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Ah! why was ruin so attractive made,
Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat, Or why fond man so easily betrayed ?
With short shrill shriek, Aits by on leathern wing, Why heed we not, while mad we haste along,
Or where the beetle winds The gentle voice of Peace, or Pleasure's song?
His small but sullen horn, Or wherefore think the flowery mountain's side,
As oft he rises midst the twilight path, The fountain's murmurs, and the valley'e pride;
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum: Why think we these less pleasing to behold
Now teach me, maid composed, Toan dreary deserts, if they lead to gold ?
To breathe some softened strain, "Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day, When first froin Schiraz' walls I bent my way!
Whose numbers stealing through thy darkening vale O cease, my fears! All frantic as I go,
May not unseemly with its stillness suit, When thought creates unnumbered scenes of wo,
As, musing slow, I hail What if the lion in his rage I meet!
Thy genial loved return! Oft in the dust I view his printed feet;
For when thy folding-star arising shows '' And fearful oft, when Day's declining light
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp Yields her pale empire to the mourner Night,
The fragrant hours, and elves
Who slept in buds the day,
| And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge, Fills the wild yell, and leads them to their prey.
And sheds the freshening dew, and lovelier still, • Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
The pensive pleasures sweet
Prepare thy shadowy car.
| Or find some ruin ’midst its dreary deils, Or some swoln serpent twist his scales around,
Whose walls more awful nod And wake to anguish with a burning wound.
By thy religious gleams. Thrice happy they, the wise contented poor,
| Or if chill blustering winds, or driving rain, From lust of wealth and dread of death secure!
Prevent my willing feet, be inine the hut They tempt no deserts, and no griefs they find;
That from the mountain's side Peace rules the day where reason rules the mind. "Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
Views wilds and swelling floods, When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!
And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires, O hapless youth! for she thy love hath won, | And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all The tender Zara! will be most undone.
Thy dewy fingers draw Big swelled my heart, and owned the powerful maid, The gradual dusky veil. 'When fast she dropped her tears, as thus she said:
| While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont, Farewell the youth whom sighs could not detain, And bathe thy breathing tresses, meckest Eve! Whom Zara's breaking heart implored in vain!
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light:
While sallow autumn fills thy lap with leaves,
Or Winter yelling through the troublous air, *0! let me safely to the fair return,
Affrights thy shrinking train, Say with a kiss, she must not, shall not mourn ;
And rudely rends thy robes : 0 ! let me teach my heart to lose its fears,
So long, regardful of thy quiet rule, : Recalled by Wisdom's voice and Zara's tears.' Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace, He said, and called on Heaven to bless the day
Thy gentlest influence own, When back to Schiraz' walls he bent his way.
And love thy favourite name!
Ode Written in the Year 1746.
Ode on the Passions.
Ode to Evening.
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales ;
With brede ethereal wove,
With woful measures wan Despair,
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 learn 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 ; i And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden
'Tis said, and I believe the tale, hair:
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age; He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down,
Even all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of sound.
Oh! bid your vain endeavours cease,
Revive the just designs of Greece;
Return in all thy simple state;
Confirm the tales her sons relate.
Ode to Liberty.
Who shall awake the Spartan fife,
And call in solemn sounds to life,
The youths, whose locks divinely spreading,
At once the breath of fear and virtue shedding, Of differing themes the veering song was mixed, Applauding freedom loved of old to view ? And now it courted Love, now raving called on Ilate. / What new Alceus, fancy-blessed,
Shall sing the sword, in myrtles dressed,
At wisdom's shrine a while its flame concealing,
(What place so fit to seal a deed renowned ?) And from her wild sequestered seat,
Till she her brightest lightnings round revealing, In notes by distance made more sweet,
It leaped in glory forth, and dealt her prompted wound!
When most its sounds would court thy ears,
Let not iny shell's misguided power, Through glades and glooms the mingled measure E'er draw thy sad, thy mindful tears. stole:
No, freedom, no; I will not tell
How Rome, before thy face,
With heaviest sound, a giant statue fell,
Pushed by a wild and artless race
From off its wide ambitious base,
When time his northern sons of spoil awoke, When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,
And all the blended work of strength and grace,
With many a rude repeated stroke,
And many a barbarous yell, to thousand fragments Blev an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,
broke. The hunter's call, to Fawn and Dryad known;
Yet, even where'er the least appeared,
The admiring world thy hand revered ;
Still 'midst the scattered states around,
Some remnants of her strength were found;
They saw, by what escaped the storm,
How wondrous rose her perfect form ;
How in the great, the laboured whole,
For sunny Florence, seat of art,
They would have thought, who heard the strain, Till they, whom science loved to name,
And, lo, a humbler relic laid
In jealous Pisa's olive sbade !
