« ZurückWeiter »
tractive than others. When men habitually wear a face expressive of severity, constantly clouded with frowns, the voice is sure to indicate it. It is no more surprising that the blind should discover marks of recognition in the hand, or voice, than that the seeing should observe differences in figure and dress. Almost any one can distinguish a friend from a stranger, even in the dark, by the sound of his voice; yet, because the loss of sight compels one to resort to this method, it is made a matter of wonderment and sur prise, even among those who can do it themselves.
At a period in Carolan's life when he most needed the attention of a kind friend, he was called to mourn the loss of an affectionate wife. After this sad event Carolan lived but five years. While on a visit at the house of Mrs. McDermott, of Alderford, in the county of Roscommon, he died, in March, 1738, in the sixty eighth year of his age.
A monody, composed by him, on the death of his wife, we subjoin :
ON THE DEATH OF MARY MAGUIRE.
Were mine the choice of intellectual fame,
Of skillful song and eloquence divine,
And Homer's lyre and Ossian's harp were mine,
In Mary lost, would love? their wonted grace;
Again to fold her in my fond embrace!
Desponding, sick, exhausted with my grief,
Awhile the founts of sorrow cease to flow,
Cheerless, companionless, I wake to woo.
Nor fortune win me to another bride ;
Till death restore me to my dear one's side.
Once every thought and every scene was gay,
Friends, mirth, and music, all my soul enjoyed;
My life a solitude, my heart a void.
For every comfort is with Mary fled;
Till age and sorrow join me with the dead.
Adieu ! each gift of nature and of art,
That erst adorn'd me in life's earliest prime;
The soul ethereal, and the flight sublime.
Thy sweetness cheers, thy judgment aids no more:
And lost is every joy that charm'd before i
[The following lines were addressed to a young lady, writter perhaps, while yet our poet's harp was rapturously tuned to the sweet plaints of love :]
To thee harmonious powers belong,
Since the fam'd fair of ancient days,
THOMAS BLACKLOCK, D. D.
So much has been said in praise of this exceilent man by his numerous admirers, that a volume of the present size could not contain even their encomiums, much less a detailed account of his eventful life, together with the selections we wish to make from his writings. We purpose, therefore, to give, in this connection, only a few of the most interesting particulars of his life’s history.
Rev. Dr. Blacklock was born at Annan, Dumfrieshire, Scotland, in 1721. His parents were of a highly respectable class, though in humble circumstances. His father was by trade a bricklayer. When but six months old, he was attacked by that most loathsome of all diseases, the small-pox, which entirely destroyed his sight. This misfortune, it was supposed, unfitted him for any of the mechanical pursuits, nor was it thought possible for him to attain any of the higher professions. His early education, however, was not entirely neglected. His father, to whom he so affectionately alludes in some of his poems, took great pleasure in reading for his sightless boy; at first such publications as were best calculated to amuse and in
struct him, and afterward such works as Allan Ramsay, Prior's Poems, and the Tattler, Spectator and Guardian. In this way, young Blacklock soon acquired a fondness for reading, and a love for poetry.
Quite early in life, Milton, Spenser, Pope and Addison were his favorite authors. At twelve
At twelve years of age, he commenced writing verses in imitation of them. Some of these early productions, it is said, were not inferior to many of the premature compositions by schoolboys possessing the best advantages. At the early age of nineteen, his father was accidentally killed by the falling of a malt-kiln. The loss of parents, at any period of one's life, is a trying affliction; and it may well be supposed that the young poet felt his loss most deeply. The few hopes he had built upon his father's probable success in life, were suddenly destroyed. Thus deprived of the support on which his youth had leaned, and left in destitute circumstances, every bright prospect of future fame faded before him, leaving only clouds of despondency which, later in life, sometimes threw their dark shadows across his pathway. After this sad event, he lived about a year with his mother, and was considered, among his personal friends, a young man of uncommon ability.
His remarkable talents and poetical genius soon attracted the notice of Dr. Stephenson, an eminent physician in Edinburgh, who came to Dumfries on a professional visit. In him, Blacklock found a warm friend and benefactor. This kind-hearted gentleman