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our music requires a more frequent transition from the air to the recitative than could agree with the simplicity of the ancients.
The first of these poems celebrates the Lyric Muse. It seems the most labored performance of the two; but yet we think its merit is not equal to that of the second. It seems to want that regularity of plan upon which the second is founded; and though it abounds with images that strike, yet, unlike the second, it contains none that are affecting.
In the second antistrophe the Bard thus marks the progress of poetry.
“In climes beyond the solar road,
There is great spirit in the irregularity of the numbers towards the conclusion of the foregoing stanza.
“ Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
How do your tuneful Echoes languish,
“Far from the sun and summer-gale,
The second Ode" is founded on a tradition current in Wales, that Edward the First, when he completed the conquest of that country, ordered all the Bards that fell into his hands to be put to death." The author seems to have taken the hint of this subject from the fifteenth Ode of the first book of Horace. Our poet introduces the only surviving Bard of that country in concert with the spirits of his murdered brethren, as prophetically denouncing woes upon the conqueror and his posterity.
The circumstances of grief and horror in which the Bard is represented, those of terror in the preparation of the votive web, and the mystic obscurity with which the prophecies are delivered, will give as much pleasure to those who relish this species of composition, as any thing that has hitherto appeared in our lan guage, the Odes of Dryden himself not excepted."*
“ On a rock, whose haughty brow
« Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
* “ One of the greatest poets of this century, the late and much lamented Mr. Gray of Cambridge, modestly declared to me, that if there was in his own numbers any thing that deserved approbation, he had learned it all from Dryden."--Beattie.) VOL. IV.
On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,
Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
When the prophetic incantation is finished, the Bard thus nervously concludes.
Enough for me: with joy I see
To triumph, and to die, are mine.'
VIII.-- WISE'S INQUIRIES CONCERNING THE FIRST INHA
BITANTS, LANGUAGE, RELIGION, LEARNING, AND LETTERS OF EUROPE.*
[From the Monthly Review, 1758. “ Some Inquiries concerning
the First Inhabitants, Language, Religion, Learning, and Letters of Europe. By a Member of the Society of Antiqua
ries in London. Printed at the Theatre, Oxford, 4to."] EVERY search into remote antiquity inspires us with a pleasure somewhat similar to what we feel upon the recollection of the earlier occurrences of our younger days: dark, indeed, and very confused the remembrance; yet still we love to look back upon those scenes, in which innocence and tranquillity bear, or scem to bear, so great a proportion. But how agreeable soever inquiries of this nature may prove in gratifying our curiosity, the advantage would be trifling if they rested only here. They are further useful in promoting the advancement of other kinds of learning; for, an acquaintance with the causes whence arts and sciences had their rise, will probably direct us to the methods most conducive to their perfection. Nor is the historian less than the philosopher indebted to the antiquarian. It is from that painful collection of opinions, and the seemingly tedious inductions of the last, that the first draws his materials for the ascertainment of truth, gathers order from confusion, and justly marks the features of the age.
* (Francis Wise, B.D., and F.S.A., many years fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, was born in 1695. In 1726, the Earl of Guildford, who had been his pupil, presented him to the vicarage of Ellesfield, in Oxfordshire. Besides the above work, he published " Annales Ælfredi Magni,” “ Observations on the History and Chronology of the Fabulous Ages,” &c. “ He died,” says Mr. Nicholls, “at his favorite retreat, at Ellesfield, October 1767, aged seventytwo, universally beloved and esteemed, on account of his great merit and learning.”—Lit. Anec., vol. v. p. 527.]