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Nor noontide feast, nor ev’ning's cool repast,
Nor does my muse no benefit exhale
ON THE LATE INDECENT LIBERTIES TAKEN WITH
THE REMAINS OF THE GREAT MILTON.
“ME too, perchance, in future days,
“ The sculptured stone shall show, “ With Paphian marble or with bays
“ Parnassian on my brow.
« But I, or ere that season come,
“ Escaped from every care,
“ And sleep securely there*.”
So sang, in Roman tone and style,
The youthful bard, ere long
With her sublimest song.
Who then but must conceive disdain,
Hearing the deed unblest
His dread sepulchral rest?
Ill fare the hands that heaved the stones
Where Milton's ashes lay,
And steal his dust away!
O ill-requited bard! neglect
Thy living worth repaid,
As much affronts thee dead.
* Forsitan et nostros ducat de marmore vultus
Nectens aut Paphia myrti aut Pernasside lauri
Milton in Manso. ADVERTISEMENT.
THE history of the following production is briefly this : A lady, fond of blank verse, demanded a poem of that kind from the author, and gave him the SOFA for a subject. He obeyed; and, having much leisure, connected another subject with it; and, pursuing the train of thought, to which his situation and turn of mind led him, brought forth at length, instead of the trifle which he at first intended, a serious affair---a volume.
In the poem on the subject of Education, he would be very sorry to stand suspected of having aimed his censure at any particular school. His objections are such, as naturally apply themselves to schools in general. If there were not, as for the most part there is, wilful neglect in those who manage them, and an omission even of such discipline as they are susceptible of, the objects are yet too numerous for minute attention; and the aching hearts of ten thousand parents, mourning under the bitterest of all disappointments, attest the truth of the allegation. His quarrel therefore is with the mischief at large, and not with any particular instance of it.
Argument. Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the Sofa.m"
A school-boy's ramble. A walk in the country.--The scene described.---Rural sounds as well as sights delight. ful.--Another walk.--Mistake concerning the charms of solitude corrected.---Colonnades commended.-Alcove, and the view from it. The wilderness.---The grove.--The thresher.---The necessity aud the benefits of exercise. The works of nature superior to, and in some instances inimitable by, art.-The wearisomeness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure.--Change of scene sometimes expedient.--A common described, and the character of crazy Kate introduced-Gipsies.-The bless. ing of civilized life.---That state most favourable to virtue.---The South Sea Islanders compassionated, but chiefly Omai.--His present state of mind supposedoCivilized life friendly to virtue, but not great cities. Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their due praise, but censured.---Fete champetre.-The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of dissipation and effeminacy upon our public measures.
I SING the Sofa. I who lately sang
Time was, when clothing sumptuous or for use, Save their own painted skins, our sires had none. As yet black breeches were not; satin smooth, Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile : The hardy chief upon the rugged rock Washed by the sea, or on the gravelly bank Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud, Fearless of wrong, reposed his weary strength. Those barbarous ages past, succeeded next The birth-day of invention; weak at first, Dull in design, and clumsy to porform. Joint-stools were then created; on three legs Upborne they stood. Three legs upholding firm A massy slab, in fashion square or round. On such a stool immortal Alfred sat, And swayed the sceptre of his infant realms : And such in ancient halls and mansions drear May still be seen, but perforated sore, And drilled in holes, the solid oak is found, By worms voracious eating through and through.
At length a generation more refined Improved the simple plan; made three legs four, Gave them a twisted form vermicular, And o'er the seat, with plenteous wadding stuffed, ' Induced a splendid cover, green and blue, Yellow and red, of tapestry richly wrought And woven close, or needle-work sublime. There might ye see the piony spread wide, The full-blown rose, the shepherd and his lass, Lap-dog and lambkin with black staring eyes, And parrots with twin cherries in their beak.
Now came the cane from India smooth and bright With Nature's varnish, severed into stripes, That interlaced each other, these supplied Of texture firm a lattice-work, that braced The new machine, and it became a chair. But restless was the chair; the back erect Distressed the weary loins, that felt no ease; The slippery seat betrayed the sliding part, That pressed it, and the feet hang dangling down, Anxious in vain to find the distant floor. These for the rich a the rest whom fate had placed