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AN

ON

THE

OF

HOME, Naiads long

arms.

At every pause, before thy mind postert,
0 D É

Old Runic bards shall seem to rise around,
With uncouth lyres, in many-colour'd vert,

Their matted hair with boughs fantastic crown'd:

Whether thou bid'at the well-taught hind repeat POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS

The choral dirge, that mourns some chieftain Τ Η Σ

brave, HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND;

When every Mrieking maid her bosom beat,

And strew'd with choiceft herbs his scented CONSIDERED AS THE

grave; SUBJECT OF POETRY. Or whether, fitting in the Mepherd's Niiel *,

Thou hear'it some sounding tale of war’s alarms;
INSCRIBED TO MR. JOHN HOME.

When at the bugle's call, with fire and steel,
I.

The hurdy clans poor'd forth their brawny COME, thou return'st from Thames, whose

swarms, Naiads long

And hostile brothers met, to prove each other's Have seen thee lingering with a fond delay, Mid those foft friends, whose hearts fome future

IV. day,

'Tis thine to fing, how, framing hideous fpells, Shail melt, perhaps, to hear thy tragic song

In Sky's lone inę, the gifted wizzard-feer, Go, not unmindful of that cordial youth t

Lodg’d in the wintery cave with Fate's fell spear, Whom, long endear'd, thou leav'st by Lavant's

Or in the depth of Wirt's dark forest dwells: fide ;

How they, whose fight such dreary dreams Together let us with him lasting truth,

engross, And joy untainted with his deftin'd bride.

With their own vifion oft añonith'd droop, Go! nor regar: 'less, while thefe numbers boast

When, o'er the watry strath; or quaggy moss My short-liv'd bliss, forget my social name ;

They see the gliding ghosts unbodied troop. But think, far off, how, on the southern coast,

Or, if in sports, or in the festive green, I met thy friendship with an equal flame!

Their destin'd glance some fated youth defcry; Freíh to that foil thou turn'st, where every vale

Who now, perhaps, industy vigour seen, Shall prompt the poet, and his song demand :

And rofy health, shall soon lamented die. 'To thee thy copious subjects ne'er shall fail ;

For them the viewless forms of air obey ;
Thou need'I but take thy pencil to thy hand,
And paint what all believe, who own thy genial Their bidding heed, and at their beck repair

.

They know what fpirit brew's the stormful day, land.

And heartless, oft, like moody madness, ftare
II.

To see the phantom train their secret work There, muft thou wake perforce thy Doric quill ;

prepare. 'Tis Fancy's land to which thou sett’it thy feet;

V. Where rill, 'tis said, the fairy people meet,

To monarchs dear t, some hundred miles astray, Beneath each birken shade, on mead or hill.

Oft have they seen Fare give the fatal blow ! There, each trim lafs, that skims the milky store

The Seer, in Sky, shrick'd as the blood did flow, To the swart tribes, their creamy bowls allots ;

When headless Charles warm on the scaffold lay! By night they sip it round the cottage-door, While airy minstrels warble jocund rotes.

* A summer hut, built in the high part of the 'There, every herd, by fad experience, knows

mountains, to tend their flocks in the warın season, How, wing'd withi Fate, their eli-ihot arrows

when the pasture is fine. fly,

+ By the public prints we are informed, that a When the sick ewe her summer food foregoes,

Scotch clergyman lately discovered Collin's rude Or, stretch'd on earth, the heart-Imit heifers lie. draught of this poem. It is however said to be very Such airy beings awe th' utu tor'd lwain :

imperfect. The Vth flanza, and the half of the Nor thou, tho' Itarn’d, his homelier thoughts Vith, say those prints, being deficient, has been neglect ;

supplied by Mr. Mackenzie ; whose lines are here Let thy fiveer Muse the rural faith sustain ;

annexed, for the purpose of comparison, and to do Theie are the themes of imple, sure effect,

justice to the elegant author of the Man of Feeling. That add new conquest to her boundless reign,

“ Or on some bellying rock that shades the deep, And fill, with double force, her heart-command- “ They view the lurid tigns that cross the sky, ing 1train.

