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Oh curst, dear horrors of all-conscious night!
How glowing guilt exalts the keen delight!
Provoking demons all restraint remove,
And stir within me every source of love.
I hear thee, view thee, gaze o'er all thy charms.
And round thy phantom glue my clasping arms.
I wake:—no more I hear, no more I view,
The phantom flies me, as unkind as you.
I call aloud; it hears not what I say:
I stretch my empty arms; it glides away.
To dream once more I close my willing eyes j
Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise!
Alas, no more! methinks we wandering go
Through dreary wastes, and weep each other's woe
Where round some mouldering tow'r pale ivy creeps
And low-brow'd rocks hang nodding o'er the deeps.
Sudden you mount, you beckon from the skies;
Clouds interpose, waves roar, and winds arise.
I shriek, start up, the same 3ad prospect find.
And wake to all the griefs I left behind.
For thee the fates, severely kind, ordain
Come, Abelard' for what hast thou to dread?
What scenes appear where'er I turn my view?
Thy voice I seem in every hymn to hear,
While prostrate here in humble grief I lie,
No, fly me, fly me, far as pole from pole;
See in her cell sad Eloisa spread,
'Come, sister, come! (it said, or seem'd to say}
Thy place is here, sad srster, come away;
Once, like thyself, I trembled, wept, and pray'd,
Love's victim then, though now a sainted maid:
But all is calm in this eternal sleep;
Here grief forgets to groan, and love to weep;
Ev'n superstition loses every fear:
For God, not man, absolves our frailties here."
I come, I come! prepare your roseate bowers. Celestial palms, and ever-blooming flowers. Thither, where sinners may have rest, X go. Where flames refln'd in breasts seraphic glow: Thou, Abelard! the last sad office pay, And smoothe my passage to the realms of day • See my lips tremble, and my eye-balls roll, Suck my last breath, and catch my flying soul! .Ah, no—in sacred vestments may'st thou stand. The haliow'd taper trembling in thy hand, Present the cross before my lifted eye, Teach me at once, and learn of me to die, Ah then, thy once-lov'd Eloisa see! It will be then no crime lo gaze on me; See from my cheek the transient roses fly! See the last sparkle languish in my eye! Till every motion, pulse, and breath be o'er; And ev'n my Abelard be lov'd no more. O Death, all-eloquent! you only prove What dust we dote on, when 'tis man we love.
Then too, when fate shall thy fair frame destroy
May one kind grave unite each hapless name.
O'er the pale marble shall they join their heads,
AN ESSAY ON CRITICISM.
PART I. * Introduction.—That it is as great a fault to judge ill as to write ill, and a more dangerous one to the public.—That a tree taste is as rare to be found as a true genius.—That saobt men are bora with some taste, but spoiled by false educanon.—The multitude of critics, and causes of them. —That we are to study our own taste, and know the omits of iU—Nature the best guide of judgment.—Improved by art and rules, which are but methodized Nature.— Kule* derived from the practice of the ancient poets.—That therefore the ancients are necessary to be studied by a critic, particularly Homer and Virgil.—Of licences, and the use of them by the ancients.—Reverence due to the ancients, and praise of them.
•FIS hard to say if greater want of skill
Some few in that, but numbers err in this,
Tis with our judgments as our watches, none
Yet if we look more closely, we shall find Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind; Nature affords at least a glimmering light; The lines, though touch'd but faintly, are drawn
right: But as the slightest sketch, if justly trac'd, Is by ill-colouring but the more disgrac'd, So by false learning is good sense defae'd. Some are bewilder'd in the maze of schools. And some made coxcombs Nature meant but fools: In search of wit these lose their common sense. And then turn critics in their own defence: Each burns alike, who can or cannot write, Or with a rival's or an ennuch's spite. All fools have still an itching to deride, And Cain would be upon the laughing side. If Maevins scribble in Apollo's spite, There are who judge still worse than he can write.
Some have at first for wits, then poets, past; Turn'd critics next, and prov'd plain fools at last. Some neither can for wits nor critics pass, As heavy mules are neither horse nor ass. Those half-Iearn'd witlings, numerous in our isle As half-rbrm'd insects on the banks of Nile; Unfinish'd things, one knows not what to call. Their generation's so equivocal;