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Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of
In climes beyond the solar road,
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.
And oft, beneath the od'rous shade
Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat
In loose numbers wildly sweet
Their feather-cinctur'd chief, and dusky loves.
Her track, where'er the goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous shame, [flame.
Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles, that crown th' Ægean deep,
Fields, that cool Ilys us laves,
Or where Mæander's amber waves
In lingering lab'rinths creep,
How do your tuneful Echoes languish,
Mute, but to the voice of Anguish!
Where each old poetic mountain
Inspiration breath'd around;
Ev'ry shade and hallow'd fountain
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound :
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour,
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power,
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains,
When Latium had the lofty spirit lost,
They sought, oh Albion! next, thy sea-encircled
Far from the sun and summer gale,
In thy green lap was nature's darling* laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smil'd.
'This pencil take' (she said) whose colours clear,
Richly paint the vernal year:
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
This can unlock the gates of Joy;
Of horror that, and thrilling Fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears.'
Nor second he,† that rode sublime Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy, The secrets of th' abyss to spy.
He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time : The living throne, the sapphire-blaze, Where angels tremble while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,
Closed his eyes in endless night.
Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bear
Two coursers of ethereal race,
With necks in thunder cloth'd, and long resound
Hark, his hands the lyre explore!
Bright-ey'd Fancy, hovering o'er,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But ah! 'tis heard no more-
O! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? Though he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
That the Theban eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion
Through the azure deep of air:
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the sun :
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, Beneath the good how far!--but far above the great.
ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE.
YE distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat❜ry glade,
Where grateful Science still adores
Her HENRY's holy shade ;*
And ye, that from the stately brow
Of WINDSOR's heights th' expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way:
*King Henry the Sixth, founder of the college.
Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
Ah, fields belov'd in vain!
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,
As waving fresh their gladsome wing
My weary soul they seem to sooth,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, father THAMES, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race
Disporting on thy margent green
The paths of pleasure trace;
Who foremost now delight to cleave,
With pliant arm, thy glassy wave?
The captive linnet which enthral?
What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Or urge the flying ball?
While some on earnest business bent
Their murm'ring labours ply
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint To sweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possess'd;
The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast:
Theirs buxon Health, of rosy hue,
W Wit, Invention ever-new,
And lively Cheer, of Vigour born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light, That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come,
Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see, how all around 'em wait
The ministers of human fate,
And black Misfortune's baleful train! Ah, show them where in ambush stand, To seize their prey, the murd'rous band Ah, tell them they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame that sculks behind;
Or pining Love shall waste their youth
Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart;
And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.