" Where in the weit, the brooding tempests III. Iv'n yet preservid, how often may'st thou hear, " And here their first, faint, rustling pennons Where to the pole the Boreal mountains run,

sweep. Taught by the father, to his liftening fon ;

". Or in the arched cave, where deep and dark Strange lays, whole power had charm’d a Spenser's The broad, unbroken billows heave and

swell,

« In horrid musings rapt, they fit to mark * How truly did Collins predict Home's tragic " The la''ring mcon; cf lift the nightly powers!

yell + A Gentleman of the name of Barrow, who introduced Home to Colins.

lie;

eai.

As Boreas threw his young Aurora * forth, What though far off, from some dark dell espied, In the first year of the first George's reign,

His glimmering mazes chear th' excursive light; And battles rag'd in welkin of the North,

Yet turn, ye wanderers, turn your steps aside, They mourn'd in air, fell, fell Rebellion Nain ! Nor trust the guidance of that faithless light ; And as, of late, they joyn'd in Preston's fight, For watchful, lurking, 'mid th' unrustling reed,

Saw at fad Falkirk, all their hopes near crown'd! At those mirk hours the wily monster lies, They rav'd! divining, thro' their Second Sight to And listens oft to hear the passing steed, Pale, red Culloden, where these hopes were And trequent round him rolls his sullen eyes, drown'd!

If chance his savage wrath may some weak wretch Illustrious William 1! Britain's guardian name!

furprize. One William sav'd us from a tyrant's stroke ;

VII.
He, for a fceptre, gain'd heroic fame,
But thou, more glorious, lavery's chain hast Ah, luckless fwain, o'er all unblest; indeed!

Whom late bewilder'd in the dank, dark fen, broke, To reign a private man, and bow to Freedom's To that fad spot where hums the fedgy weed :

Far from his flocks, and smoaking hamlet, then! yoke!

On him; enrag'd, the fiend, in angry mood, VI.

Shall never look with pity's kind concern, These too, thou'lt fing! for well thy magic Muse But instant, furious, raise the whelming food

Can to the topmost heaven of grandeur soar ; O'er its drown'd banks, forbidding all return! Or stoop to wail the (wain that is no more!

Or, if he meditate his wish'd escape, Ah, homely swains! your homeward steps ne'er To some dim hill that seems uprising near, lose;

To his faint eye, the grim and grisly shape, Let not dank Will $ mislead you to the heach : In all its terrors clad, shall wild appear. Dancing, in murky night, o'er fen and lake,

Meantime the watery surge shall round him rise; He glows, to draw you downward to your death, Pour'd sudden forth from every swelling source ! In his bewitch'd, low, marlhy; willow brake ! What now remains but tears and hopeless fighs ?

His fear-fhook limbs have lost their youthly force, « Of that dread fpirit, whose gigantic form “ The seer's entranced eye can well survey,

And down the waves he floats, a pale and breathless

coife! “Through the dim air who guides the driving

VIII.
storm,
And points the wretched bark its destin'a For him in vain his anxious wife mall wait,

Or wander forth to meet him on his way ;
prey.
se Or him who hovers on his flagging wing,

For him in vain at to-fall of the day, “ O'er the dire whirlpool, that, in ocean's

His babes Thall linger at th' unclosing gate ! waste,

Ah; ne'er shall he return! Alone, if night; * Draws instant down whate'er devoted thing

Her travel'd limbs in broken Numbers steep! “ The falling breeze within its reach hath

With drooping willows drest, his mournful sprite plac'd

Shall visit fad, perchance; her filent Neep! " The distant seaman hears, and fies with

Then he, perhaps, with moist and watery händ, trembling haste.

