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See! the white moon shines on high ;
My love is dead, &c.
Here upon my true love's grave
My love is dead, &c.
Come with acorn-cup and thorn,
My love is dead, &c.
Water-witches crown'd with reeds,
(a) Bright, garish.
BORN 1725-DIED 1797.
Mason was the son of the vicar of St Trinity, in the East
Riding of York. He studied at Cambridge, obtained orders, and in 1754 was appointed one of the king's chaplains. Mason's tragedies of ELFRIDA and CARACTACUS have been much admired; nor were his attainments in the fine arts confined to poetry. On obtaining a prebend in York cathedral, Mason married. His epitaph on his wife, who did not survive her marriage above two years, bears testimony to the tenderness of his affections and
the elegance of his mind. Mason was long the favourite and confidential friend of
Gray, who left him all his books and MSS., with a legacy of L.500. He was a firm and consistent Whig in politics, and often took a more active part in public affairs than men of letters generally assume.
ODE FROM CARACTACUS.
Hark, she speaks from all her strings :
Hark, her loudest echo rings ; King of mountains, bend thine ear :
Send thy spirits, send them soon, Now, when midnight and the moon Meet upon thy front of snow :
See, their gold and ebon rod,
Where the sober sisters nod,
Snowdon, mark ! 'tis magic's hour;
Snowdon has heard the strain :
Other harpings answer clear,
Other voices meet our ear,
Busy murmurs hum around,
Rustling vestments brush the ground;
Through the twilight, through the shade,
Mount the oak's majestic head,
EPITAPH ON MRS MASON,
IN THE CATHEDRAL OF BRISTOL
TAKE, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear : Take that best gift which Heaven so lately
To Bristol's fount I bore with trembling care
Her faded form ; she bow'd to taste the wave, And died ! Does youth, does beauty, read the
line ? Does sympathetic fear their breasts alarm ? Speak, dead Maria ! breathe-a strain divine; Even from the grave thou shalt have power to
charm. Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee;
Bid them in duty's sphere as meekly move ; And if so fair, from vanity as free;
As firm in friendship, and as fond in love. Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die, ('Twas even to thee) yet the dread path once
trod, Heaven lifts its everlasting portals high, And bids “ the pure in heart behold their
BORN 1728-DIED 1790.
The historian of English poetry was descended of a respect
able Yorkshire family. Both his father and brothers were poets of some note. Warton entered Oxford at the age of sixteen, obtained a degree, and soon afterwards a fellowship, and for forty-seven years continued a distinguished member of the university. His lettered leisure was entirely devoted to poetry and antiquities; and his Observations on the Faery Queen and History of Poetry remain stupendous monuments of his enthusiasm, industry, and talents. The history, though incomplete at the death of the author, has formed the text-book of every succeeding writer on English literature. Warton was long professor of poetry—an office to which he had every claim. He was afterwards in 1785) made Camden professor of history, and obtained the laureateship. Warton is represented by his biographer, Dr Mant, as fonder of a pot of ale, a pipe of tobacco, and what is called vulgar society, than beseems the dignity of the Muses, though probably not more so than was Prior, Swift, and Fielding, of one or all of those delights. It is related, that when he was wont to leave his classic cell to visit his brother Joseph, he contrived to become the confidant and playmate of half the schoolboys of Winchester, where Mr Joseph Warton was second master. When engaged with the boys in cooking clandestine banquets, he used to skulk like the other culprits when the step of the master was heard, and has been dragged from his lurking-place, mistaken for a great boy. He used to assist in the literary tasks of the Winchester boys, as well as in their culinary operations, taking care to throw as many blunders into their school-exercises as might deceive his learned brother. The poet of Richard and Prince Arthur, the historian of Chaucer and Spenser, of English romance and chivalry, must have been a very good-na
tured and delightful person. Warton decidedly possesses much of the Gothic imagination,
martial spirit, and minstrel enthusiasm, which have since been so powerfully developed by later bards; and there can be no doubt but that his learned and attractive volumes have tended, with the Reliques of Percy, to resuscitate the genuine spirit of English romantic poetry. He died in his college at the age of sixty-two.