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From wave to wave of fancied misery And from each scene the noblest truths
| Teach my best reason, reason; my best A bitter change!-severer for severe:
will The day too short for my distress; and Teach rectitude; and fix my firm resolve 50 night,
| Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear. Even in the zenith of her dark domain, Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, Is sunshine to the color of my fate.
poured Night, sable goddess, from her ebon On this devoted head, be poured in vain.
throne, In rayless majesty, now stretches forth • Her leaden scepter o'er a slumbering world. How poor, how rich, how abject, how Silence how dead! and darkness how pro august, found!
21 How complicate, how wonderful is man! Nor eye nor listening ear an object finds; How passing wonder He who made him Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse such! Of life stood still, and Nature made a Who centered in our make such strange pause;
extremes, An awful pause! prophetic of her end. 25 From different natures marvellously mixed,
And let her prophecy be soon fulfilled: Connection exquisite of distant worlds, · Fate! drop the curtain; I can lose no Distinguished link in being's endless chain, more.
Midway from nothing to the Deity! • Silence and Darkness! solemn sisters! A beam ethereal, sullied and absorbed, 75 twins
Though sullied and dishonored, still divine, From ancient Night, who nurse the Dim miniature of greatness absolute! tender thought
An heir of glory, a frail child of dust, To reason, and on reason build resolve Helpless immortal, insect infinite, / That column of true majesty in man- 31 A worm, a god!—I tremble at myself, 80 Assist me: I will thank you in the grave; And in myself am lost, at home a stranger. The grave, your kingdom; there this frame Thought wanders up and down, surprised, shall fall
aghast, A victim sacred to your dreary shrine. And wondering at her own; how reason But what are ye? Thou who didst put to reels! flight
35 Oh, what a miracle to man is man, Primeval Silence, when the morning stars, Triumphantly distressed! What joy, what Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball;
dread, O Thou! whose word from solid darkness | Alternately transported and alarmed! struck
What can preserve my life, or what deThat spark, the sun, strike wisdom from stroy? my soul;
An angel's arm can't snatch me from the My soul which flies to thee, her trust, her grave; treasure,
| Legions of angels can't confine me there. As misers to their gold, while others rest. Through this opaque of nature and of soul,
ROBERT BLAIR (1899–1746) This double night, transmit one pitying ray
From THE GRAVE To lighten and to cheer. Oh, lead my mind
While some affect the sun, and some the A mind that fain would wander from its shade, woe
45 | Some flee the city, some the hermitage, Lead it through various scenes of life and Their aims as various as the roads they death,
In journeying through life, the task be Rooked in the spire, screams loud: the mine
35 To paint the gloomy horrors of the tomb; 5 Black-plastered, and hung round with The appointed place of rendezvous, where I shreds of 'scutcheons all
And tattered coats of arms, send back the These travellers meet. Thy succors I sound implore,
Laden with heavier airs, from the low Eternal King! whose potent arm sustains vaults, The keys of hell and death.—The Grave, The mansions of the dead.-Roused from dread thing!
their slumbers, Men shiver when thou’rt named: nature, In grim array the grisly spectres rise, 40 appalled,
Grin horrible, and, obstinately sullen, Shakes off her wonted firmness.—Ah, how Pass and repass, hushed as the foot of ! dark
night. Thy long-extended realms, and rueful Again the screech-owl shrieks: ungracious wastes!
sound! Where nought but silence reigns, and I'll hear no more; it makes one's blood night, dark night,
run chill. Dark as was chaos, ere the infant sun Quite round the pile, a row of reverend Was rolled together, or had tried his beams elms, Athwart the gloom profound.—The sickly (Coeval near with that) all ragged show, taper
Long lashed by the rude winds. Some By glimmering through thy low-browed rift half down misty vaults,
Their branchless trunks; others so thin Furred round with mouldydamps and ropy slime,
That scarce two crows could lodge in the Lets fall a supernumerary horror,
same tree. And only serves to make thy night more Strange things, the neighbors say, have irksome. 20 happened here:
50 Well do I know thee by thy trusty yew, Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow Cheerless, unsocial plant! that loves to tombs; dwell
| Dead men have come again, and walked Midst skulls and coffins, epitaphs and about; worms:
And the great bell has tolled, unrung, un, Where light-heeled ghosts, and visionary touched. shades,
(Such tales their cheer, at wake or gossipBeneath the wan cold moon (as fame re
When it draws near the witching time of Embodied, thick, perform their mystic night.)
Oft in the lone church-yard at night I've No other merriment, dull tree! is thine.
seen, See yonder hallowed fane;—the pious By glimpse of moonshine chequering work
through the trees, Of names once famed, now dubious or The school-boy, with his satchel in his forgot,
hand, And buried midst the wreck of things Whistling aloud to bear his courage up, which were;
30 | And lightly tripping o'er the long flat There lie interred the more illustrious stones, dead.
(With nettles skirted, and with moss o'erThe wind is up: hark! how it howls! Me grown,) thinks
That tell in homely phrase who lie below. Till now I never heard a sound so dreary: Sudden he starts, and hears, or thinks he Doors creak, and windows clap, and hears,
night's foul bird,
trusty uves to Dead men ha
The sound of something purring at his
ODE heels; Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind WRITTEN IN THE BEGINNING OF him,
THE YEAR 1746 Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows;
How sleep the brave who sink to rest Who gather round, and wonder at the tale By all their country's wishes blest! Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly, When Spring, with dewy fingers cold, That walks at dead of night, or takes his Returns to deck their hallowed mould, stand
She there shall dress a sweeter sod O'er some new-opened grave; and (strange Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay; 10 WILLIAM COLLINS (1721-1769) And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there! A SONG FROM SHAKESPEARE'S
ODE TO EVENING
Sung by Guiderus and Arviragus over Fidele,
supposed to be dead
To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.
