« ZurückWeiter »
With terror shake, and pity move,
Give me, beneath a colder, changeful sky,
What millions perish'd near thy mournful flood,* With him in groves and grottoes talk; When the red papal tyrant cried out—"Blood !" Teach him lo scorn with frigid art
Less fierce the Saracen, and quiverd Moor, Feebly to touch th' unraptur'd heart; That dash'd thy infants 'gainst the stones of yore. Like lightning, let his mighty verse
Be warn'd, ye nations round ; and irembling see The bosom's inmost foldings pierce;
Dire superstition quench humanity! With native beauties win applause
By all the chiefs in freedom's batiles lost, Beyond cold critics' studied laws;
By wise and virtuous Alfred's awful ghost; O let each Muse's fame increase,
By old Galgacus' scythed, iron car,
That, swisily whirling through the walks of war,
By holy Druids' courage-breathing songs;
By fierce Bonduca's shield and foaming steeds; WRITTEN AT MONTAUBAN IN FRANCE, 1750. By the bold Peers that met on Thames's meads; Tarn, how delightful wind thy willow'd waves,
By the fifth Henry's helm and lightning spear; But ah! they fructify a land of slaves !
O Liberty, my warm petition hear; In vain thy bare-foot, sun-burnt peasants hide
Be Albion still thy joy! with her remain, With luscious grapes yon hill's romantic side;
Long as the surge shall lash her vak-crown'd plain No cups neclareous shall their toil repay, The priest's, the soldier's, and the fermier's prey: * Alluding to the persecutions of the Protestants, and Vain glows this Sun, in cloudless glory drest, the wars of the Saracens, carried on in the southern prov. That strikes fresh vigor through the pining breast; linces of France.
Thomas Warton, younger brother of the pre-(lamented the death of George II., in some lines ad. ceding, a distingushed poet, and an historian of dressed to Mr. Pitt, he continued the courtly strain poetry, was born at Basingstoke in 1728. He was in poems on the marriage of George III., and on the educated under his father till 1743, when he was birth of the Prince of Wales, both printed in the admitted a commoner of Trinity College, Oxford. University collection. In 1770 he gave an edition, Here he exercised his poetical talent to so much ad. in two volumes 4to., of the Greek poet Theocritus, vantage, that, on the appearance of Mason's Elegy which gave him celebrity in other countries besides of Isis, which severely reflected on the disloyalty his own. At what time he first employed himself of Oxford at that period, he was encouraged by Dr. with the History of English Poetry, we are not inHuddesford, President of his College, to vindicate formed; but in 1774 he had so far proceeded in the the cause of his University. This task he performed work as to publish the first volume in 410. He afterwith great applause, by wriung, in his twenty-first wards printed a second in 1778, and a third in 1781; year, The Triumph of Isis," a piece of much but his labor now became tiresome to himself, and spirit and fancy, in which he retaliated upon the the great compass which he had allotted to his plan bard of Cam, by satirizing the courtly venality then was so irksome, that an unfinished fourth volume supposed to distinguish the rival University. His was all that he added to it. “ Progress of Discontent," published in 1750, ex- The place of Camden professor of history, vacant hibited to great advantage his powers in the familiar by the resignation of Sir William Scott, was the style, and his talent for humor, with a knowledge close of his professional exertions; but soon after of human life, extraordinary at his early age, espe- another engagement required his attention. By cially if composed, as it is said, for a college exer- His Majesty's express desire, the post of poelcise in 1746. In 1750 he took the degree of M. A., laureate was offered to him, and accepted, and he and in the following year became fellow of his determined to use his best endeavors for rendering College.
it respectable. Varying the monotony of anniverHis spirited satire, entitled “Newmarket," and sary court compliment by topics better adapted to pointed against the ruinous passion for the turs; his poetical description, he improved the style of the "Ode for Music;" and his “ Verses on the Death laureale odes, though his lyric strains underwent of the Prince of Wales," were written about this some ridicule on that account. iime; and, in 1753, he was the editor of a small His concluding publication was an edition of the collection of poems, under the title of The juvenile poems of Milton, of which the first volume Union," which was printed at Edinburgh, and con- made its appearance in 1785, and the second in tained several of his own performances. In 1754 1790, a short time before his death. His constituhe made himself known by Observations on tion now began to give way. In his sixty-second Spenser's Faery Queen, in one volume, afterwards year an attack of the gout shattered his frame, and enlarged to two; a work well received by the pub- was succeeded in May, 1790, by a paralytic seizure, lic, and which made a considerable addition to his which carried him off, at his lodgings in Oxford. literary reputation. So high was his character in His remains were interred, with every academical the University, that in 1757 he was elected to the honor, in the chapel of Trinity College. office of its poetry-professor, which he held for the The pieces of Thomas Warton are very various usual period of ten years, and rendered respectable in subject, and none of them long, whence he must by the erudition and taste displayed in his lectures. only rank among the minor poets; but scarcely one
It does not appear necessary in this place to par- of that tribe has noted with finer observation the ticularize all the prose compositions which, whether minute circumstances in rural nature that afford grave or humorous, fell at this time from his pen; pleasure in description, or has derived from the but it may be mentioned that verse continued occa- regions of fiction more animated and picturesque sionally to occupy his thoughts and that having scenery.
ODE TO THE FIRST OF APRIL.
Witu dalliance rude young Zephyr wooes
Mindful of disaster past,
Scant along the ridgy land
The swallow, for a moment seen,
Fraught with a transient, frozen shower,
Where in venerable rows
Musing through the lawny park,
Towers distinguish'd from the rest,
Within some whispering osier isle,
O'er the broad downs, a novel race,
His free-born vigor yet unbroke
Yet, in these presages rude,
Bound for holy Palestine, Nimbly we brush'd the level brine, All in azure steel array’d; O'er the wave our weapons play'd, And made the dancing billows glow; High upon the trophied prow, Many a warrior-minstrel swung His sounding harp, and boldly sung:
· Syrian virgins, wail and weep, English Richard plows the deep! Tremble, watchmen, as ye spy From distant towers, with anxious eye,
* The Glym is a small river in Oxfordshire, flowing through Warton's parish of Kiddington, or Cuddington, and dividing it into upper and lower town. It is de. scribed by himself in his account of Cuddington, as a deep but narrow stream, winding through willowed meadows and abounding in trouts, pikes, and wild-fowl. It gives name to the village of Glymton, which adjoins to Kid. dington.