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As now another, dash'd against the rock,
Drops lifeless down. O! deemest thou indeed
No kind endearment here by Nature giv'n
To mutual Terrour and Compassion's tears ?
No sweetly-melting softness, which attracts,
O'er all that edge of pain, the social pow'rs
To this their proper action and their end ?-
Ask thy own heart; when, at the midnight hour,
Slow through that studious gloom thy pausing eye,
Led by the glimm'ring taper, moves around
The sacred volumes of the dead, the songs
Of Grecian bards, and records writ by Fame
For Grecian heroes, where the present pow'r
Of heav'n and earth surveys th' immortal page,
E'en as a father blessing, while he reads
The praises of his son; if then thy soul,
Spurning the yoke of these inglorious days,
Mix in their deeds and kindle with their flamé :
Say, when the prospect blackens on thy view,
When rooted from the base, heroic states
Mourn in the dust, and tremble at the frown
Of curs'd Ambition ;-when the pious band
Of youths that fought for freedom and their sires
Lie side by side in gore;-when ruffian Pride
Usurps the throne of Justice, turns the pomp
Of public pow'r, the majesty of rule,
The sword, the laurel, and the purple robe,
To slavish empty pageants, to adorn
A tyrant's walk, and glitter in the eyes
Of such as bow the knee ;-when honour'd urns,
Of patriots and of chiefs, the awful bust
And storied arch, to glut the coward rage
Of regal envy, strew the public way
With hallow'd ruins !--when the muse's haunt,
The marble porch where Wisdom, wont to talk
With Socrates or Tully, hears no more,
Save the hoarse jargon of contentious monks,
Or female Superstition's midnight pray'r;
When ruthless Rapine from the land of Time
Tears the destroying sithe, with surer blow -
To sweep the works of Glory from their base ;

Till Desolation o'er the grass-grown street
Expands his raven-wings, and up the wall,
Where senates once the pride of monarchs doon'd,
Hisses the gliding snake through hoary weeds,
That clasp the mould'ring column :thus defac’d,
Thus widely mournful when the prospect thrills
Thy beating bosom, when the patriot's tear.
Starts from thine eye, and thy extended arm
In fancy hurls the thunderbolt of Jove,
To fire the impious wreath on Philip's brow,
Or dash Octavius from the trophied car ;-
Say, does thy secret soul repine to taste
The big distress? Or wouldst thou then exchange
Those heart-ennobling sorrows, for the lot
Of him who sits amid the gaudy herd
Of mute barbarians bending to his nod,
And bears aloft his gold-invested front,
And says within himself, “I am a king,
“And wherefore should the clam'rous voice of Wo
“ Intrude upon mine ear?”—The baleful dregs
Of these late ages, this inglorious draught
Of servitude and folly, have not yet,
Blest be th' Eternal Ruler of the world !
Defild to such a depth of sordid shame
The native honours of the human soul,
Nor so effac'd the image of it's sire.

AKENSIDE.

CHAP. XXV.

ON TASTE.

SAY, what is Taste, but the internal pow'rs
Active and strong, and feelingly alive
To each fine impulse? a discerning sense
Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust
From things deform’d, or disarrang’d, or gross
In species? This nor gems, nor stores of gold,
Nor purple state, nor culture can bestow;
But God alone, when first his active hand

Imprints the sacred bias of the soul.
He, Mighty Parent! wise and just in all,
Free as the vital breeze, or light of heav'n,
Reveals the charms of Nature. Ask the swain
Who journeys homeward from a summer-day's
Long labour, wby, forgetful of his toils
And due repose, he loiters to behold
The sunshine gleaming as through amber clouds
O'er all the western sky! Full soon, I ween,
His rude expression, and untutor'd airs,
Beyond the pow'r of language, will unfold
The form of Beauty smiling at his heart,
How lovely! how commanding! But though Heay'n
In every breast hath sown these early seeds
Of love and admiration, yet in vain,
Without fair Culture's kind parental aid,
Without enliv'ning suns and genial show'rs,
And shelter from the blast, in vain we hope
The tender plant should rear it's blooming lead,
Or yield the harvest promis'd in it's spring.
Nor yet will ev'ry soil with equal stores
Repay the tiller's labour; or attend
His will, obsequious, whether to produce
The olive or the laurel. Diff'rent minds
Incline to diff'rent objects : one pursues
The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild ;
Another sighs for harmony and grace,
And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightning fires
The arch of heav'n, and thunders rock the ground;
When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air,
And Ocean, groaning from his lowest bed,
Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky; ..
Amid the mighty uproar, while below
The nations tremble, Shakspeare looks abroad
From some high cliff, superior, and enjoys
The elemental war. But Waller longs,
All on the margin of some flow'ry stream
To spread his careless limbs, amid the cool
Of plantane shades, and to the list’ning deer
The tale of slighted vows and Love's disdain
Resounds, soft warbling, all the livelong day:

Consenting Zephyr sighs; the weeping rill
Joing in his plaint, melodious ; mute the groves;
Aud hill and dale with all their echoes mourn.
Such and so various are the tastes of men. AKENSIDE.

CHAP. XXVI.

THE PLEASURES ARISING FROM A CULTIVATED

IMAGINATION.

O BLEST of Heav'n, whom not the languid songs
Of Luxury, the siren! not the bribes
Of sordid Wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils
Of pageant Honour, can seduce to leave

Of Nature fair Imagination culls,
To charm th' enliven'd soul! What though not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the height
Of envied life; though only few possess
Patrician treasures, or imperial state :
Yet Nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,
The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marbles, and the sculptur'd gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the Spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem
It's lucid leaves unfolds; for him the hand
Of Autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn.
Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wing;
And still new beauties meet his lonely walk,
And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze
Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes
The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain
From all the tenants of the warbling shade

Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake
Fresh pleasure, unreprov'd. Nor then partakes
Fresh pleasure only: for th' attentive Mind,
By this harmonious action on her pow'rs,
Becomes herself harmonious : wont so oft
In outward things to meditate the charm
Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home
To find a kindred order, to exert
Within herself this elegance of love,
This fair inspir'd delight: ber temper'd pow'rs
Refine at length, and ev'ry passion wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien.
But if to ampler prospects, if to gaze
On Nature's form, were negligent of all
These lesser graces, she assumes the port
Of that eternal Majesty that weighed
The world's foundations ; if to these the Mind
Exalts her daring eye; then mightier far
Will be the change, and nobler. Would the forms
Of servile custom cramp her gen'rous pow'rs?
Would sordid policies, the barb'rous growth
Of ignorance and rapine, bow her down
To tame pursuits, to indolence and fear?
Lo! she appeals to Nature, to the winds
And rolling waves, the sun's unwearied course,
The elements and seasons : all declare
For wbat th' eternal Maker has ordain'd
The pow'rs of man: we feel within ourselves
His energy divine: he tells the heart,
He meant, he made us to behold and love
What he beholds and loves, the gen'ral orb
Of life and being; to be great like him,
Beneficent and active. Thus the men,
Whom Nature's works can charm, with God himself
Hold converse; grow familiar, day by day,
With his conceptions; act upon his plan ;
And form to his the relish of their souls.

AKENSIDI.

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