A POETICAL ESSAY.
The various powers by Nature’s hand combin’d
To fill with harmony the raptur’d mind;
Whose forms, as diff’rent lustre they impart,
Or strike the senses, or exalt the heart,
My daring Muse unfolds;-resolv’d to trace
The glorious theme thro’ ev’ry path of space;
Till borne aloft on Truth’s triumphant wings
Boldly she rise, and soaring as she sings,
By Fancy urg’d, she shape her vent’rous flight
To those blest regions of supreme delight,
Where Beauty pours her noblest, brightest ray,
Amidst the mansions of eternal day.
Daughters of Albion; ye whose eyes dispense
The mildest beams of virgin innocence,
Whose charms by all the Graces are design’d,
Each the fair emblem of a fairer mind,
To you I dedicate this votive lay:-
With kind applause the pleasing labour pay:
Crown with your myrtle wreaths my artless lyre,
Nor scorn the numbers which yourselves inspire:
So shall my Muse the Poet’s bay disclaim,
And prize your smiles, beyond the breath of Fame.
Come, sacred Nature! Nymph divinely bright!
Unfold thy prospects to my eager sight,
O’er flow’ry lawns, with thee, O, let me rove,
And tread the devious lab’rinth of the grove.
Come in the garb of simple grandeur dress’d,
And by thy precepts form my docile breast;
Clear ev’ry mist, and give my eyes to see,
That Beauty only is deriv’d from thee.
Teach me that ev’ry art in ev’ry age
Is but a transcript from thy perfect page,
Where imitation ever charms us most,
And the best model, is the noblest boast.
When the discerning sons of Greece and Rome
Bent the proud arch, and swell’d the stately dome,
E’er gothic structures idly pleas’d the heart,
With all the nice perplexities of art,
The glorious architects rever’d thy name,
And following Nature, found the road to fame.
While Gallic artists proud to shine alone
Amidst a new creation of their own,
Boast too refin’d a taste to suffer thee
To guide a riv’let, or to rear a tree;
But art, expence, and labour have combin’d,
To draw th’ attention of the trifling mind,
That senseless crowds may view with ideot stare,
The watry column, and the spruce parterre.
Yet tho’ Le Notre bade on ev’ry side
The dazzling garden spread its flow’ry pride,
While the unvaried lawn, and vista’d shade,
In lines, and squares were regularly laid;
Tho’ proud Versailles, thro’ marble fountains, play
Her tortur’d waters to the face of day,
Such scenes, which only charm us by surprize,
O! may I never view, but to despise:
My wand’ring footsteps rather deign to lead
Thro’ the dark forest, or th’ enamel’d mead;
Where winding streams divide the verdant vale,
And artless music floats in ev’ry gale.
Ye Nymphs of Pindus! who have still possess’d
From earliest infancy my raptur’d breast,
And thou, celestial Fancy, matchless maid!
Descend propitious to your vot’ry’s aid,
Bear me to happier regions far away,
From whence Hyperion darts his ev’ning ray,
Where Beauty’s native form was ne’er defac’d
By servile ignorance, and barb’rous taste,
But thro’ luxuriant fields, and fragrant groves,
In innocence the peaceful savage roves:
Where lofty mountains lift their piny heads,
Where its green lap the vast savannah spreads,
Or where the congregated waters sweep
With foaming lapse, down Niagara’s steep,
Can all the pride of tasteless artists vie
With objects vast as these!-in Reason’s eye?
Where Beauty dwells amidst the spacious plains,
Dress’d in her richest pomp, for Nature reigns.
But say, to scenes of humbler grace unknown,
Dwells Beauty with magnificence alone?
And from Britannia’s pleasing prospects hurl’d,
Deigns she alone to bless the western world?
Not so,-her lovely form is here display’d
In ev’ry leaf that forms the summer shade,
And ev’ry blooming flower, that paints the vernal glade.
Who stretch’d upon the green hill’s breezy brow
Can see the various landscape spread below,
The village spire-the wreathing smoke ascend,
The forest wave, the thymy downs extend,
The shining river roll its silver stream
Thro’ woods, impervious to the solar beam,
Or ‘midst the meads in smooth m
(Henry James Pye)
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Based on Keywords: unvaried, expence, savannah, hyperion, deriv, piny, transcript, congregated, perplexities, ideot