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E'en yet preserv'd, how often may'st thou hear, Where to the Pole the Boreal mountains run, Taught by the father, to his listening son; Strange lays, whose power had charm'd a Spenser's
At every pause, before thy mind possest,
Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around, With uncouth lyres, in many-color'd vest,
Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crown'd: Whether thou bidd'st the well-taught hind repeat The choral dirge that mourns some chieftain brave, When every shrieking maid her bosom beat,
And strew'd with choicest herbs his scented grave; Or whether, sitting in the shepherd's shiel,
Thou hear'st some sounding tale of war's alarms; When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel,
The sturdy clans pour'd forth their brawny
"Tis thine to sing, how, framing hideous spells,
Their destin'd glance some fated youth descry, Who now, perhaps, in lusty vigor seen,
And rosy health, shall soon lamented die. For them the viewless forms of air obey;
Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair
To monarchs dear, some hundred miles astray,
As Boreas threw his young Aurora* forth,
In the first year of the first George's reign, And battles rag'd in welkin of the North, They mourn'd in air, fell, fell Rebellion slain! And as, of late, they joy'd in Preston's fight,
Saw at sad Falkirk all their hopes near crown'd! They rav'd! divining through their second-sight, Pale, red Culloden, where these hopes were drown'd!
illustrious William! Britain's guardian name! One William sav'd us from a tyrant's stroke; He, for a sceptre, gain'd heroic fame,
But thou, more glorious, Slavery's chain hast broke,
To reign a private man, and bow to Freedom's yoke!
By young Aurora, Collins undoubtedly meant the first appearance of the northern lights, which happened about the year F15; at least, it is most highly probable, from this peculiar circumstance, that no ancient writer whatever has taken any notice of them, nor even any one modern, previous to the above period.
† Second-sight is the term that is used for the divination of the Highlanders.
These, too, thou 'lt sing! for well thy magic Muso
Let not dank Wills mislead you to the heath:
And frequent round him rolls his sullen eyes, If chance his savage wrath may some weak wretch surprise.
Ah, luckless swain, o'er all unblest, indeed!
Whom late bewilder'd in the dank, dark fen, Far from his flocks, and smoking hamlet, then! To that sad spot where hums the sedgy weed. On him, enrag'd, the fiend, in angry mood,
Shall never look with pity's kind concern, But instant, furious, raise the whelming flood O'er its drown'd banks, forbidding all return! Or, if he meditate his wish'd escape,
To some dim hill that seems uprising near, To his faint eye, the grim and grisly shape,
In all its terrors clad, shall wild appear. Meantime the watery surge shall round him rise
Pour'd sudden forth from every swelling source What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs! His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthiy force,
And down the waves he floats, a pale and breathless corse!
For him in vain his anxious wife shall wait,
Or wander forth to meet him on his way;
Her travell'd limbs in broken slumbers steep, With drooping willows drest, his mournful sprite Then he, perhaps, with moist and watery hand, Shall visit sad, perchance, her silent sleep:
Shall fondly seem to press her shuddering cheek, And with his blue-swoln face before her stand,
And, shivering cold, these piteous accents speak: "Pursue, dear wife, thy daily toils, pursue,
At dawn or dusk, industrious as before; Nor e'er of me one helpless thought renew, While I lie weltering on the osier'd shore, Drown'd by the Kelpie's wrath, nor e'er shall aid thee more!"
Unbounded is thy range; with varied skill Thy Muse may, like those feathery tribes which spring
From their rude rocks, extend her skirting wing Round the moist marge of each cold Hebrid isle
§ A fiery meteor, called by various names, such as Wil with the Wisp, Jack with the Lantern, &c. It hovers in
The late Duke of Cumberland, who defeated the Pre- the air over marshy and fenny places. tender at the battle of Culloden.
To that hoar pile* which still its ruin shows:
In whose small vaults a Pigmy-folk is found, Whose bones the delver with his spade upthrows, And culls them, wond'ring, from the hallow'd ground!
Or thither, where beneath the show'ry west The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid Once foes, perhaps, together now they rest,
No slaves revere them, and no wars invade : Yet frequent now, at midnight solemn hour,
The rifted mounds their yawning cells unfold, And forth the monarchs stalk with sovereign power, In pageant robes, and wreath'd with sheeny gold, And on their twilight tombs aërial council hold.
But, on, o'er all, forget not Kilda's race,
How have I sat, when pip'd the pensive wind, To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung! Prevailing poet! whose undoubting mind Believ'd the magic wonders which he sung! Hence, at each sound, imagination glows!
Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here! Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows! Melting it flows, pure, murmuring, strong, and clear,
And fills the impassion'd heart, and wins th' har monious ear!
All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail!
Ye splendid friths and lakes, which, far away, Are by smooth Anan fill'd, or past'ral Tay, Or Don's romantic springs, at distance, hail!
