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unprejudiced, or the most refined. I must, however, beg leave to dissent from so great an authority as that of Sir Philip Sidney, in the judgment which he has passed as to the rude style and evil apparel of this antiquated song; for there are several parts in it, where not only the thought, but the language, is majestic, and the numbers sonorous ;1 at least, the apparel is much more gorgeous
many of the poets made use of in Queen Elizabeth's time, as the reader will see in severalʻof the following quotations.
What can be greater than either the thought or the expres sion in that stanza ?
To drive the deer with hound and horn
Earl Piercy took his way: ?
The hunting of that day !
This way of considering the misfortunes which this battle would bring upon posterity, not only on those who were born immediately after the battle, and lost their fathers in it, but on those also who perished in future battles, which took their rise from this quarrel of the two Earls, is wonderfully beautiful, and conformable to the way of thinking among the ancient poets.
Audiet pugnas vitio parentum
Hor. Od. 2. I, 1. v. 23.
can be more sounding and poetical, or resemble more the majestic simplicity of the ancients, than the following stanzas ?
IV. D. Blackwell's Enquiry into the Life and Writings of Homer. Second edition, 8vo., 1736, sect. v. pp. 59, 60.-C.
* Found only in the modern poem, except the third line _G.
The stout Earl of Northumberland
A vow to God did make,
Three summer's days to take.
All chosen men of night,
To aim their shafts aright.
The nimble deer to take,
An echo shrill did make,
- Vocat ingenti clamore Cithæron
GEORG. 3, v. 43.
His men in armour bright;
All marching in our sight;
Fast by the river Tweed, &c.
The country of the Scotch warriors, described in these two last verses, has a fine romantic situation, and affords a couple of smooth words for verse. If the reader compares the foregoing six lines of the song with the following Latin verses, he will see how much they are written in the spirit of Virgil.
Adversi campo apparent, hastasque reductis
1 The greater part o. these three fine stanzas belongs to the modern poet.--G
Quique altum Præneste viri, quique arva Gabinæ
Æn. 11, v. 605, v. 582, 712.
Advancing in a line, they couch their spears
-Præneste sends a chosen band,
But to proceed :
Earl Douglas, on a milk-white steed,
Most like a Baron bold,
W se armour shone like gold.'
Turnus ut antevolans tardum præcesserat agmen, dus
Our English archers bent their bows,
Their hearts were good and true;
Full threescore Scots they slew.
They clos'd full fast on ev'ry side,
No slackness there was found;
Lay gasping on the ground.
· V No. 70, note on this stanza, p. 207.-.
With that there came an arrow keen
Out of an English bow,
A deep and deadly blow.!
Æneas was wounded after the same manner by an unknown band in the midst of a parley.
Has inter voces, media inter talia verba,
Æn. 12, v. 318.
Thus while he spake, unmindful of defence,
But of all the descriptive parts of this song, there are none more beautiful than the four following stanzas, which have a great force and spirit in them, and are filled with very natural circumstances. The thought in the third stanza was never touched by any other poet, and is such an one as would have shined in Homer or in Virgil
So thus did both these nobles die,
Whose courage none could stain;
The noble Earl was slain.
He had a bow bent in his hand,
Made of a trusty tree,
Unto the head drew he.
Against Sir Hugh Montgomery
So right his shaft he set,
In his heart-blood was wet.
1 Here, the modern poet, has improved upon his original, both in incident and expression.-G.
This fight did last from break of day
Till setting of the sun;
The battie scarce was done.
One may observe likewise, that in the catalogue of the slain, the author has followed the example of the greatest ancient poits, not only in giving a long list of the dead, but by diversifying it with little characters of particular persons.
And with Earl Douglas there was slain
Sir Hugh Montgomery;
One foot would never fly:
Sir Charles Murrel of Ratcliff too,
His sister's son was he;
Yet saved could not be.
The familiar sound in these names destroys the majesty of the description : for this reason I do not mention this part of the poem but to shew the natural cast of thought which appears in it, as the two last verses look almost like a translation of Virgil.
-Cadit et Ripheus justissimus unus
Æn. 2, v. 426.
Then Ripheus fell in the unequal fight,
In the catalogue of the English who fell, Witherington's behav. iour is in the same manner particalarized very artfully, as the reader is prepared for it by that account which is given of him in the beginning of the battle; though I am satisfied your little buffoon readers (who have seen that passage ridiculed in Hudi