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WILLIAM COWPER.

William CowPER, a poet of distinguished and Olney in Buckinghamshire, which was thenceforth original genius, was born in 1731, at Great Berk- the principal place of Cowper's residence. At hampstead in Hertfordshire. His father, the rector Olney he contracted a close friendship with the of the parish, was John Cowper, D. D., nephew of Rev. Mr. Newton, then minister there, and since Lord Chancellor Cowper. The subject of this me- rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, London, whose reli. morial was educated at Westminster school, where gious opinions were in unison with his own. To a he acquired the classical knowledge and correctness collection of hymns published by him, Cowper conof taste for which it is celebrated, but without any tributed a considerable number of his own composi. portion of the confident and undaunted spirit which lion. He first became known to the public as a is supposed to be one of the most valuable acquisi- poet by a volume printed in 1782, the contents of tions derived from the great schools, to those who which, if they did not at once place him high in the are to push their way in the world. On the con- scale of poetic excellence, sufficiently established his trary, it appears from his poem entitled " Tirocini-claim to originality. Its topics are, “ Table Talk," um," that the impressions made upon his mind from Error," "Truth," “ Expostulation," " Hope,” “Charwhat he witnessed in this place, were such as gave ity," “ Conversation,” and “ Retirement,” all treated him a permanent dislike to the system of public upon religious principles, and not without a consideducation. Soon after his leaving Westminster, he erable tinge of that rigor and austerity which bewas articled to a solicitor in London for three years ; longed to his system. These pieces are written in but so far from studying the law, he spent the great-rhymed heroics, which he commonly manages with est part of his time with a relation, where he and little grace, or attention to melody. The style, though the future Lord Chancellor (Lord Thurlow) spent often prosaic, is never flat or insipid ; and sometimes their time, according to his own expression, “ in gig- the true poet breaks through, in a vein of lively degling, and making giggle.” At the expiration of his scription or bold figure. time with the solicitor, he took chambers in the If this volume excited but little of the public atTemple, but his time was still little employed on tention, his next volume, published in 1785, introthe law, and was rather engaged in classical pur- duced his name to all the lovers of poetry, and gave suits, in which Coleman, Bonnel Thornton, and him at least an equality of reputation with any of Lloyd, seem to have been his principal associates. his contemporaries. It consists of a poem in six

Cowper's spirits were naturally weak; and when books, entitled "The Task," alluding to the injunchis friends had procured him a nomination to the tion of a lady, to write a piece in blank verse, for offices of reading-clerk and clerk of the Private the subject of which she gave him The Sofa. It sets Committees in the House of Lords, he shrunk with out, indeed, with some sportive discussion of this such terror from the idea of making his appearance topic; but soon falls into a serious strain of rural before the most august assembly in the nation, that description, intermixed with moral sentiments and after a violent struggle with himself, he resigned his portraitures, which is preserved through the six intended employment, and with it all his prospects books, freely ranging from thought to thought with in life. In fact, he became completely deranged; no perceptible method. But as the whole poem will and in this situation was placed, in December, 1763, here be found, it is unnecessary to enter into particuabout the 320 year of his age, with Dr. Cotton, an lars. Another piece, entitled “ Tirocinium, or a Reamiable and worthy physician at St. Alban's. This view of Schools," a work replete with striking obagitation of his mind is placed by some who have servation, is added to the preceding; and several mentioned it to the account of a deep consideration other pieces gleaned from his various writings will of his state in a religious view, in which the terrors be found in the collection. of eternal judgment so much overpowered his For the purpose of losing in employment the disfaculties, that he remained seven months in mo-tressing ideas which were ever apt to recur, he next mentary expectation of being plunged into final undertook the real task of translating into blank misery. Mr. Johnson, however, a near relation, has verse the whole of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. This taken pains to prove to demonstration, that these work has much merit of execution, and is certainly views of his condition were so far from producing a far more exact representation of the ancient poet such an effect, that they ought to be regarded as his than Pope's ornamental version ; but where simplisole consolation. It appears, however, that his mind city of matter in the original is not relieved by ihe had acquired such an indelible tinge of melancholy, force of sonorous diction, the poverty of English that his whole successive life was passed with little blank verse has scarcely been able to prevent it from more than intervals of comfort between long parox- sinking into mere prose. Various other translations ysms of settled despondency.

