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At this period, Collins seems to have contemplated a journey to
Scotland:

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;
Or o'er your mountains creep in awful gloom!
Then will I dress once more the faded bower,
Where Jonson sat in Drummond's classic shade;
Or crop from Teviotdale each lyric flower,

And mourn on Yarrow's banks where Willy's laid.

In the midst of the poet's difficulties and distresses, in 1749 his uncle died, and left him about £2000; ( a sum,' says Johnson, which Collins could scarcely think exhaustible, and which he did not live to exhaust.' He sank into a state of nervous imbecility. All hope and exertion had fled. Johnson met him one day, carrying with him as he travelled an English Testament. I have but one book,' said Collins, but it is the best.' In his latter days he was tended by his sister in Chichester. He used, when at liberty, to wander day and night among the aisles and cloisters of Chichester Cathedral, accompanying the music with loud sobs and moans. After five years passed in this melancholy condition, death at length came to his relief, and in 1759-in the thirty-ninth year of his age-his troubled and melancholy career was terminated: it affords one of the most touching examples of accomplished youth and genius, linked to personal calamity, that throws its lights and shades on our literary annals.

Southey has remarked that, though utterly neglected on their first appearance, the 'Odes' of Collins, in the course of one generation, without any adventitious aid to bring them into notice, were acknowledged to be the best of their kind in the language. 'Silently and imperceptibly they had risen by their own buoyancy, and their power was felt by every reader who had any true poetic feeling.' This popularity seems still to be on the increase, though the want of human interest and of action in Collins's poetry prevents its being generally read. The Eclogues' are free from the occasional obscurity and remoteness of conception that in part pervade the Odes,' and they charm by their figurative language and descriptions, the simplicity and beauty of their dialogues and sentiments, and their musical versification. The desert scene in 'Hassan, the Camel-driver,' is a finished picture-impressive, and even appalling, in its reality. The Ode on the Passions,' and that on 'Evening,' are the finest of his lyrical works. The former is a magnificent gallery of allegorical paintings; and the poetical diction is equally rich with the conception. No poet has made more use of metaphors and personification. He has individualised even metaphysical pursuits, which he terms the shadowy tribes of Mind.' Pity is presented with 'eyes of dewy light'-a felicitous epithet; and Danger is described with the boldness and distinctness of sculpture:

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Danger, whose limbs of giant mould
What mortal eye can fixed behold?

Who stalks his round, a hideous form,
Howling amidst the midnight storm,
Or throws him on the ridgy steep
Of some loose hanging rock to sleep.

Eclogue 11-Hassan; or the Camel-driver.
Scene-The Desert. Time-Mid-day.

In silent horror, o'er the boundless waste,
The driver Hassan with his camels passed;
One cruise of water on his back he bore,
And his light scrip contained a scanty store;
A fan of painted feathers in his hand,
To guard his shaded face from scorching sand.
The sultry sun had gained the middle sky,
And not a tree and not an herb was nigh;
The beasts with pain their dusty way pursue,

Shrill roared the winds, and dreary was the view!
With desperate sorrow wild, the affrighted man

Thrice sighed, thrice struck his breast, and thus began:
'Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!

Ah! little thought I of the blasting wind,
The thirst or pinching hunger that I find!
Bethink thee, Hassan, where shall thirst assuage,
When fails this cruise, his unrelenting rage?
Soon shall this scrip its precious load resign,
Then what but tears and hunger shall be thine?

'Ye mute companions of my toils, that bear
In all my griefs à more than equal share!
Here, where no springs in murmurs break away,
Or moss-crowned fountains mitigate the day,
In vain ye hope the green delights to know,
Which plains more blest or verdant vales bestow;
Here rocks alone and tasteless sands are found,
And faint and sickly winds for ever howl around.

Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way.

'Cursed be the gold and silver which persuade
Weak men to follow far fatiguing trade!
The lily peace outshines the silver store,
And life is dearer than the golden ore;
Yet money tempts us o'er the desert brown,
To every distant mart and wealthy town.
Full oft we tempt the land. and oft the sea;
And are we only yet repaid by thee?
Ah! why was rnin so attractive made,
Or why fond man so easily betrayed?
Why heed we not, whilst mad we haste along,
The gentle voice of Peace, or Pleasure's song?
Or wherefore think the flowery mountain's side,
The fountain's murmurs, and the valley's pride,
Why think we these less pleasing to behold
Than dreary deserts, if they lead to gold?

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Sad was the hour. and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!

O cease, my fears! All frantic as I go,
When thought creates unnumbered scenes of woe,
What if the lion in his rage I meet!

Oft in the dust I view his printed feet;
And fearful oft, when Day's declining light
Yields her pale empire to the mourner Night,
By hunger roused he scours the groaning plain,
Gaunt wolves and sullen tigers in his train;
Before them Death with shrieks directs their way,
Fills the wild yell, and leads them to their prey.

Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!

'At that dead hour the silent asp shall creep,
If aught of rest I find, upon my sleep;
Or some swoln serpent twist his scales around,
And wake to anguish with a burning wound.
Thrice happy they, the wise contented poor,
From lust of wealth and dread of death secure!
They tempt no deserts, and no griefs they find;
Peace rules the day where reason rules the mind.

Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!

"O hapless youth! for she thy love hath won, The tender Zara! will be most undone.

Big swelled my heart, and owned the powerful maid,
When fast she dropped her tears, as thus she said:
"Farewell the youth whom sighs could not detain,
Whom Zara's breaking heart implored in vain!
Yet as thou go'st, may every blast arise
Weak and unfelt as these rejected sighs!
Safe o'er the wild no perils mayst thou see,
No griefs endure, nor weep, false youth, like me.
O let me safely to the fair return,

Say with a kiss, she must not, shall not mourn;
O let me teach my heart to lose its fears,
Recalled by Wisdom's voice and Zara's tears.'

He said, and called on Heaven to bless the day
When back to Schiraz' walls he bent his way.

Ode written in the beginning of the year 1746.

How sleep the brave who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod,
Than fancy's feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay,
And Freedom shall a while repair,
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there!

Ode to Evening.

If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear,
Like thy own solemn springs,

Thy springs, and dying gales;

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And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge
And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier still,
The pensive pleasures sweet
Prepare thy shadowy car.

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The Passions, an Ode for Music.*
When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Thronged around her magic cell;
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possessed beyond the muse's painting;
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined;
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round,
They snatched her instruments of sound;
And as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each-for madness ruled the hour-
Would prove his own expressive power.

First Fear his hand, its skill to try,
Amid the chords, bewildered laid;
And back recoiled, he knew not why,
Even at the sound himself had made.

Next Anger rushed, his eyes on fire
In lightnings owned his secret stings;
In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept with hurried hand the strings.

With woful measures wan Despair,
Low, sullen, sounds his grief beguiled;
A solemn, strange, and mingled air;
"Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.

But thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure?
Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail!
Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
She called on Echo still through all the song;
And where her sweetest theme she chose,

A soft responsive voice was heard at every close;
And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden hair

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Dejected Pity at his side

Her soul-subduing voice applied,

Yet still he kept his wild unaltered mien,

While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his head.

* Performed at Oxford, with Hayes' music, in 1750.

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