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There first the wren thy myrtles shed
To him thy cell was shewn ;
Come, Pity, come, by fancy's aid,
Its southern site, its truth complete
There Picture's toil shall well relate,
O'er mortal bliss prevail :
The buskin'd Muse shall near her stand,
There let me oft, retir'd by day,
analogy in their fates which he has forborne to express. They both were the objects of pity, from that circumstance which a liberal mind would least wish to become so-pecuniary distresses.-B.
There waste the mournful lamp of night,
Till, Virgin, thou again delight
To hear a British shell!
ODE TO FEAR.
THOU, to whom the world unknown
I know thy hurried step, thy haggard eye!
While Vengeance, in the lurid air
In earliest Greece, to thee, with partial choice,
Silent and pale in wild amazement hung.
Yet he, the Bard who first invok'd thy name,
But reach'd from Virtue's hand the patriot's steel.
But who is he, whom later garlands grace,
Who left a while o'er Hybla's dews to rove, With trembling eyes thy dreary steps to trace,
Where thou and Furies shar'd the baleful grove?†
Eschylus. In his play, entitled Eumenides (Furies), he introduced a chorus of 50 persons, whose habits, gestures, and appearance altogether were so formidable, as to terrify the whole audience. Eschylus fought at the battle of Marathon.-C.
The allusion here is to the Edipus Coloneus of Sophocles, which con tains the most sublime scene in the whole compass of the Grecian Drama, of that kind of sublimity which arises from the obscure, and is calculated to produce terror.-See Ed: Col. v. 1658.-C.
Wrapt in thy cloudy veil th' incestuous Queen
Sigh'd the sad call her son and husband heard, When once alone it broke the silent scene,
And he the wretch of Thebes no more appear'd.
Ο Fear, I know thee by my throbbing heart,
Thy withering power inspir'd each mournful line, Tho' gentle pity claim her mingled part,
Yet all the thunders of the scene are thine!
* Jocasta.This is a little inaccurate: it was not Jocasta who called, nor was the call sighed out:-
Ην μεν σιωπη φθεγμα δε εξαιφνης τινος
But sudden he was summon'd by a voice
That made our hairs all stand on end who heard it;
Some deity so loud and often called
• Thou, Edipus
The person who makes this report goes on to relate, that Œdipus then ordered them all to depart except Theseus, who alone was to witness his end.
ως δ' απηλθομεν
Χρονῳ βραχει ςραφενίες, εξαπειδομεν
At his command we came away;
When shortly after turning round to view,
Thou who such weary lengths hast past,
Where gloomy Rape and Murder dwell?
'Gainst which the big waves beat,
Hear drowning seamen's cries in tempest brought!
Dark Power, with shuddering meek submitted thought,
Him we saw not, for he was gone; but Theseus
The mysterious fate of the British King Arthur is recorded in our old English ballad, with some circumstances that may remind us of this Grecian catastrophe.-See Percy's Ant. Songs, vol. 3.-C.
The eve which was hallowed, one might imagine, should rather be free from all these objects of fear, as Shakspeare represents it:
Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes