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Of Nature, while to my compatriot youth
I point the high example of thy sons,
And tune to Attic themes the British lyre.

Book II.

The Argument.
The separation of the works of imagination from

philosophy, the cause of their abuse among the
moderns. Prospect of their re-union under the
influence of public liberty. Enumeration of ac-
cidental pleasures, which increase the effect of
objects delightful to the imagination. The plea-
sures of sense. Particular circumstances of the
mind. Discovery of truth. Perception of con-
trivance and design. Emotion of the passions.
All the natural passions partake of a pleasing
sensation ; with the final cause of this constitu-
tion illustrated by an allegorical vision, and ex-

emplified in sorrow, pity, terrour, and indignation. When shall the laurel and the vocal string Resume their honours ? When shall we behold The tuneful tongue, the Promethean hand, Aspire to ancient praise ? Alas! how faint, How slow, the dawn of Beauty and of Truth Breaks the reluctant shades of Gothic night Which yet involve the nations ! Long they groan'd Beneath the furies of rapacious Force; Oft as the gloomy North, with iron-swarms Tempestuous pouring from her frozen caves, Blasted the Italian shore, and swept the works Of Liberty and Wisdom down the gulf Of all-devouring Night. As long immur'd

In noon-tide darkness by the glimmering lamp,
Each Muse and each fair Science pin'd away
The sordid hours: while foul, barbarian hands
Their mysteries profan’d, unstrung the lyre,
And chain'd the soaring pinion down to Earth.
At last the Muses rose, and spurn'd their bonds,
And, wildly warbling, scatter'd, as they flew,
Their blooming wreaths from fair Valclusa's bowers
To Arno's myrtle border, and the shore
Of soft Parthenope. But still the rage
Of dire Ambition and gigantic Power,
From public aims and from the busy walk
Of civil Commerce, drove the bolder train
Of penetrating Science to the cells,
Where studious Ease consumes the silent hour
In shadowy searches and unfruitful care.
Thus from their guardians torn, the tender arts
Of mimic Fancy and harmonious Joy,
To priestly domination and the lust
Of lawless courts, their amiable toi)
For three inglorious ages have resignd,
In vain reluctant : and Torquato's tongue
Was tun'd for slavish pæans at the throne
Of tinsel pomp: and Raphael's magic hand
Effus'd its fair creation to enchant
The fond adoring herd in Latian fanes
To blind belief; while on their prostrate necks
The sable tyrant plants his heel secure.
But now, behold! the radiant era dawns,
When Freedom's ample fabric, fix'd at length
For endless years on Albion's happy shore
In full proportion, once more shall extend

To all the kindred powers of social bliss
A common mansion, a parental roof.
There shall the Virtues, there shall Wisdom's train,
Their long-lost friends rejoining, as of old,
Embrace the smiling family of Arts,
The Muses and the Graces. Then no more
Shall Vice, distracting their delicious gifts
To aims abhorr’d, with high distaste and scorn
Turn from their charms the philosophic eye,
The patriot-bosom; then no more the paths
Of public care or intellectual toil,
Alone by footsteps baughty and severe
In gloomy state be trod : the harmonious Muse,
And her persuasiye sisters, then shall plant
Their sheltering laurels o'er the black ascent,
And scatter flowers along the rugged way.
Arm'd with the lyre, already have we dar'd
To pierce divine Philosophy's retreats,
And teach the Muse her lore; already strove
Their long-divided honours to unite,
While tempering this deep argument we sang
Of Truth and Beauty. Now the same glad task
Impends; now urging our ambitious toil,
We hasten to recount the various springs
Of adventitious pleasure, which adjoin
Their grateful influence to the prime effect
Of objects grand or beauteous, and enlarge
The complicated joy. The sweets of sense,
Do they not oft with kind accession flow,
To raise harmonious Fancy's native charm ?
So while we taste the fragrance of the rose,
Glows not her blush the fairer ? While we view

Amid the noontide walk a limpid rill
Gush through the trickling herbage, to the thirst
Of summer yielding the delicious draught
Of cool refreshment; o'er the mossy brink
Shines not the surface clearer, and the waves
With sweeter music murmur as they flow?

Nor this alone; the various lot of life
Oft from external circumstance assumes
A moment's disposition to rejoice
In those delights which at a different hour
Would pass unheeded. Fair the face of Spring,
When rural songs and odours wake the Morn,
To every eye; but how much more to his
Round whom the bed of sickness long diffus'd
Its melancholy gloom! how doubly fair,
When first with fresh-born vigour he inhales
The balmy breeze, and feels the blessed Sun
Warm at his bosom, from the springs of life
Chasing oppressive damps and languid pain !

Or shall I mention, where celestial Truth Her aweful light discloses, to bestow A more majestic pomp on Beauty's frame? For man loves knowledge, and the beams of Truth More welcome touch his understanding's eye, Than all the blandishments of sound his ear, Than all of taste his tongue. Nor ever yet The melting rainbow's vernal-tinctur'd hues To me have shone so pleasing, as when first The hand of Science pointed out the path In which the sun-beams gleaming from the west Fall on the watery cloud, whose darksome veil Involves the orient; and that trickling shower

Piercing through every crystalline convex
Of clustering dew-drops to their flight oppos’d,
Recoil at length where concave all behind
The internal surface on each glassy orb
Repels their forward passage into air ;
That thence direct they seek the radiant goal
From which their course began; and, as they strike
In different lines the gazer's obvious eye,
Assume a different lustre, through the brede
Of colours changing from the splendid rose
To the pale violet's dejected hue.

Or shall we touch that kind access of joy,
That springs to each fair object, while we trace
Through all its fabric, Wisdom's artful aim
Disposing every part, and gaining still
By means proportion'd her benignant end ?
Speak, ye, the pure delight, whose favour'd steps
The lamp of Science through the jealous maze
Of Nature guides, when haply you reveal
Her secret honours : whether in the sky,
The beauteous laws of light, the central powers
That wheel the pensile planets round the year ;
Whether in wonders of the rolling deep,
Or the rich fruits of all-sustaining earth,
Or fine-adjusted springs of life and sense,
Ye scan the counsels of their author's hand.

What, when to raise the meditated scene, The flame of passion through the struggling soul Deep-kindled, shows across that sudden blaze The object of its rapture, vast of size, With fiercer colours and a night of shade ? What ? like a storm from their capacious bed

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