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into descriptions which may entertain, but neither strengthen nor elevate the mind. GRAY, fastidious in taste and jealous of reputation, has left few productions of his Muse, but they are exquisite in their kind. His well-known Elegy, will be read while there is a human mind capable either of feeling or of taste; yet must we lament its entire destitution of those truths, which by bringing "life and immortality to light" have robbed death of its sting, and the grave of its terrors. This deficiency has been supplied by an anonymous American poet, whose interesting lines will be found on the 253rd page. COWPER is the most useful and interesting of Christian Poets. Greatly inferior to MILTON in creative genius, he excels him in moral effect, by coming home to the business and bosoms of men. If he does not, like our Epic Bard, enable us to range through ideal worlds, he shows as as in a lucid and faithful mirror the scenery and interests of our own. If he does not, like him, invest the facts of Revelation with high imaginings, he inculcates its special verities with unsparing fidelity and poetic charm. Even his satire is kindly severe, wounding to heal; while in his humorous pieces, it is the moral which adorns the tale. Contemporary with Cowper, though a Poet of very different order, was the unhappy BURNS. We admire his Hogarth-like humour, his thrilling pathos, his native grace and fire, but we lament his abuse of the extraordinary talents with which "the Father of lights" had endued him. His "Cotter's Saturday-Night" will transmit to distant ages a faithful picture of Scottish piety in humble life. Its length alone prevented its insertion. Of the same nation with Burns, was the meek, tender, and pious GRAHAME. The several pieces introduced from his works carry with them their own recommendation.
Having arrived at our own time, BYRON, its brightest poetical ornament, claims our first attention. We are not insensible either to the might or the charm of his Lordship's genius, but we confess that his productions remind us of poison presented in a golden chalice, or of the serpent which fascinates to deceive, and lures to destroy. Even his descriptions of Nature are interwoven with sentiments which no believer in the truth of Scripture, or friend to human happiness can approve. We have, though not without difficulty, furnished a few unexceptionable extracts from his works.
We cannot refrain from expressing our admiration of "The Course of Time." It is a Poem which will live when some of its more flashy compeers shall have been forgotten. It may have been over-praised; it is occasionally harsh and prosaic; but withal, it is a work of extraordinary merit and promise ;-promise alas,—never to be realized in the present world! Its highly-gifted Author can no more be soothed by flattery, nor grieved by censure. His earthly Harp lies broken and silent in death, but he has taken up the "Harp of Eternity" and is singing the "new song" in rapt and undying strains
"In the blest kingdom meek of joy and love,
Where entertain him all the saints above,
In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
That sing, and singing in their glory move,
And wipe the tear forever from his eyes."
POLLOK, by his premature removal to a better world, reminds us of the lamented KIRK WHITE, whose memory Southey and Byron have united to embalm. His Poetry is now identified with the affecting history of his life, and
"Each gives each a double charm."
His early death is among those hidden mysteries of Providence, which we wait the Fight of Eternity to reveal.
Our notice of living Poets, must be very brief. WORDSWORTH abounds in musings, which are exceedingly beautiful, though occasionally obscure. CRABBE is the poetic Morland of the day. His graphic sketches of life cannot fail to interest and please, though we wish they were less morbid, and not deformed by occasional caricatures of Evangelical Truth. CAMPBELL, who has written no second work worthy of his superior genius, seems determined to leave us to "The Pleasures of Hope." We find in SIR W. SCOTT several faithful pictures of Nature and well-told tales of olden time, but it is not by his poetry chiefly that he will be known to posterity; indeed its reputation seems to be already on the decline. SOUTHEY has exchanged his Aonian flights for the more profitable walks of prose, and as his principles have greatly improved in his maturer years, we wish that he would favour us with more frequent effusions of his Muse; of a different class, however, from his "Vision of Judgment." COLERIDGE, if he had written nothing but his "Chamouny,” included in this Selection, would deserve to rank with Poets of a superior ordet. MONTGOMERY, more than any other living Poet, resembles the amiable CowPER, and is entitled to the rare praise of having written
"No line which dying he need wish to blot."
The Poetry of Mrs. HEMANS reminds us of her first name, as few excel her in correctness of sentiment, or Felicity of diction. She is worthy of being associated with a BARBAULD, a H. MORE, and a J. TAYLOR. BOWRING has not only transfused the beauties of Foreign Poets into his own language, but is himself a Poet of no ordinary merit.
In this brief notice of many of the Poets of our Country, we have omitted several names, dear both to genius and to piety, and from whose works we have enriched our Selection.
In compiling our volume, we have endeavoured to confine ourselves to Poetry of a superior order, except in instances in which the pith and unction of the sentiment more than compensate the defects of the Muse. Rigid attention has been paid to the principles of the Work, so that we hope it contains nothing offensive to the purest Morals, or inconsistent with Revealed Truth.
