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Full many a peevish, envious, flandering elf,
You've my permission, you may love him too.
Return we now to Mr. Archdeacon Whitehead's Charge to the Clergy of his poetic diocese. --But on reviewing what we have written, it seems to be enough, in relation to so small a pamphlet. Yet we cannot conclude without remarking, the Author's pleafant manner of mentioning us Reviewers.
Admire true beauties, and flight faults excuse,
Nor learn to dance from Journals * and Reviews. « Learn to DANCE !-What, then, are these learned Re«6 viewers, after all, no better than a society of Dancing
* Mr. Whitehead declares, in a Note, that he does not intend this a Refle@ljon on the Reviewers, &c, and that it is not the Masters but the Scholars, the grazin Gentlemen, at whom the Author smiles.
« masters ?” Be not deceived, however, courteous Reader; the gentleman means no such thing : it is only an arch allufion to Mr. N. Hart's advertising to teach grown gentlemen to cut capers secundum artem, in the Old Baily. Erratum in the CHARGE. Page 9, 1. 2. for dance read
Epiftle from Lady Jane Grey to Lord Guilford Dudley. 4to.
HAT species of Poetry which is fometimes mistakenly
called the heroic Epistle, and which might more properly be termed the Love, or the elegiac Epiftle, is capable of great beauty and variety. All the fine sensations of the heart; all that can be collected in the different provinces of hope and fear, of despair and sorrow, the melancholy of the hopeless lover, and the joyous images of successful love: in short, whatever is tender, passionate, pathetic, striking, or graceful, may properly be introduced in this kind of Poetry. The Epiftles of Ovid have a great many beauties of this kind, but they are so obscured and intermixed with affected turns of expression, and little epigrammatic points, that instead of being delighted with the happy fancy of the Poet, you are disgusted with the puerility and affectation of the man. However, when these faults are overlooked, his Epistles have many fine strokes of nature and passion, that never fail to make their way to the heart. Of these we shall quote some passages to illustrate our observations on this species of Poetry, and contrast them by others in Mr. Pope's Epistle from Eloisa to Abelard, which is the finest performance of the kind, and upon the whole infinitely superior to any of the Episties of the Roman Bard.
The plaintive and delicate expostulation of Sappho to Phaon, in the following lines, is a beautiful instance of the true pathetic.
Huc ades, inque finus, formose, relabere noftros:
Non ut ames oro, verum ut amare finas.
Aspice, quam fit in hoc multa litura loco.
Et modo dixisses, Lelbi puella, vale !
These lines are extremely beautiful, and scarce equalled by the following pathetic Verfes of Elcifa, which she is supposed to have conceived upon reading the letters that Abelard had written to his friend, containing a relation of their misfortunes.
Soon as thy Letters trembling I unclose,
To read and weep is all they have to do.
Invenio Sylvam, quæ sæpe cubilia nobis
Præbuit, et multa texit opaca coma.
Vile fohum locus eft ; dos erat ille loci.
De nostro curvum pondere gramen erat.
Elifa to Abelard. The transition of passion are not the least beauties of these elegiac Epistles.
No, Ay me, fly me, far as pole from pole;
El. te Ab.
Rev. March, 1-61.
Efficite ut redeat, &c. to
Sappho Phacni. It is not sufficient that this species of Poetry be tender and pathetic ; it must be passionate too.
Tu mihi cura, Phaon; te fomnia nostra reducunt,
Somnia formoso candidiora die,
Sed non longa fatis gaudia fomnus habet.
Sæpe tuæ videor supposuisse meos.
Eloquor ; et vigilant sensibus ora meis.
Elo, io Ab, After these quotations we are afraid the performance before us may appear to disadvantage ; but without confidering it comparatively, let us see whether it be distinguished by the above-mentioned characteristics.
The Author (Mr. Keate) thinks that the story of Lady Jane Grey is a very proper subject for this kind of epistolary Poetry; and in some circumstances, indeéd, it might be so. But, in our opinion, he has “ put the pen into her hands" at an unfavourable time; because, as the was under sentence of death, she had nothing to hope, and consequently her Epiftle, under these circumitances, was not capable of that variety it might otherwise have contained.
He sets out somewhat incorrectly with a confusion of metaphors.
-Suffolk's Daughter finks not with her woe.
Tho' ftrong the Tempeft, ftronger till my Mind. .
Nor in these lines fufpe&t that I complain,
This Epistle is not destitute of the pathetic, an instance of which is this passage :
Hark! the dread fignal that completes our woes !
And spare my lord, my hulband, and my love.
Ha! meet no more !-How cruel the decree !
One parting kiss, the seal of death, requires. Her charge to Guilford, not to save his life by renouncing his Religion, is truly noble.
O, then, my Husband, I conjure thee, hear,
Or footh thy weakness by his fraudful care. Page 16. What's in the grave the virtuous have to fear? is very unhappily, if not unjustly expressed; but it may easily be altered. Perhaps it might be better thus :
What from the grave can virtue have to fear? We do not think the third repetition of the word long, at the end of the Poem, a beauty, because it seems too much pointed.
Upon the whole, though many of these Verses are incorrect, some of them enervate, and others unharmonious, the Poem is not without some degree of merit; and if it be the firft publication of a young Author, better things may be expected from him.