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PLEASE

How could you say my face was fair,

And yet that face forsake? How could you win my virgin-heart,

Yet leave that heart to break ?

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But, hark! the cock has warn'd me hence;

A long and late adieu !
Come see, false man, how low she lies,

Who dy'd for love of you.

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Her bloom was like the springing flower,

That sips the silver dew;
The rose was budded in her cheek,

Just opening to the view,
But love had, like the canker-worm,

Consum’d her early prime ;
The rose grew pale, and left her cheek;

She dy'd before her time.
Awake! she cry'd, thy true-love calls,

Come from her midnight-grave;
Now let thy pity hear the maid,

Thy love refus'd to save.
This is the dumb and dreary hour,

When injur'd ghosts complain;
When yawning graves give up their dead,

To haunt the faithless swain.

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AKENSIDE-A. D. 1721-70.

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PLEASURES OF IMAGINATION. Untasted springs, to drink inspiring draughts,

And shade my temples with unfading flowers
BOOK I.

Cull'd from the laureate vale's profound recess,
With what attractive charms this goodly frame Where never poet gain'd a wreath before. (scends
Of nature touches the consenting hearts

From Heaven my strains begin ; from Heaven deOf mortal men; and what the pleasing stores

The flame of genius to the human breast, Which beauteous imitation thence derives

And love and beauty, and poetic joy
To deck the poet's, or the painter's toil;

And inspiration. Ere the radiant sun
My verse unfolds. Attend, ye gentle powers Sprang from the east, or mid the vault of night
Of musical delight! and while I sing

The moon suspended her serener lamp;
Your gifts, your honours, dance around my strain. Ere mountains, woods, or streams, adorn’d the globe,
Thou, smiling queen of every tuneful breast, Or wisdom taught the sons of men her lore ;
Indulgent Fancy! from the fruitful banks

Then liv’d the Almighty One: then, deep retir'd
Of Avon, whence thy rosy fingers cull

In his unfathom'd essence, view'd the forms,
Fresh flowers and dews to sprinkle on the turf The forms eternal of created things;
Where Shakspeare lies, be present: and with thee The radiant sun, the moon's nocturnal lamp,
Let Fiction come, upon her vagrant wings

The mountaius, woods,and streams, the rolling globe,
Wafting ten thousand colours through the air, And wisdom's mien celestial. From the first
Which, by the glances of her magic eye,

Of days, on them his love divine he fix'd,
She blends and shifts at will, through countless forms,

His admiration : till in time complete, Her wild creation. Goddess of the lyre,

What he admir'd and lov'd, his vital smile Which rules the accents of the moving sphere, Unfolded into being. Hence the breath Wilt thou, eternal harmony! descend

Of life informing each organic frame; And join this festive strain? for with thee comes

Hence the green earth, and wild resounding waves; The guide, the guardian of their lovely sports,

Hence light and shade alternate; warmth and cold; Majestic Truth; and where Truth deigns to come,

And clear autumnal skies and vernal showers, Her sister Liberty will not be far.

And all the fair variety of things.
Be
present all ye genii, who conduct

But not alike to every mortal eye
The wandering footsteps of the youthful bard, Is this great scene unveil'd. For since the claims
New to your springs and shades: who touch his ear Of social life, to different labours urge
With finer sounds: who heighten to his eye

The active powers of man! with wise intent
The bloom of nature, and before him turn

The hand of nature on peculiar minds
The gayest, happiest attitude of things.

