul? and whence the robes of light
Which thus invest her with more lovely pop
Than fancy can describe? Whence but from thee,
O source divine of ever-flowing love,
And thy unmeasur'd goodness? Not content
With every food of life to nourish man,
By kind illusions of the wondering sense
Thou mak'st all nature beauty to his eye,

Or music to his ear: well-pleas'd he scans
The goodly prospect; and with inward smiles
Treads the gay verdure of the painted plain;
Beholds the azure canopy of Heaven,
And living lamps that over-arch his head
With more than regal splendor; bends his ears
To the full choir of water, air, and earth;
Nor heeds the pleasing error of his thought,
Nor doubts the painted green or azure arch,
Nor questions more the music's mingling sounds
Than space, or motion, or eternal time;
So sweet he feels their influence to attract
The fixed soul; to brighten the dull glooms
Of care, and make the destin'd road of life
Delightful to his feet. So fables tell,
The adventurous hero, bound on hard exploits,
Beholds with glad surprise, by secret spells
Of some kind sage, the patron of his toils,
A visionary paradise disclos'd

Amid the dubious wild with streams, and shades,
And airy songs, the enchanted landscape smiles,
Cheers his long labors, and renews his frame.

What then is taste, but these internal powers
Active, and strong, and feelingly alive
To each fine impulse? a discerning sense
Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust
From things deform'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 secret bias of the soul.
He, mighty parent! wise and just in all,
Free as the vital breeze or light of Heaven,
Reveals the charms of Nature. Ask the swain
Who journeys homeward from a summer day's
Long labor, why, forgetful of his toils
And due repose, he loiters to behold
The sun-shine gleaming as through amber clouds,
O'er all the western sky; full soon, I ween,
His rude expression and untutor'd airs,
Beyond the power of language, will unfold
The form of beauty smiling at his heart,
How lovely! how commanding! But though Heaven
In every breast hath sown these early seeds
Of love and admiration, yet in vain,
Without fair Culture's kind parental aid,
Without enlivening suns, and genial showers,
And shelter from the blast, in vain we hope
The tender plant should rear its blooming head,
Or yield the harvest promis'd in its spring.
Nor yet will every soil with equal stores
Repay the tiller's labor; or attend
His will, obsequious, whether to produce
The olive or the laurel. Different minds
Incline to different objects: one pursues
The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild;
Another sighs for harmony, and grace,
And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightning fires
The arch of Heaven, 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, superior, and enjoys
The elemental war. But Waller longs,
All on the margin of some flowery stream,
To spread his careless limbs amid the cool
Of plantain shades, and to the listening deer
The tale of slighted vows and love's disdain
Resound soft-warbling all the livelong day:

Consenting Zephyr sighs; 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.

Oh! blest of Heaven, whom not the languid songs Of Luxury, the syren! not the bribes

Of sordid Wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils

Of pageant Homer, can seduce to leave
Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the store
Of Nature fair Imagination culls

To charm the enliven'd soul! What though not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the heights
Of envied life; though only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial state;
Yet Nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state,
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,
The rural honors his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marbles and the sculptur'd gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him, the spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem
Its lucid leaves unfolds: for him, the hand
Of Autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn.
Each passing 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 Sun'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 thence partakes
Fresh pleasure only: for the attentive mind,
By this harmonious action on her powers,
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 powers
Refine at length, and every passion wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.
But if to ampler prospects, if to gaze
On Nature's form, where, negligent of all
These lesser 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 generous powers?
Would sordid policies, the barbarous growth
Of ignorance and rapine, bow her down
To tame pursuits, to indolence and fear?
Lo! she appeals to Nature, to the winds
And rolling waves, the Sun's unwearied course,
The elements and seasons: all declare
For what the eternal Maker has ordain'd
The powers of man: we feel within ourselves
His energy divine: he tells the heart,
He meant, he made us to behold and love
What he beholds and loves, the general orb
Of life and being; to be great like him,
Beneficent and active. Thus the men
Whom Nature's works can charm, with God himself
Hold converse; grow familiar, day by day,
With his conceptions, act upon his plan;
And form to his, the relish of their souls.
3 E 2




THE wise and great of every clime, Through all the spacious walks of Time, Where'er the Muse her power display'd, With joy have listen'd and obey'd. For, taught of Heaven, the sacred Nine Persuasive numbers, forms divine, To mortal sense impart: They best the soul with glory fire; They noblest counsels, boldest deeds inspire; And high o'er Fortune's rage enthrone the fixed heart.

