Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Through the bleak regions of a nameless main :
Here danger stalks, and drinks with glutted ear
The wearied sailor’s moan, and fruitless sigh,
Who, as he slowly cuts his daring way,
Affrighted drops his axe, and stops awhile,
To hear the jarring echoes lengthen'd din,
That Aling from pathless cliffs their sullen sound:
Oft here the fiend his grisly visage shews,
His limbs, of giant form, in vesture clad
Of drear collected ice and stiffened snow,
The same he wore a thousand years ago,
That thwarts the sunbeam, and endures the day.

'Tis thus, by Fancy shewn, thou kenn'st entranc'd
Lone tangled woods, and ever stagnant lakes,
That know no zephyr pure, or temperate gale,
By baleful Tigris banks, where, oft they say,
As late in sullen march for prey he prowls,
The tawny lion sees his shadow'd form,
At silent midnight by the moon's pale gleam,
On the broad surface of the dark deep wave;
Here, parch'd at mid-day, oft the passenger
Invokes with lingering hope the tardy breeze,
And oft with silent anguish thinks in vain
On Europe's milder air and silver springs.

Thou, unappall’d, canst view astounding fear
With ghastly visions wild, and train unbless'd
Of ashy fiends, at dead of murky night,
Who catch the fleeting soul, and slowly pace,
With visage dimly seen, and beckoning hand,
Of shadowy forms, that, ever on the wing,

Flit by the tedious couch of wan despair.
Methinks I hear him, with impatient tongue,
The lagging minutes chide, whilst sad he sits
And notes their secret lapse with shaking head.
See, see, with tearless glance they mark his fall,
And close his beamless eye, who, trembling, meets
A late repentance, and an early grave.

With thine and elfin Fancy's dreams well pleas’d,
Safe in the lowly vale of letter'd ease,
From all the dull buffoonery of life,
Thy sacred influence grateful may I own; :
Nor till old age shall lead me to my tomb,
Quit thee and all thy charms with many a tear.

On Omole, or cold Soracte's top, in Singing defiance to the threat’ning storm, Thus the lone bird, in winter's rudest hour, Hid in some cavern, shrouds its ruffled plumes, And through the long, long night, regardless hears The wild wind's keenest blast and dashing rain.

JOHN LO GA N.

BORN 1748.-DIED 1788.

John LOGAN was the son of a farmer, in the parish of Fala, and county of Mid-Lothian, Scotland. He was educated for the church, at the university of Edinburgh. There he contracted an intimacy with Dr. Robertson, who was then a student of his own standing; and he was indebted to that eminent character for many friendly offices in the course of his life. After finishing his theological studies, he lived for some time in the family of Mr. Sinclair, of Ulbster, as tutor to the present Sir John Sinclair. In his twenty-fifth year, he was ordained one of the ministers of Leith; and had a principal share in the scheme for revising the psalmody of the Scottish church, under the authority of the general assembly. He contributed to this undertaking several scriptural translations, and paraphrases, of his own composition. About the same time, he delivered, during two successive seasons, in Edinburgh, Lectures on History, which were attended with so much approbation, that he was brought forward as a candidate for the professorship of history in the unia versity; but, as the chair had been always filled by one of the members of the faculty of advocates, the choice fell upon another competitor, who possessed that qualification. When disappointed in this object, he published the substance of his lectures in a work, entitled, “ Elements of the Philosophy of History;", and, in a separate essay, “ On the Manners of Asia.”

His poems, which had hitherto been only circulated in MS. or printed in a desultory manner, were collected and published in 1781. The favourable reception which they met with, encouraged him to attempt the composition of a tragedy, and he chose the charter of Runnymede for his subject. This innocent drama was sent to the manager of Covent Garden, by whom it was accepted, and even put into rehearsal ; but, on some groundless rumour of its containing dangerous political matter, the Lord Chamberlain thought fit to prohibit its representation. It was, however, acted on the Edinburgh boards, and afterwards published; though without exhibiting in its contents any thing calculated to agitate either poetical or political feelings.

In the mean time our author unhappily drew on himself the displeasure of his parishioners. His connexion with the stage was deemed improper in a clergyman. His literary pursuits interfered with his pastoral diligence; and, what was worse, he was constitutionally subject to fits of depression, from which he took refuge in inebriety. Whatever his irregularities were, (for they have been differently described,) he was obliged to compound for them, by resigning his flock, and retiring upon a small annuity. He came to London, where his principal literary

employments were, furnishing articles for the English Review, and writing in vindication of Warren Hastings. He died, at the age of forty, at his lodgings, in Marlborough-street. His Sermons, which were published two years after his death, have obtained considerable popularity.

His “ Ode to the Cuckoo” is the most agreeable effusion of his fancy. Burke was so much pleased with it, that, when he came to Edinburgh, he made himself acquainted with its author. His claim to this piece has indeed been disputed by the relatives of Michael Bruce; and it is certain, that when Bruce's poems were sent to Logan, he published them intermixed with his own, without any marks to discriminate the respective authors. He is farther accused of having refused to restore the MSS. But as the charge of stealing the Cuckoo from Bruce was not brought against Logan in his life-time, it cannot, in charity, stand against his memory on the bare assertion of his accusers.

ODE TO THE CUCKOO.

Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove !

Thou messenger of Spring! · Now Heaven repairs thy rural seat,

And woods thy welcome sing. What time the daisy decks the green,

Thy certain voice we hear;

[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »