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ON SEEING THE PALETTE

OF A CELEBRATED PAINTER.

1 THIS wild chaotic mass of every dye,
2 Where principles of beauteous order lie,
3 Is sure an emblem of the scene,
4 When out of dark confusion sprung
5 The variegated orb terrene,
6 And in the solar system hung.
7 Soon as the mighty artist gives the sign,
8 This formless mass, as at the word divine,
9 Shall regulate its shade and light,
10 Harmonious move as he shall will
11 Its tints divide, or else unite,
12 Obedient to his powerful skill.
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13 And as the GLORIOUS VISION fills his mind,
14 They, to its plastic impulse all resign'd,
15 Shall into prospects vast expand
16 Foaming, in surfy billows rise,
17 Then stretch their velvet into land,
18 Then bid their radiance stream in skies.
19 In cumbrous Alps ascend, whose tops explore
20 Regions, where day-ey'd eagles fear to soar;
21 Or in the soft jonquil unfold,
22 Midst the low beauties of the vale,
23 Her robe of imitative gold,
24 Which loads with sweets the dancing gale.
25 In distant forests spread th' inviting brown,
26 Or hide, with spikey furze, the barren down
27 Then, tumbling from the flinty rock,
28 In white meanders lead the eye;
29 And then the eye's keen search to mock
30 Thro' some time-fretted cavern fly.
31 Richly festoon'd in luscious purple shine,
32 Extending o'er the slope the nect'rous vine,
33 Or in the gaudy spheroids swell,
34 Which the swart Indian's groves illume,
35 Or dye the spicey nonpareil,
36 Or the soft peach's stain assume.
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37 Yet more he wills, and from the palette starts
38 The form divine of soul illumin'd parts!
39 Here springs a HEBE, there a SAGE,
40 Here HEROES from the mass break forth,
41 There the soft LAIS of the age,
42 From hence, the CAESAR of the North.
43 Oh wondrous science! first of arts among!
44 And do those mighty powers to thee belong?
45 Here here then, POETRY, thy numbers bring,
46 Here MUSIC strike thy sweetly trembling string!
47 Creative PAINTING asks th' adoring knee,
48 Who, tho' a sister call'd, shall hence your Sov'reign be.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): ON SEEING THE PALETTE OF A CELEBRATED PAINTER.
Themes: art
Genres: occasional poem

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Source edition

The Poetry of Anna Matilda. London: printed by John Bell, British Library, Strand, Bookseller to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. M DCC LXXXVIII., 1788, pp. []-8. [8],139,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T90094; OTA K073164.000)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.