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I The bending Hermit here a praver begun,
Lord, as in hearen, on earth thy will be done.' Then, gladly turning, sought his ancient place, | And passed a life of piety and peace.
While sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes,
“Thy prayer, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown,
On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew,
MATTHEW GREEN. MATTHEW GREEN (1696-1737) was author of a poem, The Spleen, which received the praises of Pope and Gray. He was born in 1696, of dissenting parentage, and enjoyed a situation in the custon)house. His disposition was cheerful; but this did not save him from occasional attacks of low spirits, or spleen, as the favourite phrase was in his time. Having tried all imaginable remedies for his malady, he conceived himself at length able to treat it in a philosophical spirit, and therefore wrote the abovementioned poem, which adverts to all its forms, and their appropriate remedies, in a style of comic verse resembling Iludibras, but which Pope himself allowed to be eminently original. Green terminated a quiet inoffensive life of celibacy in 1737, at the age of forty-one.
• The Spleen' was first published by Glover, the author of 'Leonidas,' himself a poet of some pretensions in his day. Gray thought that even the wood-notes of Green often break out into strains of real poetry and music.' As · The Spleen' is almost unknown to modern readers, we present a few of its il best passages. The first that follow's contains one line (marked by Italic) which is certainly one of the happiest and wisest things ever said by a British author. It seems, however, to be iinitated from Shakspeare
Man but a rush against Othello's breast,
[Cures for Melancholy.)
Since nuirth is good in this behalf,
If spleen-fogs rise at close of day,
In rainy days keep double guard,
Sometimes I dress, with women sit,
Law, licensed breaking of the peace,
I never game, and rarely bet,
Happy the man, who, innocent,
Since disappointment galls within,
When Fancy tries her limning skill
[Contentment A Wish.]
Thus sheltered free from care and strife, May I enjoy a calm through life;
See faction, safe in low degree,
ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHELSEA. It is remarkable,' says Mr Wordsworth, that excepting The Nocturnal Reverie, and a passage or two in the Windsor Forest of Pope, the poetry of the period intervening between the publication of “ Paradise Lost” and the “ Seasons," does not contain a single new image of external nature.' The • Nocturnal Reverie' was written by Anne, COUNTESS or WINCHELSEA, the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill, Southampton, who died in 1720. Her lines are smoothly versified, and possess a tone of calm and contemplative observation :
A Nocturnal Reverie. In such a night, when every louder wind Is to its distant cavern safe confined, And only gentle zephyr fans his wings, And lonely Philomel still waking sings ; Or from some tree, famed for the owl's delight, She, holloaing clear, directs the wanderer right : In such a night, when pasging clouds give place, Or thinly veil the heaven's mysterious face; When in some river overhung with green, The waving moon and trembling leaves are seen ; When freshened grass now bears itself upright, And makes cool banks to pleasing rest invite, Whence springs the woodbine, and the bramble rose, And where the sleepy cowslip sheltered grows; Whilst now a paler hue the foxglove takes, Yet chequers still with red the dusky brakes ; When scattered glow-worms, but in twilight fine, Show trivial beauties watch their hour to shine; Whilst Salisbury stands the test of every light, In perfect charms and perfect virtue bright: When odours which declined repelling day, Through temperate air uninterrupted stray ; When darkened groves their softest shadows wear, And falling waters we distinctly hear; When through the gloom more venerable shows Some ancient fabric, awful in repose; While sunburnt hills their swarthy looks conceal, And swelling haycocks thicken up the vale: When the loosed horse now, as his pasture leads, Comes slowly grazing through the adjoining meads, Whose stealing pace and lengthened shade we fear, Till torn-up forage in his teeth we hear; When nibbling sheep at large pursue their food, And unmolested kine rechew the cud;
When curlews cry beneath the village walls,
The following is another specimen of the correct and smooth versification of the countess, and seems to us superior to the • Nocturnal Reverie :'
Our life's uncertain race !
