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village matron relating her stories of witchcraft. Short and compressed as those sketches are, they are still beautiful glimpses of reality, and it is expressly from observing the relief which they afford to his didactic and declamatory passages, that we are led to wish that he had appealed more frequently to examples from nature. It is disagreeable to add, that unsatisfactory as he is in illustrating the several parts of his theory, he ushers them in with great promises, and closes them with self congratulation. He says,

“ Thus with a faithful aim have we presumed Adventurous to delineate nature's form,”

when in fact he has delineated very little' of it. He raises triumphal arches for the entrance and exit of his subject, and then sends beneath them a procession of a few individual ideas.

He altered the poem in maturer life, but with no accession to its powers of entertainment. Harmodius was indeed dismissed, as well as the philosophy of ridicule, but the episode of Solon was left unfinished, and the whole work made rather more dry and scholastic; and he had even the bad taste, I believe, to mutilate some of those fine passages, which, in their primitive state, are still deservedly admired and popular.

FROM THE PLEASURES OF IMAGINATION,

BOOK I.

The subject proposed-Difficulty of treating it poetically--The

ideas of the Divine mind the origin of every quality pleasing to the imagination—Variety of mental constitutions—The idea of a fine imagination, and the state of the mind in the enjoymeut of those pleasures it affords.

With what attractive charms this goodly frame
Of Nature touches the consenting hearts
Of mortal men; and what the pleasing stores
Which beauteous imitation thence derives
To deck the poet's, or the painter's toil;
My verse unfolds. Attend, ye gentle powers
Of musical delight! and while I sing
Your gifts, your honours, dance around my strain.
Thou, smiling queen of every tuneful breast,
Indulgent Fancy! from the fruitful banks
Of Avon, whence thy rosy fingers cull
Fresh flowers and dews to sprinkle on the turf
Where Shakspeare lies, be present: and with thee
Let Fiction come, upon her vagrant wings
Wafting ten thousand colours through the air,
Which, by the glances of her magic eye,
She blends and shifts at will, through countless forms,
Her wild creation. Goddess of the lyre,
Which rules the accents of the moving sphere,
Wilt thou, eternal Harmony! descend
And join this festive train ? for with thee comes
The guide, the guardian of their lovely sports,

Majestic Truth; and where Truth deigns to come,
Her sister Liberty will not be far.
Be present all ye genii, who conduct
The wandering footsteps of the youthful bard,
New to your springs and shades: who touch his ear
With finer sounds: who heighten to his eye
The bloom of Nature, and before him turn
The gayest, happiest attitude of things.

Oft have the laws of each poetic strain
The critic-verse employ'd; yet still unsung
Lay this prime subject, though importing most
A poet's name: for fruitless is the attempt,
By dull obedience and by creeping toil
Obscure to conquer the severe ascent
Of high Parnassus. Nature's kindling breath
Must fire the chosen genius; Nature's hand
Must string his nerves, and imp his eagle-wings
Impatient of the painful steep, to soar
High as the summit; there to breathe at large
Ethereal air; with bards and sages old,
Immortal sons of praise. These flattering scenes,
To this neglected labour court my song;
Yet not unconscious what a doubtful task
To paint the finest features of the mind,
And to most subtle and mysterious things
Give colour, strength, and motion. But the love
Of Nature and the Muses bids explore,
Through secret paths erewhile untrod by ma
The fair poetic region, to detect
Untasted springs, to drink inspiring draughts,

And shade my temples with unfading flowers
Cull'd from the laureate vale's profound recess,
Where never poet gain'd a wreath before.
From Heaven my strains begin ; from Heaven

descends
The flame of genius to the human breast,
And love and beauty, and poetic joy
And inspiration. Ere the radiant Sun
Sprang from the east, or ’mid the vault of night
The Moon suspended her serener lamp;
Ere mountains, woods, or streams, adorn'd the globe,
Or Wisdom taught the sons of men her lore;
Then liv'd the almighty One: then, deep retir'd
In his unfathom'd essence, view'd the forms,
The forms eternal of created things;
The radiant Sun, the Moon's nocturnal lamp,
The mountains, woods, and streams, the rolling

globe,
And Wisdom's mien celestial. From the first
Of days, on them his love divine he fix'd,
His admiration : till in time complete,
What he admir'd and lov’d, his vital smile
Unfolded into being. Hence the breath
Of life informing each organic frame,
Hence the green earth, and wild resounding waves ;
Hence light and shade alternate; warmth and cold;
And clear autumnal skies and vernal showers,
And all the fair variety of things.
But not alike to

every
mortal

eye Is this great scene unveild. For since the claims

Of social life, to different labours urge
The active powers of man! with wise intent
The hand of Nature on peculiar minds
Imprints a different bias, and to each
Decrees its province in the common toil.
To some she taught the fabric of the sphere,
The changeful Moon, the circuit of the stars,
The golden zones of Heaven; to some she gave
To weigh the moment of eternal things,
Of time, and space, and Fate's unbroken chain,
And will's quick impulse: others by the hand
She led o'er vales and mountains, to explore
What healing virtue swells the tender veins
Of herbs and flowers; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, distilling from the clifted rind
In balmy tears. But some, to higher hopes
Were destin'd; some within a finer mould
She wrought, and temper'd with a purer flame.
To these the Sire Omnipotent unfolds
The world's harmonious volume, there to read
The transcript of himself. On every part
They trace the bright impressions of his hand :
In earth or air, the meadow's purple stores,
The Moon's mild radiance, or the virgin’s form
Blooming with rosy smiles, they see pourtray'd
That uncreated beauty, which delights
The mind supreme. They also feel her charms,
Enamour'd; they partake the eternal joy.

For as old Memnon's image, long renown'd
By fabling Nilus, to the quivering touch

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