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As in that loved Athenian bower,
You learn an all-commanding power
Thy mimic soul, oh nymph endeared,
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to virtue, fancy, art?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime !
Thy wonders in that godlike age
Fill thy recording sister's page;
'Tis said, and I believe the tale,
Thy humblest reed could more prevail,
Had more of strength, diviner rage;
Than all which charms this lagged age;
Even all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of sound.
Oh! bid your vain endeavours cease,
Revive the just designs of Greece;
Return in all thy simple state;
Confirm the tales her sons relate.

JAMES MERRICK was born at Reading, in 1720. He prepared for the university at the grammar-school of his native place, and afterwards entered Trinity College, Oxford, where he so far distinguished himself as to be pronounced, by Bishop Lowth, one of the best men and most accomplished scholars of the age. He entered into orders, but the delicate state of his health would not permit him to assume the arduous duties of the ministry, and he therefore passed his life in the pursuits of literature. His death occurred in 1766.

The works of Merrick consist of Poems on Sacred Subjects, Annotations on the Psalms, and on the Gospel of St. John, and a Metrical Version of the Psalms. The latter is, however, a work of but comparative merit. The following fable from this worthy divine's pen, is both amusing and instructive :


Oft has it been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
With eyes that hardly served at most
To guard their master 'gainst a post;
Yet round the world the blade has been,
To see whatever could be seen.
Returning from his finished tour,
Grown ten times perter than before;
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travelled fool your mouth will stop:
'Sir, if my judgment you'll allow-
I've seen-and sure I ought to know!'-
So begs you'd pay a due submission,
And acquiesce in his decision,

Two travellers of such a cast,
As o'er Arabia's wilds they passed,
And on their way, in friendly chat,
Now talked of this, and then of that;
Discoursed awhile, 'mongst other matter,
Of the Chameleon's form and nature,
A stranger animal,' cries one,
'Sure never lived beneath the sun:
A lizard's body lean and long,
A fish's head, a serpent's tongue.
Its foot with triple claw disjoined ;
And what a length of tail behind !
How slow its pace! and then its hue-
Who ever saw so fine a blue?'
* Hold there,' the other quick replies,
'Tis green, I saw it with these eyes,
As late with open mouth it lay,
And warmed it in the sunny ray;
Stretched at its ease the beast I viewed,
And saw it eat the air for food.'
I've seen it, sir, as well as you,
And must again affirm it blue;
At leisure I the beast surveyed
Extended in the cooling shade.'

'Tis green, 'tis green, sir, I assure ye.'
"Green !' cries the other, in a fury:
" Why, sir, d'ye think I've lost my eyes ?'
+ Twere no great loss,' the friend replies ;
"For, if they always serve you thus,
You'll find them but of little use.'

So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows:
When luckily came by a third ;
To him the question they referred :
And begged he'd tell them, if he knew,
Whether the thing was green or blue.
"Sirs,' cries the umpire, cease your pother;
The creature's neither one nor tother.
I caught the animal last night,
And viewed it o'er by candle-light:
I marked it well, 'twas black as jet-
You stare-but, sirs, I've got it yet,
And can produce it.'— Pray, sir, do;
I'll lay my life the thing is blue.'
"And I'll be sworn that when you've seen
The reptile, you'll pronounce him green.'
"Well, then, at once to ease the doubt,'
Replies the man, 'I'll turn him out:
And when before your eyes I've set him,
If you don't find him black, I'll eat him.'

He said ; and full before their sight
Produced the beast, and lo! 'twas white.
Both stared, the man looked wondrous wise
'My children,' the Chameleon cries,

(Then first the creature found a tongue)
'You all are right, and all are wrong:
When next you talk of what you view,
Think others see as well as you:
Nor wonder if you find that none
Prefers your eye-sight to his own.'

WILLIAM Mason, the friend and biographer of Gray, was the son of the vicar of St. Trinity, in Yorkshire, where he was born, in 1725. His acquaintance with Gray was formed at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and by that distinguished friend he was afterwards essentially assisted in obtaining his master's degree. After his career at college, he entered into orders, and was appointed one of the royal chaplains. He also held the living of Ashton, and was precentor of York cathedral. During the American Revolution, while politics ran high, Mason took an active part on the side of the Whigs, but was respected by all parties. His death occurred in 1797.

