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Be mine to read the visions old,
HOLD EACH STRANGE TALE DEVOUT:
On that thrice hallow'd eve, &c.
There is an old traditionary fuperfition, that on St. Mark's eve the forms of all fuch perfons as fall die within the ensuing year, make their folemn entry into the churches of their refpeétive parishes, as St. Patrick fwam over the channel, without their heads.
ode, on account of the subject, and it has, indeed, an air of fimplicity not altogether unaffecting
By all the honey'd store
On Hybla’s thymy shore,
By her whose love-lorn woe,
In evening musings flow,
This allegorical imagery of the honey'd store, the blooms, and mingled murmurs of Hybla, alluding to the fweetness and beauty of the attig poetry has the finest and the happiest effect: yet, possibly, it will bear a question
whether the ancient Greek tragedians had a general claim to fimplicity in any thing more than the plans of their drama. Their language, at least, was infinitely metaphorical; yet it must be owned that they justly copied Dature and the passions, and so far, certainly, they were entitled to the palm of true fimplicity : the following most beautiful speech of Polynices, will be a monument of this so long 23 poetry shall last,
But staid to sing alone
The poet cuts off the prevalence of Simplicity among the Romans with the reign of Auguftus, and indeed, it did not continue much longer, most of the compositions, after that date, giving into false and artificial ornament.
No more in hall or bower,
The passions own thy power,
In these lines the writings of the provencial poets are principally alluded to, in which, fimplicity is generally facrificed to the rhapsodies of romantic love.
0 D E
ON THE POETICAL CHARACTER;
Procul! O! procul este profani !
HIS ode is so infinitely abstracted and
replete with high enthusiasm, that it will find few readers capable of entering into the spirit of it, or of relishing its beauties. There is a style of sentiment as utterly unintelligible to common capacities, as if the subjeét were treated in an unknown language ; and it is on the same account that abstracted poetry will never have many admirers. The authors of such poems must be content with the approbation of those heaven-favoured geniuses, who, by a similarity of taste and fentiment, are enabled to penetrate the high mysteries of inspired fancy, and to pursue the 9