On whose bleak rocks, which brave the wasting The time shall come, when I, perhaps, may tread
Fair Nature's daughter, Virtue, yet abides. Go! just, as they, their blameless manners trace! Then to my ear transmit some gentle song,
Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain, Their bounded walks the rugged cliffs along,
And all their prospect but the wintry main. With sparing temperance at the needful time They drain the scented spring; or, hunger-prest, Along th' Atlantic rock, undreading, climb,
And of its eggs despoil the solan's nest. Thus blest in primal innocence they live,
Suffic'd and happy with that frugal fare Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give.
Hard is their shallow soil, and bleak and bare; Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there!
Nor need'st thou blush that such false themes engage
Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest; For not alone they touch the village breast, But fill'd in elder time th' historic page. There, Shakspeare's self, with ev'ry garland crown'd, Flew to those fairy climes his fancy sheen, In musing hour; his wayward sisters found,
And with their terrors dress'd the magic scene. From them he sung, when, 'mid his bold design, Before the Scot, afflicted, and aghast! The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line
Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant pass'd. Proceed! nor quit the tales which, simply told, Could once so well my answering bosom pierce ; Proceed, in forceful sounds, and color bold,
The native legends of thy land rehearse; To such adapt thy lyre, and suit thy powerful verse. In scenes like these, which, daring to depart From sober truth, are still to Nature true, And call forth fresh delight to Fancy's view, Th' heroic Muse employ'd her Tasso's art. How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke, Its gushing blood the gaping cypress pour'd! When each live plant with mortal accents spoke, And the wild blast upheav'd the vanish'd sword!
One of the Hebrides is called the Isle of Pigmies;| where it is reported that several miniature bones of the human species have been dug up in the ruins of a chapel there.
† Icolmkill, one of the Hebrides, where near sixty of the ancient Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian kings are in terred.
An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of which the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the Hebrides, chiefly Bubsist.
Your lowly glenst o'erhung with spreading broom;
Meantime, ye powers, that on the plains which bore
And oft as Ease and Health retire
But thou, who own'st that earthly bed,
Yet lives there one, whose heedless eye
But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide
* Mr. Thomson was buried in Richmond church.
And see, the fairy valleys fade,
Dun Night has veil'd the solemn view Yet once again, dear parted shade,
Meek Nature's child, again adieu!
The genial meadst assign'd 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, "O! vales, and wild woods," shall he say, "In yonder grave your Druid lies !"
+ Mr. Thomson resided in the neighborhood of Rich mond some time before his death.
JOSEPH AND THOMAS WARTON.
JOSEPH and THOMAS WARTON were sons of Rev. Thomas Warton, who was for some time Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Joseph was born at Dunsfold, Surrey, in 1722, and Thomas at Basingstoke, Hampshire, in 1728. Both were educated at Oxford. Joseph early contributed verses to the "Gentleman's Magazine," and published "Odes, on Various Subjects" in 1746. He travelled on the Continent with the Duke of Bolton in 1751, and two years later issued an edition of Virgil, with a translation of the Eclogues and Georgics. In 1756 he published the first volume of his "Essay on the Writings and Genius of Pope," of which the second volume was not published until 1782. In this work he questioned the supremacy of Pope, and exhibited an amount of critical skill and knowledge that forced an honorable recognition for the book in the face of universal prejudice. He took orders and obtained several valuable livings. He issued an annotated edition of Pope in 1797, and died on February 23, 1800.
Thomas, who was also a clergyman, was less fortunate. than his brother in the matter of preferment, but far excelled him as a poet. He occupied the chair of Poetry at Oxford, and his lectures were held in high esteem. In 1754 he published "Observations on the Faerie Queene of Spenser," which gave him high reputation as a critic. In 1774 he published the first volume of his "History of English Poetry," which is still a standard work. Two other volumes were published in 1778 and 1781, but it was never finished. In 1777 he published a collection of all his poems that he cared to preserve. These went through several editions, and on the death of Whitehead, the poet-laureate, Warton was appointed to that position. He improved the style of work usually done by the laureate, and was somewhat ridiculed for his pains. His last publication was an annotated edition of the minor poems of Milton. He died on May 21, 1790. Of the following selections, the first two are by Joseph Warton, the others by Thomas.
ODE TO FANCY.
O PARENT of each lovely Muse,
'Mid forests dark of aged oak,
Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke,
Tell me the path, sweet wanderer, tell,
Nodding their lily-crownéd heads,
That loves to fold her arms, and sigh;
Now let us louder strike the lyre,
When young-eyed Spring profusely throws
Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,
O hear our prayer, O hither come
Give me, beneath a colder, changeful sky,
When the red papal tyrant cried out-"Blood!"
Be warned, ye nations round; and trembling see
Dashed Roman blood, and crushed the foreign throngs;
By holy Druids' courage-breathing songs;
*Alluding to the persecutions of the Protestants, and the wars of the Saracens, carried on in the southern prov
Save when with smiles thou bidd'st me sing; inces of France.