תמונות בעמוד

And hurrying him, impatient of his stay,
Down to the rosy west; but kindly still
Compensating his loss with added hours
Of social converse and instructive ease,
And gathering, at short notice, in one group
The family dispersed, and fixing thought,
Not less dispersed by daylight and its cares.
I crown thee king of intimate delights,
Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness,
And all the comforts that the lowly roof
Of undisturbed retirement, and the hours
Of long uninterrupted evening, know.
No rattling wheels stop short before these gates;
No powdered pèrt proficient in the art
Of sounding an alarm assault these doors
Till the street rings; no statiorary steeds
Cough their own knell, while, heedless of the sound,
The silent circle fan themselves, and quake:
But here the needle plies its busy task,
The pattern grows, the well-depicted flower,
Wrought patiently into the snowy lawn,
Unfolds its bosom : buds, and leaves, and sprigs,
And curling tendrils, gracefully disposed,
Follow the nimble finger of the fair ;
A wreath, that cannot fade, of flowers, that blow
With most success when all besides decay.
The poet's or historian's page by one
Made vocal for the amusement of the rest ;
The sprightly lyre, whose treasure of sweet sounds
The touch from many a trembling chord shakes out;
And the clear voice symphonious, yet distinct,
And in the charming strife triumphant still,
Beguile the night, and set a keener edge
On female industry: the threaded steel
Flies swiftly, and unfelt the task proceeds.
The volume closed, the customary rites
Of the last meal commence. A Roman meal;
Such as the mistress of the world once found
Delicious, when her patriots of high note,
Perhaps by moonlight, at their humble doors,
And under an old oak's domestic shade,
Enjoyed, spare feast! a radish and an egg.
Discourse ensues, not trivial, yet not dull,
Nor such as with a frown forbids the play
Of fancy, or proscribes the sound of mirth :
Nor do we madly, like an impious world,
Who deem religion frenzy, and the God
That made them an intruder on their joys,
Start at his awful name, or deem his praise
A jarring note. Themes of a graver tone,
Exciting oft our gratitude and love,
While we retrace with memory's pointing wand,
That calls the past to our exact review,
The dangers we have 'scaped, the broken snare,

The disappointed foe, deliverance found
Unlooked for, life preserved and peace restored,
Fruits of omnipotent eternal love.
O evenings worthy of the gods! exclaimed
The Sabine bard. O evenings, I reply,
More to be prized and coveted than yours !
As more illumined, and with nobler truths,
That I, and mine, and those we love, enjoy.

Come Evening, once again, season of peace;
Return, sweet Evening, and continue long!
Methinks I see thee in the streaky west,
With matron-step slow-moving, while the night
Treads on thy sweeping train; one hand employed
In letting fall the curtain of repose
On bird and beast, the other charged for man
With sweet oblivion of the cares of day:
Not sumptuously adorned, nor needing aid,
Like homely-featured night, of clustering gems:
A star or two just twinkling on thy brow,
Suffices thee; save that the moon is thine
No less than hers: not worn indeed on high
With ostentatious pageantry, but set
With modest grandeur in thy purple zone,
Resplendent less, but of an ampler round.
Come then, and thou shalt find thy votary calm,
Or make me so. Composure is thy gift ;
And whether I devote thy gentle hours
To books, to music, or the poet's toil;
To weaving nets for bird-alluring fruit;
Or twining silken threads round ivory reels,
When they command whom man was born to please,
I slight thee not, but make thee welcome still.

The Rev. Thomas Moss, a very worthy contemporary of Cowper, and minister of Brierly Hill, and of Trentham, in Straffordshire, published, in 1762, a collection of miscellaneous poems, forming a thin quarto volume. One of these poems, The Beggar, contains much pathetic and natural sentiment, finely expressed. It was copied by Dodsley into the Annual Register,' and thence it has been transferred into almost every collection of fugitive poems since made. Moss died in 1808, but at what age is unknown.


Pity the sorrows of a poor old man!

Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door,
Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span,

Oh! give relief, and Heaven will bless your store.
These tattered clothes my poverty bespeak,

These hoary locks proclaim my lengthened years;
And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek,

Has been the channel to a flood of tears.

Yon house, erected on the rising ground,

With tempting aspect drew me from my road,
For plenty there a residence has found,

And grandeur a magnificent abode.
(Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor !

Here craving for a morsel of their bread,
A pampered menial forced me from the door,

To seek a shelter in a humbler shed.
Oh! take me to your hospitable dome,

Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold!
Short is my passage to the friendly tomb,

For I am poor, and miserably old.
Should I reveal the sources of my grief,

If soft humanity e'er touched your breast,
Your hands would not withhold the kind relief,

And tears of pity could not be repressed.
Heaven sends misfortunes-why should we repine ?

'Tis Heaven has brought me to the state you see:
And your condition may be soon like mine,

The child of sorrow, and of misery.
A little farm was my paternal lot,

Then, like the lark, I sprightly hailed the morn;
But ah! oppression forced me from my cot;

My cattle died, and blighted was my corn.
My daughter-once the comfort of my age !

Lured by a villain from her native home,
Is cast, abandoned, on the world's wide stage,

And doomed in scanty poverty to roam.
My tender wife-sweet soother of my care!

