Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

Thy hand unseen the secret death shall bear,
Blunt the weak sword, and break the oppressive

spear.
Where'er we turn, by fancy charm’d, we find
Some sweet illusion of the cheated mind.
Oft, wild of wing, she calls the soul to rove
With humbler nature, in the rural grove;
Where swains contented own the quiet scene,
And twilight fairies tread the circled green:
Dress’d by her hand, the woods and vallies smile,
And Spring diffusive decks the inchanted isle.

O more than all in powerful genius blest, Come, take thine empire o'er the willing breast! Whate'er the wounds this youthful heart shall feel, Thy songs fupport me, and thy morals heal. There every thought the poet's warmth may raise, There native musick dwells in all the lays. O might some verse with happiest skill persuade Expressive Picture to adopt thine aid ! What wondrous draughts might rise from every

page!

What other Raphaels charm a distant age!

Methinks even now I view some free design, Where breathing Nature lives in every line : Chaste and subdued the modest lights decay, Steal into shades, and mildly melt away. -And fee, where Antony,' in tears approv’d, Guards the pale relicks of the chief he lov’d: O'er the cold corse the warrior seems to bend, Deep sunk in grief, and mourns his murder'd friend! Still as they press, he calls on all around, Lifts the torn robe, and points the bleeding wound.

9 See the tragedy of Julius Cæfar.

But who is he, whose brows exalted bear
A wrath impatient, and a fiercer air?
Awake to all that injur'd worth can feel,
On his own Rome he turns the avenging steel.
Yet shall not war's insatiate fury fall
(So heaven ordains it) on the destin'd wall.
See the fond mother, 'midst the plaintive train,
Hung on his knees, and prostrate on the plain!
Touch'd to the soul, in vain he strives to hide
The son's affection in the Roman's pride:
O'er all the man conflicting passions rise,
Rage grasps the sword, while Pity melts the eyes.

[ocr errors]

Methinks I see with Fancy's magick eye,
The shade of Shakspeare, in yon azure sky.
On yon high cloud behold the bard advance,
Piercing all Nature with a single glance:
In various attitudes around him stand
The Passions, waiting for his dread command.
First kneeling Love before his feet appears,
And musically sighing melts in tears.
Near him fell Jealousy with fury burns,
And into storms the amorous breathings turns;
Then Hope with heavenward look, and Joy draws

near,
While palfied Terror trembles in the rear.
Such Shakspeare's train of horror and delight, &c.

Christopher Smart's Prologue to Othello, 1751.

What are the lays of artful Addison,
Coldly correct, to Shakspeare's warblings wild?
Whom on the winding Avon's willow'd banks
Fair Fancy found, and bore the smiling babe

2 Coriolanus. See Mr. Spence's dialogue on the Odyssey,

To a close cavern: (still the shepherds shew
The sacred place, whence with religious awe
They hear, returning from the field at eve,
Strange whisp'ring of sweet musick through the air:)
Here, as with honey gather'd from the rock,
She fed the little prattler, and with songs
Oft sooth'd his wond'ring ears; with deep delight
On her soft lap he fat, and caught the sounds.
The Enthusiast, or the Lover of Nature, a Poem,

by the Rev. Joseph Warton.

From the Rev. Thomas Warton's Address to the

Queen on her Marriage. Here, boldly mark'd with every living hue, Nature's unbounded portrait Shakspeare drew : But chief, the dreadful group of human woes The daring artist's tragick pencil chose; Explor’d the pangs that rend the royal breast, Those wounds that lurk beneath the tissued veft.

Monody, written near Stratford-upon-Avon. Avon, thy rural views, thy pastures wild, The willows that o'erhang thy twilight edge, Their boughs entangling with the embattled fedge; Thy brink with watery foliage quaintly fring'd, Thy surface with reflected verdure ting'd; Sooth me with many a pensive pleasure mild. But while I muse, that here the Bard Divine Whose sacred dust yon high-arch'd isles inclose, Where the tall windows rise in stately rows, Above th' embowering shade, Here first, at Fancy's fairy-circled shrine, Of daisies pied his infant offering made;

VOL. II.

Mm

Here playful yet, in stripling years unripe,
Fram’d of thy reeds a fhrill and artless pipe :
Sudden thy beauties, Avon, all are fled,
As at the waving of some magick wand;
An holy trance my charmed spirit wings,
And aweful shapes of leaders and of kings,
People the busy mead,
Like spectres swarming to the wisard's hall;
And Nowly pace, and point with trembling hand
The wounds ill-cover'd by the purple pall.
Before me Pity seems to stand,
A weeping mourner, smote with anguish fore,
To see Misfortune rend in frantick mood
His robe, with regal woes embroider'd o'er.
Pale Terror leads the visionary band,
And sternly shakes his sceptre, dropping blood.

By the same.

Far from the sun and summer gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray’d,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face : The dauntless child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smil'd.
This pencil take (she said) whose colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year:
Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
This can unlock the gates of joy;
Of horror that, and thrilling fears,
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetick tcars.'

Gray's Ode on the Progress of Poesy.

3 An ingenious person, who sent Mr. Gray his remarks anonymously on this and the following Ode foon after they were published, gives this ftanza and the following a very juft and wellexpressed eulogy: “ A poet is perhaps never more conciliating than

[

Next Shakspeare sat, irregularly great,
And in his hand a magick rod did hold,
Which visionary beings did create,
And turn the foulest dross to purest gold :
Whatever fpirits rove in earth or air,
Or bad, or good, obey his dread command;
To his beheits these willingly repair,
Those aw'd by terrors of his magick wand,
The which not all their powers united might with-

stand.

Lloyd's Progress of Envy, 1751.

Oh, where's the bard, who at one view
Could look the whole creation through,
Who travers’d all the human heart,
Without recourse to Grecian art?
He scorn’d the rules of imitation,
Of altering, pilfering, and translation,
Nor painted horror, grief, or rage,
From models of a former age;
The bright original he took,
And tore the leaf from nature's book.
'Tis Shakspeare.-

Lloyd's Shakespeare, a Poem.

when he praises favourite predecessors in his art. Milton is not more the pride than Shakspeare the love of their country: It is therefore equally judicious to diffuse a tenderness and a grace through the praise of Shakspeare, as to extol in a strain more elevated and sonorous the boundless soarings of Milton's imagination.” The critick has here well noted the beauty of contrast which results from the two descriptions; yet it is further to be observed, to the honour of our poet's judgement, that the tenderness and grace in the former, does not prevent it from strongly characterising the three capital perfections of Shakspeare's genius; and when he describes his power of exciting terror (a species of the sublime) he ceases to be diffuse, and becomes, as he ought to be, concise and energetical. MASON.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »