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Whence is this rage? - what spirit, say,
To battle hurries me away?
'T is Fancy, in her fiery car,
Transports me to the thickest war,
There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
Where Tumult and Destruction reign;
Where mad with pain, the wounded steed
Tramples the dying and the dead;
Where giant Terrour stalks around,
With sullen joy surveys the ground,
And, pointing to th' ensanguin'd field,
Shakes his dreadful gorgon shield!
O guide me from this horrid scene,
To high-arch'd walks and alleys green,
Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun
The fervours of the mid-day sun;
The pangs of absence, O remove!
For thou canst place me near my love,
Canst fold in visionary bliss,
And let me think I steal a kiss,
While her ruby lips dispense
Luscious nectar's quintessence!
When young-eyed Spring profusely throws
From her green lap the pink and rose,
When the soft turtle of the dale
To Summer tells her tender tale,
When Autumn cooling caverns seeks,
And stains with wine his jolly cheeks;
When Winter, like poor pilgrim old,
Shakes his silver beard with cold;
A every season let my ear
Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear.
O warm, enthusiastic maid,
Without thy powerful, vital aid,
That breathes an energy divine,
That gives a soul to every line,
Ne'er may I strive with lips profane
To utter an unhallow'd strain,
Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
Save when with smiles thou bidd'st me sing.
O hear our prayer, O hither come
From thy lamented Shakspeare's tomb,
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,
Musing o'er thy darling's grave;
O queen of numbers, once again
Animate some chosen swain,
Who, fill'd with unexhausted fire,
May boldly smite the sounding lyre,
Who with some new unequall'd song,
May rise above the rhyming throng,
O'er all our list'ning passions reign,
O'erwhelm our souls with joy and pain,
With terrour shake, and pity move,
Rouse with revenge, or melt with love;
O deign t' attend his evening walk,
With him in groves and grottoes talk ;
Teach him to scorn with frigid art
Feebly to touch th' unraptur'd heart;
Like lightning, let his mighty verse
The bosom's inmost foldings pierce;
With native beauties win applause
Beyond cold critics' studied laws;
O let each Muse's fame increase,
O bid Britannia rival Greece!
WRITTEN AT MONTAUBAN IN FRANCE, 1750.
TARN, how delightful wind thy willow'd waves,
But ah! they fructify a land of slaves!
In vain thy bare-foot, sun-burnt peasants hide
With luscious grapes yon hill's romantic side;
No cups nectareous shall their toil repay,
The priest's, the soldier's, and the fermier's prey:
Vain glows this Sun, in cloudless glory drest,
That strikes fresh vigour through the pining breast;
Give me, beneath a colder, changeful sky,
My soul's best, only pleasure, Liberty!
What millions perish'd near thy mournful flood*,
When the red papal tyrant cry'd out — " Blood!"
Less fierce the Saracen, and quiver'd Moor,
That dash'd thy infants 'gainst the stones of yore.
Be warn'd, ye nations round; and trembling see
Dire superstition quench humanity!
By all the chiefs in freedom's battles lost,
By wise and virtuous Alfred's aweful ghost;
By old Galgacus' scythed, iron car,
That, swiftly whirling through the walks of war,
Dash'd Roman blood, and crush'd the foreign
throngs; By holy Druids' courage-breathing songs;
* Alluding to the persecutions of the Protestants, and the wars of the Saracens, carried on in the southern provinces of France.
By fierce Bonduca's shield and foaming steeds; By the bold Peers that met on Thames's meads, By the fifth Henry's helm and lightning spear; O Liberty, my warm petition hear;
Be Albion still thy joy! with her remain,
Long as the surge shall lash her oak-crown'd plain!
HOMAS WARTON, younger brother of the preceding, a distinguished poet, and a historian of poetry, was born at Basingstoke in 1728. He was educated under his father till 1743, when he was admitted a commoner of Trinity college, Oxford. Here he exercised his poetical talent to so much advantage, that, on the appearance of Mason's Elegy of Isis, which severely reflected on the disloyalty of Oxford at that period, he was encouraged by Dr. Huddesford, president of his college, to vindicate the cause of his university. This task he performed with great applause, by writing, in his twenty-first year, "The Triumph of Isis," a piece of much spirit and fancy, in which he retaliated upon the bard of Cam, by satirising the courtly venality then supposed to distinguish the rival university. His "Progress of Discontent," published in 1750, exhibited to great advantage his powers in the familiar style, and his talent for humour, with a knowledge of human life, extraordinary at his early age, especially if composed, as it is said, for a college exercise in 1746. In 1750 he took the degree of M. A.,