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displayed in their contexture. Dryden's are more natural and free, and while they communicat their own sprightly motion to the spirits of the reader, hurry him along with a gentle and pleasing violence, without giving him time either to animadvert on their fauits, or to analyse their beauties. Pope excels in solemnity of sound; Dryden in an easy melody and boundless variety of rhyne. In this last respect, I think I could prove that he is superior to all other English poets, Milton himself not excepted. Till Dryden appeared, none of our writers in rhyme of the last century approached in any measure to the harmony of Spenser and Fairfax. Of Waller, it can only be said, that he is not harsh. Of Denham and Cowley, if a few couplets were struck out of their works, we could not say so much. But, in Dryden's hands, the English rhyming couplet assumed a new form, and seems hardly to be susceptible of any farther improvement.”

His poetical character is given by Dr. Johnson, with a sagacity of discrimination, and a felicity of expression, which far transcend all praise.

“ In a general survey of Dryden's labours,” says that judicious and classical critic, “ he appears to have a mind very comprehensive by nature, and much enriched with acquired knowledge. His compositions are the effects of a vigorous genius operating upon large materials.

“ The power that predominated in his intellectual operations was rather strong reason than quick sensibility. Upon all occasions that were presented, he studied rather than felt, and produced sentiments not such as nature enforces, but meditation supplies. With the ample and elemental passions, as they spring and operate in the mind, he seems not much acquainted, and feldom describes them but as they are complicated by the various relations of society, and confused in the cumules and agitations of life.

“ He is therefore, with all his variety of excellence, not often pathetic, and had so little sensibility of the power of effusions purely natural, that he did not esteem it in others. Simplicity gave him no pleasure, and, for the first part of his life, he looked on Otway with contempt; though at last, indeed very late, he confessed that in his play there was Nature, which is the chief beauty.

“ The favourite exercise of his mind was ratiocination. Next to argument, his delight was in wild and daring sallies of sentiment, in the irregular and eccentric violence of wit. He delighted to tread upon the brink of meaning, where light and darkness begin to mingle, to approach the precipice of absurdity, and hover over the abyss of unideal vacancy.

“ He was no lover of labour. What he thought fufficient he did not stop to make better, and allowed himself to leave many parts unfinished, in confidence that the good lines would overbalance the bad. What he had once written, he dismissed from his thoughts, and, I believe, there is no ese ample to be found of any correction or improvement made by him after publication. The hastiness of his productions might be the effe & of neceflity; but his subsequent neglect could hardly have any other cause than impatience of study.

“ Some improvements had been already made in English numbers, but the full force of our language was not yet felt : the verse that was smooth, was commonly feeble. If Cowley had sometimes a finished line, he had it by chance. Dryden knew how to choose the flowing and the sonorous words; to vary the pauses, and adjust the accents; to diverlify the cadence, and yet preserve the smoothness of his metre.

“ Of Dryden's works it was said by Pope, that " he could select from them better specimens of every mode of poetry, than any other English writer could supply.” Perhaps no pation ever produced a writer that enriched his language with such variety of models, To him we owe the im. provement, perhaps the completion of our metre, the refinement of our language, and much of the correctness of our sentiments. By him we were taught “ sapere et fari,” to think naturally, and express forcibly. Though Davies has reasoned in rhime before him, it may be perhaps maintained that he was the first who joined argument with poetry. He showed us the true bounds of a tanflator's liberty. What was said of Rome, adorned by Augustus, may be applied by an casy metaphor to English poetry, embellished by Dryden, " lateritiam invenit, marmoream reliquit." He found it brick, and he lost is marble."

OR I G 1 N A L P O EM S.

UPON THE DEATH OF LORD HASTINGS.

Most Roble Hastings immaturely die,

Graces and virtues, languages and arts, The honrar of his ancient family,

Beauty and learning fill'd up all the parts. Beauty and learning thus together meet,

Heaven's gifts, which do like falling stars appear To bring a winding for a wedding sheet? Scatter'd in others; all, as in their sphere, Maft virtue prove death's harbinger ? must Ihe, Were fix'd, conglobate in his soul; and thence With him capiring, feel mortality ?

Shone through his body, with sweet influence, death, fin's wages, grace's now? shall arc Letting their glories fo'on each limb fall, Make us more learned, only to depart?

The whole frame render'd was celestial. Imerit be dưease; if virtue death;

Come, learned Peolenty, and trial make, To be good, not to be; who'd then bequeath If thou this hero's altitude canst take : Himself to discipline ? 'who'd not esteem

But that transcends thy skill; thrice happy all, Labour a crime? study felf-murther deem? Could we but prove thus astronomical.. Oar noble youth now have pretence to be Liv`d Tycho now, ftruck with this ray which shone Dunces securely, ignorant healthfully.