Love framed with Mirth, a gay fantastic round, Though least, not last in thy esteem; Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound : Strike, louder strike the ennobling strings And he, amidst his frolic play,
To those whose merchants' sons were kings; As if he would the charming air repay,
To him, who, decked with pearly pride, Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings. | In Adria weds his green-haired bride :
Hail port of glory, wealth and pleasure,
How learn delighted, and amazed, Ne'er let me change this Lydian measure;
What hands unknown that fabric raised | Nor e'er her former pride relate,
Even now, before his favoured eyes, To sad Liguria's bleeding state.
In Gothic pride it seems to rise ! Ah, no! more pleased thy haunts I seek,
Yet Grecia's graceful orders join, On wild Helvetia's mountains bleak
Majestic, though the mixed design; (Where, when the favoured of thy choice,
The secret builder knew to choose, The daring archer heard thy voice,
Each sphere found gem of richest hues; Forth from his eyry roused in dread,
Whate'er heaven's purer mould contains, The ravening eagle northward fed);
When nearer suns emblaze its veins; Or dwell in willowed meads more near,
There on the walls the patriots sight With those to whom thy stork is dear:
May ever hang with fresh delight, Those whom the rod of Alva bruised,
And, graved with some prophetic rage, Whose crown a British queen refused !
Read Albion's faine through every age. The magic works, thou feel'st the strains,
Ye forms divine, ye laureate band, One holier name alone remains;
That near her inmost altar stand! The perfect spell shall then avail,
Now soothe her to her blissful train, Hail, nymph, adored by Britain, hail !
Blithe Concord's social form to gain :
Concord, whose myrtle wand can steep
Even Anger's blood-shot eyes in sleep :
Before whose breathing bosom’s balm, Beyond the measure vast of thought,
Rage drops his steel, and storms grow calm ; The works the wizard time has wrought!
Her let our sires and matrons hoar The Gaul, 'tis held of antique story,
Welcome to Britain's ravaged shore; Saw Britain' linked to his now adverse strand,
Our youths, enamoured of the fair, No sea between, nor cliff sublime and hoary,
Play with the tangles of her hair; He passed with unwet feet through all our land.
Till, in one loud applauding sound, *To the blown Baltic then, they say,
The nations shout to her around. The wild waves found another way,
O how supremely art thou blest, Where Orcas howls, his wolfish mountains rounding;
| Thou, lady, thou shalt rule the west ! Till all the banded west at once 'gain rise, A wide wild storm even Nature's self confounding,
Dirge in Cymbeline. Withering her giant sons with strange uncouth surprise.
Sung by GUIDERIUS and ARVIRAGUS over FIDELE, supposed This pillared earth so firm and wide,
to be dead. By winds and inward labours torn,
To fair Fidele's grassy tomb In thunders dread was pushed aside,
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring And down the shouldering billows borne.
Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.
No wailing ghost shall dare appear
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove, And Wight who checks the westering tide,
But shepherd lads assemble here,
And melting virgins own their love.
No withered witch shall here be seen,
No goblins lead their nightly crew; abode!
The female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grare with pearly dew;
The redbreast oft at evening hours
Shall kindly lend his little aid, 'Midst the green naval of our isle,
With hoary moss, and gathered flowers, Thy shrine in some religious wood,
To deck the ground where thou art laid. O soul enforcing goddess, stood ! There oft the painted native's feet
When howling winds, and beating rain, Were wont thy form celestial meet:
In tempests shake thy sylvan cell, Though now with hopeless toil we trace
Or midst the chase on every plain, Time's backward rolls, to find its place;
The tender thought on thee shall dwell. Whether the fiery-tressed Dane,
Each lonely scene shall thee restore, Or Roman's self o'erturned the fane,
For thee the tear be duly shed; Or in what heaven left age it fell,
Beloved till life can charm no more; 'Twere hard for modern song to tell.
