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JOSEPH Warton, D. D., born in 1722, was the Pope.” Scarcely any work of the kind has afforded eldest son of the Rev. Thomas Warton, poetry-pro- more entertainment, from the vivacity of its refessor at Oxford, and Vicar of Basingstoke. He marks, the taste displayed in its criticisms, and the received his early education under his father, and at various anecdotes of which it became the vehicle ; the age of fourteen was admitted on the foundation though some of the last were of a freer cast than at Winchester school. He was afterwards entered perfectly became his character. This reason, per. of Oriel College, Oxford, where he assiduously cul- haps, caused the second volume to be kept back till tivated his literary taste, and composed some pieces twenty-six years after. In 1766 he was advanced of poetry, which were afterwards printed. Having to the post of head-master of Winchester school, on taken the degree of B. D., he became curate to his which occasion he visited Oxford, and took the defather at Basingstoke ; and in 1746 removed to a grees of bachelor. and doctor of divinity.. similar employment at Chelsea. In 1748 he was The remainder of his life was chiefly occupied by presented by the Duke of Bolton to the rectory schemes of publications, and by new preferments, of Winslade, soon after which he married. He ac- of the last of which he obtained a good share, though companied his patron in 1751 on a tour to the of moderate rank. In 1793 he closed his long lasouth of France; and after his return he completed bors at Winchester by a resignation of the masteran edition of Virgil, in Latin and English; of ship, upon which he retired to his rectory of Wick. which the Eclogues and Georgics were his own ham. Still fond of literary employment, he accomposition, the Eneid was the version of Pitt. cepted a proposal of the booksellers to superintend Warton also contributed notes on the whole, and an edition of Pope's works, which was completed, added three preliminary essays, on pastoral, didac. in 1797, in nine vols. 8vo. Other engagements still tic, and epic poetry. When the Adventurer was pursued him, till his death, in his 781h year, Feb. undertaken by Dr. Hawkesworth, Warton, through ruary, 1800. The Wiccamisis attested their regard the medium of Dr. Johnson, was invited to become to his memory, by erecting an elegant monument a contributor, and his compliance with this request over his tomb in Winchester cathedral. produced twenty-four papers, of which the greater The poems of Dr. Warton consist of miscellapart were essays on critical topics.
neous and occasional pieces, displaying a cultivated In 1755 he was elected second master of Win- taste, and an exercised imagination, but without any chester school, with the accompanying advantage of claim to originality. His "Ode to Fancy,” first a boarding-house. In the following year there ap- published in Dodsley's collection, is perhaps thet peared, but without his name, the first volume, which has been the most admired. 8vo., of his “Essay on the Writings and Genius of|
To Gothic churches, vaults, and tombs,
Where each sad night some virgin comes, ODE TO FANCY.
With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
Her promis'd bridegroom's urn to seek; O Parent of each lovely Muse,
Or to some abbey's mould'ring tow'rs, Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse,
Where, to avoid cold wintry show'rs, O'er all my artless songs preside,
The naked beggar shivering lies, My footsteps to thy temple guide,
While whistling tempests round her rise, To offer at thy turf-built shrine,
And trembles lest the tottering wall In golden cups no costly wine,
Should on her sleeping infanus fall. No murder'd fatling of the flock,
Now let us louder strike the lyre, But flowers and honey from the rock.
For my heart glows with martial fire, O nymph with loosely-flowing hair,
I feel, I feel, with sudden heat, With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare,
My big tumultuous bosom beat; Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
The trumpet's clangors pierce my ear, Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd, A thousand widows' shrieks I hear; Waving in thy snowy hand
Give me another horse, I cry, An all-commanding magic wand,
Lo! the base Gallic squadrons fly! Of pow'r to bid fresh gardens blow,
Whence is this rage ?—what spirit, say 'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow,
To battle hurries me away? Whose rapid wings thy flight convey
'Tis Fancy, in her fiery car, Through air, and over earth and sea,
Transports me to the thickest war, While the vast various landscape lies
There whirls me o'er the hills of slain, Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes.
Where Tumult and Destruction reigo ; O lover of the desert, bail!
