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Whence is this rage ? — what spirit, say,
O warm, enthusiastic maid, Without thy powerful, vital aid, That breathes an energy divine, That gives a soul to every line, Ne'er may I strive with lips profane To utter an unhallow'd strain, Nor dare to touch the sacred string, Save when with smiles thou bidd'st me sing. O hear our prayer, O hither come From thy lamented Shakspeare's tomb, On which thou lov'st to sit at eve, Musing o'er thy darling's grave; O queen of numbers, once again Animate some chosen swain, Who, fill'd with unexhausted fire, May boldly smite the sounding lyre, Who with some new unequallid song, May rise above the rhyming throng, O'er all our list’ning passions reign, O’erwhelm our souls with joy and pain, With terrour shake, and pity move, Rouse with revenge, or melt with love; O deign t'attend his evening walk, With him in groves and grottoes talk; Teach him to scorn with frigid art Feebly to touch th' unraptur'd heart; Like lightning, let his mighty verse The bosom's inmost foldings pierce; With native beauties win applause Beyond cold critics' studied laws; O let each Muse's fame increase, O bid Britannia rival Greece!
WRITTEN AT MONTAUBAN IN FRANCE, 1750.
Tarn, how delightful wind thy willow'd waves,
* Alluding to the persecutions of the Protestants, and the wars of the Saracens, carried on in the southern provinces of France.
By fierce Bonduca's shield and foaming steeds;
THOMAS WARTON, younger brother of the preceding, a distinguished poet, and a historian of poetry, was born at Basingstoke in 1728. He was educated under his father till 1743, when he was admitted a commoner of Trinity college, Oxford. Here he exercised his poetical talent to so much advantage, that, on the appearance of Mason's Elegy of Isis, which severely reflected on the disloyalty of Oxford at that period, he was encouraged by Dr. Huddesford, president of his college, to vindicate the cause of his university. This task he performed with great applause, by writing, in his twenty-first year, “ The Triumph of Isis," a piece of much spirit and fancy, in which he retaliated upon the bard of Cam, by satirising the courtly venality then supposed to distinguish the rival university. His “ Progress of Discontent,” published in 1750, exhibited to great advantage his powers in the familiar style, and his talent for humour, with a knowledge of human life, extraordinary at his early age, especially if composed, as it is said, for a college exercise in 1746. In 1750 he took the degree of M. A.,