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sion-with a parhelion eloquence that throws a counterfeit glow of expression on common-place ideas—as when he treats us to the solemnly ridiculous bathing of Musidora; or draws from the classics in. stead of nature; or, after invoking Inspiration from her hermit-seat, makes his dedicatory bow to a patronizing countess, or speaker of the House of Commons. As long as he dwells in the pure contemplation of nature, and appeals to the universal poetry of the human breast, his redundant style comes to us as something venial and adventitious it is the flowing vesture of the druid; and perhaps to the general experience is rather imposing : but when he returns to the familiar narrations or courtesies of life, the same diction ceases to seem the mantle of inspiration, and only strikes us by its unwieldy difference from the common costumé of expression. Between the period of his composing the Seasons and the Castle of Indolence, he wrote several works, which seem hardly to accord with the improvement and maturity of his taste exhibited in the latter production. To the Castle of Indolence he brought not only the full nature, but the perfect art of a poet. The materials of that exquisite poem are derived originally from Tasso; but he was more immediately indebted for them to the Fairy Queen: and in meeting with the paternal spirit of Spenser he seems as if he were admitted more intimately to the home of inspiration. There he redeemed the jejune ambition of his style, and retained all its wealth and luxury without the accompaniment of ostentation. Every stanza of that charming allegory, at least of the whole of the first part of it, gives out a group of images from which the mind is reluctant to part, and a flow of harmony which the ear wishes to hear repeated.
THE CASTLE OF INDOLENCE.
O MORTAL man, who livest here by toil,
Withouten that would come an heavier bale,
In lowly dale, fast by a river's side,
brown'd, A listless climate made, where, sooth to say, No living wight could work, ne cared ev'n for play,
Was nought around but images of rest :
That, as they bicker'd through the sunny glade, Though restless still themselves, a lulling murmur
Join'd to the prattle of the purling rills,
And still a coil the grasshopper did keep;
Full in the passage of the vale, above,
And where this valley winded out, below,
But whate'er smack'd of noyance, or unrest, Was far, far off expell’d from this delicious nest.'
The landskip such, inspiring perfect ease,
Was plac'd; and to his lute, of cruel fate,
Thither continual pilgrims crowded still,
While o'er th' enfeebling lute his hand he flung, And to the trembling chords these tempting verses
“ Behold! ye pilgrims of this earth, behold!
From flower to flower on balmy gales to fly,
“ Behold the merry minstrels of the morn, The swarming songsters of the careless grove, Ten thousand throats ! that from the flowering
thorn, Hymn their good God, and carol sweet of love, Such grateful kindly raptures them emove : They neither plough, nor sow: ne, fit for flail, E'er to the barn the nodding sheaves they drove;
Yet theirs each harvest dancing in the gale, Whatever crowns the hill, or smiles along the vale.
6 Outcast of nature, man ! the wretched thrall
Guile, violence, and murder seiz'd on man,