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How could you say my face was fair,
And yet that face forsake?
How could you win my virgin heart,
Yet leave that heart to break?
Why did you say my lip was sweet,

And made the scarlet pale?
And why did I, young witless maid!
Believe the flattering tale?

That face, alas! no more is fair,

Those lips no longer red:

Dark are my eyes, now closed in death, And every charm is fled.

The hungry worm my sister is;

This winding-sheet I wear:

And cold and weary lasts our night,

Till that last morn appear.

His sister, who, like envy formed, Like her in mischief joyed,

But hark! the cock has warned me hence; A long and last adieu !

Come see, false man, how low she lies,

Who died for love of you.

The lark sung loud; the morning smiled
With beams of rosy red:

Pale William quaked in every limb,
And raving left his bed.

He hied him to the fatal place

Where Margaret's body lay;

And stretched him on the green-grass turf
That wrapt her breathless clay.

And thrice he called on Margaret's name,
And thrice he wept full sore;
Then laid his cheek to her cold grave,
And word spake never more!

Edwin and Emma.

Far in the windings of a vale,
Fast by a sheltering wood,

The safe retreat of health and peace,
A humble cottage stood.

There beauteous Emma flourished fair,
Beneath a mother's eye;
Whose only wish on earth was now
To see her blest, and die.

The softest blush that nature spreads
Gave colour to her cheek;

Such orient colour smiles through heaven,
When vernal mornings break.

Nor let the pride of great ones scorn
This charmer of the plains:

That sun, who bids their diamonds blaze,
To paint our lily deigns.

Long had she filled each youth with love,
Each maiden with despair;
And though by all a wonder owned,
Yet knew not she was fair:

Till Edwin came, the pride of swains,
A soul devoid of art;
And from whose eye, serenely mild,
Shone forth the feeling heart.

A mutual flame was quickly caught,
Was quickly too revealed;
For neither bosom lodged a wish
That virtue keeps concealed.

What happy hours of home-felt bliss
Did love on both bestow!

But bliss too mighty long to last,
Where fortune proves a foe.

To work them harm, with wicked skill, Each darker art employed.

The father too, a sordid man,

Who love nor pity knew,
Was all unfeeling as the clod
From whence his riches grew.

Long had he seen their secret flame,
And seen it long unmoved;
Then with a father's frown at last
Had sternly disapproved.

In Edwin's gentle heart, a war
Of differing passions strove:
His heart, that durst not disobey,
Yet could not cease to love.

Denied her sight, he oft behind

The spreading hawthorn crept,
To snatch a glance, to mark the spot
Where Emma walked and wept.

Oft, too, on Stanmore's wintry waste,
Beneath the moonlight shade,

In sighs to pour his softened soul,
The midnight mourner strayed.

His cheek, where health with beauty glowed,

A deadly pale o'ercast;

So fades the fresh rose in its prime,

Before the northern blast.

The parents now, with late remorse,
Hung o'er his dying bed;

And wearied Heaven with fruitless vows,

And fruitless sorrows shed.

'Tis past! he cried, but, if your souls

Sweet mercy yet can move,

Let these dim eyes once more behold
What they must ever love!

She came; his cold hand softly touched,
And bathed with many a tear:
Fast-falling o'er the primrose pale,
So morning dews appear.

But oh! his sister's jealous care,
A cruel sister she!

Forbade what Emma came to say;
'My Edwin, live for me!'

Now homeward as she hopeless wept,

The churchyard path along,

The blast blew cold, the dark owl screamed Her lover's funeral song.

Amid the falling gloom of night,

Her startling fancy found

In every bush his hovering shade,
His groan in every sound.

Alone, appalled, thus had she passed
The visionary vale-

When lo! the death-bell smote her ear,
Sad sounding in the gale!

Just then she reached, with trembling step,
Her aged mother's door :

He's gone! she cried, and I shall see
That angel-face no more.

I feel, I feel this breaking heart

Beat high against my side!

From her white arm down sunk her headShe shivered, sighed, and died.

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The Birks of Invermay.