More bright i'th' morn', than others beam at noon, Rate linguist, whose worth speaks itself, whose He'd take his astrolabe, and seek out here praise,

What new far 'twas did gild our hemisphere. Thəegh not his own, all tongues befides do raise : Replenish'd then with such rare gifts as these, Than whom great Alexander may seem less ; Where was room left for such a foul discase? Who conquer'd men, but not their languages. The nations fin hath drawn that veil which ihrouds labis mouth nations spake; his tongue might be Our day-spring in so sad benighting clouds, Interpreter to Greece, France, Italy.

Heaven would no longer trust its pledge; but thus His native soil was the four parts o' th' earth; Recall'd it; rapt its Ganymede from 19. Al Europe was too barrow for his birth. Was there no milder way but the small-pox, A fang apostle ; and with reverence may The very filcbiness of Pandora's box? links it, inspir'd with gift of tongues, as they. So many spots, like næves on Venus' soil, Natase gave him a child, what men in vain Ohe jewel let off with so many a foil; Ot friss, by art though further’d, to obtain. Blifters with pride swellid, which through's flesh Ha bedy was an erb, his fublime soul

did (prout Indone on virtue's, and on learning's pole : Like rose-buds, stuck i'th' lily-skin about. vi huske regular mocions better to our view, Each lietle pimple had a tear in it, i nao Archimedes' sphere, the heavens did thew. To wail the fault its rising did commit:

Vol. VI.

Which, rebel likc, with its own lord at strife, Must drunkards, lechers, spent with sinning, live Thus male an insurrection 'gainst his life. With such helps as broths, poffets, physic give? Or were these gems sent to adorn his skin, Nore live, but such as should die, shall we meet The cab'net of a richer fuul within ?

With none but ghoftiy fathers in the street ? No comet need foretel his change drew on, Grief makes me rail; sorrow will force its way; Whose corps night seem a constellation.

And showers of tears tempestuous sighs best lay. O! had he dy'd of old, how great a strife [life? The tongue may fail; but overflowing eyes Had been, who from his death should draw their Will weep out lafting streams of elegies. Who should, by one rich draught, become whate'er But thou, o virgin-widow, left alone, Seneca, Cato, Numa, Cæfar, were?

Now thy beloved, heaven-ravilh'd spouse is gone, Learn'd, virtuous, pious, great ; and have by this Whose skiltul fire in vain itrove to apply An universal metempsychosis.

| Med'cines, when thy balm was no remedy, Must all these aged fires in one funeral

With greater than Platoinic love, wed Expire ? all die in one so young, so small ? His fuul, though not his hody, to thy bed: Who, had he lio'd his life out, his great fame Let that make thee a mother ; bring thou forth Had swol'n "hove any Greek or Roman name. Th' ideas of his virtue, knowledge, worth; But hasty winter, with one blast, hath brought Transcribe th' original in new copies; give The hopes of autumr, summer, spring, to nought. ' Hastings o'th' better part; so shall he live Thus fades the oak, i'th'spring, i'th'blade the corn; In's nobler half; and the great grandfire be 'Thus without young, this Phænix dies, new-born. Of an heroic divine progeny: Must then old three-legg'd grey-beards with their , An issue, which t'eternity Mall last, gout,

Yet but th' irradiatioris which he call. Catarrhs, rheums, aches, live three long agos out? Erect no Mautoleums : for his best Time's offals, only fit for th' hospital !

Monument is his spouse's marble breast. Or to hang antiquaries rooms withal !

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And now 'eis rimc; for their officious hafte,

Who would before have borne him to the sky, Like eager Romans, ere all rites were past,

Did let too soon the sacred eagle fly.

II.

Though our best notes are treason to his fame,

Join'd with the loud applause of public voice; Since heaven, what praise we offer to his name,

Hath render'd tou authentic by its choice. Though in his praise no man can liberal be,

Since they, whose Muses have the highest flown, Add not to his inmortal memory,

Buc do an act of friendship to their own :

Yet 'tis our duty, and our interest too,

Such monuments as we can build to raise ; Left all the world prevent what we should do,

And claim a title in him by their praise.
How shall I then begin, or where conclude,

To draw a fame so truly circular ;
For in a round what order can be shew'd,

Where all the parts so equal perfed are?
His grandeur he deriv'd from heaven alone;

For he was great e'er fortune made him fo: And wars, like mists that rise against the sun,

Made him lut greater seem, nor greater gro

III.

VI.

OR I G 1 N A L P O EM S.

UPON THE DEATH OF LORD HASTINGS:

Most roble Hastings immaturely die, Graces and virtues, languages and arts,
The honour of his ancient family,

Beauty and learning fill'd up all the parts.
Beauty and learning thus together meet, Heaven's gifts, which do like falling stars appear
To bring a winding for a wedding sheet? Scatter'd in others; all, as in their sphere,
Moft virtuc prove death's harbinger ? must the, Were fix'd, conglobate in his soul; and thence
With him expiring, feel mortality?

Shone through his body, with sweet influence, Is death, sin’a wages, grace's now ? shall art Letting their glories so'on each limb fall, Make us more learned, only to depart?