Imprints a different bias, and to each
Oft have the laws of each poetic strain

Decrees its province in the common toil.
The critic verse employ'd; yet still unsung

To some she taught the fabric of the spheres, Lay this prime subject, though importing most

The changeful moon, the circuit of the stars, A poet's name: for fruitless is the attempt,

The golden zones of Heaven; to some she gave By dull obedience and by creeping toil

To weigh the moment of eternal things, Obscure to conquer the severe ascent

Of time, and space, and fate's unbroken chain, of high Parnassus. Nature's kindling breath

And will's quick impulse : others by the hand Must fire the chosen genius; nature's hand

She led o'er vales and mountains, to explore Must string his nerves, and imp his eagle wings,

What healing virtue swells the tender veins

Of herbs and flowers; or what the beams of morn
Impatient of the painful steep, to soar
High as the summit; there to breathe at large Draw forth, distilling from the clifted rind

In balmy tears. But some, to higher hopes
Ethereal air; with bards and sages old,

Were destin'd; some within a finer mould Immortal sons of praise. These flattering scenes

She wrought, and temper'd with a purer flame. To this neglected labour court my song;

To these the Sire Omnipotent unfolds Yet not unconscious what a doubtful task

The world's harmonious volume, there to read To paint the finest features of the mind,

The transcript of himself. On every part And to most subtle and mysterious things

They trace the bright impressions of his hand: Give colour, strength, and motion. But the love

In earth or air, the meadow's purple stores, Of nature and the Muses bids explore,

The moon's mild radiance, or the virgin's form Through secret paths erewhile untrod by man,

Blooming with rosy smiles, they see pourtray'd The fair poetic region, to detect

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And through the tossing tide of chance and pain,

That uncreated beauty, which delights

That breathes from day to day sublimer things, The mind supreme. They also feel her charms, And mocks possession wherefore darts the mind, Enamour'd; they partake the eternal joy.

With such resistless ardour to embrace For as old Memnon's image long renown'd Majestic forms; impatient to be free, By fabling Nilus, to the quivering touch

Spurning the gross controul of wilful might; Of Titan's ray, with each repulsive string

Proud of the strong contention of her toils; Consenting, sounded through the warbling air Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns Unbidden strains; even so did nature's hand

To Heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view To certain species of external things

Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame? Attune the finer organs of the mind:

Who that, from Alpine heights, his labouring eye So the glad impulse of congenial powers,

Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey Or of sweet sounds, or fair proportion'd form, Nilus or Ganges rolling his bright wave The grace of motion, or the bloom of light,

Through mountains, plains, through empires black Thrills through imagination's tender frame,

with shade From nerve to nerve: all naked and alive

And continents of sand; will turn his gaze
They catch the spreading rays; till now the soul To mark the windings of a scanty rill
At length discloses every tuneful spring,

That murmurs at his feet? The high-born soul
To that harmonious movement from without

Disdains to rest her heaven-aspiring wing Responsive. Then the inexpressive strain

Beneath its native quarry. Tir'd of earth Diffuses its enchantment: fancy dreams

And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft Of sacred fountains and Elysian groves,

Through fields of air; pursues the flying storm; And vales of bliss: the intellectual power

Rides on the vollied lightning through the heavens; Bends from his awful throne a wondering ear, Or, yok'd with whirlwinds and the northern blast, And smiles: the passions, gently sooth'd away, Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars Sink to divine repose, and love and joy

The blue profound, and hovering round ibe sun Alone are waking; love and joy, serene

Beholds him pouring the redundant stream As airs that fan the summer. O! attend,

Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway Whoe'er thou art, whom these delights can touch, Bend the reluctant planets to absolve Whose candid bosom the refining love

The fated rounds of time. Thence far effus'd Of nature warms, O! listen to my song;

She darts her swiftness up the long career And I will guide thee to her favourite walks, Of devious comets; through its burning signs And teach thy solitude her voice to hear,

Exulting measures the perennial wheel And point her loveliest features to thy view.

Of nature, and looks back on all the stars, Know then, whate'er of nature's pregnant stores, Whose blended light, as with a milky zone, Whate'er of mimic art's reflected forms,

Invests the orient. Now amaz'd, she views With love and admiration thus inflame

The empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold, The powers of fancy, her delighted sons

Beyond this concave heaven, their calm abode; To three illustrious orders have referr'd;

And fields of radiance, whose unfading light Three sister graces, whom the painter's hand, Has travel'd the profound six thousand years, The poet's tongue, confesses; the sublime,

Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things. The wonderful, the fair. I see them drawn!

