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in painting the rural life of England in true colours. When the poor hind, with length of years decayed, His picture of the gipsies, and his sketches of venal Leans feebly on his once-subduing spade, clerks and rapacious overseers, are genuine like- Forgot the service of his abler days, nesses. He has not the raciness or the distinctness His profitable toil, and honest praise, of Crabbe, but is equally faithful, and as sincerely Shall this low wretch abridge his scanty bread, à friend to humanity. He pleads warmly for the This slave, whose board his former labours spread ! poor vagrant tribe :
When harvest's burning suns and sickening air
From labour's unbraced hand the grasped hook tear, Still mark if vice or nature prompts the deed ; Where shall the helpless family be fed, Still mark the strong temptation and the need : That vainly languish for a father's bread ? On pressing want, on famine's powerful call,
See the pale mother, sunk with grief and care, At least more lenient let thy justice fall.
To the proud farmer fearfully repair ; For him who, lost to every hope of life,
Soon to be sent with insolence away, Has long with Fortune held unequal strife,
Referred to vestries, and a distant day! Known to no human love, no human care,
Referred—to perish! Is my verse severe ?
Unfriendly to the human character!
The truth is rigid, but the tale is just.
If in thy courts this caitiff wretch appear, | Those last of woes his evil days have wrought; Think not that patience were a virtue here. Believe with social mercy and with me,
His low-born pride with honest rage control; Folly 's misfortune in the first degree.
Smite his hard heart, and shake his reptile soul. Perhaps on some inhospitable shore
But, hapless ! oft through fear of future wo, The houseless wretch a widowed parent bore;
And certain vengeance of the insulting foe; Who then, no more by golden prospects led,
Oft, ere to thee the poor prefer their prayer, Of the poor Indian begged a leafy bed.
The last extremes of penury they bear. Cold on Canadian hills or Minden's plain,
Wouldst thou then raise thy patriot office higher ! Perhaps that parent mourned her soldier slain; To something more than magistrate aspire ! Bent o'er her babe, her eye dissolved in dew,
And, left each poorer, pettier chase behind, The big drops mingling with the milk he drew, Step nobly forth, the friend of human kind! Gave the sad presage of his future years,
The game I start courageously pursue! The child of misery, baptised in tears.
Adieu to fear! to insolence adieu !
And first we'll range this mountain's stormy side, This allusion to the dead soldier and his widow on
Where the rude winds the shepherd's roof deride, the field of battle was made the subject of a print As meet no more the wintry blast to bear, by Bunbury, under which were engraved the pa- And all the wild hostilities of air. thetic lines of Langhorne. Sir Walter Scott has That roof have I remembered many a year ; mentioned, that the only time he saw Burns, the It once gave refuge to a hunted deer Scottish poet, this picture was in the room. Burns Here, in those days, we found an aged pair; shed tears over it; and Scott, then a lad of fifteen, But time untenants-ha! what seest thou there! was the only person present who could tell him Horror !-by Heaven, extended on a bed where the lines were to be found. The passage is of naked fern, two human creatures dead ! beautiful in itself, but this incident will embalm and Embracing as alive !-ah, no !-no life! preserve it for ever.
Cold, breathless !
'Tis the shepherd and his wile. [Appeal to Country Justices in Behalf of the Rural I knew the scene, and brought thee to behold Poor.]
What speaks more strongly than the story told
They died through want Let age no longer toil with feeble strife,
* By every power I swear, Worn by long service in the war of life;
If the wretch treads the earth, or breathes the air, Nor leave the head, that time hath whitened, bare Through whose default of duty, or design, To the rude insults of the searching air;
These victims fell, he dies.' Nor bid the knee, by labour hardened, bend,
They fell by chine. O thou, the poor man's hope, the poor man's friend ! Infernal! Mine !-byIf, when from heaven severer seasons fall,
Swear on no pretence : Fled from the frozen roof and mouldering wall, A swearing justice wants both grace and sense. Each face the picture of a winter day, More strong than Teniers' pencil could portray;
[An Advice to the Married.] If then to thee resort the shivering train, Of cruel days, and cruel man complain,
Should erring nature casual faults discloso, Say to thy heart (remembering him who said), Wound not the breast that harbours your repose ; "These people come from far, and have no bread.'
