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Hence, and hence only, can proceed the fairest off
Assumes the God, spring of the human mind.
Affects to nod, But then in ode, there is this difference from
And seems to shake the spheres, other kinds of poetry; that, there, the imagination, are chosen in the following ode, because the subt like a very beautiful mistress, is indulged in the ap-ject of it is great. pearance of domineering; though the judgment, For the more harmony likewise, I chose the free like an artful lover, in reality carries its point ; quent return of rhyme; which laid me under great and the less it is suspected of it, it shows the more difficulties. But difficulties overcome give grace masterly conduct, and deserves the greater com- and pleasure. Nor can I account for the pleasure mendation.
of rhyme in general (of which the moderns are too It holds true in this province of writing, as in war, fond) but from this truth. “ The more danger, the more honour.” It must be But then the writer must take care that the dif. very enterprising; it must, in Shakespeare's style, ficulty is overcome. That is, he must make rhyme have hair-breadth 'scapes; and often tread the very consistent with as perfect sense, and expression, as brink of errour: nor can it ever deserve the applause could be expected if he was free from that shackle. of the real judge, unless it renders itself obnoxious Otherwise, it gives neither grace to the work, nor to the misapprehensions of the contrary,
pleasure to the reader, nor, consequently, reputaSuch is Casimire's strain among the moderns, tion to the poet. whose lively wit, and happy fire, is an honour to To sum the whole: Ode should be peculiar, but them. And Buchanan might justly be much ad- not strained ; moral, but not flat; natural, but not mired, if any thing more than the sweetness of his obvious ; delicate, but not affected ; noble, but not numbers, and the purity of his diction, were his own : ambitious; full, but not obscure; fiery, but not mad; his original, from which I have taken my motto, thick, but not loaded in its numbers, which should through all the disadvantages of a northern prose be most harmonious, without the least sacrifice of translation, is still admirable; and, Cowley says, expression, or of sense. Above all, in this, as in as preferable in beauty to Buchanan, as Judæa is every work of genius, somewhat of an original spito Scotland.
rit should be, at least, attempted; otherwise the Pindar, Anacreon, Sappho, and Horace, are the poet, whose character disclaims mediocrity, maker great masters of lyric poetry among Heathen wri- a secondary praise his ultimate ambition; which ters. Pindar's Muse, like Sacharissa, is a stately, has something of a contradiction in it. Originals imperious, and accomplished beauty; equally dis- only have true life, and differ as much froin the daining the use of art, and the fear of any rival ; best imitations, as men from the most animated so intoxicating that it was the highest commenda- pictures of them. Nor is what I say at all incontion that could be given an antient, that he was sistent with a due deference for the great standards not afraid to taste of her charms;
of antiquity; nay, that very deference is an argu
ment for it, for doubtless their example is on my Pindarici fontis qui non expalluit haustus;
side in this matter. And we should rather imitate a danger which Horace declares he durst not run. their example in the general motives, and funda
Anacreon's Muse is like Amoret, most sweet, na- mental methods of their working, than in their tural, and delicate; all over flowers, graces, and works themselves. This is a distinction, I think, charms; inspiring complacency, not awe; and she not bitherto made, and a distinction of consequence. seems to have good-nature enough to admit a rival, For the first may make us their equals; the second which she cannot find.
inust pronounce us their inferiors even in our utmost Sappho's Muse, like Lady is passionately success. But the first of these prizes is not so reatender, and glowing ; like oil set on tire, she is soft
, dily taken by the moderns; as valuables too massy and warm, in excess. Sappho has left us a few for easy carriage are not so liable to the thief. fragments only; Time has swallowed the rest ; but The antients had a particular regard to the choice that little which remains, like the remaining jewel of of their subjects; which were generally national Cleopatra, after the other was dissolved at her ban- and great. My subject is, in its own nature, no quet, may be esteemed (as was that jewel) a sufti- ble; most proper for an Englishman ; never more cient ornament for the goddess of beauty herself. proper than on this occasion; and (what is strange)
Horace's Muse (like one I shall not presume to hitherto unsung. name) is correct, solid, and moral; she joins all If I stand not absolutely condemned by my own the sweetness and majesty, all the sense and the rules; if I have hit the spirit of ode in general; fire of the former, in the justest proportions and de- if I cannot think with Mr. Cowley, that “Musie grees; superadding a felicity of dress entirely her alone, sometimes, makes an excellent ode;"
She moreover is distinguishable by this par- Versus inopes rerum, nugæque canoræ; ticularity, That she abounds in hidden graces, and if there is any thought, enthusiasm, and picture, secrel charms, which none but the discerning can which are as the body, soul, and robe of Poetry ; in discover; nor are any capable of doing full jus- a word, if in any degree I have provided rather tice, in their opinion, to her excellencies, without food for men,than air for wits; I hope smaller faults giving the world, at the same time, an incontestable will meet indulgence for the sake of tlie design, proof of refinement in their own understandings. which is the glory of my country and my king.
But, after all, to the honour of our own country And indeed, this may be said, in general, that I must add, that I think Mr. Dryden's (de on St. great subjects are above being nice; that dignity Cecilia's Day inferior to no composition of this and spirit ever suffer from scrupulous exactness; kind. Its chief beauty consists in adapting the and that the minuter cares effeminate a composinumbers most bappily to the variety of the occa- tion. Great masters of poetry, painting, and sta. sion. Those by which he has chosen to express tuary, in their nobler works, have even affected Majesty, (viz.)
the contrary; and justly; for a truly-masculine
OCEAN. air partakes more of the negligent, than of the Who love the shore, neat, both in writings, and in life
Let those adore
The god Apollo, and his Nine,
And Orpheus' skill; rection, may lose all its spirit, and expire. We
But let Arion's harp be mine. know it was Paberrimus, that was such an artist at
The main ! the main ! a hair or a nail. And we know the cause was
Is Britain's reign;
Her strength, her glory, is her fleet;
The main ! the main ! To close : If a piece of this nature wants an apo
Be Briton's strain ; logy, I must own, that those who have strength of As Triton's strong, as Syren's sweet. mind suíficient profitably to devote the whole of Through nature wide, their time to the severer studies, I despair of imi- Is nought descried tating, I can only envy and admire. The mind is so rich in pleasure, or surprise ; relieved and strengthened by variety; and he that When all-serene, sometimes is sporting with his pen, is only taking How sweet the scene ! the most effectual means of giving a general im- How dreadful, when the billows rise: portance to it. This truth is clear from the know
And storms deface ledge of human nature, and of history; from which
'The fluid glass, I could cite very celebrated instances, did I not
In which ere-while Britannia fair fear that, by citing them, I should condemn myself,
Look'd down with pride, who am so little qualified to follow their example
Like Ocean's bride, in its full extent.
Adjusting her majestic air,
When tempests cease,
And hush'd in peace
'The flatten'd surges smoothly spread, CONCLUDING WITH A WISH.
Deep silence keep,
And seem to sleep Let the sea make a noise, let the floods clap their Recumbent on their oozy bed; hands.
With what a trance
The level glance,
Unbroken, shoots along the seas !
Which tempt from shore
The painted oar;
And every canvass courts the breeze!
When rushes forth
The frowning North
On blackening billows, with what dread
My shuddering soul
Beholds them roll,
And hears their roarings o'er my head!
With terrour mark
Yon flying bark !
Now, centre-deep descend the brave;
Now, toss'd on high,
It takes the sky,
A feather on the towering wave!
Now, spins around
In whirls profound;
Now, whelm’d; now, pendant near the clouds ;
Now, stunn'd, it reels
Midst thunder's peals;
And, now, fierce lightning fires the shrouds.
All ether burns !
Chaos returns !
And blends once more the seas and skies ;
No space between
Thy bosom green,
O Deep! and the blue concave, lies
The northern blast,
The sbatter'd mast,
The syrt, the whirlpool, and the rock,
The breaking spout,
The stars gone out,
The boiling streight, the monaters shock,
Let others fear;
Joys felt alone! To Britain dear
Joys ask'd of none! Whate'er promotes her daring claim ;
Which Time's and Fortune's arrows miss; Those terrours charm,
Joys that subsist, Which keep her warm
'l hough Fates resist, In chase of honest gain or fame.
And unprecarious endless bliss ! The stars are bright
The soul refin'd To cheer the night,
Is most inclin'd And shed through shadows temper'd fire !
To every moral excellence; And Phobus flames
All vice is dull, With burnish'd beams,
A knave's a fool; Which some adore, and all admire,
And Virtce is the child of Sense. Are then the seas
The virtuous mind, Outshone by these?
Nor wave, nor wind, Bright Thetys! thou art not outshone;
Nor civil rage, nor tyrant's frown, With kinder beams,
The shaken ball, And softer gleams,
Nor planets' fall, Thy bosom wears them as thy own.
From its firm basis can dethrone. There, set in green,
This Britain knows, Gold-stars are seen,
And therefore glows A mantle rich! thy charms to wrap;
With generous passions, and expends And when the Sun
Her wealth and zeal His race has run,
On public weal, He falls enamour'd in thy lap.
And brightens both by godlike ends.
What end so great, Those clouds, whose dyes
As that which late
Awoke the Genius of the main,
Which towering rose
With George to close,
And rival great Eliza's reign?
A voice has flown The gaudy bow,
From Britain's throne Whose colours glow,
To reinflame a grand design; Whose arch with so much skill is bent,
That voice shall rear
Yon fabric fair',
As Nature's rose at the divine,
When Nature sprung,
Blest angels sung,
And shouted o'er the rising ball; What unknown treasures pave the noor!
For strains as high
As man's can ily,
These sea-devoted honours call,
From boisterous seas,
The lap of ease
Receives our wounded and our old ;
High domes ascend !
Stretch'd arches bend !
Proud columns swell! wide gates unfold ! And toss him breathless on the shore.
So sleeps the grain,
In fostering rain,
And vital beans, till Jove descend; “ Ah ! cruel thirst of gold !” he cries ;
Then bursts the root !
The verdures shoot!
And Earth enrich, adorn, defend !
From wave, from wind,
And Fortune's tempest safe ashore,
To cheat their care,
Of former war
They talk the pleasing shadows o'er. But rage of gold disdains a shore.
In lengthen'd tales,
Our fleet prevails;
In tales the lenitives of age !
And o'er the bowl,
They fire the soul
Of listening youth, to martial rage.
The story done,
Their setting Sun,
In soft decay,
They drop away;
And falsely gay!
A constant feast
Quite palls the taste,
What charms us most,
Our joy, our boast, Familiar, loses all its gloss ;
And gold refin'd
The sated mind
When, after toil,
His native soil
What transport Pows
From bare repose !
Ye warlike slain!
Beneath the inain,
Who bought with blood
Your country's good,
What powerful charm
Can Death disarin?
By Jove, by Fame,
By George's name, Awake! awake! awake!
Our joy so proud,
Our shout so loud,
And see, they rouse !
Their awful brows,
With spiral shell,
Full-blasted, tell That all your watery realms shouid ring;
As long as stars
Or suns invite
The ravish'd sight,
Our soil's strong growth,
Sure Heaven besopke
Our hearts, and oak,
That noblest birth
Of teeming Earth,
To foreign coasts
Our grandeur boasts,
Now big with war
Sends fate from far,
Now, suinptuous spoils
Of foreign soils
Hence, Britain lays
In scales, and weighs The fates of kingdoms and of kings;
And as she frowns,
Or smiles, on crowns,
Thus Occan swells
The streams and rills, And to their borders lifts them ligh;
Or else withdraws
The mighty cause, And leaves their famish'd channels dry.
How mixt, how frail,
How sure to fail,
A damp destroys
My blooming joys, While Britain's glory tires my mind.