The smiling morn, the breathing spring,
Invite the tunefu' birds to sing;
And, while they warble from the spray,
Love melts the universal lay.
Let us, Amanda, timely wise,

Like them, improve the hour that flies;
And in soft raptures waste the day,
Among the birks of Invermay.
For soon the winter of the year,
And age, life's winter, will appear;
At this thy living bloom will fade,
As that will strip the verdant shade.
Our taste of pleasure then is o'er,
The feathered songsters are no more;
And when they drop and we decay,
Adieu the birks of Invermay!

Some additional stanzas were added to the above by Dr Bryce, Kirknewton. Invermay is in Perthshire, the native county of Mallet, and is situated near the termination of a little picturesque stream called the May. The 'birk' or birch-tree is abundant, adding grace and beauty to rock and stream. Though a Celt by birth and language, Mallet had none of the imaginative wildness or superstition of his native country. Macpherson, on the other hand, seems to have been completely imbued with it.

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the fall of one of his father's cleavers, or hatchets, on his foot-rendered him lame for life, and perpetuated the recollection of his lowly birth. The Society of Dissenters advanced a sum for the education of the poet as a clergyman, and he repaired to Edinburgh for this purpose in his eighteenth year. He afterwards repented of this destination, and, returning the money, entered himself as a student of medicine. He was then a poet, and in his Hymn to Science, written in Edinburgh, we see at once the formation of his classic taste, and the dignity of his personal character:

That last best effort of thy skill,
To form the life and rule the will,
Propitious Power! impart ;
Teach me to cool my passion's fires,
Make me the judge of my desires,
The master of my heart.

Raise me above the vulgar's breath,
Pursuit of fortune, fear of death,

And all in life that's mean;
Still true to reason be my plan,
Still let my actions speak the man,

Through every various scene.

A youth animated by such sentiments, promised a After three manhood of honour and integrity. years spent in Edinburgh, Akenside removed to Leyden to complete his studies; and in 1744 he was admitted to the degree of M.D. He next established himself as a physician in London. In Holland he had (at the age of twenty-three) written his 'Pleasures of Imagination,' which he now offered to Dodsley, demanding £120 for the copyright. The bookseller consulted Pope, who told him to make no niggardly offer, since this was no every-day writer.' The poem attracted much attention, and was afterwards translated into French and Italian. Akenside established himself as a physician in Northampton, where he remained a year and a-half, but did not succeed. The latter part of his life was spent in London. At Leyden he had formed an intimacy with a young Englishman of fortune, Jeremiah Dyson, Esq., which ripened into a friendship of the most close and enthusiastic description; and Mr Dyson (who was afterwards clerk of the House of Commons, a lord of the treasury, &c.) had the generosity to allow the poet £300 a-year. After writing a few Odes, and attempting a total alteration of his great poem (in which he was far from successful), Akenside made no further efforts at composition. His society was courted for his taste, knowledge, and eloquence; but his solemn sententiousness of manner, his romantic ideas of liberty, and his unbounded admiration of the ancients, exposed him occasionally to ridicule. The physician in Peregrine Pickle, who gives a feast in the manner of the ancients, is supposed to have been a caricature of Akenside. The description, for rich humour and grotesque combinations of learning and folly, has not been excelled by Smollett; but it was unworthy his talents to cast ridicule on a man of high character and splendid genius. Akenside died suddenly of a putrid sore throat, on the 23d of June 1770, in his 49th year, and was buried in St James's church. With a feeling common to poets, as to more ordinary mortals, Akenside, in his latter days, reverted with delight to his native landscape on the banks of the Tyne. In his fragment of a fourth book of The Pleasures of Imagination,' written in the last year of his life, there is the following beautiful passage:

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O ye dales

Of Tyne, and ye most ancient woodlands; where Oft as the giant flood obliquely strides,



And his banks open and his lawns extend, Stops short the pleased traveller to view, Presiding o'er the scene, some rustic tower Founded by Norman or by Saxon hands: O ye Northumbrian shades, which overlook The rocky pavement and the mossy falls Of solitary Wensbeck's limpid stream! How gladly I recall your well-known seats Beloved of old, and that delightful time When all alone, for many a summer's day, I wandered through your calm recesses, led In silence by some powerful hand unseen. Nor will I e'er forget you; nor shall e'er The graver tasks of manhood, or the advice Of vulgar wisdom, move me to disclaim Those studies which possessed me in the dawn Of life, and fixed the colour of my mind For every future year: whence even now From sleep I rescue the clear hours of morn, And, while the world around lies overwhelmed In idle darkness, am alive to thoughts Of honourable fame, of truth divine Or moral, and of minds to virtue won By the sweet magic of harmonious verse. The spirit of Milton seems to speak in this strain of lofty egotism!

The Pleasures of Imagination' is a poem seldom read continuously, though its finer passages, by frequent quotation, particularly in works of criticism and moral philosophy, are well known. Gray censured the mixture of spurious philosophy-the speculations of Hutcheson and Shaftesbury-which the work contains. Plato, Lucretius, and even the papers by Addison in the Spectator, were also laid under contribution by the studious author. He gathered sparks of enthusiasm from kindred minds, but the train was in his own. The pleasures which his poem professes to treat of, 'proceed,' he says, either from natural objects, as from a flourishing grove, a clear and murmuring fountain, a calm sea by moonlight, or from works of art, such as a noble edifice, a musical tune, a statue, a picture, a poem.' These, with the moral and intellectual objects arising from them, furnish abundant topics for illustration; but Akenside dealt chiefly with abstract subjects, pertaining more to philosophy than to poetry. He did not seek to graft upon them human interests and passions. In tracing the final causes of our emotions, he could have described their exercise and effects in scenes of ordinary pain or pleasure in the walks of real life. This does not seem, however, to have been the purpose of the poet, and hence his work is deficient in interest. He seldom stoops from the heights of philosophy and classic taste. He considered that physical science improved the charms of nature. Contrary to the feeling of an accomplished living poet, who repudiates these cold material laws, he viewed the rainbow with additional pleasure after he had studied the Newtonian theory of lights and colours.

Nor ever yet

The melting rainbow's vernal tinctured hues
To me have shone so pleasing, as when first
The hand of Science pointed out the path
In which the sunbeams gleaming from the west
Fall on the watery cloud, whose darksome veil
Involves the orient.

Akenside's Hymn to the Naiads has the true classical spirit. He had caught the manner and feeling, the varied pause and harmony, of the Greek poets, with such felicity, that Lloyd considered his Hymn as fitted to give a better idea of that form of composition, than could be conveyed by any translation of Homer or Callimachus. Gray was an equally

learned poet, perhaps superior. His knowledge was better digested. But Gray had not the romantic enthusiasm of character, tinged with pedantry, which naturally belonged to Akenside. He had also the experience of mature years. The genius of Akenside was early developed, and his diffuse and florid descriptions seem the natural product-marvellous of its kind-of youthful exuberance. He was afterwards conscious of the defects of his poem. He saw that there was too much leaf for the fruit; but in cutting off these luxuriances, he sacrificed some of the finest blossoms. Posterity has been more just to his fame, by almost wholly disregarding this second copy of his philosophical poem. In his youthful aspirations after moral and intellectual greatness and beauty, he seems, like Jeremy Taylor in the pulpit, an angel newly descended from the visions of glory.' In advanced years, he is the professor in his robes; still free from stain, but stately, formal, and severe. The blank verse of The Pleasures of Imagination' is free and well-modulated, and seems to be distinctively his own. Though apt to run into too long periods, it has more compactness of structure than Thomson's ordinary composition. Its occasional want of perspicuity probably arises from the fineness of his distinctions, and the difficulty attending mental analysis in verse. He might also wish to avoid all vulgar and common expressions, and thus err from excessive refinement. A redundancy of ornament undoubtedly, in some passages, takes off from the clearness and prominence of his conceptions. His highest flights, howeveras in the allusion to the death of Cæsar, and his exquisitely-wrought parallel between art and nature-have a flow and energy of expression, with appropriate imagery, which mark the great poet. His style is chaste, yet elevated and musical. He never compromised his dignity, though he blended sweetness with its expression.

