Sivut kuvina

Meantime the watery surge shall round him rise,

Poured sudden forth from every swelling source ! What now remains but tears and hopeless sighs?

His fear-shook limbs have lost their youthful force, And down the waves he floats, a pale and breathless corse! For him in vain his anxious wife shall wait,

Or wander forth to meet him on his way:

For him in vain, at to-fall of the day,
His babes shall linger at the unclosing gate!
Ah! ne'er shall he return ! alone, if night

Her travelled limbs in broken slumbers steep!
With drooping willows dressed, his mournful sprite

Shall visit sad, perchance, her silent sleep. Then he, perhaps, with moist and watery hand,

Shall fondly seem to press her shuddering cheek, And with his blue swoll'n face before her stand,

And, shivering cold, these piteous accents speak : “Pursue, dear wife, thy daily toils, pursue,

At dawn or dusk, industrious as before; Nor e'er of me one helpless thought renew,

While I lie weltering on the osier shore, Drowned by the Kelpie’s wrath, nor e'er shall aid thee more !” Unbounded is thy range; with varied skill

Thy Muse may, like those feathery tribes which spring

From their rude rocks, extend her skirting wing Round the moist marge of each cold Hebrid isle, To that hoar pile which still its ruins shows:

In whose small vaults a pigmy-folk is found, Whose bones the delver with his spade upthrows,

And culls them, wondering, from the hallowed ground !? Or thither, where beneath the showery west,

The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid 3 : Once foes, perhaps, together now they rest,

No slaves revere them, and no wars invade: Yet frequent now, at midnight solemn hour,

The rifted mounds their yawning cells unfold, And forth the monarchs stalk with sovereign power,

In pageant robes, and wreathed with sheeny gold, And on their twilight tombs aërial council hold. 1 The water-fiend.

3 Icolmkill, where nearly sixty of 2 One of the Hebrides is called the the ancient Scottish, Irish, and NorIsland of Pigmies; where it is re- wegian kings are interred. ported that miniature bones of the human species have been dug up.

[ocr errors]

But oh! o'er all, forget not Kilda's ? race,

On whose bleak rocks, which brave the wasting tides,

Fair Nature's daughter, Virtue, yet abides.
Go! just as they, their blameless manners trace!
Then to my ear transmit some gentle song

Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain,
Their bounded walks the rugged cliffs along,

And all their prospect but the watery main. With sparing temperance, at the needful time,

They drain the scented spring: or, hunger-pressed, Along the Atlantic rock, undreading, climb,

And of its eggs despoil the solan'snest. Thus, blest in primal innocence they live,

Sufficed and happy with that frugal fare Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give.

Hard is their shallow soil, and bleak and bare ; Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there! Nor need'st thou blush that such false themes engage

Thy gentle mind, of fairer stores possessed;

For not alone they touch the village breast,
But filled, in elder time, the historic page.
There Shakspere's self, with every garland crowned,

Flew to those fairy climes his fancy sheen,
In musing hour; his wayward sisters 3 found,

And with their terrors dressed the magic scene. From them he sung, when, ’mid his bold design,

Before the Scot, afflicted, and aghast ! The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line

Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant passed. Proceed! nor quit the tales which, simply told,

Could once so well my answering bosom pierce;
Proceed, in forceful sounds, and colour bold,

The native legends of thy land rehearse ;
To such adapt thy lyre, and suit thy powerful verse.
In scenes like these, which, daring to depart

From sober truth, are still to Nature true,

And call forth fresh delight from Fancy's view,
The heroic Muse employed her Tasso's art !
How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke",

1 One of the Hebrides.

3 The witches in “ Macbeth.” % A bird of the goose species, on

4 See

“ Jerusalem Delivered," the eggs of which the inhabitants Canto xiii. stan za 41, 42, &c. of St. Kilda chietly subsist.

Its gushing blood the gaping cypress poured ! When each live plant with mortal accents spoke,

And the wild blast upheaved the vanished sword ! How have I sat, when piped the pensive wind,

To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung ! Prevailing poet! whose undoubting mind

Believed the magic wonders which he sung ! Hence, at each sound, imagination glows !

Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here! Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows !

Melting it flows, pure, murmuring, strong, and clear, And fills the impassioned heart, and wins the harmonious ear! All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail !

Ye splendid friths and lakes, which, far away,

Are by smooth Annan filled, or pastoral Tay,
Or Don's romantic springs, at distance, hail !
The time shall come when I, perhaps, may tread

Your lowly glens o'erhung with spreading broom ;
Or o'er your stretching heaths, by Fancy led ;

Or o'er your mountains creep, in awful gloom ! Then will I dress once more the faded bower,

Where Jonson sat in Drummond's classic shade. Or crop, from Tiviotdale, each lyric flower

Or mourn, on Yarrow's banks, where Willy's laid ! Meantime, ye powers that on the plains which bore

The cordial youth, on Lothian's plains attend !Where'er Home dwells, on hill or lowly moor,

To him I love, your kind protection lend, And, touched with love like mine, preserve my absent



1. What characteristics of style may be applied to Collins' poetry? 2. Which is the most popular of Collins' odes? 3. To what may we attribute this popularity ? 4. Quote some beautiful passages from the ode “ To Evening." 5. Scan one of the stanzas in the above ode. 6. Is ere more of fancy or of imagination in this ode 7. Extract some examples of personification from Collins' odes. 8. Which may be considered the finest stanza in the “ Ode to the

Passions?9. Who was the originator of the Alcaic stanza ? 10. For what was the Attic style remarkable? 11. Quote some classical allusions from these odes. 12. What is the signification of the word “ode ? '







'Tis hard to say if greater want of skill
Appear in writing, or in judging, ill;
But of the two, less dangerous is the offence
To tire our patience, than mislead our sense.
Some few in that, but numbers err in this,
Ten censure wrong, for one who writes amiss ;
A fool might once himself alone expose,
Now, one in verse makes many more in prose.

'Tis with our judgments as our watches ; none
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
In poets, as true genius is but rare,
True taste as seldom is the critic's share;
Both must alike from Heaven derive their light,
These born to judge, as well as those to write.
Let such teach others who themselves excel,
And censure freely who have written well ;
Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true;
But are not critics to their judgment too ?

Yet, if we look more closely, we shall find
Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind :
Nature affords at least a glimmering light;
The lines, though touched but faintly, are drawn right.
But, as the slightest sketch, if justly traced,
Is by ill-colouring but the more disgraced,
So, by false learning is good sense defaced :

25 Some are bewildered in the maze of schools, And some made coxcombs Nature meant for fools. In search of wit these lose their common sense, And then turn critics in their own defence;



[ocr errors]





All fools have still an itching to deride,
And fain would be upon the laughing side.
If Mævius. scribble, in Apollo's spite,
There are who judge still worse than he can write.
Some have at first for wits, then poets, passed,
Turned critics next, and proved plain fools at last.
Some neither can for wits nor critics pass,
As heavy mules are neither horse nor ass.
Those half-learned witlings, numerous in our isle,
As half-formed insects on the banks of Nile;
Unfinished things, one knows not what to call,
Their generation's so equivocal.
To tell them would a hundred tongues require,
Or one vain wit's, that might a hundred tire.
But you, who seek to give and merit fame,
And justly bear a critic's noble name,
Be sure yourself, and your own reach to know,
How far your genius, taste, and learning go;
Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet,
And mark that point where sense and dulness meet,

Nature to all things fixed the limits fit,
And wisely curbed proud man's pretending wit:
As on the land while here the ocean gains,
In other parts it leaves wide sandy plains;
Thus in the soul while memory prevails,
The solid power of understanding fails;
Where beams of warm imagination play,
The memory's soft figures melt away.
One science only will one genius fit;
So vast is art, so narrow human wit:
Not only bounded to peculiar arts,
But oft in those, confined to single parts.
Like kings, we lose the conquests gained before,
By vain ambition still to make them more:
Each might his several province well command,
Would all but stoop to what they understand.

First follow Nature, and your judgment frame
By her just standard, which is still the same:
Unerring Nature, still divinely bright,
One clear, unchanged, and universal light,






1 An envious poetaster, an enemy of the poet Horace.

« EdellinenJatka »