Page:The Library, volume 5, series 3.djvu/262

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250
AN EARLY APPRECIATION

wildness and loftiness of imagination in certain dramatic fragments which testifies to genuine poetical feeling. An example may serve as a measure of the inspiration of the poet at this period.

To the Muses.

Whether on Ida's shady brow,
   Or in the chambers of the East,
The Chambers of the Sun, that now
   From ancient melody have ceased;

Whether in heaven ye wander fair,
   Or the green corners of the Earth,
Or the blue regions of the air.
   Where the melodious winds have birth;

Whether on christal rocks ye rove,
   Beneath the bosom of the sea,
Wand'ring in many a coral grove;
   Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!

How have you left the ancient love,
   That bards of old enjoyed in you?
The languid strings do scarcely move,
   The sound is forced, the notes are few.

A still more remarkable little book of poems by our author exists, which is only to be met with in the hands of collectors. It is a duodecimo entitled 'Songs of Innocence and Experience, shewing the two contrary states of the human soul. The Author and printer W. Blake.' The letters appear to be etched, and the book is printed in yellow. Round and between the lines are all sorts of engravings; sometimes they resemble the monstrous hieroglyphs of the Egyptians, sometimes they represent not ungraceful arabesques. Wherever an empty space is left after the printing a picture