Enlightens all the place.
How tempting to go through!
Did more inviting show.
Which wander through our minds !
As flowers the western winds !
But April drops our tears,
And youth each vapour clears.
Scarce feeling we ascend
And all its sweetness end.
Fond expectation past :
Through which we toil at last.
That helps to bear us down;
And every look's a frown.
The author of The Chase is still included in our editions of the poets, but is now rarely read or consulted. WILLIAM SOMERVILLE (1682-1742), was, as he tells Allan Ramsay, his brother-poet,
A squire well born, and six foot high.
His estate lay in Warwickshire, and brought him in £1500 per annum. He was generous, but extravagant, and died in distressed circumstances, 'plagued
and threatened by wretches,' says Shenstone, that the important work. Me other joys invite ;
Fierce rapture kindles in his reddening eyes,
So from their kennel rush the joyous pack;
A thousand wanton gaieties express
The rising sun that o'er the horizon peeps,
As many colours from their glossy skins
Somerville wrote a poetical address to Addison,
on the latter purchasing an estate in Warwickshire. niya .
* In his verses to Addison,' says Johnson, the couplet which mentions Clio is written with the most exquisite delicacy of praise; it exhibits one of those happy strokes that are seldom attained.' Addison, it is well-known, signed his papers in the Spectator' with the letters forming the name of Clio. The
couplet which gratified Johnson so highly is as Urn erected by Shenstone to Somerville.
follows : blank verse, and contains practical instructions and
When panting virtue her last efforts made, admonitions to sportsmen. The following is an
You brought your Clio to the virgin's aid. animated sketch of a morning in autumn, prepara- In welcoming Addison to the banks of Avon, Somtory to “throwing off the pack:'
erville does not scruple to place him above ShaksNow golden Autumn from her open lap
peare as a poet ! Her fragrant bounties showers ; the fields are shorn;
In heaven he sings; on earth your muse supplies Inwardly smiling, the proud farmer views
The important loss, and heals our weeping eyes : The rising pyramids that grace bis yard,
Correctly great, she melts each flinty heart
With equal genius, but superior art.
Gross as this misjudgment is, it should be remem. In the rough bristly stubbles range unblamed; bered that Voltaire also fell into the same. The No widow's tears o'erflow, no secret curse
cold marble of Cato was preferred to the living and Swells in the farmer's breast, which his pale lips breathing creations of the 'myriad - minded' maTrembling conceal, by his fierce landlord awed :
The Scottish muse had been silent for nearly a To that extended lawn where the gay court
century, excepting when it found brief expression View the swift racers, stretching to the goal ;
in some stray song of broad humour or simple paGames more renowned, and a far nobler train,
thos, chanted by the population of the hills and dales. Than proud Elean fields could boast of old.
The genius of the country was at length revived in Oh! were a Theban lyre not wanting here,
all its force and nationality, its comic dialogue, Doric And Pindar's voice, to do their merit right!
simplicity and tenderness, by ALLAN RAMSAY, whose Or to those spacious plains, where the strained eye,
very name is now an impersonation of Scottish In the wide prospect lost, beholds at last
scenery and manners. The religious austerity of Sarum's proud spire, that o'er the hills ascends,
the Covenanters still hung over Scotland, and And pierces through the clouds. Or to thy downs, damped the efforts of poets and dramatists : but a Fair Cotswold, where the well-breathed beagle climbs, freer spirit found its way into the towns, along with With matchless speed, thy green aspiring brow,
the increase of trade and commerce. The higher And leaves the lagging multitude behind.
classes were in the habit of visiting London, though Hail, gentle Dawn! mild, blushing goddess, hail ! the journey was still performed on horseback; and Rejoiced I see thy purple mantle spread
the writings of Pope and Swift were circulated over O'er half the skies; gemis pave thy ra liant way, the North. Clubs and taverns were rife in EdinAnd orient pearls froin erery shrub depend.
