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With all her Attic fanes, such raptures raise,
As the thrush-haunted copse, where lightly leaps
The fearful fawn the rustling leaves along,
And the brisk squirrel sports from bough to bough,
While from an hollow oak, whose naked roots
O’erhang a pensive rill, the busy bees
Hum drowsy lullabies? The bards of old,
Fair Nature's friends, sought such retreats, to charm
Sweet Echo with their songs; oft too they met
In summer evenings, near sequestered bowers,
Or mountain nymph, or Muse, and eager learnt
The moral strains she taught to mend mankind.

Rich in her weeping country's spoils, Versailles
May boast a thousand fountains, that can cast
The tortured waters to the distant heavens:
Yet let me choose some pine-topped precipice
Abrupt and shaggy, whence a foamy stream,
Like Anio, tumbling roars; or some bleak heath,
Where straggling stands the mournful juniper,
Or yew-tree scathed; while in clear prospect round
From the grove's bosom spires emerge, and smoke
In bluish wreaths ascends, ripe harvests wave,
Low, lonely cottages, and ruined tops
Of Gothic battlements appear, and streams
Beneath the sunbeams twinkle.

Happy the first of men, ere yet confined
To smoky cities; who in sheltering groves,
Warm caves, and deep-sunk valleys lived and loved,
By cares unwounded; what the sun and showers,
And genial earth untillaged, could produce,
They gathered grateful, or the acorn brown
Or blushing berry; by the liquid lapse
Of murmuring waters called to slake their thirst,
Or with fair nymphs their sun-brown limbs to bathe;
With nymphs who fondly clasped their favourite youths,
Unawed by shame, beneath the beechen shade,
Nor wiles nor artificial coyness knew.
Then doors and walls were not; the melting maid
Nor frown of parents feared, nor husband's threats;

Nor had cursed gold their tender hearts allured:
Then beauty was not venal. Injured Love,
Oh! whither, god of raptures, art thou fled ?

What are the lays of artful Addison,
Coldly correct, to Shakespeare's warblings wild?
Whom on the winding Avon's willowed banks
Fair Fancy found, and bore the smiling babe
To a close cavern (still the shepherds show
The sacred place, whence with religious awe
They hear, returning from the field at eve,
Strange whisperings of sweet music through the air).
Here, as with honey gathered from the rock,
She fed the little prattler, and with songs
Oft soothed his wandering ears; with deep delight
On her soft lap he sat, and caught the sounds.

Oft near some crowded city would I walk,
Listening the far-off noises, rattling cars,
Loud shouts of joy, sad shrieks of sorrow, knells
Full slowly tolling, instruments of trade,
Striking my ears with one deep-swelling hum.
Or wandering near the sea, attend the sounds
Of hollow winds and ever-beating waves.
Even when wild tempests swallow up the plains,
And Boreas' blasts, big hail, and rains combine
To'shake the groves and mountains, would I sit,
Pensively musing on th' outrageous crimes
That wake Heaven's vengeance: at such solemn hours,
Demons and goblins through the dark air shriek,
While Hecat, with her black-browed sisters nine,
Rides o’er the Earth, and scatters woes and death.
Then, too, they say, in drear Egyptian wilds
The lion and the tiger prowl for prey
With roarings loud! The listening traveller
Starts fear-struck, while the hollow echoing vaults
Of pyramids increase the deathful sounds.

But let me never fail in cloudless nights, When silent Cynthia in her silver car Through the blue concave slides, when shine the hills, Twinkle the streams, and woods look ped with gold, To seek some level mead, and there invoke

Old Midnight's sister, Contemplation sage,
(Queen of the rugged brow and stern-fixt eye,)
To lift my soul above this little earth,
This folly-fettered world: to purge my ears,
That I may hear the rolling planets' song,
And tuneful turning spheres: if this be barred
The little fays, that dance in neighbouring dales,
Sipping the night-dew, while they laugh and love,
Shall charm me with aërial notes.-As thus
I wander musing, lo, what awful forms
Yonder appear! sharp-eyed Philosophy
Clad in dun robes, an eagle on his wrist,
First meets my eye; next, virgin Solitude
Serene, who blushes at each gazer's sight;
Then Wisdom's hoary head, with crutch in hand,
Trembling, and bent with age; last Virtue's self,
Smiling, in white arrayed, who with her leads
Sweet Innocence, that prattles by her side,
A naked boy !-Harassed with fear I stop,
I gaze, when Virtue thus—'Whoe'er thou art,
Mortal, by whom I deign to be beheld
In these my midnight walks; depart, and say,
That henceforth I and my immortal train
Forsake Britannia's isle; who fondly stoops
To vice, her favourite paramour. She spoke,
And as she turned, her round and rosy neck,
Her flowing train, and long ambrosial hair,
Breathing rich odours, I enamoured view.

O who will bear me then to western climes,
Since virtue leaves our wretched land, to fields
Yet unpolluted with Iberian swords,
The isles of innocence, from mortal view
Deeply retired, beneath a plantain's shade,
Where happiness and quiet sit enthroned,
With simple Indian swains, that I may hunt
The boar and tiger through savannahs wild,
Through fragrant deserts and through citron groves ?
There fed on dates and herbs, would I despise
The far-fetched cates of luxury, and hoards
Of narrow-hearted avarice; nor heed
The distant din of the tumultuous world.

JOHN GILBERT COOPER

FROM THE POWER OF HARMONY

THE HARMONY OF NATURE

Hail, thrice hail! Ye solitary seats, where Wisdom seeks Beauty and Good, th' unseparable pair, Sweet offspring of the sky, those emblems fair Of the celestial cause, whose tuneful word From discord and from chaos raised this globe And all the wide effulgence of the day. From him begins this beam of gay delight, When aught harmonious strikes th' attentive mind; In him shall end; for he attuned the frame Of passive organs with internal sense, To feel an instantaneous glow of joy, When Beauty from her native seat of Heaven, Clothed in ethereal wildness, on our plains Descends, ere Reason with her tardy eye Can view the form divine; and through the world The heavenly boon to every being flows.

Nor less admire those things, which viewed apart
Uncouth appear, or horrid; ridges black
Of shagged rocks, which hang tremendous o'er
Some barren heath; the congregated clouds
Which spread their sable skirts, and wait the wind
To burst th' embosomed storm; a leafless wood,
A mouldering ruin, lightning-blasted fields;
Nay, e'en the seat where Desolation reigns
In brownest horror; by familiar thought
Connected to this universal frame,
With equal beauty charms the tasteful soul
As the gold landscapes of the happy isles
Crowned with Hesperian fruit: for Nature formed
One plan entire, and made each separate scene

Co-operate with the general of all
In that harmonious contrast.

From these sweet meditations on the charms
Of things external, on the genuine forms
Which blossom in creation, on the scene
Where mimic art with emulative hue
Usurps the throne of Nature unreproved,
On the just concord of mellifluent sounds;
The soul, and all the intellectual train
Of fond desires, gay hopes, or threatening fears,
Through this habitual intercourse of sense
Is harmonized within, till all is fair
And perfect; till each moral power perceives
Its own resemblance, with fraternal joy,
In every form complete, and smiling feels
Beauty and Good the same.

1

WILLIAM COLLINS

ODE

WRITTEN IN THE BEGINNING OF 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
That 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 grey,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there!

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