[Aspirations after the Infinite.]
Say, why was man so eminently raised
Amid the vast creation; why ordained
Through life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limit of his frame;
But that the Omnipotent might send him forth
In sight of mortal and immortal powers,
As on a boundless theatre, to run
The great career of justice; to exalt
His generous aim to all diviner deeds;
To chase each partial purpose from his breast;
And through the mists of passion and of sense,
And through the tossing tide of chance and pain,
To hold his course unfaltering, while the voice
Of Truth and Virtue, up the steep ascent
Of Nature, calls him to his high reward,
The applauding smile of Heaven? Else wherefore burns
In mortal bosoms this unquenched hope,
That breathes from day to day sublimer things,
And mocks possession? wherefore darts the mind
With such resistless ardour to embrace
Majestic forms; impatient to be free,
Spurning the gross control of wilful might;
Proud of the strong contention of her toils;
Proud to be daring? who but rather turns
To Heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view,
Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame?
Who that, from Alpine heights, his labouring eye
Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey
Nilus or Ganges.rolling his bright wave
Through mountains, plains, through empires black
with shade,

And continents of sand, will turn his gaze
To mark the windings of a scanty rill
That murmurs at his feet? The high-born soul

Disdains to rest her heaven-aspiring wing
Beneath its native quarry. Tired of earth
And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Through fields of air; pursues the flying storm;
Rides on the vollied lightning through the heavens;
Or, yoked with whirlwinds and the northern blast,
Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars
The blue profound, and, hovering round the sun,
Beholds him pouring the redundant stream
Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway
Bend the reluctant planets to absolve
The fated rounds of Time. Thence far effused,
She darts her swiftness up the long career
Of devious comets; through its burning signs
Exulting measures the perennial wheel
Of Nature, and looks back on all the stars,
Whose blended light, as with a milky zone,
Invest the orient. Now, amazed she views
The empyreal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Beyond this concave heaven, their calm abode;
And fields of radiance, whose unfading light
Has travelled the profound six thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Even on the barriers of the world, untired
She meditates the eternal depth below;
Till half recoiling, down the headlong steep

She plunges; soon o'erwhelmed and swallowed up
In that immense of being. There her hopes
Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of mortal man, the sovereign Maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief delight,
Not in the fading echoes of Renown,
Power's purple robes, nor Pleasure's flowery lap,
The soul should find enjoyment: but from these
Turning disdainful to an equal good,

Through all the ascent of things enlarge her view,
Till every bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene.

[Intellectual Beauty-Patriotism.]

Mind, mind alone (bear witness earth and heaven!)
The living fountains in itself contains

Of beauteous and sublime: here hand in hand
Sit paramount the Graces; here enthroned,
Celestial Venus, with divinest airs,
Invites the soul to never-fading joy.

Look, then, abroad through Nature, to the range
Of planets, suns, and adamantine spheres,
Wheeling unshaken through the void immense;
And speak, oh man! does this capacious scene
With half that kindling majesty dilate
Thy strong conception, as when Brutus rose
Refulgent from the stroke of Cæsar's fate,
Amid the crowd of patriots; and his arm
Aloft extending, like eternal Jove

When guilt brings down the thunder, called aloud
On Tully's name, and shook his crimson steel,

And bade the father of his country, hail!
For lo! the tyrant prostrate on the dust,
And Rome again is free! Is aught so fair
In all the dewy landscapes of the spring,
In the bright eye of Hesper, or the morn,
In Nature's fairest forms, is aught so fair
As virtuous friendship? as the candid blush
Of him who strives with fortune to be just?
The graceful tear that streams for others' woes,
Or the mild majesty of private life,
Where Peace, with ever-blooming olive, crowns
The gate; where Honour's liberal hands effuse
Unenvied treasures, and the snowy wings
Of Innocence and Love protect the scene?
Once more search, undismayed, the dark profound
Where nature works in secret; view the beds
Of mineral treasure, and the eternal vault
That bounds the hoary ocean; trace the forms

