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out by Dr. Johnson, and we must acknowledge without the least success. To us they give unmixed delight, and we regard the author with an admiration that grows as we contemplate and dwell upon his works. It has been usual to mention Alexander's Feast as the first ode in the English language, and Gray's Odes as only second to it. And yet the magnificent lyric of Dryden is justly liable to the objection that it sometimes sinks to the level of a drinking-song; and even the poet's annotations do not render The Bard and The Progress of Poetry intelligible altogether to any other than readers of considerable culture. No such criticism applies to the Ode on the Passions. It sustains the lyric dignity in every line and sentiment, and does not require a note of illustration. For pictorial effects, variety and harmony of versification, energy and beauty of expression, it is inferior to none of the master-pieces to which we have referred ; and is in one respect, at least, superior to Gray's, – that it does not betray the art with which it is constructed. We cannot but assent most heartily to the remark of Campbell, that the lyrics of Collins will abide comparison with whatever Milton wrote under the age of thirty; and we are willing even to venture the opinion that there is no English poet since Milton who so nearly approaches him in that affluent diction, that splendid imagery, and that elevation and solemnity of tone, which are the characteristics of his genius.
WRITTEN ORIGINALLY FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT OF THE LADIES OF
AND NOW TRANSLATED.
Ubi primus equis Oriens adflavit anhelis.
It is with the writings of mankind, in some measure, as with their complexions or their dress ; each nation hath a peculiarity in all these, to distinguish it from the rest of the world.
The gravity of the Spaniard, and the levity of the Frenchman, are as evident in all their productions as in their persons themselves; and the style of my countrymen is as naturally strong and nervous, as that of an Arabian or Persian is rich and figurative.
There is an elegancy and wildness of thought which recommends all their compositions ; and our geniuses are as much too cold for the entertainment of such sentiments, as our climate is for their fruits and spices. If any of these beauties are to be found in the following Eclogues, I hope my reader will consider them as an argument of their being original. I received them at the hands of a merchant, who had made it his business to enrich himself with the learning, as well as the silks and carpets, of the Persians. The little information I could gather concerning their author was, that his name was Abdallah, and that he was a native of Tauris.
It was in that city that he died of a distemper fatal in those parts, whilst he was engaged in celebrating the victories of his favorite monarch, the great Abbas.* As to the Eclogues themselves, they give a very just view of the miseries and inconveniences, as well as the felicities, that attend one of the finest countries in the East.
The time of writing them was probably in the beginning of Sha Sultan Hosseyn's reign, the successor of Sefi or Solyman the Second.
Whatever defects, as, I doubt not, there will be many, fall under the reader's observation, I hope his candor will incline him to make the following reflection :
That the works of Orientals contain many peculiarities, and that, through defect of language, few European translators can do them justice.
* In the Persian tongue, Abbas signifieth “ the father of the people.”
SELIM; OR, THE SHEPHERD'S MORAL.
SCENE, A valley near Bagdat.
TIME, The morning.
“YE Persian maids, attend your poet's lays, And hear how shepherds pass their golden days. Not all are blest whom Fortune's hand sustains With wealth in courts, nor all that haunt the plains: Well may your hearts believe the truths I tell; 'Tis virtue makes the bliss, where'er we dwell.”
Thus Selim sung, by sacred Truth inspired; Nor praise, but such as Truth bestowed, desired : Wise in himself, his meaning songs conveyed Informing morals to the shepherd maid ; Or taught the swains that surest bliss to find, What groves nor streams bestow, a virtuous mind.
When sweet and blushing, like a virgin bride, The radiant morn resumed her orient pride;
When wanton gales along the valleys play,
“ Ye Persian dames," he said, " to you belong Well may they please — the morals of my song: No fairer maids, I trust, than you are found, Graced with soft arts, the peopled world around ! The morn that lights you, to your loves supplies Each gentler ray delicious to your eyes : For you those flowers her fragrant hands bestow; And yours the love that kings delight to know. Yet think not these, all beauteous as they are, The best kind blessings Heaven can grant the fair ! Who trust alone in beauty's feeble ray Boast but the worth Bassora's pearls display: Drawn from the deep we own their surface bright, But, dark within, they drink no lustrous light: Such are the maids, and such the charms they boast, · By sense unaided, or to virtue lost. Self-flattering sex! your hearts believe in vain That love shall blind, when once he fires, the swain; Or hope a lover by your faults to win, As spots on ermine beautify the skin : Who seeks secure to rule, be first her care Each softer virtue that adorns the fair; Each tender passion man delights to find, The loved perfections of a female mind!
“Blest were the days when Wisdom held her reign, And shepherds sought her on the silent plain !