Графични страници
PDF файл

" stone,

" light





Or Hercules, with lion's hide,

In terrass'd stages mount up high, And knotty cudgel, thrown afide,

And wave its sable beauties in the sky, Lifting Antxus high in air !

From stage to stage, broad steps of half-hid Who, in his gripe, expires there! Or Sisyphus, with toil and sweat,

" With curling moss and blady grass o'ergrown, And muscles (train’d, striving to get

"Lead awful Up a steep hill a ponderous stone;

Down in a dungeon deep, Which near the top recoils, and rolls impetuous “ Where through thick walls, oblique, the broken

down. Or beauteous Helen's easy air,

“ From narrow loop-holes quivers to the sight, With head reclin'd, and flowing hair ;

" With swift and furious stride, Or comely Paris, gay and young,

“ Close-folded arms, and thort and sudden starts, Moving with gallart grace along!

" The fretful prince, in dumb and sullen pride, These you can do! I but advance

" Revolves escapeIn a florid ignorance ;

Here in red colours glowing bold And say to you, who better know,

A warlike figure Strikes my eye!
You should design them so and so.

The dreadful sudden fight his foes behold
Confounded so, they lose the power to fly;
Backening they gaze at distance on his face,
" Admire his posture, and confess his grace;
“ His right hand grasps his planted spear, &c."
Alas! my Mufe, through much good-will, you err :

And we the mighty author greatly wrong;

To gather beauties here and there,

As but a scatter'd few there were,

While every word's a beauty in his song!
ELL me, wondrous friend, where were you [Those lines in this Poem marked thus “ are
When Gideon was your lofty song!

taken out of the Poem called GIDEON.] Where did the heavenly Spirit bear you,

When your fair soul reflected strong
Gideon's actions, as they shin'd

Bright in the chambers of your mind!
Say, liave you trod Arabia's spicy vales,

Or gather'd bays beside Euphrates' stream, Or lonely sung with Jordan's water-falls,

с нос Е. While heavenly Gideon was your sacred theme. Or have you many ages given

BY AARON HILL, ESQ. To close retirement and to books! And held a long discourse with Heaven,

HILE, charm'd with Aberglasney's quiet And notic'd Nature in her various looks!

plains, Full of inspiring wonder and delight,

The Muses, and their Empress, court your strains, Slow read I Gideon with a greedy eye!

Tir'd of the noisy town, so lately try'd,
Like a pleas'd traveller that lingers sweet

Methinks, I see you smile, on Towy's fide!
On some fair and lofty plain

Pensive, her mazy wanderings you unwind,
Where the sun does brightly shine,

And, on your river's margin, calm your mind. And glorious prospects all around him lie!

Oh!-greatly bless'd-whate'er your fate requires, On Gideon's pages beautifully shine,

Your ductile wisdom tempers your desires!
Surprizing pictures rising to my light,
With all the life of colours and of Ilie,

Balanc'd within, you look abroad serene,

And, marking both extremes, pass clear between. And all the force of rounding shade and light,

Oh! could your lov'd example teach your skill, And all the grace of something more divine !

And, as it moves my wonder, mend my

will! High on a hill, beneath an oak’s broad arm,

Calm would my passions grow ;-my lot would I see a youth divinely fair,

please; " Persive he leans his head on his left hand; " His smiling eye sheds sweetness mix'd with But, to the future while I ftrain my eye,

And my fick soul might think itself to ease ! " His right hand, with a milk-white wand, fome Still, what I would, contends with what I can,

Each present good sips, undistinguish'd, by. “ figure seems to draw !

And my wild wishes leap the bounds of man. " A nameless grace is scatter'd through his air, “ And o'er his moulders loosely flows his amber- And my unchain’d desires can fix a scope,

If in my power it lies to limit hope, colour'd hair" Above, with burning blush the morning glows,

This were my Choice-Oh, Friend! pronounce me The waking world all fair before him lies;

poor ; “ Slow from the plain the melting dews,

For I have wants, which wealth can never cure! " To kiss the sun-beams, climbing, rise." &c.

Let others, with a narrow'd stint of pride,

In selfish vicovs, a bounded hope divide :
Methinks the grove of Baal I see,

If I must wish at all.-Desires are free,
High, as the Highest, I would wish to be!




16 awe,

Then might I, fole supreme, act, unconfin'd,

But thou has nought to please the vulgar eye, And with unbounded influence bless mankind. No title hast, nor what might titles buy. Mean is that soul, whom its own good can fill! Thou wilt small praise, but much ill-nature find, A prosperous world, alone, could feast my will. Clear to thy errors, to thy beauties blind; He's poor, at best, who others misery fees,

And if, though few, they any faults can see And wants the wiíh'd-for power to give them ease! How meanly bitter will cold censure be! glory this, unreach'd, but on a'throne !

