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a seene that scarce could exist in the imagination of
The driver Hassan with his camels past.”
Mr. Collins speaks like a true poet, as well in sen. timent as expression, when, with regard to the thirst of wealth, he says, " Why heed we not, while mad we haste along, The gentle voice of peace, or pleasure's song? Or wherefore think the flowery mountain's side, . The fountain's murmurs, and the valley's pride, 3 Why think we these less pleasing to behold,
Than dreary deserts, if they lead to gold ?” But however just these sentiments may appear to those who have not revolted from nature and simpli. city, had the author proclaimed them in Lombardstreet, or Cheapside, he would not have been complimented with the understanding of the bellman. A striking proof, that our own particular ideas of happiness regulate our opinions concerning the sense and wisdom of others!
It is impossible to take leave of this most beautiful eclogue, without paying the tribute of admiration so justly due to the following nervous lines.
“ What if the lion in his rage I meet! "Oft in the dust I view his printed feet :
Yields her pale empire to the mourner night,
Fills the wild yell, and leads them to their prey." This, amongst many other passages to be met with in the writings of Collins, shews that his genius was perfectly capable of the grand and magnificent in de. scription, notwithstanding what a learned writer has advanced to the contrary, Nothing, certainly, could be more greatly conceived, or more adequately expressed, than the image in the last couplet.. .
1 ECLOGUE III, . . THAT innocence'and native simplicity of manners, which, in the first eclogue, was allowed to constitute the happiness of love, is here beautifully described in its effects. The Sultan of Persia marries a Georgian shepherdess, and finds in her embraces that genuine felicity unperverted which, nature alone can bestow. The most natural and beautiful parts of this ecloguo are those where the fair Sultana refers with so much pleasure to her pastoral amusements, and those scenes of happy innocence in which she had passed her early years; particularly when, upon her first departure,
" Oft as she went, she backward turn'd her view,
And bade that crook and bleating flock adieu." This picture of amiable simplicity reminds one of that passage, where Proserpine, when carried off by Pluto, regrets the loss of the flowers she has been gathering.
" Collecti fiores tunicis cecidere remissis ; in
· ECLOGUE IV.
ruin, while he realizes the scene, and britrys the present drama before us. Of every circumstance that could possibly contribute to the tender effect this pastoral was designed to procace, the poet has availed himself with the utmost art and address :
The opening of the dialogue is equally happy, na. tural, and unaffected; wlien one of the shepherds, weary and overcome with the fatigue of flight, call. upon his companion to review the length of way they had passed. This is, certainly, painting from nature, and the thoughts, however obvious, or destitute as refinement, are perfectly in character. But, as the closest pursuit of nature is the surèst way to excellence in general, and to sublimity in particular, 'in poetical description, so we find that this simple suggestion of the shepherd is not unattended with mag. nificence: there is grandeur and variety in the landscape he describes 7' ! !'
And first review that long-extended plain,
number of pauses in a verse. This is obsertable in the line that describes the ascent of the mountain;
And last || this lofty mountain's || weary side la Here we find the number of pauses, or musical bars, which in an heroic verse is commonly two, increased to three..
Nothing can be more beautifully conceived, or more pathetically expressed, than the shepherd's ap. prehensions for his fair countrywomen, exposed to the ravages of the invaders :
In vain Circassia boasts her spicy groves,
Those hairs the Tartar's cruel hand shall rend. There is certainly some very powerful charm in the liquid melody of sounds. The editor of these poems could never read or hear the following verse repeated without a degree of pleasure otherwise entirely unac. countable : countable :
* * * Their eyes' blue languish, and their golden hair. Such are the Oriental Eclognes, which we leave with the same kind of anxious pleaşure we feel upon a temporary parting with a beloved friend. "
OBSERVATIONS ON THE ODES, DESCRIPTIVE AND ALLE.
is stintaq GORICAL. THE genius of Collins was capable of every degree
of excellence in lyric poetry, and perfectly qualiMed for that high province of the Muse. Possessed
of a native ear for all the varieties of harmony and modulation, susceptible of the finest feelings of tenderness and humanity ; but, above all, carried away by that high enthusiasm which gives to imagination its strongest colouring, he was at once capable of soothing the ear witli the melodiy of his numbers, of influencing the passions by the force of his pathos, and of gratitying the fancy by the luxury of his description:
In consequence of these powers, but more partieus. larly in consideration of the last, he chose such subjects for his lyric essays as were most favourable for the indulgence of description and allegory; where he could exercise. his powers in moral and personal painting ; where he could exert his invention in con. ferring new attributes on images or objects already known, and described by a determinate number of characteristics ; where he mighty give an uncommon eclat to his figures, by placing them in happier attitudes, or in more advantageous lights, and introduce new forms from the moral and intellectual world into the society of impersonated beings.
Such no doubt were the privileges which the Poet expected, and such were the advantages he derived from the descriptive and allegorical nature of his themes..
pia It seems to have been the whole industry of our author (and it jg at the same time, almost all the claim to moral excellence his writings can boast) to promote the influence of the social virtues, by paint. ing them in the fairest and happiest lights. A *!!!,'' 1 It Melior fieri tuendosi in would be no improper motto to his poems in general, but of his lyric poems it seems to be the whole moral tendency and effect. If therefore, it should appear to some readers that he lias been more industrious to cultivate descriptioú than sentiment, it may be oba
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