Even on the barriers of the world untir'd I see the radiant visions, where they rise,

She meditates the eternal depth below;
More lovely than when Lucifer displays

Till half recoiling, down the headlong steep
His beaming forehead through the gates of morn, She plunges; soon o'erwhelm'd and swallow'd up
To lead the train of Phæbus and the spring. In that immense of being. There her hopes
Say, why was man so eminently rais'd

Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Amid the vast creation; why ordain'd

Of mortal man, the sovereign Maker said, Through life and death to dart his piercing eye, That not in humble nor in brief delight, With thoughts beyond the limit of his frame;

Not in the fading echoes of renown, But that the Omnipotent might send him forth

Power's purple robes, nor pleasure's flowery lap, In sight of mortal and immortal powers,

The soul should find enjoyment: but from these As on a boundless theatre, to run

Turning disdainful to an equal good, The great career of justice; to exalt

Through all the ascent of things enlarge her view, His generous aim to all diviner deeds ;

Till every bound at length should disappear, To chase each partial purpose from his breast:

And infinite perfection close the scene. And through the mists of passion and of sense,

Call now to mind what high capacious powers

Lie folded up in man; how far beyond To hold his course unfaultering, while the voice

The praise of mortals, may the eternal growth Of truth and virtue, up the steep ascent

Of nature to perfection half divine Of nature, calls him to his high reward,

[burns

Expand the blooming soul? What pity then The applauding smile of Heaven? Else wherefore

Should sloth's unkindly fogs depress to earth In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope,

Her tender blossom; choke the streains of life,

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AKENSIDE.]
And blast her spring! Far otherwise design'd The branches shoot with gold; where'er his step
Almighty wisdom; nature's happy cares

Marks the glad soil, the tender clusters grow
The obedient heart far otherwise incline.

With purple ripeness, and invest each hill

As with the blushes of an evening sky?
Witness the sprightly joy when aught unknown
Strikes the quick sense, and wakes each active power Or wilt thou rather stoop thy vagrant plume,
To brisker measures: witness the neglect

Where gliding through his daughter's honour'd Of all familiar prospects, though beheld

The smooth Peneus from his glassy flood [shades, With transport once; the fond attentive gaze Reflects purpureal Tempe's pleasant scene? Of young astonishment; the sober zeal

Fair Tempe! haunt belov'd of sylvan powers, Of age, commenting on prodigious things:

Of nymphs and fauns ; where in the golden age For such the bounteous providence of Heaven, They play'd in secret on the shady brink In every breast implanting this desire

With ancient Pan: while round their choral steps Of objects new and strange, to urge us on

Young hours and genial gales with constant hand With unremitted labour to pursue

Shower'd blossoms, odours, shower'd ambrosial Those sacred stores that wait the ripening soul,

dews, In truth's exhaustless bosom. What need words And spring's Elysian bloom. Her flowery store To paint its power? For this the daring youth To thee nor Tempe shall refuse; nor watch Breaks from his weeping mother's anxious arms, Of winged Hydra guard Hesperian fruits In foreign climes to rove: the pensive sage,

From thy free spoil. O bear then, unreprov'd, Heedless of sleep, or midnight's harmful damp, Thy smiling treasures to the green recess Hangs o'er the sickly taper; and untir'd

Where young Dione stays. With sweetest airs The virgin follows, with enchanted step,

Entice her forth to lend her angel form The mazes of some wild and wondrous tale,

For beauty's honour'd image. Hither turn From morn till eve; unmindful of her form,

Thy graceful footsteps; hither, gentle maid, Unmindful of the happy dress that stole

Incline thy polish'd forehead: let thy eyes The wishes of the youth, when every maid

Effuse the mildness of their azure dawn; With envy pin'd. Hence, finally, by night

