« السابقةمتابعة »
The powerful of the earth, the wise, the good,
6. The hills,"
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun, the vales,
Of the great tomb of man.
7. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
8. Take the wings
Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce,
10. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
11. So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan that moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
Euthanasia.*— WILLIS G. CLARK.
1. METHINKS, when on the languid eye
Grows fainter on the tuneless ear,
3. It were not lonely thus to lie
It were not lonely thus to soar,
* A happy death.
4. And, though the way to such a goal
Beyond the journeyings of the sun,
Coronach. SIR W. SCOTT.
1. HE is gone on the mountain,
2. The hand of the reaper
3. Fleet foot on the correi,*
* Or corri, the hollow side of a hill, where game lies.
Parallel between Pope and Dryden.
1. POPE professed to have learned his poetry from Dryden, whom, whenever an opportunity was presented, he praised, through his whole life, with unvaried liberality; and, perhaps, his character may receive some illustration, if he be compared with his master. Integrity of understanding and nicety of discernment were not allotted in a less proportion to Dryden than to Pope. The rectitude of Dryden's mind was sufficiently shown by the dismission of his poetical prejudices, and the rejection of unnatural thoughts and rugged numbers.
2. But Dryden never desired to apply all the judgment that he had. He wrote, and professed to write, merely for the people; and when he pleased others, he contented himself. He spent no time in struggles to rouse latent powers; he never attempted to make that better which was already good, nor often to mend what he must have known to be faulty.
3. He wrote, as he tells us, with very little consideration; when occasion or necessity called upon him, he poured out what the present moment happened to supply, and, when once it had passed the press, ejected it from his mind; for when he had no pecuniary interest, he had no further solicitude.
4. Pope was not content to satisfy; he desired to excel, and therefore always endeavored to do his best: he did not court the candor, but dared the judgment, of his reader; and, expecting no indulgence from others, he showed none to himself.
5. He examined lines and words with minute and punctilious observation, and retouched every part with indefatigable diligence, till he had left nothing to be forgiven. For this reason, he kept his pieces very long in his hands, while he considered and reconsidered them.
6. The only poems which can be supposed to have been written with such regard to the times as might hasten their publication were the two satires of "Thirty-eight," of which Dodsley told me that they were brought to him by the author that they might be fairly copied. Almost every line," he said, was then written twice over; I gave him a clean transcript, which he sent, some time afterwards, to me for the press, with almost every line written twice over a second time."
7. His declaration, that his care for his works ceased at their publication was not strictly true. His parental attention
never abandoned them; what he found amiss in the first edition, he silently corrected in those that followed.
8. He appears to have revised the "Iliad," and freed it from some of its imperfections; and the "Essay on Criticism" received many improvements after its first appearance. It will seldom be found that he altered without adding clearness, elegance, or vigor.
9. Pope had perhaps the judgment of Dryden, but Dryden certainly wanted the diligence of Pope. In acquired knowledge, the superiority must be allowed to Dryden, whose education was more scholastic, and who, before he became an author, had been allowed more time for study, with better means of information. His mind has a larger range, and he collects his images and illustrations from a more extensive circumference of science.
10. Dryden knew more of man in his general nature, Pope in his local manners. The notions of Dryden were formed by comprehensive speculation, and those of Pope by minute attention. There is more dignity in the knowledge of Dryden, and more certainty in that of Pope. Poetry was not the sole praise of either; for both excelled likewise in prose; but Pope did not borrow his prose from his predecessor. The style of Dryden is capricious and varied; that of Pope is cautious and uniform. Dryden obeys the motions of his own mind; Pope constrains his mind to his own rules of composition.
11. Dryden is sometimes vehement and rapid; Pope is always smooth, uniform, and gentle. Dryden's page is a natural field, rising into inequalities, and diversified by the varied exuberance of abundant vegetation; Pope's is a velvet lawn, shaven by the scythe, and leveled by the roller. 12. Of genius, that which constitutes a poet, that power quality without which judgment is cold and knowledge is inert, that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates,—the superiority must, with some hesitation, be allowed to Dryden.
13. It is not to be inferred that of this poetical vigor Pope had only a little, because Dryden had more; for every other writer since Milton must give place to Pope; and even of Dryden it must be said, that if he has brighter paragraphs, he has not better poems.
14. Dryden's performances were always hasty, either excited by some external occasion, or extorted by domestic necessity; he composed without consideration, and published without correction. What his mind could supply at call, or