Графични страници
PDF файл



ROM the subject and sentiments of this

ode, it seems not improbable that the author wrote it about the time when he left the University ; when weary with the pursuit of academical studies, he no longer confined himself to the search of theoretical knowledge, but commenced the scholar of humanity, to study nature in her works, and man in fociety.

The following farewell to science exhibits a very just as well as striking picture ; for however exalted in theory the platonic doctrines may appear, it is certain that Platonism and Pyrrhonism are nearly allied :

Farewell the porch, whose roof is seen Arch'd with th' enlivening olive's green: 8


Where Science, prank'd in tissued vest,
By Reason, Pride, and Fancy drest,
Comes like a bride, so trim array'd,
To wed with Doubt in Plato's (hade !

When the mind goes in pursuit of visionary systems, it is not far from the regions of doubt; and the greater its capacity to think abstractedly, to reason and refine, the more it will be exposed to and bewildered in uncertainty. - From an enthusiastic warmth of temper, indeed, we may for a while be encouraged to persist in some favourite doctrine, or to adhere to some adopted system; but when that enthufiasm, which is founded on the vivacity of the paslions, gradually cools and dies away with them, the opinions it supported drop from us, and we are thrown upon the inhospitable shore of doubt.-Afrik


[ocr errors]

ing proof of the necessity of some moral rule of wisdom and virtue, and some fyftem of happiness established by unerring knowledge and unlimited power.

In the poet's address to Humour in this ode, there is one image of fingular beauty and propriety. The ornaments in the hair of wit are of such a nature, and disposed in such a manner, as to be perfectly symbolical and characteristic:

Me too amidst thy band admit,
There, where the young-ey'd, healthful

(Whose jewels in his crisped hair
Are plac'd each other's beams to share,
Whom no delights from thee divide)
In laughter loos’d attends thy side.

Nothing could be more expressive of wit, which consists in a happy collision of com


parative and relative images, than this reciprocal reflection of light from the disposition of the jewels.

O Humour, thou whose name is known
To Britain's favour'd ifle alone!

The author could only mean to apply this to the time when he wrote, since other nations had produced works of great humour as he himself acknowledges afterwards.

By old Miletus &c.
By all you taught the Tuscan maids &c.

The Milesian and Tuscan romances were by no means distinguished for humour, but as they were the models of that species of writing in which humour was afterwards employed, they are; probably for that reason only, mentioned here. M




F the mufic, which was composed for this

ode, had equal merit with the ode itself, it must have been the most excellent performance of the kind, in which poetry and music have, in modern times, united. Other pieces of the same nature have derived their greatest reputation from the perfection of the music that accompanied them, having in themselves little more merit than that of an ordinary balJad: but in this we have the whole foul and power

of poetry-Expresfion that, even without the aid of music, strikes to the heart ; and imagery of power enough to transport the attention without the forceful alliance of cor


« ПредишнаНапред »