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Fringe the rough brink with wreathed shavets
Rise beckoning from the reedy brook.
Who but would wish his holy lot
ODE SENT TO A FRIEND, To take my staff, and amice gray * ;
ON HIS LEAVING A FAVOURITE VILLAGE IN HAIKELL
Ah mourn, thou lov'd retreat! No more
O'er yonder oak-crown'd airy steep,
Who now shall climb its brows to view
The length of landscape, ever new,
Where Summer flings, in careless pridi,
Her varied vesture far and wide ?
Who mark, beneath, each village-charin, Tue hinds how blest, who ne'er beguil'd
Or grange, or elm-encircled farm: To quit their hamlet's hawthorn wild;
The flinty dove-cote's crowded roof, Nor haunt the crowd, nor tempt the main,
Watch d by the kite that sails aloof : For splendid care, and guilty gain!
The tufted pines, whose umbrage tall When morning's twilight-tinctur'd beam Darkens the long deserted hall : Strikes their low thatch with slanting gleam, The veteran beech, that on the plain They rove abroad in ether blue,
Collects at eve the playful train : To dip the scythe in fragrant dew;
The cot that smokes with early fire, The sheaf to bind, the beech to fell,
The low-roofd fane's embosom'd spire ? That nodding shades a craggy deil.
Who now shall indolently stray Midst gloomy glades, in warbles clear,
Through the deep forest's tangled was; Wild nature's sweetest notes they hear :
Pleas'd at his custom'd task to find On green untrodden banks they view
The well-known hoary-tressed hind, The hyacinth's neglected hue :
That toils with feeble hands to glean In their lone haunts, and woodland rounds, Of wither'd boughs his pittance mean? They spy the squirrel's airy bounds,
Who mid thy nooks of hazel sit, And startle from her ashen spray,
Lost in some melancholy fit ; Across the glen, the screaming jay:
And listening to the raven's croak, Each native charm their steps explore
The distant fail, the falling oak ? Of Solitude's sequestered store.
Who, through the sunshine and the shower, For them the Moon with cloudless ray
Descry the rainbow-painted tower ? Mounts, to illume their homeward way:
Who, wandering at return of May, Their weary spirits to relieve,
Catch the first cuckow's vernal lay? The meadows' incense breathe at eve.
Who musing waste the summer hour, No riot mars the simple fare,
Where high o'er-arching trees embower That o'er a glimmering hearth they share :
The grassy lane, so rarely pac'd, But when the curfew's measur'd roar
With azure flow'rets idly grac'd? Duly, the darkening valleys o'er,
Unnotic'd now, at twilight's dawn Has echoed from the distant town,
Returning reapers cross the lawn ; They wish no beds of cygnet-down,
Nor fond attention loves to note No trophied canopies, to close
The wether's bell from folds remote: Their drooping eyes in quick repose.
While, own'd by no poetic eye, Their little sons, who spread the bloom
Thy pensive evenings shade the sky' Of health around the clay-built room,
For lo! the Bard who rapture found Or through the primros'd coppice stray,
In every rural sight or sound; Or gambol in the new-mown hay;
Whose genius warm, and judgment chasti, Or quaintly braid the cowslip twine,
No charm of genuine nature pass'd; Or drive afield the tardy kine ;
Who felt the Muse's purest fires, Or hasten from the sultry hill,
Far from thy favour'd haunt retires ; To loiter at the shady rill;
Who peopled all thy vocal bowers Or climb the tall pine's gloomy crest,
With shadowy shapes, and airy powers To rob the raven's ancient nest.
Behold, a dread repose’resumes, Their humble porch with honied flow'rs
As erst, thy sad sequester'd glooms ! The curling woodbine's shade imbow'rs :
From the deep dell, where shaggy roots From the small garden's thymy mound Their bees in busy swarms resound :
Th' unwilling genius flies forlorn, Nor fell Disease, before his time,
His primrose chaplet rudely torn, Hastes to consume life's golden prime:
With hollow shriek the nymphs forsake But when their temples long have wore
The pathless copse and hedge-row brake: The silver crown of tresses hoar ;
Where the delvd mountains leadlong side As studious still calm peace to keep,
Its chalky entrails opens wide, Beneath a flowery turf they sleep.
