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Inquirer, cease ; petitions yet remain
vain. Still raise for good the supplicating voice, But leave to Heav'n the measure and the
choice : Safe in his power, whose eyes discern afar The secret ambush of a specious pray'r; Implore his aid, in his decisions rest, Secure, whate'er he gives, he gives the best. Yet, when the sense of sacred presence fires, And strong devotion to the skies aspires, Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful mind, Obedient passions, and a will resign'd; For love, which scarce collective man can
His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void ; And sure th' Eternal Master found
The single talent well employ'd. The busy day, the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by ; His frame was firm, his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.
No cold gradations of decay,
Samuel Johnson.-Born 1709, Died 1784.
Allow'd with thee to dwell :
To hear a British shell !
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1746.
How sleep the brave, who sink to rest, By all their country's wishes blest ! When Spring, with dewy fingers cold, Returns to deck their hallow'd mould, She there shall dress a sweeter sod Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
And many a Nymph who wreathes her brows
with sedge, And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelior
The pensive Pleasures sweet,
Prepare thy shadowy car. Then let me rove some wild and heathy
scene; Or find some ruin ʼmidst its dreary dells,
Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious gleams. Or, if chill blustering winds, or driving rain, Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut,
That from the mountain's side,
Views wilds, and swelling floods, And bamlets brown, and dim-discovered
spires ; And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky vei). While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he
wont, And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light; While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with
leaves ; Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
By fairy hands their knell is rung ;
William Collins.-Born 1720, Died 1756.
So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Thy gentlest influence own,
And love thy favourite name!
889.-ODE TO EVENING. If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song, May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales ; O nymph reserved, while now the bright-hair'd
Sun Sits in yon western tint, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
O'erhang his wavy bed: Now air is hush'd, save where the weak-eyed
bat, With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern
Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn, As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path, Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum;
Now teach me, maid composed,
To breathe some soften'd strain, Whose numbers, stealing through thy
darkening vale, May not unseemly with its stillness suit;
As, musing slow, I hail
Thy genial loved return!
The fragrant Hours, and Elves
890.-TO THE PASSIONS. When Music, heavenly maid, was young, While yet in early Greece she sung, The Passions oft, to hear her shell, Throng'd around her magic cell, Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, Possess'd beyond the Muse's painting, By turns they felt the glowing mind Disturb’d, delighted, raised, refined ; Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, Fill'd with fury, rapt, inspired, From the supporting myrtles round They snatch'd her instruments of sound; And, as they oft had heard apart Sweet lessons of her forceful art, Each (for Madness ruled the hour, Would prove his own expressive power.
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid,
E'en at the sound himself had made.
In lightnings own'd his secret stings:
And swept with hurried hand the strings. With woeful measures wan Despair
Low, sullen sounds his grief beguiled ; A solemn, strange, and mingled air,
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ? Still it whisper'd promised pleasure, And bade the lovely scenes at distance
hail ! Still would her touch the strain prolong ;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, She callid on Echo still, through all the song ;
And, where her sweetest theme she chose, A soft responsive voice was heard at every
close, And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her
golden hair. And longer had she sung ;—but, with a frown,
Revenge impatient rose : He threw his blood-stain'd sword, in thunder,
down; And with a withering look, The war-denouncing trumpet took, And blew a blast so loud and dread, Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe!
And, ever and anon, he beat
The doubling drum, with furious heat; And though sometimes, each dreary pause
Her soul-subduing voice applied,
bursting from his head. Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd;
Sad proof of thy distressful state ; Of differing themes the veering song was
mix'd; And now it courted Love, now raving call'd
on Hate. With eyes up-raised, as one inspired, Pale Melancholy sate retired, And, from her wild sequester'd seat, In notes by distance made more sweet, Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive
soul : And, dashing soft from rocks around,
Bubbling runnels join'd the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled
measure stole, Or, o'er some haunted stream, with fond
Love of Peace, and lonely musing,
But O! how alter'd was its sprightlier
tone, When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest
hue, Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemm'd with morning dew, Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket
rung, The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad
known! The oak-crown'd Sisters, and their chaste
Peeping from forth their alleys green :
spear. Last came Joy's ecstatic trial : He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest; But soon he saw the brisk-awakening viol, Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the
best ; They would have thought who heard the
strain They saw, in Tempé's vale, her native
maids, Amidst the festal sounding shades, To some unwearied minstrel dancing, While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the
strings, Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic
round : Loose were her tresses seen, her zone un
bound; And he, amidst his frolic play, As if he would the charming air repay, Shook thousand odours from his dewy
O Music ! sphere-descended maid,
William Collins.-Born 1720, Died 1756. 891.—DIRGE IN CYMBELINE. 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. No wailing ghost shall dare appear
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove; But shepherd lads assemble here,
And melting virgins own their love. No wither'd witch shall here be seen ;
No goblins lead their nightly crew : The female Fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew!
