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At the same time she enjoins him to exercise justice with mer. cy, and not to permit his subjects of the smallest size or degrec to be oppressed by those of superior strength or dignity. This part of her charge to the Lion, she closes with the following beautiful stroke, which indicates the moral tenderness of the poct's heart:
“And let no bougles with his beesteous hornis
The Eagle is next crowned king of fowls, and his talons being sharpened like darts of steel, he is ordered to govern great or small, the Wren or the Peacock, with an uniform and equal im. partiality. Nature now calls the flowers, and observing the THISTLE to be surrounded with a bush of spears, and on that ac. count qualified for war, she gives him a crown of rubies, and says, “ In field go forth and fend the laif;" that is, defend the rest. Dunbar continues elegantly to picture other parts of the royal arms; in ordering the Thistle, who is now king of vegetables, to prefer all herbs and flowers of rare virtue and rich odour, nor ever to permit the Nettle to associate with the Flower-de-lys, nor any ignoble weed to be ranked in competition with the Lily.
In the following stanza, where Nature directs the THISTLE TO honour the Rose, above all other flowers, our poet with much address, insinuates to king James the fourth, an exhortation to conjugal fidelity, drawn from the high birth, beauty, and accomplishments of the royal bride. Nature next addresses the Rose, whose lineage she exalts above that of the Lily. This was intended to express a preference of the house of Tudor to the house of Va. lais. The Rose is then crowned by Nature with clarified gems, the lustre of which illumines all the land, and is hailed queen by the flowers. Last of all her praises are sung by the universal chorus of birds. The sound of which having awakened the poet from his delightful dream, the fairy scene is vanished, and he calls on the Musé to perpetuate, in verse, the wonders of the splendid vision.
The next poem of consequence is the “Golden Targe;" the design of which is to show the gradual and imperceptible influences
of love, when too far indulged, over reason. The cast of this poem is tinctured with the morality and imagery of the Romaunt of the Rose, and the Floure and Leafe of Chaucer: but even an abstract of Warton's analysis of this allegorical poem would swell this biographical article to an improper length. For many illustrations, which Mr. Warton gives of Dunbar's next important piece, called “The Daunce,” he acknowledges himself obliged to the learned and elegant editor of " Ancient Scottish Poems," (lord Hailes,) published in 1770. From the “ Daunce” it appears that Dunbar's imagination was not less suited to satirical than to sublime allegory; and that he was the first poet who displayed any degree of spirit in this way of writing after Pierce Plowman.
It is observable, that the measure of the “ Daunce” is partly that of “Sir Thopas”in Chaucer; from which it may be collected that “ Sir Thopas” was anciently viewed as a ludicrous composition. The pageants and interludes of Dunbar's age, must certainly have quickened his invention in forming his grotesque groups; for the exhibition of moralities was then in high vogue among the Scotch. A morality was played at the marriage of James the fourth and the princess Margaret; and mummeries called Gysarts, and which are composed of moral personifications are still known in Scotland. Even till the beginning of the present century, especially among the festivities of Christmas, itenerant maskers were admitted into the houses of the Scotch nobility.
It may be added, that Dunbar wrote occasionally in the way which has been called Macaronic poetry, of this species of composition is his “ Testament of Maister Andro Kennedy," which re. presents the character of an idle, dissolute scholar, and ridicules the funeral ceremonies of the Roman communion.
From what Mr. Pinkerton has already done, it is ardently to be desired, that he may give a complete edition of “ Dunbar's Poems,” with his own notes. The writer, who has been denominated by a Gibbon as the Muratori of his country, may be supposed to be capable, if he had not already given evidence of his ability, to illustrate both the history, the poetry, and the manners of his countrymen in former times. A valuable present to the lovers of elegant and classical literature, as well as to the historian and antiquarian, would thus be obtained. The “flytings” of Kennedy and Dunbar, with many minor pieces, both of them and of their eotemporaries are now laid by as obsolete; because, without the aid of such literary lore as that of a Hailes or a Pinkerton, they will become as unintelligible to their posterity as the Edda and other Scandinavian productions of former times are, at present, to the inhabitants of Northern Europe.
ORIGINAL POETRY.-FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
I send you a free translation of a part of the first Canto of L'abbé De Lille's beautiful poem Le Malheur et La Pitié.
0! gentle. Pity, how I love thy name!
Yet-'uis not to our dearest friends alone,
Then seek her, Pity!—find her dark retreat! Seize on the happy moment as it fliesFor thou, like Genius and Victory, Hast happy moments pointed out by heavenKnow then to seize them-Dost thou not behold A wretched mortal, whose distracted look Bespeaks him standing o'er some dark abyss? He pauses--trembles-half recedes from crime! A sudden movement urges him to theft, With which he blushes to have soild his hand He flies—pursue him-enter thou his door;— Oh what a sight!-Half naked on the ground, Benumb'd with cold, by famine worn away, His helpless children lie-Menac'd with death, So near the wretched hour that gave them birth, They know no pleasing playful infant sports. 'Tis silence, grief, and desolation all A mute despair forbids the tear to flow The wretched father stands beside them pale, Tormented less by famine than by crime. He turas away, distracted, from the scene, And turning throws to them the guilty food, For which their feeble anxious hands dispute. Now with an air, a look, an accent deep, Expressing all the conflict of his soul, The excess of wo, the horror of his crime; He speaks“ Who chus invades Misfortune's drear abode? “O stranger! dost thou come to learn my woeg? “Well-see these children-there their mother lies “ I am a man-a husband, and a father!"Is this enough?-My lot, before this day, “Was less severe; misfortunes had assail'd, “But ne'er till now my soul was stained with crime! “Go and reveal it-I will bless the blow“Will bless your law that punishes my guilt; "I know not what may be-my dreadful fate “May arm a robber's hand with murderous steel.com
“Go! rid ine of the world and of myself!"-
Oh! Pity! soften down the wretch's bed!
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
TO MY DEAR NIECE MARIA.
BY MRS. LLOYD.-1784.
Near to the foot of some decaying tree
* The late Dr. Lloyd, dean of Norwich.