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When stubborn Russ, and metal'd Swede,
“ Or, if to touch such chord be thine, Restore the ancient tragic line, And emulate the notes that rung, From the wild harp which silent hung, By silver Avon's holy shore, Till twice an hundred years rolled o'er ; When she, the bold Enchantress, came, With fearless hand and heart on flame ! From the pale willow snatched the treasure, And swept it with a kindred measure, Till Avon's swans, while rung the groye. With Montfort's hate and Basil's love, Awakening at the inspired strain, Deemed their own Shakespeare lived again."Thy friendship thus thy judgment wronging, With praises not to me belonging, In task more meet for mightiest powers, Would'st thou engage my thriftless hours. But say, my Erskine, hast thou weighed That secret power by all obeyed, Which warps not less the passive mind, Its source concealed or undefined ; Whether an impulse, that has birth Soon as the infant wakes on earth, One with our feelings and our powers, And rather part of us than ours ; Or whether fitlier termed the sway Of habit, formed in early day? Howe'er derived, its force confessed Rules with despotic sway the breast, And drags us on by viewless chain, While taste and reason plead in vain. Look east, and ask the Belgian why, Beneath Batavia’s sultry sky,
He seeks not eager to inhale
Nor for fair Devon's meads forsake.
Thus, while I ape the measure wild Of tales that charmed me yet a child, Rude though they be, still with the chime, Return the thoughts of early time; And feelings, roused in life's first day, Glow in the line, and prompt the lay. Then rise those crags, that mountain tower, Which charmed my fancy's wakening hour, Though no broad river swept along, To claim, perchance, heroic song ; Though sighed no groves in summer gale, To prompt of love a softer tale ; Though scarce a puny streamlet's speed Claimed homage from a shepherd's reed; Yet was poetic impulse given, . . By the green hill and clear blue heaven.
It was a barren scene, and wild,
ed. Where naked cliffs were rudely piled;
... ." But ever and anon between Lay velvet tufts of loveliest green; And well the lonely infant knew . Recesses where the wall-flower grew, And honey-suckle loved to crawl Up the low crag and ruined wall I deemed such nooks the sweetest shade The sun in all his round surveyed; And still I thought that shattered tower The mightiest work of human power; And marvelled, as the aged hind With some strange tale bewitched my mind, Of forayers, who, with headlong force, . Down from that strength had spurred their horse, Their southern rapine to renew, Far in the distant Cheviots blue, And, home returning, filled the hall With revel, wassell-route, and brawl. —