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How could you say my face was fair,
And yet that face forsake?
Yet leave that heart to break!
And made the scarlet pale ?
Believe the flattering tale?
Those lips no longer red :
And every charm is fled.
This winding-sheet I wear :
Till that last morn appear.
A long and last adieu !
Who died for love of you.
With beams of rosy red :
And raving left his bed.
Where Margaret's body lay;
That wrapt her breathless clay.
And thrice he wept full sore;
And word spake never more!
His sister, who, like envy formed,
Like her in mischief joyed,
Each darker art employed.
Who love nor pity knew, Was all unfeeling as the clod
From whence his riches grew. Long had he seen their secret flame,
And seen it long unmoved ;
Had sternly disapproved.
Of differing passions strove:
Yet could not cease to love.
The spreading hawthorn crept,
Where Emma walked and wept.
Beneath the moonlight shade,
The midnight mourner strayed.
A deadly pale o'ercast;
Before the northern blast.
The parents now, with late remorse,
Hung o'er his dying bed ; And wearied Heaven with fruitless vow,
And fruitless sorrows shed.
Edwin and Emma,
Far in the windings of a vale,
Fast by a sheltering wood,
A humble cottage stood.
Beneath a mother's eye;
To see her blest, and die.
Gave colour to her cheek;
When vernal mornings break.
This charmer of the plains :
To paint our lily deigns.
Each maiden with despair;
Yet knew not she was fair:
A soul devoid of art ;
Shone forth the feeling heart.
Was quickly too revealed;
That virtue keeps concealed.
Did love on both bestow!
Where fortune proves a foe.
'Tis past ! he cried, but, if your souls
Sweet mercy yet can move,
What they must ever love!
And bathed with many a tear :
So morning dews appear.
A cruel sister she !
• My Edwin, live for me!'
The churchyard path along,
Her lover's funeral song.
Her startling fancy found
His groan in every sound,
The visionary vale-
Sad sounding in the gale!
Her aged mother's door :
That angel-face no more.
Beat high against my side!
She shivered, sighed, and died.
the fall of one of his father's cleavers, or hatchets, The Birks of Invermay.
on his foot-rendered him lame for life, and perThe smiling morn, the breathing spring, petuated the recollection of his lowly birth. The Invite the tunefu’ birds to sing;
Society of Dissenters advanced a sum for the cduAnd, while they warble from the spray,
cation of the poet as a clergyman, and he repaired Love melts the universal lay.
to Edinburgh for this purpose in his eighteenth Let us, Amanda, timely wise,
year. He afterwards repented of this destination, Like them, improve the hour that flies;
and, returning the money, entered himself as a stuAnd in soft raptures waste the day,
dent of medicine. He was then a poet, and in his Among the birks of Invermay.
Hymn to Science, written in Edinburgh, we see at For soon the winter of the year,
once the formation of his classic taste, and the And age, life's winter, will appear;
dignity of his personal character :-
That last best effort of thy skill,
To form the life and rule the will,
Propitious Power ! impart;
Teach me to cool my passion's fires,
Make me the judge of my desires,
The master of my heart.
Raise me above the vulgar's breath,
Pursuit of fortune, fear of death, by Dr Bryce, Kirknewton. Invermay is in Perth
And all in life that's mean; shire, the native county of Mallet, and is situated
Still true to reason be my plan, near the termination of a little picturesque stream
Still let my actions speak the man, called the May. The birk' or birch-tree is abundant, adding grace and beauty to rock and stream.
Through every various scene. : Though a Celt by birth and language, Mallet had A youth animated by such sentiments, promised a
none of the imaginative wildness or superstition of manhood of honour and integrity. After three his native country. Macpherson, on the other hand, years spent in Edinburgh, Akenside removed to seems to have been completely imbued with it.
