Imágenes de página
PDF

But if, at first, her virgin fear
Should start at love's suspected name,

With that of friendship soothe her ear—
True love and friendship are the same.

SONG.

For ever, Fortune, wilt thou prove
An unrelenting foe to love,
And when we meet a mutual heart,
Come in between, and bid us part 2

Bid us sigh on from day to day,
And wish, and wish the soul away; .
Till youth and genial years are flown,
And all the life of life is gone?

But busy, busy, still art thou,
To bind the loveless joyless vow,
The heart from pleasure to delude,
To join the gentle to the rude,

For once, O Fortune, hear my prayer,
And I absolve thy future care;
All other blessings I resign,
Make but the dear Amanda mine.

ODE.

0 Nightingale, best poet of the grove, That plaintive strain can ne'er belong to thee,

Blest in the full possession of thy love: 0 lend that strain, sweet nightingale, to me!

'Tis mine, alas ! to mourn my wretched fate: I love a maid who all my bosom charms,

Yet lose my days without this lovely mate; Inhuman Fortune keeps her from my arms.

You, happy birds! by Nature's simple laws
Lead your soft lives, sustain'd by Nature's fare;

You dwell wherever roving fancy draws,
And love and song is all your pleasing care:

But we, vain slaves of interest and of pride, Dare not be blest lest envious tongues should blame: And hence, in vain I languish for my bride; 0 mourn with me, sweet bird, my hapless flame.

HYMN ON SOLITUDE.

HAIL, mildly pleasing Solitude, Companion of the wise and good, But, from whose holy, piercing eye, The herd of fools and villains fly.

Oh! how I love with thee to walk, And listen to thy whisper'd talk, Which innocence and truth imparts, And melts the most obdurate hearts. A thousand shapes you wear with ease, And still in every shape you please. Now wrapt in some mysterious dream, A lone philosopher you seem ; Now quick from hill to vale you fly, And now you sweep the vaulted sky; A shepherd next, you haunt the plain, And warble forth your oaten strain. A lover now, with all the grace Of that sweet passion in your face; Then, calm'd to friendship, you assume The gentle-looking Hartford's bloom, As, with her Musidora, she (Her Musidora fond of thee) Amid the long withdrawing vale, Awakes the rivall'd nightingale. Thine is the balmy breath of morn, Just as the dew-bent rose is born; And while meridian fervours beat, Thine is the woodland dumb retreat ; But chief, when evening scenes decay, And the faint landscape swims away, Thine is the doubtful soft decline, And that best hour of musing thine. Descending angels bless thy train, The virtues of the sage, and swain; Plain Innocence, in white array'd, Before thee lifts her fearless head: Religion's beams around thee shine, And cheer thy glooms with light divine: About thee sports sweet Liberty; And rapt Urania sings to thee. Oh, let me pierce thy secret cell! And in thy deep recesses dwell; Perhaps from Norwood's oak-clad hill, When Meditation has her fill, I just may cast my careless eyes Where London's spiry turrets rise, Think of its crimes, its cares, its pain, Then shield me in the woods again.

to The REV. M.R. MURDOCH, Rector of staaddishall, IN suffolk, 1738.

Thus safely low, my friend, thou canst not fall:
Here reigns a deep tranquillity o'er all;
No noise, no care, no vanity, no strife; -
Men, woods, and fields, all breathe untroubled life.
Then keep each passion down, however dear;
Trust me the tender are the most severe.
Guard, while 'tis thine, thy philosophic ease,
And ask no joy but that of virtuous peace;
That bids defiance to the storms of Fate,
High bliss is only for a higher state.

AMBROSE PHILIPS.

Annou PHILIPs, a poet and miscellaneous valued, sent to the same paper a comparison be:

writer, was born in 1671, claiming his descent from

an ancient Leicestershire family. He received his education at St. John's College, Cambridge; and, attaching himself to the Whig party, he published, in 1700, an epitome of Hacket's life of Archbishop Williams, by which he obtained an introduction to Addison and Steele. Soon after, he made an attempt in pastoral poetry, which, for a time, brought him into celebrity. In 1709, being then at Copenhagen, he addressed to the Earl of Dorset some verses, descriptive of that capital, which are regarded as his best performance; and these, together with two translations from Sappho's writings, stand pre-eminent in his works of this class. In 1712 he made his appearance as a dramatic writer, in the tragedy of “The Distrest Mother,” acted at Drury-lane with great applause, and still considered as a stock play. It cannot, indeed, claim the merit of originality, being closely copied from Racine's “Andromacque;” but it is well written, and skilfully adapted to the English stage. A storm now fell upon him relatively to his pastorals, owing to an exaggerated compliment from Tickell, who, in a paper of the Guardian, had made the true pastoral pipe descend in succession from Theocritus to Virgil, Spenser, and Philips. Pope, who found his own juvenile pastorals under

TO THE EARL OF DORSET.

Copenhagen, March 9. 1709.

Flow frozen climes, and endless tracts of snow,
From streams which northern winds forbid to flow,
What present shall the Muse to Dorset bring,
Or how, so near the Pole, attempt to sing?
The hoary winter here conceals from sight
All pleasing objects which to verse invite.
The hills and dales, and the delightful woods,
The flowery plains, and silver-streaming floods,
By snow disguis'd, in bright confusion lie,
And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye.
No gentle breathing breeze prepares the spring,
No birds within the desert region sing.
The ships, unmov'd, the boisterous winds defy,
While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly.
The vast Leviathan wants room to play,
And spout his waters in the face of day.

tween his and those of Philips, in which he ironically gave the preference to the latter. To irony was not detected till it encountered the cotical eye of Addison; and the consequence wo that it ruined the reputation of Philips as a conposer of pastoral. When the accession of George I. brought to Whigs again into power, Philips was made a West. minster justice, and, soon after, a commissioner for the lottery. In 1718, he was the editor of: pe. riodical paper, called “The Freethinker". In 1724, he accompanied to Ireland his fio Dr. Boulter, created archbishop of Armagh, to whom he acted as secretary. He afterwards to presented the county of Armagh in parliam." and the places of secretary to the Lord Chancellor, and Judge of the Prerogative Court, were also conferred upon him. He returned to England in 1748, and died in the following year, at the age of seventy-eight. The verses which he composed, not only." young ladies in the nursery, but to Walpole when Minister of State, and which became known by * ludicrous appellation of mamby-pamby, are easy and sprightly, but with a kind of infantile air, which fixed upon them the above name.

The starving wolves along the main sea prowl,
And to the Moon in icy valleys howl.
O'er many a shining league the level main
Here spreads itself into a glassy plain:
There solid billows of enormous size,
Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.
And yet but lately have I seen, ev'n here,
The winter in a lovely dress appear.
Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasur’d snow,
Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow,
At evening a keen eastern breeze arose,
And the descending rain unsullied froze.
Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn disclos'd at once to view
The face of Nature in a rich disguise,
And brighten’d every object to my eyes:
For every shrub, and every blade of grass,
And every pointed thorn, seem'd wrought in glas:
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show,
While through the ice the crimson berries glow.

[ocr errors][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]

The thick-sprung reeds, which watery marshes yield, Seem'd polish'd lances in a hostile field. The stag, in limpid currents, with surprise, Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise. The spreading oak, the beech, and towering pine, Glaz'd over, in the freezing ether shine. The frighted birds the rattling branches shun, Which wave and glitter in the distant sun. When, if a sudden gust of wind arise, The brittle forest into atoms flies, The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends, And in a spangled shower the prospect ends: Or, if a southern gale the region warm, And by degrees unbind the wintery charm, The traveller a miry country sees, And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees: Like some deluded peasant, Merlin leads [meads: Through fragrant bowers, and through delicious While here enchanted gardens to him rise, And airy fabrics there attract his eyes, His wandering feet the magic paths pursue, And, while he thinks the fair illusion true, The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air, And woods, and wilds, and thorny ways appear. A tedious road the weary wretch returns, And, as he goes, the transient vision mourns.

[blocks in formation]

The birds, dismiss'd, (while you remain,)
Bore back their empty car again:
Then you, with looks divinely mild,
In every heavenly feature smil’d,
And ask'd, what new complaints I made,
And why I call'd you to my aid?

What phrenzy in my bosom rag’d, And by what care to be assuag'd? What gentle youth I would allure, Whom in my artful toils secure? Who does thy tender heart subdue, Tell me, my Sappho, tell me who?

Though now he shuns thy longing arms,
He soon shall court thy slighted charms;
Though now thy offerings he despise,
He soon to thee shall sacrifice;
Though now he freeze, he soon shall burn,
And be thy victim in his turn.

Celestial visitant, once more
Thy needful presence I implore
In pity come and ease my grief,
Bring my distemper'd soul relief:
Favour thy suppliant's hidden fires,
And give me all my heart desires.

A FRAGMENT OF SAPPHO.

BLEst as the immortal gods is he, The youth who fondly sits by thee, And hears and sees thee all the while Softly speak, and sweetly smile.

'Twas this deprived my soul of rest,
And rais'd such tumults in my breast;
For while I gaz'd, in transport tost,
My breath was gone, my voice was lost.

My bosom glow'd; the subtle flame Ran quick through all my vital frame; O'er my dim eyes a darkness hung, My ears with hollow murmurs rung.

In dewy damps my limbs were chill'd,
My blood with gentle horrours thrill'd;
My feeble pulse forgot to play,
I fainted, sunk, and died away.

WILLIAM COLLINS.

Willian Collins, a distinguished modern poet, was born at Chichester, in 1720 or 1721, where his father exercised the trade of a hatter. He received his education at Winchester College, whence he entered as a commoner of Queen's College, Oxford. In 1741, he procured his election into Magdalen college as a demy; and it was here that he wrote his poetical “Epistle to Sir Thomas Hanmer,” and his “ Oriental Eclogues;” of both which pieces the success was but moderate. In 1744, he came to London as a literary adventurer, and various were the projects which he formed in this capacity. In 1746, however, he ventured to lay before the public a volume of “Odes, Descriptive and Allegorical;” but so callous was the national taste at this time, that their sale did not pay for the printing. Collins, whose spirit was high, returned to the bookseller his copy-money, burnt all the unsold copies, and as soon as it lay in his power, indemnified him for his small loss; yet among these odes, were many pieces which now rank among the finest lyric compositions in the language. After this mortification, he obtained from the booksellers a small sum for an intended translation of Aristotle's Poetics, and paid a visit to an uncle, Lieutenantcolonel Martin, then with the army in Germany. The Colonel dying soon after, left Collins a legacy of 2000l., a sum which raised him to temporary opulence; but he now soon became incapable of every mental exertion. Dreadful depression of spirits was an occasional attendant on his malady, for which he had no remedy but the bottle. It was about this time, that it was thought proper to confine him in a receptacle of lunatics. Dr. Johnson paid him a visit at Islington, when there was nothing

ODE TO PITY. ,

() thov, the friend of man assign'd,
With balmy hands his wounds to bind,
And charm his frantic woe:
When first Distress, with dagger keen,
Broke forth to waste his destin'd scene,
His wild unsated foe!

By Pella's bard, a magic name,
By all the griefs his thought could frame,
Receive my humble rite:
Long, Pity, let the nations view
Thy sky-worn robes of tenderest blue,
And eyes of dewy light!

of disorder in his mind, perceptible to any but himself. He was reading the New Testament. “I have but one book,” said he, “but it is the best.” He was finally consigned to the care of his sister, in whose arms he finished his short and melancholy course, in the year 1756.

It is from his Odes, that Collins derives his chief poetical fame; and in compensation for the neglect with which they were treated at their first appearance, they are now almost universally regarded as the first productions of the kind in our language with respect to vigour of conception, boldness and variety of personification, and genuine warmth of feeling. They are well characterised in an essay prefixed to his works in an ornamented edition published by Cadell and Davies, with which we shall conclude this article. “He will be acknowledged (says the author) to possess imagination, sweetness, bold and figurative language. His numbers dwell on the ear, and easily fix themselves in the memory. His vein of sentiment is by turns tender and lofty, always tinged with a degree of melancholy, but not possessing any claim to originality. His originality consists in his manner, in the highly figurative garb in which he clothes abstract ideas, in the felicity of his expressions, and his skill in embodying ideal creations. He had much of the mysticism of poetry, and sometimes became obscure by aiming at impressions stronger than he had clear and well-defined ideas to support. Had his life been prolonged, and with life had he enjoyed that ease which is necessary for the undisturbed exercise of the faculties, he would probably have risen far above most of his contemporaries.”

But wherefore need I wander wide
To old Ilissus’ distant side,
Deserted stream, and mute?
Wild Arun * too has heard thy strains,
And Echo, 'midst my native plains,
Been sooth'd by Pity's lute.

There first the wren thy myrtles shed
On gentlest Otway's infant head,
To him thy cell was shown;
And while he sung the female heart,
With youth's soft notes unspoil'd by art,
Thy turtles mix'd their own.

* A river in Sussex.

Come, Pity, come, by Fancy's aid,
E'en now my thoughts, relenting maid,
Thy temple's pride design:
Its southern site, its truth complete,
Shall raise a wild enthusiast heat
In all who view the shrine.

There Picture's toil shall well relate,
How Chance, or hard involving Fate,
O'er mortal bliss prevail:
The buskin'd Muse shall near her stand,
And, sighing, prompt her tender hand
With each disastrous tale.

There let me oft, retir’d by day,
In dreams of passion melt away,
Allow’d with thee to dwell :
There waste the mournful lamp of night,
Till, Virgin, thou again delight
To hear a British shell !

ODE TO FEAR.

Thou, to whom the world unknown
With all its shadowy shapes is shown;
Who seest appall'd th' unreal scene,
While Fancy lifts the veil between :
Ah, Fear ! ah, frantic Fear!
I see, I see thee near.

I know thy hurried step, thy haggard eye'
Like thee I start, like thee disorder'd fly.
For, lo, what monsters in thy train appear !
Danger, whose limbs of giant mould
What mortal eye can fixt behold 2
Who stalks his round, a hideous form,
Howling amidst the midnight storm,
Or throws him on the ridgy steep
Of some loose hanging rock to sleep:
And with him thousand phantoms join'd,
Who prompt to deeds accurs'd the mind:
And those, the fiends, who, near allied,
O'er Nature's wounds and wrecks preside;
While Vengeance, in the lurid air,
Lifts her red arm, expos'd and bare:
On whom that ravening brood of Fate,
Who lap the blood of Sorrow, wait;
Who, Fear, this ghastly train can see,
And look not madly wild, like thee?

Epode,

In earliest Greece, to thee, with partial choice,
The grief-full Muse address'd her infant tongue;

The maids and matrons, on her aweful voice,
Silent and pale, in wild amazement hung.

Yet he, the bard * who first invok'd thy name,
Disdain’d in Marathon its power to feel:

For not alone he nurs'd the poet's flame, .
But reached from Virtue's hand the patriot's steel.

But who is he, whom later garlandsgrace, who left awhile o'er Hybla's dews to rove,

With trembling eyes thy dreary steps to trace, where thou and furies shar'd the baleful grove?

Wrapt in thy cloudy veil th’ incestuous queen +,
Sigh'd the sad call her son and husband heard,
When once alone it broke the silent scene,
And he the wretch of Thebes no more appear'd.

O Fear ! I know thee by my throbbing heart,
Thy withering power inspir'd each mournful line;
Though gentle Pity claim her mingled part,
Yet all the thunders of the scene are thine.

AntiStrophe.

Thou who such weary lengths hast past, Where wilt thou rest, mad nymph, at last? Say, wilt thou shroud in haunted cell, Where gloomy Rape and Murder dwell? Or in some hollow'd seat, 'Gainst which the big waves beat, Hear drowning seamen's cries in tempests brought ! Dark power, with shuddering meek submitted thought, Be mine, to read the visions old, Which thy awakening bards have told. And, lest thou meet my blasted view, Hold each strange tale devoutly true; Ne'er be I found, by thee o'er-aw'd, In that thrice-hallow'd eve abroad, When ghosts, as cottage-maids believe, Their pebbled beds permitted leave, And goblins haunt from fire, or fen, Or mine, or flood, the walks of men! O thou, whose spirit most possest The sacred seat of Shakspeare's breast! By all that from thy prophet broke, In thy divine emotions spokes Hither again thy fury deal, Teach me but once like him to feel: His cypress wreath my meed decree, And I, O Fear, will dwell with thee!

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »