صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Led by those waking dreams of thought

That warm the young unpra&is'd breaft,
Her wonted bower sweet Ellen fought,

And CARRON murmur'd near, and sooth'd her into rest.
The interview between the lovers is well imagined. It is
painted not only with great warmth of colouring, but with all
those genuine strokes of nature, which are only to be acquired
by an intimate knowledge of the human heart, and the secret
springs by which it is actuated :

Led by the golden star of love,

Sweet Ellen took her wonted way,
And in the deep defending grove

Sought refuge from the fervid day-
Oh!--Who is he whofe ringlets fair

Disorder'd o'er his green vest flow,
Reclin'd in rest—whose sunny hair

Half hides the fair cheek's ardent glow?
'Tis he, that sprite's illufive guest,

(Ah me! that sprites can fate controal!)
That lives still imag’d on her breaft,

That lives still pictur'd in her soul,
As when some gentle spirit filed

From earth to breathe Elysian air,
And, in the train whom we call dead,

Perceives its long-lov'd partner there;
Soft, sudden pleafure rushes o'er

Refiftlefs, o'er its airy frame,
To find its future fate restore

The object of its former flame.
So Ellen food - less power to move

Had he, who, bound in flamber's chain,
Seem'd haply, o'er his hills to rovę,

And wind his woodland chace again.
She stood, but trembled-mingled fear,

And fond delight and melting love
Seiz'd all her soul; she came not near,

She came not near that fated grove.
She trives to fly-from wizzards wand

As well might powerless captive fly-
The new.crope flower falls from her hand-

Ah! fall not with that flower to die.?
Haft thou not feen some azure gleam

Smile in the morning's Orient eye,
And skirt the reddening cloud's soft beam

What time the fun was hasting nigh?

[ocr errors]



Thog haft-and thou canst fancy well

As any Muse that meets thine ear,
The soul-set eye of NITHISDALE, ·

When wakd, it fix'd on Ellen near.
Silent they gaz'd--that filence broke ;

• Hail Goddess of these groves, he cry'd,
• O let me wear thy gentle yoke ?

• O let me in thy service bide !
• For thee I'll climb the mountain steep,

• Unwearied chace the destin'd prey,
• For thee I'll pierce the wild-wood deep,

• And part the sprays that vex thy way.'
For thee- ftranger, cease,' she said,

And swift away, like DAPHNE, Alew,
But Daphne's flight was not delay'd

By aught that to her bosom grew.
'Twas ATALANTA's golden fruit,

The fond Idea that confin'd
Fair Ellen's steps, and bless’d his suit,

Who was not far, not far behind.
It is not unusual for an action to be impressed more forcibly
upon the mind by an incident apparently minute and trivial,
than by its principal and more obvious circumstances. The
third line of the eighth ftanza above quoted will illuftrate our
remark. A similar beauty (differently, indeed, applied and ap-
propriated) may be recollected in the Roman poet:

Colležii flores tunicis cecidêre remiffis. A beauty, of which, we believe, every painter who made the rape of Proserpine his subject, availed himself. The application of the fable of Atalanta, in the last stanza, is happy and elegant; and the same may be said of the classical allution in the following stanza :

And Moray, with unfather'd eyes,

Fix'd on fair Lothian's fertile dale,
Attends his human sacrifice,

Without the Grecian painter's veil.
When a writer alludes to or applies the fables of antiquity
so as to place them in a point of view unnoticed before, he may
be then said to make them his own: and if in doing this, the
ideas he excites are natural and forcible, he gives most indis-
putable marks of genius and taste.

The transition from misery in the extreme to that pensive and settled gloom, which so frequently takes pofleffion of delicate minds, is touched with great fancy in the two first lines of the following passage : the thought is not only highly poetical but perfectly just :

On On Melancholy's filent urn

A softer shade of forrow falls,
But Ellen can no more return,

No more return to MORAY's halls.
Beneath the low and lonely shade

The flow-consuming hour she'll weep,
Till nature seeks her last-left aid,

In the sad, sombrous arms of sleep.
· These jewels, all unmeet for me,

Shalt thou,' she said, 'good shepherd, take; • These gems will purchase gold for thee,

• And these be thine for Ellen's fake. . So fail thou not, at eve and morn,

• The rosemary's pale bough to bring« Thou know'ft where I was found forlorn

• Where thou haft heard the redbreast sing. • Heedfull I'll tend thy flocks the while,

• Or aid thy shepherdess's care, (For I will share her humble toil,

. And I her friendly roof will share.' The manner in which Ellen, unable even to name her mur. der'd lover, or to hint at the circumstances of his death, directs the hepherd to strew his grave with rosemary (a funeral fuperftition that prevailed in the earlier ages) is as pathetic as it is natural :

So fail thou not, at eve and morn,

The rosemary's pale bough to bring

Thou know's where I was found forlornWhen the shepherdess, to whose care she had intrusted her son, communicates to him, upon her death-bed, the circumstances of his birth, his sentiments and situation are thus described :

The heart that forrow doom'd to share,

Has worn the frequent seal of woe,
Its sad impresions learns to bear,

And finds, full oft, its ruin flow.
But when that feal is first imprelt,

When the young heart its pain shall try,
From the soft, yielding, trembling breast,

Oft seems the startled soul to fly.
Yet fled not Owen's-wild amaze

In paleness cloath'd, and lifted hands,
And horror's dread, unmeaning gaze,

Mark the poor ftatue, as it stands.
The simple guardian of his life

Look'd wistful for the tear to glide ;
But, when she saw his tearless strife,
Silent, the lent him one,-and died.


