Слике страница
[ocr errors]


a poet; I should then endeavor to catch, by trans- an imperfect state, which, as soon as I have arlation, the spirit of those beauties which I have al-ranged and collected it, shall be subrnilied to the ways so warmly admired. *

public eye. It seems to have been peculiarly the fate of Ca- Where Mr. LITTLE was born, or what is the genetullus, that the better and more valuable part of his alogy of his parents, are points in which very few poetry has not reached us; for there is confessedly readers can be interested. His life was one of those nothing in his extant works to authorize the epithet humble streams which have scarcely a name in the “doctus,” so universally bestowed upon him by the map of life, and the traveller may pass it by without ancients. If time had suffered his other writings to inquiring its source or direction. His character was escape, we perhaps should have found among them well known to all who were acquainted with him; some more purely amatory; but of thoso se possess, for he had tüs much vanity to hide its virtues, and can there be a sweeter specimen of warm, yet not enough of art to conceal its defects. The lighter chastened description, than his loves of Acme and traits of his mind may be traced perhaps in his Septimius ? and the few little songs of dalliance to writings; but the few for which he was valued live Lesbia are distinguished by such an exquisito play only in the remembrance of his friends. fulness, that they have always been assumed as

T. M.
models by the most elegant modern Latinists. Still,
it must be confessed, in the midst of all these

Medio de fonte le porum
Surgit amari aliquid, quod in ipsis floribus angat.
It has often been remarked, that the ancients
knew nothing of gallantry; and we are sometimes

told there was too much sincerity in their love to
allow them to trifle thus with the semblance of pas-

My Dear Sir, sion. But I cannot perceive that they were any

I FEEL a very sincere pleasure in dedicating thing more constant than the moderns: they felt all

to you the Second Edition of our friend LITTLE'S the same dissipation of the heart, though they knew Poems. I am not unconscious that there are many not those seductive graces by which gallantry almost in the collection which perhaps it would be prudent teaches it to be amiable. Wotton, the learned ad- to have altered or omitted ; and, to say the truth, I vocate for the moderns, deserts them in considering

more than once revised them for that purpose ; but, this point of comparison, and praises the ancients for I know not why, I distrusted either my heart or my their ignorance of such refinements. But he seems

judgment; and the consequence is, you have them to have collected his notions of gallantry from the

in their original form: insipid fadeurs of the French romances, which have Non possunt nostros multæ, Faustine, lituræ

Emendare jocos; una litura potest. nothing congenial with the graceful levity, the * grata protervitas,” of a Rochester or a Sedley. I am convinced, however, that, though not quite

As far as I can judge, the early poets of our own a casuiste relâché, you have charity enough to forlanguage were the models which Mr. Little selected give such inoffensive follies : you know that the pious for imitation. To attain their simplicity (“ævo Beza was not the less revered for those sportive rarissima nostro simplicitas") was his fondest ambi- Juvenilia which he published under a fictitious tion. He could not have aimed at a grace more name; nor did the levity of Bembo's poems prevent difficult of attainment ;f and his life was of too short him from making a very good cardinal. a date to allow him to perfect such a taste; but

Believo me, my dear Friend, how far he was likely to have succeeded, tho critic

With the truest esteem, may judge from his productions.

Yours, I have found among his papers a novel, in rather

T. M.

* In the following Poems, will be found a translation of requires, that the Ramblers of Johnson, elaborate as they one of his finest Carmina; but I fancy it is only a mere appear, were written with fluency, and seldom required reschoolboy's essay, and deserves to be praised for little more vision : while the simple'language of Rousseau, which seems than the atteinpt.

to come flowing from the heart, was the slow production of Lucretius.

painful labor, pausing on every word, and balancing every # It is a curious illustration of the labor which simplicity sentence.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


How strangely the order of destiny falls ! The darkness that hung upon Willumberg's walls, Not long in the waters the warrior lay,

Had long been remember'd with awe and dismay; When a sunbeam was seen to glance over the alls, For years not a sunbeam had play'd in its halls, And the castle of Willumberg bask'd in the ray! And it seem'd as shut out from the regions of day.

All, all but the soul of the maid was in light, Though the valleys were brighten'd by many a

There sorrow and terror lay gloomy and blank: beam,

Two days did she wander, and all the long night, Yet none could the woods of that castle illume; In quest of her love, on the wide river's bank. And the lightning, which flash'd on the neighboring stream,

Oft, oft did she pause for the toll of the bell, Flew back, as if fearing to enter the gloom! And heard but the breathings of night in the air;

Long, long did she gaze on the watery swell, "Oh! when shall this horrible darkness disperse!" And saw but the foam of the white billow there.

Said Willumberg's lord to the Seer of the Cave;It can never dispel,” said the wizard of verse, And often as midnight its veil would undraw, “Till the bright star of chivalry sinks in the As she look'd at the light of the moon in the wave !"


She thought 'twas his helmet of silver she saw,
And who was the bright star of chivalry then? As the curl of the surge glitter'd high in the

Who could be but Reuben, the flower of the age ? beam.
For Reuben was first in the combat of men,
Though Youth had scarce written his name on And now the third night was begemming the sky;

Poor Rose, on the cold dewy margent reclined,

There wept till the tear almost froze in her eye, For Willumberg's daughter his young heart had When-hark !-'twas the bell that came deep beat,

in the wind! For Rose, who was bright as the spirit of dawn, When with wand dropping diamonds, and silvery She startled, and saw, through the glimmering feet,

shade, It walks o'er the flow'rs of the mountain and lawn. A form o'er the waters in majesty glide ;

her page.

[blocks in formation]

I This alludes to a curious gem, upon which Claudian has as this that I saw at Vendôme in France, which they there left us some very elaborate epigrams. It was a drop of pure pretend is a tear that our Saviour shed over Lazarus, and was water enclosed within a piece of crystal. See Claudian. Epi- gathered up by an angel, who put it into a little crystal vial, gram." de Crystallo cui aqua inerat." Addison mentions a

and made a present of it to Mary Magdalen.''-Addison's curiosity of this kind at Milan; and adds, " It is such a rarity Remarks on several Parts of Italy.

« ПретходнаНастави »