denoted his necessity of seeking employment; but After a residence of a year and a half with Dr. nothing was capable of durably relieving his mind Cotton, he spent part of his time at the house of from the horrible impressions it had undergone. He his relation, Earl Cowper, and part at Huntingdon, passed some of his latter years under the affection. with his intimate friend, the Rev. Mr. Unwin. The ate care of a relation at East Dereham, in Norfolk, death of the latter caused his widow to remove to where he died on April 25th, 1800.

BOADICEA:

AN ODE.

When the British warrior-queen,

Bleeding from the Roman rods, Sought, with an indignant mien,

Counsel of her country's gods, Sage beneath the spreading oak

Sat the Druid, hoary chief; Ev'ry burning word he spoke

Full of rage, and full of grief.

· Princess! if our aged eyes

Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 'Tis because resentment ties

All the terrors of our tongues.

“ Rome shall perish—write that word

In the blood that she has spilt; Perish, hopeless and abhorr’d,

Deep in ruin as in guilt.

“Rome, for empire far renown'd,

Tramples on a thousand states ; Soon her pride shall kiss the ground

Hark! the Gaul is at her gates !

“Other Romans shall arise,

Heedless of a soldier's name; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,

Harmony the path to fame.

“ Then the progeny that springs

From the forests of our land, Arm'd with thunder, clad with wings,

Shall a wider world command.

Her unctuous olives, and her purple viries,
(Unfelt the fury of those bursting mines,)
The peasants hopes, and not in vain, assur'd,
In peace upon her sloping sides matur'd.
When on a day, like that of the last doom,
A conflagration lab'ring in her womb,
She teem'd and heav'd with an infernal birth,
That shook the circling seas and solid earth.
Dark and voluminous the vapors rise,
And hang their horrors in the neighb'ring skies,
While through the Stygian veil, that blots the day,
In dazzling streaks the vivid lightnings play.
But oh! what muse, and in what pow'rs of song,
Can trace the torrent as it burns along?
Havoc and devastation in the van,
It marches o'er the prostrate works of man,
Vines, olives, herbage, forests disappear,
And all the charms of a Sicilian year.

Revolving seasons, fruitless as they pass,
See it an uninform'd and idle mass ;
Without a soil t'invite the riller's care,
Or blade, that might redeem it from despair.
Yet time at length (what will not time achieve ?)
Clothes it with earth, and bids the produce live.
Once more the spiry myrtle crowns the glade,
And ruminating flocks enjoy the shade.
O bliss precarious, and unsafe retreats,
O charming Paradise of short-liv'd sweets!
The self-same gale, that wafts the fragrance round
Brings to the distant ear a sullen sound :
Again the mountain feels th' imprison'd foe,
Again pours ruin on the vale below.
Ten thousand swains the wasted scene deplore,
That only future ages can restore.

Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honor draws, Who write in blood the merits of your cause, Who strike the blow, then plead your own defence, Glory your airo, but justice your pretence; Behold in Ætna's emblematic fires The mischiefs your ambitious pride inspires !

Fast by the stream, that bounds your just domain And tells you where ye have a right to reign,

A nation dwells, not envious of your throne,
Studious of peace, their neighbors', and their own
Il-fated race! how deeply must tbey rue

Their only crime, vicinity to you!
The trumpet sounds, your legions swarm abroad,
Through the ripe harvest lies their destin'd road;
At every step beneath their feet they tread
The life of multitudes, a nation's bread!
Earth seems a garden in its loveliest dress
Before them, and behind a wilderness.
Famine, and Pestilence, her first-born son,
Attend to finish what the sword begun;
And echoing praises, such as fiends might earn
And Folly pays, resound at your return.
A calm succeeds—but Plenty, with her train
Of heart-felt joys, succeeds not soon again,
And years of pining indigence must show
What scourges are the gods that rule below.

Yet man, laborious man, by slow degrees,
(Such is his thirst of opulence and ease.)
Plies all the sinews of industrious toil,
Gleans up the refuse of the gen'ral spoil,
Rebuilds the tow’rs, that smokd upon the plain,
And the Sun gilds the shining spires again.

Increasing commerce and reviving art
Renew the quarrel on the conqu’ror's part ;
And the sad lesson must be learn'd once more,
That wealth within is ruin at the door.

" Regions Cæsar never knew

Thy posterity shall sway; Where his eagles never few,

None invincible as they."

Such the bard's prophetic words,

Pregnant with celestial fire, Bending as he swept the chords

Of his sweet but awful lyre.

She, with all a monarch's pride,

Felt them in her bosom glow; Rush'd to battle, fought, and died ;

Dying hurl'd them at the foe.

“ Ruffians, pitiless as proud,

Heav'n awards the vengeance due; Empire is on us bestow'd,

Shame and ruin wait for you."

HEROISM.

There was a time when Ætna's silent fire Slept unperceiv'd, the mountain yet entire ; When, conscious of no danger from below, She tower'd a cloud-capt pyramid of snow. No thunders shook with deep intestine sound The blooming groves, that girdled her around.

What are ye, monarchs, laureld heroes, say, Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd
But Ætnas of the suff'ring world ye sway? In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet cap,
Sweet Nature, stripp'd of her embroider'd robe, | 'Tis now become a hist'ry little known,
Deplores the wasted regions of her globe ; That once we callid the past'ral house our own.
And stands a witness at Truth's awful bar, Short-liv'd possession! but the record fair,
To prove you there destroyers as ye are.

That mem'ry keeps of all thy kindness there,
O place me in some Heav'n-protected isle, Sull outlives many a storm, that has effac'd
Where Peace, and Equity, and Freedom smile ; A thousand other themes less deeply trac d.
Where no volcano pours his fiery flood,

Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, No crested warrior dips his plume in blood; That thou might'st know me safe and warmly laid ; Where Pow'r secures what Industry has won; Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, Where to succeed is not to he undone;

The biscuit, or confectionary plum; A land, that distant tyrants hate in vain,

The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd
In Britain's isle, beneath a George's reign! By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glow'd !

All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,

Ne'er roughen'd by those cataracts and breaks,
ON THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE That humor interpos'd too often makes ;
OUT OF NORFOLK,

All this still legible in mem'ry's page,

And still to be so to my latest age, THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN ANN BODHAM.

Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay O that those lips had language! Life has passid Such honors to thee as my numbers may; Witn me but roughly since I heard thee last. Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere, Those lips are thine-Thy own sweet smile I see, Not scorn'd in Heav'n, though little notic'd here. The same, that oft in childhood solac'd me;

Could Time, bis flight revers'd, restore the hours Voice only fails, else how distinct they say, When, playing with thy vesture's tissued fow'rs, “Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!" The violet, the pink, and jessamine, The meek intelligence of those dear eyes

I prick'd them into paper with a pin, (Blest be the art that can immortalize,

(And thou wast happier than myself the while, The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim

Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile;) To quench it,) here shines on me still the same. Could those few pleasant days again appear, Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,

Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here? O welcome guest, though unexpected here! I would not trust my heart--the dear delight Who bidd'st me honor with an artless song, Seems so to be desir'd, perhaps I might.Affectionate, a mother lost so long.

But no—what here we call our life is such, I will obey, not willingly alone,

So little to be lov'd, and thou so much, But gladly, as the precept were her own:

That I should ill requite thee to constrain And, while that face renews my filial grief, Thy unbound spirit into bonds again. Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,

Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast Shall sleep me in Elysian reverie,

(The storms all weather'd and the ocean cross'd) A momentary dream that thou art she.

Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle, My mother! when I learn’d that thou wast dead, Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ?

There sits quiescent on the noods, that show Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,

Her beauteous form reflected clear below, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun ? While airs impregnated with incense play Perhaps thou gav'st me, though unfelt, a kiss ; Around her, fanning light her streamers gay ; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss— So thou, with sails how swist! hast reach'd the shore, Ah, that maternal smile! it answers—Yes.

Where tempests never beat, nor billows roar,' I heard the bell tolld on thy burial day,

And thy lov'd consort on the dang'rous tide
I saw the hearse, that bore thee slow away, Of life long since has anchor'd by thy side.
And, turning from my nurs’ry window, drew But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu!

Always from port withheld, always distress'd-
But was it such ?-It was.-Where thou art gone, Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-toss’d,
Adieus and farewells are a sounl unknown. Sails ripp'd, seams op'ning wide, and compass lost,
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, And day by day some current's thwarting force
The parting word shall pass my lips no more! Sets me more distant from a prosp'rous course.
Thy maidens, griev'd themselves at my concern, Yet O the thought, that thou art safe, and hre!
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.

That thought is joy, arrive what may to me. What ardently I wish'd, I long believ'd,

My boast is not, that I deduce my birth And, disappointed still, was still deceiv'd.

From loins enthron'd, and rulers of the Earth ; By expectation ev'ry day beguil'd,

But higher far my proud pretensions riseDupe of to-morrow even from a child.

The son of parents pass'd into the skies. Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went And now, farewell—Time unrevok'd has run Till, all my stock of infant-sorrow spent,

His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done. I learn’d at last submission to my lot,

By contemplation's help, not sought in vain, But, though I less deplor'd thee, ne'er forgot. I seem t' have liv'd my childhood o'er again;

Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, To have renew'd the joys that once were mine, Children not thine have trod my nurs'ry Noor; Without the sin of violating thine ; And where the gard'ner Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way,

• Garth.

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As envy pines at good possessid,
So jealousy looks forth distress'd

On good, that seems approaching i And, if success his steps attend, Discerns a rival in a friend,

And hates him for encroaching.

Hence authors of illustrious name, Unless belied by common fame,

Are sadly prone to quarrel, To deem the wit a friend displays A tax upon their own just praise,

And pluck each other's laurel. A man renown'd for repartee Will seldom scruple to make free

With friendship's finest feeling; Will thrust a dagger at your breast, And say he wounded you in jest,

By way of balm for healing.

Candid, and generous, and just,
Boys care but little whom they trust,

An error soon corrected
For who but learns in riper years,
That man, when smoothest he appears,

Is most to be suspected ?
But here again a danger lies,
Lest, having misapplied our eyes,

And taken trash for treasure,
We should unwarily conclude
Friendship a false ideal good,

A mere Utopian pleasure.
An acquisition rather rare
Is yet no subject of despair;

Nor is it wise complaining,
If either on forbidden ground,
Or where it was not to be found,

We sought without attaining.
No friendship will abide the test,
That stands on sordid interest,

Or mean self-love erected ; Nor such as may awhile subsist, Between the sot and sensualist,

For vicious ends connected. Who seek a friend should come dispos'd, T'exhibit in full bloom disclos'd

The graces and the beauties,
That form the character he seeks,
For 'lis a union that bespeaks

Reciprocated duties.
Mutual attention is implied,
And equal truth on either side,

And constantly supported :
"Tis senseless arrogance t'accuse
Another of sinister views,

Our own as much distorted.

Whoever keeps an open ear
For tattlers, will be sure to hear

The trumpet of contention ; Aspersion is the babbler's trade, To listen is to lend him aid,

And rush into dissension.

A friendship, that in frequent fits
Of controversial rage emits

The sparks of disputation,
Like Hand-in-Hand insurance plates,
Most unavoidably creates

The thought of conflagration.

