صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

adultery remains, of which Cromwell is thought to be clear ; and, according to Mr. Harris, it should seem that, compared with this crime, “ Diffimulation, hypocrisy, ingratitude, and murder, are light as air."-We say murder, because nothing can justify the killing of our fellow creature, but immediate self-preservation, or the good of society. And though it may not deserve that name in those who acted upon principle, and from a persuasion that the death of the King was necessary for the security of public liberty, it was the most atrocious kind of murder in Cromwell, who was so far from having the good of society in view, that he proved a more oppressive tyrant, than his sovereign whose blood he spilt. Yet, Mr. Harris concludes, that “ he left behind him a neverdying fame ; and if he cannot be ranked among the best, he undoubtedly is to be placed among the greatest of princes."

Certainly if bold and successful villany intitles a man to be called Great, Cromwell has a right to the appellation. But if goodness is inseparable from true greatness, no inan ever had worse pretensions to that character. His public conduct, as has been seen, was such as must render his memory odious to every friend to justice and liberty. In his private capacity, he appears to have been by no means amiable. Tools he had many, but no friends ; his familiarity was rudeness, and his pleasantry buffoonery

Upon the whole, we think Mr. Harris's sentiments with regard to Cromwell's character, are narrow, partial, and injudicious. And as to his manner of writing, which we have heretofore had occasion to cenfure, it is by no means ima proved ; for it is as usual, though not incorrect, yet extremely heavy, quaint, and inelegant.---Thus much we have thought ourselves obliged to observe, in justice to the Public, and to our credit as impartial Reviewers. But forry we are to difapprove the work of a person of Mr. Harris's worthy character, as a hearty friend to liberty, both civil and religious, and a truly honest man: and who likewise had acquitted himself so much more to our satisfaction, in his former compilations.

R-d

Poems on several Occasions.

8vo. 2 s. Rivington.

A T the desire of the Earl of Bath, the ingenious Mrs.

a Carter has favoured the Public with a Collection of her Poems; and it is with pleasure we congratulate our Readers on the occasion. We can assure them that through the whole

H 4

, adultery of this collection, they will be entertained with the same attic wit, the fame chaste philosophic fancy, and the same harmony of numbers, which distinguished the long admired Ode to Widom. The elegant Mule, which so early introduced this lady to the Groves of Academus, and the Lycean Walks, has never forsaken her. The rigid doctrines of the stoic school, in which she has been so much conversant, seem not in the least to have restrained her fancy, or to have communicated any thing of their rigour to her heart; and, though she is the tranilator of Epictetus, she is evidently the disciple of Plato. In all her Poems there is that fine sensibility, serene dignity, and lofty imagination, which characterize the writings of that divine philosopher. Her style is perfectly Horatian, elegantly polished, and harmoniously easy. The curiosa felicitas dicendi, which genius alone, and the ear that nature has harmonized, can produce, is frequently to be found in these beautiful Poems, Some few, some very few faults, quas aut incuria fudit, aut humana parum caveat natura, might perhaps Þe pointed out; but we have little inclination to look at these, while the cye is continually attracted by new beauties. We muít, however, complain, that our Poetess has been too negligent about her Rhymes, which are often inconfonant; for we cannot help thinking that bad Rhymes are much worse than no Rhymes at all. Possibly she might imagine herself justified in this by the Frencă and Italian Poets ; but the perfection of English Poetry, and the delicacy of an English ear, will not bear even so night a defe&t. Mr. Pope could never endure an ill-match'd rhyme ; and his imitator, Mrs. Jones, that other English Sappho, has also avoided this fault.

Prefixed to this little Volume is a short Encomium on the Authoress, and her Works, by Lord Lyttelton, which reminds us of the style and manner of Mr. Langhorne's Poem to the meinory of Handel(See Review, Vol. XXII, p. 261.]

On reading Mrs. - 's Poems in Manufcript.
Such were the notes that struck the wondering ear
Of filent night, when, on the verdant banks
Of Siloe's hallow'd brook, celestial harps,
Accorded to teraphic voices, fung
Glory to Godon bigb, and on th: earth
Peace, and good-zill 10 men! Resume the Lyre,
Chauntress divine, and every Driton cail
It's melody to hear- so shall thy strains,
More powerful than the song of Orpheus, tame
I he favage heart of brutal vice, and bend
At pure Religion's fhrine the stubborn knees.

· OF bold Impiety--Greece shall no more .

Of Lesbian Sappho boast, whole wanton muse,
Like a false Syren, while she charm'd, seduc'd
To guilt and ruin. For the sacred head
Of Britain's Poetess the VIRTUES twine
A nobler wreath, by them from Eden's grovei .
Unfading gather'd, and direct the hand

- to fix it on her brows. The first Poem in this collection was written by our Poetess on her own birth-day, before she was eighteen years of age, and it scarce does greater honour to herself, than to that worthy parent who superintended her education, In what an uncommon degree must that mind have been enlarged, which in such early years could produce the following beautiful and sentimental lines !

Of

Through each event of this inconstant state,
Preserve my temper equal and sedate.
Give me a mind that nobly can defpife
The low designs and little arts of vice. *
Be my Religion such as taught by thee,
Alike from Pride and Superstition free.
Inform my Judgment, regulate my Will,

My Reason ftrengthen, and my Passions still. The Verses on hearing a Lady sing, are as musical and melodious as the tuneful voice they celebrate could possibly be; and nothing can be more elegant than the compliment with which they conclude. .