Shall kindly lend his little aid,
To deck the ground where thou art laid.
In tempests shake the sylvan cell ; Or 'midst the chase, on every plain,
The tender thought on thee shall dwell ; Each lonely scene shall thee restore;
For thee the tear be duly shed; Beloved till life can charm no more, And mourn'd till Pity's self be dead.
William Collins.--Born 1720, Died 1756.
Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye
And joy desert the blooming year.
No sedge-crown'd sisters now attend,
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend ! And see, the fairy valleys fade;
Dun Night has veil'd the solemn view ! Yet once again, dear parted shade,
Meek Nature's child, again adieu ! The genial meads assign'd to bless
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom.; Their hinds and shepherd-girls shall dress,
With simple hands, thy rural tomb. Long, long, thy stone and pointed clay
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes : “Oh! vales and wild woods,” shall he say, “In yonder grave your Druid lies!”
William Collins.-Born 1720, Died 1756.
892.-ODE ON THE DEATH OF
In yonder grave a Druid lies,
Where slowly winds the stealing wave;
To deck its poet's sylvan grave.
His airy harp shall now be laid,
May love through life the soothing shade. Then maids and youths shall linger here,
And, while its sounds at distance swell, Shall sadly seem in Pity's ear
To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell. Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore
When Thames in summer wreaths is drest, And oft suspend the dashing oar
To bid the gentle spirit rest !
To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
And’mid the varied landscape weep.
Ah ! what will every dirge avail ; Or, tears, which Love and Pity shed,
That mourn beneath the gliding sail ?
893.—THE SCHOOL-MISTRESS. Ah me! full sorely is my heart forlorn, To think how modest Worth neglected
lies While partial Fame doth with her blasts
adorn Such deeds alone, as pride and pomp dis
Such as I oft have chaunced to espy,
In every village mark'd with little spire,
Fame, There dwells in lowly shed, and mean
attire, A matron old, whom we School-mistress
name; Who boasts unruly brats with birch to
tame; They grieven sore, in piteous durance
pent, Awed by the power of this relentless dame;
And oft-times, on vagaries idly bent, For unkempt hair, or task unconn'd, are sorely
A russet stole was o'er her shoulders
thrown; A russet kirtle fenced the nipping air ; 'Twas simple russet, but it was her own; 'Twas her own country bred the flock so
fair! 'Twas her own labour did the fleece
prepare ; And, sooth to say, her pupils, ranged
around, Through pious awe, did term it passing
rare ; For they in gaping wonderment abound, And think, no doubt, she been the greatest
wight on ground.
Albeit ne flattery did corrupt her truth,
sooth, Or dame, the sole additions she did hear ; Yet these she challenged, these she held
right dear : Ne would esteem him act as mought
behove, Who should not honour'd eld with these
revere : For never title yet so mean could prove, But there was eke a mind which did that
And work the simple vassals mickle woe ;
beat low; And as they look'd they found their horrour
grew, And shaped it into rods, and tingled at the
Ne superstition clog his dance of joy, Ne vision empty, vain, his native bliss destroy. Near to this dome is found a patch so
green, On which the tribe their gambols do dis.
play; And at the door imprisoning-board is seen, Lest weakly wights of smaller size should
stray; Eager, perdie, to bask in sunny day! The noises intermixed, which thence re
sound, Do Learning's little tenement betray ; Where sits the dame, disguised in look
profound, And eyes her fairy throng, and turns her
entwined, With dark distrust, and sad repentance fillid; And stedfast hate, and sharp affliction
join'd, And fury uncontrould, and chastisement
unkind. Few but have ken'd, in semblance meet
pourtray'd, The childish faces of old Eol's train; Libs, Notus, Auster : these in frowns
quell, And were not she her statutes to maintain, The cot no more, I ween, were deem'd the
cell, Where comely peace of mind, and decent order
One ancient hen she took delight to feed, The plodding pattern of the busy dame; Which, ever and anon, impellid by need, Into her school, begirt with chickens, came! Such favour did her past deportment
claim : And, if Neglect had lavish'd on the ground Fragment of bread, she would collect tho
same; For well she knew, and quaintly could ex
pound, What sin it were to waste the smallest crumb
Herbs too she knew, and well of each could
speak That in her garden sipp'd the silvery dew; Where no vain flower disclosed a gaudy
streak; But herbs for use, and physic, not a few, Of grey renown, within those borders grew : The tufted basil, pun-provoking thyme, Fresh baum, and marygold of cheerful hue ;
The lowly gill, that never dares to climb; And more I fain would sing, disdaining here
Yet euphrasy may not be left unsung,
around; And pungent radish, biting infants' tongue; And plantain ribb'd, that heals the reaper's
wound; And marjoram sweet, in shepherd's posie