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The listening shades, and teach the night His praise.
Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles,
At once the head, the heart, and tongue of all,
Crown the great hymn; in swarming cities vast,
Assembled men, to the deep organ join
The long resounding voice, oft breaking clear,
At solemn pauses, through the swelling base;
And, as each mingling flame increases each,
In one united ardour rise to heaven.
Or if you rather choose the rural shade,
And find a fane in every sacred grove ;
There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's lay,
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre,
Still sing the God of Seasons, as they roll !-
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the blossom blows, the suinmer-ray
Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams ;
Or Winter rises in the blackening east ;
Be my tongue mute, may fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat !
Should fate command me to the farthest verge
of the green earth, to distant barbarous climes,
Rivers unknown to song; where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on the Atlantic isles; 't is nought to me:
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste as in the city full ;
And where he vital breathes there must be joy.
When even at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds,
I cheerful will obey; there, with new powers,
Will rising wonders sing : I cannot go
Where Universal Love not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their sons ;
From seeming Evil still educing Good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression. But I lose
Myself in Him, in Light ineffable !
Come, then, expressive silence, muse His praise.
DESCRIPTION OF THE CASTLE OF INDOLENCE
The rooms with costly tapestry were hung,
Where was inwoven inany a gentle tale,
Such as of old the rural poets sung,
Or of Arcadian or Sicilian vale ;
Reclining lovers, in the lonely dale,
Pour’d forth at large the sweetly tortur'd heart,
Or, sighing tender passion, swelld the gale
And taught charm'd echo to resound their smart,
Whilc flocks, woods, streams, around, repose and peace im-
Those pleas’d the most where, by a cunning hand,
Depainted was the patriarchal age,
What time Dan Abraham left the Chaldee land,
And pastur'd on from verdant stage to stage,
Where fields and fountains fresh could best engage.
Toil was not then. Of nothing took they heed,
But with wild beasts the sylvan war to wage,
And o’er vast plains their herds and flocks to feed :
Blest sons of Nature they! true golden age indeed!
Sometimes the pencil, in cool airy halls,
Bade the gay bloom of vernal landskips rise,
Or autumn's varied shades imbrown the walls :
Now the black tempest strikes the astonish'd eyes,
Now down the steep the flashing torrent flies;
The trembling sun now plays o'er ocean blue,
And now rude mountains frown amid the skies:
Whate'er Lorrain light-touch'd with softening hue,
Or savage Rosa dash'd, or learned Poussin drew.
Each sound, too, here to languishment inclin'd,
Lulld the weak bosom, and induced ease ;
Aërial music in the warbling wind,
At distance rising oft, by small degrees,
Nearer and nearer came, till o'er the trees
It hung, and breath'd such soul-dissolving airs
As did, alas! with soft perdition please :
Entangled deep in its enchanting snares,
The listening heart forgot all duties and all cares.
A certain music, never known before,
Here lull'd the pensive melancholy mind ;
Full easily obtain'd. Behoves no more,
But sidelong, to the gently-waving wind,
To lay the well tun'd instrument reclin'd,
From which, with airy-flying fingers light,
Beyond each mortal touch the most refin’d,
The god of winds drew sounds of deep delight,
Whence, with just cause, the harp of Æolus it hight.
Ah me! what hand can touch the string so fine?
Who up the lofty diapasan roll
Such sweet, such sad, such solemn airs divine,
Then let them down again into the soul ?
Now rising love they fann'd; now pleasing dole
They breath'd, in tender musings, thro' the heart;
And now a graver sacred strain they stole,
As when seraphic hands a hymn impart; Wild-warbling Nature all, above the reach of Art!
Such the gay splendour, the luxurious state,
Of caliphs old, who on the Tygris’ shore,
In mighty Bagdat, populous and great,
Held their bright court, where was of ladies store,
And verse, love, music, still the garland wore:
When Sleep was coy, the bard, in waiting there,
Cheer'd the lone midnight with the Muse's lore ;
Composing music bade his dreams be fair,
And music lent new gladness to the morning air.
Near the pavilions where we slept, still ran
Soft-tinkling streams, and dashing waters fell,
And sobbing breezes sigh’d and oft began
(So work’d the wizzard) wintry storms to swell,
As heaven and earth they would together mell :
At doors and windows threat’ning seem'd to call
The demons of the tempest, growling fell,
Yet the least entrance found they none at all, Whence sweeter grew our sleep, secure in massy hall.
And hither Morpheus sent his kindest dreams,
Raising a world of gayer tinct and grace,
O'er which was shadowy cast Elysian gleams,
That play'd, in waving lights, from place to place,
And shed a roseate smile on Nature's face.
Not Titian's pencil e'er could so array,
So fleece with clouds the pure ethereal space.
A CHARACTER IN THE CASTLE OF INDOLENCE.
Of all the gentle tenants of the place,
There was a man of special grave remark:
A certain tender gloom o'erspread his face,
Pensive, not sad; in thought involv’d, not dark ;
As soot this man could sing as morning lark,
And teach the noblest morals of the heart :
But these his talents were yburied stark;
Of the fine stores he nothing would impart,
Which or boon nature gave, or nature-painting art.
To noontide shades incontinent he ran,
Where purls the brook with sleep inviting sound ;
Or when Dan Sol to slope his wheels began,
Amid the broon he bask'd him on the ground,
Where the wild thyme and chamomile are found;
There would he linger, till the latest ray
Of light sat trembling on the welkin's bound;
Then homeward through the twilight shadows stray
Sauntering and slow. So had he passed many a day.
Yet not in thoughtless slumber were they past;
For oft the heavenly fire that lay conceal'd
Beneath the sleeping embers, mounted fast,
And all its native light anew reveal’d;
Oft as he travers'd the cerulean field,
And mark'd the clòuds that drove before the wind,
Ten thousand glorious systems would he build,
Ten thousand great ideas fill?d his mind;
But with the clouds they fled, and left no trace behind.
Born 1700—Died 1759. Dyer published Grongar Hill in his twenty-seventh year, and afterwards made the tour of Italy and composed a poem on the ruins of Rome. On his return to England he married, retired into the country, and became a clergyman of the Established church. Grongar Hill is a very beautiful descriptive and moral poem; elegant and easy in its style and versification.
GRONGAR Hill invites my song,
Draw the landscape bright and strong
Grongar! in whose mossy cells,
Sweetly musing, quiet dwells ;
Grongar! in whose silent shade,
For the modest muses made,
So oft I have, the evening still,
At the fountain of a rill
Sat upon a flowery bed,
With my hand beneath my head,
While stray'd my eyes o'er l'owy's flood,
Over mead and over wood,
From house to house, from hill to hill,
Till contemplation had her fill.
About his chequer'd sides I wind,
And leave his brooks and meads behind,
And groves and grottos where I lay,
And vistos shooting beams of day.
Wide and wider spreads the vale,
As circles on a smooth canal:
The mountains round, unhappy fate!
Sooner or later, of all height,
Withdraw their summits from the skies,
And lessen as the others rise:
Still the prospect wider spreads,
Adds a thousand woods and meads;
Still it widens, widens still,
And sinks the newly-risen hill.
Now I gain the mountain's brow,
What a landscape lies below!
No clouds, no vapours intervene;
But the gay the open scene
Does the face of nature show
In all the hues of heaven's bow,
And, swelling to embrace the light,
Spreads around beneath the sight.
Old castles on the cliffs arise,
Proudly towering in the skies;
Rushing from the woods, the spires
Seem fronı hence ascending fires;
Half his beams Apollo sheds
On the yellow mountain heads,
Gilds the fleeces of the flocks,
And glitters on the broken rocks.
Below me, trees unnumber'd rise, Beautiful in various dyes ; The gloomy pine, the poplar blue, The yellow beach, the sable yew, The slender fir, that taper grows, The sturdy oak with broad-spread boughs; And beyond the purple grove, Haunt of Phyllis, queen of love! Gaudy as the opening dawn, Lies a long and level lawn, On which a dark hill, steep and high, Holds and charms the wandering eye: Deep are his feet in Towy's flood, His sides are cloth'd with waving wood, And ancient towers crown his brow, That cast an awful look below; Whose ragged walls the ivy creeps, And with her arms from falling keeps ; So both a safety from the wind On mutual dependence find.