Sweet Echo, vocal Nymph, whose mimic Tongue
Return'd the Music of my Delia's Song,
O ftill repeat the soft enchanting lay
That gently steals the ravilh'd soul away.
Shall sounds like these in circling air be tost,
And in the stream of vulgar noises loft ?
Ye guardian Sylphs, who listen while she sings,
Bear the sweet accents on your rofy wings :
With ftudious care the fading notes retain,
Nor let that tuneful breath be spent in vain.

Yet, if too soon this transient pleasure fly,
A charm more lasting shall the loss supply.
While Harmony, with each attractive Grace,
Plays in the fair proportions of her face ;
Where each soft air, engaging and serene,
Beats measure to the well-tun'd mind within :
Alike her Singing and her Silence move,
Whose Voice is Music, and whose Looks are Love.
An instance of the defect in Rhyme, which we have hinted at.

In

In the Poem which she devotes to the Memory of her Sister Poetess, the late Mrs. Rowe, we know not which to admire moft, her ingenious Fancy or her friendly Heart. It may perhaps be objected that the compliments here paid to Mrs. Rowe, are too high, and that she had more Enthusiasm than Taste; but who, notwithstanding, can be displeased with the following Lines ?

Transported echoes bore the sounds along,
And all creation listen’d to the song ;
Full, as when raptur'd Seraphs strike the lyre;
Chafte, as the Vestal's consecrated fire ;
Soft, as the balmy airs that gently play
In the calm fan-set of a vernal day;
Sublime as virtue ; elegant as wit'; .
As fancy various, and as beauty sweet.
Applauding angels with attention hung
To learn the heav'nly accents from her tongue :
They, in the mid-night hour, beheld her rise
Beyond the verge of lublunary skies ;
Where, rapt in joys to mortal sense unknown,

She felt a filame extatic as their own. In a Poetical Epistle to one of her female friends, she thus elegantly expresses the tender and affectionate wifhes of Friendship:

May angels guard thee with distinguish'd care,
And every blesling be my Cynthia's share !
Thro' flow’ry paths securely may she tread,
By fortune follow'd, and by virtue led; . - -
While health and eafe, in every look express
The glow of beauty, and the calm of peace. .
Let one bright sun-fhine form life's vernal day
And clear and smiling be it's evening ray. '
Late may the feel the softest blaft of death,
As roses droop beneath a Zephyr's breath.
Thus gently fading, peaceful rest in earth,
'Till the glad spring of Nature's second birth;
Then quit the transient winter of the tomb,

To rise and flourish in immortal bloom.
In another Epistle to the fame Lady, the considers Friend-
Tip in a more sublime and philosophical sense.

But long'ere Paphos, rose, or Poet fung,
In heav'nly breasts the sacred passion sprung:
The fame bright fames in raptur’d seraphs glow,
As warm consenting tempers here below :
While one attraction mortal, angel, binds,
Virtue, which forms the unison of minds :

Friendship

Friendship her soft harmonious touch affords,
And gently strikes the sympathetic chords;
Th' agreeing notes in social measures roll,

And the sweet concert flows from foul to soul. By this elevated train of thinking, our Poetic Philosopher was naturally led to her beloved Plato. By the magic power of sympathy, his fpirit rises before her; and, in the raptures of imagination, the thus expresses herself:

By Heaven's enthusiastic impulse taught
What thining visions rose on Plato's Thought!
While by the Muses' gency winding flood, *
His fearching fancy trac'd the sovereign Good;
The laurellă Sisters touch'd the vocal lyre,
And Wisdom's Goddess led the tuneful choir.
Beneath the genial Platane's spreading shade,
How sweet the philofophic Music play'd!
I hro' all the grove, along the flowery shore,
The charming rounds responsive echoes bore.
Here, from the cares of vulgar life refind,
Immortal pleasures open'd on his mind:
In gay succeilion to his ravish'd eyes:
The animating powers of Beauty rise :
On every object round, above, below,
Quick to the fight her vivid colours glow:
Yet, not to master's padozwy forms confin'd,
The Fair and Good he sought remain'd behind ;
'Till gradual rising thro' the boundless whole,
He view'd the blooming graces of the soul;
Where, to the beam of intellectual day,
The genuine charms of moral Beauty play:
With pleasing force the strong attractions move

Each finer sense, and tune it into Love.
How admirably chaste and simple is the style of the above
Verses, even while the imagination is transported to extasy!

The sweet descriptive Muse which delights in the profusion of rural imagery, and tụnes her harmonious lays to the beautiful works of Nature, the pleasing Erato, is not less kind to the Kentish Poetess than the sublime Urania. In her Verses addressed to Bethia, the fame Lady, if we mistake not, whose Ode is prefixed to her Tranflation of Epictetus, we have the following beautifully descriptive lines.

* Ilyfjus, a River near Athens, dedicated to the Muses. On the banks of this river, under a platane, Plato, lays the scene of some of bis Dialogues on Love and Beauty.

Ti'd

« السابقةمتابعة »