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Gloomy Pluto, King of Terrors,
Mournful Cypress, verdant Willow,
Melancholy smooth Meander,
Thus when Philomela, drooping,
THE above is a pleasant burlesque on the gawdy, glittering, florid style and manner of certain descriptive poets. I think the reader will pardon me for laying before him part of a piece of ridicule on the same subject, and of equal merit, which made its first appearance many years ago in the Oxford Student, and is
thus entitled, "Ode to Horror, in the Allegoric, Descriptive, Alliterative, Epithetical, Fantastic, Hyperbolical, and Diabolical Style of our Modern Ode-Writers and Monody-Mongers." "Ferreus ingruit Horror."
"O Goddess of the gloomy scene,
Of shadowy shapes, thou black-brow'd Queen;
O Goddess, erst by Spenser view'd,
Thou that thro' many a darksome pine,
Didst wake the hollow-whisp'ring breeze
O thou, with whom in cheerless cell,
What felt the Gallic Traveller,
And trace the gloom with ghostly tread;
The author was himself a descriptive poet of the first class. Mr. William Collins thought himself aimed at by this piece of ridicule. His odes had been just published; and the last lines seemed to refer to a particular passage in them.
ON A CERTAIN LADY AT COURT.
I KNOW the thing that's most uncommon; (Envy be silent, and attend!)
I know a reasonable Woman,
Handsome and witty, yet a Friend.
Nor warp'd by Passion, aw'd by Rumour,
"Has she no faults then (Envy says) Sir?"
When all the World conspires to praise her,
Ver. 1. I know the thing] Equal in elegance to any compliment that Waller has paid to Saccharissa, especially the last stanza, and the answer to Envy. The Lady addressed was Mrs. Howard, of Marble-hill, bed-chamber woman to Queen Caroline, and afterward Countess of Suffolk.
GROTTO AT TWICKENHAM,
MARBLES, SPARS, GEMS, ORES, AND MINERALS.
After Ver. 6 in the MS.
THOU who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent
Shines a broad Mirror through the shadowy Cave;
You see that Island's wealth, where, only free,
i. e. Britain is the only place in the globe which feels not tyranny even to its very entrails. W.
"Aurum irrepertum, et sic melius situm
On his Grotto] The improving and finishing his Grot was the favourite amusement of his declining years; and the beauty of his poetic genius, in the disposition and ornaments of this romantic recess, appears to as much advantage as in his best contrived poems. W. Ver. 8.
Horat. 1. 3. od. 3.