Some fickle creatures boast a soul
True as a needle to the Pole,

Their humor yet so various-
They manifest their whole life through
The needle's deviation too,

Their love is so precarious.

The great and small but rarely meet
On terms of amity complete ;

Plebeians must surrender,
And yield so much to noble folk,
It is combining fire with smoke,

Obscurity with splendor.

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Some are so placid and serene,
(As Irish bogs are always green,)

They sleep secure from waking; And are indeed a bog, that bears Your unparticipated cares,

Unmoy'd and without quaking.

Courtier and patriot cannot mix
Their het’rogeneous politics

Without an effervescence,
Like that of salts with lemon-juice,
Which does not yet like that produce

A friendly coalescence.

Religion should extinguish strise,
And make a calm of human life;

But friends that chance to differ
On points which God has left at large,
How freely will they meet and charge!

No combatants are stiffer.

As similarity of mind,
Or something not to be defin'd,

First fixes our attention ;
So manners decent and polite,
The same we practis'd at first sight,

Must save it from declension.
Some act upon this dent plan,
Say little, and hear all you can :"

Safe policy, but hateful-
So barren sands imbibe the show'r,
But render neither fruit nor flow'r,

Unpleasant and ungrateful.
The man I trust, if shy to me,
Shall find me as reserv'd as he;

No subterfuge or pleading
Shall win my confidence again,
I will by no means entertain

A spy on my proceeding.
These samples—for alas! at last
These are but samples, and a taste

Of evils yet unmention'd-
May prove the task a task indeed,
In which 'tis much if we succeed,

However well-intention'd.
Pursue the search, and you will find
Good sense and knowledge of mankind

To be at least expedient,
And, after summing all the rest,
Religion ruling in the breast,

A principal ingredient.
The noblest friendship ever shown
The Savior's history makes known,

Though some have turn'd and turn'd it
And, whether being craz'd or blind,
Or seeking with a biass'd mind,

Have not, it scems, discern'd it.
O Friendship! if my soul forego
Thy dear delights while here below;

To mortify and grieve me,
May I myself at last appear
Unworthy, base, and insincere,

Or may my friend deceive me.

To prove at last my main intent
Needs no expense of argument,

No cutting and contriving-
Seeking a real friend, we seem
T" adopt the chymists' golden dream,

With still less hope of thriving.

Sometimes the fault is all our own, Some blemish in due time made known,

By trespass or omission ; Sometimes occasion brings to light Our friend's defect long bid from sight,

And even from suspicion.

Then judge yourself and prove your man As circumspectly as you can,

And, having made election, Beware no negligence of yours, Such as a friend but ill endures,

Enfeeble his affection.

RETIREMENT.

Chat secrets are a sacred trust,
That friends should be sincere and just,

That constancy befits them,
Are observations on the case,
That savor much of commonplace,

And all the world admits them.

studiis florens ignobilis oti.

Virg. Georg b. iv.

But 'tis not timber, lead, and stone, An architect requires alone,

To finish a fine buildingThe palace were but half complete, If he could possibly forget

The carving and the gilding.

HACKNEY'D in business, wearied at that oar
Which thousands, once fast chain'd to, quit ro more
But which, when life at ebb runs weak and low,
All wish, or seem to wish, they could forego);
The statesman, lawyer, merchant, man of wade,
Pants for the refuge of some rural shade,
Where, all his long anxieties forgot
Amid the charms of a sequester'd sput,
Or recollected only to gild o'er,

And add a smile to what was sweet before,
He may possess the joys he thinks he sees,
Lay his old age upon the lap of Ease,
Improve the remnant of his wasted span,
And, having liv'd a trifler, die a man.

The man that hails you Tom or Jack,
And proves by thumps upon your back

How he esteems your merit,
Is such a friend, that one had need
Be very much his friend indeed,

To pardon or to bear it.

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