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Who but would wish his holy lot
ODE SENT TO A FRIEND,
ON HIS LEAVING A FAVORITE VILLAGE IN And to the world's tumultuous stage
Au mourn, thou lov'd retreat! No more
O'er yonder oak-crown'd airy steep.
Who now shall climb its brows to view
The length of landscape, ever new,
Where Summer flings, in careless pride,
Her varied vesture far and wide ?
Who mark, beneath, each village-charm, THE hinds how blest, who ne'er beguil'd
Or grange, or elm-encircled farm : To quit their hamlet's hawthorn wild ;
The flinty dove-cote's crowded roof, Nor haunt the crowd, nor tempt the main,
Watch'd by the kite that sails aloof: For splendid care, and guilty gain!
The tufted pines, whose umbrage tall When morning's twilight-tinctur'd beam
Darkens the long-deserted hall: Strikes their low thatch with slanting gleam,
The veteran beech, that on the plain They rove abroad in ether blue,
Collects at eve the playful train: To dip the scythe in fragrant dew;
The cot that smokes with early fire, The sheaf to bind, the beech to fell,
The low-roofd fane's embosom'd spire ? That nodding shades a craggy dell.
Who now shall indolently stray 'Midst gloomy glades, in warbles clear,
Through the deep forest's tangled way; Wild nature's sweetest notes they hear:
Pleas'd at his custom'd task to find On green untrodden banks they view
The well-known hoary-tressed hind,
That toils with feeble hands to glean
Who 'mid thy nooks of hazel sit,
Lost in some melancholy fit; Across the glen, the screaming jay :
And listening to the raven's croak, Each native charm their steps explore
The distant flail, the falling oak? of Solitude's sequester'd store.
Who, through the sun-shine and the shower For them the Moon with cloudless ray
Descry the rainbow-painted tower ? Mounts, to illume their homeward way:
Who, wondering at return of May, Their weary spirits to relieve,
Catch the first cuckoo's vernal lay? The meadow's incense breathe at eve.
Who musing waste the summer hour, No riot mars the simple fare,
Where high o'er-arching trees embower That o'er a glimmering hearth they share :
The grassy lane, so rarely pac'd, But when the curfew's measur'd roar
With azure flow'rets idly grac'd ? Duly, the darkening valleys o'er,
Unnotic'd now, at twilight's dawn Has echoed from the distant town,
Returning reapers cross the lawn; They wish no beds of cygnet-down,
Nor fond attention loves to note No trophied canopies, to close
The wether's bell from folds remote : Their drooping eyes in quick repose.
While, own'd by no poetic eye, Their litile sons, who spread the bloom
Thy pensive evenings shade the sky! of health around the clay-built room,
For lo! the Bard who rapture found Or through the primros'd coppice stray,
In every rural sight or sound; Or gambol in the new-mown hay;
Whose genius warm, and judgment chaste. Or quaintly braid the cowslip twine,
No charm of genuine nature pass'd ; Or drive afield the tardy kine;
Who felt the Muse's purest fires, Or hasten from the sultry hill
Far from thy favor'd haunt retires ; To loiter at the shady rill;
Who peopled all thy vocal bowers Or climb the tall pine's gloomy crest,
With shadowy shapes, and airy powers.
Behold, a dread repose resumes,
Fringe the rough brink with wreathed shoots. Their bees in busy swarms resound :
Th' unwilling genius flies forlorn, Nor fell Disease, before his time,
His primrose chaplet rudely torn. Hastes to consume life's golden prime:
With hollow shriek the nymphs forsake But when their temples long have wore
The pathless copse and hedge-row brake: The silver crown of tresses hoar;
Where the delv'd mountains headlong side As studious still calm peace to keep,
Its chalky entrails opens wide,
On the green summit, ambush d high,
No pearl-crown'd maids with wily look, • Grey clothing, from the Latin verb amicio, to clothe. | Rise beckoning from the reedy brook.
Around the glow-worm's glimmering bank, | Beneath yon ruin'd abbey's moss-grown piles No Fairies run in fiery rank ;
Oft let me sit, at twilight hour of eve, Nor brush, half-seen, in airy tread,
Where through some western window the pale Moon The violet's unprinted head.
Pours her long-level'd rule of streaming light; But Fancy, from the thickets brown,
While sullen sacred silence reigns around, The glades that wear a conscious frown, Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bow's The forest oaks, that, pale and lone,
Amid the mould'ring caverns dark and damp, Nod to the blast with hoarser tone,
Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves Rough glens, and sullen water-falls,
of flaunting ivy, that with mantle green Her bright ideal offspring calls.
Invests some wasted tow'r. Or let me tread So by some sage enchanter's spell,
Its neighb'ring walk of pines, where mus'd of old (As old Arabian fablers tell,)
l'The cloister'd brothers: through the gloomy void Amid the solitary wild,
That far extends beneath their ample arch Luxuriant gardens gaily smil'd:
Is on I pace, religious horror wraps From sapphire rocks the fountains streamid, My soul in dread repose. But when the world With golden fruit the branches beam'd;
is clad in Midnight's raven-color'd robe, Fair forms, in every wondrous wood,
| Mid hollow charnel let me watch the flame Or lightly tripp'd, or solemn stood ;
or taper dim, shedding a livid glare And oft, retreating from the view,
O'er the wan heaps; while airy voices talk Betray'd, at distance, beauties new :
Along the glimm'ring walls; or ghostly shape, While gleaming o'er the crisped bowers
At distance seen, invites with beck'ning hand Rich spires arose, and sparkling towers. My lonesome steps, through the far-winding vaults If bound on service new to go,
Nor undelightful is the solemn noon The master of the magic show
of night, when haply wakeful from my couch His transitory charm withdrew,
I start: lo! all is motionless around! Away th' illusive landscape flew :
Roars not the rushing wind; the sons of men
And every beast, in mute oblivion lie;
O then how fearful is it to reflect,
That through the still globe's awful solitude, And a bare heath's unfruitful plain
No being wakes but me! till stealing sleep
My drooping temples bathes in opiate dews.
When through bewild'ring Fancy's magic maze,
To the fell house of Busyrane, he led
Th' unshaken Britomart; or Milton knew,
When in abstracted thought he first conceiv'd
All Heav'n in tumult, and the seraphim
Come tow'ring, arm'd in adamant and gold.
Let others love soft Summer's evening smiles, MOTHER of musings, Contemplation sage,
As list'ning to the distant water-fall,
I choose the pale December's foggy glooms.
Then, when the sullen shades of ev’ning close, Thou hear'st with howling winds the beating rain Where through the room a blindly glimm’ring geam And drifting hail descend; or if the skies
The dying embers scatter, far remote (roof Unclouded shine, and through the blue serene From Mirth's mad shouts, that through th'illumin'd Pale Cynthia rolls her silver-axled car,
Resound with festive echo, let me sit, Whence gazing stedfast on the spangled vault Blest with the lowly cricket's drowsy dirge. Raptur'd thou sitt'st, while murmurs indistinct Then let my thought contemplative explore of distant billows soothe thy pensive ear
This fleeting state of things, the vain delights, With hoarse and hollow sounds ; secure, self-blest, The fruitless toils, that still our search elude, There oft thou listen'st to the wild uproar
As through the wilderness of life we rove. of fleets encount'ring, that in whispers low
This sober hour of silence will unmask Ascend the rocky summit, where thou dwell'st False Folly's smile, that like the dazzling spells Remote from man conversing with the spheres! of wily Comus cheat the unweeting eye O lead me, qucen sublime, to solemn glooms With blear illusion, and persuade to drink Congenial with my soul; to cheerless shacles, That charmed cup, which Reason's mintage fair To ruin'd seats, to twilight cells and bow'rs, Unmoulds, and stamps the monster on the man. Where thoughtful Melancholy loves to muse, Eager we taste, but in the luscious draught Her fav'rite midnight haunts. The laughing scenes Forget the poisonous dregs that lurk beneath or purple Spring, where all the wanton train | Few know that elegance of soul refin'd, Of Smiles and Graces seem to lead the dance Whose soft sensation feels a quicker joy In sportive round, while from their hand they show'r From Melancholy's scenes, than the dull pride Ambrosial blooms and Aow'rs, no longer charm; or tasteless splendor and magnificence Tempé, no more I court thy balmy breeze, Can e'er afford. Thus Eloise, whose mind Adieu, green vales! ye broider'd meads, adieu! Had languish'd to the pangs of melting love
More genuine transports found, as on some tomb Ye youths of Albion's beauty-blooming isle,
To Melody's assuasive voice ; to bend
Aud pour your sorrows to the pitying Moon,
When azure noontide cheers the dædal globe, of interrupted; in embow'ring woods And the blest regent of the golden day
By darksome brook to muse, and there forget Rejoices in his bright meridian tower,
The solemn dullness of the tedious world, How oft my wishes ask the night's return, While Fancy grasps the visionary fair : That best befriends the melancholy mind!
And now no more th' abstracted ear attends Hail, sacred Night! thou too shalt share my song! The water's murm’ring lapse, ih' entranced eye Sister of ebon-sceptred Hecate, hail!
Pierces no longer through th' extended rows Whether in congregated clouds thou wrapp'st or thick-rang'd trees; till haply from the depth Thy viewless chariot, or with silver crown
The woodman's stroke, or distant tinkling team, Thy beaming head encirclest, ever hail!
Or heifers rustling through the brake, alarms What though beneath thy gloom the sorceress-strain, Th'illuded sense, and mars the golden dream. Far in obscured haunt of Lapland moors,
These are delights that absence drear has made With rhymes uncouth the bloody caldron bless; Familiar to my soul, e'er since the form Though Murder wan beneath thy shrouding shade of young Sapphira, beauteous as the Spring, Summons her slow-ey'd vot'ries to devise
When from her villet-woven couch awak'd Of secret slaughter, while by one blue lamp By frolic Zephyr's hand, her tender cheek In hideous conference sits the list'ning band, Graceful she lifts, and blushing from her bow'r And start at each low wind, or wakeful sound: Issues to clothe in gladsome-glistering green What though thy stay the pilgrim curseth oft, The genial globe, first met my dazzled sight: As all benighted in Arabian wastes
These are delights unknown to minds profane, He hears the wilderness around him howl
And which alone the pensive soul can taste. With roaming monsters, while on his hoar head The laper'd choir, at the late hour of pray'r, The black-descending tempest ceaseless beats; Oft let me tread, while to th' according voice Yet more delightful to my pensive mind
The many-sounding organ peals on high, Is thy return, than blooming Morn's approach, | The clear slow-dittied chant, or varied hymn. Ev'n than, in youthful pride of opening May, Till all my soul is bathed in ecstasies, When from the portals of the saffron east
And lapp'd in paradise. Or let me sit
Nor when the lamps expiring yield to night,
The solemn mansion, but attentive mark
With the soft thrillings of the tragic Muse,
Queen of the stately step, and flowing pall. While to the shed the dripping poultry crowd, Now let Monimia mourn with streaming eyes A mournful train : secure the village-hind
Her joys incestuous, and polluted love;
Or Jaffier kneel for one forgiving look
By soft degrees the manly torrent steals
From my swoln eyes; and at a brother's woe
What are the splendors of the gaudy court, In magic Spenser's wildly-warbled song
Its tinsel trappings, and its pageant pomps ?
To me far happier seems the banish'd lord,
Who pines all lonesome, in the chambers hoar Upon the bosom bright of silver Thames
Of some high castle shut, whose windows diin Launches in all the lustre of brocade,
In distant ken discover trackless plains, Amid the splendors of the laughing Sun.
Where Winter ever whirls his icy car! The gay description palls upon the sense,
While still repeated objects of his view, And coldly strikes the mind with feeble bliss. | The gloomy battlements, and ivied spires,
That crown the solitary dome, arise ;
Of sunk magnificence! a blended scene While from the topmost turret the slow clock, of moles, fanes, arches, domes, and palaces, Far heard along th' inhospitable wastes,
Where, with his brother Horror, Ruin sits. With sad-returning chime awakes new grief; O come then, Melancholy, queen of thought! Ev'n he far happier seems than is the proud, O come with saintly look, and stedfast step, The potent satrap, whom he left behind
From forth thy cave embower'd with mournful yew 'Mid Moscow's golden palaces, to drown
Where ever to the curfew's solemn sound In ease and luxury the laughing hours.
List'ning thou sitt'st, and with thy cypress bind Illustrious objects strike the gazer's mind
Thy votary's hair, and seal him for thy son. With feeble bliss, and but allure the sight, But never let Euphrosyné beguile Nor rouse with impulse quick th' unfeeling heart. With toys of wanton mirth my fixed mind, Thus seen by shepherds from Hymettus' brow, Nor in my path her primrose-garland cast. What dædal landscapes smile! here palmy groves, Though 'mid her train the dimpled Hebe bare Resounding once with Plato's voice, arise,
Her rosy bosom to th' enamour'd view; Amid whose umbrage green her silver head Though Venus, mother of the Smiles and Loves, Th' unfading olive lists: here vine-clad hills And Bacchus, ivy-crown'd, in citron-bow'r Lay forth their purple store, and sunny vales With her on nectar-streaming fruitage feast : In prospect vast their level laps expand,
What though 'tis hers to calm the low'ring skies, Amid whose beauties glistering Athens tow'rs. And at her presence mild th' embattled clouds Though through the blissful scenes llissus roll Disperse in air, and o'er the face of Heav'n His sage-inspiring flood, whose winding marge New day diffusive gleam at her approach? The thick-wove laurel shades; though roseate Morn Yet are these joys that Melancholy gives, Pour all her splendors on th’empurpled scene; Than all her witless revels happier far; Yet feels the hoary hermit truer joys,
These deep-felt joys, by Contemplation taught. As from the cliff, that o'er his cavern hangs,
Then ever, beauteous Contemplation, hail ! He views the piles of fall'n Persepolis
From thee began, auspicious maid, my song, In deep arrangement hide the darksome plain. With thee shall end; for thou art fairer far Unbounded waste! the mould'ring obelisk
Than are the nymphs of Cirrha's mossy grot; Here, like a blasted oak, ascends the clouds ; To loftier rapture thou canst wake the thought Here Parian domes their vaulled halls disclose Than all the fabling poet's boasted pow'rs. Horrid with thorn, where lurks th' un pitying thief, Hail, queen divine! whom, as tradition tells, Whence flits the twilight-loving bat at eve,
Once in his evening walk a Druid found, And the deaf adder wreathes her spotted train, Far in a hollow gladc of Mona's woods ; The dwellings once of elegance and art.