And may the fanning breezes waft aside The village matron, round the blazing hearth, Thy radiant locks: disclosing, as it bends Suspends the infant audience with her tales, With airy softness from the marble neck, Breathing astonishment! of witching rhymes, The cheek fair blooming, and the rosy lip, And evil spirits; of the death-bed call

Where winning smiles and pleasures sweet as love, Of him who robb’d the widow, and devour'd With sanctity and wisdom, tempering blend The orphan's portion ; of unquiet souls

Their soft allurement. Then the pleasing force Risen from the grave to ease the heavy guilt Of nature, and her kind parental care Of deeds in life conceal'd; of shapes that walk Worthier I'd sing: then all the enamour'd youth, At dead of night, and clank their chains, and wave With each admiring virgin, to my lyre The torch of hell around the murderer's bed. Should throng attentive, while I point on high At every solemn pause the crowd recoil

Where beauty's living image, like the morn
Gazing each other speechless, and congeal'd That wakes in Zephyr's arms the blushing May,
With shivering sighs: till eager for the event, Moves onward: or as Venus, when she stood
Around the beldame all erect they hang,

Effulgent on the pearly car and smild,
Each trembling heart with grateful terrors quell'd. Fresh from the deep, and conscious of her form,
But lo! disclos'd in all her smiling pomp,

To see the Tritons tune their vocal shells,
Where beauty onward moving claims the verse And each cerulean sister of the flood
Her charms inspire: the freely-flowing verse

With loud acclaim attend her o'er the waves,
In thy immortal praise, O form divine,

To seek the Idalian bower. Ye smiling band Smooths her mellifluent stream. Thee, Beauty, thee

Of youths and virgins, who through all the maze The regal dome, and thy enlivening ray

of young desire with rival steps pursue
The mossy roofs adore: thou, better sun!

This charm of beauty; if the pleasing toil
For ever beamest on the enchanted heart

Can yield a moment's respite, lither turn
Love, and harmonious wonder, and delight

Your favourable ear, and trust my words.
Poetic. Brightest progeny of Heaven !

I do not mean to wake the gloomy form
How shall I trace thy features? where select

Of superstition dress'd in wisdom's garb,
The roseate hues to emulate thy bloom ?

To damp your tender bopes; I do not mean
Haste then, my song, through nature's wide expanse,

To bid the jealous thunderer fire the heavens, Haste then, and gather all her comeliest wealth,

Or shapes infernal rend the groaning earth Whate'er bright spoils the florid earth contains,

To fright you from your joys: my cheerful song
Whate'er the waters, or the liquid air,

With better omens calls you to the field,
To deck thy lovely labour. Wilt thou fly

Pleas'd with your generous ardour in the chase,

And warm like you. Then tell me, for ye know,
With laughing autumn to the Atlantic isles,

Does beauty ever deign to dwell where health
And range with him the Hesperian field, and see,
Where'er his fingers touch, the fruitful grove

And active use are strangers! Is her charm

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Confess'd in aught, whose most peculiar ends Of laureld science, and harmouious art,
Are lame and fruitless? Or did nature mean Proceed exulting to the eternal shrine,
This pleasing call the herald of a lie;

Where truth conspicuous with her sister-twins,
To hide the shame of discord and disease,

The undivided partners of her sway, And catch with fair hyprocrisy the heart

With good and beauty reigns. O let not us,
Of idle faith? O no! with better cares

Lull'd by luxurious pleasure's languid strain,
The indulgent mother, conscious how infirm Or crouching to the frowns of bigot-rage,
Her offspring tread the paths of good and ill, O let us not a moment pause to join
By this illustrious image, in each kind

That godlike band. And if the gracious power
Still most illustrious where the object holds

Who first awaken'd my untutor'd song, Its native powers most perfect, she by this

Will to my invocation breathe anew
Illumes the headstrong impulse of desire,

The tuneful spirit; then through all our paths,
And sanctifies his choice. The generous glebe Ne'er shall the sound of this devoted lyre
Whose bosom smiles with verdure, the clear tract Be wanting, whether on the rosy mead,
Of streams delicious to the thirsty soul,