Shall fondly seem to press her ihuddering cheek, Or, if on land the fiend exerts his sway,

And with his blue-swoln face before her stand, “ Silent he broods o'er quicksand, bog or fen,

And shivering cold, these piteous accents speak: Far from the sheltering' root and haunts of

" Pursue, dear wife, thy daily toils; pursue,

“ At dawn or dusk, industrious as before ; men, * When witched darkness shuts the eye of day,

“ Nor e'er of me one helpless thought renew, “ And shrouds each star that wont' to cheer the

" While I lie weltering on the ozier'd thore, night;

“ Drown'd by the Kelpie's * wrath, nor e'er had “ Or, if the drifted snow perplex the way,

aid thee more! “ With treacherous gleam he lures the fated

IX. wight,

Unbounded is thiy range; with varied skill " And leads him floundering on and quite astray.". Thy Muse may, like those feathery tribes which

spring By young Aurora, Collins undoubtedly meant From their rude rocks, extend her skirting wing the first appearance of the northern lights, which Round the moist marge of each cold Hebrid ifle, happened about the year 1715; at least, it is most To thau hoar pile + which still its ruin shows ; highly probable from this peculiar circumstance, in whole fall vaults a pigmy-folk is found, that no ancient writer whatever has taken any no- Whose bones the delver with his spade upthrows, tice of them, nor even any one modern, previous And culls them, wond'ring, from the hallow'd to the above period.

ground! † Second fight is the term that is used for the divination of the Highlanders.

* The water fiend. I The late Duke of Cumberland, who defeated the Pretender at the battle of Culloden.

+ One of the Hebrides is called The Isle of PigA fiery meteor, called by various names, such mies; where it is reported that several miniature 2. Will with the Wisp, Jack with the Lanthorn,

bcnes of the human species have been dug up in the &c. It hovers in the air over marthy and fenny

ruins of a chapel there. places.

M VOL. VII.

broom ;

Or thither *, where beneath the mow'ry weft,

Hence, at each found, imagination glows ! The mighty kings of three fair realms are laid: Hence, at each picture, vivid life starts here ! Once foes, perhaps, together now they reft,

Hence his warm lay with softest sweetness flows ! No flaves revere them, and no wars invade : Melting it Aows, pure murmuring, strong and Yet frequent now, at midnight folemn hour,

clear, The rifted mounds their yawning cells unfold, And fills th' impassion'd heart, and wins th' And forth the Monarchs stalk with sovereign power,

harmonious ear! In pageant robes; and, wreath'd with theeny

XIII. gold,

All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail ! And on their twilight combs aerial council hold.

Ye splendid friths and lakes, which, far away, X.

Are by smooth Annan * fillid or past'ral Tay to But, oh, o'er all, forget not Kilda's race,

Or Don's I romantic springs, at distance, hail ! On whose bleak rocks, which brave the wasting The time shall come, when I, perhaps, may tread tides,

Your lowly glens *, o'erhung with spreading Fair Nature's daughter, Virtue, yet abides. Go! just, as they, their blameless manners trace ! Or o'er your stretching heaths, by Fancy led ; Then to my ear transmit some gentle song,

Or o'er your mountains creep, in awful gloom ! Of those whose lives are yet sincere and plain, Then will I dress once more the faded bower,

Their hounded walks the rugged cliffs along, Where Jonson † fat in Drummond's claffic And all their prospect but the wintery main.

shade ; With sparing temperance at the needfultime, Or crop, from Tiviordale, each lyric flower, They drain the scented spring; or, hunger-preft, And mourn, on Yarrow's banks, where Willy's Along th' Atlantic rock, undreading, climb,

laid ! And of its eggs despoil the Solan's † nest.

Meantime, ye powers that on the plains which bore Thus, blest in primal innocence they live,

The cordial youth, on Lothian's plains I, attend! Suffic'd, and happy with tha: frugal fare

Where'er Home dwells, on hill, or lowly moor, Which tasteful toil and hourly danger give.

To him I lose, your kind protection lend, Hard is their shallow soil, and blake and bare ; And, touch'd with love like mine, preserve my Nor ever vernal bee was heard to murmur there !

absent friend ! XI. Nor need’st thou blush that such false themes engage

Thy gentle mind, of fairer shores pofleft;

For not alone they touch the village breast, But fill'd in elder time, th' historic page.

S O N G. There, Shakespeare's felt, with ev'ry garland The Sentiments borrowed from SHAKESPEARL. crown's,

OUNG Damon of the vale is dead,
Flew to those fairy climes his fancy Theen,

Ye lowland hamlets moan :
In musing hour; his wayward lifters found,
And with their terrors drest the magic scene.

