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By all her blooms, and mingled murmurs dear,

By her, whose love-lorn woe,

In evening musings slow,
Sooth'd sweetly sad Electra's poet's* ear:

By old Cephisus deept

Who sproad his wavy sweep
In warbled wanderings round thy green retreat,

On whose enamel'd side,

When holy Freedom died,
No equal haunt allur'd thy future feet.

* Milton, in his 8th sonnet, says

“ The repeated air Of sad Electra's poet, had the power

To save th' Athenian walls from ruin bare." This refers to a story in Plutarch : that when Lysander had taken Athens, and intended to destroy that city, he was diverted from his purpose by bearing some lines

sung from the Electra of Euripides. But Collins alludes to the Electra of Sophocles, and to the following passage in that drama.

Νηπιος δεις των οικερως
Οιχομενων γονεων επιλαθεται:
Εμε για τονοεσσαραρε Φρενας
'Α Ιτυν, αιεν Ιτυν γ ολοφυρείαι

Ορνις αλυζομενη, Διος αγfέλος. v. 145.
· Base is the wretch, and senseless, who forgets
The loss of parents barbarously slain;
But her I love, who still repeating calls
Iteus, dear Iteus, in her ceaseless grief,

The melancholy bird, Jove's messenger.-C. + Cephisus is the name of a river in Beotia, and of another which runs near Athens. Vid. Cellar. Geo. L 2, C 13.-C.

O sister meek of Truth,

To my admiring youth,
Thy sober aid and native charms infuse !

The flowers that owcetest breathe,
Tho' beauty cull’d the wreath,
Still ask thy hand to range their order'd hues.

While Rome could none esteem,

But yirtue's patriot theme, You lov'd her bills, and led her laureate band :

But staid to sing alone

To one distinguish'd throne, And turn’d thy face, and fled her alter'd land.

No more, in hall or bower,

The passions own thy power, Love, only love her forceless numbers mean:

For thou hast left her shrine,

Nor olive more, nor vine, Shall gain thy feet to bless the servile scene.

Tho'taste, tho' genius bless
To some divine excess,

* The Poet cuts off the prevalence of simplicity among the Romans with the age of Augustus; and indeed it did not continue much longer; most of the compositions after that date giving into false and artificial ornaments,

“No more in hall or bower,” &c. In these lines, the writings of the Provencal poets are principally alluded to, in which simplicity is generally sacrificed to rhapsodies of romantic love.-L.

Faint's the cold work till thou inspire the whole;

What each, what all supply,

May court, may charm our eye,
Thou, only thou can'st raise the meeting soul !

Of these let others ask,

To aid some mighty task,
I only seek to find thy temperate vale:

Where oft my reed might sound

To maids and shepherds round,
And all thy sons, 0 Nature, learn my tale.


As once, if not with light regard,
I read aright that gifted Bard,
(Him whose school above the rest
His loveliest Elfin queen has blest)
One, only one, unrival'd Fair*,
Might hope the magic girdle wear,
At solemn turney hung on high,
The wish of each love-darting eye ;

Lo! to each other nymph in turn applied,

As if, in air unseen, some hovering hand,

* Florimel, See Spenser. Leg. 4th.

Some chaste and angel-friend to virgin-fame,

With whisper'd spell had burst the starting band, It left unblest her loath'd dishonour'd side;

Happier hopeless Fair, if never

Her baffled hand with vain endeavour
Had touch'd that fatal zone to her denied !
Young Fancy thus, to me divinest name,

To whom, prepar'd and bath'd in heaven,
The cest of amplest power is given,
To few the god-like gift assigns,

To gird their blest prophetic loins,
And gaze her visions wild, and feel unmix'd her flame.
The band, as fairy legends say,
Was wove on that eating day,
When He, who called with thought to birth
Yon tented sky, this laughing earth,
And drest with springs, and forests tall,
And pour’d the main engirting all.
Long by the lov'd Enthusiast woo’d,
Himself in some diviner mood, *

* It is difficult to reduce to any thing like a meaning, this strange, and by no means reverential, fiction concerning the Divine Being. Probably the obscure idea that floated in the mind of the author was this : that true poetry being a representation of nature, must have its archetype in those ideas of the supreme mind which originally gave birth to nature ; and therefore, that no one should attempt it without being conversant with the fair and beautiful, the true and perfect, both in moral ideas, the shadowy tribes of mind, and the productions of the natural world.-B.

No one who is acquainted with Collins's writings will suspect him, here or elsewhere, of the least intentional irreverence. But to say of the Deity, that he is at any time, or upon any occasion, in a diviner mood, is an

Retiring, sate with her alone,
And plac'd her on his sapphire throne,
The whiles, the vaulted shrine around,
Seraphic wires were heard to sound,
Now sublimest triumph swelling,
Now on love and mercy dwelling;
And She, from out the veiling cloud,
Breath'd her magic notes aloud :
And Thou, thou rich-hair'd youth of morn,
And all thy subject life was born!
The dangerous passions kept aloof,
Far from the sainted growing woof:
But near it sate extatic Wonder,
Listening the deep applauding thunder:
And Truth, in sunny vest array'd,
By whose the tarsol's* eyes were made;
All the shadowy tribes of Mind,
In braided dance their murmurs join’d,
And all the bright uncounted Powers,
Who feed on heaven's ambrosial flowers.
Where is the Bard, whose soul can now
Its high' presuming hopes avow ?
Where he who thinks, with rapture blind,
This hallow'd work for him design’d?

unguarded expression, and neither reverend nor true. The works of his creation may be more or less divine ; but He himself is the same in all his perfections, whether creating the soul of a man, or the body of a worm.-C.

* The tarsol is the gyr-lawk: tarsol, or tiercelet, being an old term iv falconry.-B.

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