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The tones of earthly harp, whose chords are

By the soft hand of piety, and hang
Upon religion's shrine, there vibrating
With solemn music in the ear of God.

And must the bard from sacred themes refrain?
Sweet were the hymns in patriarchal days,
That, kneeling in the silence of his tent,
Or on some moonlit hill, the shepherd pour'd
Unto his Heavenly Father! Strains survive
Erst chanted to the Lyre of Israel,

More touching far than poet ever breath'd
Amid the Grecian Isles, or later times
Have heard in Albion, Land of every Lay.
Why therefore are ye silent, ye who know
The trance of adoration, and behold

Upon your bended knees the Throne of Heaven,
And Him who sits thereon? Believe it not,
That poetry in former days the nurse,

Yea, parent oft of blissful piety,

Should silent keep from service of her God,

Nor with her summons, loud, but silver-tongued,
Startle the guilty dreamer from his sleep,
Bidding him gaze with rapture or with dread
On regions where the sky for ever lies

Bright as the sun himself, and trembling still
With ravishing music, or where darkness broods
O'er ghastly shapes, and sounds not to be borne.


Take one example, to our purpose quite :
A man of rank, and of capacious soul,
Who riches had, and fame beyond desire,
An heir of flattery, to titles born,

And reputation, and luxurious life;
Yet, not content with ancestorial name,
Or to be known because his fathers were,
He on this height hereditary stood,
And gazing higher purpos'd in his heart
To take another step. Above him seem'd
Alone the mount of Song-the lofty seat
Of canonized bards; and thitherward,
By nature taught, and inward melody,
In prime of youth, he bent his eagle eye.
No cost was spar'd. What books he wish'd, he

What sage to hear, he heard; what scenes to see,
He saw. And first, in rambling school-boy days,
Brittania's mountain-walks, and heath-girt lakes,
And story-telling glens, and founts, and brooks,
And maids, as dew-drops pure and fair, his soul
With grandeur fill'd, and melody, and love.
Then travel came, and took him where he wish'd:
He cities saw, and courts, and princely pomp;
And mus'd alone on ancient mountain brows;
And mus'd on battle-fields, where valour fought
In other days; and mus'd on ruins grey

With years; and drank from old and fabulous wells;

And pluck'd the vine that first-born prophets pluck'd;

And mus'd on famous tombs: and on the wave
Of ocean mus'd; and on the desert waste.
The heavens and earth of every country saw:
Where'er the old inspiring genii dwelt,

Aught that could rouse, expand, refine the soul,
Thither he went, and meditated there.

He touch'd his harp, and nations heard entranced As some vast river of unfailing source,

Rapid, exhaustless, deep, his numbers flow'd,
And op'd new fountains in the human heart.
Where fancy halted, weary in her flight,
In other men, his fresh as morning rose,

And soar'd untrodden heights, and seem'd at home
Where angels bashful look'd. Others, though


Beneath their argument seem'd struggling whiles; He from above descending, stoop'd to touch

The loftiest thought; and proudly stoop'd, as tho' It scarce deserv'd his verse. With nature's self He seem'd an old acquaintance, free to jest At will with all her glorious majesty. He laid his hand upon the "Ocean's mane," And play'd familiar with his hoary locks; Stood on the Alps, stood on the Apennines, And with the thunder talk'd, as friend to friend; And wove his garland of the lightning's wing. In sportive twist-the lightning's fiery wing, Which, as the footsteps of the dreadful God, Marching upon the storm in vengeance seem'dThen turn'd, and with the grasshopper, who sung His evening song, beneath his feet, convers'd, Suns, moons, and stars, and clouds his sisters were; Rocks, mountains, meteors, seas, and winds, and storms,

His brothers-younger brothers, whom he scarce As equals deem'd. All passions of all menThe wild and tame-the gentle and severe; All thoughts, all maxims, sacred and profane; All creeds; all seasons, Time, Eternity, All that was hated, and all that was dear; All that was hop'd, all that was fear'd by man, He toss'd about, as tempest-wither'd leaves, Then, smiling, look'd upon the wreck he made. With terror now he froze the cow'ring blood;

And now dissolv'd the heart in tenderness :
Yet would not tremble, would not weep himself.
But back into his soul retir'd, alone,

Dark, sullen, proud; gazing contemptuously
On hearts and passions prostrate at his feet.
So Ocean from the plains, his waves had late
To desolation swept, retir'd in pride,
Exulting in the glory of his might,

And seem'd to mock the ruin he had wrought.
As some fierce comet of tremendous size,
To which the stars did reverence, as it pass'd;
So he through learning and through fancy took
His flight sublime; and on the loftiest top

Of Fame's dread mountain sat: not soil'dand worn,
As if he from the earth had labour'd up;
But as some bird of heavenly plumage fair,
He look'd, which down from higher regions came,
And perch'd it there, to see what lay beneath.


It was an eve of Autumn's holiest mood:
The corn fields, bath'd in Cynthia's silver light,
Stood ready for the reaper's gathering hand;
And all the winds slept soundly; nature seem'd,
In silent contemplation, to adore

Its Maker; now and then the aged leaf
Fell from its fellows, rustling to the ground;
And, as it fell, bade man think on his end.
On vale and lake, on wood and mountain high,
With pensive wing outspread, sat heavenly thought,
Conversing with itself.



In custom'd glory bright, that morn the sun Rose, visiting the earth with light, and heat,

And joy; and seem'd as full of youth, and strong To mount the steep of heaven, as when the Stars Of morning sung to his first dawn, and Night Fled from his face: the spacious sky receiv'd Him blushing as a bride, when on her look'd The bridegroom: and spread out beneath his eye, Earth smil'd. Up to his warm embrace the dews, That all night long had wept his absence flew : The herbs and flowers, their fragrant stores unlock'd And gave the wanton breeze, that, newly woke, Revel'd in sweets, and from its wings shook health, A thousand grateful smells: the joyous woods Dried in his beams their locks, wet with the drops Of night and all the sons of music sung Their matin song, from arbour'd bower, the thrush Concerting with the lark that hymn'd on high: On the green hill the flocks, and in the vale The herds, rejoic'd: and, light of heart, the hind Eyed amorously the milk-maid as she pass'd, Not heedless, though she look'd another way.


Thus stood the reprobate beneath the shade Of terror, and beneath the crown of love, The good; and there was silence in the vault Of heaven: and as they stood and listened, they heard,

Afar to left, among the utter dark,

Hell rolling o'er his waves of burning fire,

And thundering through his caverns, empty then, As if he preparation made, to act

The final vengeance of the Fiery Lamb.

And there was heard, coming from out the Pit, The hollow wailing of Eternal Death,

And horrid cry of the Undying Worm. POLLOK

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