And piteous bore with hospitable hand Here temples rise, amid whose hallow'd bounds To the close shelter of his oaken bow'r. Spires the black pine, while through the naked street, There soon the sage admiring mark'd the dawn Once haunt of tradeful merchants, springs the grass : Of solemn musing in your pensive thought; Here columns heap'd on prostrate columns, torn For when a smiling babe, you lov'd to lie From their firm base, increase the mould'ring mass. Oft deeply list'ning to the rapid roar Far as the sight can pierce, appear the spoils Of wood-hung Meinai, stream of Druids old.
WILLIAM Mason, a poet of some distinction, born verse, made its appearance, of which the fourth and .n 1725, was the son of a clergyman, who held the concluding book was printed in 1781. Its purpose living of Hull. He was admitted first of St. John's was to recommend the modern system of natural or College, and afterwards of Pembroke College, Cam- landscape gardening, to which the author adheres bridge, of the latter of which he was elected Felwith the rigor of exclusive taste. The versification low in 1747. He entered into holy orders in 1754, is formed upon the best models, and the description, and, by the favor of the Earl of Holderness, was in many parts, is rich and vivid; but a general air presented to the valuable rectory of Ashton, York. of stiffness prevented it from attaining any conshire, and became Chaplain to His Majesty. Some siderable share of popularity. Some of his following poems which he printed gave him reputation, which poetic pieces express his liberal sentiments on politireceived a great accession from his dramatic poem cal subjects; and when the late Mr. Pitt came into of “Elfrida." By this piece, and his “ Caractacus," power, being then the friend of a free constitution, which followed, it was his aim to attempt the resto- Mason addressed him in an “Ode," containing many ration of the ancient Greek chorus in tragedy; but patriotic and manly ideas. But being struck with this is so evidently an appendage of the infant and alarm at the unhappy events of the French revoluimperfect state of the drama, that a pedantic at- tion, one of his latest pieces was a “ Palinody to tachment to the ancients could alone suggest its re-Liberty." He likewise revived, in an improved vival. In 1756, he published a small collection of form, and published, Du Fresnoy's Latin poem on “Odes," which were generally considered as display- the Art of Painting, enriching it with additions furing more of the artificial mechanism of poetry, than nished by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and with a metrical of its genuine spirit. This was not the case with version. Few have been better executed than this, his “Elegies," published in 1763, which, abating which unites to great beauties of language a correct some superfluity of ornament, are in general marked representation of the original. His tribute to the with the simplicity of language proper to this spe- memory of Gray, being an edition of his poems, cies of composition, and breathe noble sentiments of with some additions, and Memoirs of his Life and freedom and virtue. A collection of all his poems Writings, was favorably received by the public. which he thought worthy of preserving, was pub- Mason died in April, 1797, at the age of seventylished in 1764, and afterwards went through several two, in consequence of a mortification produced by editions. He had married an amiable lady, who a hurt in his leg. A tablet has been placed to his died of a consumption in 1767, and was buried in memory in Poets' Corner, in Westminster Abbey. the cathedral of Bristol, under a monument, on His character in private life was exemplary for which are inscribed some very tender and beautiful worth and active benevolence, though not without lines, by her husband.
a degree of stateliness and assumed superiority of In 1772, the first book of Mason's “ English Gar- manner. len,” a didactic and descriptive poem, in blank]
ODE TO MEMORY.
MOTHER of Wisdom! thou, whose sway
Accept this votive verse. Thy reign
Nor place can fix, nor power restrain.
The senses thee spontaneous serve,
That wake, and thrill through ev'ry nerve.
Else vainly sweet yon woodbine shade
| Vainly, the cygnet spread her downy plume,
But swift to thee, alive and warm,
Devolves each tributary charm :
While every flower in Fancy's clime,
Each gem of old heroic time,
Hail, Mem’ry! hail. Behold, I lead
To that high shrine the sacred maid :
She comes, and lo, thy realms expand'