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Gay is thy morning, flattering hope
Thy sprightly step attends ;
And the dark night descends.
Comes o'er the beam of light;
Man tarries but a night.
The flowers that paint the field;
And boughs and blossoms yield.
Away the Summer flies,
And all their beauty dies.
And shaking to the wind,
The wilderness behind.
Anew shall paint the plain,
And flourish green again.
Ah! never to return !
The ashes of the urn.
What hand can e'er unfold?
Can raise the human mould ?
Its torrents to the main,
From that abyss again.
Descending down to night,
Back to the gates of light.
To night's perpetual gloom;
The slumbers of the tomb.
The mighty men of old ? “The patriarchs, prophets, princes, kings,
In sacred books enrolled ?
The everlasting home,
Where future ages come.'
And urged her earnest cry;
Ascended to the sky, The Almighty heard : then from his throne
In majesty he rose;
His voice in mercy flows.
And falls a clod of clay,
To never-setting day.
The bed of torment lies ; The just shall enter into bliss
Immortal in the skies.'
The above hymn has been claimed for Michael Bruce by Mr Mackelvie, his biographer, on the faith of internal evidence,' because two of the stanzas resemble a fragment in the handwriting of Bruce. We subjoin the stanzas and the fragment:
When chill the blast of winter blows,
Away the summer flies,
And all their beauty dies.
And, shaking to the wind,
The wilderness behind. * The hoar-frost glitters on the ground, the frequent | leaf falls from the wood, and tosses to and fro down on the wind. The summer is gone with all his flowers; summer, the season of the muses; yet not the more cease I to wander where the muses haunt near spring or shadowy grove, or sunny hill. It was on a calm morning, while yet the darkness strove with the doubtful twilight, I rose and walked out under the opening eyelids of the morn.'
If the originality of a poet is to be questioned on the ground of such resemblances as the above, what modern is safe? The images in both pieces are common to all descriptive poets. Bruce's Ossianic fragment is patched with expressions from Milton, which are neither marked as quotations nor printed as poetry. The reader will easily recollect the following :
Yet not the more
Par. Lost, Book iii.
The Wartons, like the Beaumonts, were a poetical race. Thomas, the historian of English poetry, was the second son of Dr Warton of Magdalen college, Oxford, who was twice chosen Professor of Poetry by his university, and who wrote some pleasing verses, half scholastic and half sentimental. A sonnet by the elder Warton is worthy being transcribed, for its strong family likeness :
[Written after seeing Windsor Castle.) From beauteous Windsor's high and storied halls, Where Edward's chiefs start from the glowing walls, To my low cot from ivory beds of state, Pleased I return unenvious of the great. So the bee ranges o'er the varied scenes Of corn, of heaths, of fallows, and of greens, Pervades the thicket, soars above the hill, Or murmurs to the meadow's murmuring rill: Now haunts old hollowed oaks, deserted cells, Now seeks the low vale lily's silver bells; Sips the warm fragrance of the greenhouse bowers, And tastes the myrtle and the citron's flowers ; At length returning to the wonted comb, Prefers to all his little straw-built home. The poetry-professor died in 1745. His tastes, his love of poetry, and of the university, were continued by his son Thomas, born in 1728. At sixteen, Thomas Warton was entered of Trinity college. He began early to write verses, and his Pleasures of Melancholy, published when he was nineteen, gave a promise of excellence which his riper productions did not fulfil. Having taken his degree, Warton
obtained a fellowship, and in 1757 was appointed pression and general interest, but some of his longer Professor of Poetry. He was also curate of Wood- pieces, by their martial spirit and Gothic fancy, are stock, and rector of Kiddington, a small living near calculated to awaken a stirring and romantic enthuOxford. The even tenor of his life was only varied siasm. Hazlitt considered some of his sonnets the by his occasional publications, one of which was an finest in the language, and they seem to have caught elaborate Essay on Spenser's Faery Queen. He also the fancy of Coleridge and Bowles. The following edited the minor poems of Milton, an edition which are picturesque and graceful :Leigh Hunt says is a wilderness of sweets, and is the only one in which a true lover of the original can Written in a Blank Leaf of Dugdale's Monasticon. pardon an exuberance of annotation. Some of the Deem not devoid of elegance the sage, notes are highly poetical, while others display War- By Fancy's genuine feelings unbeguiled ton's taste for antiquities, for architecture, superstition, and his intimate acquaintance with the old of painful pedantry, the poring child, Elizabethan writers. A still more important work, who turns of these proud domes the historic page, the History of English Poetry, forms the basis of his Now sunk by Time, and Henry's fiercer rage. reputation. In this history Warton poured out in On his lone hours ? Ingenious views engage
Think'st thou the warbling muses never smiled profusion the treasures of a full mind. His antiqua- His thoughts on themes unclassic falsely styled, rian lore, his love of antique manners, and his chi- Intent. While cloistered piety displays valrous feelings, found appropriate exercise in tracing Her mouldering roll, the piercing eye explores the stream of our poetry from its first fountain- New manners, and the
pomp of elder days, springs, down to the luxuriant reign of Elizabeth, Whence culls the pensive bard his pictured stores. which he justly styled “the most poetical age of our Not rough nor barren are the winding ways annals. Pope and Gray had planned schemes of a Of hoar antiquity, but strewn with flowers. history of English poetry, in which the authors were to be arranged according to their style and merits. Warton adopted the chronological arrangement, as
On Revisiting the River Loddon. giving freer exertion for research, and as enabling Ah! what a weary race my feet have run him to exhibit, without transposition, the gradual Since first I trod thy banks with alders crowned, improvements of our poetry, and the progression of And thought my way was all through fairy ground, our language. The untiring industry and learning Beneath the azure sky and golden sunof the poet-historian accumulated a mass of ma- When first my muse to lisp her notes begun! terials equally valuable and curious. His work is a While pensive memory traces back the round vast store-house of facts connected with our early Which fills the varied interval between; literature, and if he sometimes wanders from his Much pleasure, more of sorrow marks the scene. subject, or overlays it with extraneous details, it Sweet native stream ! those skies and suns so pure, should be remembered, as his latest editor, Mr Price, No more return to cheer my evening road! remarks, that new matter was constantly arising, Yet still one joy remains, that not obscure and that Warton was the first adventurer in the Nor useless, all my vacant days have flowed extensive region through which he journied, and into From youth's gay dawn to manhood's prime mature, which the usual pioneers of literature had scarcely Nor with the muse's laurel unbestowed. penetrated.' It is to be regretted that Warton's plan excluded the drama, which forms so rich a
On Sir Joshua Reimolds's Painted Window at Oxford. source of our early imaginative literature; but this defect has been partly supplied by Mr Collier's | Ye brawny Prophets, that in robes so rich, Annals of the Stage. On the death of Whitehead in At distance due, possess the crisped niche ; 1785, Warto was appointed poet-laureate. His Ye rows of Patriarchs that, sublimely reared, learning gave dignity to an office usually held in Diffuse a proud primeval length of beard : small esteem, and which in our day has been wisely Ye Saints, who, clad in crimson's bright array, converted into a sinecure. The same year he was More pride than humble poverty display: made Camden Professor of History. While pursu- Ye Virgins meek, that wear the palmy crown ing his antiquarian and literary researches, Warton Of patient faith, and yet so fiercely frown: was attacked with gout, and his enfeebled health Ye Angels, that from clouds of gold recline, yielded to a stroke of paralysis in 1790. Notwith- But boast no semblance to a race divine: standing the classic stiffness of his poetry, and his Ye tragic Tales of legendary lore, full-blown academical honours, Warton appears to That draw devotion's ready tear no more ; have been an easy companionable man, who de- Ye Martyrdoms of unenlightened days, lighted to unbend in common society, and especially Ye Miracles that now no wonder raise; with boys. “During his visits to his brother, Dr Shapes, that with one broad glare the gazer strike, J. Warton (master of Winchester school), the reve- Kings, bishops, nuns, apostles, all alike! rend professor became an associate and confidant in Ye Colours, that the unwary sight amaze, all the sports of the schoolboys. When engaged And only dazzle in the noontide blaze ! with them in some culinary occupation, and when No more the sacred window's round disgrace, alarmed by the sudden approach of the master, he But yield to Grecian groups the shining space. has been known to hide himself in a dark corner of Lo! from the canvass Beauty shifts her throne; the kitchen; and has been dragged from thence by Lo! Picture's powers a new formation own! the doctor, who had taken him for some great boy. Behold, she prints upon the crystal plain, He also used to help the boys in their exercises, With her own energy, the expressive stain ! generally putting in as many faults as would dis- The mighty Master spreads his mimic toil guise the assistance."
.** If there was little dignity in More wide, nor only blends the breathing oil; this, there was something better—a kindliness of dis- But calls the lineaments of life complete position and freshness of feeling which all would From genial alchymy's creative heat; wish to retain.
Obedient forms to the bright fusion gives, The poetry of Warton is deficient in natural ex
While in the warm enamel Nature lives.
Reynolds, 'tis thine, from the broad window's height, * Vide Campbell's Specimens, second edition, p. 020. To add new lustre to religious light:
Not of its pomp to strip this ancient shrine,
The Hamlet.-An Ode. The binds how blest, who, ne'er beguiled To quit their hamlet's hawthorn wild, Nor haunt the crowd, nor tempt the main, For splendid care, and guilty gain! When morning's twilight-tinctured beam Strikes their low thatch with slanting gleam, They rove abroad in ether blue, To dip the scythe in fragrant dew; The sheaf to bind, the beech to fell, That nodding shades a craggy dell. Midst gloomy glades, in warbles clear, Wild nature's sweetest notes they hear: On green untrodden banks they view The hyacinth's neglected hue : In their lone haunts, and woodland rounds, They spy the squirrel's airy bounds ; And startle from her ashen spray, Across the glen the screaming jay; Each native charm their steps explore Of Solitude's sequestered store. For them the moon with cloudless ray Mounts to illume their homeward way : Their weary spirits to relieve, The meadows incense breathe at eve. No riot mars the simple fare, That o'er a glimmering hearth they share : But when the curfew's measured roar Duly, the darkening valleys o'er, Has echoed from the distant town, They wish no beds of cygnet-down, No trophied canopies, to close Their drooping eyes in quick repose. Their little sons, who spread the bloom Of health around the clay-built room, Or through the primrosed coppice stray, Or gambol in the new-mown hay; Or quaintly braid the cowslip-twine, Or drive afield the tardy kine ; Or hasten from the sultry hill, To loiter at the shady rill ; Or climb the tall pine's gloomy-crest, To rob the raven's ancient nest. Their humble porch with honied flowers, The curling woodbine’s shade embowers; From the small garden's thymy mound Their bees in busy swarms resound: Nor fell disease before his time, Hastes to consume life's golden prime: But when their temples long have wore The silver crown of tresses hoar; As studious still calm peace to keep, Beneath a flowery turf they sleep.
in the graphic and romantic style of composition at which he aimed. His Ode to Fancy seems, however, to be equal to all but a few pieces of Thomas Warton's. He was also editor of an edition of Pope's works, which was favourably reviewed by Johnson. Warton was long intimate with Johnson, and a member of his literary club.
O nymph with loosely-flowing hair,
Me, goddess, by the right-hand lead,
Yet not these flowery fields of joy
The elder brother of Thomas Warton closely resembled him in character and attainments. He was born in 1722, and was the schoolfellow of Collins at Winchester. He was afterwards a commoner of Oriel college, Oxford, and ordained on his father's curacy at Basingstoke. He was also rector of Tamworth. In 1766 he was appointed head master of Winchester school, to which were subsequently added a prebend of St Paul's and of Winchester. He survived his brother ten years, dying in 1800. Dr Joseph Warton early appeared as a poet, but is considered by Mr Campbell as inferior to his brother
To Gothic churches, vaults, and tombs,
Edinburgh, this benevolent gentleman took their Where each sad night some virgin comes, blind author to the Scottish metropolis, where he With throbbing breast, and faded cheek, was enrolled as a student of divinity. In 1746 he Her promised bridegroom's urn to seek ;
published a volume of his poems, which was reprinted Or to some abbey's mouldering towers,
with additions in 1754 and 1756. He was licensed Where to avoid cold winter's showers,
a preacher of the gospel in 1759, and three years The naked beggar shivering lies,
afterwards, married the daughter of Mr Johnston, a Whilst whistling tempests round her rise, surgeon in Dumfries. At the same time, through And trembles lest the tottering wall
the patronage of the Earl of Selkirk, Blacklock Should on her sleeping infants fall.
was appointed minister of Kirkcudbright. The Now let us louder strike the lyre,
parishioners, however, were opposed both to church For my heart glows with martial fire;
patronage in the abstract, and to this exercise of it I feel, I feel, with sudden heat,
in favour of a blind man, and the poet relinquished My big tumultuous bosom beat!
the appointment on receiving in lieu of it a modeThe trumpet's clangours pierce mine ear, rate annuity. He now resided in Edinburgh, and A thousand widows' shrieks I hear;
took boarders into his house. His family was a “Give me another horse,' I cry,
scene of peace and happiness. To his literary purLo! the base Gallic squadrons fly:
suits Blacklock added a taste for music, and played Whence is this rage? What spirit, say,
on the flute and flageolet. Latterly, he suffered To battle hurries me away?
from depression of spirits, and supposed that his 'Tis Fancy, in her fiery car,
imaginative powers were failing him; yet the geneTransports me to the thickest war,
rous ardour he evinced in 1786, in the case of Burns, There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
shows no diminution of sensibility or taste in the Where Tumult and Destruction reign;
appreciation of genius. In one of his later poems, Where, mad with pain, the wounded steed
the blind bard thus pathetically alludes to the supTramples the dying and the dead;
posed decay of his faculties : Where giant Terror stalks around, With sullen joy surveys the ground,
Excursive on the gentle gales of spring, And, pointing to the ensanguined field,
He roved, whilst favour imped his timid wing. Shakes his dreadful Gorgon shield !
Exhausted genius now no more inspires, 0! guide me from this horrid scene
But mourns abortive hopes and faded fires; To high-arched walks and alleys green,
The short-lived wreath, which once his temples graced, Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun
Fades at the sickly breath of squeamish taste; The fervours of the mid-day sun!
Whilst darker days his fainting flames immure The pangs of absence, O! remove,
In cheerless gloom and winter premature. For thou canst place me near my love,
He died on the 7th of July 1791, at the age of Canst fold in visionary bliss,
seventy. Besides his poems, Blacklock wrote some And let me think I steal a kiss.
sermons and theological treatises, an article on When young-eyed Spring profusely throws Blindness for the Encyclopædia Britannica (which From her green lap the pink and rose;
is ingenious and elegant), and two dissertations When the soft turtle of the dale
entitled Paraclesis ; or Consolations Deduced from To Summer tells her tender tale:
Natural and Revealed Religion, one of them original, When Autumn cooling caverns seeks,
and the other translated from a work ascribed to And stains with wine his jolly cheeks;
Cicero. When Winter, like poor pilgrim old,
Apart from the circumstances under which they Shakes his silver beard with cold;
were produced, the poems of Blacklock offer little At every season let my ear
room or temptation to criticism. He has no new Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear.
imagery, no commanding power of sentiment, re
flection, or imagination. Still he was a fluent and THOMAS BLACKLOCK.
correct versifier, and his familiarity with the visible A blind descriptive poet seems such an anomaly objects of nature--with trees, streams, the rocks, in nature, that the case of Dr Blacklock has engaged and sky, and even with different orders of flowers the attention of the learned and curious in no ordi: from infancy. He could distinguish colours by
and plants—is a wonderful phenomenon in one blind nary degree. We read all concerning him with strong interest, except his poetry, for this is generally touch; but this could only apply to objects at hand, tame, languid, and commonplace. He was an ami
not to the features of a landscape, or to the appearable and excellent man, of warm and generous variation in the seasons, all of which he has de
ances of storm or sunshine, sunrise or sunset, or the sensibilities, eager for knowledge, and proud to scribed. Images of this kind he had at will. Thus, communicate it. Thomas BLACKLOCK was the son
he exclaimsof a Cumberland bricklayer, who had settled in the town of Annan, Dumfriesshire. When about six Ye vales, which to the raptured eye months old, the child was totally deprived of sight Disclosed the flowery pride of May; by the small-pox; but his worthy father, assisted Ye circling hills, whose summits high by his neighbours, amused his solitary boyhood by Blushed with the morning's earliest ray. reading to him; and before he had reached the age of Or he paints flowers with artist-like precisiontwenty, he was familiar with Spenser, Milton, Pope, and Addison. He was enthusiastically fond of poetry,
Let long-lived pansies here their scents bestow, particularly of the works of Thomson and Allan
The violet languish, and the roses glow; Ramsay. From these he must, in a great degree, have
In yellow glory let the crocus shine, derived his images and impressions of nature and
Narcissus here his love-sick head recline: natural objects ; but in after-life the classic poets
Here hyacinths in purple sweetness rise, were added to his store of intellectual enjoyment.
And tulips tinged with beauty's fairest dyes. His father was accidentally killed when the poet In a man to whom all external phenomena were, and was about the age of nineteen; but some of his at- had ever been, one universal blank, this union of tempts at verse having been seen by Dr Stevenson, taste and memory was certainly remarkable. Poeti
cal feeling he must have inherited from nature, which led him to take pleasure even from his in
The Portrait. fancy in descriptive poetry; and the language, expressions, and pictures thus imprinted on his mind Leau are my cheeks, and hollow are my eyes :
Straight is my person, but of little size; by habitual acquaintance with the best authors, and My youthful down is, like my talents, rare; in literary conversation, seem to have risen sponta- Politely distant stands each single hair. neously in the moment of composition.
My voice too rough to charm a lady's ear;
So smooth, a child may listen without fear;
Not formed in cadence soft and warbling lays,
To soothe the fair through pleasure's wanton ways.
Oft, as I meet the crowd, they, laughing, say,
See, see Memento Mori cross the way.'
The ravished Proserpine at last, we know,
Grew fondly jealous of her sable beau ;
But, thanks to Nature ! none from me need fly,
One heart the devil could wound--so cannot I.
Yet though my person fearless may be seen,
There is some danger in my graceful mien :
For, as some vessel, tossed by wind and tide,
Bounds o'er the waves, and rocks from side to side,
In just vibration thus I always move:
This who can view and not be forced to love?
Hail, charining self! by whose propitious aid
My form in all its glory stands displayed :
Be present still ; with inspiration kind,
Let the same faithful colours paint the mind.
Like all mankind, with vanity I'm blessed,
Conscious of wit I never yet possessed.
To strong desires my heart an easy prey,
Oft feels their force, but never owns their sway.
This hour, perhaps, as death I hate my foe;
The next I wonder why I should do so.
Though poor, the rich I view with careless eye;
Scorn a vain oath, and hate a serious lie.
I ne'er for satire torture common sense ;
Nor show my wit at God's nor man's expense.
Harmless I live, unknowing and unknown ;
Wish well to all, and yet do good to none.
Unmerited contempt I hate to bear; ['A compliment and tribute of affection to the tender assi- | Yet on my faults, like others, am severe. duity of an excellent wife, which I have not anywhere seen
Dishonest flames my bosom never fire ; more happily conceived or more elegantly expressed. —Henry The bad I pity, and the good admire: Mackenzie.]
Fond of the Muse, to her devote my days, Of time and nature eldest born,
And scribble, not for pudding, but for praise.
JAMES BEATTIE was the son of a small farmer and And hail Melissa's natal day.
shopkeeper at Laurencekirk, county of Kincardine,
where he was born October 25, 1735. His father Of time and nature eldest born,
died while he was a child, but an elder brother, seeEmerge, thou rosy-fingered morn ;
ing signs of talent in the boy, assisted him in proIn order at the eastern gate
curing a good education; and in his fourteenth year The hours to draw thy chariot wait;
he obtained a bursary or exhibition (always indicatWhilst Zephyr on his balmy wings,
ing some proficiency in Latin) in Marischal college, Mild nature's fragrant tribute brings,
Aberdeen. His habits and views were scholastic, With odours sweet to strew thy way,
and four years afterwards, Beattie was appointed And grace the bland revolving day.
schoolmaster of the parish of Fordoun. He was now But, as thou lead'st the radiant sphere,
situated amidst interesting and romantic scenery, That gilds its birth and marks the year,
which increased his passion for nature and poetry.
The scenes which he afterwards delineated in his And as his stronger glories rise, Diffused around the expanded skies,
Minstrel were (as Mr Southey has justly remarked) Till clothed with beams serenely bright,
those in which he had grown up, and the feelings All heaven's vast concave flames with light ;
and aspirations therein expressed, were those of his
own boyhood and youth. He became a poet at ForSo when through life's protracted day,
doun; and, strange to say, his poetry, poor as it was, Melissa still pursues her way,
procured his appointment as usher of Aberdeen Her virtues with thy splendour vie,
grammar school, and subsequently that of professor Increasing to the mental eye ;
of natural philosophy in Marischal college. This Though less conspicuous, not less dear,
distinction he obtained in his twenty-fifth year. Long may they Bion's prospect cheer;
At the same time, he published in London a collecSo shall his heart no more repine,
tion of his poems, with some translations. One piece, Blessed with her rays, though robbed of thine. Retirement, displays poetical feeling and taste; but