Leyden to complete his studies; and in 1744 he was admitted to the degree of M.D. He next established himself as a physician in London. In Hol
land he had (at the age of twenty-three) writThe author of The Pleasures of Imagination, one ten his 'Pleasures of Imagination, which he now of the most pure and noble-minded poems of the offered to Dodsley, demanding £120 for the copyage, was of humble origin. His parents were dis- right. The bookseller consulted Pope, who told senters, and the Puritanism imbibed in his early him to make no niggardly offer, since this was no ycars seems, as in the case of Milton, to have given every-day writer.' The poem attracted much atà gravity and earnestness to his character, and a tention, and was afterwards translated into French love of freedom to his thoughts and imagination. and Italian. Akenside established himself as a MARK AKENSIDE was the son of a respectable physician in Northampton, where he remained a
year and a-half, but did not succeed. The latter
tiful passage :
O ye dales butcher at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he was born, Of Tyne, and ye most ancient woodlands; where November 9, 1721. An accident in his early years, Oft as the giant flood obliquely strides,
And his banks open and his lawns extend, learned poet, perhaps superior. His knowledge was Stops short the pleased traveller to view,
better digested. But Gray had not the romantic Presiding o'er the scene, some rustic tower
enthusiasm of character, tinged with pedantry, which Founded by Norman or by Saxon hands :
naturally belonged to Akenside. He had also the O ye Northumbrian shades, which overlook experience of mature years. The genius of AkenThe rocky pavement and the mossy falls
side was early developed, and his diffuse and florid Of solitary Wensbeck's limpid stream!
descriptions seem the natural product-marvellous How gladly I recall your well-known seats
of its kind-of youthful exuberance. He was afterBeloved of old, and that delightful time
wards conscious of the defects of his poem. He saw When all alone, for many a summer's day, that there was too much leaf for the fruit; but in I wandered through your calm recesses, led cutting off these luxuriances, he sacrificed some of In silence by some powerful hand unseen.
the finest blossoms. Posterity has been more just Nor will I e'er forget you; nor shall e'er
to his fame, by almost wholly disregarding this The graver tasks of manhood, or the advice
second copy of his philosophical poem. In his youthOf vulgar wisdom, move me to disclaim
ful aspirations after moral and intellectual greatThose studies which possessed me in the dawn ness and beauty, he seems, like Jeremy Taylor in Of life, and fixed the colour of my mind
the pulpit, an angel newly descended from the For every future year: whence even now
visions of glory.' In advanced years, he is the proFrom sleep I rescue the clear hours of morn, fessor in his robes; still free from stain, but stately, And, while the world around lies overwhelmed formal, and severe. The blank verse of “The PleaIn idle darkness, am alive to thoughts
sures of Imagination' is free and well-modulated, and Of honourable fame, of truth divine
seems to be distinctively his own. Though apt to Or moral, and of minds to virtue won
run into too long periods, it has more compactness By the sweet magic of harmonious verse.
of structure than Thomson's ordinary composition. The spirit of Milton seems to speak in this strain of Its occasional want of perspicuity probably arises lofty egotism !
from the fineness of his distinctions, and the diffi• The Pleasures of Imagination' is a poem seldom culty attending mental analysis in verse. He might read continuously, though its finer passages, by fre- also wish to avoid all vulgar and common expresquent quotation, particularly in works of criticism sions, and thus err from excessive refinement. A and moral philosophy, are well known. Gray cen- redundancy of ornament undoubtedly, in some passured the mixture of spurious philosophy—the spe- sages, takes off from the clearness and prominence culations of Hutcheson and Shaftesbury—which the of his conceptions. His highest flights, howeverwork contains. Plato, Lucretius, and even the papers as in the allusion to the death of Cæsar, and his by Addison in the Spectator, were also laid under exquisitely-wrought parallel between art and nacontribution by the studious author. He gathered ture—have a flow and energy of expression, with sparks of enthusiasm from kindred minds, but the appropriate imagery, which mark the great poet. train was in his own. The pleasures which his poem His style is chaste, yet elevated and musical. He professes to treat of, 'proceed," he says, ' either from never compromised his dignity, though he blended natural objects, as from a flourishing grove, a clear sweetness with its expression. and murmuring fountain, a calm sea by moonlight, or from works of art, such as a noble edifice, a mu
[Aspirations after the Infinite.] sical tune, a statue, a picture, a poem.' These, with Say, why was man so eminently raised the moral and intellectual objects arising from them, Amid the vast creation ; why ordained furnish abundant topics for illustration; but Aken- Through life and death to dart his piercing eye, side dealt chiefly with abstract subjects, pertaining with thoughts beyond the limit of his frame; more to philosophy than to poetry. He did not But that the Omnipotent might send him forth seek to graft upon them human interests and pas. In sight of mortal and immortal powers, sions. In tracing the final causes of our emotions, As on a boundless theatre, to run he could have described their exercise and effects in The great career of justice; to exalt scenes of ordinary pain or pleasure in the walks His generous aim to all diviner deeds; of real life. This does not seem, however, to have to chase each partial purpose from his breast; been the purpose of the poet, and hence his work is And through the mists of passion and of sense, deficient in interest
. He seldom stoops from the And through the tossing tide of chance and pain, heights of philosophy and classic taste. He con. To hold his course unfaltering, while the voice sidered that physical science improved the charms of Of Truth and Virtue, up the steep ascent nature. Contrary to the feeling of an accomplished Of Nature, calls him to his high reward, living poet, who repudiates these 'cold material The applauding smile of Heaven! Else wherefore burns laws,' he viewed the rainbow with additional plea- In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope, sure after he had studied the Newtonian theory of That breathes from day to day sublimer things, lights and colours.
And mocks possession wherefore darts the mind Nor ever yet
With such resistless ardour to embrace The melting rainbow's vernal tinctured hues
Majestic forms; impatient to be free, To me have shone so pleasing, as when first
Spurning the gross control of wilful might; The hand of Science pointed out the path
Proud of the strong contention of her toils; In which the sunbeams gleaming from the west
Proud to be daring? who but rather turns Fall on the watery cloud, whose darksome veil
To Heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view, Involves the orient.
Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame!
Who that, from Alpine heights, his labouring eye Akenside's Hymn to the Naiads has the true classical Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey spirit. He had caught the manner and feeling, the Nilus or Ganges.rolling his bright wave varied pause and harmony, of the Greek poets, with Through mountains, plains, through empires black such felicity, that Lloyd considered his Hymn as with shade, fitted to give a better idea of that form of compo- And continents of sand, will turn his gaze sition, than could be conveyed by any translation To mark the windings of a scanty rill of Homer or Callimachus. Gray was an equally | That murmurs at his feet? The high-born soul
Disdains to rest her heaven-aspiring wing Beneath its native quarry. Tired of earth And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft Through fields of air; pursues the flying storm ; Rides on the rollied lightning through the heavens ; Or, yoked with whirlwinds and the northern blast, Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars The blue profound, and, hovering round the sun, Beholds him pouring the redundant stream Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway Bend the reluctant planets to absolve The fated rounds of Time. Thence far effused, She darts her swiftness up the long career Of devious comets; through its burning signs Exulting measures the perennial wheel Of Nature, and looks back on all the stars, Whose blended light, as with a milky zone, Invest the orient. Now, amazed she views The empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold, Beyond this concave heaven, their calm abode; And fields of radiance, whose unfading light Has travelled the profound six thousand years, Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things. Even on the barriers of the world, untired She meditates the eternal depth below; Till half recoiling, down the headlong steep She plunges; soon o'erwhelmed and swallowed up In that immense of being. There her hopes Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth Of mortal man, the sovereign Maker said, That not in humble nor in brief delight, Not in the fading echoes of Renown, Power's purple robes, por Pleasure's flowery lap, The soul should find enjoyment: but from these Turning disdainful to an equal good, Through all the ascent of things enlarge her view, Till every bound at length should disappear, And infinite perfection close the scene.
Of atoms moving with incessant change
[Intellectual Beauty-Patriotism.] Mind, mind alone (bear witness earth and heaven!) The living fountains in itself contains Of beauteous and sublime: here hand in hand Sit paramount the Graces; here enthroned, Celestial Venus, with divinest airs, Invites the soul to never-fading joy. Look, then, abroad through Nature, to the range Of planets, suns, and adamantine spheres, Wheeling unshaken through the void immense ; And speak, oh man! does this capacious scene With half that kindling majesty dilate Thy strong conception, as when Brutus rose Refulgent from the stroke of Cæsar's fate, Amid the crowd of patriots; and his arm Aloft extending, like eternal Jove When guilt brings down the thunder, called aloud On Tully's name, and shook his crimson steel, And bade the father of his country, hail ! For lo ! the tyrant prostrate on the dust, And Rome again is free! Is aught so fair In all the dewy landscapes of the spring, In the bright eye of Hesper, or the morn, In Nature's fairest forms, is aught so fair As virtuous friendship? as the candid blush Of him who strives with fortune to be just ? The graceful tear that streams for others' woes, Or the mild majesty of private life, Where Peace, with ever-blooming olive, crowns The gate; where Honour's liberal hands effuse Unenvied treasures, and the snowy wings Of Innocence and Love protect the scene? Once more search, undismayed, the dark profound Where nature works in secret ; view the beds Of mineral treasure, and the eternal vault That bounds the hoary ocean ; trace the forms
[Operations of the Mind in the Production of Worles
of Imagination.] By these mysterious ties, the busy power Of memory her ideal train preserves Entire; or when they would elude her watch, Reclaims their fleeting footsteps from the waste Of dark oblivion ; thus collecting all The various forms of being, to present Before the curious eye of mimic art Their largest choice: like spring's unfolded blooms Exhaling sweetness, that the skilful bee May taste at will from their selected spoils To work her dulcet food. For not the expanse Of living lakes in summer's noontide calm, Reflects the bordering shade and sun-bright heavens With fairer semblance; not the sculptured gold More faithful keeps the graver's lively trace, Than he whose birth the sister powers of art Propitious viewed, and from his genial star Shed influence to the seeds of fancy kind, Than his attempered bosom must preserve The seal of nature. There alone, unchanged Her form remains. The balmy walks of May
There breathe perennial sweets: the trembling chord In species? This, nor gems nor stores of gold,
Nor purple state, nor culture can bestow;
But God alone, when first his active hand Superior to disease, to grief, and time,
Imprints the secret bias of the soul. Shines with unbating lustre. Thus at length He, mighty parent ! wise and just in all, Endowed with all that nature can bestow,
Free as the vital breeze or light of heaven,
Reveals the charms of nature. Ask the swain
The sunshine gleaming, as through amber clouds, Of praise and wonder. By degrees the mind
O’er all the western sky; full soon, I ween, Feels her young nerves dilate: the plastic powers His rude expression and untutored airs, Labour for action: blind emotions heave
Beyond the power of language, will unfold His bosom ; and with loveliest frenzy caught, The form of beauty smiling at his heart, From earth to heaven he rolls his daring eye,
How lovely! how commanding ! But though heaven
Of love and admiration, yet in vain,
And shelter from the blast, in vain we hope
Repay the tiller's labour; or attend Opposes, ranges in fantastic bands,
His will, obsequious, whether to produce And infinitely varies. Hither now,
The olive or the laurel. Different minds Now thither fluctuates his inconstant aim,
Incline to different objects: one pursues With endless choice perplexed. At length his plan The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild; Begins to open. Lucid order dawns;
Another sighs for harmony, and grace, And as from Chaos old the jarring seeds
And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightning fires Of nature at the voice divine repaired
The arch of heaven, and thunders rock the ground; Each to its place, till rosy earth unveiled
When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air, Her fragrant bosom, and the joyful sun
And ocean, groaning from his lowest bed, Sprung up the blue serene; by swift degrees
Ileaves his tempestuous billows to the sky, Thus disentangled, his entire design
Amid the mighty uproar, while below Emerges. Colours mingle, features join,
The nations tremble, Shakspeare looks abroad And lines converge: the fainter parts retire ;
From some high cliff superior, and enjoys The fairer eminent in light advance;
The elemental war. But Waller longs And every image on its neighbour smiles.
All on the margin of some flowery stream Awhile he stands, and with a father's joy
To spread his careless limbs amid the cool Contemplates. Then with Promethean art
Of plantain shades, and to the listening deer Into its proper vehicle he breathes
The tale of slighted vows and love's disdain The fair conception ; which, embodied thus,
Resound soft-warbling all the live-long day: And permanent, becomes to eyes or ears
Consenting zephyr sighs; the weeping rill An object ascertained: while thus informed,
Joins in his plaint, melodious; mute the groves ; The various objects of his mimic skill,
And hill and dale with all their echoes inourn. The consonance of sounds, the featured rock,
Such and so various are the tastes of men. The shadowy picture, and impassioned verse,
O blest of heaven! whom not the languid songs Beyond their proper powers attract the soul
Of luxury, the siren! not the bribes By that expressive semblance, while in sight
Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils Of nature's great original we scan
Of pageant honour, can seduce to Icare The lively child of art; while line by line,
Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the store And feature after feature, we refer
Of nature fair imagination culls To that divine exemplar whence it stole
To charm the enlivened soul! What though not all Those animating charms. Thus beauty's palm Of mortal offspring can attain the heights Betwixt them wavering hangs : applauding love Of envied life; though only few possess Doubts where to choose; and mortal man aspires Patrician treasures or imperial state; To teinpt creative praise. As when a cloud
Yet nature's care, to all her children just, Of gathering hail with limpid crusts of ice
With richer treasures and an ampler state,
Endows at large whatever happy man
The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
Distily her dews, and from the silken gem
Its lucid leaves unfolds : for him the hand [Taste.]
Of autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold and blushes like the morn. What then is taste, but these internal powers Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings; Active, and strong, and feelingly alive
And still new beauties meet his lonely walk, To each fine impulse ? a discerning sense
And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust
Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes From things deformed or disarranged, or gross The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain