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HE genius of Collins was capable of
every degree of excellence in lyric poetry, and perfectly qualified for that high province of the muse. Poffefled of a native ear for all the varieties of harmony and modulation, susceptible of the finest feelings of tenderness and humanity, but, above all, carried away by that high enthusiasm, which gives to imagination its strongest colouring, he was, at once, capable of soothing the ear with the melody of his numbers, of influencing the passions by the force of his Pathos, and of gratifying the fancy by the luxury of description.
In consequence of these powers, but, more particularly, in confideration of the last, he chose such subjects for his lyric essays as were most favourable for the indulgence of description and allegory; where he could exercise his powers in moral and personal painting ; where he could exert his invention in conferring new attributes on images or objects already known, and described, by a determinate number of characteristics; where he might give an uncommon eclat to his figures, by placing them in happier attitudes, or in more advantageous lights, and introduce new forms from the moral and intellectual world into the society of impersonated beings.
Such, no doubt, were the privileges which the poet expected, and such were the advan. tages he derived from the descriptive and allegorical nature of his themes.