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speaking of, an auxiliary influence was exerted by the restoration of the early minstrelsy in Percy's Reliques. That popular poetry was made familiar to reading men, and its simple power helped English poetry to recover not only its natural graces, but the best freedom and variety of its music. Cowper caught the free movement of verse in his well-known comic ballad of John Gilpin, and not less in the tragic one—that simple and noble Dirge, on the remarkable casualty of the sinking of the Royal George at her moorings: “Toll for the brave The brave that are no more

All sunk beneath the wave,
Fast by their native shore

Eight hundred of the brave,
Whose courage well was tried,

Had made the vessel keel,
And laid her on her side.

A land-breeze shook the shrouds,
And she was overset:

Down went the Royal George,
With all her crew complete.

Toll for the brave
Brave Kempenfelt is gone;

His last sea-fight is fought,
His work of glory done.

It was not in the battle;
No tempest gave the shock;

She sprang no fatal leak;
She ran upon no rock.

IHis sword was in the sheath;
His fingers held the pen,

When Kempenfelt went down
With twice four hundred men.

Weigh the vessel up,
Once dreaded by our foes |

And mingle with our cup
The tear that England owes.

Her timbers yet are sound,
And she may float again,

Full charged with England’s thunder,
And plough the distant main.

But Kempenfelt is gone,
His victories are o’er;
And he, and his eight hundred,
Shall plough the wave no more.”

No poet of the last century did as much as Cowper for the restoration of the admirable music of the then neglected blank verse. When Cowper died, in the year 1800, exactly one hundred years after the death of Dryden, English poetry was again in possession of all its varied endowment of verse. In a course of lectures which I delivered here some ten years ago, I concluded a lecture on Cowper by quoting a poem then new and little known —the stanzas entitled “Cowper's Grave,” by Elizabeth Browning, then known by her maiden name of Barrett. While I have avoided, as far as possible, repetitions from my former courses, I am tempted to repeat the stanzas now, because on the former occasion they made, as I have been informed, an impression that was not lost. The merit of the poem is not only in the happy allusions to Cowper's character and career of checkered cheerfulness and gloom, but also in its depth of passion and imagination.


It is a place where poets crowned
May feel the heart’s decaying—

It is a place where happy saints
May weep amid their praying—

Yet let the grief and humbleness,
As low as silence, languish ;

Earth surely now may give her calm
To whom she gave her anguish.

0 poets from a maniac's tongue
Was poured the deathless singing !
O Christians ! at your cross of hope
A hopeless hand was clinging !
0 men this man in brotherhood,
Your weary paths beguiling,
Groamed inly while he taught you peace,
And died while ye were smiling !

And now, what time ye all may read
Through dimming tears his story—
How discord on the music fell,
And darkness on the glory—
And how, when, one by one, sweet sounds
And wandering lights departed,
He wore no less a loving face,
Because so broken-hearted—

He shall be strong to sanctify
The poet’s high vocation,
And bow the meekest Christian down
In meeker adoration :
Nor ever shall he be in praise
By wise or good forsaken :
Named softly, as the household name
Of one whom God hath taken.

With quiet sadness, and no gloom,
I learn to think upon him;

With meekness that is gratefulness,
To God whose heaven hath won him—

Who suffered once the madness-cloud,
To his own love to blind him;

But gently led the blind along
Where breath and bird could find him :

And wrought within his shattered brain
Such quick poetic senses,

As hills have language for, and stars
Harmonious influences !

The pulse of dew upon the grass

Rept his within its number; And silent shadows from the trees |Refreshed him like a slumber.

Wild timid hares were drawn from woods
To share his home caresses,
Uplooking to his human eyes
With sylvan tendernesses:
The very world, by God’s constraint,
From falsehood’s ways removing,
Its women and its men became,
Beside him, true and loving !—

But while, in blindness he remained
Unconscious of the guiding,
And things provided came without
The sweet sense of providing,
He testified this solemn truth,
Though frenzy-desolated—
Mor man nor nature satisfy,

Whom only God created 1

Like a sick child that knoweth not
His mother while she blesses,
And drops upon his burning brow
The coolness of her kisses;
That turns his fever'd eyes around—
“My mother! where’s my mother?”—
As if such tender words and looks
Could come from any other l—

The fever gone, with leaps of heart
He sees her bending o'er him;

Her face all pale from watchful love,
The unweary love she bore him

Thus woke the poet from the dream
His life's long fever gave him,

Beneath those deep pathetic Eyes,
Which closed in death to save him.

Thus ! oh, not thus ! no type of earth
Could image that awaking,
Wherein he scarcely heard the chaunt
Of seraphs round him breaking—
Or felt the new immortal throb
Of soul from body parted;
Dut felt these eyes alone, and knew
“My Saviour ! not deserted P’

Deserted who hath dreamt that when
The cross in darkness rested
Upon the Victim’s hidden face,
No love was manifested 2
What frantic hands outstretched have e'er
The atoming drops averted—
What tears have washed them from the soul—
That one should be deserted?

Deserted | God could separate
From his own essence rather:
And Adam's sins have swept between
The righteous Son and Father;
Yeal once Immanuel's orphaned cry
His universe hath shaken—
It went up single, echoless,
“My God, I am forsaken o'

It went up from the Holy’s lips
Amid his lost creation,
That of the lost, no son should use
Those words of desolation ;
That, earth’s worst frenzies, marring hope,
Should mar not hope's fruition;
And I, on Cowper's grave, should see
His rapture, in a vision |

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