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Say, little book, what furtive hand
Thee from thy fellow books convey'd,
What time, at the repeated suit

Of my most learned friend,
I sent thee forth, an honour'd traveller,
From our great city to the source of Thames,

Cærulean sire!
Where rise the fountains, and the raptures ring,

Of the Aonian choir,
Durable as yonder spheres,
And through the endless lapse of years

Secure to be admired ?


Now what god, or demigod,
For Britain's ancient genius moved,

(If our afflicted land
Have expiated at length the guilty sloth

Of her degenerate sons)
Shall terminate our impious feuds,
And discipline with hallow'd voice recall ?

Recall the muses too,

Driven from their ancient seats
In Albion, and well nigh from Albion's shore,

And with keen Phoebean shafts
Piercing the unseemly birds,

Whose talons menace us,
Shall drive the harpy race from Helicon afar?

But thou, my book, though thou hast stray'd,

Whether by treachery lost,
Or indolent neglect, thy bearer's fault,

From all thy kindred books,
To some dark cell or cave forlorn,

Where thou endurest, perhaps,
The chafing of some hard untutor'd hand,

Be comforted—
For lo! again the splendid hope appears

That thou mayst yet escape
The gulfs of Lethe, and on oary wings
Mount to the everlasting courts of Jove!

Since Rouse desires thee, and complains

That, though by promise his,

Thou yet appear'st not in thy place
Among the literary noble stores

Given to his care,
But, absent, leavest his numbers incomplete.
He, therefore, guardian vigilant

Of that unperishing wealth,
Calls thee to the interior shrine, his charge,
Where he intends a richer treasure far
Than lön kept (lön, Erectheus' son

f the fair Creüsa born) In the dent temple of Trip id, and Delphi

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Then, malice silenced in the tomb,

Cooler heads and sounder hearts,

Thanks to Rouse, if aught of praise
I merit, shall with candour weigh the claim.



Fair Lady! whose harmonious name the Rhine,

Through all his grassy vale, delights to hear,

Base were indeed the wretch who could forbear
To love a spirit elegant as thine,
That manifests a sweetness all divine,

Nor knows a thousand winning acts to spare,
And graces,

which Love's bow and arrows are,
Tempering thy virtues to a softer shine.
When gracefully thou speak'st, or singest gay,

Such strains as might the senseless forest move, Ah then-turn each his


and ears away, Who feels himself unworthy of thy love! Grace can alone preserve him ere the dart Of fond desire yet reach his inmost heart.



As on a hill-top rude, when closing day

Imbrowns the scene, some pastoral maiden fair

Waters a lovely foreign plant with care, Borne from its native genial airs away, That scarcely can its tender bud display,

So, on my tongue these accents, new and rare,

Are flowers exotic, which Love waters there. While thus, O sweetly scornful! I essay

Thy praise in verse to British ears unknown, And Thames exchange for Arno's fair domain; So Love has willd, and ofttimes Love has shown

That what he wills, he never wills in vain. Oh that this hard and sterile breast might be To Him, who plants from Heaven, a soil as free!


They mock my toil—the nymphs and amorous

swainsAnd whence this fond attempt to write, they cry, Love-songs in language that thou little know'st? How darest thou risk to sing these foreign strains ? Say truly. Find'st not oft thy purpose cross'd, And that thy fairest flowers here fade and die ? Then with pretence of admiration high

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