English Poets of the Eighteenth Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 437 pages of information about English Poets of the Eighteenth Century.
Nor less admire those things, which viewed apart
Uncouth appear, or horrid; ridges black
Of shagged rocks, which hang tremendous o’er
Some barren heath; the congregated clouds
Which spread their sable skirts, and wait the wind
To burst th’ embosomed storm; a leafless wood,
A mouldering ruin, lightning-blasted fields;
Nay, e’en the seat where Desolation reigns
In brownest horror; by familiar thought
Connected to this universal frame,
With equal beauty charms the tasteful soul
As the gold landscapes of the happy isles
Crowned with Hesperian fruit:  for Nature formed
One plan entire, and made each separate scene
Co-operate with the general of all
In that harmonious contrast.

* * * * *

From these sweet meditations on the charms
Of things external, on the genuine forms
Which blossom in creation, on the scene
Where mimic art with emulative hue
Usurps the throne of Nature unreproved,
On the just concord of mellifluent sounds;
The soul, and all the intellectual train
Of fond desires, gay hopes, or threatening fears,
Through this habitual intercourse of sense
Is harmonized within, till all is fair
And perfect; till each moral power perceives
Its own resemblance, with fraternal joy,
In every form complete, and smiling feels
Beauty and Good the same.



  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 grey,
  To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
  And Freedom shall awhile repair,
  To dwell a weeping hermit there!


  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,

  O nymph reserved, while now the bright-haired sun
  Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
  With brede ethereal wove,
  O’erhang his wavy bed: 

  Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat,
  With short, shrill shriek, flits by on leathern wing;
  Or where the beetle winds
  His small but sullen horn.

  As oft he rises ’midst the twilight path,
  Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum: 
  Now teach me, maid composed,
  To breathe some softened strain,

  Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening vale,
  May not unseemly with its stillness suit,
  As, musing slow, I hail
  Thy genial loved return!

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English Poets of the Eighteenth Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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