Nor less prevailing is their charm
The vengeful bosom to disarm;
To melt the proud with human woe,
And prompt unwilling tears to flow.
Can wealth a power like this afford?
Can Cromwell's arts, or Marlborough's sword, |
An equal empire claim?

No, Hastings. Thou my words will own: Thy breast the gifts of every Muse hath known; Nor shall the giver's love disgrace thy noble name.

The Muse's awful art,

And the blest function of the poet's tongue, Ne'er shalt thou blush to honor; to assert From all that scorned Vice or slavish Fear hath sung.

Nor shall the blandishment of Tuscan strings Warbling at will in Pleasure's myrtle bower; Nor shall the servile notes to Celtic kings

By flattering minstrels paid in evil hour, Move thee to spurn the heavenly Muse's reign. A different strain, And other themes,

From her prophetic shades and hallow'd streams,
(Thou well canst witness) meet the purged ear:
Such, as when Greece to her immortal shell
Rejoicing listen'd, godlike sounds to hear;

To hear the sweet instructress tell
(While men and heroes throng'd around)
How life its noblest use may find,
How well for freedom be resign'd;
And how, by Glory, Virtue shall be crown'd.


Such was the Chian father's strain
To many a kind domestic train,
Whose pious hearth and genial bowl
Had cheer'd the reverend pilgrim's soul:
When, every hospitable rite
With equal bounty to requite,

He struck his magic strings;

And pour'd spontaneous numbers forth, And seiz'd their ears with tales of ancient worth, And fill'd their musing hearts with vast heroic things.

Now oft, where happy spirits dwell, Where yet he tunes his charming shell, Oft near him, with applauding hands, The Genius of his country stands.

To listening gods he makes him known, That man divine, by whom were sown The seeds of Grecian fame: Who first the race with freedom fir'd; From whom Lycurgus Sparta's sons inspir'd; From whom Platean palms and Cyprian trophies


O noblest, happiest age!

When Aristides rul'd, and Cimon fought; When all the generous fruits of Homer's page Exulting Pindar saw to full perfection brought. O Pindar, oft shalt thou be hail'd of me:

Not that Apollo fed thee from his shrine; Not that thy lips drank sweetness from the bee, Nor yet that, studious of thy notes divine, Pan danc'd their measure with the sylvan throngBut that thy song

Was proud to unfold

What thy base rulers trembled to behold; Amid corrupted Thebes was proud to tell The deeds of Athens and the Persian shame: Hence on thy head their impious vengeance fell But thou, O faithful to thy fame, The Muse's law didst rightly know; That who would animate his lays, And other minds to virtue raise, Must feel his own with all her spirit glow.


Are there, approv'd of later times,
Whose verse adorn'd a tyrant's* crimes?
Who saw majestic Rome betray'd,
And lent the imperial ruffian aid?
Alas! not one polluted bard,
No, not the strains that Mincius heard,
Or Tibur's hills replied,
Dare to the Muse's ear aspire ;

Save that, instructed by the Grecian lyre, With Freedom's ancient notes their shameful task they hide.

Mark, how the dread Pantheon stands,
Amid the domes of modern hands:
Amid the toys of idle state,

How simply, how severely great!
Then turn, and, while each western clime
Presents her tuneful sons to Time,
So mark thou Milton's name;
And add, "Thus differs from the throng
The spirit which inform'd thy awful song,
Which bade thy potent voice protect thy country's


Yet hence barbaric Zeal

His memory with unholy rage pursues; While from these arduous cares of public weal She bids each bard begone, and rest him with his Muse.

O fool! to think the man, whose ample mind Must grasp at all that yonder stars survey; Must join the noblest forms of every kind, The world's most perfect image to display, Can e'er his country's majesty behold, Unmov'd or cold!

O fool! to deem

That he, whose thought must visit every theme,

* Octavianus Cæsar

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O Hastings, not to all

Can ruling Heaven the same endowments lend: Yet still doth Nature to her offspring call, That to one general weal their different powers they bend,

Unenvious. Thus alone, though strains divine
Inform the bosom of the Muse's son;

Though with new honors the patrician's line
Advance from age to age; yet thus alone
They win the suffrage of impartial Fame.
The poet's name

He best shall prove,

Whose lays the soul with noblest passions move. But thee, O progeny of heroes old, Thee to severer toils thy fate requires: The fate which form'd thee in a chosen mould, The grateful country of thy sires, Thee to sublimer paths demand; Sublimer than thy sires could trace, Or thy own Edward teach his race, Though Gaul's proud genius sank beneath his hand.


From rich domains and subject farms,
They led the rustic youth to arms;
And kings their stern achievements fear'd;
While private Strife their banners rear'd.
But loftier scenes to thee are shown,
Where Empire's wide-establish'd throne
No private master fills:

Where, long foretold, the people reigns: Where each a vassal's humble heart disdains; And judgeth what he sees; and, as he judgeth, wills.

Here be it thine to calm and guide The swelling democratic tide;

To watch the state's uncertain frame, And baffle Faction's partial aim: But chiefly, with determin'd zeal, To quell that servile band, who kneel To Freedom's banish'd foes; That monster, which is daily found Expert and bold thy country's peace to wound; Yet dreads to handle arms, nor manly counsel knows.

"Tis highest Heaven's command, That guilty aims should sordid paths pursue; That what ensnares the heart should maim the hand,

And Virtue's worthless foes be false to Glory too. But look on Freedom. See, through every age What labors, perils, griefs, hath she disdain'd! What arms, what regal pride, what priestly rage, Have her dread offspring conquer'd or sustain'd! For Albion well have conquer'd. Let the strains Of happy swains,

Which now resound

Where Scarsdale's cliffs the swelling pastures bound,

Bear witness. There, oft let the farmer hail The sacred orchard which embowers his gate, And show to strangers passing down the vale,

Where Ca'ndish, Booth, and Osborne sate; When, bursting from their country's chain, Even in the midst of deadly harms, Of papal snares and lawless arms, They plann'd for Freedom this her noblest reign.


This reign, these laws, this public care, Which Nassau gave us all to share, Had ne'er adorn'd the English name, Could Fear have silenc'd Freedom's claim. But Fear in vain attempts to bind Those lofty efforts of the mind Which social Good inspires; Where men, for this, assault a throne, Each adds the common welfare to his own; And each unconquer'd heart the strength of all acquires.

Say, was it thus, when late we view'd Our fields in civil blood imbrued?

When Fortune crown'd the barbarous host,
And half the astonish'd isle was lost?
Did one of all that vaunting train,
Who dare affront a peaceful reign,
Durst one in arms appear?

Durst one in counsels pledge his life?
Stake his luxurious fortunes in the strife?

Or lend his boasted name his vagrant friends to cheer?

Yet, Hastings, these are they

Who challenge to themselves thy country's love; The true; the constant: who alone can weigh What Glory should demand, or Liberty approve! But let their works declare them. Thy free powers, The generous powers of thy prevailing mind, Not for the tasks of their confederate hours, Lewd brawls and lurking slander, were design'd. Be thou thy own approver. Honest praise

Oft nobly sways
Ingenuous youth:

But, sought from cowards and the lying mouth,

Praise is reproach. Eternal God alone
For mortals fixeth that sublime award.
He, from the faithful records of his throne,
Bids the historian and the bard
Dispose of honor and of scorn;
Discern the patriot from the slave;

And write the good, the wise, the brave
For lessons to the multitude unborn.

The kindred powers, Tethys, and reverend Ops,
And spotless Vesta; while supreme of sway
Remain'd the cloud-compeller. From the couch
Of Tethys sprang the sedgy-crowned race,
Who from a thousand urns, o'er every clime,
Send tribute to their parent: and from them
Are ye, O Naiads: Arethusa fair,
And tuneful Aganippe; that sweet name,
Bandusia; that soft family which dwelt
With Syrian Daphne; and the honor'd tribes
Belov'd of Pæon. Listen to my strain,
Daughters of Tethys: listen to your praise.


