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No torrents stain thy limpid source;
No rocks impede thy dimpling course,
That sweetly warbles o'er its bed,
With white, round, polish'd pebbles spread;
While, lightly pois'd, the scaly brood
In myriads cleave thy crysta. flood;
The springing trout in speckled pride;
The salmon, monarch of the tide;
The ruthless pike, intent on war;
The silver eel, and mottled par.*
Devolving from thy parent lake,
A charming maze thy waters make,
By bowers of birch, and groves of pine,
And hedges flower'd with eglantine.

Still on thy banks so gaily green,
May num'rous herds and flocks be seen,
And lasses chanting o'er the pail,
And shepherds piping in the dale,
And ancient Faith that knows no guile,
And Industry embrown'd with toil,
And hearts resolv'd, and hands prepar'd
The blessings they enjoy to guard.



THY spirit, Independence, let me share!
Lord of the lion-heart and eagle eye,
Thy steps I follow with my bosom bare,
Nor heed the storm that howls along the sky
Deep in the frozen regions of the north,
A goddess violated brought thee forth,
Immortal Liberty, whose look sublime

Hath bleach'd the tyrant's cheek in every varying


What time the iron-hearted Gaul

With frantic Superstition for his guide,
Arm'd with the dagger and the pall,
The sons of Woden to the field defied:
The ruthless hag, by Weser's flood,

In Heaven's name urg'd th' infernal blow;
And red the stream began to flow:
The vanquish'd were baptiz'd with blood.


The Saxon prince in horror fled
From altars stain'd with human gore;
And Liberty his routed legions led
In safety to the bleak Norwegian shore.
There in a cave asleep she lay,
Lull'd by the hoarse-resounding main;
When a bold savage past that way,
Impell'd by Destiny, his name Disdain.
Of ample front the portly chief appear'd:
The hunted bear supplied a shaggy vest;
The drifted snow hung on his yellow beard;
And his broad shoulders brav'd the furious blast.
He stopt: he gaz'd; his bosom glow'd,

And deeply felt the impression of her charms:
He seiz'd the advantage Fate allow'd,
And straight compress'd her in his vig'rous arms.


The curlew scream'd, the Tritons blew Their shells to celebrate the ravish'd rite; Old Time exulted as he flew;

And Independence saw the light..

The light he saw in Albion's happy plains,
Where under cover of a flowering thorn,
While Philomel renew'd her warbled strains,
The auspicious fruit of stol'n embrace was born. -
The mountain Dryads, seiz'd with joy,
The smiling infant to their charge consign'd;
The Doric Muse caress'd the favorite boy,
The hermit Wisdom stor'd his opening mind
As rolling years matur'd his age,
He flourish'd bold and sinewy as his sire;
While the mild passions in his breast assuage
The fiercer flames of his maternal sire.


Accomplish'd thus, he wing'd his way, And zealous rov'd from pole to pole, The rolls of right eternal to display,

And warm with patriot thoughts the aspiring soul On desert islets it was he that rais'd

Those spires that gild the Adriatic wave,

Where Tyranny beheld amaz'd

Fair Freedom's temple, where he mark'd her grave

He steel'd the blunt Batavian's arms

To burst the Iberian's double chain;

And cities rear'd, and planted farms,

Won from the skirts of Neptune's wide domain.

He, with the generous rustics, sate

On Uri's rocks in close divan ;†

And wing'd that arrow, sure as fate,
Which ascertain'd the sacred rights of man.


Arabia's scorching sands he cross'd,
Where blasted Nature pants supine,
Conductor of her tribes adust,
To Freedom's adamantine shrine;
And many a Tartar horde forlorn, aghast!
He snatch'd from under fell Oppression's wing,
And taught amidst the dreary waste

The all-cheering hymns of Liberty to sing
He virtue finds, like precious ore,
Diffus'd through every baser mould,
Even now he stands on Calvi's rocky shore,
And turns the dross of Corsica to gold.
He, guardian genius, taught my youth
Pomp's tinsel livery to despise
My lips, by him chastis'd to truth,
Ne'er paid that homage which the heart denies.


Those sculptur'd halls my feet shall never tread,
Where varnish'd Vice and Vanity combin'd,
To dazzle and seduce, their banners spread;
And forge vile shackles for the free-born mind.
Where Insolence his wrinkled front uprears,
And all the flowers of spurious fancy blow;
And Title his ill-woven chaplet wears,
Full often wreath'd around the miscreant's brow:

Alluding to the known story of William Tell and his

The par is a small fish, not unlike the smelt, which it associates, the fathers and founders of the confederacy of rivals in delicacy and flavor. the Swiss Cantons.

Where ever-dimpling Falsehood, pert and vain, Presents her cup of stale profession's froth! And pale Disease, with all his bloated train, Torments the sons of Gluttony and Sloth.


In Fortune's car behold that minion ride,
With either India's glittering spoils opprest:
So moves the sumpter-mule, in harness'd pride,
That bears the treasure which he cannot taste.
For him let venal bards disgrace the bay,
And hireling minstrels wake the tinkling string,
Her sensual snares let faithless Pleasure lay;
And all her jingling bells fantastic Folly ring;
Disquiet, Doubt, and Dread shall intervene;
And Nature still. to all her feelings just,
In vengeance hang a damp on every scene,
Shook from the baleful pinions of Disgust.


Nature I'll court in her sequester'd haunts
By mountain, meadow, streamlet. grove, or cell,
Where the pois'd lark his evening ditty chants,
And Health, and Peace, and Contemplation dwell
There Study shall with Solitude recline;
And Friendship pledge me to his fellow-swains;
And Toil and Temperance sedately twine
The slender cord that fluttering life sustains.
And fearless Poverty shall guard the door;
And Taste unspoil'd the frugal table spread;
And Industry supply the humble store;
And Sleep unbrib'd his dews refreshing shed.
White-mantled Innocence, ethereal sprite,
Shall chase far off the goblins of the night;
And Independence o'er the day preside,
Propitious power! my patron and my pride.



MARK AKENSIDE was born at Newcastle-on- | of Bath, entitled an Epistle to Curio," and in Tyne, November 9, 1721. He was sent to Edin- 1745 he published ten odes. He wrote other burgh to prepare for the Presbyterian ministry, short poems from time to time, and several but soon took up the study of medicine, and medical treatises. graduated M. D. at Leyden in 1744. He practised at various places, settling finally in London, but was not very successful. At Leyden he had become intimate with Jeremiah Dyson, who was wealthy, and who gave him an allowance of £300 a year. At the age of twentythree Akenside published his "Pleasures of Imagination," the poem for which chiefly he is still remembered. It met with a warm welcome, and placed its author at once among the accepted poets. It went rapidly through several editions, and still has its admirers. His next publication was an invective against the Earl



WHILOM by silver Thames's gentle stream,
In London town there dwelt a subtle wight-
A wight of mickle wealth, and mickle fame,
Book-learned and quaint: a virtuoso hight.
Uncommon things, and rare, were his delight;
From musings deep his brain ne'er gotten


Nor ceased he from study day or night,
Until (advancing onward by degrees)
He knew whatever breeds on earth or air or


He many a creature did anatomize,
Almost unpeopling water, air, and land;
Beasts, fishes, birds, snails, caterpillars, flies,
Were laid full low by his relentless hand,
That oft with gory crimson was distained;
He many a dog destroyed, and many a cat;
Of fleas his bed, of frogs the marshes drained,
Could tellen if a mite were lean or fat,
And read a lecture o'er the entrails of a gnat.

He knew the various modes of ancient times,
Their arts and fashions of each different guise,
Their weddings, funerals, punishments for
Their strength, their learning eke, and rari-

Akenside was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and had advanced slowly until he reached the position of physician to the queen, soon after his appointment to which, he died, June 23, 1770. It is said that his slow professional progress was owing to his pedantry and haughty manner, and in this light Smollett sketched his character in "Peregrine Pickle." Dissatisfied with the "Pleasures of Imagination," Akenside was continually at work changing it, and at his death he had written a portion of an entirely new poem on the subject. A complete edition of his poetical works was published by Dyson, in 1772.

Of old habiliments, each sort and size,
Male, female, high and low, to him were

Each gladiator dress, and stage disguise;
With learned, clerkly phrase he could have

How the Greek tunic differed from the Roman

A curious medallist, I wot, he was,

And boasted many a course of ancient coin;
Well as his wife's he knewen every face,
From Julius Cæsar down to Constantine:
For some rare sculpture he would oft ypine,
(As green-sick damosels for husbands do);
And when obtainéd, with enraptured eyne,
He'd run it o'er and o'er with greedy view,
And look, and look again, as he would look it

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The bloom of Nature, and before him turn
The gayest, happiest attitude of things.

Oft have the laws of each poetic strain
The critic-verse employ'd; yet still unsung
Lay this prime subject, though importing most
A poet's name: for fruitless is th' attempt,
By dull obedience and by creeping toil
Obscure to conquer the severe ascent

Of high Parnassus. Nature's kindling breath
Must fire the chosen genius; Nature's hand

Epict. apud Arrian. II. 13.

Ασεβισμένες ιν ἀνθρωπε τὰς παρὰ τῷ θεν χάρθας ἀτιμάζειν. Must string his nerves, and imp his eagle-wings
Impatient of the painful steep, to soar
High as the summit; there to breathe at large
Ethereal air; with bards and sages old,
Immortal sons of praise. These flattering scenes,
To this neglected labor court my song;




Book I


of the mind. The connexion of the imagination and the moral faculty. Conclusion.

Yet not unconscious what a doubtful task
To paint the finest features of the mind,
And to most subtle and mysterious things
Give color, strength, and motion. But the love
Of Nature and the Muses bids explore,
Through secret paths erewhile untrod by man,
The fair poetic region, to detect
Untasted springs, to drink inspiring draughts,
And shade my temples with unfading flowers
Cull'd from the laureate vale's profound recess,
Where never poet gain'd a wreath before.

From Heaven my strains begin; from Heaven

The subject proposed. Difficulty of treating it
poetically. The ideas of the Divine Mind, the
origin of every quality pleasing to the imagina-
tion. The natural variety of constitution in the
minds of men; with its final cause. The idea
of a fine imagination, and the state of the mind
in the enjoyment of those pleasures which it af-
fords All the primary pleasures of the imagina-
tion result from the perception of greatness, or
wonderfulness, or beauty, in objects. The plea- The flame of genius to the human breast,
sure from greatness, with its final cause. Pleasure And love and beauty, and poetic joy
from novelty or wonderfulness, with its final And inspiration. Ere the radiant Sun
cause. Pleasure from beauty, with its final cause. Sprang from the east, or 'mid the vault of night
The connexion of beauty with truth and good, The Moon suspended her serener lamp;
applied to the conduct of life. Invitation to the Ere mountains, woods, or streams, adorn'd the globe
study of moral philosophy. The different degrees Or Wisdom taught the sons of men her lore;
of beauty in different species of objects: color; Then liv'd th' Almighty One: then, deep retir'd
shape; natural concretes; vegetables; animals; In his unfathom'd essence, view'd the forms,'
the mind. The sublime, the fair, the wonderful The forms eternal of created things;

The radiant Sun, the Moon's nocturnal lamp,
The mountains, woods and streams, the rolling globe
And Wisdom's mien celestial. From the first
Of days, on them his love divine he fix'd,
His admiration: till in time complete,
What he admir'd and lov'd, his vital smile
Unfolded into being. Hence the breath
Of life informing each organic frame,

Hence the green earth, and wild resounding waves
Hence light and shade alternate; warmth and cold
And clear autumnal skies and vernal showers,
And all the fair variety of things.

But not alike to every mortal eye

WITH what attractive charms this goodly frame
Of Nature touches the consenting hearts
Of mortal men; and what the pleasing stores
Which beauteous imitation thence derives
To deck the poet's, or the painter's toil;
My verse unfolds. Attend, ye gentle powers
Of musical delight! and while I sing
Your gifts, your honors, dance around my strain.
Thou, smiling queen of every tuneful breast,
Indulgent Fancy! from the fruitful banks
Of Avon, whence thy rosy fingers cull
Fresh flowers and dews to sprinkle on the turf
Where Shakspeare lies, be present and with thee
Let Fiction come, upon her vagrant wings
Wafting ten thousand colors through the air,
Which, by the glances of her magic eye,

She blends and shifts at will, through countless forms, To some she taught the fabric of the sphere,
Her wild creation. Goddess of the lyre,
Which rules the accents of the moving sphere,
Wilt thou, eternal Harmony! descend
And join this festive train? for with thee comes
The guide, the guardian of their lovely sports,
Majestic Truth; and where Truth deigns to come,
Her sister Liberty will not be far.

Be present, all ye geni, who conduct

The wandering footsteps of the youthful bard,
New to your springs and shades: who touch his ear In balmy tears. But some, to higher hopes
With finer sounds: who heighten to his eye
Were destin'd; some within a finer mould

Is this great scene unveil'd. For since the claims
Of social life, to different labors urge

The active powers of man! with wise intent
The hand of Nature on peculiar minds
Imprints a different bias, and to each
Decrees its province in the common toil.

