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For not alone they touch the village breast,
] In musing hour, his wayward Sisters found,
And with their terrors drest 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 answ'ring bosom pierce.
The native legends of thy land rehearse;
In scenes like these, which, daring to depart
Its gushing blood the gaping cypress poured; When each live plant with mortal accents spoke,
195 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 his warm lay with softest sweetness flows;
Melting it flows, pure, num'rous, strong, and clear, And fills th' impassioned heart, and wins th' harmonious
All hail, ye scenes that o'er my soul prevail,
Ye ( ] friths and lakes which, far away,
Are by smooth Annan filled or past'ral 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 : [
] Then will I dress once more the faded bow'r,
Where Jonson sat in Drummond's ( 1 shade, Or crop from Tiviot's dale each ( ]
And mourn on Yarrow's banks ( ] Meantime, ye Pow'rs that on the plains which bore
The cordial youth, on Lothian's plains, attend, Where'er he dwell, on hill or lowly muir,
To him I lose your kind protection lend, And, touched with love like mine, preserve my absent friend! 1749.
ODE ON THE SPRING
Lo, where the rosy-bosomed Hours,
Fair Venus' train, appear,
And wake the purple year.
The untaught harmony of spring;
Their gathered fragrance fling.
Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
A broader, browner shade,
O'er-canopies the glade,
(At ease reclined in rustic state)
How indigent the great!
Still is the toiling hand of Care;
The panting herds repose;
The busy murmur glows !
And float amid the liquid noon;
Quick-glancing to the sun.
To Contemplation's sober eye
Such is the race of man;
Shall end where they began:
In Fortune's varying colours drest;
They leave, in dust to rest.
Methinks I hear in accents low
The sportive kind reply:
A solitary fy!
No painted plumage to display;
We frolic while 't is May.
ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE
Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat’ry glade,
Her Henry's holy shade;
And ye that from the stately brow
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
His silver-winding way:
Ah, happy hills ! ah, pleasing shade!
Ah, fields beloved in vain!
A stranger yet to pain!
As, waving fresh their gladsome wing,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, father Thames—for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race, Disporting on thy margent green,
The paths of pleasure trace, -
The captive linnet which enthral?
Or urge the flying ball?
While some, on earnest business bent,
Their murm'ring labours ply
To sweeten liberty,
And unknown regions dare descry;
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs, by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possessed; The tear forgot as soon as shed;
The sunshine of the breast; Theirs buxom health of rosy hue, Wild wit, invention ever-new,
And lively cheer of vigour born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas, regardless of their doom
The little victims play!
Nor care beyond to-day :
And black Misfortune's baleful train!
Ah, tell them they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear,
The vultures of the mind :
And Shame that sculks behind;
That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
And grinning Infamy.
That mocks the tear it forced to flow,