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EVENING has formed the subject of one of Collins' most finished poems:-
If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,

May hope, O pensive Eve, to soothe thine ear
Like thy own modest springs,

Thy springs, and dying gales;

O nymph reserv'd, while now the bright-hair'd sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,

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And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge,
And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier still,

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While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves;
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,

And rudely rends thy robes;

So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,

Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace,

Thy gentlest influence own,

And love thy favourite name.


Thomas Warton's poems are less known than those of Collins. The following lines from his Ode on the Approach of Summer' will show that he possessed one of the characteristics of a real poet; that power of observation which is necessary to produce particular images, instead of vague descriptions:

Oft when thy season, sweetest queen,
Has drest the groves in livery green;
When in each fair and fertile field
Beauty begins her bow'r to build;
While evening, veil'd in shadows brown
Puts her matron mantle on,

And mists in spreading streams convey
More fresh the fumes of new-shorn hay;
Then, goddess, guide my pilgrim feet
Contemplation hoar to meet,

As slow he winds in museful mood,
Near the rush'd marge of Cherwell's flood;
Or o'er old Avon's magic edge,
Whence Shakspere cull'd the spiky sedge
All playful yet, in years unripe,
To frame a shrill and simple pipe.
There, through the dusk but dimly seen,
Sweet ev'ning objects intervene:
His wattled cotes the shepherd plants,
Beneath her elm the milk-maid chants.
The woodman, speeding home, awhile
Rests him at a shady stile.

Nor wants there fragrance to dispense
Refreshment o'er my soothed sense;
Nor tangled woodbine's balmy bloom,
Nor grass besprent to breathe perfume
Nor lurking wild thyme's spicy sweet
To bathe in dew my roving feet:
Nor wants there note of Philomel,
Nor sound of distant tinkling bell:

Byron sings the evening of Italian skies:

Nor lowings faint of herds remote, Nor mastiff's bark from bosom'd cot; Rustle the breezes lightly borne O'er deep embattled ears of corn: Round ancient elm, with humming noise, Full loud the chaffer swarms rejoice. Meantime a thousand dyes invest The ruby chambers of the west! That all aslant the village tower A mild reflected radiance pour, While, with the level-streaming rays Far seen its arched windows blaze And the tall grove's green top is dight In russet tints, and gleams of light: So that the gay scene by degrees Bathes my blithe heart in ecstasies; And fancy to my ravish'd sight Portrays her kindred visions bright. At length the parting light subdues My soften'd soul to calmer views, And fainter shapes of pensive joy, As twilight dawns, my mind employ, Till from the path I fondly stray In musing lapt, nor heed the way; Wandering through the landscape still, Till melancholy has her fill; And on each moss-wove border damp The glow-worm hangs his fairy lamp WARTON.

The Moon is up, and yet it is not night-
Sunset divides the sky with her a sea
Of glory streams along the alpine height
Of blue Friuli's mountains; heaven is free
From clouds, but of all colours seems to be,
Melted to one vast iris of the west,
Where the day joins the past eternity;
While, on the other hand, meek Dian's crest
Floats through the azure air-an island of the blest

A single star is at her side, and reigns
With her o'er half the lovely heaven; but still
Yon sunny sea heaves brightly, and remains
Roll'd o'er the peak of the far Rhætian hill,
As day and night contending were, until
Nature reclaim'd her order :-gently flows
The deep-dyed Brenta, where their hues instil
The odorous purple of a new-born rose,

Which streams upon her stream, and glass'd within it glows,

Fill'd with the face of heaven, which from afar

Comes down upon the waters; all its hues,
From the rich sunset to the rising star,

Their magical variety diffuse :

And now they change: a paler shadow strews
Its mantle o'er the mountains; parting day

Dies like the dolphin, whom each pang imbues
With a new colour as it gasps away,

The last still loveliest, till-'tis gone-and all is gray.


Brilliant as these stanzas are, the older poets have a more natural charm, to our tastes:--
Look, the world's comforter, with weary gait,

His day's hot task has ended in the west :
The owl, night's herald, shrieks,-'tis very late;
The sheep are gone to fold, birds to their nest;
And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven's light
Do summon us to part, and bid good night.

Shepherds all, and maidens fair,
Fold your flocks up, for the air
'Gins to thicken, and the sun
Already his great course hath run.
See the dew-drops, how they kiss
Ev'ry little flower that is;
Hanging on their velvet heads,
Like a rope of crystal beads.
See the heavy clouds low falling,
And bright Hesperus down calling
The dead Night from under ground;
At whose rising mists unsound,
Damps and vapours fly apace,
Hov'ring o'er the wanton face
Of these pastures, where they come,
Striking dead both bud and bloom;
Therefore, from such danger, lock
Ev'ry one his loved flock;


And let your dogs lie loose without,
Lest the wolf come as a scout
From the mountain, and, ere day,
Bear a lamb or kid away

Or the crafty thievish fox
Break upon your simple flocks.
To secure yourselves from these
Be not too secure in ease;
Let one eye his watches keep,
While the other eye doth sleep;
So you shall good shepherds prove,

And for ever hold the love

Of our great God. Sweetest slumbers,
And soft silence, fall in numbers
On your eye-lids! So, farewell!
Thus I end my evening's knell.

Look how the flower, which ling'ringly doth fade,
The morning's darling late, the summer's queen,
Spoil'd of that juice which kept it fresh and green,
As high as it did raise, bows low the head:
Right so the pleasures of my life being dead,
Or in their contraries but only seen,
With swifter speed declines than erst it spread,


And blasted) scarce now shows what it hath been.
Therefore, as doth the pilgrim, whom the night
Hastes darkly to imprison on his way,
Think on thy home (my soul, and think aright
Of what's yet left thee of life's wasting day :
Thy sun posts westward, passed is thy morn
And twice it is not given thee to be born.