For every grief that breast from you shall prove, Nor leave thy venal clerk empowered to hear; Is one link broken in the chain of love. The voice of want is sacred to thy ear.
Soon, with their objects, other woes are past, He where no fees his sordid pen invite,
But pains from those we love are pains that last. Sports with their tears, too indolent to write ; Though faults or follies from reproach may ily, Like the fed monkey in the fable, vain
Yet in its shade the tender passions die. To bear more helpless animals complain.
But chief thy notice shall one monster claim; Love, like the flower that courts the sun's kind ray, A monster furnished with a human frame
Will flourish only in the smiles of day; The parish-officer !—though verse disdain
Distrust's cold air the generous plant annoys, Terms that deform the splendour of the strain, And one chill blight of dire contempt destroys. It stoops to bid thee bend the brow severe
Oh shun, my friend, avoid that dangerous coast, On the sly, pilfering, cruel overseer ;
Where peace expires, and fair affection's lost; The shufiling farmer, faithful to no trust,
By wit, by grief, by anger urged, forbear Ruthless as rocks, insatiate as the dust !
The speech contemptuous and the scornful air.
No more the smiling day shall view,
For many a tender thought is due. Why else the o'ergrown paths of time,
Would thus the lettered sage explore, With pain these crumbling ruins climb,
And on the doubtful sculpture pore? Why seeks he with unwearied toil,
Through Death's dim walks to urge his way, Reclaim his long asserted spoil,
And lead Oblivion into day? 'Tis nature prompts by toil or fear,
Unmoved to range through Death's domain ; The tender parent loves to hear
Her children's story told again!
(A Farewell Hymn to the Valley of Irwan.] Farewell the fields of Irwan's rale,
My infant years where Fancy led, And soothed me with the western gale,
Her wild dreams waving round my head, While the blithe blackbird told his tale, Farewell the fields of Irwan's vale! The primrose on the valley's side,
The green thyme on the mountain's head, The wanton rose, the daisy pied,
The wilding's blossom blushing red; No longer I their sweets inhale. Farewell the fields of Irwan's vale! How oft, within yon vacant shade,
Has evening closed my careless eye! How oft, along those banks I've strayed,
And watched the wave that wandered by; Full long their loss shall I bewail. Farewell the fields of Irwan's vale! Yet still, within yon vacant grove,
To mark the close of parting day;
And watch the wave that winds away;
SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE.
Light of the world, Immortal Mind;
Few votaries of the muses have had the resolution to abandon their early worship, or to cast off the Dalilahs of the imagination,' when embarked on more gainful callings. An example of this, however, is afforded by the case of SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE (born in London in 1723, died 1780), who, having made choice of the law for his profession, and entered himself a student of the Middle Temple, took formal leave of poetry in a copy of natural and pleasing verses, published in Dodsley's Miscellany. Blackstone rose to rank and fame as a lawyer, wrote a series of masterly commentaries on the laws of England, was knighted, and died a judge in the court of common pleas. From some critical notes on Shakspeare by Sir William, published by Stevens, it would appear that, though he had forsaken his muse, he still (like Charles Lamb, when he had given up the use of the 'great plant,' tobacco) .loved to live in the suburbs of her graces.'
The Lawyer's Farewell to his Muse.
DR THOMAS PERCY.
How blest my days, my thoughts how free,
DR THOMAS PERCY, afterwards bishop of Dromore, in 1765 published his Reliques of English Poetry, in which several excellent old songs and ballads were revived, and a selection made of the best lyrical pieces scattered through the works of modern authors. The learning and ability with which Percy executed his task, and the sterling value of his materials, recommended his volumes to public favour. They found their way into the hands of poets and poetical readers, and awakened a love of nature, simplicity, and true passion, in contradistinction to that coldly-correct and sentimental style which pervaded part of our literature. The influence of Percy's collection was general and extensive. It is evident in many contemporary authors. It gave the first impulse to the genius of Sir Walter Scott; and it may be seen in the writings of Coleridge and Wordsworth. A fresh fountain of poetry was opened up-a spring of sweet, tender, and heroic thoughts and imaginations, which could never be again turned back into the artificial channels in which the genius of poesy had been too long and too closely confined. Percy was himself a poet. His ballad, 0, Nanny, wilt Thou Gang wi' Me,' the • Hermit of Warkworth,' and other detached pieces, evince both taste and talent. We subjoin a cento, ' The Friar of Orders Gray,' which Percy says he compiled from fragments of ancient ballads, to which he added supplemental stanzas to connect them together. The greater part, however, is his own. The life of Dr Percy presents little for remark. He was born at Bridgnorth, Shropshire, in 1728, and, after his education at Oxford, entered the church, in which he was successively chaplain to the King, dean of Carlisle, and bishop of Dromore: the
The Deanery, Carlisle, latter dignity he possessed from 1782 till his death in 1811. He enjoyed the friendship of Johnson, Goldsmith, and other distinguished men of his day, and lived long enough to hail the genius of the most illustrious of his admirers, Sir Walter Scott.
0, Nanny, wilt Thou Gang wi' Me. 0, Nanny, wilt thou gang wi' me,
Nor sigh to leave the flaunting town? Can silent glens have charms for thee,
The lowly cot and russet gown ? Nae langer drest in silken sheen,
Nae langer decked wi' jewels rare, Say, canst thou quit each courtly scene,
Where thou wert fairest of the fair! 0, Nanny, when thou’rt far awa,
Wilt thou not cast a look behind ? Say, canst thou face the flaky snaw,
Nor shrink before the winter wind ? O can that soft and gentle mien
Severest hardships learn to bear, Nor, sad, regret each courtly scene,
Where thou wert fairest of the fair? O Nanny, canst thou love so true,
Through perils keen wi' me to gae? Or, when thy swain mishap shall rue, To share with him the
of wae ? Say, should disease or pain befall,
Wilt thou assume the nurse's care, Nor, wishful, those gay scenes recall,
Where thou wert fairest of the fair ? And when at last thy love shall die,
Wilt thou receive his parting breath? Wilt thou repress each struggling sigh,
And cheer with smiles the bed of death? And wilt thou o'er his much-loved clay
Strew flowers, and drop the tender tear? Nor then regret those scenes so gay,
Where thou wert fairest of the fair?
O weep not, lady, weep not so,
Some ghostly comfort seek:
Nor tears bedew thy cheek.'
My sorrow now reprove;
That e'er won lady's love.
I'll evermore weep and sigh; For thee I only wished to live,
For thee I wish to die.'
Thy sorrow is in vain :
Will ne'er make grow again.
Why then should sorrow last? Since grief but aggravates thy loss,
Grieve not for what is past.'
I pray thee say not so;
'Tis meet my tears should flow, And will he never come again,
Will he ne'er come again?
For ever to remain.
The comeliest youth was he;
Alas! and wo is me.'
Men were deceivers ever;
To one thing constant never.
And left thee sad and heavy;
Since summer trees were leafy.'
say not so; My love he had the truest heart
O he was ever true! And art thou dead, thou much-loved youth ?
And didst thou die for me?
A pilgrim I will be.
My weary limbs I'll lay,
That wraps his breathless clay.' 'Yet stay, fair lady, rest a while
Beneath this cloister wall;
And drizzly rain doth fall.'
O stay me not, I pray;
Can wash my fault away.'
And dry those pearly tears ;
Thy own true love appears.
These holy weeds I sought;
The Friar of Orders Gray. It was a friar of orders gray
Walked forth to tell his beads, And he met with a lady fair,
Clad in a pilgrim's weeds. Now Christ thee save, thou reverend friar !
I pray thee tell to me,
My true love thou didst see.'
And by his sandal shoon:
That were so fair to view,
And eyes of lovely blue.'
Lady, he's dead and gone!
And at his heels a stone. Within these holy cloisters long
He languished, and he died,
And 'plaining of her pride.
Six proper youths and tall ;
Within yon kirkyard wall.'
And art thou dead and gone ? And didst thou die for love of me?
Break, cruel heart of stone!'