Page images
PDF
EPUB

= the whole;

ng' soul!

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 flaine.
The band, as fairy legends say,
Was wove on that creating 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,

ale.

ACTER.

* 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 npon 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 woim.-C.

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

High on some cliff, to heaven up-pil'd,
Of rude access, of prospect wild,
Where, tangled round the jealous steep,
Strange shades o'erbrow the vallies deep,
And holy Genii guard the rock,
Its glooms embrown, its springs uplock,
While on its rich ambitious head,
An Eden, like his own, lies spread.
I view that oak, the fancied glades among,
By which as Milton lay, bis evening ear,
From many a cloud that dropp'd ethereal dew,
Nigh spher'd in heaven its native strains could hear ;
On which that antient trump he reach'd was hung:

Thither oft his glory greeting,

From Waller's myrtle shades retreating,
With many a vow from Hope's aspiring tongue,
My trembling feet his guiding steps pursue ;

In vain--Such bliss to one alone,
Of all the sons of soul was known,
And Heaven, and Fancy, kindred powers,

Have now o'erturn’d th' inspiring bowers,
Or curtain'd close such scene from every future view..

ODE.-WRITTEN IN THE YEAR MDCCXLVI.

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest !

See, in the Author's Life, the account of a remarkable dream which he had wbile at school: to that school-dream we undoubtedly owe this oder and this turn of it.*

When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow'd mold,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod,
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By Fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung ;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim grey,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay,
And Freedom shall a-while repair,
To dwell a wecping hermit there!

ODE TO MERCY.

STROPHE.

O THOU, who sitt’st a smiling bride
By Valour's arın'd and awful side,
Gentlest of sky-born forms, and best ador'd,

Who oft with songs, divine to hear,
Win'st from his fatal

the

spear, And hid'st in wreaths of flowers his bloodless sword !

grasp

Thou who, amidst the deathful field,

By godlike chiefs alone beheld,
Oft with thy bosom bare art found,
Pleading for him the youth who sinks to ground:

See, Mercy, see, with pure and loaded hands,

Before thy shrine my country's Genius stands, And decks thy altar still, tho' pierc'd with many a wound !

ANTISTROPHE.
When he whom even our joys provoke,
The Fiend of Nature join'd his yoke,
And rush'd in wrath to niake our isle his prey;

Thy form, from out thy sweet abode,

O'ertook him on his blasted road,
And stopp'd his wheels, and look'd his rage away.

I see recoil his sable steeds,

That bore him swift to savage deeds,
Thy tender melting eyes they own ;
O Maid, for all thy love to Britain shown,

Where Justice bars her iro'n tower,

To thee we build a roseate bower,
Thou, thou shalt rule our queen, and share our monarch's'

throne!

ODE TO LIBERTY.

STROPHE.

WHO shall awake the Spartan fife,
And call in solemn sounds to life,
The youths, whose locks divinely spreading,

Like vernal hyacinths in sullen hue,

• A high tribute of praise was paid to this piece by the illustrious Sir

William Jones, who copied a considerable part of it in his spirited Latin tem Ode, ad Libertatim, as he himself informs his readera.-Works, vol. 10,

P. 394, 8vo. 1907. 5. of thie Lecarlo

+ An allusion to the customs the Spartans had of arranging their hair before a battle.-B.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »