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hood, his honesty the worst dealer in the market, he was
parsimonious, and parsimony must be ascribed to him as
a virtue, for he had been obliged to borrow ten pounds
for his father's burial, and had been refused the loan by
his uncle ; he provided for his sisters, and was known to
he charitable when he had amassed money.
Wallace said, nobody could venture to cope with him in
conversation ; both his manner and thoughts were mas.
culine in a degree peculiar to himself.” It is extraordi.
nary that no trace of this manliness or originality is to be
found in his writings, but it is still more extraordinary
that a man should have been able to write yerses at all,
who could not read them without violating all metre and
all melody by the grossest mistakes in quantity and pro.
His Fables are even worse than his Epick; that which we
have selected is the best, as well as the shortest. His
Dream will show his own opinion of his epick merits.
At the time of his death he was Prosessor of Natural Philo-
sophy at St. Andrews, the only preferment he ever ob-
tained, except the living of Rath's, which he resigned
From “ The Epigoniad."
BOOK III. The Spartan bands, with thirst of vengeance fired, · The fight maintain’d; por from their toils respired.
Before the hero fallen, the warriors stand, ?
Firm as the chains of rock which guard the strand;
Whose rooted strength the angry ocean braves,
And bounds the fury of his bursting waves.
So Sparta stood ; their serred bucklers bar
The Theban phalanx, and exclude the war.
While from the field, upon their shoulders laid,
His warriors sad, the Argive prince convey'd ;
Leophron saw, with indignation fired,
And with his shouts the lingering war inspired.
Again the rigour of the shock returns ;
The slaughter rages, and the combat burns ;
Till, push'd and yielding to superior sway,
In slow retreat the Spartan ranks give way.
As in some channel pent, entangled wood
Reluctant stirs before the angry flood;
Which, on its loaded current, slowly heaves
The spoils of forests mix'd with harvest sheaves.
Pallas observed, and from the Olympian height
Precipitated swift her downward fight.
Like Cleon's valiant son, the goddess came ;
The same her stature, and her arms the same.
Descending from her chariot to the ground,
The son of Týdeus, 'midst his bands, he found ;
His steeds unruled : for, stretch'd before the wheel,
Lay the bold driver pierced with Theban steel.
On the high car her mighty hand she laid,
And thus address’d the valiant Diomed :
The Spartan warriors, prince ! renounce the fight,
O'ermatch'd by numbers and superior might •
While adverse Fate their valiant chief restrains,
Who, dead or wounded, with the foe remains ;
Hegialus lies lifeless on the earth,
Brother to her from whom you claim your birth:
The great Atrides, as he press'd to save,
Leophron's javelin mark’d for him the grave.
To vengeance haste; and, ere it is too late, ·
With speedy succour stop impending fate :
For stern Leophron, like the rage of flame,
With ruin threatens all the Spartan name.
The Goddess thus : Tydides thus replies :
How partial are the counsels of the skies !
For vulgar merit, oft the Gods with care
Honour, and peace, and happiness prepare ;
While worth, distinguish’d by their partial hate,
Submits to all the injuries of fate.
Adrastus thus, with justice may complain
His daughters widow'd, sons in battle slain.
In the devoted fine myself I stand,
And here must perish by some hostile hand :
Yet not for this I shụn the works of war,
Nor skulk inglorious when I ought to dare.
And now I'll meet yon terrour of the plain,
To crown his conquests, or avenge the slain.
But wish some valiant youth to rule my car,
And push the horses through the shock of war,
Were present ; for, extended in his gore,
The brave Speusippus knows his charge no more.
FABLE XV. The Crow, and the other Birds. Containing an useful hint to the Criticks, In ancient times, tradition says, When birds, like men, would strive for praises The Bulfinch, Nightingale, and Thrush, With all that chant from tree or bush, Would often meet in song to vie; The kinds that sing not, sitting by. A knavish Crow, it seems, had got The nack to criticise by rote: He understood each learned phrase, As well as criticks, now-a-days : Some say, he learned them from an owl, By listening where he taught a school,
'Tis strange to tell, this subtle creature,
Though nothing musical by nature,
Had learn'd so well to play his part,
With nonsense couch'd in terms of art,
As to be own'd by all at last
Director of the publick taste.
Then, puff'd with insolence and pride,
And sure of numbers on his side,
Each song he freely criticised ;
What he approved not was despised :
But one false step in evil hour,
For ever stript him of his power.
Once when the birds assembled sat,
All listening to his formal chat;
By instinct nice he chanced to find
A cloud approaching in the wind,
And ravens hardly can refrain
From croaking when they think of rain ;
His wonted song he sung : the blunder
Amazed, and scared them worse than thunder ;
For no one thought so harsh a note
Could ever sound from any throar :
They all at first with mute gurprise
Each on his neighbour turn'd his eyes :
But scorn succeeding soon took place,
And might be read in every face.