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Fragment from Sappho. Blessed as the immorta
mortal gods is he, My bosom glowed: the subtle flame The youth who fondly sits by thee, Ran quick through all my vital frame; And hears and sees thee all the while, O'er my dim eyes a darkness hung; Softly speak and sweetly smile.
My ears with hollow murmurs rung. 'Twas this deprived my soul of rest, In dewy damps my limbs were chilled, And raised such tumuits in my breast; My blood with gentle horrors thrilled, For while I gazed in transport tossed, My feeble pulse forgot to play ; My breath was gone, my voice was lost; I fainted, sunk, and died away.
Philips produced three tragedies, but only one— The Distressed Mother,' from the Andromaque' of Racine—was successful; he wrote in the Whig journal the 'Freethinker' (1718-19), and he translated some Persian tales. Certain short complimentary pieces, by which Philips paid court, as Johnson says, 'to all ages and characters, from Walpole, the steerer of the realm, to Miss Pulteney in the nursery,' procured him the nickname of 'Namby Pamby;' first given, it is said, by Harry Carey, the dramatist and song-wriier, and cordially adopted by Pope as suited to Philips's “eminence in the infantile style.' The following is a specimen of this style:
To Miss Charlotte Pulteney, in her Mother's Arms, May 1, 1724. Timely blossom, infant fair,
Like the linnet in the bush, Fondling of a happy pair, .
To the mother linnet's note Every morn, and every night,
Moduling her slender throat, Their solicitous delight,
Chirping forth thy petty joys, Sleeping, waking, still at ease, Wanton in the change of toys, Pleasing, without skill to please ; Like the linnet green, in May, Little gossip, blithe and hale,
Flitting to each bloomy spray. Tattling many a broken tale,
Wearied then, and glad of rest, Singing many a tuneless song,
Like the linnet in the nest. Lavish of a heedless tongue.
This thy present happy lot, Simple maiden, void of art,
This, in time, will be forgot :
Babbling out the very heart,
Other pleasures, other cares,
Yet abandoned to thy will,
Ever busy Time prepares;
Yet imagining no ill,
And thou shalt in thy daughter see
Yet too innocent to blush,
This picture once resembled thee.
Epistle to the Earl of Dorset.
COPENHAGEN, March 9, 1709.
From frozen climes, and endless tracts of snow,
From streams which northern winds forbid to flow,
What present shall the Muse to Dorset bring,
Or how, so near the pole, attempt to sing?
The hoary winter here conceals from sight
All pleasing objects which to verse invite.
The hills and dales, and the delightful woods,
The flowery plains, and silver-streaming floods,
By snow disguised, in bright confusion lie,
And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye.
No gentle-breathing breeze prepares the spring,
No birds within the desert region sing.
The ships, unmoved, the boisterous winds defy,
While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly.
The vast leviathan wants room to play,
And spout his waters in the face of day.
The starving wolves along the main sea prowl,
And to the moon in icy valleys howl.
O'er many a shining league the level main
Here spreads itself into a glassy plain;
There solid billows of enormous size,
Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.
And yet but lately have I seen, even here,
The winter in a lovely dress appear,
Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasured snow,
Or winds begun through hazy skies to blow:
At evening a keen eastern breeze arose,
And the descending rain unsullied froze.
Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn disclosed at once to view
The face of nature in a rich disguise,
And brightened every object to my eyes :
For every shrub, and every blade of grass,
And every pointed thorn, seemed wrought in glass ;
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns shew,
While through the ice the crimson berries glow.
The thick-sprung reeds, which watery marshes yield,
Seemed polished lances in a hostiie field.
The stag, in limpid currents, with surprise
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise:
The spreading oak, the beech, and towering pine
Glazed over, in the freezing ether shine,
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
Which wave and glitter in the distant sun.
When, if a sudden gust of wind arise, The brittle forest into atoms flies; The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends, And in a spangled shower the prospect ends : Or, if a southern gale the region warm, And by degrees unbind the wintry charm, The traveller a miry country sees, And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees : Like some deluded peasant, Merlin leads Through fragrant bowers, and through delicious meads While here enchanted gardens to him rise, And airy fabrics there attract his eyes, His wandering feet the magic paths pursue, And, while he thinks the fair íllusion true. The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air, And woods, and wilds, and thorny ways appear. A tedious road the weary wretch returns, And, as he goes, the transient vision mourns.
