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Virtue and sense I mean not to disjoin ;
Virtue and sense are one; and, trust me, still
A faithless heart betrays the head unsound.
Virtue (for mere good-nature is a fool)
Is sense and spirit with humanity :
'Tis sometimes angry, and its frown confounds ;
'Tis even vindictive, but in vengeance just.
Knaves fain would laugh at it; some great ones dare;
But at his heart the most undaunted son
Of fortune dreads its name and aweful charms.
To noblest uses this determines wealth ;
This is the solid pomp of prosperous days;
The peace and shelter of adversity.
And if you pant for glory, build your fame
On this foundation, which the secret shock
Defies of envy and all-sapping time.
The gaudy gloss of fortune only strikes
The vulgar eye; the suffrage of the wise,
The praise that's worth ambition, is attain'd
By sense alone, and dignity of mind.
“ Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of Heaven : a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great Nature's favourites ; a wealth
That ne'er encumbers, nor can be transferr'd.
Riches are oft by guilt and baseness earn'd;
Or dealt by chance to shield a lucky knave,
Or throw a cruel sunshine on a fool.
But for one end, one much-neglected use,
Are riches worth your care; (for Nature's wants
Are few, and without opulence supplied ;)
This noble end is, to produce the soul ;
To show the virtues in their fairest light;
To make humanity the minister
Of bounteous Providence; and teach the breast
That generous luxury the gods enjoy.”
Thus, in his graver vein, the friendly sage
Sometimes declaim'd. of right and wrong he taught
Truths as refin'd as ever Athens heard ;
And (strange to tell!) he practis'd what he preach'd.
There is a charm, a power
the breast, Bids every passion revel or be still ;
Inspires with rage, or all your cares dissolves;
Can sooth distraction, and almost despair.
That power is music: far beyond the stretch
Of those unmeaning warblers on our stage;
Those clumsy heroes, those fat-headed gods,
Who move no passion justly but contempt:
Who, like our dancers, light indeed and strong,
Do wond'rous feats, but never heard of grace.
The fault is ours; we bear those monstrous arts;
Good heaven! we praise them: we, with loudest peals,
Applaud the fool that highest lifts his heels ;
And, with insipid show of rapture, die
On ideot notes impertinently long.
But he the muse's laurel justly shares,
A poet he, and touch'd with heaven's own fire,
Who, with bold rage or solemn pomp of sounds,
Inflames, exalts, and ravishes the soul;
Now tender, plaintive, sweet almost to pain,
In love dissolves you ; now in sprightly strains
Breathes a gay rapture through your thrilling breast;
Or melts the heart with airs divinely sad;
Or wakes to horror the tremendous strings.
Such was the bard, whose heavenly strains of old
Appeas'd the fiend of melancholy Saul.
Such was, if old and heathen fame say true,
The man who bade the Theban domes ascend,
And tam'd the savage nations with his song ;
And such the Thracian, whose melodious lyre,
Tun'd to soft woe, made all the mountains weep;
Sooth'd ev'n th' inexorable powers of hell,
And half-redeem'd his lost Eurydice.
Music exalts each joy, allays each grief,
Expels diseases, softens every pain,
Subdues the rage of poison, and the plague;
And hence the wise of ancient days ador'd
One Power of physic, melody and song.
RICHARD GLOVER was born in St. Martin's Lane, Cannon-street, in 1712. His father was a London merchant; and, although his verses procured for him an early reputation, he was prudent enough not to permit the attractions of the Muse to seduce him from the profitable study of the ledger. In 1737, he published " Leonidas," an epic poem in twelve books; it has long ceased to retain its hold on the favour of the public, but in his own day it obtained a very large share of popularity, passed through several editions; and procured his introduction to the society of all the leading wits of the age. As a citizen of London, he held a very prominent place; busied himself incessantly to promote its commercial interests; and became a valuable partizan of the Anti-Court party, then led by Lord Lyttleton, and headed by the Prince of Wales. In 1761, he was elected Member of Parliament for Wey. mouth; and as a zealous and active representative, was entitled to the gratitude of his country. The concluding years of his life were spent in calm retirement and learned ease; and he died at his house in Albemarle-street, in 1785.