burgh, in which the assembled wits loved to indulge Farewell, Cleora ; here dcep sunk in down,
in a pleasantry that often degenerated to excess. Slumber secure, with happy dreams amused,
Talent was readily known and appreciated; and Till grateful streams shall tenipt thee to receive when Ramsay appeared as an author, he found the Thy early meal, or thy officious maids ;
nation ripe for his native humour, his manners. The toilet placed shall urge thee to perform
painting strains,' and his lively original sketches
of Scottish life. Allan Ramsay was born in 1686, enjoyed. Allan was admitted a member of this in the village of Leadhills, Lanarkshire, where his bly the society,' and became their poet laureate.
He wrote various light pieces, chiefly of a local and
To theek the out, and line the inside.
And baith ways gathered in the cash..
Now frae the east nook of Fife the dawn
Speeled westlins up the lift;
Begoud to rax and rift ;
Cried lasses up to thrift;
By break of day. father held the situation of manager of Lord Hope! Ramsay now left off wig-making, and set up a ton's mines. When he became a poet, he boasted boksoller
| bookseller's shop, 'opposite to Niddry's Wynd.' that he was of the auld descent of the Dalhousie
He next appeared as an editor, and published two family, and also collaterally .sprung from a Douglas
works, The Tea Table Miscellany, being a collection loin. His mother, Alice Bower, was of English
of songs, partly his own; and The Evergreen, a col. parentage, her father having been brought from
lection of Scottish poems written before 1600. He Derbyshire to instruct the Scottish miners in their
was not well qualified for the task of editing works art. Those who entertain the theory, that men of
of this kind, being deficient both in knowledge and genius usually partake largely of the qualities and
taste. In the • Evergreen,' he published, as ancient dispositions of their mother, may perhaps recognise
poems, two pieces of his own, one of which, The some of the Derbyshire blood in Allan Ramsay's
Vision, exhibits high powers of poetry. The genius frankness and joviality of character. His father of Scotland is dra
of Scotland is drawn with a touch of the old heroic died while the poet was in his infancy; but his M
Muse mother marrying again in the same district, Allan was brought up at Leadhills, and put to the village
Great daring darted frae his ee, school, where he acquired learning enough to enable
A braid-sword shogled at his thie, him, as he tells us, to read Horace 'faintly in the
On his left arm a targe; original.' His lot might have been a hard one, but
A shining spear filled his right hand, it was fortunately spent in the country till he had
Of stalwart make in bane and brawnd, reached his fifteenth year; and his lively tempera
Of just proportions large; ment enabled him, with cheerfulness
A various rainbow-coloured plaid
Owre his left spaul he threw, To wade through glens wi' chorking feet,
Down his braid back, frae his white head, When neither plaid nor kilt could fend the weet;
The silver wimplers grew.
Amazed, I gazed,
A stampant and rampant
Fierce lion in his hand. At the age of fifteen, Allan was put apprentice to a wig-maker in Edinburgh-a light employment suited In 1725 appeared his celebrated pastoral drama, The to his slender frame and boyish smartness, but not Gentle Shepherd, of which two scenes had previously very congenial to his literary taste. His poetical been published under the titles of Patie and Roger, talent, however, was more observant than creative, and Jenny and Meggy. It was received with uniand he did not commence writing till he was about versal approbation, and was republished both in twenty-six years of age. He then penned an address London and Dublin. When Gay visited Scotland to the Easy Club,' a convivial society of young in company with his patrons, the Duke and Duchess men, tinctured with Jacobite predilections, which of Queensberry, he used to lounge in Allan Ramwere also imbibed by Ramsay, and which probably say's shop, and obtain from him explanations of formed an additional recommendation to the favour some of the Scottish expressions, that he might of Pope and Gay, a distinction that he afterwards communicate them to Pope, who was a great admirer
of the poem. This was a delicate and marked com1 To-morrow. | pliment, which Allan must have felt, though he