תמונות בעמוד


Far in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age a reverend hermit grew;
The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell,
His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well;
Remote from men, with God he passed his days,
Prayer all his business, all his pleasure praise.

A life so sacred, such serene repose,
Seemed heaven itself, till one suggestion rose-
That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey,
This sprung some doubt of Providence's sway;
His hopes no more a certain prospect boast,
And all the tenor of his soul is lost.
So, when a smooth expanse receives impressed
Calm nature's image on its watery breast,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
And skies beneath with answering colours glow;
But, if a stone the gentle sea divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on every side,
And glimmering fragments of a broken sun,
Banks, trees, and skies, in thick disorder run.
To clear this doubt to know the world by sight,
To find if books, or swains, report it right,
(For yet by swains alone the world he knew,
Whose feet came wandering o'er the nightly dew,)
He quits his cell; the pilgrim-staff he bore
And fixed the scallop in his hat before ;
Then with the rising sun, a journey went,
Sedate to think, and watching each event.
The morn was wasted in the pathless grass,
And long and lonesome was the wild to pass ;
But, when the southern sun had warmed the day,
A youth came posting o'er a crossing way;
His raiment decent, his complexion fair;
And soft in graceful ringlets waved his hair;
Then, near approaching, Father, hail!' he cried,
And “Hail, my son!' the reverend sire replied.
Words followed words, from question answer flowed,
And talk of various kind deceived the road;
Till each with other pleased, and loath to part,
While in their age they differ, join in heart.
Thus stands an aged elm in ivy bound,
Thus useful ivy clasps an elm around.

We shall close this brief notice of Parnell with the following beautiful hymn :


Lovely, lasting peace of mind !
Sweet delight of human kind!
Heavenly born, and bred on high,
To crown the favorites of the sky

With more of happiness below,
Than victors in a triumph know!
Whither, 0 whither art thou fled,
To lay thy meek, contented head;
What happy region dost thou please
To make the seat of calms and ease ?

Ambition searches all its sphere
Of pomp and state, to meet thee there.
Increasing avarice would find
Thy presence in its gold enshrined.'
The bold adventurer ploughs his way,
Through rocks amidst the foaming sea,
To gain thy love; and then perceives
Thou wert not in the rocks and waves.
The silent heart, which grief assails,
Treads soft and lonesome o'er the vales,
Sees daisies open, rivers run,
And seeks (as I have vainly done)
Amusing thought; but learns to know
That solitude 's the nurse of woe.
No real happiness is found
In trailing purple o'er the ground:
Or in a soul exalted high,
To range the circuit of the sky,
Converse with stars above, and know
All nature in its forms below;
The rest it seeks, in seeking dies,
And doubts at last for knowledge rise,

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,
To please my ear, and court my song;
I'll lift my voice, and tune my string,
And thee, great Source of Nature, sing.

The sun that walks his airy way,
To light the world, and give the day;
The moon that shines with borrow'd light;
The stars that gild the gloomy night;
The seas that roll unnumber'd waves;
The wood that spreads its shady leaves ;
The field whose ears conceal the grain,
The yellow treasure of the plain;
All of these, and all I see,
Should be sung, and sung by me;
They speak their maker as they can,
But want and ask the tongue of man.

Go search among your idle dreams,
Your busy or your vain extremes;
And find a life of equal bliss,
Or own the next begun in this..

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
You brought your Clio to the virgin’s aid.

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
The important loss, and heals our weeping eyes;

Correctly great, she melts each flinty heart
With equal genius, but superior art.

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!
Rejoiced I see thy purple mantle spread
O'er half the skies; gems pave thy radiant way,
And orient pearls from every shrub depend.
Farewell, Cleora; here deep sunk in down,
Slumber secure, with happy dreams amused,
Till grateful streams shall tempt thee to receive
Thy early meal, or thy officious maids;
The toilet placed shall urge thee to perform
The important work. Me other joys invite;
The horn sonorous calls, the pack awaked,
Their matins chant, nor brook thy long delay.
My courser hears their voice; see there with ears
And tail erect, neighing, he paws the ground;
Fierce rapture kindles in his reddening eyes,
And boils in every vein. As captive boys
Cowed by the ruling rod and haughty frowns
of pedagogues severe, from their hard tasks
If once dismissed, no limits can contain
The tumult raised within their little breasts,
But give a loose to all their frolic play;
So from their kennel rush the joyous pack;
A thousand wanton gayeties express
Their inward ecstacy, their pleasing sport
Once more indulged, and liberty restored.
The rising sun that o'er the horizon peeps,
As many colours from their glossy skins
Beaming reflects, as paint the various bow
When April showers descend. Delightful scene !
Where all around is gay; men, horses, dogs;
And in each smiling countenance appears
Fresh blooming health, and universal joy.

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

any other.

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 :

Of Leinster, famed for maidens fair

Bright Lucy was the grace,
Nor ne'er did Liffy's limpid stream

Reflect so sweet a face.
Till luckless love and pining care

Impaired her rosy hue,
Her coral lips and damask cheeks,

And eyes of glossy blue.
Oh! have you seen a lily pale

When beating rains descend ?
So drooped the slow-consuming maid,

Her life was near its end.
By Lucy warned, of flattering swains

Take heed ye easy fair!
Of vengeance due to broken vows,

Ye perjured swains ! beware.

« הקודםהמשך »