« AnteriorContinuar »
PRINTER OF THE ST. JAMES'S CHRONICLE,
APPEARED IN THAT PAPER, IN JUNE,
SIR, A s there is nothing I dislike so much as newspaper controversy, particularly upon trifles, permit me to be as concise as possible in informing a cor. respondent of yours, that I recommended Blainville's Travels, because I thought the book was a good one; and I think so still. I said, I was told by the bookseller that it was then first published; but in that, it seems, I was mis-informed, and my reading was not extensive enough to set me right.
Another correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a ballad, I published some time ago, VOL. 1.
from one * by the ingenious Mr. Percy. I do not think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy, fome years ago ; and he (as we both confidered these things as trifes at beft) told me with his usual good humour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakespeare into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little Cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarce worth printing: and, were it not for the busy difpofition of some of your correspondents, the public hould never have known that he owes me the hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.
I am, Sir,
* The Friar of Orders Gray. “Relig. of Anc. Poetry,” vol. 1. p. 243.
TURN, gentle Hermit of the dale, " And guide my lonely way, “ To where yon taper chears the vale
“ With hospitable ray.
“ For here forlorn and loft I tread,
“ With fainting steps and flow; " Where wilds, immeasurably spread,
“ Seem length’ning as I go.”
• Forbear, my fon,” the Hermit cries,
“ To tempt the dangerous gloom ; “ For yonder faithless phantom Aies “ To lure thee to thy doom.
“ Here to the houseless child of want . “ My door is open ftill ; “ And though my portion is but scant,
" I give it with good will.
" Then turn to-night, and freely share
“ Whate'er my cell bestows; “ My rushy couch and frugal fare,
“ My blessing and repose.
“ No flocks that range the valley free,
“ To Naughter I condemn: “ Taught by that power that pities me,
“ I learn to pity them :
“ But from the mountain's graffy side
“ A guiltless feast I bring; “ A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,
“ And water from the spring.
“ Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego ;
“ All earth-born cares are wrong: " Man wants but little here below,
“ Nor wants that little long.”
Soft as the dew from heaven descends,
His gentle accents fell :
And follows to the cell.
Far in a wilderness obfcure : The lonely mansion lay; A refuge to the neighb'ring poor,
And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care ;
Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now, when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest,
And chear'd his pensive guest :
And spread his vegetable store,
And gayly prest, and smil'd; And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The lingering hours beguild.
Around in sympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries ;
The crackling faggot flies.
But nothing could a charm impart
To soothe a stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart, And tears began to flow.