A dewy turf lies o'er his head,

And at his feet a stone.
From then he sung, when, 'mid his bold design,
Before the Scot, afflicted, and agliast !

His Mroud, which death's cold damps destroy, The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line,

Of snow-white threads was made : Thro' the dark cave in gleamy pageant past.

All mourn'd to see so sweet a boy
Proceed! nor quit the tales which, simply told,

In earth for ever laid.
Could once so well my answering bosom pierce ; Pale pansies o'er his corpse were placid,
Proceed, in forceful sounds, and colour bold,

Which, pluck'd before their time,
The native legends of thy land rehearse ;

Bestrew'd the boy, like him to waste,
To such adapt thy lyre, and suit thy powerful verse. And wither in their prime.
XII.

But will he ne'er return, whose tongue
In scenes like these, which, daring to depart

Could tune the rural lay? From fober truth, are still to Nature true,

Ah, no! his bell of peace is rung, And call forth fresh delight to Fancy's view,

His lips are cold as clay. Th’ heroic Muse employ'd her Taffo's art !

They bore him out at twilight hour, How have I trembled, when, at Tancred's stroke,

The youth who lov'd so well : Its gushing blood the gaping cypress pour'a!

Ah me! how many a true love shower
When cach live plant with mortal accents spoke,

Of kind remembrance fell!
And the wild blast upheav'd the vanquish'd sword ! Each maid was woe—but Lucy chief,
How have I sat, when pip'd the pentive wind,

Her grief o'er all was tried,
To hear his harp by British Fairfax strung!

Within his grave she dropp'd in grief, Prevailing poet! whose undoubtias mind,

And o'er her lov'd-one died. Believ'd the magic wonders which he sung!

*+ Three rivers in Scotland. * Icolmkill, one of the Hebrides, where near sixty

* Vallies. of the arcient Scottish, Irish, and Norwegian kings + Ben Jonson paid a visit on foot, in 1619, to are interred.

the Scotch poet Drummond, at his seat of Haw+ An aquatic bird like a goose, on the eggs of thornden, within four miles of Edinburgh. which the inhabitants of St. Kilda, another of the I Barrow, it seems, was at the Edinburgh uniHebrides, chiefly subfift.

versity, which is in the county of Lothian.

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OBSERVATIONS

Ο Ν Τ Η Ε

OR I EN TAL

E CLOGUE S.

T

HE genius of the paftoral, as well as of every other respectable species of poetry, had its origin in the East

, and from thence was transplanted by the Muses of Greece; but whether from the continent of the lesser Afia, or from Egypt, which, about the æra of the Grecian paftoral, was the hospitable nurse of letters, it is nct easy to determine. From the subject, and the manner of Theoc.itus, one would incline to the latter opinion, while the history of Bion is in favour of the former.

However, though it should still remain a doubt through what channel the paftoral travelled westward, there is not the least shadow of uncertainty concerning its oriental origin.

In those ages, which, guided by facred chronology, from a comparative view of time, we call the early ages, it appears from the most authentic historians, that the chiefs of the people employed themselves in rural exercises, and that astronomers and legislators were at the same time shepherds. Thus Strabo informs us, that the history of the creation was communicated to the Egyptians by a Chaldean shepherd.

From these circumstances it is evident not only that such shepherds were capable of all the dignity and elegance peculiar to poetry, but that whatever poetry they attempt, ed would be of the pastoral kind; would take its subjects from those scenes of rural fimplicity in which they were conversant, and, as it was the offspring of Harmony and Nature, would employ the powers it derived from the former to celebrate the beauty and benevolence of the latter.

Accordingly we find that the most ancient poems treat of agriculture, astronomy, and other objects within the rural and natural systems.

What constitutes the difference between the Georgic and the Paftoral, is love and the colloquial or dramatic form of composition peculiar to the latter': this form of composition is sometimes dispensed with, and love and rural imagery alone are thought fufficient to distinguish the paftoral. The tender passion, however, seems to be effential to this species of poetry, and is hardly ever excluded from those pieces that were intended to come under this denomination: even in those eclogues of the Amoebean kind, whose only purport is a trial of skill between contending thepherds, love has its usual fare, and the praises of their respective mistresses are the general subjects of the competitors.