The whole frame render'd was celestial. li merit be disease; if virtue death;

Come, learned Pcolenty, and trial make, To be good, not to be; who'd then bequeath If thou this hero's altitude canst cake : Himself to discipline? who'd not esteem

But that transcends thy skill; thrice happy all, Labour a crime? study felf-murther deem? Could we but prove thus astronomical. Our noble youth now have pretence to be Liv'd Tycho now, ftruck with this ray which shone Dunces securely, ignorant healthfully.

More bright i'th' morn', than others beam at noon, Rare linguist, whose worth speaks itself, whose He'd take his aftrolabe, and seek out here praise,

What new far 'twas did gild our hemisphere. Though not his own, all tongues besides do raise : Replenish'd then with such rare gifts as these, Than whom great Alexander may seem less; Where was room left for such a foul discase ? Who conquer'd men, but not their languages. The nations sin hath drawn that veil which ihrouds la his mouth nations spake; his tongue might be Our day-spring in so sad benighting clouds, Interpreter to Greece, France, Italy.

Heaven would no longer trust its pledge; but thus
His native foil was the four parts o'th' earth; Recall'd it ; rapt its Ganymede from us.
All Europe was too Darrow for his birth. Was there no milder way but the small-pox,
A young apostle; and with reverence may 'The very filthiness of Pandora's box?
I speak it, inspir'd with gift of tongues, as they. So many spots, like næves on Venus' soil,
Nature gave him a child, what men in vain One jewel let off with so many a foil;
Oft ftrive, by art though further'd, to obtain. Blisters with pride (well d, which through's flesh
His body was an orb, his fublime foul

did (prout
Dal move on virtue's, and on learning's pole : Like rose-buds, stuck i' th' lily-skin about.
Whose regular motions berier to our view, Each little pimple had a tear in it,
Than Archimedes' sphere, the heavens did few. To wail the fault its rising did commit:
Vol. VI.

A

Which, rebel likc, with its own lord at strife, Must drunkards, lechers, spent with sinning, live Thus maile an insurrection 'gainst his life. With such helps as broths, poffets, physic give? Or were these gems sent to adorn his skin, Nore live, but such as should die, hall we meet The cab’net of a richer fvul within ?

With none but ghostly fathers in the street ? No comet need foretel his change drew on, Grief makes me rail; sorrow will force its way; Whose corps night seem a constellation.

And showers of tears tempestuous fighs belt lay. O! had he dy'd of old, how great a strife (life? The tongue may fail; but overflowing eyes Had been, who from his death should draw their : Will weep out lafting streams of elegies. Who should, by one rich draught, become whate'er But thou, O virgin-widow, left alone, Seneca, Cato, Numa, Cæsar, were?

Now thy beloved, heaven-ravilh'd spouse is gone, Learn’d, virtuous, pious, great ; and have by this · Whose skiltul fire in vain frove to apply An universal metempsychosis.

Med'cines, when thy balm was no remedy, Must all these aged fires in one funeral

With greater than Platanic love, O wed Expire ? all die in one so young, so small ? His foul, though not his body, to thy bed: Who, had he liv'd his life out, his great fame Let that make thee a mother ; bring thou forth Had swol'n 'hove any Greek or Roman name. Th’ideas of his virtue, knowlcdge, worth; But hasty winter, with one blast, hath brought Transcribe th' original in new copies; give The hopes of autumr, summer, spring, to nought. ' Hastings o'th' better part; so shall he live Thus fades the oak, i'th'spring, i'th'blade the corn; In's nobler half; and the great grandfire be Thus without young, this Phænix dies, new-born. Of an heroic divine progeny : Must then old three-legg'd grey-beards with their , An issue, which t'eternity Mall last, gout.

Yet but th' irradiations which he call. Catarrhs, rheums, aches, live three long ages out? Erect no Mausoleums : for his best Time's offals, only fit for th' hospital !

Monument is his ipouse's marble breast, Or to hang antiquaries rooms withal !

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

And now 'tis time; for their officious haste,

Who would before have borne him to the sky, Like eager Romans, ere all rites were paft,

Did let too soon the sacred eagle fly.

II.

Though our best notes are treason to his fame,

Join'd with the loud applause of public voice ; Since heaven, what praise we offer to his name,

Hath render'd tov authentic by its choice.

Yet 'tis our duty, and our interest too,

Such monuments as we can build to raise ; Left all the world prevent what we should do,

And claim a title in him by their praise.
How shall I then begin, or where conclude,

To draw a fame so truly circular ;
For in a round what order can be shew'd,

Where all the parts so equal perfect are?
His grandeur he deriv'd from heaven alone :

For he was great e’er fortune made him fo: And wars, like mists that rise against the fun,

Made him lut greater seem, nor greater gro

III.

VI.

Though in his praise no man can liberal be,

Since they, whose Muses have the highest flown, Add not to his immortal memory,

But do an act of friendship to their own :

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