תמונות בעמוד

Thy breath is Afric's spicy gale,

Thy skin is ivory so white.
Thus every beauteous object that I view,
Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue.

Though battle call me from thy arms,

Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
Though cannons roar, yet, safe from harms,

William shall to his dear return.
Love turns aside the balls that round me fly,
Lest precious tears should drop from Susan's eye.

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,
A damsel lay deploring,

All on a rock reclined.
Wide o'er the foaming billows

She cast a wistful look;
Her head was crowned with willows,

That trembled o'er the brook.

Twelve months are gone and over,

And nine long tedious days;
Why didst thou, venturous lover,

Why didst thou trust the seas ?
Cease, cease thou cruel ocean,

And let my lover rest:
Ah! what is thy troubled motion

To that within my breast?
The merchant robbed of pleasure,

Sees tempest in despair ;
But what 's the loss of treasure,

To losing of my dear ?
Should you some coast be laid on,

Where gold and diamonds grow,
You'd find a richer maiden,

But none that loves you so.

How can they say that nature

Has nothing made in vain;
Why then, beneath the water,

Should hideous rocks remain ?
No eyes the rocks discover

That lurk beneath the deep,
To wreck the wandering lover,

And leave the maid to weep.

All melancholy lying,

Thus wailed she for her dear;
Repaid each blast with sighing,

Each billow with a tear.
When o'er the white wave stooping

His floating corpse she spied,
Then, like a lily drooping,

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,
When words were artless, and the thoughts sincere;
When gold and grandeur were unenvied things,
And courts less coveted than groves and springs.
Love then shall only mourn when truth complains,
And constancy feel transport in his chains ;
Sighs with success their own soft language tell,
And eyes shall utter what the lips conceal :
Virtue again to its bright station climb,
And beauty fear no enemy but time;
The fair shall listen to desert alone,
And every Lucia find a Cato's son.

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,
Who fill churchyards, and who unpeople states,
Who baffle nature, and dispose of lives,
Whilst Russel, as we please, or starves or thrives,
Should e'er submit to their despotic will,
Who out of consultation scarce can skill ?
The towering Alps shall sooner sink to vales,
And leeches, in our glasses, swell to whales;
Or Norwich trade in instruments of steel,
And Birmingham in stuff's and druggets deal!
Alleys at Wapping furnish us new modes,
And Monmouth Street, Versailles, with riding-hoods;
The sick to the Hundreds in pale throngs repair,
And change the Gravel-pits for Kentish air,
Our properties must on our arms depend;
'Tis next to conquer bravely to defend.
'Tis to the vulgar death too harsh appears;
The ill we feel is only in our fears.

To die, is landing on some sllent shore,
Where billows never break, nor tempest roar :
Ere well we feel the friendly stroke, 'tis o'er.
The wise through thought the insults of death defy;
The fools through blessed insensibility.
'Tis what the guilty fear, the pious crave;
Sought by the wretch, and vanquished by the brave.
It eases lovers, sets the captive free;
And, though a tyrant, offers liberty.

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;
Why its spontaneous birth are thorns and weeds ;
Why for the harvest it the harrow needs ?
The Author might a nobler world have made,
In brighter dress the hills and vales arrayed,
And all its face in flowery scenes displayed :
The glebe untilled might plenteous crops have borne,
And brought forth spicy groves instead of thorn:
Rich fruit and flowers, without the gardener's pains,
Might every hill have crowned, have honoured all the plains :
This Nature might have boasted, had the Mind
Who formed the spacious universe designed
That man, from labour free, as well as grief,
Should pass in lazy luxury his life.
But he his creature gave a fertile soil,
Fertile, but not without the owner's toil,
That some reward his industry should crown,
And that his food in part might be his own.

But while insulting you arraign the land,
Ask why it wants the plough, or labourer's hand;
Kind to the marble rocks, you ne'er complain
That they, without the sculptor's skill and pain,
No perfect statue yield, no basse relieve,
Or finished column for the palace give.
Yet if from hills unlaboured figures come,
Man might have ease enjoyed, though never fame.

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.'

In such a night, when every louder wind
Is to its distant cavern safe confined,
And only gentle zephyr fans his wings,
And lovely Philomel still waking sings;
Or from some tree, formed for the owl's delight,
She, halloaing clear, directs the wanderer right:
In such a night, when passing clouds give place,
Or thinly vail the heaven's mysterious face;
When in some river overhung with green,
The waving moon and trembling leaves are seen;
When freshened grass now bears itself upright,
And makes cool banks to pleasing rest invite,
Whence springs the woodbine, and the bramble rose,
And where the sleepy cowslip sheltered grows;
Whilst now a paler hue the foxglove takes,
Yet chequers still with red the dusky brakes;
When scattered glow-worms, but in twilight fine
Show trivial beauties watch their hour to shine;
Whilst Salisbury stands the test of every light,
In perfect charms and perfect virtue bright;
When odours which declined repelling day,
Through temperate air uninterrupted stray;
When darkened groves their softest shadows wear,
And falling waters we distinctly hear;
When through the gloom more venerable shows
Some ancient fabric, awful in repose ;
While sun-burnt hills their swarthy looks conceal,
And swelling haycocks thicken up the vale :
When the loosed horse now, as his pasture leads,
Comes slowly grazing through the adjoining meads,
Whose stealing pace and lengthened shade we fear,
Till torn-up forage in his teeth we hear;
When nibbling sheep at large pursue their food,
And unmolested kine rechew the cud;
When curlews cry beneath the village walls,
And to her straggling brood the partridge calls;
Their short-lived jubilee the creatures keep,
Which but endures whilst tyrant man does sleep;
When a sedate content the spirit feels,
And no fierce light disturbs, whilst it reveals;
But silent musings urge the mind to seek
Something too high for syllables to speak;
Till the free soul to a composedness charmed,
Finding the elements of rage disarmed,
O'er all below a solemn quiet grown,
Joys in the inferior world, and thinks it like her own:
In such a night let me abroad remain,
Till morning breaks, and all 's confused again;
Our cares, our toils, our clamours are renewed,
Or pleasures seldom reached again pursued.

« הקודםהמשך »