For who can gaze
On restless seas, Unstruck with life's more restless state
Where all are tost,
And most are lost,
The world's the main,
How vext ! how vain ! Ambition swells, and Anger foams;
May good men find,
Beneath the wind,
The public scene
Of harden’d men
The world few know
But to their woe,
All tender sense
Is banish'd thence,
What shock'd before
Disgust no more,
In landscapes green
True Bliss is seen, With Innocence, in shades, she sports;
In wealthy towns
Proud Labour frowns,
These scenes untried
Seduc'd my pride, To Fortune's arrows bard my breast;
Till Wisdom came,
A hoary dame!
“ ( may I steal
Along the vale
My friend sincere !
My judgment clear!
ON PART OF
“ My mind be strong
“ Unhurt my urn! To combat wrong!
Till that great turn
When mighty Nature's self shall die !
Time cease to glide,
With human pride,
Sunk in the Ocean of Eternity.”
Acute to find,
THE BOOK OF JOB.
TO THE RT. HON. THOMAS LORD PARKER,
BARON OF MACCLESFIELD,
LORD HIGH-CHANCELLOR OF GREAT-BRITAIN, ETC. ETC. Be sad and solemn when 't is dark.
Though I have not the honour of being known to What's most important, make most dear!
your lordship, I presume to take a privilege which For 'tis in this
men of retirement are apt to think themselves in Resides true bliss;
possession of, as being the only method they have True bliss, a deity severe !
of making their way to persons of your lordship's
high station without struggling through multitudes “ When temper leans
for access. I may possibly fail in my respect to To gayer scenes,
your lordship, even while I endeavour to show it And serious life void moments spares,
most; but if I err, it is because I imagined Iought The sylvan chase
not to make my first approach to one of your lordMy sinews brace!
ship’s exalted character with less ceremony thap Or song unbend my mind from cares!
that of a dedication. It is annexed to the condi. “ Nor shun, my soul !
tion of eminent merit, not to suffer more from the The genial bowl,
malice of its enemies, than from the importunity Where mirth, good-nature, spirit, flow!
of its admirers; and perhaps it would be unjust, Ingredients these,
that your lordship should hope to be exempted Above, to please
from the troubles, when you possess all the talents, The laughing gods, the wise, below.
of a patron.
I have here a fair occasion to celebrate those sub“ Though rich the vine,
lime qualities, of which a whole nation is sensible, More wit, than wine,
were it not inconsistent with the design of my present More sense, than wit, good-will than art,
application. By the just discharge of your great May I provide! Fair truth, my pride!
employments, your lordship may well deserve the My joy, the converse of the heart !
prayers of the distressed, the thanks of your coun
try, and the approbation of your royal master: “ The gloomy brow,
this indeed is a reason why every good Briton should The broken vow,
applaud your lordship; but it is equally a reason To distant climes, ye gods ! remove !
why none should disturb you in the execution of The nobly-soul'd
your important affairs by works of fancy and amuseTheir commerce hold
ment. I was therefore induced to make this adWith words of truth, and looks of love!
dress to your lordship, by considering you rather “ O glorious aim!
in the amiable light of a person distinguished () wealth supreme !
for a refined taste of the polite arts, and the canDivine benevolence of soul !
dour that usually attends it, than in the dignity That greatly glows,
of your public character. And freely flows,
The greatness and solemnity of the subjects And in one blessing grasps the whole;
treated of in the following work cannot fail in
some measure to recommend it to a person who “ Prophetic schemes,
holds in the utmost veneration those sacred books And golden dreams,
from which it is taken ; and would at the same May 1, unsanguine, cast away!
time justify to the world my choice of the great Have, what I have !
name prefixed to it, could I be assured that the unAnd live, not leave, Enamour'd of the present day!
dertaking had not suffered in my hands. Thus
much I think myself obliged to say; that if this “ My hours my own!
little performance bad not been very indulgently My faults unknown !
spoken of by some, whose judgment is universally, My chief revenue in content !
allowed in writings of this nature, I had not dared Then, leave one beam
to gratify my ambition in offering it to your lordOf honest fame!
ship: I am sensible that I am endeavouring to exAnd scorn the labour'd monument!
cuse one vanity by another; but I hope I shall