The Arrangement will we hope be found convenient, and supply a deficiency which must have been often remarked in works of a similar kind.
We beg to acknowledge our obligations to various living Authors; particularly to Messrs. MONTGOMERY, BOWRING, EDMESTON, and CONDER; also to our gifted, but too-much-neglected Townsman, CARRINGTON.
We are much indebted to our Subscribers, and beg them to accept the Vignette, as an expression of our gratitude for their kind Patronage of the volume, which we now commend to their judgment-to public inspection-and to the blessing of God.
Devonport, January, 1829.
ABASH'D be all the boast of age
Above, below, where'er I gaze ...... 11
Above me are the Alps.
A clond lay cradled near the setting sun 105
A crimson glow adorns the western sky 260
Acquaint thee, O mortal, acquaint thee 206
Adieu to thee fair Rhine, a vain adieu 91
A fairer isle than Britain, never sun..
A florist a sweet little blossom espied
Again the Lord of life and light.
Alas for Sicily! rude fragments now.. 224
A little particle of rain
All in the power of their great Maker
All night the booming minute gun....
All worldly shapes shall melt in gloom 272
Almighty King who sit'st above
And afterwards the famous rivers came
And did he rise? Hear, O, ye nations 159
And first came Faith, the Marshal.... 172
And forth they passe, with pleasure.. 51
And greedy Avarice by him did ride.. 125
And him beside rides fierce, revenging 125
And is there care in heaven, and is 185
And next to him malicious Envy rode 125
And now on earth the seventh evening 262
And thou hast walked about....
And what is this? Survey the wondrons 131
Angels, assist to sing
A nightingale that all day long
Another day has pass'd along
poor wayfaring Man of grief
Are these the trees? Is this the place? 218
Are ye forever to your skies departed 186
Around Bethesda's healing wave
Around the fire one wintry night
Art thou a thing of mortal birth. 119
As at their work two weavers sat .... 288
A shadow on my spirit fell
A soul prepar'd needs no delays
A spirit passed before me, I beheld
A voice comes from Ramah,
Awake my soul, lift up thine eyes.... 177
BEAUTIFUL are you in your lowliness 57
Beautiful creature, I have been ...... 70
Begin from first where he encradled.. 134
Behold the changes of the skies
Behold the large Leviathan arise
Behold this ruin, 'twas a skull........ 294
Behold yon glorious orb, whose feeble 109
Be it a weakness it deserves some praise 119
Beneath, a sleeping infant lies........ 255
Beneath the hedge, or near the stream 72
Beyond the glittering starry skies .... 163
Blame not the monumental stone .... 255
Blessed be thy name for ever
Blind, poor, and helpless Bartimeus sat 144
Bold Infidelity! turn pale and die.... 255
Brightest and best of the sons of the.. 149
Bright morning star of bliss..
Bright portals of the sky
Bright Stranger, welcome to my field
Bright Summer beams along the sky 37
But art thou thus indeed alone?
But how shall he the great Supreme.. 206
But if our thoughts are fix'd aright.... 239
By Judah's vales, and olive-glades.... 204
But 'tis not local prejudice that prompts 88
But who can paint like nature?
Deep in Sabea's fragrant groves retired 138
Delightful Tamar, swell the notes....
Dull Atheist! could a giddy dance....
Duty and Pleasure long at strife...... 287
Dweller in heaven, and ruler below.. 10
EACH fabled fount of comfort dry 128
Earth now is green, and heaven is blue 39
England, with all thy faults I love thee 82
Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade.... 255
FAIR are the provinces that England
Fair Autumn spreads her fields of gold
Fair flower that shunn'st the gaze of day
Fair flowers in sweet succession should 270
Fair pledges of a fruitful tree ........ 218
Faith, Hope, and Love now dwell 177
Faith, like a simple, unsuspecting child 173
Fallen is thy throne, O Israel ........ 212
Far from the world, O Lord! I flee.. 181
Far to the right where Appennine.. 83
Father of heaven, full many a wasted 238
Faults in the life breed errors...... 295
Fierce o'er the sands the lordly lion stalks 79
Fierce passions discompose the mind.. 180
First-born of Ether, high in fields of light 131
Forced from home and all its pleasures 231
Forgive thy foes, nor that alone
For Man to tell how human life began 116
Form'd in pure celestial fashion ...... 127
Forth from the dark and stormy sky.. 184
For tho' in souls where taste and sense 215
For thou didst die for me, oh Son of God 157
For thou wast born of woman, thou didst 135
France, and Spain, and Portugal 232
Friend after friend departs
From bright'ning fields of ether...... 44
From Calvary a cry was heard
From conquest Jeptha came
From Olivet's sequestered seats...... 147
From the hill, stout timber Noah fell'd 190
From the recesses of a lowly spirit.... 183
Full of mercy, full of love... ... ... ... .... 143
HAIL, and farewell, thou lovely guest 62
Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove..
