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With chemic art exalts the mineral powers,
Or looks on heaven with more than mortal eyes;
Ye sacred Nine! that all my soul possess, Whose raptures fire me, and whose visions bless, Bear me, O, bear me to sequester'd scenes, The bowery mazes, and surrounding greens; To Thames's banks which fragrant breezes fill, Or where ye Muses sport on Cooper's-hill. On Cooper's-hill eternal wreaths shall grow 265 While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall flow.
251 To observe a mean. Warburton's loose recollection here gives Warton a triumph, of which he is never slow to avail himself. Warburton had ascribed the origin of the passage to Lucretius: his critic points it out in Lucan's
-servare modum, finemque tenere, Naturamque sequi, &c.-Book ii. 381.
265 On Cooper's-hill eternal wreaths shall grow. The prediction, unlike other prophecies, was farther from fulfilment the farther it advanced in years. The popularity of Cooper'shill has long decayed, without a hope of revival. Johnson
I seem through consecrated walks to rove;
I hear soft music die along the grove.
Led by the sound, I roam from shade to shade, By godlike poets venerable made:
Here his first lays majestic Denham sung;
There the last numbers flow'd from Cowley's tongue.
O, early lost! what tears the river shed,
When the sad pomp along his banks was led!
No more the forests ring, or groves rejoice;
Who now shall charm the shades, where Cowley
His living harp, and lofty Denham sung?
gives Denham the fame of being at least the English inventor of local poetry.' But no people are less tolerant of description than the English, and the fame expired with the novelty.
272 Cowley's tongue. Cowley, disappointed with life, thought, like other disappointed solicitors of the world's favor, to escape its desires, by leaving it behind. His first determination was to put the Atlantic between him and his cares, and withdraw to America. It may be regretted that he did not fulfil this intention: the pictures of savage life, the struggles of rude civilisation, and the grandeur of nature yet untouched by the hand of man, might have been powerfully delineated by the poet and the philosopher. But Cowley was contented with scorning the world at a shorter distance: he took a house at Chertsey, where he died in 1667, of a boyish frolic, in his forty-ninth year. Cowley's life was imbittered by his political follies: idly attached to the Stuarts, whom no man ever trusted but to be betrayed, or served but to be neglected, he wasted the vigor of his days in hazards, which were repaid only with the cheap panegyric of Charles II.:-that 'when Cowley died, he did not leave a better man behind him in England.'
But, hark! the groves rejoice, the forest rings!
Here noble Surrey felt the sacred rage;— Surrey, the Granville of a former age: Matchless his pen, victorious was his lance, Bold in the lists, and graceful in the dance : In the same shades the Cupids tuned his lyre, 295 To the same notes, of love and soft desire: Fair Geraldine, bright object of his vow, Then fill'd the groves, as heavenly Mira now.
O, wouldst thou sing what heroes Windsor bore, What kings first breathed upon her winding shore, Or raise old warriors, whose adored remains In weeping vaults her hallow'd earth contains! With Edward's acts adorn the shining page, Stretch his long triumphs down through every age,
282 The Mira of Granville was the countess of Newburgh. Towards the end of her life, Dr. King, of Oxford, wrote a very severe satire against her, in three books, 4to. called 'The Toast.'-Warton.
291 Here noble Surrey. Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, one of the first refiners of the English poetry; who florished in the time of Henry VIII.-Pope.
303 Edward's acts. Edward III., the builder of Windsorcastle; a man of great political talents, which only gave vigor to his tyranny; a conqueror, who scourged France, nearly to
Draw monarchs chain'd, and Cressy's glorious
The lilies blazing on the regal shield:
Then, from her roofs when Verrio's colors fall,
Still in thy song should vanquish'd France appear, And bleed for ever under Britain's spear.
Let softer strains ill-fated Henry mourn, And palms eternal florish round his urn. Here o'er the martyr-king the marble weeps, And, fast beside him, once-fear'd Edward sleeps: Whom not the extended Albion could contain, From old Belerium to the northern main, The grave unites; where ev'n the great find rest, And blended lie the oppressor and the oppress'd!
the ruin of England; a statesman, closing an unexampled course of popular supremacy in popular scorn; and a king, who after a reign of fifty-one years of uncontested power, left his country the tremendous legacy of the York and Lancastrian
307 Verrio's colors. An Italian decorator of ceilings and staircases. Walpole keenly remarks, that Verrio's pencil was always ready to pour out gods and goddesses, kings and triumphs, over those public surfaces, on which the eye never rests long enough to criticise, and where one would be sorry to place the works of a better master.'
311 Ill-fated Henry. Henry VI., the founder of Eton college, and builder of the chapel of King's-college, Cambridge.
314 Once-fear'd Edward. Edward IV., a brilliant profligate, whom nothing but his pleasures could have kept from the throne of France, and nothing but his talents could have kept on the throne of England.
316 Old Belerium. The Land's End, called by geographers 'Promontorium Bolericum;' by Diodorus Siculus, 'Belerium.' Cornish imagination has there buried its patriarchal giant, Bellerus:
Sleepst by the fable of Bellerus old.
Lycidas, v. 160.
Make sacred Charles's tomb for ever known, Obscure the place, and uninscribed the stone. 320 O, fact accursed! what tears has Albion shed! Heavens, what new wounds! and how her old have bled!
She saw her sons with purple death expire,
319 Make sacred Charles's tomb for ever known. The tomb of the murdered monarch has been since 'made known,' by an examination in the presence of his late majesty, George IV., when regent: the features were perfect, and the countenance still resembled the melancholy beauty of the pictures. The death of that king ought to be a warning for ever, not only of the national guilt, but of the political fruitlessness, of regicide. The liberty of England was slain on the scaffold of the unhappy Charles: the vigorous despotism of Cromwell, and the effeminate despotism of Charles I., were the penalty of a revolution of blood: the free monarchy of William, and the manly prosperity of the Brunswick line, were the fruit of a revolution of reason.
327 Let discord cease. A letter of Prior to Bolingbroke from Paris, 1713, says of the medal which was struck on the peace of Utrecht :-'I dislike your medal with the motto
Compositis venerantur armis.
I will have one of my own design; the queen's bust surrounded with laurel, and with the motto
Peace in a triumphal car, and with the words,
Pax missa per orbem.
This is ancient, this is simple, this is sense.' He might have added, it was confused, obsolete, and common-place. The letter is given by Warton, from the duchess of Portland.