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ness, evidently as a counter-part to Cowley's Hymn to Light.
This hymn seems to be his best performance, and is, for the most part, imagined with great vigour, and expressed with great propriety. I will not transcribe it. The seven first stanzas are good; but the third, fourth, and seventh, are the best ; the eighth seems to involve a contradiction; the tenth is exquisitely beautiful; the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth, are partly mythological, and partly religious, and therefore not suitable to each other ; he might better have made the whole merely philosophical.
There are two stanzas in this poem where Yalden may be suspected, though hardly convicted, of having consulted the Hymnus ad Umbram of Wowerus, in the sixth stanza, which answers in some sort to these lines:
Illa suo præest nocturnis numine sacris -
His Hymn to Light is not equal to the other. He seems to think that there is an East absolute and positive where the Morning rises.
In the last stanza, having mentioned the sudden eruption of new-created Light, he says,
Awhile th' Almighty wond'ring stood.
He ought to have remembered that Infinite Knowledge can never wonder. All wonder is the effect of novelty upon ignorance.
Of his other poems it is sufficient to say, that they deserve perusal, though they are not always exactly polished, though the rhymes are sometimes very ill sorted, and though his faults seem rather the omissions of idleness than the negligences of enthusiasm.
TICK E L L.
THOMAS TICKELL, the son of the reverend Richard Tickell, was born in 1686 at Bridekirk, in Cumberland ; and in April 1701 became a member of Queen's college in Oxford ; in 1708 he was made Master of Arts; and, two years afterwards, was chosen Fellow; for which, as he did not comply with the statutes by taking Orders, he obtained a dispensation from the Crown. He held his Fellowship till 1726, and then vacated it, by marrying, in that year, at Dublin.
Tickell was not one of those scholars who wear away their lives in closets ; he entered early into the world, and was long busy in publick affairs ; in which he was initiated under the patronage of Addison, whose notice he is said to have gained by his verses in praise of Rosamond.
To those verses it would not have been just to deny regard; for they contain some of the most elegant encomiastick strains; and, among the innumerable poems of the same kind, it will be hard to find one
with which they need to fear a comparison. It may deserve observation, that, when Pope wrote long afterwards in praise of Addison, he has copied, at least has resembled, Tickell.
L'et joy salute fair Rosamonda's shade,
A Virgil there, and here an Addison. POPE. He produced another piece of the same kind at the appearance of Cato, with equal skill, but not equal happiness.
When the ministers of queen Anne were negotiating with France, Tickell published The Prospect of Peace, a poem, of which the tendency was to reclaim the nation from the pride of conquest to the pleasures of tranquillity. How far Tickell, whom Swift afterwards mentioned as Whiggissimus, had then connected himself with any party, I know not; this poem certainly did not flatter the practices, or promote the opinions, of the men by whom he was afterwards befriended.
Mr. Addison, however he hated the men then in power, suffered his friendship to prevail over his
is well known; and of which it is just to say,
public spirit, and gave in the Spectator such praises of Tickells poem, that when, after having long wished to peruse it, I laid hold on it at last, I thought it unequal to the honours which it had received, and found it a piece to be approved rather than admired. But the hope excited by a work of genius, being general and indefinite, is rarely gratified. It was read at that time with so much favour, that six editions were sold. At the arrival of king George he sang
The Royal Progress ; which, being inserted in the Spectator,
that it is neither high nor low.
The poetical incident of most importance in Tickell's life was his publication of the first book of the Iliad, as translated by himself, an apparent opposition to Pope's Homer, of which the first part made its entrance into the world at the same time.
Addison declared that the rival versions were both good; but that Tickell's was the best that ever was made; and with Addison, the wits, his adherents and followers, were certain to concur. Pope does not appear to have been much dismayed ; "for," says he, “I have the town, that is, the mob on my side." But he remarks, “ that it is common for the smaller
party to make up in diligence what they want in “ numbers ; he appeals to the people as his proper
judges ;; and, if they are not inclined to condemn “ him, he is in little care about the high-flyers at “ Button's."
Pope did not long think Addison an impartial judge ; for he considered him as the writer of