Hail Devon, in thy bosom let me rest 86
Hail, gentle winds! I love your...... 103
Hail! great Immanuel, ever honour'd 165
Hail! hail! reviv'd, reviving Spring.. 39
Hail, noble Albion; where no golden 82
Hail the day that sees him rise
Hail to thy hues thou lovely flower 62
Happiness! thou lovely name........ 169
Happy me! O happy sheep.................... 165
Hark, in the vale I hear thy evening.. 75
Hark 'twas winter's sullen voice
Hard is the heart who never at the tomb 272
Harp of Eternity! begin the song....
Hast thou a charm to stay the morning 25
Have ye dwelt in the land of the brave 98
Hear what they were: The progeny.. 123
He came, the sweet angel my Father.. 24
He is the freeman, whom the truth 18
Here bliss is short, imperfect, insecure 275
Here having stepp'd aboard, he turn'd
Her mighty sails the breezes swell.... 22
He wept by Lazarus' grave, how will 151
He who hath bent him o'er the dead.. 83
High on her rock in solitary state.... 234
His eyes uplifted and his hands close.. 144
Hope, with uplifted foot set free
Honour and happiness unite..
How beautiful is morn...
How cheerfully the unpartiall Sunne.. 178
How fair is the Rose! what a beautiful 61
How long ye miserably blind ........ 16
How lovely is this wildered scene....
How many thousands are wakening 258
How poor, how rich, how abject, 126
How rich the Peacock! what bright.. 76
How softly now the vernal gales..
How still the morning of the hallow'd 263
How smiling wakes the verdant year.. 37
How sweetly flow'd the gospel's sound 143
How sweet in the musing of faith.... 158
How withered, perished seems the form 6
I ASK'D an aged man, a man of cares 25
I ask'd the heavens what foe to God.. 15
gaze upon yon orbs of light
I hate that Drum's discordant sound.. 293
I heard that Negro on his lowly bed.. 232
I hear thee speak of the better land 279
I loved thee daughter of my heart.... 245
Immense Creator! whose all-powerful
In a valley obscure, on a bank of green 64
In days of yore as Gothic fable tells.. 284
In distant days of wild romance...... 292
In Israel's fane by silent night..
Injured, hopeless, faint and weary.... 193
I never hear that plaintive sigh .............. 238
In this pillar I do lie ..................................... 192
In times like ours, 'twere wise if people 294
I quit the world's fantastic joys 182
I saw it in my evening walk
I saw them in white raiment
I sing of God the mighty source................
I sought Thee round about, O thou
Is there no power our darkness
It happen'd on a solemn even-tide.... 160
re It happen'd on a cloudy morn........ 286
It is a fearful thing to see...
It is a solemn chapter, and is graced.. 211
It is not that my lot is low
It seems as if the summer sky........ 265
It was a summer-evening
I was toss'd on the billows of life .... 146
I will not praise the often flatter'd rose 60
I bow before the power
I did but see him and he disappeared 246
If Nature smiles e'en here below.... 277
If this delicious, grateful flower
Loud blew the storm of night,
Lo where a crowd of pilgrims toil.... 181
MANTLED in storms;-attended by the 47
Many are the sayings of the wise
Man, with his whole posterity must die 130
Meek twilight! haste to shroud
Me, O my God! thy piercing eye.... 9
Methinks it is good to be here
Mild is the Behemoth, though large.. 80
Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire 58
Mindful of disaster past
Minutest of the feather'd kind..
Moon of Harvest, herald mild
My chaise the village inn did gain.......
My conscience is my crown ........ 212
My ear is pained, my soul is sick 230
My God, all nature owns thy sway
My God, thy boundless love we praise 12
Muse! take the harp of prophecy;
Mysterious visitant! whose beauteous 114
NAY, do not wantonly destroy
Nay, shrink not from that word Farewell 239
Next, brave Philotimus in post did ride 124
Next to the captain, coward Deilos.. 126
Night is the time for rest
No airy dreams their simple fancies.. 253
Noble the mountain stream
Nor less attractive is the woodland.... 51
No sounds of worldly toil ascending.. 97
Not a tree, a plant, a leaf, a blossom.. 51
Not seldom, clad in radiant vest......
Not worlds on worlds in phalanx deep 59
Now let the bright reverse be known
Now the golden morn aloft
No war, nor battle's sound
OBSCUREST night involved the sky
O bury not the dead by day.
O day most calm and bright.
Odours of spring my sense ye charm.. 242
O execrable son so to aspire ..
Oft have I seen, when musing
O God, whose thunder shakes the sky 178
Oh call my brother back to me...... 244
Oh come with thy olive-branch...... 166
Oh for that spirit which on Moses' lyre 197
Oh for the harp that David swept 201
Oh gracious power, for thy belov'd
Oh hand of bounty largely spread.