The catastrophe of this affecting narrative is wound up with great pathos : but for this we must refer our Readers to the poem itself. We cannot help expressing a wish that a writer every way so qualified for dramatic excellence would turn his attention to the stage. He seems, in an eminent degree, poso sessed of those powers, by which, according to the definition of our great prototype, the final aim of tragedy is most effectually to be : Δια ελέα και φοβε περάινασα την τοιέτων παθηματων καθαρσιν.


ART, X. Jays Moral and Literary. 8vo. 4s. 6 d. bound. Dilly.



Tunbridge school
A By the vw. w. Knox, master of

HE miscellaneous form of writing, introduced with so

much success by Addison and his cotemporaries, has since their time been adopted, under various appellations, by writers in almost every class of literary merit. Sometimes we see the forward scribbler, before he has himself learned to think, or to digest the thoughts of others, bringing forth the immature conceptions of his brain, without method, without style, without meaning, and obtruding them upon the public under the title of ellays. Sometimes the young adventurer in quest of fame, tries the half Aledged wings of his genius in fhort excursions, and, thinking himself at present unequal to the mightier labours of the muse, modestly contents himself with collecting the fragments of his youthful leisure, into a miscellany of prose and verse. Sometimes the philosopher, in the character of an essayist, throws out, occasionally, hints, observations and experiments, without regard to connection or method, and then cafts his mite into the treasury of science. And sometimes the wri.. ter of superior ability, who has grown old in the service of literature, gathering together the casual productions, which on various occasions have fallen from his pen, makes an acceptable offering to the public, of these gleanings


genius. To which of these classes the present collection is to be referred, we leave its various readers to determine, as their various judgments may incline; and shall only declare, for our own part, that we consider these essays as bearing the evident marks of an underitanding to which nature has been liberal in her endowments, and of a taste well cultivated by a familiarity with the ancients. The subjects on which they treat are so nu. merous *, that many of them are necessarily treated in a general


The subjects of these eflays are as follow: On fentiment-Affee. tation of the graces- i he complaints of men of learning-Eloquence - Modern literature - Temperance – Conciseness - Patience-Retirea.ent-Afectacion of the vices of men of eminence-Verbal cri


☆ her. Mr Cartwrigth

and cursory manner; but on every topic the writer discovers manly reflection, a correct taste, and a command of language: His critical essays are ingenious, and generally satisfactory; his moral pieces are solid and judicious; and in a few instances he has attempted the humorous delineation of characters with tolcsable success. From the critical essays we select the following, on Conciseness of Style, as a specimen:

• A celebrated French writer, remarkable for CONCISENESS OP STYLE, in a letter to a friend which he had made longer than usual, apologizes for his prolixity, by saying, that he had not time to make it thorter.

• To say much in few words is certainly a great excellence, and at the same time a great difficulcy in composition. The mind naturally dwells on a strong conception, views it on every side, and expresies its variety of lights in as great a variety of words: but the amplification of a sentence, though it may add to its perfpicuity, frequently diminishes its force: as the scattered sun-beams diffuse only a gentle heat, but are able to burn when collected in the focus.

• Brevity of expression is fometimes the mark of conscious dignity and virtue. It was manliness of sentiment, and haughtiness of soul, which gave sise to the laconic stile. When the tyrant of Macedon menaced the Lacedæmonians, the answer they returned was comprised in these few words: “ Dionysius is at Corinth.” To underland which, it is necessary to call to mind, that Dionyfius tyrant of Sicily had been dethroned by his people, and compelled to earn his bread by setting up a little school at Corinth. Such a document, expressed in so brief a manner, must have struck the mird with more force than the laboured periods of an Ifocrates, or the diffusion of a Cicero.

• It is well known, that Sallult was an enemy to the great orator of Rome. One would almost imagine, from the difference of their style, that the disagreement extended to matters of talle and literature. Sallust always labours to express his ideas in the fewest words.

Cicero delights in amplification. It has been said, that a man, of true talle, would rather have written that beautiful parallel between Caco and Cæsar, than all the Philippics.

ticism-Dialogue between Dean Swift and Dr. Bentley-Story of Aritocles from Plutarch - The fluctuation of taste- The inequalities of genius---Account of a strolling player— The pleasures of reflection

- Remarks on the life and writings of Dr. Joriin --The character of Addison as a poet-Account of a clergyman-Remarks on some of the minor Greek poets-- Hittory of Philodenes-Ill effects of reading without digesting-Men of genius do not always excel in conversacion, The Odyrey-Ocdipus Tyrannus of Sophocles-Letter from Ariftarchus Minor-Casaniire the Latin poet of Poland-The neglect of ancient authors-The inferiority of modern to antient eloquence -Pliny the younger-Inconlistency-Remarks on some pal'ages of

Tacitus- The bad consequences of national avarice-Harmony of period-Sculpture Architecture-The various modes that have pre. vailed of communicating ideas to the public, particularly on the art of printing. R.v. Feb. 1778.


• Many

« السابقةمتابعة »