The changeful Moon, the circuit of the stars,
The golden zones of Heaven; to some she gave
To weigh the moment of eternal things,

Of time, and space, and Fate's unbroken chain,
And will's quick impulse: others by the hand
She led o'er vales and mountains, to explore
What healing virtue swells the tender veins
Of herbs and flowers; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, distilling from the clefted rind

She wrought, and temper'd with a purer flame.
To these the Sire Omnipotent unfolds
The world's harmonious volume, there to read
The transcript of himself. On every part
They trace the bright impressions of his hand.
In earth or air, the meadow's purple stores,
The Moon's mild radiance, or the virgin's form
Blooming with rosy smiles, they see portray'd
That uncreated beauty, which delights
The mind supreme. They also feel her charms,
Enamour'd; they partake the eternal joy.

For as old Memmon's image, long renown'd
By fabling Nilus, to the quivering touch
Of Titan's ray, with each repulsive string
Consenting, sounded through the warbling air
Unbidden strains; even so did Nature's hand
To certain species of external things,
Attune the finer organs of the mind:
So the glad impulse of congenial powers,
Or of sweet sounds, or fair-proportion'd form,
The grace of motion, or the bloom of light,
Thrills through Imagination's tender frame,
From nerve to nerve: all naked and alive,
They catch the spreading rays; till now the soul
At length discloses every tuneful spring,
To that harmonious movement from without
Responsive. Then the inexpressive strain
Diffuses its enchantment: Fancy dreams
Of sacred fountains and Elysian groves,
And vales of bliss: the intellectual power
Bends from his awful throne a wondering ear,
And smiles: the passions, gently sooth'd away,
Sink to divine repose, and love and joy
Alone are waking; love and joy serene
As airs that fan the summer. O! attend,
Whoe'er thou art, whom these delights can touch,
Whose candid bosom the refining love
Of Nature warms, O listen to my song;
And I will guide thee to her favorite walks,
And teach thy solitude her voice to hear,
And point her loveliest features to thy view.

Know then, whate'er of Nature's pregnant stores,
Whate'er of mimic Art's reflected forms
With love and admiration thus inflame
The powers of fancy, her delighted sons
To three illustrious orders have referr'd;
Three sister-graces, whom the painter's hand,
The poet's tongue, confesses; the sublime,
The wonderful, the fair. I see them dawn!
I see the radiant visions, where they rise,
More lovely than when Lucifer displays
His beaming forehead through the gates of morn,
To lead the train of Phoebus and the Spring.

Say, why was man so eminently rais'd
Amid the vast creation; why ordain'd
Through life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limit of his frame;
But that the Omnipotent might send him forth
In sight of mortal and immortal powers,
As on a boundless theatre, to run
The great career of justice; to exalt
His generous aim to all diviner deeds;

To chase each partial purpose from his breast;
And through the mists of passion and of sense,
And through the tossing tide of chance and pain,
To hold his course unfaltering, while the voice
Of Truth and Virtue, up the steep ascent

Of Nature, calls him to his high reward,

The applauding smile of Heaven? Else wherefore burns Of all familiar prospects, though beheld
In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope,

With transport once; the fond attentive gaze

That breathes from day to day sublimer things,
And mocks possession? wherefore darts the mind
With such resistless ardor to embrace
Majestic forms; impatient to be free,
Spurning the gross control of wilful might;
Proud of the strong contention of her toils;
Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns
To Heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view,
Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame?
Who that, from Alpine heights, his laboring eye
Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey
Nilus or Ganges rolling his bright wave
Through mountains, plains, through empires black
with shade

And continents of sand; will turn his gaze
To mark the windings of a scanty rill
That murmurs at his feet? The high-born soul
Disdains to rest her heaven-aspiring wing
Beneath its native narry. Tir'd of Earth
And this diurnal sccne, she springs aloft
Through fields of air; pursues the flying storm,
Rides on the volley'd lightning through the Heavens
Or, yok'd 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 effus'd
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,
Invests the orient. Now amaz'd she views
The empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave Heaven, their calm abode;
And fields of radiance, whose unfading light
Has travell'd the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Even on the barriers of the world untir'd
She meditates the eternal depth below;
Till half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges; soon o'erwhelm'd and swallow'd 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, nor 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.

Call now to mind what high capacious powers
Lie folded up in man; how far beyond
The praise of imortals, may the eternal growth
Of Nature to perfection half divine,
Expand the blooming soul? What pity then
Should sloth's unkindly fogs depress to Earth
Her tender blossom; choke the streams of life
And blast her spring! Far otherwise design'd
Almighty Wisdom; Nature's happy cares
The obedient heart far otherwise incline.
Witness the sprightly joy when aught unknown
Strikes the quick sense, and wakes each active power
To brisker measures: witness the neglect

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