« ПретходнаНастави »
Once more, hail, and farewell! farewell, thou young,
There for diversion you may pick your teeth,
And e'en when loose, still drag about their chain.
Let others, who such meannesses can brook,
'T has ever been the top of my desires,
Satire to a Friend about to leave the University.
THE PIOUS MEMORY
MRS ANNE KILLIGREW.
MRS ANNE KILLIGREW was daughter of Dr Henry Killigrew, master of the Savoy, and one of the prebendaries of Westminster, and brother of Thomas Killigrew, renowned, in the court of Charles II., for wit and repartee. The family, says Mr Walpole, was remarkable for its loyalty, accomplishments, and wit; and this young lady, who displayed great talents for painting and poetry, promised to be one of its fairest ornaments. She was maid of honour to the Duchess of York, and died of the small-pox in 1685, the 25th year of her age.
Mrs Anne Killigrew's poems were published after her death in a thin quarto, with a print of the author, from her portrait drawn by herself. She also painted the portraits of the Duke of York and of his Duchess, and executed several historical pictures, landscapes, and pieces of still life. See Lord ORFORD's Lives of the Painters, Works, Vol. III. p. 297; and BALLARD's Lives of
The poems of this celebrated young lady do not possess any uncommon merit, nor are her paintings of a high class, although preferred by Walpole to her poetry. But very slender attainments in such accomplishments, when united with youth, beauty, and fashion, naturally receive a much greater share of approbation from contemporaries, than unbiassed posterity can afford to them. Even the flinty heart of old Wood seems to have been melted by this young lady's charms, notwithstanding her being of
womankind, as he contemptuously calls the fair sex. that she was a Grace for a beauty, and a Muse for a wit; and that there must have been more true history than compliment in our author's ode, since otherwise the lady's father would not have permitted it to go to press.-Athena, Vol. II. p. 1036.
This ode, which singularly exhibits the strong grasp and comprehensive range of Dryden's fancy, as well as the harmony of his numbers, seems to have been a great favourite of Dr Johnson, who, in one place, does not hesitate to compare it to the famous ode on St Cecilia; and, in another, calls it undoubtedly the noblest ode that our language ever has produced. Although it is probable that few will subscribe to the judgment of that great critic in the present instance, yet the verses can never be read with indifference by any admirer of poetry. We are, it is true, sometimes affronted by a pun, or chilled by a conceit; but the general power of thought and expression resumes its sway, in despite of the interruption given by such instances of bad taste. In its arrangement, the ode is what the seventeenth century called pindaric; freed, namely, from the usual rules of order and arrangement. This license, which led most poets, who exercised it, to extravagance and absurdity, only gave Dryden a wider scope for the exercise of his wonderful power of combining and uniting the most dissimilar ideas, in a manner as ingenious as his numbers are harmonious. Images and scenes, the richest, though most inconsistent with each other, are sweeped together by the flood of song: we neither see whence they arise, nor whither they are going; but are contented to admire the richness and luxuriance in which the poet has arrayed them. The opening of the poem has been highly praised by Dr Johnson. "The first part," says that critic,
flows with a torrent of enthusiasm,-Fervet immensusque ruit. All the stanzas, indeed, are not equal. An imperial crown cannot be one continued diamond; the gems must be held together by some less valuable matter."
The stanzas, which appear to the editor peculiarly to exhibit the spirit of the pindaric ode, are the first, second, fourth, and fifth. Of the others, the third is too metaphysical for the occasion; the description of the landscapes in the sixth is beautiful, and presents our imagination with the scenery and groups of Claude Lorraine; and that of the royal portraits, in the seventh, has some fine lines and turns of expression: But I cannot admire, with many critics, the comparison of the progress of genius to the explosion of a sky-rocket; and still less the flat and familiar conclusion,
What next she had designed, heaven only knows.
The eighth stanza is disgraced by antitheses and conceit; and
though the beginning of the ninth be beautiful and affecting, our emotion is quelled by the nature of the consolation administered to a sea captain, that his sister is turned into a star. The last stanza excites ideas perhaps too solemn for poetry; and what is worse, they are couched in poetry too fantastic to be solemn ; but the account of the resurrection of the “sacred poets,” is, in the highest degree, elegant and beautiful.
Anne Killigrew was the subject of several other poetical lamentations, one or two of which are in the Luttrell Collection.
THE PIOUS MEMORY
OF THE ACCOMPLISHED YOUNG LADY
MRS ANNE KILLIGREW,
THE TWO SISTER ARTS
POESY AND PAINTING.
Rich with immortal green above the rest:
Thou tread'st with seraphims the vast abyss: