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Bear Britain's thunder, and her Cross display,
To the bright regions of the rising day;
Tempt icy seas, where scarce the waters roll,
Where clearer flames glow round the frozen Pole;
Or under southern skies exalt their sails,

Led by new stars, and borne by spicy gales!
For me the balm shall bleed, and amber flow,
The coral redden, and the ruby glow,

395

400

The pearly shell its lucid globe infold,
And Phoebus warm the rip'ning ore to gold.
The time shall come, when free as seas or wind
Unbounded Thames shall flow for all mankind,
Whole nations enter with each swelling tide,
And seas but join the regions they divide;
Earth's distant ends our glory shall behold,
And the new world launch forth to seek the old.
Then ships of uncouth form shall stem the tide,
And feather'd people croud my wealthy side,
And naked youths and painted chiefs admire 405
Our speech, our colour, and our strange attire!
Oh stretch thy reign, fair Peace! from shore to shore,
'Till Conquest cease; and Slav'ry be no more;

NOTES.

Ver. 391.] Here is almost a prophecy of those discoveries of new islands and continents which this country of late years has had the honour to make.

Warton.

Ver. 398. Unbounded Thames, &c.] A wish that London may be made a FREE PORT.

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P.

The original lines were rejected, probably as too nearly resembling a passage in Comus,

"And the gilded car of day

His glowing axle doth allay

In the steep Atlantic stream."

Bowles.

"Till the freed Indians in their native groves

415

Reap their own fruits, and woo their sable loves,
Peru once more a race of Kings behold,
And other Mexico's be roof'd with gold.
Exil'd by thee from earth to deepest hell,
In brazen bonds, shall barb'rous Discord dwell:
Gigantic Pride, pale Terror, gloomy Care,
And mad Ambition shall attend her there:
There purple Vengeance bath'd in gore retires,
Her weapons blunted, and extinct her fires:
There hated Envy her own snakes shall feel,
And Persecution mourn her broken wheel:
There Faction roar, Rebellion bite her chain,
And gasping Furies thirst for blood in vain.

Ver. 409.]

says

NOTES.

To hear the savage youth repeat

In loose numbers wildly sweet,

Their feather-cinctured chiefs, and dusky loves,

420

Mr. Gray, most beautifully in his ode; dusky loves is more accurate than sable; they are not negroes.

Warton.

Ver. 422. in vain.] This conclusion both of Horace and of Pope is feeble and flat. The whole should have ended with this speech of Thames at this line, 422.

Pope, it seems, was of opinion, that descriptive poetry is a composition as absurd as a feast made up of sauces: and I know many other persons that think meanly of it. I will not presume to say it is equal, either in dignity or utility, to those compositions that lay open the internal constitution of man, and that imitate characters, manners, and sentiments. I may however remind such contemners of it, that, in a sister art, landscape-painting claims the very next rank to history-painting, being ever preferred to single portraits, to pieces of still-life, to droll figures, to fruit and flowerpieces; that Titian thought it no diminution of his genius, to spend much of his time in works of the former species; and that, if their principles

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Here cease thy flight, nor with unhallow'd lays Touch the fair fame of Albion's golden days: The thoughts of Gods let GRANVILLE's verse recite, And bring the scenes of op'ning fate to light. My humble Muse, in unambitious strains, Paints the green forests and the flow'ry plains, Where Peace descending bids her olive spring, And scatters blessings from her dove-like wing. 430 Ev'n I more sweetly pass my careless days, Pleas'd in the silent shade with empty praise; Enough for me, that to the list'ning swains First in these fields I sung the sylvan strains.

NOTES.

principles lead them to condemn Thomson, they must also condemn the Georgics of Virgil, and the greatest part of the noblest descriptive poem extant; I mean that of Lucretius. Warton.

Ver. 434. It is observable that our Author finishes this poem with the first line of his Pastorals, as Virgil closed his Georgics with the first line of his Eclogues.

Wakefield.

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A POEM purely descriptive has certainly no claim to excellence. But a poem which is at once moral, historical, and picturesque ; or, in other words, where description is made subservient to the delighted fancy, the cultivated understanding, and the improved heart, surely no real judge of Poetry would condemn. What beautiful and interesting pieces would such a decision exclude! How many animating or tender sentiments, how many affecting incidents, how much interesting information, are often connected

with local scenery! The genuine Poet surveys every prospect with the eye and enthusiasm of a Painter; but does he only paint? He connects with the scenery he describes, morality, antiquity, history, the wildest traditions in fancy, or the sweetest feelings of tenderness, or patriotism. If we feel interested by the picture of an Arcadian landscape, which conveys its moral by the introduction of a shepherd's tomb, and the inscription "Et ego in Arcadia ;" in like manner should we regard a descriptive poem, connected at the same time with wider information, and diversified with more pointed morality.

Pope in his Windsor Forest has description, incident, and history. The descriptive part, however, is too general and unappropriate the incident, or story-part, is such as only would have been adopted by a young man, who had just read Ovid; but the historical part is very judiciously and skilfully blended, and the conclusion highly animated and poetical; nor can we be insensible to its more lofty tone of versification. Bowles.

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