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the small Marino, which, however unrespectable with regard to power or extent of territory, has, at least, this distinction to boaft, that it has preserved its liberty longer than any other state, ancient or modern, having, without any revolution, retained its present mode of government near 1400 years. Moreover the patron saint who founded it, and from whom it takes its name, deserves this poetical record, as he is, perhaps, the only saint that ever contributed to the establishment of freedom.
“ Nor e'er her former pride relate,
To sad Liguria's bleeding state.” In these lines the poet alludes to those ravages in the state of Genoa, occasioned by the unhappy divisions of the Guelphs and Gibelines.
When the favour'd of thy choice,
The daring archer heard thy voice.” For an account of the celebrated event referred to in these verses, fee Voltaire's Epifle to the King of Prussia.
“ Those whom the rod of Alva bruis’d,
refus'd!” The Flemings were so dreadfully oppressed by this fanguinary general of Philip the Second, that they offered their sovereignty to Elizabeth, but
, happily for her subjects
, she had policy and magnanimity enough to refuse it. Desormeaux, in his Abrégé Chronologique de l'Histoire d'Espagne, thus describes the sufferings of the Flemings : · Le Duc d'Albe achevoit de réduire les Flamands au désespoir. Après avoir inondé “ les echafauts du sang le plus noble et le plus précieux, il faisoit construire des cita“ delles en divers endroits, et vouloit établir l'Alcavala, ce tribute onéreux qui avoit “ éte longtems en usage parmi les Espagnols.” Agreg. Chron. Tom. IV.
Where thousand elfin shapes abide.” Mona is properly the Roman name of the Ile of Anglesey, anciently so famous for its Druids ; but sometimes, as in this place, it is given to the Isle of Man. Both those ifles ftill retain much of the genius of fuperftition, and are now the only places where there is the least chance of finding a fairy.
To a Lady on the Death of Colonel Charles Ross, in the Action at Fontenoy.
Written May, 1745.
THE iambic kind of numbers in which this ode is conceived, seems as well calculated for tender and plaintive subjects, as for those where strength or rapidity is required.--This, perhaps, is owing to the repetition of the strain in the same stanza; for forrow rejects variety, and affects an uniformity of complaint. It is needless to observe that this ode is replete with harmony, fpirit, and pathos; and there, surely, appears no reason why the seventh and eighth stanzas should be omitted in that copy printed in Dodsley's Collection of Poems.
THE blank ode has for some time solicited admission into the English poetry ; but its efforis, hitherto, seem to have been vain, at least its reception has been no more than partial. It remains a question, then, whether there is not something in the nature of blank verte lels adapted to the lyric than to the heroic measure, since, though it has been generally received in the latter, it is yet unadopted in the former. In order to discover this, we are to consider the different modes of these different fpecies of poetry. That of the heroic is uniform; that of the lyric is various; and in these circumftances of uniformity and variety, probably, lies the cause why blank verse has been successful in the one, and unacceptable in the other. While it presented itself only in one form, it was familiarized to the ear by custom; but where it was obliged to affume the different shapes of the lyric Mufe, it seemed still a stranger of ancouth figure, was received rather with curiosity than pleasure, and entertained without that eafe, or satisfaction, which acquaintance and familiarity produce-Moreover, the heroic blank verse obtained a fanction of infinite importance to its general reception, when it was adopted by one of the greatest poets the world ever produced, and was made the vehicle of the nobleft poem that ever was written. When this poem at length extorted that applause which ignorance and prejudice had united to withhold, the verlification foon found its imitators, and became more generally successful than even in those countries from whence it was imported. But lyric blank verse had met with no such advantages; for Mr. Collins, whose genius and judgment in harmony might have given it so powerful an effect, hath left us but one specimen of it in the Ode to Evening.
In the choice of his measure he seems to have had in his eye Horace's Ode to Pyrrha'; for this ode bears the nearest resemblance to that mixt kind of the asclepiad and pherecratic verse ; and that resemblance in fome degree reconciles us to the want of rhyme, while it reminds us of those great masters of antiquity, whose works had no need of this whimsical jingle of sounds.
From the following passage one might be induced to think that the poet had it in view to render his subjea and his versification suitable to each other on this occasion, and that, when he addressed himself to the sober power of Evening, he had thought proper to lay aside the foppery of rhyme;
“ Now teach me, maid compos'd,
To breathe some soften'd strain,
As, musing flow, I hail
Thy genial lov'd return!" But whatever were the numbers, or the versification of this ode, the imagery and enthufiafm it contains could not fail of rendering it delightful. No other of Mr. Collins's odes is more generally characteristic of his genius. In one place we discover his passion for visionary beings:
“ For when thy folding-star arising fhows
The fragrant hours, and elves
Who slept in buds the day,
The penfive pleasures sweet
Prepare thy shadowy car."
“ Then let me rove fome wild and heathy scane,
Whose walls more aweful nod
By thy religious gleams." Then appears his taste for what is wildly grand and magnificent in nature; when, prevented by storms from enjoying his evening walk, he wishes for a situation,
« That from the mountain's fides,
Views wild and swelling floods ;"
and marks o'er, all
The gradual dusky veil." It might be a fufficient encomium on this beautiful ode to observe, that it has been panicularly admired by a lady to whom nature has given the most perfect principles of taste. She has not even complained of the want of rhyme in it, a circumstance by no means unfavourable to the cause of lyric blank verse; for surely, if a fair reader can endure an ode without bells and chimes, the masculine genius may dispense with them.
