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ARGUMENT.

on.

The subject proposed. Difficulty of treating it poetically. The ideas of the divine mind, the origin of every quality pleasing to the imaginati

The natural variety of consitution in the minds of men, with its final cause. The idea of a fine imagination, and the state of the mind in the enjoyment of those pleasures which it affords. All the primary pleasures of imagination result from the perception of greatness, or wonderfulness, or beauty in objects. The pleasure from greatness, with its final cause.

Pleasure from novelty or wonderfulness, with its final cause. Pleasure from beauty, with its final cause. The connection of beauty with truth and good, applied to the conduct of life. Invitation to the study of moral philosophy. The different degrees of beauty in different species of objects--Colour, shape, natural concretes, vegetables, animals, the mind, the sublime, the fair, the wonderful of the mind. The connection of the imagination and mom ral faculty. Conclusion.

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THE

Pleasures of Imagination.

A POEM.

BOOK I.

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ITH what attractive charms this goodly frame
Of nature touches the consenting hearts
Of mortal men; and what the pleasing stores
Which beauteous imitation thence derives
To deck the poet's, or the painter's toil ;
My verse unfolds. Attend, ye gentle powers
Of musical delight! and while I sing
Your gifts, your honours, dance around my strain.
Thou, smiling queen of every tuneful breast,
Indulgent Fancy! from the fruitful banks
Of Avon, whence thy rosy fingers cull
Fresh flowers and dews to sprinkle on the turf
Where SHAKESPEARE lies, be present ; and with thee
Let Fiction come, upon her vagrant wings
Wafting ten thousand colours through the air,
Which by the glances of her magic eye,
She blends and shifts at will, through countless fórms
Her wild creation. Goddess of the lyre
Which rules the accents of the moving sphere,
Wilt thou, eternal Harmony ! descend,
And join this festive train ? for with thee comes
The guide, the guardian of their lovely sports,

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Majestic Truth ; and where truth deigns to come,
Her sister Liberty will not be far.
Be present all ye Genii who conduct
The wand'ring footsteps of the youthful bard,
New to your springs and shades ; who touch his ear
With finer sounds; who heighten to his eye
The bloom of nature, and before hini turn
The gayest, happiest attitudes of things.

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Oft have the laws of each poetic strain
The critic verse employ'd ; yet still unsung
Lay this prime subject, though importing most
A poet's name ; for fruitless is the attempt,
By dull obedience and the curb of rules,
For creeping toil to climb the hard ascent
Of high Parnassus. Nature's kindling breath
Must tire the chosen genius ; nature's hand
Must point the path, and imp his eagle wings
Exulting o'er the painful steep to soar
High as the summit; there to breathe at large
Athereal air ; with bards and sages old,
Immortal sons of praise. These flattering scenes
To this neglected labour court my song?
Yet not unconscious what a doubtful task
To paint the finest features of the mind,
And to most subtle and mysterious things
Give colour, strength and motion. But the love
Of nature and the muses bid explore,
Thro' secret paths, erewhile untrod by man,
The fair poetic region, to detect

Untasted springs, to drink inspiring draughts,
And shade my temples with unfading flowers
Cullid from the laureate vale's profound recess,
Where never poet gain'd a wreath before.

From heav'n my strains begin ; from heav'n descends
The flame of genius to the human breast,
And love and beauty, and poetic joy
And inspiration. Ere the radiant sun
Sprung from the east, or 'mid the vault of night
The moon suspended her serener lamp ;
Ere mountains, woods, or streams adoin'd the globe ;
Or wisdom taught the sons of men her lore ;
Then liv'd the eternal One ; then deep retir'd
In his unfathom'd essence, view'd at large
The uncreated images of things ;

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The radiant sun, the moon's no&urnal lamp,
The mountains, woods and streams, the rolling globe,
And wisdom's form celestial. From the first
Of days, on them his love divine he fix'd,
His admiration ; till in time complete,
What he admir'd and lov'd, his vital smile
Unfolded into being. Hence the breath
Of life informing each organic frame,
Hence the green earth, and wild resounding waves ;
Hence light and shade alternate ; warm and cold ;
And clear autumnal skies and vernal showers,
And all the fair variety of things.

But not alike to every mortal eye
Is this great scene unveil'd. For, since the claims
Of social life, to diferent labours urge
The active powers of man-

-with wise intent
The hand of nature on peculiar minds
Imprints a different bias, and to each
Decrees its province in the common toil.
To some she taught the fabric of the sphere,
The changeful moon, the circuit of the stars,
The golden zones of heaven ; to some she gave
To weigh the moment of eternal things,
Of time and space, and fate's unbroken chain,
And will's quick impulse ; others by the hand
She led o'er vales and mountains, to explore
What healing virtue swells the tender veins
Of herbs and flowers ; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, distilling from the clifted rind
In balmy tears. But sonie to higher hopes
Were destin'd; some within a finer mould
She wrought, and temper’d with a purer flame.
To these the sire omnipotent unfolds
The world's harmonious volume, there to read
The transcript of himself. On every part
They trace the bright impressions of his hand ;
In earth, or air, the meadows purple stores,
The moon's mild radiance, or the virgin's form
Blooming with rosy smiles, they see portray'd
Thať uncreated beauty, which delights
The mind supreme. They also feel her charms,
Enamour'd ; they partake the eternal joy.

As Memnon's marble harp renown’d of old
By fabling Nilus, to the quivering touch

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Of Titan's rays, with each repulsive string
Consenting, sounded thro' the warbling air
Unbidden strains ; even so did nature's hand
To certain species of external things,
Attune the finer organs of the mind;
So the glad impulse of congenial powers,
Or of sweet sound, or fair proportion'd form,
The grace of motion, or the bloom of light,
Thrills through imagination's tender frame,
From nerve to nerve; all naked and alive
They catch the spreading rays; till now the soul
At length discloses every tuneful spring,
To that harmonious movement from without,
Responsive. Then the inexpressive strain
Diffuses its enchantment ; fancy dreams
Of sacred fountains and Elysian groves,
And vales of bliss ; the intellectual power
Bends from his awful throne a wond'ring ear,
And smiles; the passions gently sooth'd away,
Sink to divine repose, and love and joy
Alone are waking ; love and joy serene
As airs that fan the summer. O, attend,
Who'er thou art whom these delights can touch,
Whose candid bosom the refining love
Of nature warms, 0, listen to my song,
And I will guide thee to her fav’rite walks,
And teach thy solitude her voice to hear,
And point her loveliest features to thy view,

Know then, whate'er of nature's pregnant stores,
Whate'er of mimic art's reflected forms
With love and admiration thus inflame
The powers of fancy, her delighted sons
To three illustrious orders haye referr'd ;
Three sister graces, whom the painter's hand,
The poet's tongue confesses : The sublime,
The wonderful, the fair. I see them dawn!
I see the radiant visions, where they rise,
More lovely than when Lucifer displays
His beaming forehead thro' the gates of morn,
To lead the train of Phoebus and the spring:

Say, why was man so eminently rais'd
Amid the vast creation ; why ordained
Thro' life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limit of his frame;

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