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The father too, a sordid man,
Who love nor pity knew,

Was all-unfeeling as the clod,
From whence his riches grew.

Long had he seen their secret flame,
And seen it long unmov’d:

Then with a father's frown at last
Had sternly disapprov’d.

In Edwin's gentle heart, a war
Of differing passions strove:

His heart, that durst not disobey,
Yet could not cease to love.

Deny'd her sight, he oft behind
The spreading hawthorn crept,

To snatch a glance, to mark the spot
Where Emma walk'd and wept.

Oft too on Stanmore's wintry waste,
Beneath the moonlight shade,

In sighs to pour his soften’d soul,
The midnight mourner stray'd.

His cheek, where health with beauty glow’d,
A deadly pale o'ercast:

So fades the fresh rose in its prime,
Before the northern blast.

The parents now, with late remorse,
Hung o'er his dying bed; -

And weary'd Heaven with fruitless vows,
And fruitless sorrows shed.

'Tis past! he cry’d—but if your souls Sweet mercy yet can move,

Let these dim eyes once more behold, What they must ever love!

She came ; his cold hand softly touch'd,
And bath'd with many a tear:

Fast-falling o'er the primrose pale,
So morning dews appear.

But oh! his sister's jealous care, A cruel sister she l

Forbade what Emma came to say; “My Edwin, live for me!”

Now homeward as she hopeless wept,
The church-yard path along,

The blast blew cold, the dark owl scream'd
Her lover's funeral song.

Amid the falling gloom of night,
Her startling fancy found
In every bush his hovering shade,
His groan in every sound.

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a AKENSIDE—A. D. 1721–70.

PLEASURES OF IMAGINATION. Book i.

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 countlessforms, Her wild creation. Goddess of the lyre, Which rules the accents of the moving sphere, Wilt thou, eternal harmony: descend And join this festive strain 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 man, 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. [scends
From Heaven my strains begin; from Heaven de-
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,therolling 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 unveil’d. 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 spheres,
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
Of Titan’s ray, with each repulsive string
Consenting, sounded through the warbling air
Unbidden strains; even so did nature's hand
To certain species of external things
Attune the finer organs of the mind:
So the glad impulse of congenial powers,
Or of sweet sounds, or fair proportion'd form,
The grace of motion, or the bloom of light,
Thrills through imagination's tender frame,
From nerve to nerve: all naked and alive
They catch the spreading rays; till now the soul
At length discloses every tuneful spring,
To that harmonious movement from without
Responsive. Then the inexpressive strain
Diffuses its enchantment: fancy dreams
Of sacred fountains and Elysian groves,
And vales of bliss: the intellectual power
Bends from his awful throne a wondering ear,
And smiles: the passions, gently sooth'd away,
Sink to divine repose, and love and joy
Alone are waking; love and joy, serene
As airs that fan the summer. O' attend,
Whoe'er thou art, whom these delights can touch,
Whose candid bosom the refining love
Of nature warms, O! listen to my song;
And I will guide thee to her favourite walks,
And teach thy solitude her voice to hear,
And point her loveliest features to thy view.
Know then, whate'er of nature's pregnant stores,
Whate'er of mimic art's reflected forms,
With love and admiration thus inflame
The powers of fancy, her delighted sons
To three illustrious orders have referr'd;
Three sister graces, whom the painter's hand,
The poet's tongue, confesses; the sublime,
The wonderful, the fair. I see them drawn .
I see the radiant visions, where they rise,
More lovely than when Lucifer displays
His beaming forehead through the gates of morn,
To lead the train of Phoebus and the spring.
Say, why was man so eminently rais'd
Amid the vast creation; why ordain'd
Through life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limit of his frame;
But that the Omnipotent might send him forth
In sight of mortal and immortal powers,
As on a boundless theatre, to run
The great career of justice; to exalt
His generous aim to all diviner deeds;
To chase each partial purpose from his breast:
And through the mists of passion and of sense,
And through the tossing tide of chance and pain,
To hold his course unfaultering, while the voice
Of truth and virtue, up the steep ascent
Of nature, calls him to his high reward, [burns
The applauding smile of Heaven? Else wherefore
In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope,

That breathes from day to day sublimer things.
And mocks possession? wherefore darts the mind
With such resistless ardour to embrace
Majestic forms; impatient to be free,

Spurning the gross controul of wilful might;

Proud of the strong contention of her toils;
Proud to be daring : Who but rather turns
To Heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view
Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame?
Who that, from Alpine heights, his labouring eye
Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey
Nilus or Ganges rolling his bright wave
Through mountains, plains, through empires back
with shade
And continents of sand; will turn his gaze
To mark the windings of a scanty rill
That murmurs at his feet? The high-born soul
Disdains to rest her heaven-aspiring wing
Beneath its native quarry. Tir’d of earth
And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Through fields of air; pursues the flying storm:
Rides on the vollied lightning through the heavens;
Or, yok'd with whirlwinds and the northern bles,
Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she scars
The blue profound, and hovering round the sun
Beholds him pouring the redundant stream
Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway
Bend the reluctant planets to absolve
The fated rounds of time. Thence far effus'd
She darts her swiftness up the long career
Of devious comets; through its burning signs
Exulting measures the perennial wheel
Of nature, and looks back on all the stars,
Whose blended light, as with a milky zone,
Invests the orient. Now amaz'd, she views
The empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave heaven, their calm abode;
And fields of radiance, whose unfading light
Has travel'd the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Even on the barriers of the world untir’d
She meditates the eternal depth below:
Till half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges; soon o'erwhelm’d and swallow'd up
In that immense of being. There her hopes
Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of mortal man, the sovereign Maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief delight,
Not in the fading echoes of renown,
Power's purple robes, nor pleasure's flowery lar,
The soul should find enjoyment: but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,
Through all the ascent of things enlarge her view,
Till every bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene.
Call now to mind what high capacious powers
Lie folded up in man; how far beyond
The praise of mortals, may the eternal growth
Of nature to perfection half divine
Expand the blooming soul? What pity then
Should sloth's unkindly fogs depress to earth
Her tender blossom; choke the streams of life,

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