Struck with sad anguish at the stern decree,
Fell-lingering fell, a victim to despair,

And left the world to wretchedness and me.
Pity the sorrows of a poor old man!

Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door,
Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span,

Oh! give relief, and Heaven will bless your store.

Mickle, Beattie, Macpherson, Bruce, Logan, and Burns, will complete the list of British poets embraced in the original design of these lectures.

WILLIAM JULIUS MICKLE, a poet of taste and elegance, but of no great originality of genius, is chiefly celebrated for his translation of The Lusiad' of Camoens, the most distinguished poet of Portugal. Mickle was the son of the minister of Langholm, in Dumfriesshire, where he was born, on the twenty-ninth of September, 1734. He was instructed by his father, a very accomplished scholar, and one of Bale's translators, until the thirteenth year of his age, when he entered the High-school of Edinburgh, and there

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remained till he had completed his studies. At this time his aunt owned a large brewery in Edinburgh, and in the brewing business Mickle entered with her, first as a conductor of the establishment, and afterwards as a partner. He was, however, unsuccessful, and therefore, in 1764, went to London in search of literary distinction. Lord Littleton noticed and encouraged his poetical efforts, and Mickle was buoyed up with dreams of patronage and celebrity; but two years of destitution dispelled this vision, and the poet was glad to accept the situation of corrector of the Clarendon press, at Oxford.

Soon after Mickle's settlement at Oxford, he published Pollio, an elegy, and The Concubine, a moral poem, after the manner of Spenser, with whose writings he had become familiar while pursuing his studies at Edinburgh. He adopted the obsolete phraseology of Spenser, which Thomson had almost wholly discarded in his Castle of Indolence,' and which doubtless proved an impediment to the success of the work. The first stanza of this poem has been quoted by Sir Walter Scott, in illustration of the remark made by him, that Mickle, with a vein of great facility, united a power of verbal melody, which might have been envied by bards of much greater renown.' The stanza is as follows:

Awake, ye west winds, through the lonely dale,
And Fancy to thy faery bower betake;
Even now, with balmy sweetness, breathes the gale,
Dimpling with downy wing the stilly lake;
Through the pale willows faltering whispers wake,
And Evening comes with locks bedropped with dew;
On Desmond's mouldering turrets slowly shake

The withered rye-grass and the harebell blue,
And ever and anon sweet Mulla's plaints renew.

This poem was published anonymously, and was so successful as to pass through three editions in a single year.

In 1771, Mickle, having acquired a thorough knowledge of the Portuguese language, published the first canto of his great translation, which was completed four years after; and being supported by a long list of subscribers, was highly advantageous, both to his fame and his fortune. In 1779, he went out to Portugal as secretary to Commodore Johnstone, and was received with much distinction in Lisbon by the countrymen of Camoens. On the return of the expedition, he was appointed joint agent for the distribution of the prizes. His own share was considerable ; and having received some money by his marriage with a lady whom he had known in his obscure sojourn at Oxford, his latter days were spent in ease and leisure. He died at Forrest Hill, near Oxford, on the twenty-fifth of October, 1789.

Of Mickle's original poems, the most popular is his ballad of Cumnor Hall; and to this work additional celebrity is attached by its having suggested to Sir Walter Scott the groundwork of his romance of Kenilworth. Of Mickle's tenderness and pathos the strongest proof is afforded by the

following Scottish song, delineating humble matrimonial happiness and affection :

Sae true his words, sae smooth his speech,

His breath like caller air !
His very foot has music in't

As he comes up the stair.
And will I see his face again ?

And will I hear him speak?
I'm downright dizzy with the thought,

In troth I'm like to greet.

Then there are the two lines--a happy Epicurean fancy, but elevated by the situation and the faithful love of the speaker-which Burns says are worthy of the first poet':

The present moment is our ain,

The neist we never saw.

As Mickle's fame, however, rests almost exclusively on his translation of * The Lusiad,' we shall select our principal extract from that work:

Now prosperous gales the bending canvass swelled;
From these rude shores our fearless course we held:
Beneath the glistening wave the god of day
Had now five times withdrawn the parting ray,
When o'er the prow a sudden darkness spread,
And slowly floating o'er the mast's tall head
A black cloud hovered; nor appeared from far
The moon's pale glimpse, nor faintly twinkling star;
So deep a gloom the lowering vapour cast,
Transfixed with awe the bravest stood aghast.
Meanwhile a hollow bursting roar resounds,
As when hoarse surges lash their rocky mounds;
Nor had the blackening wave, nor frowning heaven,
The wonted signs of gathering tempest given.
Amazed we stood-0 thou, our fortunes guide,
Avert this omen, mighty God, I cried;
Or through forbidden climes adventurous strayed,
Have we the secrets of the deep surveyed,
Which these wild solitudes of seas and sky
Were doomed to hide from man's unhallowed eye?
Whate'er this prodigy, it threatens more
Than midnight tempest and the mingled roar,
When sea and sky combine to rock the marble shore.
I spoke, when rising through the darkened air,
Appalled we saw a hideous phantom glare ;
High and enormous o'er the flood he towered,
And thwart our way with sullen aspect lowered.
Unearthly paleness o'er his cheeks was spread,
Erect uprose his hairs of withered red;

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