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Come, bind the victim,-there he lies, And here between his numerous eyes This venerable dust I lay,
From manuscripts just swept away. The goblet in my hand I take, (For the libation's yet to make,) A health to poets! all their days May they have bread, as well as praise; Sense may they seek, and less engage In papers fill'd with party-rage. But if their riches spoil their vein, Ye Muses, make them poor again.
Now bring the weapon, yonder blade, With which my tuneful pens are made. I strike the scales that arm thee round, And twice and thrice I print the wound, The sacred altar floats with red, And now he dies, and now he's dead.
How like the son of Jove I stand, This Hydra stretch'd beneath my hand! Lay bare the monster's entrails here, To see what dangers threat the year: Ye gods! what sonnets on a wench! What lean translations out of French! Tis plain, this lobe is so unsound, Sprints, before the months go round
But hold, before I close the scene, The sacred altar should be clean. Oh had I Shadwell's second bays, Or, Tate! thy pert and humble lays! (Ye pair, forgive me, when I vow I never miss'd your works till now,) I'd tear the leaves to wipe the shrine, (That only way you please the Nine,) But since I chance to want these two, I'll make the songs of Durfey do.
Rent from the corpse, on yonder pin, I hang the scales that brac'd it in; I hang my studious morning-gown, And write my own inscription down.
"This trophy from the Pithon won, This robe, in which the deed was done, These, Parnell, glorying in the feat, Hung on these shelves, the Muses' seat. Here Ignorance and Hunger found Large realms of Wit to ravage round: Here Ignorance and Hunger fell; Two foes in one I sent to Hell. Ye poets, who my labors see, Come share the triumph all with me! Ye critics! born to vex the Muse, Go mourn the grand ally you lose."
NICHOLAS ROWE, descended from an ancient derived his principal claims upon posterity, are family in Devonshire, was the son of John Rowe, chiefly founded on the model of French tragedy; Esquire, a barrister of reputation and extensive and in his dicti which is poetical without being practice. He was born in 1673, at the house of his bombastic or afted; in his versification, which is maternal grandfather, at Little Berkford, in Bed- singularly sweet; and in tirades of sentiment, given fordshire. Being placed at Westminster-school, with force and elegance, he has few competitors. under Dr. Busby, he pursued the classical studies As a miscellaneous poet, Rowe occupies but an
of that place with credit. At the age of sixteen he inconsiderable place among his countrymen; but it was removed from school, and entered a student of has been thought proper to give some of his songs the Middle Temple, it being his father's intention or ballads in the pastoral strain; which have a touchto bring him up to his own profession; but the ing simplicity, scarcely excelled by any pieces of death of this parent, when Nicholas was only nine- the kind. His principal efforts, however, were in teen, freed him from what he probably thought a poetical translation; and his version of Lucan's pursuit foreign to his disposition; and he turned Pharsalia has been placed by Dr. Johnson among his chief studies to poetry and polite literature. the greatest productions of English poetry. At the age of twenty-five he produced his first tra- In politics, Rowe joined the party of the Whigs, gedy, "The Ambitious Stepmother;" which was under whose influence he had some gainful posts, afterwards succeeded by "Tamerlane;" "The Fair without reckoning that of poet-laureate, on the acPenitent;" Ulysses;" "The Royal Convert;" cession of George I. He was twice married to "Jane Shore ;" and "Lady Jane Grey." Of women of good connexions, by the first of whom these, though all have their merits, the third and he had a son, and by the second, a daughter. He the two last alone keep possession of the stage; but died in December, 1718, in the 45th year of his Jane Shore in particular never fails to be viewed age, and was interred among the poets in Westwith deep interest. His plays, from which are minster Abbey.
Though through the wide world I should range, "Tis in vain from my fortune to fly; Twas hers to be false and to change, "Tis mine to be constant and die.
If while my hard fate I sustain,
In her breast any pity is found,
Let her come with the nymphs of the plain,
Is to shade me with cypress and yew; And when she looks down on my grave, Let her own that her shepherd was true.
"Then to her new love let her go,
And deck her in golden array, Be finest at every fine show,
And frolic it all the long day; While Colin, forgotten and gone,
No more shall be talk'd of, or seen, Unless when, beneath the pale Moon, His ghost shall glide over the green."
JOSEPH ADDISON, a person in the foremost ranks | superior efforts, has deserved that degree of praise, of wit and elegant literature, was the son of the which, in general estimation, has been allotted to Reverend Lancelot Addison, at whose parsonage at him. It cannot be doubted that playful and huMilston, near Ambrosbury, Wiltshire, he was born morous wit was the quality in which he obtained in May, 1672. At the age of fifteen he was entered almost unrivalled pre-eminence; but the reader of of Queen's College, Oxford, where he distinguished his poem to Sir Godfrey Kneller will discover, in himself by his proficiency in classical literature, the comparison of the painter to Phidias, a very especially in Latin poetry. He was afterwards happy and elegant resemblance pointed out in his elected a demy of Magdalen College, where he took verse. His celebrated tragedy of "Cato," equally the degrees of bachelor and master of arts. In his remarkable for a correctness of plan, and a sustained twenty-second year he became an author in his own elevation of style, then unusual on the English language, publishing a short copy of verses addressed stage, was further distinguished by the glow of its to the veteran poet, Dryden. Other pieces in verse sentiments in favor of political liberty, and was and prose succeeded; and in 1695 he opened the equally applauded by both parties. career of his fortune as a literary man, by a com- A very short account will suffice for the remainplimentary poem on one of the campaigns of King der of his works. His connexion with Steele enWilliam, addressed to the Lord-keeper Somers. A gaged him in occasionally writing in the Tatler, the pension of 300l. from the crown, which his patron Spectator, and the Guardian, in which his producobtained for him, enabled him to indulge his inclination for travel; and an epistolary poem to Lord Halifax in 1701, with a prose relation of his travels, published on his return, are distinguished by the spirit of liberty which they breathe, and which, during life, was his ruling passion. The most famous of In 1716 he married the Countess-Dowager of Warhis political poems, "The Campaign," appeared in 1704. It was a task kindly imposed by Lord Halifax, who intimated to him that the writer should not lose his labor. It was accordingly rewarded by an immediate appointment to the post of commissioner of appeals.
