ODE TO EVENING BY WILLIAM COLLINS: HARESHWAR ROY
William Collins is a great pre-romantic poet. He is famous for the rare and precious quality of his poems. His 'Ode to Evening' is one of the finest odes in English Literature. It is full of melancholy. It presents a beautiful picture of a quiet evening.
'Ode to Evening' presents the picture of the poet's melancholic mood. Love of the quiet evening is the emotion of the poem. The beauty of the evening is incarnated in its quietness. The poem opens with the picture of personified evening:
''If aught of oaten stop or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to sooth thy modest ear,
The personification of evening is central to the poem. It has been developed in three phases. In the beginning part of the poem the poet presents the quietness of evening with apt images. In the middle part of the poem the poet moves to a solitary place to feel evening on his nerves. For such a move he prefers open spot and a mountain hut. The last part of the poem is devoted to the powers of evening and man's tribute to it.
In this poem the poet addresses the evening. He says that he would try to satisfy her ears by his music. He calls upon her to come and to help him so that he could sing softly. To sing the song for evening the poet wants to move to a solitary place. The poet is of the view that the evening enriches imaginative faculty of human being.
The present poem contains thirteen stanzas of four lines each. The stanzaic pattern is Miltonic. This pattern produces hypnotic effect. The use of personification, adjectives and epithets is vital to the meaning of the poem. The absence of rhyme makes it a natural poem.
Thus this is a beautiful poem. Here man and nature are admirably brought together. It is full of many delicate descriptions of nature and melancholy. It is lyricism that has made this poem highly readable and enjoyable.