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Far in a wild, unknown to public view,
A life so sacred, such serene repose,
We shall close this brief notice of Parnell with the following beautiful hymn :
HYMN TO CONTENTMENT.
Lovely, lasting peace of mind !
With more of happiness below,
Ambition searches all its sphere
Lovely, lasting peace, appear! This world itself, if thou art here, Is once again with Eden blest, And man contains it in his breast.
'Twas thus, as under shade I stood, I sung my wishes to the wood, And, lost in thought, no more perceived The branches whisper as they waved : It seem'd as all the quiet place Confess'd the presence of his grace. When thus she spoke-Go rule thy will, Bid thy wild passions all be still, Know God and bring thy heart to know The joys which from religion flow: Then every grace shall prove its guest, And I'll be there to crown the rest. Oh! by yonder mossy seat, In my hours of sweet retreat, Might I thus my soul employ, With sense of gratitude and joy: Raised as ancient prophets were, In heavenly vision, praise, and prayer ; Pleasing all men, hurting none, Pleased and bless'd with God alone: Then while the gardens take my sight With all the colours of delight;
While silver waters glide along,
The sun that walks his airy way,
Go search among your idle dreams,
William SOMERVILLE, the author of The Chase, belongs to the poets of this period, but his works are now rarely read or consulted. He was a na. tive of Warwickshire, and was born on a family estate called Edston, in 1682. He received his early education at Westminster school, from which he was sent to New College, Oxford, and there was afterwards elected to a fellowship. It does not appear that in the places of his education Somerville exhibited any uncommon proofs of genius, or attainments in literature. His powers were first displayed in the country, where he became distinguished, both as a poet, and a gentleman. His estate yielded him an income of fifteen hundred pounds a-year; but being generous, and even extravagant, he died in distressed circumstances, in 1742, and was buried at Wotton, near Henleyon-Arden.
Somerville wrote in a variety of strains, but in none with elevation sufficient to entitle him to greater praise than that of writing very well for a gentleman.' 'In his verses to Addison,' says Johrison, the couplet which mentions Clio is written with the most exquisite delicacy of praise : it exhibits one of those happy strokes that are seldom attained.' Addison, it is well known, signed his papers in the Spectator, with the letters forming the name of Clio. The couplet alluded to, is as follows :
When panting virtue her last efforts made
In welcoming Addison to the banks of the Avon, in Warwickshire, where he had purchased an estate, Somerville does not scruple to place him, as a poet, above Shakspeare
In heaven he sings; on earth your muse supplies
Correctly great, she melts each flinty heart
Ridiculous as this opinion is, it should be remembered that Voltaire and other French critics fell into the same error. The cold marble of. Cato' was preferred by them to the living and breathing creations of the myriadminded' magician.
* The Chase,' his great work, Somerville produced in mature age, when his ear,' in the language of Johnson,' was improved to the approbation of blank verse.' To this poem a certain degree of praise must be awarded. It is allowed, by sportsmen, to exhibit the subject in a very intelligent manner, and to create all the interest that the theme is capable of. The author was, however, unfortunate in choosing blank verse as his measure ; for every intelligent reader must be satisfied that rhyme would have been much more appropriate for so light and airy a subject. The following is an animated sketch of a morning in Autumn :
Hail, gentle Dawn! mild, blushing goddess, hail!
The friendship of Addison shed a reflected light on some of his contemporaries, and elevated them, in their own day, to very considerable importance. Tickell, perhaps, shared these advantages to a greater extent than
Thomas TICKELL was the son of Reverend Richard Tickell, and was born at Bridekirk, Cumberland, in 1686. In 1701, he became a member of Queen's College, Oxford; and in 1708, he was made master of arts, and two years after chosen to a fellowship, to retain which, as he did not enter into holy orders, he obtained a dispensation from the crown. When Addison went to Ireland as secretary, Tickell accompanied him, and was there employed in public business. After his return to London he published a translation of the first book of Homer's 'Iliad,' which Addison, and Tickell's other friends pronounced to be better than the translation of Pope, which immediately followed. This circumstance led to a breach of friendship between Addison and Pope, which was never afterwards healed. Addison continued to patronize Tickell, made him his under secretary of state, and left him the charge of publishing his works. In 1725, Tickell was made secretary to the Lords Justices of Ireland, a place of great honor and trust, and which he continued to hold till his death, which occurred at Bath, on the twenty-third of April, 1740.
As a poet, Tickell possessed great elegance, and tenderness, but he was deficient in variety and force. His Elegy on the death of Addison is considered, by Johnson, one of the most elegant and sublime funeral poems in the language. Steele, however, regarded it as merely “prose in rhyme.' In our judgment his ballad of Colin and Lucy is worth all his other works together. It possesses the simplicity and pathos of the elder lyrics, without their too frequent coarseness and abrupt transitions. It is with great pleasure, therefore, that we here give it a place :
COLIN AND LUCY.
Bright Lucy was the grace,
Reflect so sweet a face.
Impaired her rosy hue,
And eyes of glossy blue.
When beating rains descend ?
Her life was near its end.
Take heed ye easy fair!
Ye perjured swains ! beware.