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[THOMAS BURNET, Master of the Charterhouse, was born in 1883. He was educated at the Free School of North Allerton, and at Cambridge. His great work. Telluris Theoria Sacra,' was published in 16-0; and in 1984 he translated his original Latin into English, with many additions and alterations. The Sacred Thecry of the Earth' was no doubt regarded by its author as a contribution to that science which we now call Geology; but at that time the facts upon which the science rests were so imperfectly known, that the book bas now no scientific value. But Burnet brought to his task the imagination of a poet; and some of his descriptions have been rarely surpassed in real sublimity. His English style is remarkably flowing and harmonious, and does not, like Milton's English prose writings, wear the appearance of being formed upon Latin models. The extract which we give is from the last chapter of the Third Book of the Sacred Theory. Dr. Burnet died in 1715.)

Certainly there is nothing in the whole course of nature, or of human affairs, so great and so extraordinary as the two last scenes of them, the Coming of our Saviour, and the Burning of the World. If we could draw in our minds the pictures of these in true and lively colours, we should scarce be able to attend any thing else, or ever divert our imagination from these two objects: for what can more affect us than the greatest glory that ever was visible upon earth, and at the same time the greatest terror;-a God descending at the head of an array of angels, and a burning world under his feet! ****

As to the face of nature, just before the coming of our Saviour, that may be best collected from the signs of his coming mentioned in the precedent chapter. Those, all meeting together, help to prepare and make ready a theatre fit for an angry God to come down upon. The countenance of the heavens will be dark and gloomy; and a veil drawn over the face of the sun. The earth in a disposition every where to break into open flames. The tops of the mountains smoking; the rivers dry: earthquakes in several places; the sea sunk and retired into its deepest channel and roaring as against some mighty storm. These things will make the day dead and melancholy; but the night scenes will have more of horror in them, when the blazing stars appear like so many furies with their lighted torches, threatening to set all on fire. For I do not doubt but the comets will bear a part in this tragedy, and have something extraordinary in them at that time, either as to number, or gness, or nearness to the earth. Besides, the air will be full of flaming meteors unusual forms and magnitudes; balls of fire rolling in the sky, and pointed ghtnings darted against the earth, mixed with claps of thunder and unusual noises om the clouds. The moon and the stars will be confused and irregular, both in eir light and motions; as if the whole frame of the heavens was out of order, and all the laws of nature were broken or expired.

When all things are in this languishing or dying posture, and the inhabitants of the earth under the fears of their last end, the heavens will open on a sudden, and f God will appear. A glory surpassing the sun in its greatest radiancy;

50 cannot describe, we may suppose it will bear some resemblance or those representations that are made in Scripture of God upon his


This wonder in the heavens, whatsoever its form may be, will presently attract the eyes of all the Christian world. Nothing can more affect than an object so unusual and so illustrious, and that probably brings along with it their last destiny, and will put a period to all human affairs.




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As it is not possible for us to express or conceive the dread and majesty of his appearance, so neither can we, on the other hand, express the passions and consternations of the people that behold it. These things exceed the measures of human affairs, and of human thoughts: we have neither words nor comparisons to make them known by. The greatest pomp and magnificence of the Emperors of the East, in their armies, in their triumphs, in their inaugurations, is but the sport and entertainment of children, if compared with this solemnity. When God condescends to an external glory, with a visible train and equipage; when, from all the provinces of his vast and boundless empire, he summons his nobles, as I may so say-the several orders of angels and archangels-to attend his person, though we cannot tell the form or manner of his appearance, we know there is nothing in our experience, or in the whole history of this world, that can be a just representation of the least part of it. No armies so numerous as the host of heaven; and, instead of the wild noises of the rabble, which makes a great part of our worldly state, this blessed company will breathe their hallelujahs into the open air, and repeated acclamations of salvation to God, which sits upon the throne. and to the Lamb.

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Imagine all Nature now standing in a silent expectation to receive its last doom; the tutelary and destroying angels to have their instructions; every thing to be ready for the fatal hour; and then, after a little silence, all the host of heaven to raise their voice, and sing alond: Let God arise; let his enemies be scattered; as smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. And upon this, as upon a signal given, all the sublunary world breaks into flames, and all the treasures of fire are opened in heaven and in earth.

Thus the conflagration begins. If one should now go about to represent the world on fire, with all the confusions that necessarily must be in nature and in mankind upon that occasion, it would seem to most men a romantic scene. Yet we are sure there must be such a scene. The heavens will pass away with a noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, and all the works of the earth will be burnt up; and these things cannot come to pass without the greatest disorders imaginable, both in the minds of men and in external nature, and the saddest spectacles that eye can behold. We think it a great matter to see a single person burnt alive; here are millions shrieking in the flames at once. It is frightful to us to look upon a great city in flames, and to see the distractions and misery of the people; here is an universal fire through all the cities of the earth, and an universal massacre of their inhabitants. Whatsoever the prophets foretold of the desolations of Judea, Jerusalem, or Babylon, in the highest strains, is more than literally accomplished in this last and general calamity; and those only that are spectators of it can make its history.

The disorders in nature and the inanimate world will be no less, nor less strange and unaccountable, than those in mankind. Every element, and every region, so far as the bounds of this fire extend, will be in a tumult and a fury, and the whole habitable world running into confusion. A world is sooner destroyed than made; and nature relapses hastily into that chaos state out of which she came by slow and leisurely motions: as an army advances into the field by just and regular marches; but, when it is broken and routed, it flies with precipitation, and one cannot describe its posture. Fire is a barbarous enemy; it gives no mercy; there is nothing but fury, and rage, and ruin, and destruction wheresoever it prevails, as storm, or

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