« ПредишнаНапред »
dy's Bonnet ai
To Miss L-, with Beauie's Poems as a New-year's XVI. The Bag of Gold . .
XVII. A Character.
XVIII. Sorrento .
E istle to J. R******, enclos ne Poems
2.2 An Epitaph on a Robin-redbreast'.
- VI. The Campagna of Rome
265 - III. . . . . . . . 314
Tell's Birthplace. Imitated from Stolberg. 554 The Falling Leaf
For the first Leaf of a Lady
. . .
. . .
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
VIL. . .
The Lay of the Last Minstrel.
II. The Convent.
. . . .
IV. The Prophecy.
VI. The Guard-room
. . .
The Ocean. Written ai Scarborough, in the Sum The Battle of Sempach
The Maid of Toro .
... 557 thology
. . . .
535 Farewell to the Muse
WILLIAM FalcCXER was a native of Edinburgh, | Aurora was never heard of after she passed the and went to sea ai an early age in a merchant Cape, and was thought to have foundered in the vessel of Leith. He was afterwards mate of a Channel of Mozambique ; so that the poet of the ship that was wrecked in the Levant, and was one Shipwreck may be supposed to have perished by thu of only three out of her crew that were saved, a same species of calamity which he had rehearsed. catastrophe which formed the subject of his future. The subject of the Shipwreck, and the fate of poem. He was for some time in the capacity of a its author, bespeak an uncommon partiality in its servant to Campbell, the author of Lexiphanes, favour. If we pay respect to the ingenious scholar when purser of a ship. Campbell is said to have who can produce agreeable verses amidst the discovered in Falconer talents worthy of cultiva- shades of retirement, or the shelves of his library, tion, and when the latter distinguished himself as how much more interest must we take in the "shipa poet, used to boast that he had been his scholar. boy on the high and giddy mast” cherishing refined What he learned from Campbell it is not very easy visions of fancy at the hour which he may casually to ascertain. His education, as he often assured snatch from fatigue and danger. Nor did Falconer Governor Hunter, had been confined to reading, neglect the proper acquirements of seamanship in writing, and a little arithmetic, though in the course cultivating poetry, but evinced considerable knowof his life he picked up some acquaintance with ledge of his profession, both in his Marine Dictionthe French, Spanish, and Italian languages. In ary and in the nautical precepts of the Shipwreck. these his countryman was not likely to have much In that poem he may be said to have added a con. assisted him; but he might have lent him books, genial and peculiarly British subject 10 the lan. and possibly instructed him in the use of figures. guage ; at least, we had no previous poem of any Falconer published his Shipwreck, in 1762, and by length of which the characters and catastrophe the favour of the Duke of York, to whom it was de were purely naval. dicated, obtained the appointment of a midshipman The scene of the catastrophe (though he followed in the Royal George, and afterwards that of purser only the fact of his own history) was poetically in the Glory frigate. He soon afterwards married laid amidst seas and shores where the mind easily a Miss Hicks, an accomplished and beautiful wo- gathers romantic associations, and where it supman, the daughter of the surgeon of Sheerness poses the most picturesque vicissitudes of scenery yard. At the peace of 1763, he was on the point and climate. The spectacle of a majestic British of being reduced to distressed circumstances by his ship on the shores of Greece brings as strong a ship being laid up in ordinary at Chatham, when, a reminiscence to the mind, as can well be by the friendship of Commissioner Hanway, who imagined, of the changes which time has wrought ordered the cabin of the Glory to be fitted up for in transplanting the empire of arts and civilization. his residence, he enjoyed for some time a retreat Falconer's characters are few; but the calm sagafor study without expense or embarrassment. Here cious commander, and the rough obstinate Rod. he employed himself in compiling his Marine Dico mond, are well contrasted. Some part of the tionary, which appeared in 1769, and has been love-story of Palemon is rather swainish and proalwaye highly spoken of by those who are capable tracted, yet the effect of his being involved in the of estimating its merits. He embarked also in the calamity leaves a deeper sympathy in the mind politics of the day, as a poetical antagonist to for the daughter of Albert, when we conceive her Churchill, but with little advantage to his memory. at once deprived both of a father and a lover. Before the publication of his Marine Dictionary he | The incidents of the Shipwreck, like those of a had left his retreat at Chatham for a less comfort. well-wrought tragedy, gradually deepen, while able abode in the metropolis, and appears to have they yet leave a suspense of hope and fear to the struggled with considerable difficulties, in the midst imagination. In the final scene there is something of which he received proposals from the late Mr. that deeply touches our compassion in the picture Murray, the bookseller, to join him in the business of the unfortunate man who is struck blind by a which he had newly established. The canse of fash of lightning at the helm. I remember, by, his refusing this offer was, in all probability, the the way, to have met with an affecting account of appointment which he received to the pursership the identical calamity befalling the steersman of a of the Aurora, East Indiaman. In that ship he forlorn vessel in a similar moment, given in a prose embarked for India, in September, 1769, but the land veracious history of the loss of a vessel on the
coast of America. Falconer skilfully heightens This trait by showing its effect on the commiseration of Rodmond, the roughest of his characters, who guides the victim of misfortune to lay hold of the shrouds.
And, while around his sad companions crowd, He guides the unhappy victim to the shroud. Hie thee alost, my gallant friend! he cries; Thy only succour on the mast relies!” The effect of his sea phrases is to give a definite and authentic character to his descriptions; and his poem has the sensible charm of appearing a transcript of reality, and leaves an impression of truth and nature on the mind.
"A flash, quick glancing on the nerves or light,
| With living colours give my verse to glow, THE SHIPWRECK.
The sad memorial of a tale of wo?
A scene from dumb oblivion to restore,
To fame unknown, and new to epic lore !
Alas; neglected by the sacred Nine,
Their suppliant feels no genial ray divine ! Proposal of the subject. Invocation. Apology. Alle. | Ah! will they leave Pieria's happy shore,
gorical description of memory. Appeal to her assist: 1 To plough the tide where wintry tempests roar ? ance. The story begun. Retrospect of the former part of the voyage. The ship arrives at Candia.
Or shall a youth approach their hallow'd fane, Ancient state of that island. Present state of the Stranger to Phæbus, and the tuneful train ?adjacent isles of Greece. The season of the year. / Far from the Muses' academic grove, Character of the master and his officers. Story of 'Twas his the vast and trackless deep to rove Palemon and Anna. Evening described. Midnight. Alternate change of climates has he known, The ship weighs anchor, and departs from the haven. And felt the fierce extremes of either zone; State of the weather. Morning. Situation of the
Where polar skies congeal th' eternal snow, neighbouring shores. Operation of taking the sun'e azimuth. Description of the vessel as seen from the
Or equinoctial suns for ever glow land,
Smote by the freezing or the scorching blast,
“ A ship-boy on the high and giddy mast,"'* The scene is near the city of Candia ; and the time about four days
From regions where Peruvian billows roar, and a half.
To the bleak coast of savage Labrador. WHILE jarring interests wake the world to arms, From where Damascus, pride of Asian plains ! And fright the peaceful vale with dire alarms; Stoops her proud neck beneath tyrannic chains, While Ocean hears vindictive thunders roll, | To where the isthmus,t laved by adverse tides, Along his trembling wave, from pole to pole ; Atlantic and Pacific seas divides. Sick of the scene, where war, with ruthless hand. But, while he measured o'er the painful race, Spreads desolation o'er the bleeding land;
In Fortune's wild illimitable chase, Sick of the tumult, where the trumpet's breath Adversity, companion of his way! Bids ruin smile, and drowns the groan of death! Still o'er the victim hung with iron sway; "Tis mine, retired beneath this cavern hoar, Bade new distresses every instant grow, That stands all lonely on the sea-beat shore, Marking each change of place with change of wo Far other themes of deep distress to sing
In regions where th' Almighty's chastening hand Than ever trembled from the vocal string.
With livid pestilence afflicts the land; No pomp of battle swells th' exalted strain, Or where palo famine blasts the hopeful year, Nor gleaming arms ring dreadful on the plain : Parent of want and misery severe; But, o'er the scene while pale Remembrance weeps, Or where, all dreadful in ih' embattled line, Fate with fell triumph rides upon the deeps, The hostile ships in flaming combat join : Here hostile elements tumultuous rise,
Where the torn vessel, wind and wave assail, And lawless floods rebel against the skies ;
Till o'er her crew distress and death prevailTill hope expires, and peril and dismay
Where'er he wander'd thus vindictive Fate Wave their black ensigns on the watery way. Pursued his weary steps with lasting hate!
Immortal train, who guide the maze of song, Roused by her mandate, storms of black array To whom all science, arts, and arms belong; Winter'd the morn of life's advancing day; Who bid the trumpet of eternal fame
Relax'd the sinews of the living lyre, Exalt the warrior's and the poet's name!
And quench'd the kindling spark of vital fire.-If e'er with trembling hope I fondly stray'd
Thus while forgotten or unknown he woos, In life's fair morn beneath your hallow'd shade,
| What hope to win the coy, reluctant Muse ? To hear the sweetly-mournful lute complain, Then let not Censure, with malignant joy, And melt the heart with ecstasy of pain ;
The harvest of his humble hope destroy ! Ur listen, while th' enchanting voice of love,
His verse no laurel wreath attempts to claim, While all Elysium warbled through the grove;
Nor sculptur'd brass to tell the poet's name. O! by the hollow blast that moans around,
| 1f terms uncouth, and jarring phrases, wound That sweeps the wild harp with a plaintive sound ; | The softer sense with inharmonious sound. By the long surge that foams through yonder cave, Whose vaults remurmur to the roaring wave;