Mason's first literary production was an attack on the Jacobitism of Ox ford, to which Warton replied in his Triumph of Isis.' In 1753, he published his tragedy of Elfrida, written,' according to Southey, on an artificial model, and in a gorgeous diction, because he thought Shakspeare had precluded all hope of excellence in any other form of drama. The model which he followed was the Greek drama, and he introduced into his play the classic accompaniment of the chorus. A second drama Caractacus, is of a higher cast than ‘Elfrida:' more noble and spirited in language, and of more sustained dignity in scenes, situations, and character. He also wrote a series of odes on Independence, Memory, Melancholy, and The Fall of Tyranny, in which his gorgeousness of diction swells into extravagance and bombast. His other poetical works are the English Garden, a long descriptive poem in blank verse, extending over four books, and an ode on the Commemoration of the British Revolution, in which he asserts those Whig principles which he steadfastly maintained during the trying period of the American war.

Of all Mason's literary performances, his Life of Gray is, perhaps, the most valuable. As in his dramas he had made an innovation on the established taste of the times, so he ventured, with equal success, to depart from the established practice of English authors, in writing the life of his friend. Instead of presenting a continuous narrative in which the biographer alone is visible, he incorporated the journals and letters of the poet in chronological order, thus making the subject of the memoir, in some degree, his own biographer, and enabling the reader to judge more fully and correctly of his situation, thoughts, and feelings. The same plan was afterwards adopted by Boswell in his Life of Johnson, and has been sanctioned by subsequent usage, in all cases where the subject is of importance enough to demand copious information and minute personal details. His poetry is not popular even with poetical readers. His greatest defect is want of

simplicity, yet at times his rich diction has a fine effect. Gray quotes the following lines in one of Mason's odes as “superlative':

While through the west, where sinks the crimson day.
Meek twilight slowly sails, and waves his banners gray.

To this couplet we add the following lyric from Caractacus,' and the Epitaph on his wife :

Mona on Snowdon calls:
Hear, thou king of mountains, hear;

Hark, she speaks from all her strings;

Hark, her loudest echo rings;
King of mountains, bend thine ear:

Send thy spirits, send them soon,

Now, when midnight and the moon
Meet upon thy front of snow;

See, their gold and ebon rod,

Where the sober sisters nod,
And greet in whispers sage and slow.
Snowdon, mark! 'tis magic's hour,
Now the muttered spell hath power;
Power to rend thy ribs of rock,
And burst thy base with thunder's shock:
But to thee no ruder spell
Shall Mona use, than those that dwell
In music's secret cells, and lie
Steeped in the stream of harmony.

Snowdon has heard the strain:
Hark, amid the wondering grove

Other harpings answer clear,

Other voices meet our ear,
Pinions flutter, shadows move,

Busy murmurs hum around,

Rustling vestments brush the ground;
Round and round, and round they go,

Through the twilight, through the shade,

Mount the oak's majestic head,
And gild the tufted misletoe.
Cease, ye glittering race of light,
Close your wings, and check your flight;
Here, arranged in order due;
Spread your robes of saffron hue;
For lo! with more than mortal fire,
Mighty Mador smites the lyre:
Hark, he sweeps the master-strings;
Listen all.

Take, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear:

Take that best gift which heaven so lately gave:
To Bristol's fount I bore with trembling care

Her faded form; she bowed to taste the wave,

And died! Does youth, does beauty, read the line ?

Does sympathetic fear their breasts alarm ? Speak, dead Maria ! breathe a strain divine;

Even from the grave thou shalt have power to charm. Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee;

Bid them in duty's sphere as meekly move; And if so fair, from vanity as free;

As firm in friendship, and as fond in love. Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die,

('Twas even to thee) yet the dread path once trod, Heaven lifts its everlasting portals high,

And bids 'the pure in heart behold their God.'

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