Графични страници
PDF файл

Sonnets, and other Poems, by the Reo. W. L. Bowles,

A. M. of Trinity College, Oxford. Sixth Edition. To which is added— Hope, an Allegorical Sketch, on Recovering rosoly from Sickness. Dilly, 1793. pp. 180-fine paper, small 8vo. with 'Engravings.

6s, boards. We have never yet had an opportunity of paying to

Mr. Bowles that tribute which he so eminently demands; and we therefore hope we shall be pardoned if at this time, anxious to testify what we feel of his talents, we should snatch from almost every bed, some example of beauty, some subject of delight. His « Sonnets” are so universally esteemed, as almost the only English compositions entitled to the distinction, that we shall select them without attempting to point out what to us may appear more beautiful in each.

SONNET V. “ Evening, as now thy placid shades descend

Veiling with gentlest huth the landscape still,

The lonely battlement, and farthest hill
And wood; I think of thosc that have no friend,
Who now, perhaps, by melancholy led,

From the broad blaze of day, where pleasure Haunts,

Retiring, wander ’mid thy lonely haunts Unseen; and watch the tints that n'er thy bed Hang lovely, to their pensive fancy's eye

Presenting fairy vales, where the tir d mind

Might reit, beyond the murmurs of mankind,
Nor hear the hourly moans of misery!
Ah! beauteous views, that hope's fair gleams the while
Should smile like you, and perish as they smile!”

SONNET VIII. “ O poverty! though from thy haggard eye,

Thy cheerless mein, of every charm bereit,

Thy brow that hope's last traces long have left, Vain furtune's feelle fons with terror flyi

I love thy folitary haunts to seek:

For pity, reckless of her own distress;

And patience, in the pall of wretchedness, That turns to the bleak storm her faded cheek; And piety, that never told her wrong;

And meek content, whose griefs no more rebel; And genius, warbling sweet her saddest song ;

And sorrow liit’ning to a lost friend's knell, Long banith'd from the world's insulting throng;

With thee, and thy unfriended offspring, dweil.”


ON REVISITING OXFORD. “I never hear the sound of thy glad bells,

Oxford! and chime harmonious, but I say, (Sighing to think how time has worn away) ' Some spirit speaks in the sweet tone that swells,

Heard after years of absence, from the vale

Where Cherwell winds.' Most true it speaks the talt Of days departed, and its voice recalls

Hours of delight and hope in the gay tide

Of life, and many fiiends now scatter'd wide
By many fates.--Peace be within thy walls !
I have scarce heart to visit thee; but yet,

Denied the joys fought in thy shades,-denied

Each better hope, lince my poor ****** died, What I have owed to thee, my heart can ne'er forget!"

SONNET XXVI. “ How bleft with thee the path could I have trod

Of quiet life, above coid want's hard fate,

(And little withing more) nor of the great Envious, or their proud name! but it pleas'd God To take thee to his mercy: thou didst go

In youth and beauty, go to thy death-bed;

Ev’n whilst on dreams of bliss we fondly fed,
Of years to come of comfort! Be it fo.
Ere this I have felt forrow; and ev'n now

(Tho' sometimes the unbidden thought must start,

And half unman the miserable heart)
The cold dew I shall wipe from my sad brow,


And say, fince hopes of bliss on earth are vain, • Best friend, farewell, till we do meet again !"

SONNET XXX. “ I turn these leaves with thronging thoughts, and say,

• Alas! how many friends of youth are dead, ' How many visions of fair hope have Acd, • Since first, my muse, we met ::--So speeds away

Life, and its shadows; yet we fit and fing, Stretch'd in the noontide bower, as if the day Declin'd not, and we yet might trill our lay

Beneath the pleasant morning's purple wing That fans us, while aloft the gay clouds thine !

0, ere the coming of the long cold night,

Religion, may we bless thy purer light,
That still shall warm us, when the tints decline
O’er earth's dim hemisphere, and sad we gaze
On the vain visions of our passing days !”

The description of Charity has every characteristic of its elegant and amiable writer :

“ Oh, Charity! our helpless nature's pride,
Thou friend to him who knows no friend beside,
Is there in morning's breath, or the sweet gale
That steals o'er the tir'd pilgrim of the vale,
Cheering with fragrance fresh his weary frame,
Ought like the incense of thy holy flame?
Is ought in all the beauties that adorn
The azure heaven, or purple lights of morn!
Is ought so fair in evening's ling’ring gleam,
As from thine eye the meek and pensive beam
That falls like saddest moon-light on the hill
And distant grove, when the wide world is fill?
Thine are the ample views, that unconfin'd
Stretch to the utmost walks of human kind;
Thine is the spirit, that with widętt plan
Brother to brother binds, and man to man.

Such, too, is the picture of Infancy:

« Oh! hapless Infancy, if aught could move The hardest heart to pity and to love,


"Twere surely found in thee: dim paffions mark
Stern manhood's brow, where age impresses dark
The stealing line of forrow; but thine eye
Wears not distrust, or grief, or perfidy :-
Though fortune's storms with dismal shadow low'r,
Thy heart nor fears, nor feels, the bitter show'r;
Thy tear is foon forgotten; thou wilt weep,
And then the muniuring winds will hush thy sleep,
As 'twere with some sad mufick;---and thy smiles,
Unlike to those that mask oft cruel wiles,
Plead best thy speechless innocence, and lend
A charm might win the world to be thy friend!

But thou art oft abandon’d in thy smiles,
And early vice thy easy heart beguiles.
O for some voice, that of the secret maze
Where the grim passions lurk, the winding ways
That lead to fin, and ruth, and deep lament,
Might haply warn thee, whilft yet innocent,
And beauteous as the spring-time o'er the hills
Advancing, when each vale glad musick fills!
Else loft and wand'ring, the benighted mind
No spot of rest again shall ever find:
Then the sweet smiles, that erit enchanting laid
Their magick beauty on thy look, shall fade:
Then the bird's warbled song no more shall chees
With morning music thy delighted ear:
Fell thoughts and muttering passions shall awake,
And the fair rose the fullied check forfake!

As when still autumn’s gradual gloom is laid Far o'er the fading forest's sadden’d thade, A mournful gleam illumines the cold hill, Yet palely wand'ring o’er the distant rill; But when the hollow gust, slow rising, raves, And high the pine on yon lone summit waves, Each milder charm, like pictures of a dream, Is perith's, mute the birds, and dark the stream; Scuds the drear fleet upon the whirlwind borne, And scowls the landscape clouded and forlorn!

So fades, lo perishes, frail virtue's hue:-Her last and lingering smile seems but to rue,

Like autumn, every summer beauty reft,
Till all is dark and to the winter left.
Yet spring, with living touch, shall paint again
The green-leav'd foreit, and the purple plain;
With mingling meludy the woods Thall ring,
The whisp'ring brecze its long-lost incenic fling:
But, innocence! when once thy tender flower
The fickly taint has touch’d, where is that power
That shall bring back its fragrance, or restore
The tints of loveliness, that shine no more?"

Coleridge has spoken very highly of Mr. Bowles's poetical character in the introduction to his own Son. nets, which indeed are in imitation of Bowles ; but as the muse of Mr. Coleridge is rather distinguished by vehemence and fingularity, while that of Mr. Bowles is confessedly plaintive and finple, those compositions which may be ranked as the Sonnets of Mr. C. are very different from the same productions in Mr. Bowles. Mr. Bowles has also an unaifected mode of expression, which has in some instances by Mr. Coleridge, but much more so by Mr. Southey, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Lamb, and others of this cait, been extended to a fimplicity not feldom bor. dering on the ridiculous.

The Plan of Education pursued in Mrs.Linden's Academy,

No.48, Hans-Place, Sloane-street. Ridgeway. is. WITH the plan of FEMALE EDUCATION which is

here delmeated, we are much pleased. It is drawn up with judgment and accuracy z with the topics of knowledge which this course includes, none of the fair sex should remain unacquainted,

We are happy to see that a proper attention is now paid to the understanding of the female part of the creation. Their neglect in times past has in many cases been deplorable. Hence the taunts of unprincipled men on


« ПредишнаНапред »