« FöregåendeFortsätt »
THE WITCH OF WOKEY
—was published in a small collection of poems, entitled, Euthemia, or the Power of Harmony, &c. 1756, written, in 1748, by the ingenious Dr. Harrington, of Bath, who never allowed them to be published, and withheld his name till it could no longer be concealed. The following copy was furnished by the late Mr. Shenstone, with some variations and corrections of his own, which he had taken the liberty to propose, and for which the Author's indulgence was intreated. In this edition it was intended to reprint the Author's own original copy; but, as that may be seen correctly given in Pearch's Collection, vol. i. 1783. p. 161, it was thought the reader of taste would wish to have the variations preserved; they are therefore still retained here, which it is hoped the worthy Author will excuse with his wonted liberality.
Wokey-hole is a noted cavern in Somersetshire, which has given birth to as many wild fanciful stories as the Sybils Cave, in Italy. Through a very narrow entrance, it opens into a very large vault, the roof whereof, either on account of its height, or the thickness of the gloom, cannot be discovered by the light of torches. It goes winding a great way under ground. is crost by a stream of very cold water, and is all horrid with broken pieces of rock: many of these are evident petrifactions; which, on account of their singular forms, have given rise to the fables alluded to in this poem.
In aunciente days tradition showes
The Witch of Wokey hight:
Deep in the dreary dismall cell,
And kennel near her side.
Here screeching owls oft made their nest,
Night-howling thro' the rock:
No wholesome herb could here be found;
She blasted every plant around,
And blister'd every flock.
Her haggard face was foull to see ;
Her mouth unmeet a mouth to bee;
Her eyne of deadly leer,
She nought devis'd, but neighbour's ill;
And marr'd all goodly chear.
All in her prime, have poets sung,
No gaudy youth, gallant and young,
E'er blest her longing armes ;
And hence arose her spight to vex,
From Glaston came a lerned wight,
And well he did, I ween:
Sich mischief never had been known,
And, since his mickle lerninge shown,
Sich mischief ne'er has been.
He chaunted out his godlie booke,
Then-pater noster done,
The ghastly hag he sprinkled o'er;
Full well 'tis known adown the dale:
But tho' this lernede clerke did well;
She left this curse behind :
That Wokey-nymphs forsaken quite,
Should find no leman kind.
For lo! even, as the fiend did say,
The sex have found it to this day,
That men are wondrous scant:
Yet hardly one gallant.
Shall then sich maids unpitied moane ?
As thus forsaken dwell.
Since Glaston now can boast no clerks;
And, oh! revoke the spell.
Yet stay-nor thus despond, ye fair;
I hear the gracious voice:
Your sex shall soon be blest agen,
We only wait to find sich men,
As best deserve your choice.
BRYAN AND PEREENE,
A WEST-INDIAN BALLAD,
-is founded on a real fact, that happened in the island of St. Christophers about the beginning of the present reign. The editor owes the following stanzas to the friendship of Dr. James Grainger, who was an eminent physician in that island when this tragical incident happened, and died there much honoured and lamented in 1767. To this ingenious gen leman the public are indebted for the fine Ode on Solitude, printed in the ivth vol. of Dodsley's Missel. p. 229, in which are assembled some of the sublimest images in nature. The reader will pardon the insertion of the first stanza here, for the sake of rectifying the two last lines, which were thus given by the author: O Solitude, romantic maid,
Whether by nodding towers you tread,
Tadmor's marble wastes survey, &c.
alluding to the account of Palmyra published by some late ingenious travellers, and the manner in which they were struck at the first sight of those magnificent ruins by break of day.t
Author of a poem on the Culture of the SUGAR-CANE, &C: published by Messrs. Wood and Dawkins.
† So in pag. 235. it should be, Turn'd her magic ray.