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him by Chesterfield, approaches to the latter kind :
Accept a miracle in place of wit;
That on the tombstone of a Fiddler who beat time to his music is an example of the satirical:
Stephen and Time are now both even:
The next, from the German, is general by allusion, although direct in its application ;
He laid him down and slept,-and from his side
A woman in her magic beauty rose, Dazzld and charm’d, he call’d that woman—"bride,”
And his first sleep became his last repose.
The following are more complimentary:
ON A FLOWER PAINTED BY VARELST.
When fam'd Varelst this little wonder drew,
To A LADY OF THE COUNTY OF LANCASTER, WITH A
If this fair rose offend thy sight,
It in thy bosom wear;
And turn Lancastrian there.
The latter, which its author has, tastelessly, overwhelmed with additional stanzas, is a Madrigal, rather than an Epigram. The Madrigal is a small Song, terminating in a marked manner; and is, in so far, like the Epigram; but the thought is more delicate, and, usually, breathes the tenderness of love. This species of Poetry is more common on the continent. The following by Garrick, is imitated from the Spanish :
For me, my fair a wreath hath wove,
Where rival flowers in union meet;
Her breath gave sweetness to the sweet,
A bee, within a damask rose
Had crept, the nectar'd dew to sip;
And fixes on Maria's lip.
There, tasting all the bloom of spring,
Wak'd by the ripening breath of May;-
And with the honey fled away.
Another beautiful Madrigal is from the pen of Lord Byron :
LineS WRITTEN BENEATH A PICTURE.
Dear object of defeated care!
Though now of love and thee bereft,
Thine image and my tears are left.
'Tis said, with sorrow Time can cope,
But this, I feel, can ne'er be true;
My Memory immortal grew.
While treating of the smaller Poems, we may notice Acrostics and Bouts Rimés, those playthings of the Muses.
An Acrostic is a number of Verses so contrived that the initial Letters, read from top to bottom of the Poem, make up a word or a phrase; generally a person's name, or a motto. This amusement has produced various forms. Some have the name made up by the terminating letters of the verses ; some both by the initials and the terminations ; others read backwards, beginning with the initial, or with the termination, of the last verse: while a few are extremely complicated, having the name, or words, repeated in many directions. One of the simpler kind will serve as an example:
• Friendship, thou’rt false! I hate thy flattering smile!
Return to me those years I spent in vain :
E ach joy took wing ne'er to return again.'
D ully the slow-paced hours now move along ;
H er honied words, and heard her syren song: I fe'er, as me, she lure some youth to stray, Perhaps, before too late, he'll listen to my lay.
The play of Bouts Rimès, like its name, is borrowed from the French; and is introduced into the English social circle much seldomer than it ought. One of a party writes down the rhyming words for a short poem; which another undertakes to complete, by filling up the several verses : on a subject either chosen at pleasure, or prescribed, as the case may be. The fol. lowing will be sufficiently explanatory of the practice :
Fade, fade, vain Hope! all else has . . .
Why should I dream and cherish thee? Since dark Despair that sun has shaded
Which once gave light and joy to
Another sort of poetical amusement has the name of Echoes. In these the repetition of the last word, or syllable, of a verse gives an answer to a question, or explains some subject, which that verse contains ;-thus, by Cowley:
Oh! what has caus'd my killing miseries?
“Eyes,” Echo said. What hath detain'd my ease? “Ease,” straight the reasonable nymph replies.
That nothing can my troubled mind appease ? “Peace,” Echo answers. What, is any nigh? Philetus said. She quickly utters “I."
Is't Echo answers ? tell me then thy will:
“ I WILL,” she said. What shall I get, says he, By loving still? To which she answers, “ ILL."
Ill! Shall I void of wish’d-for pleasures die ? “I.” Shall not I, who toil in ceaseless pain, Some pleasure know? “No,” she replies again.