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Gloomy Pluto, King of Terrors,
Arm'd in adamantine Chains,
Lead me to the Crystal Mirrors,
Wat'ring soft Elysian plains.


Mournful Cypress, verdant Willow,
Gilding my Aurelia's Brows,
Morpheus hov'ring o'er my Pillow,
Hear me pay my dying Vows.


Melancholy smooth Meander,
Swiftly purling in a Round,
On thy Margin Lovers wander,

With thy flow'ry Chaplets crown'd.


Thus when Philomela, drooping,
Softly seeks her silent Mate,
See the Bird of Juno stooping;
Melody resigns to Fate.

THE above is a pleasant burlesque on the gawdy, glittering, florid style and manner of certain descriptive poets. I think the reader will pardon me for laying before him part of a piece of ridicule on the same subject, and of equal merit, which made its first appearance many years ago in the Oxford Student, and is

thus entitled, "Ode to Horror, in the Allegoric, Descriptive, Alliterative, Epithetical, Fantastic, Hyperbolical, and Diabolical Style of our Modern Ode-Writers and Monody-Mongers."

"Ferreus ingruit Horror.”

"O Goddess of the gloomy scene,

Of shadowy shapes, thou black-brow'd Queen;
Thy tresses dark with ivy crown'd,
On yonder mould'ring abbey found;
Oft wont from charnels damp and dim,
To call the sheeted spectre grim,
While as his loose chains loudly clink,
Thou add'st a length to ev'ry link :
O thou, that lov'st at eve to seek
The pensive-pacing pilgrim meek,
And sett'st before his shudd'ring eyes
Strange forms, and fiends of giant-size,
As wildly works thy wizzard will,
Till fear-struck fancy has her fill :
Dark pow'r, whose magic-might prevails
O'er hermit-rocks and fairy-vales;
O Goddess, erst by Spenser view'd,
What time th' Enchanter vile embru'd
His hands in Florimel's pure heart,
Till loos'd by steel-clad Britomart :
O thou that erst on fancy's wing
Didst terror-trembling Tasso bring,
To groves where kept damn'd Furies dire
Their blue-tipt battlements of fire;
Thou that thro' many a darksome pine,
O'er the rugged rock recline,

Didst wake the hollow-whisp'ring breeze
With care-consumed Elo se:

O thou, with whom in cheerless cell,
The midnight clock pale pris'ners tell;
O haste thee, mild Miltonic maid,
From yonder yews sequester'd shade;
More bright than all the fabled nine,
Teach me to breathe the solemn line:
O bid my well-rang'd numbers rise,
Pervious to none but Attic eyes;
O give the strain that madness moves,
Till every startling sense approves.


What felt the Gallic Traveller,
When far in Arab-desert drear,
He found within the Catacomb,
Alive, the terrors of a tomb?

While many a mummy thro' the shade,
In hieroglyphic stole array'd,

Seem'd to uprear the mystic head,

And trace the gloom with ghostly tread;
Thou heard'st him pour the stifled groan,
Horror! his soul was all thy own!"

The author was himself a descriptive poet of the first class. Mr. William Collins thought himself aimed at by this piece of ridicule. His odes had been just published; and the last lines seemed to refer to a particular passage in them.


I KNOW the thing that's most uncommon; (Envy be silent, and attend!)

I know a reasonable Woman,

Handsome and witty, yet a Friend.

Nor warp'd by Passion, aw'd by Rumour,
Not grave through Pride, or gay through Folly,
An equal Mixture of good Humour,

And sensible soft Melancholy.

"Has she no faults then (Envy says) Sir?"
Yes, she has one, I must aver ;

When all the World conspires to praise her,
The Woman's deaf and does not hear.


Ver. 1. I know the thing] Equal in elegance to any compliment that Waller has paid to Saccharissa, especially the last stanza, and the answer to Envy. The Lady addressed was Mrs. Howard, of Marble-hill, bed-chamber woman to Queen Caroline, and afterward Countess of Suffolk.





THOU who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent


Shines a broad Mirror through the shadowy Cave;
Where ling'ring drops from min'ral Roofs distil,
And pointed Crystals break the sparkling Rill,
Unpolish'd Gems no ray on Pride bestow,
And latent Metals innocently glow:

Approach. Great NATURE studiously behold!
And eye the Mine without a wish for Gold.



After Ver. 6 in the MS.

You see that Island's wealth, where, only free,
Earth to her entrails feels not Tyranny.

i. e. Britain is the only place in the globe which feels not tyranny even to its very entrails. W.


On his Grotto] The improving and finishing his Grot was the favourite amusement of his declining years; and the beauty of his poetic genius, in the disposition and ornaments of this romantic recess, appears to as much advantage as in his best contrived poems. W.

Ver. 8.


the Mine]

"Aurum irrepertum, et sic melius situm
Cum terra celat."

Horat. 1. 3. od. 3.

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