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Ah! why was ruin so attractive made,
Or why fond man so easily betrayed ?
Why heed we not, while mad we haste along,
The gentle voice of Peace, or Pleasure's song?
Or wherefore think the flowery mountain's side,
The fountain's murmurs, and the valley's pride;
Why think we these less pleasing to behold
Than dreary deserts, if they lead to gold?
"Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!

O cease, my fears! All frantic as I go,
When thought creates unnumbered scenes of wo,
What if the lion in his rage I meet !
Oft in the dust I view his printed feet;
And fearful oft, when Day's declining light
Yields her pale empire to the mourner Night,
By hunger roused he scours the groaning plain,
Gaunt wolves and sullen tigers in his train;
Before them Death with shrieks directs their way,
Fills the wild yell, and leads them to their prey.
Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!'

At that dead hour the silent asp shall creep,
If aught of rest I find, upon my sleep ;
Or some swoln serpent twist his scales around,
And wake to anguish with a burning wound.
Thrice happy they, the wise contented poor,
From lust of wealth and dread of death secure !
They tempt no deserts, and no griefs they find;
Peace rules the day where reason rules the mind.
'Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!

O hapless youth ! for she thy love hath won,
The tender Zara! will be most undone.
Big swelled my heart, and owned the powerful maid,
When fast she dropped her tears, as thus she said :
• Farewell the youth whom sighs could not detain,
Whom Zara's breaking heart implored in vain !
Yet as thou go'st, may every blast arise
Weak and unfelt as these rejected sighs;
Safe o'er the wild no perils may'st thou see,
No griefs endure, nor weep, false youth! like me.'
'0! let me safely to the fair return,
Say with a kiss, she must not, shall not mourn ;
0! let me teach my heart to lose its fears,
Recalled by Wisdom's voice and Zara's tears.'

He said, and called on Heaven to bless the day When back to Schiraz' walls he bent his way.

Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat,
With short shrill shriek, flits by on leathern wing,

Or where the beetle winds

His small but sullen horn,
As oft he rises midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:

Now teach me, maid composed,

To breathe some softened strain, Whose numbers stealing through thy darkening vale, May not unseemly with its stillness suit,

As, musing slow, I hail

Thy genial loved return!
For when thy folding-star arising shows
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp

The fragrant hours, and elves

Who slept in buds the day, And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge, And sheds the freshening dew, and lovelier still,

The pensive pleasures sweet

Prepare thy shadowy car.
Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene,
Or find some ruin ’midst its dreary dells,

Whose walls more awful nod

By thy religious gleams.
Or if chill blustering winds, or driving rain,
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut

That from the mountain's side

Views wilds and swelling floods,
And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all

Thy dewy fingers draw

The gradual dusky veil. While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont, And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!

While Summer loves to sport

Beneath thy lingering light:
While sallow autumn fills thy lap with leaves,
Or Winter yelling through the troublous air,

Affrights thy shrinking train,

And rudely rends thy robes :
So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace,

Thy gentlest influence own,
And love thy favourite name!

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Ode Written in the Year 1746.

How sleep the brave who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest ?
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod,
Than Fancy's feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung ;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay,
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there.

Ode on the Passions, When Music, heavenly maid! was young, While yet in early Greece she sung, The Passions oft, to hear her shell, Thronged around her magic cell ; Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, Possessed beyond the muse's painting; By turns they felt the glowing mind Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined ; Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, Filled with fury, rapt, inspired, From the supporting myrtles round, They snatched her instruments of sound; And as they oft had heard apart Sweet lessons of her forceful art, Each, for madness ruled the hour, Would prove his own expressive power. First Fear his hand, its skill to try, Amid the chords, bewildered laid ; And back recoiled, he knew not why, Even at the sound himself had made. Next Anger rushed, his eyes on fire In lightnings owned his secret stings; In one rude clash he struck the lyre, And swept with hurried hand the strings.

Ode to Evening.
If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear,

Like thy own solemn springs,

Thy springs, and dying gales;
Oh nymph reserved, while now the bright-haired sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,

With brede ethereal wove,
O'erhang his wavy bed :


With woful measures wan Despair,

Oh Music! sphere-descended maid,
Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled ;

Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid,
A solemn, strange, and mingled air;

Why, goddess ! why to us denied,
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.

Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside?

As in that loved Athenian bower,
But thou, oh Hope! with eyes so fair,

You learn an all-commanding power;
What was thy delighted measure ?

Thy mimic soul, oh nymph endeared,
Still it whispered promised pleasure,

Can well recall what then it heard.
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail.

Where is thy native simple heart,
Still would her touch the strain ptolong ;

Devote to virtue, fancy, art?
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,

Arise, as in that elder time,
She called on Echo still through all the song;

Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime !
And where her sweetest theme she chose,

Thy wonders in that godlike age li A soft responsive voice was heard at every close ;

Fill thy recording sister's page ; And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden

'Tis said, and I believe the tale, hair:

Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
And longer had she sung, but with a frown

Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Rerenge impatient rose;

Than all which charms this laggard age; He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down,

Even all at once together found,
And, with a withering look,

Cecilia's mingled world of sound.
The war-denouncing trumpet took,

Oh! bid your vain endeavours cease,
And blew a blast so loud and dread,

Revive the just designs of Greece ;
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of wo;

Return in all thy simple state;
And ever and anon he beat

Confirm the tales her sons relate.
The double drum with furious heat;
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Ode to Liberty.
Dejected Pity at his side

Her soul-subduing voice applied,
Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien,

Who shall awake the Spartan fife,
While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting

And call in solemn sounds to life,
from his head.

