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Beside a brook in
A most gentle maid
What time the moon was lost behind a cloud,
Sweet Nightingale ! once more, my friends ! farewell.'
Distress from poverty and want is adniirably described, in the true story of Goody Blake, and Harry Gill : but are we to imagine that Harry was bewitched by Goody Blake? The
hardest heart must be softened into pity for the poor oll woman ;-and yet, if all the poor are to help themselves, and supply their wants from the possessions of their neighbours, what inaginary wants and real anarchy would it not create ? Goody Blake should have been relieved out of the two millions annually allowed by the state to the poor of this country, not by the plunder of an individual.
Lines on the first mild day of March abound with beautiful sentiments from a polished mind.
Simon Lee, the ild Huntsman, is the portrait, admirably painted, of every huntsman who, by toil, age, and infirmities, is rendered unable to guide and govern his canine family.
Anecdote for Fathers. Of this the dialogue is ingenious and natural: but the object of the child's choice, and the inferences, are not quite obvious.
We are seven :-innocent and pretty infantine prattle.
On an early Spring. The first stanza of this little poem seems unworthy of the rest, which contain reflections truly pious and philosophical.
The Thorn. All our author's pictures, in colouring, are dark as those of Rembrandt or Spanioletto.
The last of the Fluck is more gloomy than the rest. not told how the wretched bero of this piece became so poor. He had, indeed, ten children : but so have many cottagers ; and ere the tenth child is burn, the eldest begin to work, and help, at least, to maintain themselves. No oppression is pointed out; nor are any means suggested for his relief. If the author be a wealthy man, he ought not to have suffered this poor peasant to part with the last of the frack. What but an Agrarian law can prevent poverty írom visiting the door of the indolent, injudicious, extravagant, and, perhaps, vicious ? and is it certain that rigid equality of property as well as of laws could remedy this evil?
The Dungcon. Here candour and tenderness for criminals seem pushed to excess. Have not jails been built on the humane Mr. How.rd's plan, which have almost: ruined some counties, and which look more like palaces than habitations for the perpetrators of crimes? Yet, have fewer crimes been committed in consequence of the erection of those magnificent structures, at an expence which would have maintained many in innocence and comfort out of a jail, if they have been driven to thefc by want?
The mad Mother ; admirable painting! in Michael Angelo's bold and masterly mariner.
The Idiot Boy leads the reader on from anxiety to distress, and from distress to terror, by incidents and alarms which,
though of the most mean and ignoble kind, interest, frighten, and terrify, almost to torture, during the perusal of more than a hundred stanzas.
Lines written near Richmond-literally “ most musical, most melancholy !"
Expostulation and Reply. The author tells us that these lines, and those which follow, arose out of conversation with a fritnd who was somewhat unreasonably attached to modern books of moral philosophy. These two pieces will afford our readers an opportunity of judging of the author's poetical talents, in a more modern and less gloomy style than his Ballads :
" Why William, on that old grey stone,
Thus for the length of half a day,
And dream your time away?
To beings else forelorn and blind!
From dead men to their kind.
And thus I made reply.
We cannot bid the ear be still ;
Against, or with our will.
Which of themselves our minds impress,
In a wise passiveness.
Of things for ever speaking,
But we must still be seeking ?
Conversing as I may,
AN EVENING SCENE, ON THE SAME SUBJECT.
6 The sun above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
Our minds and hearts to bless
Truth breathed by chearfulness.
May teach you more of man ;
Than all the sages can.
Our meddling intellect
-We murder to dissect.
these barren leaves;
That watches and receives.' The Old Man travelling, a Sketch, finely drawn : but the termination seems pointed against the war; from which, however, we are now no more able to separate ourselves, than Hercules was to free himself from the shirt of Nessus. The old traveller's son might have died by disease.
Each ballad is a tale of woe. The style and versification are those of our antient ditties: but much polished, and more constantly excellent. In old songs, we have only a fine line or stanza now and then ; here we meet with few that are feeble:—but it is poesie larmoiante. The author is more plaintive than Gray himself,
The Complaint of a forsaken Indian Woman: another tale of woe! of the most afflicting and harrowing kind. The want of humanity here falls not on wicked Europeans, but on the innocent Indian savages, who enjoy unlimited freedom and liberty, unbridled by kings, magistrates, or laws.
The Convict. What a description ! and what misplaced commiseration, on one condemned by the laws of his country,