On the green summit, ambush'd high,
No longer Echo loves to lie. Gray clothing, from the Latin verb amicio, to
No pearl-crown'd maids with wily look
Around the glow-worm's glimmering bank, Beneath yon ruin'd abbey's moss-grown piles Vo Fairies run in fiery rank ;
Oft let me sit, at twilight hour of eve, Nor brush, half-seen, in airy tread
Where through some western window the pale Moon The violet's unprinted head.
Pours her long-levell’d rule of streaming light; But Fancy, from the thickets brown,
While sullen sacred silence reigns around, The glades that wear a conscious frown,
Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bow'r The forest oaks, that, pale and lone,
Amid the mould'ring caverns dark and damp, Nod to the blast with hoarser tone,
Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves Rough glens, and sullen waterfalls,
Of Aaunting ivy, that with mantle green Her bright ideal offspring calls.
Invests some wasted tow'r. Or let me tread So by some sage enchanter's spell,
Its neighb'ring walk of pines, where mus'd of old (As old Arabian fablers tell,)
The cloister'd brothers : through the gloomy void Amid the solitary wild,
That far extends beneath their ample arch Luxuriant gardens gaily smil'd:
As on I pace, religious horrour wraps From sapphire rocks the fountains stream'd, My soul in dread repose. But when the world With golden fruit the branches beam'd; Is clad in Midnight's raven-colour'd robe, Fair forms, in every wondrous wood,
'Mid hollow charnel let me watch the flame Or lightly tripp'd, or solemn stood ;
Of taper dim, shedding a livid glare And oft, retreating from the view,
O'er the wan heaps ; while airy voices talk Betray'd, at distance, beauties new :
Along the glimm'ring walls; or ghostly shape While gleaming o'er the crisped bowers
At distance seen, invites with beck’ning hand Rich spires arose, and sparkling towers.
My lonesome steps, through the far-winding vaults. If bound on service new to go,
Nor undelightful is the solemn noon The master of the magic show,
Of night, when haply wakeful from my couch His transitory charm withdrew,
I start : lo! all is motionless around ! Away th' illusive landscape flew :
Roars not the rushing wind; the sons of men Dun clouds obscur'd the groves of gold, And every beast in mute oblivion lie; Blue lightning smote the blooming mould: All nature 's hush'd in silence and in sleep. In visionary glory rear'd,
O then how fearful is it to reflect, The gorgeous castle disappear'd;
That through the still globe's aweful solitude, And a bare heath's unfruitful plain
No being wakes but me! till stealing sleep
My drooping temples bathes in opiate dews.
To the fell house of Busyranc, he led
Th' unshaken Britomart; or Milton knew,
When in abstracted thought he first conceiv'd
All Heav'n in tumult, and the seraphim
Corne tow'ring, arm'd in adamant and gold.
Let others love soft Summer's evening smiles, IOTHER of musings, Contemplation sage, As list’ning to the distant water-fall, Vhose grotto stands upon the topmost rock They mark the blushes of the streaky west ; f Teneriff ; 'mid the tempestuous night,
I choose the pale December's foggy glooms. On which, in calmest meditation held,
Then, when the sullen shades of ev'ning close, Chou hear'st with howling winds the beating rain Where through the room a blindly glimm'ring gleam And drifting hail descend ; or if the skies
The dying embers scatter, far remote (roof Inclouded shine, and through the blue serene From Mirth's mad shouts, that through th' illumin'd Pale Cynthia rolls her silver-axled car,
Resound with festive echo, let me sit, Whence gazing stedfast on the spangled vault Blest with the lowly cricket's drowsy dirge. Raptur'd thou sitt'st, while murmurs indistinct Then let my thought contemplative explore Of distant billows soothe thy pensive ear
This fleeting state of things, the vain delights, With hoarse and hollow sounds; secure, self-blest, The fruitless toils, that still our search elude, There oft thou listen'st to the wild uproar
As through the wilderness of life we rove. Of fleets encount'ring, that in whispers low This sober hour of silence will unmask Ascends the rocky summit, where thou dwell'st False Folly's smile, that like the dazzling spells Remote from man conversing with the spheres ! Of wily Comus cheat the unweeting eye O lead me, queen sublime, to solemn glooms With blear illusion, and persuade to drink Congenial with my soul ; to cheerless shades, That charmed cup, which Reason's mintage fair To ruin'd seats, to twilight cells and bow'rs, Unmoulds, and stamps the monster on the man. Where thoughtful Melancholy loves to muse, Eager we taste, but in the luscious draught Her fav’rite midnight haunts. The laughing scenes Forget the poisonous dregs that lurk beneath. Of purple Spring, where all the wanton train Few know that elegance of soul refin'd, Of Smiles and Graces seem to lead the dance Whose soft sensation feels a quicker joy In sportive round, while from their hand they show'r From Melancholy's scenes, than the dull pride Ambrosial blooms and flow'rs, no longer charm; Of tasteless splendour and magnificence Tempé, no more I court thy balmy breeze, Can e'er afford. Thus Eloise, whose mind
ye broider'd meads, adlieu ! Had languish'd to the pangs of melting love,
More genuine transports found, as on some tomb Ye youths of Albion's beauty-blooming isle,
?? Mus'd a veil'd votaress; than Flavia feels,
O tell how rapturous the joy, to melt
1 As through the mazes of the festive ball,
To Melody's assuasive voice; to bend Proud of her conquering charms, and beauty's blaze, Th' uncertain step along the midnight mead, She floats amid the silken sons of dress,
And pour your sorrows to the pitying Moon, And shines the fairest of th' assembled fair.
By many a slow trill from the bird of woe When azure noontide cheers the dædal globe, Oft interrupted; in embow'ring woods And the blest regent of the golden day
By darksome brook to muse, and there forget Rejoices in his bright meridian tower,
The solemn dulness of the tedious world, How oft my wishes ask the night's return,
While Fancy grasps the visionary fair : That best befriends the melancholy mind!
And now no more th' abstracted ear attends Hail, sacred Night ! thou too shalt share my song! The water's murm'ring lapse, th' entranced eye Sister of ebon-scepter'd Hecat, hail!
Pierces no longer through th' extended rows Whether in congregated clouds thou wrapp'st Of thick-rang'd trees; till haply from the depth Thy viewless chariot, or with silver crown
The woodman's stroke, or distant tinkling teen, Thy beaming lead encirclest, ever hail !
Or heifers rustling through the brake, alarmas What though beneath thy gloom the sorceress-strain, Th' illuded sense, and mars the golden dream Far in obscured haunt of Lapland moors,
These are delights that absence drear las male With rhymes uncouth the bloody cauldron bless; Familiar to my soul, e'er since the form 1 Though Murder wan beneath thy shrouding shade Of young Sapphira, beauteous as the Spring, Summons her slow-ey'd vot'ries to devise
When from her vi'let-woven couch awak'd Of secret slaughter, while by one blue lamp By frolic Zephyr's hand, her tender check In hideous conf'rence sits the list'ning band, Graceful she lifts, and blushing from her bor! And start at each low wind, or wakeful sound: Issues to clothe in gladsome-glistering greu What though thy stay the pilgrim curseth oft, The genial globe, first met my dazzled sight : As all benighted in Arabian wastes
These are delights unknown to minds profane, He hears the wilderness around him howl
And which alone the pensive soul can taste With roaming monsters, while on his hoar head The taper'd choir, at the late hour of pras's, The black-descending tempest ceaseless beats ;
Oft let me tread, while to th' according voice Yet more delightful to my pensive mind
The many-sounding organ peals on high, Is thy return, than bloothing Morn's approach, The clear slow-dittied chant, or varied hyma,
Ev'n than, in youthful pride of opening May, Till all my soul is bathed in ecstasies,
And lapp'd in paradise. Or let me sit
Far in sequester'd iles of the deep dome, Yet not ungrateful is the Morn's approach, There lonesome listen to the sacred sounds
, When dropping wet she comes, and clad in clouds, which, as they lengthen through the Gothie razki While through the damp air scowls the louring In hollow murmurs reach my ravish'd ear. South,
Nor when the lamps expiring yield to night, Blackening the landscape's face, that grove and hill And solitude returns, would i forsake In formless vapours undistinguish'd swim : The solemn mansion, but attentive mark, Th' afflicted songsters of the sadden'd groves The due clock swinging slow with sweepy staff Hail not the sullen gloom : the waving clms Measuring time's flight with momentary sound That, hoar through time and rang'd in thick array, Nor let me fail to cultivate my mind Enclose with stately row some rural hall,
With the soft thrillings of the tragic Muse, Are mute, nor echo with the clamours hoarse Divine Melpomene, sweet Pity's nurse, Of rooks rejoicing on their airy boughs ;
Queen of the stately step, and flowing pall
. While to the shed the dripping poultry crowd, Now let Monimia mourn with streaming eyes A mournful train : secure the village-hind Her joys incestuous, and polluted love; Hangs o'er the crackling blaze, nor tempts the storm; Now let soft Juliet in the gaping tomb Fix'd in th' unfinish'd furrow rests the plough: Print the last kiss on her true Romeo's lips Rings not the high wood with enliven'd shouts His lips yet reeking from the deadly draught : Of early hunter : all is silence drear;