The youths, whose locks divinely spreading,
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fixed ; Like vernal hyacinths in sullen hue.
Sad proof of thy distressful state;

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 Hate. What new Alceus, fancy-blessed,

Shall sing the sword, in myrtles dressed, With eyes upraised, as one inspired,

At wisdom's shrine a while its flame concealing, Pale Melancholy sat retired,

(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! Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul; Oh goddess, in that feeling hour, And elashing soft from rocks around,

When most its sounds would court thy ears, Bubbling runnels joined the sound;

Let not my 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
Or o'er some haunted streams with fond delay,

How Rome, before thy face,
Round a holy calm diffusing,

With heaviest sound, a giant statue fell,
Lore of peace and lonely musing,

Pushed by a wild and artless race
In hollow murmurs died away.

From off its wide ambitious base,
But oh! how altered was its sprightly tone,

When time his northern sons of spoil awoke, When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue,

And all the blended work of strength and grace,
Her bow across her shoulder flung,

With many a rude repeated stroke,
Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,

And many a barbarous yell, to thousand fragments Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,

The hunter's call, to Fawn and Dryad known;
The oak-crowned sisters, and their chaste-eyed queen, Yet, even where'er the least appeared,

Satyrs and sylvan boys, were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green ;

The admiring world thy hand revered ;
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear,

Still 'midst the scattered states around, And Sport leaped up, and seized his beechen spear. They saw, by what escaped the storm,

Some remnants of her strength were found; Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :

How wondrous rose her perfect form ; He, with viny crown advancing,

How in the great, the laboured whole, First to the liveby pipe his hand addressed ; Each mighty master poured his soul ; But soon he saw the brisk, awakening viol,

For sunny Florence, seat of art,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best. Beneath her vines preserved a part,

They would have thought, who heard the strain, Till they, whom science loved to name,
They saw, in Tempe's vale, her native maids, (Oh, who could fear it ?) quenched her flame.
Amidst the festal sounding shades,

And, lo, a humbler relić laid
To some unwearied minstrel dancing:

In jealous Pisa's olive shade!
While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings, See small Marino joins the theme,
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 fled);

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 fame 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,
Where Orcas howls, his wolfish mountains rounding; Thou, lady, thou shalt rule the west !

O how supremely art thou blest,
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

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 see, like gems, her laughing train,

And rifle all the breathing spring.
The little isles on every side,
Mona, once hid from those who search the main,

No wailing ghost shall dare appear
Where thousand elfin shapes abide,

To vex with shrieks this quiet grove, And Wight who checks the westering tide,

But shepherd lads assemble here,
For thee consenting heaven has each bestowed

And melting virgins own their love.
A fair attendant on her sovereign pride:
To thee this blessed divorce she owed,

No withered witch shall here be seen,
For thou hast made her vales thy loved, thy last

No goblins lead their nightly crew; abode !

The female fays shall haunt the green,

And dress thy grave with pearly dew;

The redbreast oft at evening hours
Then, too, 'tis said, a hoary pile,

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,

Or midst the chase on every plain,
Though now with hopeless toil we trace
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.
Yet still, if truth those beams infuse,
Which guide at once, and charm the muse,

Ode on the Death of Mr Thomson.
Beyond yon braided clouds that lie,
Paving the light embroidered sky;

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,
There happier than in islands blessed,

Where slowly winds the stealing wave!
Or bowers by spring or Hebe dressed,
The chiefs who fill our Albion's story,

The year's best sweets shall duteous rise,

To deck its poet's sylvan grave !
In warlike weeds, retired in glory,
Hear their consorted Druids sing

In yon deep bed of whispering reeds
Their triumphs to the imunortal string.

His airy harp shall now be laid, How may the poet now unfold

That he, whose heart in sorrow bleeds, What never tongue or numbers told?

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!
And oft as ease and health retire

To breezy lawn, or forest deep,
The friend shall view yon whitening spire,

And ʼmid the varied landscape weep.
But thou, who own'st that earthly bed,

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 ?
With him, sweet bard, may fancy die,

And joy desert the blooming year.
But thou, lorn stream, whose sullen tide

No sedge-crowned sisters now attend,
Now waft me from the green hill's side,

Whose cold turf bides 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 mour 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 poetical 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 up 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 beneembellishment 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 poswas 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 pubyears. 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 walks, 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 versės 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




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, yet 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. 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,

Ba with the striking eulogium, that, if any mind denies its sympathy to them, it has no acquaintance with love or nature :

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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;

har 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; Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,' &c. Whilom a twig of small regard to see, Mr D’Israeli has pointed out this resemblance in

Though now so wide its waving branches flow, his Curiosities of Literature,' and it appears well

And work the simple vassals mickle wo; founded. The palm of merit, as well as originality,

For not a wind might curl the leaves that blew,

But their limbs shuddered, and their pulse beat low; seems to rest with Shenstone ; for it is more natural and just to predict the existence of undeveloped and shaped it into rods, and tingled at the view.

And as they looked, they found their horror grew, 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 of Gray has a sweet and touching pathos, that

On which the tribe their gambols do display; sinks into the heart and memory. Shenstone's is as

And at the door imprisoning board is seen, follows:

Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray ;

Eager, 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 so, 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;


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