If ought of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
No wailing ghost shall dare appear, 5 O nymph reserved, while now the brightTo vex with shrieks this quiet grove;
haired sun But shepherd lads assemble here,
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy And melting virgins own their love.
With brede ethereal wove, No withered witch shall here be seen,
O’erhang his wavy bed: No goblins lead their nightly crew; 10 The female fays shall haunt the green, Now air is hushed, save where the weakAnd dress thy grave with pearly dew.
| With short shrill shriek, flits by on leathern The redbreast oft at evening hours
wing, Shall kindly lend his little aid,
Or where the beetle winds With hoary moss, and gathered flow'rs, 15 His small but sullen horn, To deck the ground where thou art laid.
As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path, When howling winds, and beating rain, Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum: In tempests shake the sylvan cell,
Now teach me, maid composed, 15 Or midst the chase on every plain,
To breathe some softened strain, The tender thought on thee shall dwell,
20 Whose numbers, stealing through thy
darkening vale Each lonely scene shall thee restore, May not unseemly with its stillness suit, For thee the tear be duly shed:
As, musing slow, I hail Beloved till life could charm no more; Thy genial loved return!
20 And mourned till Pity's self be dead.
For when thy folding-star arising shows
An ODE FOR MUSIC
When Music, heavenly maid, was young, And many a nymph who wreathes her
While yet in early Greece she sung, brows with sedge,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell, And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier Thronged around her magic cell, still,
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, ý The pensive Pleasures sweet,
Possessed beyond the Muse's painting; Prepare thy shadowy car.
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined: Then lead, calm votaress, where some
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, sheety lake
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired, 10 Cheers the lone heath, or some time
From the supporting myrtles round hallowed pile
They snatched her instruments of sound; Or upland fallows gray
And as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Would prove his own expressive power. But when chill blustering winds, or driving rain,
First Fear his hand, its skill to try, Forbid my willing feet, be mine the
Amid the chords bewildered laid, hut
And back recoiled, he knew not why, That from the mountain's side
Ev'n at the sound himself had made. 20 Views wilds, and swelling floods,
Next Anger rushed; his eyes, on fire, And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered In lightnings owned his secret stings; spires,
In one rude clash he struck the lyre, And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er
| And swept with hurried hand the
strings. Thy dewy fingers draw The gradual dusky veil."
40 | With woeful measures wan Despair 25
Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled; While Spring shall pour his showers, as A solemn, strange, and mingled air; oft he wont,
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve;
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair, While Summer loves to sport
What was thy delightful measure? 30 Beneath thy lingering light;
Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with
mils thy lap with hail! leaves;
45 Or Winter, yelling through the troublous Still would her touch the strain prolong, air,
And from the rocks, the woods, the Affrights thy shrinking train,
vale, And rudely rends thy robes;
She called on Echo still through all the song;
35 So long, sure-found beneath the sylvan And where her sweetest theme she shed,
chose, Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, rose- A soft responsive voice was heard at every lipped Health,
50 close, Thy gentlest influence own,
And Hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved And hymn thy favorite name!
her golden hair.
And longer had she sung,—but with a The oak-crowned sisters, and their frown
75 Revenge impatient rose;
Satyrs, and sylvan boys, were seen, He threw his blood-stained sword in Peeping from forth their alleys green; thunder down
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear,
And Sport leaped up, and seized his The war-denouncing trumpet took,
beachen spear. And blew a blast so loud and dread, Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of Y Last came Joy's ecstatic trial.
He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand ad-
dressed; And though sometimes, each dreary But soon he saw the brisk awakening pause between,
viol, Dejected Pity, at his side,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved Her soul-subduing voice applied, 50
the best. Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien, They would have thought, who heard While each strained ball of sight seemed
85 bursting from his head.
They saw in Tempe's vale her native
maids Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were Amidst the festal sounding shades, fixed,
To some unwearied minstrel dancing, Sad proof of thy distressful state; While, as his flying fingers kissed the Of differing themes the veering song was
55 Loved framed with Mirth a gay fanAnd now it courted Love, now raving
90 called on Hate.
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone
unbound, With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
And he, admist his frolic play, Pale Melancholy sate retired,
As if he would the charming air repay, And from her wild sequestered seat, Shook thousand odors from his dewy In notes by distance made more sweet, 60 . wings. Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul:
O Music, sphere-descended maid, And, dashing soft from rocks around, Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid,
Bubbling runnels joined the sound; Why, goddess, why, to us denied, Through glades and glooms the mingled Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside? measure stole;
As in that loved Athenian bower Or o'er some haunted stream with fond You learned an all-commanding power, 100 delay
65 Thy mimic soul, O nymph endeared, Round an holy calm diffusing,
Can well recall what then it heard.
Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art?
105 But oh, how altered was its sprightlier | Warm, energic, chaste, sublime! tone,
Thy wonders, in that godlike age, When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest Fill thy recording sister's page. hue,
70 'Tis said, and I believe the tale, Her bow across her shoulder flung, Thy humblest reed could more prevail, 110
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew, | Had more of strength, diviner rage, Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket | Than all which charms this laggard age, rung,
Ev'n all at once together found, The hunter's call, to faun and dryad Cecilia's mingled world of sound. known!