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To him, who, deck'd with pearly pride,
* Tell. For an account of the celebrated event referred to see Voltaire's Epistle to the King of Prussia.-L.
+ The Dutch, amongst whom there are very severe penalties for those who are convicted of killing this bird. They are kept tame in almost all their towns, and particularly at the Hague, of the arms of which they make a part. The common people of Holland are said to entertain a superstitious sentiment, that if the whole species of them should become extinct, they should lose their liberties.
Beyond the measure vast of thought,
The Gaul, 'tis held of antique story,
No sea between, nor cliff sublime and hoary,
To the blown Baltic then, they say,
The wild waves found another way,
Till all the banded west at once 'gan rise,
Withering her giant sons with strange uncouth surprise,
By winds and inward labours torn, In thunders dread was push'd aside,
And down the shouldering billows born.
The little isles on every side,
Where thousand Elfin shapes abide,
* 'This tradition is mentioned by several of our old historians. Some naturalists too have endeavoured to s'pport the probability of the fact, by arguments drawn from the correspondent disposition of the two opposite coasts. I don't remember that any poetical use has been hitherto made of it. From Milton.
the sea-girt isles, That like to rich and various gems inlay
The unadorned bosom of the deep.-Comus, v. 21. | There is a tradition in the isle of Man, that a mermaid becoming enamoured of a young man of extraordinary beauty, took an opportunity of meeting him one day as he walked on the shore, and opened her passion to him, but was received with a coldness, occasioned by his horror and surprise at her appearance. This however was so misconstrued by the sea-lady that, in revenge for his treatment of her, she punished the whole island, by covering it with a mist, so that all who attempted to carry on any commerce with it, either never arrived at it, but wandered up and down the sea, or were on a sudden wrecked upon its cliffs.
And Wight wlio checks the westering tide,
For thee consenting heaven has each bestowed, A fair attendant on her sovereign pride:
To thee this blest divorce she ow'd, For thou hast made her vales thy lov'd, thy last abode !
Then too, 'tis said, an hoary pile,
* This metaphor comes from the Greek. Both Pindar and Euripides call the Temple at Delphi-the Navel of the world.
It is found in Milton:
Within the Navel of this hideous wood.
Yet still, if truth those beams infuse
may the poet now unfold, What never tongue or numbers told ! How learn delighted, and amaz'd, What hands unknown that fabric rais'd ? Even now, before his favour'd eyes, In Gothic pride it seems to rise ! Yet Grecia's graceful orders join, Majestic thro' the mix'd design; The secret builder knew to chuse, Each sphere-found gem of richest hues : Whate'er heaven's purer mold contains, When nearer suns emblaze its veins ; There on the walls the patriot's sight May ever hang with fresh delight, And, grav'd with some prophetic rage, Read Albion's fame thro' every age.
Ye forms divine, ye laureate band,
ODE TO A LADY,
ON THE DEATH OF COLONEL CHARLES ROSS IN THE ACTIOX
WRITTEN MAY, MDCCXLV.
WHILE, lost to all his former mirth,
* The Tangles of Neæra's hair.-Milton's Lycides, v. 69.
† Miss Elizabeth Goddard. Sec Life.