תמונות בעמוד

V E. Of his miscellaneous poetry, I cannot say any thing very favourable. The


of Congrëve seem to desert him when he leaves the stage, as Antæus was no longer strong than he could touch the ground. It cannot be obseryed without wonder, that a mind fa vigorous and fertile in dramatick compositions fhould on any other occasion discover nothing but impotence and poverty. He has in these little pieces neither elevation of fancy, selection of language, nor skill in versification: yet, if I were required to select from the whole mass of English poetry the most poetical paragraph, I know not what I could prefer to an exclamation in The Mourning Bride:

It was a fancy'd noise; for all is hufh'a.

It bore the accent of a human voice,

It was thy fear, or else some transient wind
Whistling thro' hollows of this vaulted ifle :
We'll liften




No, áll is hush'd, and still as death.--"Tis

dreadful !
How reverend is the face of this tall pile;
Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads,
To bear aloft its arch'd and ponderous roof,
By its own weight made stedfast and'immoveable,
Looking tranquillity! It ftrikes an awe
And terror on my aching'sight; the tombs
And monumental caves of death look cold,
And shoot a chilness to my trembling heart.... 7
Give me thy hand, and let me hear thy voice;
Nay, quickly speak to me, and let me hear
Thy voice--my own affrights me with its échoes.

He who reads those lines enjoys for a moment the

powers of a poet; he feels what he remembers to have felt before, but he feels it with great increase of sensibility; he recognizes a fainiliar image, but meets it again amplified and expanded, embellished with beauty, and enlarged with majesty.

Yet could the author, who appears

here to have enjoyed the confidence of Nature, lament the death of queen Mary' in lines like




The rocks are cleft, and new-defcending rills Furrow the brows of all th’impending hills. The water-gods to foods their rivulets turn, And each, with streaming eyes, supplies his

wanting urn. The Fauns forsake the woods, the Nymphs the

grove, And round the plain in fad distractions rove: In prickly brakes their tender limbs they tear, And leave on thorns theit locks of golden hair. With their sharp nails, theinselves the Satyrs


their shaggy beards, and bite with grief

the ground. Lo Pan himself, beneath a blasted oak, Dejected lies, his pipe in pieces broke. See Pales weeping too, in wild despair, And to the piercing winds her bosom barė. And see yon fading myrtle, where appears The Queen of Love, all bath'd in flowing tears; See how she wrings her hands, and beats her breast, And tears her useless girdle from her waist: Hear the sad murmurs of her sighing doves! For grief they figh, forgetful of their loves.

And tug

And many years after he gave no proof that time had improved his wisdom or his wit; 3 for on the death of the marquis of Blandford this was his song:


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And now the winds, which had so long been still,
Began the swelling air with sighs to fill :
The water-nymphs, who motionless remain'd,
Like images of ice, while she complain’d,
Now loos’d their streams: aś when descending

Roll the steep torrents headlong o'er the plains.
The prone creation, who so long had gaz’d,
Chari'd with her cries, and at her griefs amaz’d,
Began to roar and howl with horrid yell,
Dismal to hear, and terrible to tell ;
Nothing but groans and lighs were heard around,
And Echo multiplied each mournful sound.

In both these funeral poems, when he has yelled out many syllables of senseless dolour, he dismisses his reader with senseless consolation: from the grave of Pastora rises a light that forms a star; and where Amaryllis wept for Amyntas, from every tear sprung up a violet.

But William is his hero, and of William

he will sing;

The hovering winds on downy wings shall wait

around, And catch, and waft to foreign lands, the flying

found, VOL. III.



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It cannot but be proper to thew what they shall have to catch and carry:

'Twas now, when flowery lawns the prospect

And flowing brooks beneath a forest shade,
A lowing heifer, loveliest of the herd,
Stood feeding by; while two fierce bulls prepar'd
Their armed heads for fight; by fate of war to

The victor worthy of the fair-one's love.
Unthought presage of what met next my view;
For foon the shady scene withdrew.
And now, for woods, and fields, and springing

Behold a town arise, bulwark'd with walls and

lofty towers;
Two rival armies all the plain o'erspread,
Each in battalia rang’d, and shining arms array'd;
With eager eyes beholding both from far,
Namur, the prize and mistress of the war.

The Birth of the Mufe is a miserable fiction. One good line it has, which was borrowed from Dryden. The concluding verses

are these:

This said, no more remain'd. Th’etherial host
Again impatient crowd the crystal coast.


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