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And, spite of her insulting foe,
My sympathizing verse shall flow :
“ Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn
Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn!"

ODE TO LEVEN-WATER.

On Leven's banks, while free to rove,
And tune the rural pipes to love;
I envied not the happiest swain
That ever trod the Arcadian plain.

Pure stream ! in whose transparent wave
My youthful limbs I wont to lave;
No torrents stain thy limpid source;
No rocks impede thy dimpling course,
That sweetly warbles o'er its bed,
With white, round, polish'd pebbles spread ;
While, lightly pois'd, the scaly brood
In myriads cleave thy crystal food;
The springing trout in speckled pride;
The salmon, monarch of the tide;
The ruthless pike, intent on war;
The silver eel, and mottled par,
Devolving from thy parent lake,
A charming maze thy waters make,
By bowers of birch, and groves of pine,
And hedges flower'd with eglantine.

Still on thy banks so gaily green,
May num'rous herds and flocks be seen,
And lasses chanting o'er the pail,
And shepherds piping in the dale,
And ancient Faith that knows no guile,
And Industry imbrown'd with toil,
And hearts resolv'd and hands prepar'd,
The blessings they enjoy to guard.

MARK AKENSIDE, the son of a butcher in Newcastle-on-Tyne, was born in that town on the 9th of November, 1721. He received his education at the Newcastle Grammar School, and afterwards graduated at the Universities of Edinburgh and Leyden, at which latter place, in 1744, he took the degree of Doctor in Medicine. Here also he formed that celebrated friendship with Mr. Dyson, which never after. wards knew interruption or abatement. Before his departure from Leyden, the poem of the Pleasures of Imagination had been completed, and on the arrival of the

lon, it was sent to Dodsley, who, by the advice of Pope, paid for it the sum of one hundred and twenty pounds, and published it. Akenside was at once lifted into a high poetical repute, and paid the ordinary penalties of elevation. For some of his opinions he was severely attacked by Warburton, and for others Smollett held him up to public ridicule, as the physician in Peregrine Pickle. But, as the Poet's style of thinking was cast in the antique mould, so, too, was his personal character, and undeserved ridicule affected him less than most men. The intense interest with which he embraced the cause of popular principles in his day, served to keep him unhurt by such attacks, as well as to sustain him through many private disappointments; and it was the consolation of Akenside's life, no less than it is the pride of his memory. that, "by ancient learning to the enlightened love of ancient freedom warm'd," he had never, in later years, to teach himself to consider those opinions vain, which, in his youth, he had held generous or noble.

“Nor shall e'er
The graver tasks of manhood, or th' advice
Of vulgar wisdom move me to disclaim
Those studies, which possess'd me in the dawn

Of life, and fix'd the colour of my mind"- was his exclamation in the last year of a life which had seen many changes, and, among them, that of the partner of those early studies, and the man to whom he felt most obliged on earth, seduced to the opposite opinions. The poems with which he kept up his fame, after his first great work, had generally some political bearing; and in 1745 he published ten odes, on different subjects, and in various styles. His “ Hymn to the Naiads," and other incidental effusions, were subsequently published in Dodsley's Miscellanies. His professional career, meanwhile, may be briefly told. For a short time he settled at Northampton; he then removed, at his friend Mr. Dyson's entreaty, to Hampstead; and finally fixed himself in London. He was supported in his struggles into practice by an annuity of three hundred pounds a year from Mr. Dyson; but, after a time, his advancement was rapid, and he achieved the highest honours of his profession. He was physician to the queen, when, on the 23d of June, 1770, in the forty-ninth year of his age, he died.

The character of Akenside commanded deep respect from his contemporaries, and claims the same tribute from posterity. He was a true scholar, a gentleman, and a man of genius. His manners are described as cold, but his heart overflowed with the affections. Some of the irritation, under which he is said to have suffered occasionally, may probably be referred to the disagreeable associations which connected themselves with an accident of his youth, when one of his father's cleavers fell upon his foot, and slightly lamed him. His features were expressive and manly in a very high degree; his complexion was pale, his deportment solemn, and his dress remarkably precise."

The versification of Akenside yields to that of few poets; and few have excelled him in elevation of thought and general dignity of style. His “ Pleasures of Imagination," however, was over-rated by his contemporaries. The Wartons were then too fresh in the newly-discovered beauties of Milton, to be able to discriminate Akenside with sufficient severity and exactness.For, as we may suppose that, to an audience newly-initiated into the material loveliness of the Greek mythology, an Italian madrigal, lavish in its commendation of the dwellers on Olympus, would possess many immediately startling charms-so, and within some such comparison, in relation to the high efforts of Milton, it is not to be denied, that the greater part of the ** Pleasures of Imagination," as a purely poetical work, may be justly brought. Sufficient remains, however, with the help of his magnificent odes, to set an enduring

[graphic]

In an tne uewy langscapes or the sprig,
In the bright eye of Hesper or the Morn,
In Nature's fairest forms, is aught so fair
As virtuous Friendship ? as the candid blush
Of him who strives with fortune to be just ?
The graceful tear that streams for others' woes?
Or the mild majesty of private life,
Where Peace with ever-blooming olive crowns
The gate ; where Honour's liberal hands effuse
Unenvied treasures, and the snowy wings
Of Innocence and Love protect the scene?

[graphic]

his foot, and slightly lamed him. His features were expressive and manly in a very high degree; his complexion was pale, his deportment solemn, and his dress remarkably precise.'

The versification of Akenside yields to that of few poets; and few have excelled him in elevation of thought and general dignity of style. His “ Pleasures of Imagination,” however, was over-rated by his contemporaries. The Wartons were then too fresh in the newly-discovered beauties of Milton, to be able to discriminate Akenside with sufficient severity and exactness.For, as we may suppose that, to an audience newly-initiated into the material loveliness of the Greek mythology, an Italian madrigal, lavish in its commendation of the dwellers on Olympus, would possess

ediately startling charms—so, and within some such comparison, in relation to the high efforts of Milton, it is not to be denied, that the greater part of the “ Pleasures of Imagination," as a purely poetical work, may be justly brought. Sufficient remains, however, with the help of his magnificent odes, to set an enduring

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

Is aught so fair In all the dewy landscapes of the spring, In the bright eye of Hesper or the Morn, In Nature's fairest forms, is aught so fair As virtuous Friendship ? as the candid blush Of him who strives with fortune to be just ? The graceful tear that streams for others' woes ? Or the mild majesty of private life, Where Peace with ever-blooming olive crowns The gate ; where Honour's liberal hands effuse Unenvied treasures, and the snowy wings Of Innocence and Love protect the scene ?

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