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Fresh to that soil thou turn'st, where every vale
Thou need'st but take thy pencil to thy hand,
There must thou take perforce thy Doric quill; "Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett’st thy feet; Where still, 'tis said, the fairy people meet, Beneath each birken shade, on mead or hill. There each trim lass, that skims the milky store, To the swart tribes their creamy bowls allots; By night they sip it round the cottage-door, While airy minstrels warble jocund notes. There, every herd, by sad experience, knows How, wing'd with fate, their elf-shot arrows fly, When the sick ewe her summer food forgoes, Or, stretch'd on earth, the heart-smit heifers lie. Such airy beings awe th’untutord swain : Nor thou, tho' learn’d, his homelier thoughts neglect; Let thy sweet Muse the rural faith sustain; These are the themes of simple sure effect,
That add new.conquests to her boundless reign, And fill with double force her heart-commanding strain.
Ev'n yet preserv'd, how often may'st thou hear, Where to the Pole the Boreal mountains run, Taught by the father, to his listening son, Strange lays, whose power had charm'd a Spencer's car.
At every pause, before thy mind possest,
The sturdy clans pour'd forth their brawny swarms,
'Tis thine to sing, how, framing hideous spells,
A summer hut, built in the high part of the mountains, to tend their focks in the warm season, when the weatber is fine,
For them the viewless forms of air obey:
And heartless oft, like moody madness stare
To monarchs dear, some hundred miles astray, Oft have I seen Fate give the fatal blow! The Seer in Sky, shrieked as the blood did flow,When headless Charles warm on the scaffold lay ! As Boreas threw his young Aurora® forth, In the first year of the first George's reign, And battles rag'd in welkin of the North, They mourn’d in air, fell, fell Rebellion slain! And as, of late, they joy'd in Preston's fight, Saw, at sad Falkirk, all their hopes near crown'd! They ravid! divining thro' their second sight, Pale, red Culloden, where these hopes were drown'd! Illustrious William !+ Britain's guardian name ! One William sav'd us from a tyrant's stroke; He, for a sceptre gain’d heroic fame,
But thou, more glorious, Slavery's chain hast broke, To reign a private man, and bow to Freedom's yoke !
* It is highly probable, that Collins meant the first appearance of the Northern Lights, which happened about the year 1715; from this circumstance, that no ancient writer has taken notice of them ; vor any modern, previous to the above period.
* The Duke of Cumberland, who defcated the Pretender at Culloden.
These too thou 'lt sing ! for well thy magic Muse
And frequent round him rolls his sullen eyes,
Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unblest, indeed!
* A fiery meteor, called Will-with-the-Wisp, Jack-with-the-Lantorn, &c. It hovers over fenny and marshy places.
Or, if he meditate his wish'd escape,
urce ! What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs ?
His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthly force, And down the waves he floats, a pale and breathless corse !
For him in vain his anxious wife shall wait,
While I lie weltering on the osier'd shore,
• The water-fiend.