Of atoms moving with incessant change
Their elemental round: behold the seeds
Of being, and the energy of life
Kindling the mass with ever-active flame:
Then to the secrets of the working mind
Attentive turn; from dim oblivion call
Her fleet, ideal band; and bid them, go!
Break through time's barrier, and o'ertake the hour
That saw the heavens created: then declare
If aught were found in those external scenes
To move thy wonder now. For what are all
The forms which brute unconscious matter wears,
Greatness of bulk, or symmetry of parts?
Not reaching to the heart, soon feeble grows
The superficial impulse; dull their charms,
And satiate soon, and pall the languid eye.
Not so the moral species, nor the powers
Of genius and design: the ambitious mind
There sees herself: by these congenial forms
Touched and awakened, with intenser act
She bends each nerve, and meditates well-pleased
Her features in the mirror. For of all
The inhabitants of earth, to man alone
Creative Wisdom gave to lift his eye
To truth's eternal measures; thence to frame
The sacred laws of action and of will,
Discerning justice from unequal deeds,
And temperance from folly. But beyond
This energy of truth, whose dictates bind
Assenting reason, the benignant Sire,
To deck the honoured paths of just and good,
Has added bright imagination's rays:
Where virtue, rising from the awful depth
Of truth's mysterious bosom, doth forsake
The unadorned condition of her birth;
And, dressed by fancy in ten thousand hues,
Assumes a various feature to attract
With charms responsive to each gazer's eye,
The hearts of men. Amid his rural walk,
The ingenious youth, whom solitude inspires
With purest wishes, from the pensive shade
Beholds her moving, like a virgin-muse
That wakes her lyre to some indulgent theme
Of harmony and wonder: while among
The herd of servile minds her strenuous form
Indignant flashes on the patriot's eye,
And through the rolls of memory appeals
To ancient honour, or, in act serene
Yet watchful, raises the majestic sword
Of public power, from dark ambition's reach,
To guard the sacred volume of the laws.

[Operations of the Mind in the Production of Works of Imagination.]

By these mysterious ties, the busy power
Of memory her ideal train preserves

Entire; or when they would elude her watch,
Reclaims their fleeting footsteps from the waste

Of dark oblivion; thus collecting all

The various forms of being, to present
Before the curious eye of mimic art

Their largest choice: like spring's unfolded blooms
Exhaling sweetness, that the skilful bee
May taste at will from their selected spoils
To work her dulcet food. For not the expanse
Of living lakes in summer's noontide calm,
Reflects the bordering shade and sun-bright heavens
With fairer semblance; not the sculptured gold
More faithful keeps the graver's lively trace,
Than he whose birth the sister powers of art
Propitious viewed, and from his genial star
Shed influence to the seeds of fancy kind,
Than his attempered bosom must preserve
The seal of nature. There alone, unchanged
Her form remains. The balmy walks of May

There breathe perennial sweets: the trembling chord
Resounds for ever in the abstracted ear,
Melodious; and the virgin's radiant eye,
Superior to disease, to grief, and time,
Shines with unbating lustre. Thus at length
Endowed with all that nature can bestow,
The child of fancy oft in silence bends
O'er these mixed treasures of his pregnant breast
With conscious pride. From them he oft resolves
To frame he knows not what excelling things,
And win he knows not what sublime reward
Of praise and wonder. By degrees the mind
Feels her young nerves dilate: the plastic powers
Labour for action: blind emotions heave
His bosom; and with loveliest frenzy caught,
From earth to heaven he rolls his daring eye,
From heaven to earth. Anon ten thousand shapes,
Like spectres trooping to the wizard's call,
Flit swift before him. From the womb of earth,
From ocean's bed they come: the eternal heavens
Disclose their splendours, and the dark abyss
Pours out her births unknown. With fixed gaze
He marks the rising phantoms. Now compares
Their different forms; now blends them, now divides;
Enlarges and extenuates by turns;
Opposes, ranges in fantastic bands,
And infinitely varies. Hither now,
Now thither fluctuates his inconstant aim,
With endless choice perplexed. At length his plan
Begins to open. Lucid order dawns;
And as from Chaos old the jarring seeds
Of nature at the voice divine repaired
Each to its place, till rosy earth unveiled
Her fragrant bosom, and the joyful sun
Sprung up the blue serene; by swift degrees
Thus disentangled, his entire design
Emerges. Colours mingle, features join,
And lines converge: the fainter parts retire;
The fairer eminent in light advance;
And every image on its neighbour smiles.
Awhile he stands, and with a father's joy
Contemplates. Then with Promethean art
Into its proper vehicle he breathes