Besides a few “miscellanies," and his tragedies “Boadicea" and “Meden," his only poetical productions are “Leonidas" and the “ Athenaid," a sequel to it, printed after his death. It is admitted that much of the success which attended the publication of his poem arose out of the peculiar character of the times. zeal, or rather rage for liberty, prevailed in England: a constellation of great men, distinguished by their virtues as well as their talents, had set themselves in opposition to the Court; every composition that bore the sacred name of freedom recommended itself to their protection, and soon obtained possession of the public favour. Hence a poem founded on the noblest principles of liberty, and displaying the most brilliant examples of patriotism, soon found its way into the world." In proportion, however, as the political fever was subdued, the ardour of the lovers of poetry “sunk into a cold forgetfulness with regard to it ;” and the writer lived to experience that sterling merit alone can secure a fame which is enduring. Leonidas is as a whole but a dull, heavy, and prosaic performance; although it contains many passages of great beauty and power. Lyttleton, in a laudatory piece of criticism, in which he compared the author to Milton, seems to have divined the cause of its failure ;-"there never was an epic poem which had so near a relation to Common Sense."
The story is that of the hero of Thermopylæ; and the Athenaid is a poetical history of the subsequent wars between the Greeks and Persians; the design and result of which are thus explained by the concluding lines.
* Night drops her shade
On thirty millions slaughter'd. Thus thy death
Leonidas of Sparta was aveng'd."
Although it may be considered a task of no ordinary labour to peruse the twelve
books of Leonidas and the thirty books of the Athenaid: and although the reader is
perpetually wearied by the long and tame descriptions, lifeless characters, and
tedious dialogues with which both the poems abound, he will be continually cheered
by some passage of surpassing beauty, and lured on by the deep and exciting
interest of a skilfully wrought story. The portrait of the hero is admirably drawn ;
and its moral grandeur is happily contrasted with that of Xerxes, the proud but
mean leader of the millions who crushed the handful of patriots at Thermopylæ.
The poet was especially fortunate in his management of the catastrophe; the death
of the self-devoted band is never for a moment considered in any other light than
that of an entire triumph; they fall amid heaps of their slaughtered enemies; but
their blood has purchased the freedom of their country. Considerations of the glory
they achieve and the liberty they win, bear away the reader from thought of what
the victory has cost; and the poet has produced that which is produced so rarely,
a sensation of delight when they perish, for whom his sympathies have been so long
We have extracted one of the miscellaneous poems of Glover; it is, we think, among the most beautiful and pathetic ballads in the language; the compliment which the unfortunate Hosier pays to the successful Vernon has perhaps been rarely if ever surpassed.
As near Porto-Bello lying
On the gently-swelling flood,
At midnight, with streamers flying,
Our triumphant navy rode;
There while Vernon sat all glorious
From the Spaniard's late defeat, And his crews with shouts victorious,
Drank success to England's fleet: On a sudden, shrilly sounding,
Hideous yells and shrieks were heard ; Then each heart with fear confounding, A sad troop of ghosts appear'd,
All in dreary hammocks shrouded,
Which for winding sheets they wore, And with looks by sorrow clouded,
Frowning on that hostile shore.
On them gleam'd the moon's wan lustre,
When the shade of Hosier brave
His pale bands were seen to muster,
Rising from their wat’ry grave :
O'er the glimmering wave he hied him,
Where the Burford rear'd her sail,
With three thousand ghosts besides him,
And in groans did Vernon hail.
Heed, O heed, our fatal story,
I am Hosier's injur'd ghost,
You, who now have purchas'd glory
At this place where I was lost;
Though in Porto-Bello's ruin
You now triumph free from fears, When
you think on our undoing,
You will mix your joy with tears.
See these mournful spectres sweeping
Ghastly o'er this hated wave,
Whose wan cheeks are staind with weeping,
These were English captains brave:
Mark those numbers, pale and horrid,
Those were once my sailors bold, Lo, each hangs his drooping forehead,
While his dismal tale is told.
I, by twenty sail attended,
Did this Spanish town affright; Nothing then its wealth defended
But my orders not to fight": 0! that in this rolling ocean
I had cast them with disdain,
And obey'd my heart's warm motion,
To have quell'd the pride of Spain;
For resistance I could fear none,
But with twenty ships had done What thou, brave and happy Vernon,
Hast ac y'd with six alone.