Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

THE

LIFE OF EDWARD LOVIBOND,

BY MR. CHAĽNERS.

The life of Mr. Lovibond appears to have afforded no subject for biography. Those who knew him best have declined the opportunity which the publication of his works afforded them to say something of the author. All they have been pleased to communicate is, that “ he was a gentleman of fortune, who passed the greater part of his years in the neighbourhood of Hampton in Middlesex, where he lived greatly beloved by those who best know him. He was an admirable scholar, of very amiable manners, and of universal benevolence, of which all his writings hear strong testimony. The little pieces which compose this volume were chiefly writ. ten on such incidents as occasionally arosc in those societies of intimate acquaio. tance which he most frequented. After his death, which happened in 1775, his poems being dispersed in the hands of different friends, to whom they had been given by himself, many people expressed to his only brother, Anthony Lovibond Collins, esq. a wish to have them collected together, and preserved. This gen. tleman, equally zcalous for the reputation of a brother he affectionately loved, hath put into the editor's hands those pieces he hath selected for that purpose.'

Of a man of so many virtues, and so greatly beloved, the public might reason. ably have expected a more detailed account. His father, I am told, was a director of the East India Company, and died in the year 1737, leaving him probably that fortune on which he was erabled to pass his days in the quiet enjoyment of the pleasures of rural life. He died September 27, 1775, at his house at Hampton, but the register of that parish is silent on his interment. I have been informed, also, that he was married, and not very happily.

When the World was began by Edward Moore, and his many noble and learned contributors, Mr. Lovibond furnished five papers; Nos. 93 and 94 contain some

284

[ocr errors]

TIIE LIFE OF EDWARD LOVIDOND. just remarks on the danger of extremes, and the impediments to conversation. In Nos. 132 and 134 he opposes the common erroneous notions on the subject of Providence with considerable force of argument, and concludes with some iron. ical remarks not ill applied. In No. 82 he first published the Tears of Old May Day, the most favourite of all his poems. The thoughts are peculiarly ingenious and happy, yet it may be questioned whether it is not exceeded by his Mulberry Tree, in which the distinguishing features of Johnsou's and Garrick's characters are admirably hit off, the frivolous enthusiasm of the one, and the solid and steady veneration of the other for our immortal bard, are depicted with exquisite hu. mour. Julia's printed letter appears to have been a favourite with the author. There are some bursts of genuine passion, and some tenderness displayed occasionally, but it wants simplicity. It was probably suggested by Pope's Eloisa, and must suffer in proportion as it reminds us of that inimitable effort. His lines on Rural Sports, are both poetical and moral, and contain some interesting pictures sweetly persuasive to a humane treatment of the brute creation.

His love verses, some of which are demi-platonic, are tender and sprightly. The Miss K-P— was Miss Kitty Phillips, a relation of a family now ennobled by the title of Milford.

The tale of the Hitchin Convent, the lines To a young Lady a very good Actress, the Verses to Mr. Wooddeson,and those on converting that gentleman's house into a poor-house, are all distinguished by original turns of thought. His pieces were generally circulated in private, as he had not the common ambition of an author, and was contented to please those whom he intended to please: yet he never ate tempted any subject which he did not illustrate by novelty of manner, and upon the whole may be considered as among the most successful of that class who are rather amateurs, than professional poets.

POEMS

OF

EDWARD LOVIBOND.

BY MISS G

ON THE DEATH OF EDWARD a constitution like ours. But though no lorer LOVIBOND, ESQ.

of his country would desire to weaken this principle, which has more than once preserved the

nation, yet he may lament the unfortunate apAh! what avails—that once the Muses crown'a plication of it, when perverted to countenance Thy head with laurels, and thy temples bound ! party violence, and opposition to the most innoThat in that polish'd mind bright genius shone, cent measures of the legislature. The clamour That letter'd science mark'd it for her own!

against the alteration of the style seemed to be Cold is that breast that breath'd celestial fire!

one of these instances. The alarm was given, Mute is that tongue, and mute that tuneful and the most fatal consequences to our religion O could my Muse hut emulate thy lays, [lyre! and government were immediately apprehended Immortal numbers should record thy praise, from it. This opinion gathered strength in its Redeem thy virtues from oblivion's sleep, course, and received a tincture from the remains And wer thy urn bid distant ages weep

of superstition still prevailing in the counties Yet though no laureat flowers bestrew thy hearse, most remote from town, I knew several worthy Nor pompous sounds exalts the glowing verse, gentlemen in the west, who lived many months Sublimer truth inspires this humbler strain,

under the daily apprehension of some dreadful Bids love lament, and friendship here complain : visitation from pestilence or famine. The vulgar Bids o'er thy tumb the Muse her sorrows shed, were almost every where persuaded that Nature And weep her genius, number'd with the dead ! gave evident tokens of her disapproving these

innovations. I do not indeed recollect that any ADVERTISEMENT.

blazing stars were seen to appear upon this ocAs the first poem in this collection was thirty- casion; or that armies were observed to be en.

one years ago introduced to the public in a countering in the skies : people probably conpaper of The World, and written on a very cluding that the great men who pretend to conremarkable event in our history, viz. the re-troul the Sun in his course, would assume equal forming our style or calendar to the general authority over the inferior constellations, and usage of the rest of Europe ; the paper expla- not suffer any aerial militia to assemble themnatory of the subject being also written by Mr. selves in opposition to ministerial proceedings. Lovibond, it was judged proper to let it still

The objection to this regulation, as favouring precede it in this collection.

a custom established among papists, was not

heard indeed with the same regard as formerly,

when it actually prevented the legislature from THE WORLD,

passing a bill of the same nature: yet many a

president of a corporation club very eloquently NUMBER LXXXII.

harangued upon it, as introductory to the doctrine

July 25th, 1754. of transubstantiation, making no doubt that TO MR. FITZ-ADAM,

fires would be kindled again in Smithfield before

the conclusion of the year. This popular clash,

mour has at last happily subsided, and shared It is a received opinion amongst politicians, that the general fate of those opinions which derive the spirit of iberty can never be too active under their support from imagination, not reason.