Where, mad with pain, the wounded steed Say, in what deep and pathless vale,
Tramples the dying and the dead; Or on what hoary mountain's side,
Where giant Terror stalks around, 'Mid fall of waters, you reside,
With sullen joy surveys the ground, 'Mid broken rocks, a rugged scene,
And, pointing to th' ensanguin'd field, With green and grassy dales between,
Shakes his dreadful gorgon shield! 'Mid forests dark of aged oak,
O guide me from this horrid scene, Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke, -To high-arch'd walks and alleys green, Where never human art appear'd,
Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun Nor ev'n one straw-roof'd cot was rear’d,
The fervors of the mid-day sun; Where Nature seems to sit alone,
The pangs of absence, O remove! Majestic on a craggy throne ;
For thou canst place me near my love, Tell me the path, sweet wand'rer, tell,
Canst fold in visionary bliss, To thy unknown sequester'd cell,
And let me think I steal a kiss, Where woodbines cluster round the door,
While her ruby lips dispense Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor,
Luscious nectar's quintessence! And on whose top an hawthorn blows,
When young-eyed Spring profusely throws Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
From her green lap the pink and rose, Some nightingale still builds her nest,
When the soft turtle of the dale Each evening warbling thee to rest :
To summer tells her tender tale, Then lay me by the haunted stream,
When Autumn cooling cavems seeks, Rapt in some wild, poetic dream,
And stains with wine his jolly cheeks: In converse while methinks I rove
When Winter, like poor pilgrim old, With Spenser through a fairy grove;
Shakes his silver beard with cold; Till, suddenly awak'd, I hear
At every season let my ear Strange whisper'd music in my ear,
Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear. And my glad soul in bliss is drown'd
O warm, enthusiastic maid, By the sweetly-soothing sound !
Without thy powerful, vital aid, Me, goddess, by the right hand lead
That breathes an energy divine, Sometimes through the yellow mead,
That gives a soul to every line, Where Joy and white-rob'd Peace resort,
Ne'er may I strive with lips profane And Venus keeps her festive court,
To utter an unhallow'd strain, Where Mirth and Youth each evening meet, Nor dare to touch the sacred string, And lightly trip with nimble feet,
Save when wilh smiles thou bidd'st me sing Nodding their lily-crowned heads,
O hear our prayer, 0 hither come Where Laughter rose-lipp'd Hebe leads,
From thy lamented Shakspeare's tomb, Where Echo walks steep hills among,
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve, List'ning to the shepherd's song:
Musing o'er thy darling's grave; Yet not these flowery fields of joy
O queen of numbers, once again Can long my pensive mind employ.
Animate some chosen swain, Haste, Fancy, from the scenes of folly,
Who, fillid with unexhausted fire, To meet the matron Melancholy,
May boldly smite the sounding lyre, Goddess of the tearful eye,
Who with some new unequal'd song, That loves to fold her arms, and sigh ;
May rise above the rhyming throng, Let us with silent footsteps go
O'er all our list'ning passions reign, To charnels and the house of woe,
O'erwhelm our souls with joy and pain,
With terror shake, and pity move,
Give me, beneath a colder, changeful sky,
What millions perish'd near thy mournful flood, **
Less fierce the Saracen, and quiver'd Moor, Feebly to touch th' unraptur'd heart; That dash'd thy infants 'gainst the stones of yore. Like lightning, let his mighty verso
Be warn'd, ye nations round; and trembling see
Dire superstition quench humanity!
By all the chiefs in freedom's baules lost,
By wise and virtuous Alfred's awful ghost ;
By old Galgacus' scythed, iron car,
That, swiftly whirling through the walks of war,
By holy Druids' courage-breathing songs;
By fierce Bonduca's shield and foaming steeds; WRITTEN AT MONTAUBAN IN FRANCE, 1750.
By the bold Peers that met on Thames's meads; Tarn, how delightful wind thy willow'd waves.