Or Jaffier kneel for one forgiving louk. And deepest sadness wraps the face of things. Nor seldom let the Moor on Desdemone Through Pope's soft song though all the Graces Pour the misguided threats of jealous page. breathe,
By soft degrees the manly torrent steals And happiest art adorn his Attic page;
From my swoln eyes; and at a brother's we Yet does my mind with sweeter transport glow, My big heart melts in sympathizing tears As at the root of mossy trunk reclin'd,
What are the splendours of the gaudy court
, In magic Spenser's wildly-warbled song
Its tinsel trappings, and its pageant pomps?
To me far happier seems the banish'd lord,
Who pines all lonesome, in the chambers bour Upon the bosom bright of silver Thames
Of some high castle shut, whose windows dim Lanches in all the lustre of brocade,
In distant ken discover trackless plains, Amid the splendours of the laughing Sun. Where Winter ever whirls his icy car! The gay description palls upon the sense,
While still repeated objects of his view, And coldly strikes the mind with feeble bliss,
The gloomy battlements, and ivied spires,
at crown the solitary dome, arise ;
Of sunk magnificence! a blended scene hile from the topmost turret the slow clock, Of moles, fanes, arches, domes, and palaces, ur heard along th' inhospitable wastes,
Where, with his brother Horrour, Ruin sits. ith sad-returning chime awakes new grief; O come then, Melancholy, queen of thought ! 'n he far happier seems than is the proud, O come with saintly look, and stedfast step, le potent satrap, whom he left behind
From forth thy cave embower'd with mournful yew, lid Moscow's golden palaces, to drown
Where ever to the curfew's solemn sound ease and luxury the laughing hours.
List’ning thou sitt'st, and with thy cypress bind Illustrious objects strike the gazer's mind Thy votary's hair, and seal him for thy son. ith feeble bliss, and but allure the sight,
But never let Euphrosyne beguile or rouse with impulse quick th' unfeeling heart. With toys of wanton mirth my tixed mind, ius seen by shepherds from Hymettus' brow, Nor in my path her primrose-garland cast. hat dædal landscapes smile! here palmy groves, Though 'mid her train the dimpled Hebe bare esounding once with Plato's voice, arise,
Her rosy bosom to th' enamour'd view; mid whose umbrage green her silver head
Though Venus, mother of the Smiles and Lores, iunfading olive lifts: here vine-clad hills And Bacchus, ivy-crown'd, in citron bow'r ty forth their purple store, and sunny vales With her on nectar-streaming fruitage feast : prospect vast their level laps expand,
What though 't is hers to calm the low'ring skies, mid whose beauties glistering Athens tow'rs. And at her presence mild th' einbattled clouds hough through the blissful scenes Ilissus roll Disperse in air, and o'er the face of Heav'n is sage.inspiring flood, whose winding marge New day diffusive gleam at her approach? he thick-wove laurel shades ; though roseate Morn Yet are these joys that Melancholy gives, our all her splendours on th’ empurpled scene;
Than all her witless revels happier far; et feels the hoary hermit truer joys,
These deep-felt joys, by Contemplation taught. s from the cliff, that o'er his cavern hangs,
Then ever, beauteous Contemplation, hail! e views the piles of fall’n Persepolis
From thee began, auspicious maid, my song, i deep arrangement hide the darksome plain. With thee shall end; for thou art fairer far nbounded waste! the mould'ring obelisk Than are the nymphs of Cirrha's mossy grot; ere, like a blasted oak, ascends the clouds ; To loftier rapture thou canst wake the thought, ere Parian domes their vaulted halls disclose Than all the fabling poet's boasted pow'rs. (orrid with thorn, where lurks th' unpitying thief, Hail, queen divine! whom, as tradition tells, hence fits the twilight-loving bat at eve,
Once in his evening walk a Druid found, nd the deaf adder wreathes her spotted train, Far in a hollow glade of Mona's woods; the dwellings once of elegance and art.
And piteous bore with hospitable hand Tere temples rise, amid whose hallow'd bounds To the close shelter of his oaken bow'r. pires the black pine, while through the naked street, There soon the sage admiring mark'd the dawn Ince haunt of tradeful merchants, springs the grass : Of solemn musing in your pensive thought; Iere columns heap'd on prostrate columns, torn For when a smiling babe, you lov'd to lie from their firm base, increase the mould'ring mass. Oft deeply list’ning to the rapid roar ’ar as the sight can pierce, appear the spoils Of wood-hung Meinai, stream of Druids old.
William Mason, a poet of some distinction, | verse, made its appearance, of which the fourt sind born in 1725, was the son of a clergyman, who held concluding book was printed in 1781. Its pesa the living of Hull. He was admitted first of pose was to recommend the modern system St. John's College, and afterwards of Pembroke natural or landscape gardening, to which the author College, Cambridge, of the latter of which he was adheres with the rigour of exclusive taste. The elected Fellow in 1747. He entered into holy versification is formed upon the best models
, and orders in 1754, and, by the favour of the Earl of the description, in many parts, is rich and vivid; Holderness, was presented to the valuable rectory but a general air of stiffness prevented it from Eof Aston, Yorkshire, and became Chaplain to taining any considerable share of popularity. Secr His Majesty. Some poems which he printed gave of his following poetic pieces express his liberal him reputation, which received a great accession sentiments on political subjects; and when the from his dramatic poem of “ Elfrida.” By this late Mr. Pitt came into power, being then tre piece, and his “ Caractacus," which followed, it friend of a free constitution, Mason addressed the was his aim to attempt the restoration of the ancient in an “ Ode,” containing many patriotic and Greek chorus in tragedy ; but this is so evidently manly ideas. But being struck with alarm at the an appendage of the infant and imperfect state of unhappy events of the French revolution, der the drama, that a pedantic attachment to the ancients his latest pieces was a “ Palinody to Liberty
, could alone suggest its revival. In 1756, he pub- He likewise revived, in an improved farm, 220 lished a small collection of " Odes,” which were published, Du Fresnoy's Latin poem on the 45 generally considered as displaying more of the of Painting, enriching it with additions furnisted artificial mechanism of poetry, than of its genuine by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and with a metrical ser. spirit. This was not the case with his “ Elegies, sion. Few have been better executed than the published in 1763, which, abating some superfluity which unites to great beauties of language a comment of ornament, are in general marked with the sim- representation of the original. His tribute to w plicity of language proper to this species of com- memory of Gray, being an edition of his poems position, and breathe noble sentiments of freedom with some additions, and Memoirs of his life e. and virtue. A collection of all his poems which Writings, was favourably received by the public. he thought worthy of preserving, was published in Mason died in April, 1797, at the age of setech1764, and afterwards went through several editions. two, in consequence of a mortification produced He had married an amiable lady, who died of a a hurt in his leg. A tablet has been pland to consumption in 1767, and was buried in the cathe- memory in Poets' Corner, in Westminster Abbey dral of Bristol, under a monument, on which are His character in private life was exemplary inscribed some very tender and beautiful lines, by worth and active benevolence, though not with : her husband.
a degree of stateliness and assumed superiori In 1772, the first book of Mason's “ English manner. Garden,” a didactic and descriptive poem, in blank
ODE TO MEMORY.
MOTHER of Wisdom ! thou, whose sway
Accept this votive verse. Thy reign
Nor place can fix, nor power restrain.
The senses thee spontaneous serve,
That wake, and thrill througlı ev'ry nerve.
Else vainly sweet yon woodbine shade
Vainly, the cygnet spread her downy plume
But swift to thee, alive and warm,
Devolves each tributary charm :
While every flower in Fancy's clime,
Each gem of old heroic time,
Hail, Mem'ry! hail. Behold, I lead
To that high shrine the sacred maid:
She comes, and lo, thy realms expand!