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Oh, could my mind, unfolded in my page, Enlighten climes, and mould a future age! There as it glow'd, with noblest phrenzy fraught, Dispense the treasures of exalted thought; To virtue wake the pulses of the heart, And bid the tear of emulation start! Oh, could it still, through each succeeding year, My life, my manners, and my name endear; And, when the Poet sleeps in silent dust, Still hold communion with the wise and just !...
Yet should this verse, my leisure's best resource, When through the world it steals its secret course, Revive but once a generous wish supprest, Chase but a sigh, or charm a care to rest; In one good deed a fleeting hour employ, Or flush one faded cheek with honest joy ; Blest were my lines, though limited their sphere, Tho'short their date, as his who trac'd them here.
ANALYSIS OF THE FIRST PART.
The Poem begins with the description of an obscure vil
lage, and of the pleasing melancholy which it excites on being revisited after a long absence. Thi mixed sensation is an effect of the Memory. From an effect we naturally ascend to the cause ; and the subject proposed is then unfolded, with an investigation of the
nature and leading principles of this faculty. It is evident that there is a continued succession of ideas
in the mind, and that they introduce each other with a certain degree of regularity. Their complexion depends greatly on the different perceptions of pleasure and pain which we receive through the medium of sense; and, in return, they have a considerable influ
ence on the animal economy. They are sometimes excited by sensible objects, and some
times by an internal operation of the mind. Of the former species is most probably the memory of brutes ; and its many sources of pleasure to them, as well as to ourselves, are considered in the first part. The latter is the most perfect degree of Memory, and forms the
subject of the second. When ideas have any relation whatever, they are attrac
tive of each other in the mind; and the perception of any object, naturally leads to the idea of another, which