But, since we all, the wiseft of us, err,
All were enough-and, less than all, is none ! Sure, 'tis the greatest fault to be fevere.
This my first with :-But since 'tis wild, and A few, however, yet expect to find,

Among the misty millions of mankind,
To grasp at glittering clouds, with fruitless pain, Who proudly stoop to aid an injur'd cause,
More fafely low, let my next prospect be,

And o'er the sneer of coxcombs force applause, And life's mild evening this fair sun-set see.

Who, with felt pleafure, see fair Virtue rise, Far from a Lord's loath'd neighbourhood-a And lift her upwards to the beckoning prize! State !

Or mark her tabouring in the modest breast, Whose little greatness is a pride I hate !

And honour her the more, the more deprest. On some lone wild, should my large house be Thee, Savage, these (the justly great) admire, plac'd,

Thee, quick’ning Judgment's phlegm with Fancy's Vaftly surrounded by a healthful waste !

fire ! Steril, and coarse, the untry'd foil should be, Thee, now to censure, earnest to commend, Till-forc'd to flourish, and subdu'd by me.

An able critic, but a willing friend.
Seas, woods, meads, mountains, gardens, Atreams,

and skies,
Should with a changeful grandeur, charm my eyes!
Where-e'er I walk'd, effects of my past pains
Should plume the mountain tops, and paint the

Greatly obscure, and (hunning courts, or name !

Widely befriended, but escaping fame;
Peaceful, in studious quiet, would I live,
Lie hid, for leisure, and grow rich, to give !





[blocks in formation]

AVE my friends in the town, in the gay busy

Forgot such a man as John Dyer ?
Or heedless despise they, or pity the clown,

Whose bosom no pageantries fire ?
No matter, no matter-content in the shades-

(Contented ?-why every thing charms me)
Fall in tunes all adown the green steep, ye cascades,

Till hence rigid virtue alarms me.
Till outrage arises, or misery needs

The swift, the intrepid avenger ;
Till sacred religion or liberty bleeds,

Then mine be the deed, and the danger.



"INK not, my friend, beneath misfortune's

Pleas'd to be found intrinsically great.
Shame on the dull, who think the foul looks less,
Because the body wants a glittering dress.
It is the mind's for-ever bright attire,
The mind's embroidery, that the wise admire !
That which looks rich to the gross vulgar eyes,
Is the fop's tinsel, which the grave despise.
Wealth dims the eyes of crowds, and while they

The coxcomb's ne'er discover'd in the blaze:
As few the vices of the wealthy see,
So virtues are conceal'd by poverty.
Earl Rivers In that name how would'st thou

shine ?
Thy verse, how sweet! thy fancy, how divine !
Critics and Bards would, by their worth, be aw'd,
And all would think it merit to applaud.

Alas! what a folly, that wealth and domain

We heap up in sin and in sorrow! Immense is the toil, yet the labour how vain !

Is not life to be over to-morrow ?

Then glide on my moments, the few that I have

Smooth-Thaded, and quiet, and even ;
While gently the body descends to the grave,

And the spirit arises to heaven.

* Among the Poems of Mr. Savage, there is one to Mr. Dyer, in answer to his from the country.


Nor jealousy nor female envy find,

Though all the Muses are to Dyer kind.

Sing on, nor let your modest fears retard,

Whose verse and pencil join, to force reward : CLIO*.

Your claim demands the bays, in double wreath,

Your Poems lighten, and your pictures breathe. "VE done thy merit and my friendship wrong,

I wish to praise you, but your beauties wrong: In holding back my gratitude so long ;

No theme looks green, in Clio's artless song: The soul is sure to equal transport rais’d,

But yours will an eternal verdure wear, That justly praises, or is juftly prais'd:

For Dyer's fruitful soul will flourish there. The generous only can this pleasure know

My humbler lot was in low distance laid ; Who taste the god-like virtueto bestow !

I was, oh, hated thought! a woman made; I ev'n grow rich, methinks, while I commend;

For houshold cares, and empty trifles meant,

The Name does immortality prevent. And feel the very praises which I send.

Yet let me stretch, beyond my sex, my mind, * Among the Poems of Mr. Savage, is an And, rising, leave the fluttering train behind Epistle, occafioned by Mr. Dyer's Picture of this Nor art, nor learning, with'd assistance lends, Lady.

But nature, love, and music, are my friends:

[merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

T is observable, that discourses prefixed to poetry are contrived very frequently to The fabric is very commonly raised in the first place, and the measures, by which we are to judge of its merit, are afterwards adjusted.

There have been few rules given us by the critics concerning the structure of elegiac poetry; and far be it from the author of the following trifles to dignify his own opinions with that denomination. He would only intimate the great variety of subje&ts, and the different styles in which the writers of elegy have hitherto indulged themselves, and endeavour to shield the following ones by the latitude of their example.

If we consider the etymology * of the word, the epithet which † Horace gives it, or the confeffion which I Ovid makes concerning it, I think we may conclude thus much however; that elegy, inits true and genuine acceptation, includes a tender and querulous idea : that it looks upon this as its peculiar characteristic, and so long as this is thorough!y sustained, admits of a variety of subjects; which, by its manner of treating them, it renders its own. It throws its melancholy stole over pretty different objects; which, like the dresses at a funeral procession, gives them all a kind of folemn and uniform appearance.

*-Asytıv, s paniculam dolendi. 4“ Miserabiles elegos.”

Hor. ["Heu nimis ex vero nunc tibi nomen crit.”

Ovid. de Morte Tiballi

It is probable that elegies were written at first upon the death of intimate friends and near relations ; celebrated beauties, or favourite mistreljes; beneficent governors and illustrious men: one may add perhaps, of all those, who are placed by Virgil in the laurel-grove of his Elyfium. (See Hurd's Differtation on Horace's Epiftle.)

Quique sui memores alios fecere merendo." After these subjects were fufficiently exhausted, and the severity of fate displayed in the most affecting instances, the poets fought occasion to vary their complaints; and the next tender fpecies of sorrow that presented itself, was the grief of absent or neglected lovers. And this indulgence might be indeed allowed them; but with this they were not contented. They had obtained a small corner in the province of love, and they took advantage, from thence, to over-run the whole territory. They sung its spoils

, triumphs, ovations, and rejoicings *, as well as the captivity and exequies that attended it. They gave the name of elegy to their pleasantries as well as lamentations; till at last, through their abundant fondness for the myrtle, they forgot that the cypress was their peculiar garland.

In this it is probable they deviated from the original design of elegy; and it should seem, that any kind of subjects, treated in such a manner as to diffute a pleasing melancholy, might far better deserve the name, than the facetious mirth and libertine feltivity of the successful votaries of love.

But not to dwell too long upon an opinion which may seem perhaps introduced to favour the following performance, it may not be improper to examine into the use and end of elegy. The most important end of all poetry is to encourage virtue. Epic and tragedy chiefly recommend the public virtues; elegy is of a species which illuftrates and endears the private. There is a truly virtuous pleasure connected with many pensive contemplations, which it is the province and excellency of elegy to enforce. This

, by presenting suitable ideas, has discovered sweets in melancholy which we could not find in

and has led us with success to the dusty urn, when we could draw no pleasure from the sparkling bowl; as paftoral conveys an idea of fimplicity and innocence, it is in particular the task and merit of elegy to lhew the innocence and fimplicity of rural life to advantage: and that, in a way distina from pastoral, as much as the plain but judicious landlord may be imagined to surpass his tenant both in dignity and understanding. It should also tend to elevate the more tranquil virtues of humility, disinterestedness, fimplicity, and innocence : but then there is a degree of elegance and refinement, no way 'inconsistent with these rural virtues; and that raises elegy above that merum rus, that unpolished rufticity, which has given our pastoral writers their highest reputation.

Wealth and splendor will never want their proper weight: the danger is, left they should too much preponderate. A kind of poetry therefore which throws its chief influence into the other scale, that magnifies the sweets of liberty and independence, that endears the honest delights of love and friendship, that celebrates the glory of a good name after death, that ridicules the futile arrogance of birth, that recommends the innocent amusement of letters, and infenfibly prepares the mind for that humanity it inculcates, such a kind of poetry may chance to please; and if it please, should feem to be of service.

As to the style of elegy, it may be well enough determined from what has gone before. It should imitate the voice and language of grief, or if a metaphor of dress be more agreeable, it should be simple and diffuse, and flowing as a mourner's veil. A versification therefore is desirable, which, by indulging a free and unconstrained expression, may nit of that fimplicity which elegy requires.

Heroic metre, with alternate rhyme, feems well enough adapted to this species of poetry; and, however exceptionable upon other occasions, its inconveniencies appear 10 lose their weight in shorter elegies: and its advantages seem to acquire an additional im

* - Dicite Io Pæan, & lo bis dicite Pæan.” Ovid.


« ПредишнаНапред »