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Remember me over your claret ;
Fill your glass to the brim,
And pledge it to him,
"To A LADY,
And sweet is the song of the soul ;
And the Graces the subject controul !
And the task would chill apathy warm;
What a God must have studied to form!
Round the flame which is pregnant with fate,
And feels the fell danger too late,
The likeness of charms such as thine,
And wound his own heart with the line !'
1814. Never was poet more incensed against Bonaparte than this satirist : but he cannot say with Juvenal, Facit Indignatio versum. He is feeble in his wrath, which boils over without appearing to be warm, and flows from page to page without energy and force. A tame and nerveless satirist pelts with feathers, and shews his teeth without being able to bite. Almost superior to our hatred of the monster is our pity for the poet, when for satire he gives us such lines as these :
· And if there live one honest man, who says,
The deeds of Bonaparte are worthy praise,
Do thou seek glory, I'm content with bliss.'
thetic, &c. By P. Taylor, Meinber of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, &c., late Deputy Customer Inwards at the same Port. 12mo, 63. Boards.
Longman and Co. 1814. · How often shall we be under the necessity of cautioning dabblers in rhyme against the Aattering advice of friends, and of reminding them that the praise of a country-town is no sure passport to fame? Genuine
poetry is a language which very few understand; it is also a species of literary manufacture in which skill and nicety of execution are required. The painter and the statuary never estimate their works by the praises of their ordinary acquaintance, but, by comparing them with the best models, judge of their own proficiency in their respective arts. The poet, also, if he would excel, must act on the same principle. Pope, indeed, talks of “ snatching a grace:" but the cunning rogue knew full well that he never snatched a grace in his life, and that his poetic excellence was the result of study, and of much revision, arising from a difficulty in pleasing himself. Mr.
Taylor appears to have never felt any difficulty of this kind, but to
"A good economist,
How comforts soon may flow.'
• At length beguild a growing trout,
Sprung on the fly's alluring wing -
In giddy maze, its fatal sting! -
The unsuspecting young a prey
That strings before meridian day!' Mr. T. seems to have quitted his post of Customer Inwards' at the port of Newcastle: but, if the bellman of the said town is in want of a verse-maker, the author may be a candidate for that office, with some prospect of success. Art. 20. Adbaston; a Poem. By Charles Ash. Crown 8vo. 55.
Boards. Robinsons. 1814. George," (said a gentleman to his intimate friend, who had accompanied him on a visit to his native village,) ~ I view these scenes with an enthusiasm which I cannot communicate to you; for when a boy I trudged over this path to school ; in that field I "urged the flying ball," and in that hedge I had once the felicity of finding a blackbird's nest with four eggs." Similar recollections, under similar circumstances, very generally produce the same feelings; and hence verse-men and prose-men have spoken with rapture of the natale solum, which, though it could not renew their youth, revived its brightest visions. Mr. Ash remarks, from Ovid, that “there is a peculiar sweetness that attracts us all to the place which gave us birth, and neither time, nor distance, can erase it from our recollection ;" and this poem is meant to be an illustration of the remark. Adbaston, a retired spot on the western borders of Staffordshire, of no intrinsic celebrity, rises into consequence with Mr. Ash, and becomes the subject of his muse, because it happened to be his birth-place. Every circumstance of the scenery and moral features of this village is displayed, and we should suppose that the picture is tolerably correct. The poetic execution, however, is not in the first style. Though Mr. Ash is captivated with his theme, his numbers want polish and force ; he has spun it out to an unnecessary length ; and we think that the drunken bout at the farm-house, and the long detail of the multifarious occupations of the parish-clerk, are of a too low and vulgar character for insertion. The poem, indeed, is not an elegant composition, but may be denominated an unpolished pastoral. The writer's apostrophe to his native village is a favourable specimen, and therefore we shall take it :
• Dear native Adbaston ! - remote from care,
Thy tranquil fields would mitigate despair :
Must know a change - a dreadful fall at last.'
Chapple. 1814. Painters are not better acquainted with the effects of light and shade than poets, who are very dextrous in contrasting our joys with our sorrows, and in giving the boldest relief to splendid triumphs by loading the back-ground with the darkest tints. Mrs. Cockle, being thoroughly initiated into this poetic secret, first harrows up Rxv. Aug. 1814.
our souls before she attunes them to strains of rejoicing ; displaying the scenes of horror which were perpetrated, in the course of the war, in Russia, Germany, France, and Spain, as introductory to the grand burst of joy on account of success over the ferocious tyrant, and of the return of order and peace. We must not compare this lady's muse to the wild corn-flower whose name she bears, but to the elegant produce of the highly cultivated parterre, since her verse is nervous and flowing ; as the reader will perceive from the following short extract appropriated to the praise of the illustrious Emperor, of the North, and perhaps, in due time, Emperor of the East :
Piercing the awful gloom in darkest night,
And hush a nation's sorrows into peace.”
man. By a man who has devoted his time at the University to the ardent pursuit of knowlege, his college will be contemplated as the birthplace of thought ; and his veneration for it will not be less enthusiastic, than that which he feels for those rural scenes on which he first opened his eyes. In many respects, the recollections of college-life will be fraught with more sublime and improving sentiments, with sentiments which, while they expand the intellect, ennoble the heart. Clouds, however, will arise to darken these mental visions ; and the very seats of the Muses may, under certain circumstances, become irksome and disagreeable.
So common are these sensations with studious men, that we were surprised to hear the writer before us say that he was not aware
that similar ideas have ever been associated with similar places or institutions. We should rather remark that, to University-inen or to persons habituated to college-life, his reflections are obvious, if not common-place. Why this is termed an Ode to Trinity College, in preference to St. John's, King's, on any other college, we cannot discover ; since nothing occurs to confine the address, except per. haps a dark allusion (p. 15.) to the colonnade of Neville's Court. The ode, we must confess, has disappointed us. We soon stumbled on sentiment as a rhyme to paint; occasionally, we encountered defective grammar; and we generally experienced that want of vivid fire by which we hoped to find such a subject illuminated. If we copy the conclusion, we shall not take the worst part of the poem :
• Fair scenes, adieu ! ye once had power
To fascinate youth's ardent hour;
And seek content, ye cannot give.'
ralist, a Series of Poetical Essays ; Sonnets, and Miscellaneous Pieces. By W. Taylor. 12mo. 58. 6d. Boards. Wilson. 1814.
Why not Parnassian Weeds This title, would have had a more modest appearance, and in fact have been more appropriate. Carrying on the metaphor, we should call these pieces poetic creapers ; the chickweed, not the rhododendrons, of Parnassus. Even in the first page of the first ode, addressed to novelty, before we have proceeded six lines, we stumble on the pronominal incongruity of youing and thouing the same person. E. G.
• Much I love to gaze on you !
Thou who ever art the same.' In the ad ode, 'a Dial is made to arise,' and song and lawn, and lawn and mourn, are given as rhimes; and in the 3rd, swallows circumambulate a stream.
It is confessed by the author that his present poetical attempts possess neither satire, humour, nor the enthusiasm of romance :' but he trusts that their moral tendency will obtain for him some indulgence. In a moral point of view, certainly, Mr. Taylor's verse is unexceptionable : but we think that his good meaning will not procure for him so much allowance as he probably expects. The morality of the following lines can never make them pass for even tolerable poetry: Ff2 .