tions, serious and humorous, conferred upon him immortal honor, and placed him deservedly at the head of his class. Some other periodical papers, decidedly political, were traced to Addison, of which The Freeholder was one of the most conspicuous.
wick, a connexion which is said not to have been remarkably happy. In the following year he was raised to the office of one of the principal secretaries of state; but finding himself ill suited to the post, and in a declining state of health, he resigned it to Mr. Craggs. In reality, his constitution was This will be the proper place for considering the suffering from an habitual excess in wine; and it is merits of Addison in his character of a writer in a lamentable circumstance that a person so generally verse. Though Dryden and Pope had already se- free from moral defects, should have given way to cured the first places on the British Parnassus, and a fondness for the pleasures of a tavern life. Addiother rivals for fame were springing to view, it will son died in June, 1719, leaving an only daughter scarcely be denied that Addison, by a decent medi- by the Countess of Warwick.
ocrity of poetic language, rising occasionally to
Me into foreign realms my fate conveys
For wheresoe'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
And still I seem to tread on classic ground;
Stern tyrants, whom their cruelties renown,
Fain would I Raphael's godlike art rehearse,
Such heavenly figures from his pencil flow,
Here pleasing airs my ravish'd soul confound
(Dumb are their fountains and their channels dry,) Here domes and temples rise in distant views,
Yet run for ever by the Muse's skill,
Oh, could the Muse my ravish'd breast inspire With warmth like yours, and raise an equal fire, Unnumber'd beauties in my verse should shine, And Virgil's Italy should yield to mine!
See how the golden groves around me smile, That shun the coast of Britain's stormy isle, Or, when transplanted and preserv'd with care, Curse the cold clime, and starve in northern air. Here kindly warmth their mountain juice ferments To nobler tastes, and more exalted scents: E'en the rough rocks with tender myrtle bloom, And trodden weeds send out a rich perfume. Bear me, some god, to Baia's gentle seats, Or cover me in Umbria's green retreats; Where western gales eternally reside, And all the seasons lavish all their pride: Blossoms, and fruits, and flowers together rise, And the whole year in gay confusion lies.
Immortal glories in my mind revive, And in my soul a thousand passions strive, When Rome's exalted beauties I descry Magnificent in piles of ruin lie. An amphitheatre's amazing height Here fills my eye with terror and delight, That on its public shows unpeopled Rome, And held, uncrowded, nations in its womb: Here pillars rough with sculpture pierce the And here the proud triumphal arches rise, Where the old Romans deathless acts display'd, Their base degenerate progeny upbraid: Whole rivers here forsake the fields below, [flow. And wondering at their height through airy channels Still to new scenes my wandering Muse retires, And the dumb show of breathing rocks admires: Where the smooth chisel all its force has shown, And soften'd into flesh the rugged stone. In solemn silence, a majestic band, Heroes, and gods, and Roman consuls stand.
And opening palaces invite my Muse.
How has kind Heaven adorn'd the happy land, And scatter'd blessings with a wasteful hand! But what avail her unexhausted stores, Her blooming mountains, and her sunny shores, With all the gifts that Heaven and Earth impart, The smiles of Nature, and the charms of Art, While proud oppression in her valleys reigns, And tyranny usurps her happy plains? The poor inhabitant beholds in vain The reddening orange and the swelling grain: Joyless he sees the growing oils and wines, And in the myrtle's fragrant shade repines: Starves in the midst of Nature's bounty curst, And in the loaden vineyard dies for thirst.
O Liberty, thou goddess heavenly bright, Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight! Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign, And smiling Plenty leads thy wanton train; Eas'd of her load, Subjection grows more light, And Poverty looks cheerful in thy sight; Thou mak'st the gloomy face of Nature gay, Giv'st beauty to the Sun, and pleasure to the day. Thee, goddess, thee, Britannia's isle adores; How has she oft exhausted all her stores, How oft in fields of death thy presence sought, Nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly bought! On foreign mountains may the Sun refine The grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine, With citron groves adorn a distant soil, And the fat olive swell with floods of oil: We envy not the warmer clime, that lies In ten degrees of more indulgent skies, Nor at the coarseness of our Heaven repine, Though o'er our heads the frozen Pleiads shine: "Tis Liberty that crowns Britannia's isle,
And makes her barren rocks and her bleak moun
Others with towering piles may please the sight,