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Or crop from Tiviots dale each
And mourn on Yarrow's banks Meantime, ye Pow’rs, that on the plains which bore
The cordial youth, on LOTHIAN's plains attend, Where'er he dwell, on hill, or lowly muir,
To him I lose, your kind protection lend, And, touch'd with love like mine, preserve my absent
WRITTEN ON A PAPER WHICH CONTAINED A PIECE OF
BRIDE-CAKE, GIVEN TO THE AUTHOR
BY A LADY.
YE curious hands, that hid from vulgar eyes,
By search profane shall find this hallow'd cake, With virtue's awe forbear the sacred prize,
Nor dare a theft for love and pity's sake! This precious relick, formd by magic pow'r,
Beneath the shepherd's haunted pillow laid,
The secret present of a matchless maid.
Each nice ingredient chose with happiest art;
And pains that please are mixt in every part. With rosy hand the spicy fruit she brought,
From Paphian hills, and fair Cythera's isle ; And temper'd sweet with these the melting thought,
The kiss ambrosial and the yielding smile. Ambiguous looks, that scorn and yet relent,
Denials mild, and firm unalter'd truth, Reluctant pride, and amorous faint consent,
And meeting ardours and exulting youth. Sleep, wayward God! hath sworn while these remain,
With Hattring dreams to dry his nightly tear, And chearful hope, so oft invok'd in vain,
With fairy songs shall sooth his pensive ear.
If, bound by vows to friendship’s gentle side,
And fond of soul, thou hop'st an equal grace, If youth or maid thy joys and griefs divide,
O much entreated, leave this fatal place. Sweet peace, who long hath shunnd my plaintive
day, Consents at length to bring me short delight, Thy careless steps
may scare her doves away, And grief with raven note usurp the night.
LETTER FROM WILLIAM COLLINS
[Seward's Supplement to the Anecdotes of Distinguished
Persons, p. 123]
TO DR. WILLIAM HAYES, PROFESSOR OF MUSIC, OXFORD.
SIR, MR. BLACKSTONE, of Winchester, some time since informed me of the honour you had done me at Oxford last summer; for which I return you my sincere thanks. I have another more perfect copy of the Ode ; which, had I known your obliging design, I would have communicated to you. Inform me by a line, if you should think one of my better judgement acceptable. In such case I could send you one written on a nobler subject; and which, tho' I have been persuaded to bring it forth in London, I think more calculated for an audience in the University. The subject is 'the Music of the Grecian Theatre'; in which I have, I hope naturally, introduced the various characters with which the chorus was concerned, as Oedipus, Medea, Electra, Orestes, etc.
The composition too is probably more correct, as I have chosen the ancient Tragedies for my models, and only copied the most affecting passages in them.
In the mean time, you would greatly oblige me by