In the present happy disposition of the nation "Then, when at Heav'n's prolific mandate sprung the author of the following verses may venture The radiant beam of new created day, to introduce the complaints of an ideal person- Celestial harps, to airs of triumph strung, age, without seeming to strengthen the faction Hail'd the glad dawn, and angel's call'd me of real parties; without forfeiting his reputation

May. as a good citizen; or bringing a scandal on the

“Space in her empty regions heard the sound, political character of Mr. Fitz-Adam, by making

And hills, and dales, and rocks, and vallies him the publisher of a libel agaivst the state.

The Sun exulted in his glorious round, (rung ; This ideal personage is no other than Old May

And shouting planets in their courses sung. day, the only apparent sufferer from the present regulation. Her situation is indeed a little mor- "Por ever then I led the constant year; (wiles ; tifying, as every elderly lady will readily allow; Saw Youth, and Joy, and Love's enchanting since the train of her admirers is withdrawn from Saw the mild Graces in my train appear, her at once, and their adoration transferred to a And infant Beauty brighten in my smiles. rival, younger than herself by at least eleven days.

“ No Winter frown'd. In sweet embrace ally'd, I am, sir,

Three sister Seasons danc'd th' eternal green ; your most obedient servant,

And Spring's retiring softness gently vy'd
E. L. With Autumn's blush, and Summer's lofty

mien. THE TEARS OF OLD MAY-DAY. “ Too soon, when man prophan'd the blessings

giv'n, Led by the jocund train of vernal hours

And vengeance arm'd to blot a guilty age, And vernal airs, uprose the gentle May; With bright Astrea to my native Heav'n Blushing she rose, and blushing rose the flow'rs I fed, and flying saw the Deluge rage : That sprung spontaneous in her genial ray.

“Saw bursting clouds eclipse the noontide beams, Her locks with Heav'n's ambrosial dews were

While sounding billows from the mountains bright,

roll'd, And am'rous Zephyrs flutter'd on her breast :

With bitter waves polluting all my streams, With ev'ry shifting gleam of morning light

My nectar'd streams, that flow'd on sands of The colours shifted of her rainbow vest.

gold. Imperial ensigns grac'd her smiling form,

“ Then vanish'd many a sea-girt isle and grove, A golden key, and golden wand she bore;

Their forests foating on the watry plain : This charms to peace each sullen eastern storm, Then, fam'd for arts and laws derivd from Jove, And that unlocks the summer's copious store,

My Atalantis & sunk beneath the main.
Onward in conscious majesty she came.
The grateful honours of mankind to taste ;

“No longer bloom'd primeval Eden's bow'rs, To gatber fairest wreaths of future fame

Nor guardian dragons watch'd th’ Hesperian And blend fresh triumphs with her glories with all their fountains, fragrant fruits and flow'rs, past.

Torn from the continent to glut the deep. Vain hope ! no more in choral bands unite

Her virgin vot'ries, and at early dawn. “ No more to dwell in sylvan scenes I deign'd Sacred to May and Love's mysterious rite, Yet oft descending to the languid Earth, Brush the light dew-drops ' from the spangled With quickning pow'rs the fainting mass sus. lawn.

tain'd,

And wak'd her slumb'ring atoms into birth. To her no more Augusta's ? wealthy pride

Pours the full tribute from Potosi's mine; “ And ev'ry echo caught my raptur'd name, Nor fresh blown garlands village maids provide, And ev'ry virgin breath'd her am'rous vows, A purer off'ring at her rustic shrine.

And precious wreaths of rich immortal fame, No more the May-pole's verdant height around

Show'rd by the Muses, crown'd my lofty To valour's games th' ambitious youth ad

brows. rance;

“ But chief in Europe, and in Europe's pride, No merry bells and tabers' sprightlier sound My Albion's favour'd realms, I rose ador'd;

Wake the loud carol, and the sportive dance. And pour'd my wealth, to other climes deny'd, Sudden in pensive sadness droop'd her head,

From Amalthea's horn with plenty stor'd. Faint on her cheeks the blushing crimson dy'd

“ Ah me! for now a younger rival claims “O ! chastc victorious triumphs, whither fled ?

My ravish'd honours, and to her belong My maiden honours, whither gone?" she cry’d. My choral dances and victorious games, “ Ah ! once to fame and bright dominion born, To her my garlands and triumphal song,

The earth and smiling ocean saw me rise, With time coeval and the star of morn,

“ O say what yet untasted bounties flow, The first, the fairest daughter of the skies,

What purer joys await her gentle reign?

Do lillies fairer, vi’lets sweeter blow? • Alluding to the country custom of gathering And warbles Philomel a softer strain ? May-dew. • The plate garlands of London,

3 See Plato.

« EelmineJätka »