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Thy breath is Afric's spicy gale,
Thy skin is ivory so white.
Though battle call me from thy arms,
Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
William shall to his dear return.
The boatswain gave the dreadful word,
The sails their swelling bosom spread; No longer must she stay aboard ;
They kissed, she sighed, he hung his head. Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land, Adieu! she cries, and waved her lily hand.
'T was when the seas were roaring
With hollow blasts of wind,
All on a rock reclined.
She cast a wistful look;
That trembled o'er the brook.
Twelve months are gone and over,
And nine long tedious days;
Why didst thou trust the seas ?
And let my lover rest:
To that within my breast?
Sees tempest in despair ;
To losing of my dear ?
Where gold and diamonds grow,
But none that loves you so.
How can they say that nature
Has nothing made in vain;
Should hideous rocks remain ?
That lurk beneath the deep,
And leave the maid to weep.
All melancholy lying,
Thus wailed she for her dear;
Each billow with a tear.
His floating corpse she spied,
She bowed her head, and died.
Of the poetical writers of this period we have still to notice, though we shall be compelled to do so with great brevity, Garth, Blackmore, Green, the Countess of Winchelsea, and the distinguished Scottish poet, Allan Ramsay
SAMUEL GARTH was of a good family, in Yorkshire, but the period of his birth has not been preserved. From some school in his native county he was sent to Peterhouse College, Cambridge, where he continued to reside till 1691, when he took the degree of doctor of medicine. He immediately after removed to London, was admitted a fellow of the medical college of that city, and soon became so distinguished for his conversational powers and other accomplishments, as to obtain a very extensive practice. He was a kind and benevolent man, as well as a great admirer of his own profession; and in 1690, he published The Dispensary, a poem, to aid the college of physicians in a contest in which they were then engaged with the apothecaries. The latter had ventured to prescribe as well as compound medicines; and the physicians, to surpass them in popularity, advertised that they would give advice gratis to the poor, and established a dispensary of their own for the sale of cheap medicines.'
Though a devoted whig, Garth was the benevolent patron of merit wherever found. He early fostered the genius of Pope, and when Dryden died, delivered a Latin funeral oration over his remains. With Addison, he was, politically and personally, on terms of the closest intimacy. When, in 1713,
Cato' was brought upon the stage, he, at the author's solicitation, wrote the epilogue, which closes with the following fine lines :
Oh, may once more the happy age appear,
On the accession of the House of Hanover, Dr. Garth was knighted by George the First, but he did not long live to enjoy this honor, as his death occurred soon after, January the eighteenth, 1718.
The Dispensary,' Sir Samuel Garth's principal poem, is a mock-heroic, in six cantos. Some of the leading apothecaries of the day are happily ridiculed; but the interest of the satire has passed away, and the work did not contain enough of the life of poetry to preserve it from oblivion. The following address, from a keen apothecary, is a fair specimen of the style and versification of the poem :
Could'st thou propose that we, the friends of fates,
To die, is landing on some sllent shore,
RICHARD BLACKMORE was the son of an attorney, and was born at Corsham in Wiltshire, but in what year is unknown. Having been for some time instructed at a country school, he was sent, at the age of thirteen, to Westminster, and thence entered Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he remained till he took the degree of master of arts. He afterward travelled in Italy, and was made a doctor of medicine at the university of Padua. On his return to his native country he commenced the practice of his profession, and soon rose to eminence as a physician. He was knighted by King William, and made censor of the medical college of London.
In 1695, Sir Richard published an epic poem entitled Prince Arthur, which he
says he wrote amidst the duties of his profession, in coffeehouses, or in passing up and down the streets,' and which Dryden charged him with writing to the rumbling of his chariot-wheels.' Blackmore afterward wrote a number of other epic poems, all of which have sunk into oblivion except one on the Creation, which Johnson says, 'wants neither harmony of numbers, accuracy of thought, nor elegance of diction.' Addison admired this poet's irreproachable private character, and extended his particular friendship to him. Blackmore died on the eighth of October, 1729.
The design of the Creation,' by far his best performance, was to demonstrate the existence of a Divine Eternal Mind. The author recites the proof of a Deity from natural and physical phenomena, and afterward reviews the systems of the Epicureans and the Fatalists; concluding with a hymn to the Creator of the world. The piety of Blackmore is everywhere apparent in his writings; but the genius of poetry too often evaporates amid his common-place illustrations and prosing declamation. The following passage, addressed to the disciples of Lucretius, exhibits this author's style under its most favorable aspect
You ask us why the soil the thistle breeds;
But while insulting you arraign the land,
ANNE, Countess of Winchelsea, belongs to this period, but of her life and history very little is known. She was the daughter of Sir James Kingsmill of Southampton, and died in 1720. The Nocturnal Reverie, her principal poem, is full of calm and contemplative observation, and the versification is sweet and flowing. “It is remarkable,' says Wordsworth, 'that, excepting The Nocturnal Reverie,' and a passage or two in the Windsor Forest of Pope,' the poetry of the period intervening between the publica tion of Paradise Losť and the Seasons,' does not contain a single new image of external nature.'
A NOCTURNAL REVERIE.