The fair conception; which, embodied thus,
And permanent, becomes to eyes or ears
An object ascertained: while thus informed,
The various objects of his mimic skill,
The consonance of sounds, the featured rock,
The shadowy picture, and impassioned verse,
Beyond their proper powers attract the soul
By that expressive semblance, while in sight
Of nature's great original we scan
The lively child of art; while line by line,
And feature after feature, we refer
To that divine exemplar whence it stole
Those animating charms. Thus beauty's palm
Betwixt them wavering hangs: applauding love
Doubts where to choose; and mortal man aspires
To tempt creative praise. As when a cloud
Of gathering hail with limpid crusts of ice
Enclosed, and obvious to the beaming sun,
Collects his large effulgence; straight the heavens
With equal flames present on either hand
The radiant visage: Persia stands at gaze,
Appalled; and on the brink of Ganges doubts
The snowy-vested seer, in Mithra's name,
To which the fragrance of the south shall burn,
To which his warbled orisons ascend.


What then is taste, but these internal powers Active, and strong, and feelingly alive To each fine impulse? a discerning sense Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust From things deformed or disarranged, or gross

In species? This, nor gems nor stores of gold,
Nor purple state, nor culture can bestow;
But God alone, when first his active hand
Imprints the secret bias of the soul.
He, mighty parent! wise and just in all,
Free as the vital breeze or light of heaven,
Reveals the charms of nature. Ask the swain
Who journies homeward from a summer day's
Long labour, why, forgetful of his toils
And due repose, he loiters to behold

The sunshine gleaming, as through amber clouds,
O'er all the western sky; full soon, I ween,
His rude expression and untutored airs,
Beyond the power of language, will unfold
The form of beauty smiling at his heart,

How lovely! how commanding! But though heaven
In every breast hath sown these early seeds
Of love and admiration, yet in vain,
Without fair culture's kind parental aid,
Without enlivening suns, and genial showers,
And shelter from the blast, in vain we hope
The tender plant should rear its blooming head,
Or yield the harvest promised in its spring.
Nor yet will every soil with equal stores
Repay the tiller's labour; or attend
His will, obsequious, whether to produce
The olive or the laurel. Different minds
Incline to different objects: one pursues
The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild;
Another sighs for harmony, and grace,
And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightning fires
The arch of heaven, and thunders rock the ground;
When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air,
And ocean, groaning from his lowest bed,
Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky,
Amid the mighty uproar, while below
The nations tremble, Shakspeare looks abroad
From some high cliff superior, and enjoys
The elemental war. But Waller longs
All on the margin of some flowery stream
To spread his careless limbs amid the cool
Of plantain shades, and to the listening deer
The tale of slighted vows and love's disdain
Resound soft-warbling all the live-long day:
Consenting zephyr sighs; the weeping rill
Joins in his plaint, melodious; mute the groves;
And hill and dale with all their echoes mourn.
Such and so various are the tastes of men.

O blest of heaven! whom not the languid songs
Of luxury, the siren! not the bribes

Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils
Of pageant honour, can seduce to leave

Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the store
Of nature fair imagination culls

To charm the enlivened soul! What though not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the heights
Of envied life; though only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial state;
Yet nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state,
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,
The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marbles and the sculptured gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem
Its lucid leaves unfolds: for him the hand
Of autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold and blushes like the morn.
Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings;
And still new beauties meet his lonely walk,
And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze
Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes
The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain

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