When summer smiles, to warn the melting heart
The bloom of nectar'd fruitage ripe to sense, Of luxury's allurement; whether firm
And every charm of animated things,

Against the torrent, and the stubborn hill
Are only pledges of a state sincere,

To urge bold virtue's unremitted nerve, The integrity and order of their frame,

And wake the strong divinity of soul
When all is well within, and every end

That conquers chance and fate; or whether struck
Accomplish'd. Thus was beauty sent from heaven, For sounds of triumph, to proclaim her toils
The lovely ministress of truth and good

Upon the lofty summit, round her brow
In this dark world: for truth and good are one, To twine the wreath of incorruptive praise ;
And beauty dwells in them, and they in her, To trace her hallow'd light through future worlds,

2 bade the With like participation. Wherefore then,

And bless heaven's image in the heart of man. O sons of earth! would ye dissolve the tie?

Thus with a faithful aim bave we presum'd, O wherefore, with a rash impetuous aim,

Adventurous, to delineate nature's form; Seek ye those flowery joys with which the hand Whether in vast, majestic pomp array'd, Of lavish fancy paints each flattering scene

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Or drest for pleasing wonder, or serene Where beauty seems to dwell, nor once inquire In beauty's rosy smile. It now remains, Where is the sanction of eternal truth,

Through various being's fair-proportion'd scale,
Or where the seal of undeceitful good,

To trace the rising lustre of her charms,
To save your search from folly! Wanting these, From their first twilight, shining forth at length
Lo! beauty withers in your void embrace,

To full meridian splendour. Of degree
And with the glittering of an idiot's toy

The least and lowliest, in the effusive warmth
Did fancy mock your vows. Nor let the gleam Of colours mingling with a random blaze,
Of youthful hope that shines upon your hearts, Doth beauty dwell. Then higher in the line
Be chill'd or clouded at this awful task,

And variation of determin'd shape,
To learn the lore of undeceitful good,

Where truth's eternal measures mark the bound And truth eternal. Though the poisonous charms Of circle, cube, or sphere. The third ascent Of baleful superstition guide the feet

Unites this varied symmetry of parts
Of servile numbers, through a dreary way

With colour's bland allurement; as the pearl
To their abode, through deserts, thorns and mire; Shines in the concave of its azure bed,
And leave the wretched pilgrim all forlorn

And painted shells indent their speckled wreath.
To muse at last, amid the ghostly gloom

Then more attractive rise the blooming forms Of graves, and hoary vaults, and cloister'd cells;

Through which the breath of nature has infus'd To walk with spectres through the midnight shade,

Her genial power to draw with pregnant veins And to the screaming owl's accursed song

Nutritious moisture from the bounteous earth, Attune the dreadful workings of his heart;

In fruit and seed prolific: thus the flowers Yet be not ye dismay'd. A gentler star

Their purple honours with the spring resume;
Your lovely search illumines. From the grove

And such the stately tree with autumn bends
Where wisdom talk'd with her Athenian sons, With blushing treasures.
Could my ambitious hand entwine a wreath

Is nature's charm, where to the full consent
Of Plato's olive with the Mantuan bay,

Of complicated members, to the bloom Then should my powerful verse at once dispel

Of colour, and the vital change of growth, Those monkish horrors: then in light divine

Life's holy flame and piercing sense are given, Disclose the Elysian prospect, where the steps

And active motion speaks the temper'd soul: of those whom nature charms, through blooming

So moves the bird of Juno; so the steed walks,

With rival ardour beats the dusty plain, Through fragrant mountains and poetic streams,

And faithful dogs v'ith eager airs of joy Amid the train of sages, heroes, bards,

Salute their fellows. Thus doth beauty dwell Led by their winged genius and the choir

There most conspicuous, even in outward shape,

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Whed

But inore lovely still

Liech

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