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After describing the traveller lost in the snow, the poet thus continues :

In vain for him the officious wife prepares
The fire fair blazing, and the vestment warm ;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife nor children more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every nerve
The deadly winter seizes, shuts up sense,
And o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snows a stiffened corpse,
Stretched out, and bleaching on the northern blast!

As long as human passions shall animate or disturb the world, Collins’s masterly Ode will doubtless be perused and prized : yet the gifted author suffered from neglect and poverty, and ultimately became the victim of mental disease. Some evil genius seemed to have presided over his destiny, for in early life he fell in love with a fair damsel, who was born a day before himself, and she refused to respond to his appeals. “ Your case is a hard one,” said a friend. “ It is so indeed,” replied Collins, “ for I came into the world a day after the fair.” When at Magdalen College, Oxford, he was entertaining a few friends at tea. Hampton, the translator of Polybius, unexpectedly entered, and finding no one disposed to dispute with him, deliberately upset the tea-table, scattering its contents across the room.

Collins, although constitutionally somewhat choleric, was so utterly confounded at the unexpected demonstration, that he took no notice of the aggressor, but calmly began picking up the broken pieces of china, mildly quoting this line of Horace :

Invenias etiam disjecti membra poeta.

Now for his masterly Ode :

When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she curs,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Thronged around her magic cell,
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possest beyond the muse's painting ;
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined;
Till

once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round,
They snatched 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, bewildered laid,
And back recoiled, he knew not why,

Even at the sound himself had made.

Next Anger rushed, his eyes on fire,

In lightnings owned his secret stings ; In one rude clash he struck the lyre,

And swept with hurried hand the strings. With woful 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, oh Hope, with eyes so fair,

What was thy delighted measure ?

Still it whispered 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 called 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-stained 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 double drum with furious heat ;
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity at his side,

Her soul-subduing voice applied,

Yet still he kept his wild, unaltered mien, While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head.

With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
Pale Melancholy sat retired ;
And, from her wild, sequestered seat,

In notes by distance made more sweet,
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul ;

And, dashing soft from rocks around,

Bubbling runnels joined the sound;
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole,
Or o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,

Round an holy calm diffusing,

Love of peace and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.

But O! how altered was its sprightlier tone,

When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,
Her bow across her shoulder Aung,

Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,

The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known!
The oak-crowned Sisters, and their chaste-eyed queen,

Satyrs and Sylvan Boys, were seen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green:

Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear ;
And Sport leapt up, and seized his beechen 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 Tempè’s vale, her native maids,
Amidst the festal sounding shades,

To some unwearied minstrel dancing,
While, as his Aying fingers kissed the strings,

Love framed with Mirth, a gay fantastic round:
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound;
And he, amidst his frolic play,

As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.

Oh, Music! sphere-descended maid,
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid!
Why, goddess ! why to us denied,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside ?
As in that loved Athenian bower,
You learned an all-commanding power ;

Thy mimic soul, oh, nymph endeared,
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art ?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime !
Thy wonders in that godlike age
Fill thy recording Sister's page.
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age;
Even all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of 'sound.
Oh! bid your vain endeavors cease,
Revive the just designs of Greece ;
Return in all thy simple state ;
Confirm the tales her sons relate!

Collins's grand lines, The Patriot's Grave, are among the finest of their class :

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 hallowed mould,
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 Honor comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay ;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there.

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