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tured plain, and daisied bank: but I was sorry to see, in the lines of a scholar like Gray, the honied spring.' I agree with Dr. Johnson in his censure of such epithets; but they are not of late origin. Above a century before he wrote Milton had them ; as honied thigh, (from which, perhaps, Gray borrowed it) and buskin'd stage: (Il Pens. 102.) from which Collins, who did not borrow much, seems to have taken buskin'd Muse.-P. 19. Still the words are not pleasing, nor formed agreeably to the genius of our tongue; and they often make a harsh phrase; as in this verse of Collins,
Even humble Harting's cottag'd vale.-See p. 43.
But, besides this, there is no other so harsh in all his poems.
His rhymes should have obtained some notice from Dr. Johnson, for they deserve commendation: being in quality equal to those of our most correct versifiers. They are exact :* i.e. there is no difference in the vowel sound, or the consonants following it. They are varied : i.e. the same rhymes do not soon, or often, recur: in the short pieces (Ode to Mercy, to Peace, the Dirge) there is no repetition. They are never made by little insignificant words. Double rhymes are frequently introduced, and with good effect. A double rhyme gives a sprightliness to the verse, it being a
* Identical rhymes are a fault only in our modern poetry: the most careful rhymers are not quite free from it. Collins has four identical rhymes; but of these two are in his Ode on the Highland Superstitions; which is not a finished poem, and therefore not to be so strictly scrutinized.-C.
trochaic foot, which is a brisk and quick measure. Sometimes the entire line is composed of trochaics, as these,
Happier, hopeless Fair, if never
And the second of these
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ?-The Passions. Such passages (and many others are like them) might also serve to exempt his lines from being characterized as slow and clogged with consonants. I think it needless to enter into his defence
the rest. His reputation has extended beyond the limits of his own.country. In 1814 an Italian translation of his Odes was published at Piacenza, in a handsome 4to. Edition, by G. B. Martelli, an Advocate of that City. It is dedicated to Sir Robert Wilson, who has kindly informed me that the Italians consider it as a work of great merit. Of the style and versification they are the proper and competent judges: of other points. I may venture to speak : it is somewhat diffuse, sufficiently faithful, and very clear. As the work is hardly known in England, a specimen will be given at the close of this volume.
* Martelli translated all the Odes which Collins published, except only that to Liberty. The piece contains nothing to give just offence; but for a man who lives within the dominions of Francis II., the chief Member of the Holy Alliance, the omission was prudent.-C.
SELIM; OR, THE SHEPHERD'S MORAL.
Scene, A VALLEY NEAR BAGDAT.-Time, THE MORNING.
YE Persian maids, attend your poet's lays,
Thus Selim sung, by sacred Truth inspir'd;
* The scenery and subjects of the following eclogues alone are Oriental; the style and colouring are purely European.-L.
When sweet and blushing, like a virgin bride, The radiant morn resum'd her orient pride, When wanton gales along the valleys play, Breathe on each flower, and bear their sweets away;. By 'Tigris' wandering waves he sat and sung This useful lesson for the fair and young.
Ye Persian dames, he said, to you belong,
you those flowers her fragrant hands bestow,
Such are the maids, and such the charms they boast, By sınse unaided, or to virtue lost. Self tlattering sex! your hearts believe in vain That Love shall blind, when once he fires the swain; Or hope a lover by your faults to win, As spots on ermine beautify the skin :
Who seeks secure to rule, be first her care
Blest were the days, when Wisdom held her reign, And shepherds sought her on the silent plain; With Truth she wedded in the secret grove, Immortal Truth, and daughters bless'd their love.
O haste, fair maids! ye Virtues come away, Sweet Peace and Plenty lead you on your way! The balmy shrub for you shall love our shore, By Ind excell'd or Araby no more.
Lost to our fields, for so the fates ordain, The dear deserters shall return again. Come thou, whose thoughts as limpid springs are clear, To lead the train, sweet Modesty appear: Here make thy court amidst our rural scene, And shepherd-girls shall own thee for their queen. With thee be Chastity, of all afraid, Distrusting all, a wise, suspicious maid ; But man the most-not more the mountain doe Holds the swift falcon for her deadly foe. Cold is her breast, like flowers that drink the dew ; A silken veil conceals her from the view.