By the fifth Henry's helm and lightning spear;
O Liberty, my warm petition hear;
Be Albion still thy joy! with her remain,
Thomas Warton, younger brother of the pre- lamented the death of George Il, in some lines adceding, a distinguished poet, and an historian of dressed to Mr. Pitt, he continued the courtly strain poetry, was born at Basingstoke in 1728. He was in poems on the marriage of George III., and on the educated under his father till 1743, when he was birth of the Prince of Wales, both printed in the admitted a commoner of Trinity College, Oxford. University collection. In 1770 he gave an edition, Here he exercised his poetical talent to so much ad- in two volumes 4to., of the Greek poet Theocritus, vantage, that, on the appearance of Mason's Elegy which gave him celebrity in other countries besides of Isis, which severely reflected on the disloyalty his own. At what time he first employed himself of Oxford at that period, he was encouraged by Dr. with the History of English Poetry, we are not in. Huddessord, President of his College, to vindicate formed; but in 1774 he had so far proceeded in the the cause of his University. This task he performed work as to publish the first volume in 4to. He after. with great applause, by wriung, in his twenty-first wards printed a second in 1778, and a third in 1781; year, “ The Triumph of Isis,” a piece of much but his labor now became tiresome to himself, and spirit and fancy, in which he retaliated upon the the great compass which he had allotted to his plan bard of Cam, by satirizing the courtly venality then was so irksome, that an unfinished fourth volume supposed to distinguish the rival University. His was all that he added to it. “ Progress of Discontent," published in 1750, ex The place of Camden professor of history, vacant hibited to great advantage his powers in the familiar by the resignation of Sir William Scott, was the style, and his talent for humor, with a knowledge close of his professional exertions; but soon after of human life, extraordinary at his early age, espe- another engagement required his attention. By cially if composed, as it is said, for a college exer- His Majesty's express desire, the post of poelcise in 1746. In 1750 he took the degree of M. A., laureate was offered to him, and accepted, and he and in the following year became a fellow of his determined to use his best endeavors for rendering College.
it respectable. Varying the monotony of andiver. His spirited satire, entitled “ Newmarket," and sary court compliment by topics better adapted to pointed against the ruinous passion for the turf; his poetical description, he improved the style of the “Ode for Music;" and his “ Verses on the Death laureate odes, though his lyric strains underwent of the Prince of Wales," were written about this some ridicule on that account. time; and, in 1753, he was the editor of a small His concluding publication was an edition of the collection of poems, under the title of “ The juvenile poems of Milton, of which the first volume Union," which was printed at Edinburgh, and con- made its appearance in 1785, and the second in tained several of his own performances. In 1754 1790, a short time before his death. His constito. he made himself known by Observations on tion now began to give way. In his sixty-second Spenser's Faery Queen, in one volume, afterwards year an attack of the gout shattered his frame, and enlarged to two; a work well received by the pub- was succeeded in May, 1790, by a paralytic seizure, lic, and which made a considerable addition to his which carried him off, at his lodgings in Oxford. literary reputation. So high was his character in His remains were interred, with every academical the University, that in 1757 he was elected to the honor, in the chapel of Trinity College. office of its poetry-professor, which he held for the The pieces of Thomas Warton are very various usual period of ten years, and rendered respectable in subject
, and none of them long, whence he must by the erudition and taste displayed in his lectures. only rank among the minor poets; but scarcely one
It does not appear necessary in this place to par- of ihat tribe has noted with finer observation the ticularize all the prose compositions which, whether minute circumstances in rural nature that afford grave or humorous, fell at this time from his pen; pleasure in description, or has derived from the but it may be mentioned that verse continued occa- regions of fiction more animated and picturesque sionally to occupy his thoughts, and that having scenery.
ODE TO THE FIRST OF APRIL.
Wiru dalliance rude young Zephyr wooes
Mindful of disaster past,
Scant along the ridgy land
The swallow, for moment seen,
Fraught with a transient, frozen shower,
Where in venerable rows
Musing through the lawny park,
Towers distinguish'd from the rest,
Within some whispering osier isle,
O'er the broad downs, a novel race,
His free-born vigor yet unbroke
Yet, in these presages rude,
BOUND for holy Palestine,
“Syrian virgins, wail and weep,
* The Glym is a small river in Oxfordshire, flowing through Warton's parish of Kiddington, or Cuddington, and dividing it into upper and lower town. It is described by himself in his account of Cuddington, as a deep but narrow stream, winding through willowed meadows and abounding in trouts, pikes, and wild-fowl. It gives name to the village of Glymton, which adjoins to Kid. dington.