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Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise !
Thou too, hoar mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
ODE TO EVENING.?
If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
Like thy own brawling springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales,
With bredet ethereal wove,
Unheard—from its great height. 2 Sir Egerton Brydges says of this ode:-- "such a scene of enchanting repose was never exhibited by Claude, or any other among the happiest of painters. It is vain to attempt to analyse the charm of this ode; it is so subtle, that it escapes analysis. Its harmony is so perfect, that it requires no rhyme. The objects are so happily chosen, and the simple epithets convey ideas and feelings so congenial to each other, as to throw the reader into the very mood over which the personified being so beautifully designed presides. No other poem on the same subject has the same magic."
Oaten stop-The ancient shepherd's pipe was sometimes made of oat-straw. 4 Brede (or braid) ethereal wove. The clouds woven into a sort of airy fringe, hang like a curtain over the sea - the sun's “ wavy bed;” an exquisite conception.
Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat,
Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,
Now teach me, maid composed,
To breathe some softened strain,
As, musing slow, I hail
Thy genial loved return !
The fragrant Hours, and Elves
Who slept in buds the day,
The pensive Pleasures sweet,
Prepare thy shadowy car.
Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious gleams.
That, from the mountain's side,
Views wilds and swelling floods,
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil. Now air, fc.-i. e. and now while, &c., teach me, maid composed, &c.
For, fe.-i. e. let me aid by some “ softened strain" to celebrate thy loved return, for-inasmuch as—other votaries of thine-the hours, elves, &c.-are now preparing to greet thee too.
3 That, from, fc.--" In what short and simple terms does he (Collins) open a wide and majestic landscape to the mind, such as night view from Benlomond or Snowdon, when he speaks of the hut that, from, &c.”—Campbell.
While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont,
While Summer loves to sport
While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves ;
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes ;
Thy gentlest influence own,
TO THE MEMORY OF THOMSON.3
WHILE virgin Spring, by Eden's flood,
Unfolds her tender mantle green, Or pranks the sod in frolic mood,
Or tunes Æolian strainst between;
While Summer, with a matron grace,
Retreats to Dryburgh's cooling shade, Yet oft, delighted, stops to trace
The progress of the spiky blade ;
While Autumn, benefactor kind,
By Tweed erects aged head, And sees, with self-approving mind,
Each creature on his bounty fed ;
! While Spring, fc.—It has been remarked that to these three last verses Burns was indebted for the leading idea contained in the next poem. He had been reading Collins at the time he wrote it.
* Breathing-i. e. breathing perfume; in allusion perhaps to the fragrance exhaled in the evening from trees, shrubs, and Aowers, (the “ tresses,”) after a shower.
3 These lines were written on occasion of the crowning of the bust of Thomson, at Ednam, Roxburghshire, the place of his birth. The rivers named in the poem are in the same district.
Æolian strains-strains like those of the Æolian harp.
While maniac Winter
Or sweeping, wild, a waste of snows;
ISAAC ASHFORD, THE ENGLISH PEASANT.2
and pageantry in nought allied,
Classic-because the Yarrow has been much celebrated in poetry. ? The power of Crabbe's delineations of character depends much on accumu. lation. The respective traits are often tame and uninteresting, while their combined effect is bold and striking. The passage here given will illustrate this remark.
If pride were his, 'twas not their vulgar pride,
In times severe, when many a sturdy swain
I feel his absence in the hours of prayer,
THE RIVAL STATESMEN.
To mute and to material things