It is to be lamented that scarce any oriental compofitions of this kind have survived the ravages of ignorance, tyranny, and time; we cannot doubt that many such have been extant, poflibly as far down as that fatal period, never to be mentioned in the world of letters without horror, when the glorious monuments of human ingenuity perished in the ashes of the Alexandrian library.

Those ingenious Greeks whom we call the parents of paftoral poetry were, probably, no more than imitators, that derived their harmony from higher and remoter sources, and kindled their poetical fires at those then unexting ...Ihed lamps which burned within the tombs of oriental genius.

It is evident that Homer has availed himself of those magnificent images and descriptions so frequently to be met with in the books of the Old Testament, and why may

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not Theocritus, Moschus, and Bion, have found their archetypes in other cafters writers, whose names have perished with their works? yet, though it may not be illiberal to admit such a suppofition, it would certainly be invidious to conclude, what the malignity of cavillers alone could suggest with regard to Homer, that they destroyed the fources from which they borrowed, and, as it is fabled of the young of the pelican, drained their supporters to death.

As the Septuagint-translation of the Old Testament was performed at the request, and under the patronage, of Ptolemy Philadelphus, it were not to be wondered if Theocritus, who was entertained at that prince's court, had borrowed some of his paftoral imagery from the poetical passages of those books.- I think it can hardly be doubted that the Sicilian poet had in his eye certain expressions of the prophet Isaiah, when he wrote the following lines:

Νυν τα μεν φορεοίίε βατοι, φορεοιε δ' ακανθαι.
*Α δε καλα ναρκισσG- επ’ αρκευθοισι κομασαι"
Παντα δ' εναλλα γινοιτο, και α σιτυς οχνας ενοικαι.

και τως κυνας αλαφος έλκοι.
Let vexing brambles the blue violet bear,
On the rude thorn Narcissus dress his hair
All, all revers'd-The pine with pears be crown'd,

And the bold deer shall drag the trembling hound. The cause, indeed, of these phænomena is very different in the Greek from what it is in the Hebrew poet; the former employing them on the death, the latter on the birth, of an important person : but the marks of imitation are nevertheless obvious.

It might, however, be expected, that if Theocritus had borrowed at all from the sacred writers, the celebrated Epithalamium of Solomon, so much within his own walk of poetry, would not certainly' have escaped his notice. His Epithalamium on the marriage of Helena, moreover, gave him an open field for imitation; therefore, if he has any obligations to the royal bard, we may expect to find them there. The very opening of the poem is in the spirit of the Hebrew fong:

Ουτω δη πρωϊζα κατιδραβες, ω φιλε γαμορε και
The colour of imitation is still stronger in the following pafrage:

Aως αν ελλoισα καλον διεφαινε προσωπον, ,
Ποτνια νυξ ατε, λευκον εας χειμενος ανεντος"
'Ωδε á

χρυσές

'Ελενα διαφαινετ' εν ημίν, Πιειρη μεγαλη. άσ' ανεδραμεν ογκος αρερα,

Η καπω κυπαρισσος, η αρματι Θεσσαλος ίππος. This description of Helen is infinitely above the style and figure of the Sicilian paftoral—“She is like the rising of the golden morning, when the night departeth, and şs when the winter is over and gone. She resembleth the cypress in the garden, the “ horse in the chariots of Theffaly." These figures plainly declare their origin ; and Others, equally imitative, might be pointed out in the same Idyllium.

This beautiful and luxuriant marriage paftoral of Solomon is the only perfect form of the criental eclogue that has survived the ruins of time, a happiness for which it is, probably, more indebted to its facred character than to its intrinsic merit. Not that it is by any means deftitute of poetical excellence : like all the eastern poetry, it is kold, wild, and unconnected in its figures, allusions, and parts, and has all that graceful and magnificent daring which characterises its metaphorical and comparative imagery.

In consequence of these peculiarities, so ill adapted to the frigid genius of the North, Mr. Collins could make but little use of it as a precedent for his oriental eclogues ; and even in his third eclogue, where the subject is of a similar nature, he has chosen jather to follow the inode of the Doric and the Latin paftoral.

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