Τ Η Ε.
M A N N ER S.
A N O D E.
FROM the fubject and sentiments of this ode, it seems not improbable that the author wrote it about the time when he left the University ; when, weary with the pursuit of academical studies, he no longer confined himself to the search of theoretical knowledge, but commenced the scholar of humanity, to study nature in her works, and man in society.
The following farewell to Science exhibits a very just as well as striking picture ; however exalted in theory the Platonic doctrines may appear, it is certain that Platonism and Pyrrhonism are allied :
“ Farewell the porch, whose roof is seen,
To wed with Doubt in Plato's shade !" When the mind goes in pursuit of visionary systems, it is not far from the regions of doubt ; and the greater its capacity to think abstractedly, to reason and refine, the more it will be exposed to, and bewildered in, uncertainty.–From an enthusiastic warmth of temper, indeed, we may for a while be encouraged to perfist in some favourite doctrine, or to adhere to some adopted fyftem; but when that enthusiasm, which is founded on the vivacity of the paffions, gradually cools and dies away with them, the opinions it supported drop from us, and we are thrown upon the inhospitable shore of doubt.-A striking proof of the necessity of some moral rule of wisdom and virtue, and some fyftein of happiness established by unerring knowledge and un
In the poet's address to Humour in this ode, there is one image of fingular beauty and propriety. The ornaments in the hair of Wit are of such a nature, and disposed in such a manner, as to be perfectly symbolical and characteristic:
“ Me too amidst thy band admit,
In laughter loos'd attends thy fide.
Nothing could be more expressive of wit, which consifts in a happy collifion of comparative and relative images, than this reciprocal reflection of lights from the dispofition of the jewels.
" O Humour, thou whose name is known
To Britain's favour'd ille alone.” The author could only mean to apply this to the time when he wrote, fince other nations had produced works of great humour, as he himself acknowledges afterwards.
By old Miletus, &c.
By all you taught the Tuscan maids, &c.” The Milesian and Tuscan romances were by no means diftinguished for humour ; but as they were the models of that species of writing in which humoar was afterwards employed, they are, probably for that reason only mentioned here.
Τ Η Ε
P A S S I O N S.
An ODE for Mufic.
IF the music which was composed for this ode, had equal merit with the ode itself, it must have been the moft excellent performance of the kind, in which poetry and music have, in modern times, united. Other pieces of the same nature have derived their greatest reputation from the perfection of the music that accompanied them, having in themselves little more merit than that of an ordinary ballad: but in this we have the whole soul and power of poetry-Expression that, even without the aid of music, strikes to the heart; and imagery of power enough to transport the attention, without the forceful alliance of corresponding sounds! what, then, must have been the effects of these united!
It is very observable that though the measure is the fame, in which the musical efforts of fear, anger, and despair, are described, yet by the variation of the cadence, the character and operation of each is strongly expressed: thus particularly of Defpair :
“ With woeful measure wan Despair
Low fullen sounds his grief beguild,
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.” He must be a very unskilful composer who could not catch the power of imitative harmony from these lines !
The picture of Hope that follows this is beautiful almost beyond imitation. By the united powers of imagery and harmony, that delightful being is exhibited with all the charms and graces that pleasure and fancy have appropriated to her.
Relegat, qui femel percurrit;
Qui nunquam legit, legat.
What was thy delighted measure !
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail!
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
And where her sweetest theme the chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close,
And Hope enchanted smil'd, and wav'd her golden hair." In what an exalted light does the above ftanza place this great master of poetical imagery and harmony ! what varied sweetness of numbers, what delicacy of judgment and expreffion! how characteristically does Hope prolong her ftrain, repeat her foothing closes, call upon her associate Echo for the same purpose, and display every pleasing grace peculiar to her!
“And Hope enchanted smild, and wav'd her golden hair."
Legat, qui nunquam legit ;
Qui femel percurrit, relegat. The descriptions of Joy, Jealousy, and Revenge, are excellent; though not equally so; those of Melancholy and chearfulness are superior to every thing of the kind ; and, upon the whole, there may be very little hazard in asserting that this is the finest ode in the English language.
To Sir Thomas Hanmer, on his Edition of Shakespeare's Works.
THIS poem was written by our author at the university, about the time when Sir Thomas Hanmer's pompous edition of Shakespeare was printed at Oxford. If it has not so much merit as the rest of his poems, it has still more than the subject deserves. The versification is easy and genteel, and the allufions always poetical. The character of the poet Fletcher in particular is very juftly drawn in this epiftic.
Mr. Collins had kill to complain. Of that mournful melody, and those tender images, which are the distinguishing excellencies of such pieces as bewail departed friendship, or beauty, he was an almost unequalled master. He knew perfe&ly to exhibit such circumstances, peculiar to the objects
, as awaken the influences of pity; and while, from his own great sensibility, he felt what he wrote, he naturally addressed himself to the feelings of others.
To read such lines as the following, all beautiful and tender as they are, withoạt corresponding emotions of pity, is surely impoffible :