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Gave the soft south with poisonous breath to blow,
Death of Eliza at the Battle of Minden.- From the 'Loves of the Plants.'
Now stood Eliza on the wood-crowned height,
O cease not yet to beat, thou vital urn!
From tent to tent the impatient warrior flies,
'Alas! we both with cold and hunger quake-
Song to May- From the 'Loves of the Plants.'
Light graces decked in flowery wreaths Sweet May! thy radiant form unfold; And tiptoe joys their hands combine ; Unclose thy biue voluptuous eye,
And Love his sweet contagion breathes, And wave thy shadowy locks of gold. And, laughing, dances round thy shrine. For thee the fragrant zephyrs blow, Warm with new life, the glittering throng
For thee descends the sunny shower; On quivering fin and rustling wing, The rills in softer murmurs flow,
Delighted join their votive song, And brighter blossoms gem the bower. And hail thee Goddess of the spring!
Song to Echo.-From the same. Sweet Echo! sleeps thy vocal shell, Be thine to pour these vales along Where this high arch o'erhangs thé dell ; Some artless shepherd's evening song; While Tweed, with sun-reflecting streams, While night's sweet bird from yon high Checkers thy rocks with dancing begins. spray
Responsive listens to his lay. Here may no clamours harsh intrude, No brawling hound or clarion rude; And if, like me, some love-lorn maid Here no fell beast of midnight prowl, Should sing her sorrows to thy shade. And teach thy tortured cliffs to howl. Oh! soothe her breast, ye rocks around,
With softest sympathy of sound.
MISS SEWARD. ANNA SEWARD (1747–1809) was the daughter of the Rev. Mr. Seward, canon-residentiary of Lichfield, himself a poet, and one of the editors of Beaumont and Fletcher. This lady was early trained to a taste for poetry, and, before she was nine years of age, she could repeat the first three books of Paradise Lost. Even at this time she says, she was charmed with the numbers of Milton. Miss Seward wrote several elegiac poems-an Elegy to the Memory of Captain Cook,' a 'Monody on the Death of Major André,' &c. --which, from the popular nature of the subjects, and the animated though inflated style of the composition, enjoyed great celebrity. Darwin complimented her as 'the inventress of epic elegy; and she was known by the name of the Swan of Lichfield. A poetical novel, entitled
* Those who have the opportunity may compare this death-scene (much to the advantage of the living author) with that of Gertrude of Wyoming, which may have been suggested, very remotely and quite unconsciously, by Darwin's Eliza. Sir Walter Scott excels in painting battle-pieces, as overseen by some interested spectator. Eliza at Minden is circumstanced so nearly like Clara at Flodden, that the mighty Minstrel of the North may possibly have caught the idea of the latter from the Lichfield botanist: but oh, how has he triumphed.Montgoinery's Lectures on Poetry, 1833,
‘Louisa,' was published by Miss Seward in 1782, and passed through several editions. After bandying compliments with the poets of one generation, Miss Seward engaged Sir Walter Scott in a literary correspondence, and bequeathed to him for publication three volumes of her poetry, which he pronounced execrable. At the same time she left her correspondence to Constable, and that publisher gave to the world six volumes of her letters. Both collections were unsuccessful. The applauses of Miss Seward's early admirers were only calculated to excite ridicule, and the vanity and affectation which were her besetting sins, destroyed equally her poetry and prose. Some of her letters, however, are written with spirit and discrimination.
A series of political satires, commencing about 1784, and written by a few men of wit and fashion, attracted much attention, and became extensively popular. They appeared first in a London newspaper, the earliest-from which the name of the collection was derived—being a satire on Colonel, afterwards Lord Rolle. The ‘ Rolliad '—consisting of pretended criticism on an imaginary epic poemwas followed by · Probationary Odes for the Laureateship, and “Political Eclogues.' The design of the 'Probationary Odes' was probably suggested by Pope's ridicule of Cibber; and the death of Whitehead, the poet-laureate, in 1785, was seized upon by the Whig wits as affording an opportunity for satirising some of the political and literary characters of the day, conspicuous as members or súpporters of the government. Pitt, Dundas, Jenkinson (Lord Liverpool), Lord Thurlow, Kenyon, Sir Cecil Wray, Dr. Prettyman (afterwards Bishop of Winchester), and others, were the objects of these humorous sallies and personal invectives; while among literary men, Thomas Warton, Sir John Hawkins, and Macpherson (the translator of Ossian '), were selected for attack. The contributors to this gallery of burlesque portraits and clever caricatures were: 1. DR. LAURENCE (called French Laurence') the friend of Burke, who was the chief editor or director of the satires: he died in 1809. 2. GENERAL RICHARD FITZPATRICK (1747–1813), a brother of the last Earl of Upper Ossory, who was long in parliament, and held successively the offices of Secretary-at-war and Irish Secretary. Fitzpatrick was the intimate friend of Charles James Fox-a faci recorded on his tomb —and his quatrain on that eminent statesman may be quoted as remarkable for condensed and happy expression:
A patriot's even course he steered,
'Mid faction's wildest storms unmoved; By all who marked his mind revered,
By all who knew his heart beloved. 3. RICHARD TICKELL, the grandson of Addison's friend, and the brother-in-law of Sheridan, besides his contributions to the · Rolliad,' was author of The Wreath of Fashion' and other poetical pieces, the spot.
and of a lively political pamphlet entitled 'Anticipation,' '1778. Tickell was a commissioner of stamps; he was a great favourite in society: yet in a moment of despondency he threw himself from a window in Hampton Court Palace, November 4, 1793, and was killed on
4. JOSEPH RICHARDSON (1758–1803) was author of a comedy, called “The Fugitive,' and was partner with Sheridan in Drury Lane Theatre. Among the other contributors to the “Rolliad' were LORD JOHN TOWNSEND (1757–1833); Mr. GEORGE ELLIS, the poetical antiquary and friend of Scott; SIR R. ADAIR; and GENERAL BURGOYNE, author of some dramatic pieces. All these were gay, fashionable, and somewhat hard-living men, whose political satire and malice, as Moore has remarked, 'from the fancy with which it is mixed up, like certain kinds of fireworks, explodes in sparkles.' Some of their sallies, however, are coarsely personal, and often irreverent in style and allusion. The topics of their satire are now in a great measure forgotten-superseded by other party-men and partymeasures; and the very qualities which gave it immediate and splendid success, have sunk it sooner in oblivion.
Character of Mr. Pitt.
Crit. on the Rolliad. No. 2.
WILLIAM GIFFORD, a poet, translator, and critic, afforded a re. markable example of successful application to science and literature under the most unfavourable circumstances. He was born at Ashburton, in Devonshire, in April 1756. His father had been a painter and glazier, but both the parents of the poet died when he was young; and after some little education, he was, at the age of thirteen, placed on board a coasting-vessel by his godfather, a man who was supposed to have benefited himself at the expense of Gifford's pi?rents. It will be easily conceived,' he says, 'that my life was a litu of hardship. I was not only “a ship-boy on the high and giddy mast,” but also in the cabin, where every menial office fell to my lot; yet if I was restless and discontented, I can safely say it was not so much on account of this, as of my being precluded from all possibility of reading; as my master did not possess, nor do I recollect seeing, during the whole time of my abode with him, a single book of any description, except the Coasting Pilot."
Whilst thus pursuing his life of a cabin-boy, Gifford was often seen by the fish-women of his native town running about the beach in a ragged jacket and trousers. They mentioned this to the people of Ashburton, and never without commiserating his change of condition. This tale often repeated, awakened at length the pity of the auditors, and as the next step, their resentment against the man who had reduced him to such a state of wretchedness. His godfather was on this account induced to recall him from the sea, and put him again to school. He made rapid progress, and even hoped to succeed his old and infirm schoolmaster. In his fifteenth year, however, his godfather, conceiving that he had got learning enough, and that his own duty towards him was fairly discharged, put him apprentice to a shoemaker. Gifford hated his new profession with a perfect hatred. At this sime he possessed but one book in the world, and that was a treatise on algebra, of which he had no knowledge; but meeting with Fenning's ·Introduction,' he mastered both works. This was not done,' he states,
without difficulty. I had not a farthing an earth, nor a friend to give me one: pen, ink, and paper, therefore,-in despite of the flippant remark of Lord Orford--were, for the most part, as completely out of my reach as a crown and sceptre. There was indeed a resource, būt the utmost caution and secrecy were necessary in apply: ing it. I beat out pieces of leather as smooth as possible, and wrought my problems on them with a blunted awl: for the rest, my memory was tenacious, and I could multiply and divide by it to a great extent.'
He next tried poetry, and some of his lamentable doggerel’ falling into the hands of Mr. Cookesley; a benevolent surgeon of Ashburton, that gentleman set about a subscription for purchasing the remainder of the time of his apprenticeship, and enabling him to procure a better education. The scheme was successful; and in little more than two years, Gifford had made such extraordinary application, that he was pronounced fit for the university. The place of Biblical Lecturer was procured for him at Exeter College, and this, with such occasional assistance from the country as Mr. Cookesley undertook to provide, was thought sufficient to enable him to live, at least till he had taken a degree. An accidental circumstance led to. Gifford's advancement. He had been accustomed to correspond on literary subjects with a person in London, his letters being inclosed in covers, and sent, to save postage, to Lord Grosvenor. One day he inadvertently omitted the direction, and his lordship, necessarily supposing the letter to be meant for himself, opened and read it. He was struck with the contents; and after seeing the writer, and hear