From the First Pastoral-Lobbin.
If we, O Dorset ! quit the city throng,
To meditate in shades the rural song,
By your command, be present; and, o bring
The Muse along! The Muse to you shall sing.
Her influence. Buckhurst, let me there obtain,
And I forgive the famed Sicilian swain.
Begin.-In unluxurious times of yore,
When flocks and herds were no inglorious store,
Lobbin, a shepherd boy, one evening fair,
As western winds had cooled the sultry air,
His numbered sheep within the fold now pent,
Thus plained him of his dreary discontent;
Beneath a hoary poplar's whispering boughs,
He, solitary, sat, to breathe his vows.
Venting the tender anguish of his heart.
As passion taught, in accents free of art;
And little did he hope, while, night by night,
His sighs were lavished thus on Lucy bright.
Ah! well-a-day, how long must I endure
This pining pain? Or who shall speed my care ?
Fond love no cure will have, seek no repose,
Delights in grief, nor any measure knows :
And now the moon begins in clonds to rise ;
The brightening stars increase within the skies;
The winds are hushed; the dews distil; and sleep
Hath closed the eyelids of my weary sheep;
I only, with a prowling wolf, constrained
All night to wake: with hunger he is pained,
And I with love. His hunger he may tame;
But who can quench, O cruel love! thy flame ?
Whilome did I, all as this poplar fair,
Upraise my heedless head, then void of care,
'Mong rustic routs the chief for wanton game;
Nor could they merry make, till Lobbin came.
Who better seen than I in shepherd's arts,
To please the lads and win the lasses' hearts ?
How deftly, to mine oaten reed so sweet,
Wont they upon the green to shift their feet!
And, wearied in the dance, how would they yearn
Some well-devised tale from me to learn!
For many songs and tales of mirth had I,
To chase the loitering sun adown the sky
But ah! since Lucy coy deep-wrought her spite
Within my heart, unmindful of delight,
The jolly grooms I fly, and, all alone,
To rocks and woods pour forth my fruitless moan.
Oh! quit thy wonted scorn, relentless fair,
Ere, lingering long, I perish through despair,
Had Rosalind been mistress of my mind,
Thongh not so fair, she would have proved more kind
O think, unwitting maid, while yet is time,
How flying years impair thy youthful prime!
Thy virgin bloom will not for ever stay,
And flowers, though left ungathered, will decay:
The flowers, anew, returning seasons bring,
But beauty faded has no second spring.
My words are wind! She, deaf to all my cries,
Takes pleasure in the mischief of her eyes.
Like frisking heifer, loose in flowery meads,
She gads where'er her roving fancy leads;
Yet still from me. Ah me! the tiresome chase !
Shy as the fawn, she flies my fond embrace,
She flies, indeed, but ever leaves behind,
Fly where she will, her likeness in my mind.'
GEORGE GRANVILLE, LORD LANSDOWNE. Pope has commemorated among his early friends and patrons • Granville the polite. He was early distinguished and commended by Waller, of whom he was an imitator. His poems in praise of • Mira'—the Countess of Newburgh-were popular at the time of their production, and he was the author of several dramatic pieces now forgotten. He stood high in the favour of Queen Anne, was
elevated to the peerage in 1711, and was successively comptroller and treasurer of the household. In the reign of George I. he fell into disgrace, and was committed to the Tower, on a charge of disloyalty to the Hanover succession. He was released after a confinement of about a year and a half, and was restored to his seat in parliament. In 1732, he published his works in two volumes. He died January 30, 1734–35, aged about sejenty. Though wecasionally a pleasing versifier, Granville cannot be considered a poet.
ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHELSEA. "It is remarkable,' says Wordsworth, that excepting the “ Nocturnal Reverie," and a passage or two in the “ Windsor Forest” of Pope, the poetry of the period intervening between the publication of a Paradise Lost" and the “ Seasons," does not contain a single new image of external nature. The 'Nocturnal Reverie' was written by ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHELSEA, the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill, Southampton, who died in 1720, aged about sixty. Her lines are smoothly versified, and possess a tone of calm and contemplative observation.
A Nocturnal Reverie.
In such a night, when every louder wind
Is to its distant cavern safe confined,
And only gentle zephyr fans his wings,
And lonely Philomel still waking sings;
Or from some tree, famed for the owl's delight,
She, holloaing clear, directs the wanderer right:
In such a night, when passing clouds give place,
Or thinly veil the heaven's mysterious face;
When in some river overhung with green,
The waving moon and trembling leaves are seen;
When freshened grass now bears itself upright,
And makes cool banks to pleasing rest invite,
Whence springs the woodbine, and the bramble rose,
And where the sleepy cowslip sheltered grows;
Whilst now a paler hue the foxglove takes,
Yet checkers still with red the dusky brakes;
When scattered glowworms, but in twilight fine,
Shew trivial beauties watch their hour to shine;
Whilst Salisbury stands the test of every light,
In perfect charms and perfect virtue bright:
When odours which declined repelling day,
Through temperate air uninterrupted stray ;
When darkened groves their softest shadows wear,
And falling waters we distinctly hear;
When through the gloom more venerable shews
Some ancient fabric, awful in repose;
While sunburnt hills their swarthy looks conceal,
And swelling haycocks thicken up the vale :
When the loosed horse now, as his pasture leads,
Comes slowly grazing through the adjoining meads,
Whose stealing pace and lengthened shade we fear,
Till torn-up forage in his teeth we hear;
When nibbling sheep at large pursue their food,
And unmolested kine rechew the cud;
When curlews cry beneath the village walls,
And to her straggling brood the partridge calls;
Their short-lived jubilee the creatures keep,
Which but endures whilst tyrant man does sleep;
When a sedate content the spirit feels,
And no fierce light disturbs, whilst it reveals;
But silent musings urge the mind to seek
Something too high for syllables to speak;
Till the free soul to a composedness charmed,
Finding the elements of rage disarmed,
O'er als below a solemn quiet grown,
Joys in the inferior world, and thinks it like her own :
In such a night let me abroad remain,
Till morning breaks, and all's confused again;
Our cares, our toils, our clamours are renewed,
Or pleasures, seldom reached, again pursued.
The following is another specimen of the correct and smooth versi-
fication of the countess, and seems to us superior to the 'Nocturnal
Life's Progress. How gaily is at first begun
Whilst beauty compensates our care, Our life's uncertain race !
And youth each vapour clears,
Whilst yet that sprightly morning sun,
With which we just set out to run,
But oh, too soon, alas! we clin
Enlightens all the place.
Scarce feeling we ascend
The gently rising hill of Time, How smiling the world's prospect lies ! From whence with grief we see that How tempting to go through!
prime, Not Canaan to that prophet's eyes,
And all its sweetness end.
From Pisgah, with a sweet surprise,
Did more inviting shew.
The die now cast, our station known,
Fond expectation past : How soft the first ideas prove
The thorns which former days had sown,
Which wander through our minds ! To crops of late repentance grown,
How full the joys, how free the love,
Through which we toil at last.
Which does that early season move,
As flowers the western winds !
Whilst every care's a driving harm
That helps to bear us down; Our sighs are then but vernal air,
Which faded smiles no more can charm, But April drops our tears,
But every tear 's a winter storm, Which swiftly passing, all grows fair, And every look 's a frown.
SCOTTISH POET S. FRANCIS SEMPILL of Beltrees (son of Robert Sempill, see ante), who died between 1680 and 1685, wrote some excellent rustic songs -Fy, let us a' to the Bridal,' “She raise and loot me in,' and 'Maggie Lauder.'
In the years 1706, 1709, and 1711, was published in Edinburgh, in three parts, ' A Choice Collection of Comic and Serious Scots Poems, both Ancient and Modern,' by James Watson. In this collection appeared the oldest known version of 'Auld Langsyne,' though probably founded on one of earlier date. The following is the first stanza :