« PreviousContinue »
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewilderd laid,
Een at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rush d, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings own d his secret stings,
And swept with hurried hand the strings.
With woful measures wan Despair
Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled,
'Twas sad by tits, 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 call'd 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;
And with a withering look,
or the music that accompanied them, having in themselves little more merit than that of an ordinary ballad: but in this we have the whole soul and power of poetry :-expression that, even without the ald of music, strikes to the heart; and imagery of power enongh to transport the attention without the forceful alliance of corresponding sounds. What then must have been the effects of these united 1
The picture of Hope in this ode is beautiful almost beyond imitation. By the united powers of Imagery and harmony, that delightful being is exhibited with all the charms and graces that pleasure and fancy have appropriated to her. The descriptions of Joy, Jealousy, and Revenge, are excellent, though not equally so:
equally so: those of Melancholy and Cheerfulness are superior to every thing of the aind; and, upon the whole, there may be very little hazard in asserting that this is the finest ode in the English language. Read-Observations on Collins's Poems in the 58th vol. of Johnson's Poets.
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat;
Dejected Pity at his side
Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unalterd mien, While each strain d ball of sight seem'd bursting from his head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fixd,
Sad proof of thy distressful state,
And now it courted Love, now raving callid on Hate.
Why, Goddess, why, to us denied, Lay'st thon thy ancient lyre aside ? As in that loved Athenian bower, Ica lennd in all-commanding power, Th; uime soul, 0 nymph endeard, Can well recall what then it heard. Where is thy native simple heart, Derche to virtue, fancy, art? Arise, as in that elder time, Warm, energic, chaste, sublime! Thy wonders, in that god-like age, Fill thy raording 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, Een all at once together found Cacilia's mingled world of soundO, bid our vain endeavors cease, Revive the just designs of Greece, Retum in all thy simple state! Confirm the tales her sons relate!
With eyes up-raised, as one inspired,
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 streams with fond delay,
Round a holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing,
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemm'd with morning dew,
The oak-crown'd sisters, and their chaste-eyed queen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green;
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial;
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest,
They would have thought, who heard the strain,
Amidst the festal sounding shades,
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound,
Shook thousand odors from his dewy wings.
O Thon, who sitt'st a smiling bride
Win'st from his fatal grasp the spear,
s, namely, the sectica Rebellion on
seit devastations of the Highlands
O Music, sphere-descended maid, Friend of pleasure, wisdom's aid,
Base, written in 1745, and the Ode to Mercy, seem to have been written on the secca Rebellion of 1746, when the young Pretender, Charles Edward
rouung the English forces, was utterly defeated at Colloden,
of the Highlands by the English were dreadful and bloody in the higher u might ott gifted poct invoke the genius of Mercy.
Why, Goddess, why, to us denied,
ODE TO THE BRAVE.
How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
ODE TO MERCY.?
By Valor's arm'd and awful side,
Who oft with songs, divine to hear,
Win'st from his fatal grasp the spear, And hid'st in wreaths of flowers his bloodless sword!
1 The Ode to the Brave, written in 1746, and the Ode to Mercy, seem to have been written on the same occasion, namely, the Scotch Rebellion of 1746, when the young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, after landing in Scotland and ronting the English forces, was utterly defeated at Cullodon, The subsequent devastations of the Highlands by the English were dreadful and bloody in the highest degree; and well might our gifted poet Invoke the genius of Mercy,
Thou who, amidst the deathful field,
By godlike chiefs alone beheld,
See Mercy, see, with pure and loaded hands,
Before thy shrine my country's genius stands, And decks thy altar still, though pierced with many a wound
The fiend of Nature joind his yoke,
Thy form, from out thy sweet abode,
O'ertook him on his blasted road,
I see recoil his sable steeds,
That bore him swist to savage deeds,
To thee we build a roseate bower,
Te lires there one, whose heedless eye
Shall scom thy pale shrine glimmering near ? With him, sweet bard, may Fancy die,
Ard Joy desert the blooming year.
But thou, bom stream, whose sullen tide
No sedge-crownd sisters now attend, doe waît me from the green hill's side Whose cold turf hides the buried friend!
ON THE DEATH OF THE POET THOMSON.'
Dun Night has veil'd the solemn view! Yer one again, dear parted shade,
dieek nature's child, again adieu!
The genial meads? assign'd to bless
Thy life, shall moum 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; 0! vales, and wild woods, shall he sayi
In yonder grave your Druid lies!
Then maids and youths shall linger here,
And, while its sounds at distance swell,
iv. Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore
When Thames in summer wreaths is drest, And oft suspend the dashing oar
To bid his gentle spirit rest!
SAMUEL RICHARDSON. 1689–1761.
vel, was the son of a carpenter in Derbyshire, and was born in metu the limited means of his father, he was restricted to a common
bon, which is very apparent in the structure of his composition. mulbutes, however, the most decisive marks of genius, and was re
1 This ode on the Death of Thomson seems to have been written a on the Thames. “Collins had skill to complain.” or that mournful melody.' which are the distinguishing excellencies of such pieces as bewail depar was almost an unequalled master.
tle or Indolence, 2 The harp of Æolus of which see a description in Thomson's cas
tten during an excursion to Richmond
bournful melody, and those tender images,
Themean was buried in Richmond church.
cunod in the Belydborhood of Richmond some time before his death.
And oft as Ease and Health retire
To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
Ah! what will every dirge avail ?
Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering near?
And Joy desert the blooming year.
But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
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!
Meek nature's child, again adieu !
The genial meads? assign’d to bless
Thy life, shall mourn thy early doom!
With simple hands thy rural tomb.
Shall melt the musing Briton's eyes;
In yonder grave your Druid lies!
SAMUEL RICHARDSON. 1689–1761,
SAMUEL RICHARDSON, who may be said to be the inventor of the modern English novel, was the son of a carpenter in Derbyshire, and was born in 1689. From the limited means of his father, he was restricted to a common school education, which is very apparent in the structure of his composition. He early exbibited, however, the most decisive marks of genius, and was re.
1 Thomson was buried in Richmond church. 2 Thomson resided in the neighborhood of Richmond some time before his death.