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refined as well as hospitable festivity. The the Poor Soldier and a Harlequin Pantomime
this juvenile effort :About thirty or forty years before the pe
Our Pantaloon, who did so aged look, riod of which I am speaking, an eager taste Must now resume his youth, his task, his book: for private theatrical performances had sprung Our Harlequin, who skipp'd, laugh'd, danced and died,
Must now stand trembling by his master's side. up among the higher ranks of society in Ireland; and at Carton, the seat of the Duke of I have thus been led back, step by step, Leinster, at Castletown, Marley, and other from an early date to one still earlier, with the great houses, private plays were got up, of view of ascertaining, for those who take any which, in most instances, the superintendence interest in literary biography, at what period I was intrusted to Mr. Whyte, and in general first showed an aptitude for the now common the prologue, or the epilogue, contributed by craft of verse-making ; and the result is-so his pen. At Marley, the seat of the Latouches, far back in childhood lies the epoch--that I where the masque of Comus was performed in am really unable to say at what age I first bethe year 1776, while my old master supplied gan to act, sing, and rhyme. the prologue, no less distinguished a hand than To these different talents, such as they were, that of our
ever-glorious Grattan, fur the gay and social habits prevailing in Dublin nished, the epilogue. This relic of his pen, afforded frequent opportunities of display; too, is the more memorable, as being, I believe, while, at home, a most amiable father, and a the only poetical composition he was ever mother such as in heart and head has rarely known to produce.
been equalled, furnished me with that purest At the time when I first began to attend his stimulus to exertion—the desire to please school, Mr. Whyte still continued, to the no those whom we, at once, most love and most small alarm of many parents, to encourage a respect. It was, I think, a year or two after taste for acting among his pupils. In this line my entrance into college, that a masque written I was long his favorite show-scholar; and by myself, and of which I had adapted one of among the play-bills introduced in his volume, the songs to the air of Haydn's Spirit-Song, to illustrate the occasions of his own prologues was acted, under our own humble roof in and epilogues, there is one of a play got up in Aungier street, by my elder sister myself, the year 1790, at Lady Borrowes's private and one or two other young persons.
The theatre in Dublin, where, among the items of little drawing-room over the shop was our the evening's entertainment, is “An Epilogue, grand place of representation and young A Squeeze to St. Paul's, Master Moore."
now an eminent professor of music in Dublin, With acting, indeed, is associated the very enacted for us the part of orchestra at the first attempts at verse-making to which my piano-forte. memory enables me to plead guilty. It was at It will be seen from all this, that, however a period, I think, even earlier than the date last imprudent and premature was my
first appearmentioned, that, while passing the summer ance in the London world as an author, it is holidays, with a number of other young people, only lucky that I had not much earlier assumed at one of those bathing-places, in the neigh- that responsible character; in which case the borhood of Dublin, which afford such fresh public would probably have treated my nursery and healthful retreats to its inhabitants, it was productions in much the same manner in which proposed among us that we should combine that sensible critic, my Uncle Toby, would together in some theatrical performance; and have disposed of the “work which the great * Byron.
Lipsius produced on the day he was born."
While thus the turn I had so early shown and suffering, the happy disposition of my for rhyme and song was, by the gay and so- countrymen had kept their cheerfulness still ciable circle in which I lived, called so en- unbroken and buoyant; and, at the period of couragingly into play, a far deeper feeling, which I am speaking, the hope of a brighter and, I should hope, power—was at the same day dawning upon Ireland had given to the time awakened in me by the mighty change society of the middle classes in Dublin a more then working in the political aspect of Europe, than usual flow of hilarity and life. Among and the stirring influence it had begun to ex- other gay results of this festive spirit, a club, ercise on the spirit and hopes of Ireland. Born or society, was instituted by some of our most of Catholic parents, I had come into the world convivial citizens, one of whose objects was to with the slave's yoke around my neck; and it burlesque, good-humoredly, the forms and was all in vain that the fond ambition of a pomps of royalty. With this view they esmother looked forward to the Bar as opening tablished a sort of mock kingdom, of which a career that might lead her son to honor and Dalkey, a small island near Dublin, was made afiluence. Against the young Papist all such the seat, and an eminent pawnbroker, named avenues to distinction were closed; and even Stephen Armitage, much renowned for his the University, the professed source of public agreeable singing, was the chosen and popular education, was to him “a fountain sealed." Can monarch. any one now wonder that a people thus wronged Before public affairs had become too serious and trampled upon should have hailed the first for such pastime, it was usual to celebrate, dazzling outbreak of the French Revolution yearly, at Dalkey, the day of this sovereign's as a signal to the slave, wherever suffering, accession ; and, among the gay scenes that still that the day of his deliverance was near at live in my memory, there are few it recalls hand. I remember being taken by my father with more freshness than the celebration, on a (1992) to one of the dinners given in honor fine Sunday in summer, of one of these anniof that great event, and sitting upon the knee versaries of King Stephen's coronation. The of the chairman while the following toast was picturesque sea-views from that spot, the gay enthusiastically sent round : - May the breezes crowds along the shores, the innumerable boats, from France fan our Irish Oak into verdure." full of life, floating about, and, above all, that
In a few months after was passed the me- true spirit of mirth which the Irish temperamorable Act of 1793, sweeping away some of ment never fails to lend to such meetings, the most monstrous of the remaining sanctions rendered the whole a scene not easily forgotten. of the penal code; and I was myself among The state ceremonies of the day were performthe first of the young Helots of the land, who ed, with all due gravity, within the ruins of an hastened to avail themselves of the new privi- ancient church that stands on the island, where lege of being educated in their country's uni- his mock majesty bestowed the order of knightversity,—though still excluded from all share hood upon certain favored personages, and in those college honors and emoluments by among others, I recollect, upon Incledon, the which the ambition of the youths of the ascen- celebrated singer, who arose from under the dant class was stimulated and rewarded. As I touch of the royal sword with the appropriate well knew that, next to my attaining some of title of Sir Charles Melody. There was also these distinctions, my showing that I deserved selected, for the favors of the crown on that to attain them would most gratify my anxious day, a lady of no ordinary poetic talent, Mrs. mother, I entered as candidate for a scholar- Battier, who had gained much fame by some ship, and (as far as the result of the examina- spirited satires in the manner of Churchill, and tion went) successfully. But, of course, the whose kind encouragement of my early atmere barren credit of the effort was all I en- tempts in versification were to me a source of
much pride. This lady, as was officially anIt was in this year, (1794,) vr about the be- nounced, in the course of the day, had been ginning of the next, that I remember having, appointed his majesty's poetess laureate, under for the first time, tried my hand at political the style and title of Henrietta, Countess of satire. In their very worst times of slavery Laurel.
joyed for my pains.
There could hardly have been devised answering in the affirmative, added these cheering apter vehicle for lively political satire than this words, “ They do you great credit; and I shall gay travesty of monarchical power, and its not fail to recommend them to the notice of showy appurtenances, so temptingly supplied. the Board.” This result of a step, ventured The very day, indeed, after this commemora- upon with some little fear and scruple, was of tion, there appeared, in the Dalkey state course very gratifying to me; and the premium I gazette, an amusing proclamation from the received from the Board was a well-bound copy of king, offering a large reward, in cronebanes,* the Travels of Anacharsis, together with a certito the finder or finders of his majesty's crown, ficate, stating, in not very lofty Latin, that this rewhich, owing to his “having measured both ward had been conferred upon me, "propter lausides of the road” in his pedestrian progress dabilem in versibus componendis progressum." on the preceding night, had unluckily fallen The idea of attempting a version of some of from the royal brow.
the Songs or Odes of Anacreon had very early It is not to be wondered at, that whatever occurred to me; and a specimen of my first natural turn I may have possessed for the ventures in this undertaking may be found in lighter skirmishing of satire should have been the Dublin Magazine already referred to, where, called into play by so pleasant a field for its in the number of that work for Februaj - 1794, exercise as the state affairs of the Dalkey appeared a Paraphrase of Anacreon's Fifth kingdom afforded; and, accordingly, my first Ode, by T. Moore.” As it may not be uninattempt in this line was an Ode to his Majesty, teresting to future and better translators of King Stephen, contrasting the happy state of the poet to compare this schoolboy experiment security in which he lived among his merry with my later and more labored version of lieges, with the.“ metal coach,” and other such the same ode, I shall here extract the specimen precautions against mob violence, which were found in the Anthologia :said to have been adopted at that time by his
"Let us, with the clustering vine, royal brother of England. Some portions of this
The rose, Love's blushing flower, entwine. juvenile squib still live in my memory ; but they
Fancy's hand our chaplet's wreathing,
Vernal sweets around us breathing, fall far too short of the lively demands of the
We'll gayly drink, full goblets quaffing, subject to be worth preserving, even as juvenilia.
At frighted Care securely laughing. In college, the first circumstance that drew “Rose! thou balmy-scented flower, any attention to my rhyming poweis was my
Rear'd by Spring's most fostering power,
Thy dewy blossoms, opening bright, giving in a theme, in English verse, at one of
To gods themselves can give delight; the quarterly examinations. As the sort of
And Cypria's child, with roses crown'd, short essays required on those occasions were
Trips with each Grace the mazy round. considered, in general, as a mere matter of
"Bind my brows,—I'll tune the lyre
Love my rapturous strains shall fire, form, and were written, invariably, I believe,
Near Bacchus' grape-encircled shrine, in Latin prose, the appearance of a theme in
While roses fresh my brows entwine, English verse could hardly fail to attract some
Led by the winged train of Pleasures, notice. It was, therefore, with no small anx
I'll dance with nymphs to sportive measures." iety that, when the moment for judging of the In pursuing further this light task, the only themes arrived, I saw the examiners of the dif-object I had for some time in view was to lay ferent divisions assemble, as usual, at the before the Board a select number of the odes bottom of the hall for that purpose. Still I had then translated, with a hope,--suggested trying was it when I perceived that the rev- by the kind encouragement I had already reerend inquisitor, in whose hands was my fate, ceived,—that they might be considered as had left the rest of the awful group, and was deserving of some honor or reward. Having bending his steps towards the table where I experienced much hospitable attention from was seated. Leaning across to me, he asked Doctor Kearney, one of the senior fellows,f a suspiciously, whether the verses which I had man of most amiable character, as well as of just given in were my own; and, on my an- refined scholarship, I submitted to his perusal • Irish halfpence, so called.
† Appointed Provost of the University in the year 1799, and made afterwards Bishop of Ossory.
the manuscript of my translation as far as it The unskilful attempt at Greek verse from
may be seen by looking through zeal of friends, some part of my manuscript the list in Fischer."
had been submitted before it went to press,
When the monument to Provost Baldwin, which stands manner, to my friend, Dr. Kearney. Thus,curiously enough, la the hall of the College of Dublin, arrived from Italy, there while Anacreon in English was considered-and, I grant, on came in the same packing-case with it two copies of this no unreasonable grounds-as a work to which grave collegifork of Spaletti, one of which was presented by Dr. Troy, ale authorities could not openly lend their sanction, Anacreon the Roman Catholic Archbishop, as a gift from the Pope to in Greek was thought no unfitting present to be received by the Library of the University, and the other (of which I was a Protestant bishop, through the medium of a Catholic archsutrequently favored with the use) he presented, in like bishop, from the hands of his holiness, the Pope.
was Doctor Laurence, the able friend of Burke; should take the figure of Aurora from Mrs. and, as an instance, however slight, of that Hastings. ready variety of learning-as well the lightest There is another emendation of the same as the most solid—for which Laurence was so critic, in the following line, which Mr. M. may remarkable, the following extract from the letter seem, by accident, to have sufficiently expressed written by him, in returning the manuscript in the phrase of “roses shed their light.' to my friend Dr. Hume, may not be without “ I scribble this in very great haste, but fear soine interest :
that you and Mr. Moore will find me too long,
minute, and impertinent. Believe me to be,
“ Dec. 20, 1799. very sincerely, “I return you the four odes which you were “ Your obedient, humble servant, so kind to communicate for my poor opinion.
F. LAURENCE." They are, in many parts, very clegant and poetical; and, in some passages, Mr. Moore has added a pretty turn not to be found in the original. To confess the truth, however, they arı, in not a few places, rather more paraphras
PREFACE tical than suits my notion (perhaps an incorrect notion of translation. “In the fifty-third ode there is, in my judg
THE SECOND VOLUME. ment, a no less sound than beautiful emendation suggested--would you suppose it ?—by The Poems suggested to me by my visi to a Dutch lawyer. Mr. M. possibly may not be Bermuda, in the year 1803, as well as by the aware of it. I have endeavored to express tour which I made subsequently, through some the sense of it in a couplet interlined with parts of North America, have been hitherto pencil. Will you allow me to add, that I am very injudiciously arranged ;-any distinctive not certain whether the translation has not character they may possess having been dismissed the meaning, too, in the former part of turbed and confused by their being mixed up that passage which seems to me to intend a not only with trifles of a much earlier date, distinction and climax of pleasure :— It is but also with some portions of a classical story, sweet even to prove it among the briery paths; in the form of Letters, which I had made some it is sweet again, plucking, to cherish with progress in before my departure from England. tender hands, and carry to the fair, the flower in the present edition, this awkward jumble of love. This is nearly literal, including the has been remedied; and all the Poems relating conjectural correction of Mynheer Medenbach. to my Transatlantic voyage will be found classed If this be right, instead of
by themselves. As, in like manner, the line of • 'Tis sweet to dare the tangled fence,'
route by which I proceeded through some
parts of the States and the Canadas, has been I wo·ld propose something to this effect:
left hitherto to be traced confusedly through a "Tis sweet the rich perfume to prove,
few detached notes, I have thought that, to As by the dewy bush you rove;
future readers of these poems, some clearer ac"Tis sweet to dare the tangled fence, To cnll the timid beauty thence,
count of the course of that journey might not To wipe with tender hands away
be unacceptable,--together with such vestiges The tears that on its blushes lay;" Then, to the bosom of the fair,
as may still linger in my memory of events The flower of love in triumph bear.
now fast fading into the background of time
For the precise date of my departure from “ I would drop altogether the image of the England, in the Phaeton frigate, I am indebted stems dropping with gems.' I believe it is a to the Naval Recollections of Captain Scott, confused and false metaphor, unless the painter then a midshipman of that ship. “We were
soon ready,” says this gentleman," for sea, and Query, if it ought not to be lie? The line might run,
a few days saw Mr. Merry and suite embarked That give new softness to its blush (or, its flush.)
on board. Mr. Moore likewise took his passage
With tender hand the tears to brush,