And mourned till pity's self be dead.
Ode on the Death of Mr Thomson.
The scene of the following stanzas is supposed to lie on the Amidst the bright pavilioned plains,
Thames, near Richmond. The beauteous model still remains.
In yonder grave a Druid lies,
Where slowly winds the stealing wave!
The year's best sweets shall duteous rise,
To deck its poet's sylvan grave ! Hear their consorted Druids sing
In yon deep bed of whispering reeds Their triumphs to the immortal string.
His airy harp shall now be laiu, How may the poet now unfold
That he, whose heart in sorrow bleeds, What never tongue or numbers told i
May love through life the soothing shade
The maids and youths shall linger here,
by designers.' Descriptions of the Leasowes have And, while its sounds at distance swell,
been written by Dodsley and Goldsmith. The proShall sadly seem in pity's ear
perty was altogether not worth more than £300 per To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell.
annum, and Shenstone had devoted so much of his 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!
To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
And ’mid the varied landscape weep.
Ah! what will every dirge avail ? Or tears, which love and pity shed,
That mourn beneath the gliding sail ! Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye
Shall scorn thy pale shrine glimmering near ?
And joy desert the blooming year.
No sedge-crowned sisters now attend,
Whose cold turf hides the buried friend! And see, the fairy valleys fade,
Dun night has veiled the solemn view ! Yet once again, dear parted shade,
Meek nature's child, again adieu ! The genial meads, assigned to bless
Thy life, shall mourn 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 say,
The Leasowes. In yonder grave your Druid lies !
means to external embellishment, that he was comWILLIAM SHENSTONE.
pelled to live in a dilapidated house, not fit, as he
acknowledges, to receive polite friends.' An unforWILLIAM SHENSTONE added some pleasing pas- tunate attachment to a young lady, and disappointed toral and elegiac strains to our national poetry, but ambition—for he aimed at political as well as poeticali he wanted, as Johnson justly remarks, comprehen- celebrity-conspired, with his passion for gardening sion and variety. Though highly ambitious of and improvement, to fix him in his solitary situation. poetical fame, he devoted a large portion of his time, He became querulous and dejected, pined at the unand squandered most of his means, in landscape- equal gifts of fortune, and even contemplated with gardening and ornamental agriculture. He reared a gloomy joy the complaint of Swift, that he would op around him a sort of rural paradise, expending be forced to die in a rage, like a poisoned rat in a his poetical taste and fancy in the disposition and hole.' Yet Shenstone was essentially kind and beneernbellishment of his grounds, till at length pecuniary volent, and he must at times have experienced exdifficulties and distress drew a cloud over the fair quisite pleasure in his romantic retreat, in which prospect, and darkened the latter days of the poet's every year would give fresh beauty, and develop life. Swift, who entertained a mortal aversion to more distinctly the creations of his taste and labour. all projectors, might have included the unhappy. The works of a person that builds,' he says, 'begin Shenstone among the fanciful inhabitants of his immediately to decay, while those of him who plants Laputa. The estate which he laboured to adorn begin directly to improve.' This advantage he posTas his natal ground. At Leasowes, in the parish sessed, with the additional charm of a love of literaof Hales Owen, Shropshire, the poet was born in ture; but Shenstone sighed for more than inward November 1714. He was taught to read at what peace and satisfaction. He built his happiness on is termed a dame school, and his venerable precep- the applause of others, and died in solitude a votary tress has been immortalised by his poem of the of the world. His death took place at the Leasowes, Schoolmistress. At the proper age he was sent to February 11, 1763. Pembroke college, Oxford, where he remained four The works of Shenstone were collected and pub. years. In 1745. by the death of his parents and an lished after his death by his friend Dodsley, in three elder brother, the paternal estate fell to his own care volumes. The first contains his poems, the second and management, and he began from this time, as his prose essays, and the third his letters and other Johnson characteristically describes it, to point his pieces. Gray remarks of his correspondence, that prospects, to diversify his surface, to entangle his it is about nothing else but the Leasowes, and his valks, and to wind his waters; which he did with writings with two or three neighbouring clergyman such judgment and fancy, as made his little domain who wrote verses too.' The essays are good, disthe envy of the great and the admiration of the playing an ease and grace of style united to judgskilful; a place to be visited by travellers and copied ment and discrimination. They have not the mellow
ripeness of thought and learning of Cowley's essays, but they resemble them more closely than any others
The Schoolmistress. we possess. In poetry, Shenstone tried different styles ; his elegies barely reach mediocrity ; his Ah me! full sorely is my heart forlorn, levities, or pieces of humour, are dull and spirit To think how modest worth neglected lies; less. His highest effort is the · Schoolmistress,' a While partial fame doth with her blasts adorn descriptive sketch in imitation of Spenser, so de Such deeds alone as pride and pomp disguise ; lightfully quaint and ludicrous. vet true to nature. Deeds of ill sort, and mischievous emprise ; that it has all the force and vividness of a painting Lend me thy clarion, goddess! let me try by Teniers or Wilkie. His Pastoral Ballad, in four To sound the praise of merit ere it dies; parts, is also the finest English poem of that or
Such as I oft have chanced to espy, der. The pastorals of Spenser do not aim at lyrical | Lost in the dreary shades of dull obscurity, simplicity, and no modern poet has approached Shenstone in the simple tenderness and pathos of In every village marked with little spire, pastoral song. Mr Campbell seems to regret the Embowered in trees, and hardly known to fame, affected Arcadianism of these pieces, which un There dwells, in lowly shed, and mean attire, doubtedly present an incongruous mixture of pas A matron old, whom we schoolmistress name; toral life and modern manners. But, whether from Who boasts unruly brats with birch to tame: early associations (for almost every person has read They grieven sore, in piteous durance pent, Shenstone's ballad in youth), or from the romantic Awed by the power of this relentless dame; simplicity, the true touches of nature and feeling, And ofttimes, on vagaries idly bent, and the easy versification of the stanzas, they are For unkempt hair, or task unconned, are sorely shent. 1: always read and remembered with delight. We must surrender up the judgment to the imagination in perusing them, well knowing that no such Corydons or Phylisses are to be found ; but this is a sacrifice which the Faery Queen equally demands, and which few readers of poetry are slow to grant. Johnson quotes the following verses of the first part, with the striking eulogium, that, if any mind denies its sympathy to them, it has no acquaintance with love or nature :
I prized every hour that went by,
Beyond all that had pleased me before ; But now they are past, and I sigh,
And I grieve that I prized them no more. When forced the fair nymph to forego,
What anguish I felt in my heart ! Yet I thought (but it might not be so)
'Twas with pain that she saw me depart. She gazed as I slowly withdrew,
My path I could hardly discern; So sweetly she bade me adieu,
I thought that she bade me return.
We subjoin the best part of the ‘Schoolmistress ;' but one other stanza is worthy of notice, not only for its intrinsic excellence, but for its having pro Cottage of the Schoolmistress, near Hales-Owen, Shropshire bably suggested to Gray the fine reflection in his elegy
And all in sight doth rise a birchen tree,
Which learning near her little dome did stowe;
Though now so wide its waving branches flow,
And work the simple vassals mickle wo; his · Curiosities of Literature, and it appears well
For not a wind might curl the leaves that blew, founded. The palm of merit, as well as originality,
But their limbs shuddered, and their pulse beat low; seems to rest with Shenstone; for it is more natural
And as they looked, they found their horror grew, and just to predict the existence of undeveloped
And shaped it into rods, and tingled at the view. powers and great eminence in the humble child at school, than to conceive they had slumbered through
Near to this dome is found a patch so green, life in the peasant in the grave. Yet the conception
On which the tribe their gambols do display; of Gray has a sweet and touching pathos, that sinks into the heart and memory. Shenstone's is as
And at the door imprisoning board is scen,
Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray ; follows:
Enger, perdie, to bask in sunny day! Yet, nursed with skill, what dazzling fruits appear!
The noises intermixed, which thence resound, Even now sagacious foresight points to show
Do learning's little tenement betray; A little bench of heedless bishops here,
Where sits the dame, disguised in look profound, And there a chancellor in embryo,
| And eyes her fairy throng, and turns her wheel around Or bard sublime, if bard may e'er be go, As Milton, Shakspeare-names that ne'er shall die ! Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow, Though now he crawl along the ground so low,
Emblem right meet of decency does yield : Nor weeting how the Muse should soar on high, Her apron dyed in grain, as blue, I trow, Wisheth, poor starveling elf ! his paper kite may fly. As is the harebell that adorns the field;