You, Nymphs, the winged offspring, which of old
Aurora to divine Astræus bore,
Owns; and your aid beseecheth. When the might
Of Hyperion, from his noontide throne
Unbends their languid pinions, aid from you
They ask: Favonius and the mild South-west
From you relief implore. Your sallying streams
Fresh vigor to their weary wings impart.
Again they fly, dispor ; from the mead

The nymphs, who preside over springs and rivulets,
are addressed at day-break, in honor of their
several functions, and of the relations which they
bear to the natural and to the moral world. Their
origin is deduced from the first allegorical deities,
or powers of Nature; according to the doctrine of Half-ripen'd and the tender blades of corn,
the old mythological poets, concerning the gene- To sweep the noxious mildew; or dispel
ration of the gods and the rise of things. They
are then successively considered, as giving motion
to the air and exciting summer-breezes; as nour-
ishing and beautifying the vegetable creation; as
contributing to the fullness of navigable rivers,
and consequently to the maintenance of com-
merce; and, by that means, to the maritime part
of military power. Next is represented their
favorable influence upon health, when assisted by
rural exercise which introduces their connexion
with the art of physic, and the happy effects of
mineral medicinal springs. Lastly, they are cele-
brated for the friendship which the Muses bear
them, and for the true inspiration which temper-
ance only can receive: in opposition to the en-
thusiasm of the more licentious poets.

Contagious steams, which oft the parched Earth
Breathes on her fainting sons. From noon to eve,
Along the river and the paved brook,
Ascend the cheerful breezes: hail'd of bards
Who, fast by learned Cam, the Æolian lyre
Solicit; nor unwelcome to the youth
Who on the heights of Tibur, all inclin'd
O'er rushing Anio, with a pious hand
The reverend scene delineates, broken fanes,
Or tombs, or pillar'd aqueducts, the pomp
Of ancient Time; and haply, while he scans
The ruins, with a silent tear revolves
The fame and fortune of imperious Rome.

You too, O Nymphs, and your unenvious aid
The rural powers confess; and still prepare
For you their choicest treasures. Pan commands,
Oft as the Delian king with Sirius holds
The central heavens, the father of the grove
Commands his Dryads over your abodes

To spread their deepest umbrage. Well the god
Remembereth how indulgent ye supplied
Your genial dews to nurse them in their prime.


O'ER yonder eastern hill the twilight pale
Walks forth from darkness; and the god of day,
With bright Astræa seated by his side,
Waits yet to leave the ocean. Tarry, Nymphs,
Ye Nymphs, ye blue-ey'd progeny of Thames,
Who now the mazes of this rugged heath
Trace with your fleeting steps; who all night long
Repeat, amid the cool and tranquil air,
Your lonely murmurs, tarry: and receive
My offer'd lay. To pay you homage due,
I leave the gates of Sleep; nor shall my lyre
Too far into the splendid hours of morn
Engage your audience: my observant hand
Shall close the strain ere any sultry beam
Approach you. To your subterranean haunts
Ye then may timely steal; to pace with care
The humid sands; to loosen from the soil
The bubbling sources; to direct the rills
To meet in wider channels; or beneath
Some grotto's dripping arch, at height of noon
To slumber, shelter'd from the burning heaven.

Pales, the pasture's queen, where'er ye stray,
Pursues your steps, delighted; and the path
With living verdure clothes. Around your haunts
The laughing Chloris, with profusest hand,
Throws wide her blooms, her odors. Still with you
Pomona seeks to dwell: and o'er the lawns,
And o'er the vale of Richmond, where with Thames
Ye love to wander, Amalthea pours
Well-pleas'd the wealth of that Ammonian horn,
Her dower; unmindful of the fragrant isles
Nysæan or Atlantic. Nor canst thou,
(Albeit oft, ungrateful, thou dost mock
The beverage of the sober Naiad's urn,
O Bromius, O Lenæan) nor canst thou
Disown the powers whose bounty, ill repaid,
With nectar feeds thy tendrils. Yet from me,
Yet, blameless Nymphs, from my delighted lyre,
Accept the rites your bounty well may claim,
Nor heed the scoffings of the Edonian band.
For better praise awaits you. Thames, your sire,
As down the verdant slope your duteous rills
Descend, the tribute stately Thames receives,
Delighted; and your piety applauds ;
And bids his copious tide roll on secure,

Where shall my song begin, ye Nymphs? or end?
Wide is your praise and copious-First of things,
First of the lonely powers, ere Time arose,
Were Love and Chaos. Love the sire of Fate;
Elder than Chaos. Born of Fate was Time,
Who many sons and many comely births
Devour'd, relentless father: till the child
Of Rhea drove him from the upper sky

And quell'd his deadly might. Then social reign'd | For faithful are his daughters; and with words

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