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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,
They see the gliding ghosts unbodied troop.
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 They know what spirit brews the stormful day,
And heartless, oft like moody madness, stare To see the phantom train their secret work prepare.
To monarchs dear, some hundred miles astray,
In the first year of the first George's reign,
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 1715; 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 Muse
Let not dank Will mislead you to the heath:
Dancing in mirky night, o'er fen and lake, He glows, to draw you downward to your death,
In his bewitch'd, low, marshy, willow brake! What though far off, from some dark dell espied.
His glimmering mazes cheer th' excursive sight Yet turn, ye wanderers, turn your steps aside,
Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light; For watchful, lurking, 'mid th' unrustling reed,
At those mirk hours the wily monster lies, And listens oft to hear the passing steed,
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!
§ 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:
How have I sat, when pip'd the pensive wind,
Believ'd the magic wonders which he sung!
Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here! Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows! Melting it flows, pure, murmuring, strong, and clear,
Or thither, where beneath the show'ry west
No slaves revere them, and no wars invade:
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.
Fair Nature's daughter, Virtue, yet abides.
Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain,
And all their prospect but the wintry main. With sparing temperance at the needful time
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, But, on, o'er all, forget not Kilda's race, 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
And call forth fresh delight to Fancy's view,
* 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
And fills the impassion'd heart, and wins th' har monious ear!
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 en
Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possest;
THE DEATH OF MR. THOMSON.
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, The scene of the following Stanzas is supposed to lie on the
Flew to those fairy climes his fancy sheen; In musing hour; his wayward sisters found,
Thames, near Richmond.
And with their terrors dress'd the magic scene.
Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant pass'd.
Could once so well my answering bosom pierce;
The native legends of thy land rehearse;
From sober truth, are still to Nature true,
An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of which the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the Hebrides, chiefly subsist.
Your lowly glenst o'erhung with spreading broom; Or o'er your stretching heaths, by Fancy led;
Or o'er your mountains creep, in awful gloom! Then will I dress once more the faded bower,
Where Jonson sat in Drummond's classic shade ;! Or crop, from Tiviotdale, each lyric flower,
And mourn, on Yarrow's banks, where Willy's
Meantime, ye powers, that on the plains which bore
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.
In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
His airy harp shall now be laid,
Then maids and youths shall finger here,
And, while its sounds at distance swell, Shall sadly seem in Pity's ear
To hear the woodland pilgrim's knell.
Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore
*Three rivers in Scotland.
Ben Jonson paid a visit on foot, in 1619, to the Scotch poet, Drummond, at his seat of Hawthornden, within four miles of Edinburgh.
§ Barrow, it seems, was at the Edinburgh University which is in the county of Lothian.
The harp of Eolus, of which see a description in the Castle of Indolence.
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.
ODE TO FANCY.
O PARENT of each lovely Muse,
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.
'Mid forests dark of aged oak,
Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke, Where never human art appear'd,
Nor even one straw-roofed cot was reared,
Tell me the path, sweet wanderer, tell,
Nodding their lily-crownéd heads,
Now let us louder strike the lyre,
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,
O hear our prayer, O hither come
WRITTEN AT MONTAUBAN IN FRANCE, 1750.
TARN, how delightful wind thy willowed waves.
The priest's, the soldier's, and the fermier's
'Tis Fancy, in her fiery car,
Vain glows this sun, in cloudless glory drest,
Give me, beneath a colder, changeful sky,
When the red papal tyrant cried out—“ Blood!”
Be warned, ye nations round; and trembling see
That, swiftly whirling through the walks of
Dashed Roman blood, and crushed the foreign
By holy Druids' courage-breathing songs;
Be Albion still thy joy! with her remain,
* Alluding to the persecutions of the Protestants, and the wars of the Saracens, carried on in the southern prov