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JOSEPH HILL, ESQ.
DEAR JOSEPH-five-and-twenty years ago-
Whence comes it then, that in the wane of life,
Dreading a negative, and overaw'd
Lest he should trespass, begg'd to go abroad. "Go, fellow!-whither?"-turning short aboutNay. Stay at home-you're always going out." "Tis but a step, sir, just at the street's end."
For what?"-" An' please you, sir, to see a friend.' A friend!" Horatio cried, and seem'd to start"Yea marry shalt thou, and with all my heart.— And fetch my cloak; for, though the night be raw, I'll see him too-the first I ever saw."
I knew the man, and knew his nature mild,
But not to moralize too much, and strain,
O happy Britain! we have not to fear
SURVIVOR Sole, and hardly such, of all
That once liv'd here, thy brethren, at my birth,
It seems idolatry with some excuse, When our forefather Druids in their oaks Imagined sanctity. The conscience, yet Unpurified by an authentic act
Of amnesty, the meed of blood divine, Lov'd not the light, but, gloomy, into gloom Of thickest shades, like Adam after taste Of fruit proscrib'd, as to a refuge, fled.
Thou wast a bauble once; a cup and ball, Which babes might play with; and the thievish jay Seeking her food, with ease might have purloin'd The auburn nut that held thee, swallowing down | Thy yet close-folded latitude of boughs
And all thine embryo vastness at a gulp.
So Fancy dreams. Disprove it, if ye can,
Thou fell'st mature; and in the loamy clod
And, all the elements thy puny growth
As in Dodona once thy kindred trees
By thee I might correct, erroneous oft,
That might have ribb'd the sides and plank'd the deck
Who liv'd, when thou wast such? O couldst thou The bottomless demands of contest, wag'd
And Time hath made thee what thou art-a cave
Delight in agitation, yet sustain
While thus through all the stages thou hast push'd
Thought cannot spend itself, comparing still The great and little of thy lot, thy growth From almost nullity into a state
What exhibitions various hath the world
And in conclusion mar them. Nature's threads,
Of matchless grandeur, and declension thence,
Time was, when, settling on thy leaf, a fly
Embowel'd now, and of thy ancient self
Time made thee what thou wast, king of the Thou temptest none, but rather much forbidd'st
For senatorial honors. Thus to Time
So stands a kingdom, whose foundation yet
Thine arms have left thee. Winds have rent them off
Long since, and rovers of the forest wild,
But since, although well qualified by age
* Knee-timber is found in the crooked arms of oak, which, by reason of their distortion, are easily adjusted to the angle formed where the deck and the ship's sides meet.
On thy distorted root, with hearers none,
One man alone, the father of us all,
Minority. No tutor charg'd his hand
OBSCUREST night involv'd the sky; Th' Atlantic billows roar'd, When such a destin'd wretch as I,
Wash'd headlong from on board, Of friends, of hope, of all bereft, His floating home for ever left.
No braver chief could Albion boast, Than he, with whom he went,
Nor ever ship left Albion's coast,
With warmer wishes sent.
He lov'd them both, but both in vain, Nor him beheld, nor her again.
Not long beneath the whelming brine, Expert to swim, he lay :
Nor soon he felt his strength decline, Or courage die away;
But wag'd with death a lasting strife, Supported by despair of life.
He shouted; nor his friends had fail'd To check the vessel's course,
But so the furious blast prevail'd,
That, pitiless, perforce,
They left their outcast mate behind, And scudded still before the wind.
Some succor yet they could afford; And, such as storms allow,
The cask, the coop, the floated cord,
But he, they knew, nor ship nor shore,
Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he
Their haste himself condemn, Aware that flight, in such a sea,
Alone could rescue them; Yet bitter felt it still to die Deserted, and his friends so nigh.
He long survives, who lives an hour In ocean, self-upheld:
And so long he, with unspent pow'r,
His destiny repell'd:
And ever as the minutes flew, Entreated help, or cried-"Adieu!"
At length, his transient respite past,
Could catch the sound no more. For then, by toil subdued, he drank The stifling wave, and then he sank.
No poet wept him; but the page Of narrative sincere,
That tells his name, his worth, his age,
And tears by bards or heroes shed
I therefore purpose not, or dream,
To give the melancholy theme
No voice divine the storm allay'd,
When, snatch'd from all effectual aid,
JAMES BEATTIE, an admired poet and a moralist, | priety applied to such a person as he represents, and was born about 1735, in the county of Kincardine, the "Gothic days" in which he is placed are not hisin Scotland. His father was a small farmer, who, torically to be recognized, yet there is great beauty, though living in indigence, had imbibed so much of both moral and descriptive, in the delineation, and the spirit of his country, that he procured for his son perhaps no writer has managed the Spenserian stanza a literary education, first at a parochial school, and with more dexterity and harmony. The second part then at the college of New Aberdeen, in which he of this poem, which contains the maturer part of the entered as a bursar or exhibitioner. In the intervals education of the young bard, did not appear till 1774, of the sessions, James is supposed to have added to and then left the work a fragment. But whatever his scanty pittance by teaching at a country-school. may be the defects of the Minstrel, it possesses beauReturning to Aberdeen, he obtained the situation of ties which will secure it a place among the approved assistant to the master of the principal grammar- productions of the British muse. school, whose daughter he married. From youth he had cultivated a talent for poetry; and in 1760 he ventured to submit the fruit of his studies in this walk to the public, by a volume of "Original Poems and Translations." They were followed, in 1765, by "The Judgment of Paris;" and these performances, which displayed a familiarity with poetic diction, and harmony of versification, seem to have made him favorably known in his neighborhood.
Beattie visited London for the first time in 1771, where he was received with much cordiality by the admirers of his writings, who found equal cause to love and esteem the author. Not long afterwards, the degree of LL. D. was conferred on him by his college at Aberdeen. In 1777 a new edition, by subscription, was published of his "Essay on Truth," to which were added three Essays on subjects of polite literature. In 1783 he published "Dissertations Moral and Critical," consisting of detached essays, which had formed part of a course of lectures delivered by the author as professor. His last work was Evidences of the Christian Religion, briefly and plainly stated," 2 vols. 1786. His time was now much occupied with the duties of his station, and particularly with the education of his eldest son, a youth of uncommon promise. His death, of a decline, was a very severe trial of the father's fortitude and resignation; and it was followed some years after by that of his younger son. These afflictions, with other domestic misfortunes, entirely broke his spirits, and brought him to his grave at Aberdeen, in August, 1803, in the 68th year of his age.
The interest of the Earl of Errol acquired for him the post of professor of moral philosophy and logic in the Marischal College of Aberdeen; in which capacity he published a work, entitled "An Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth, in opposition to Sophistry and Scepticism," 1770. Being written in a popular manner, it was much read, and gained the author many admirers, especially among the most distinguished members of the Church of England; and, at the suggestion of Lord Mansfield, he was rewarded with a pension of 2001. from the King's privy-purse.
In 1771 his fame was largely extended by the first part of his "Minstrel," a piece the subject of which is the imagined birth and education of a poet. Although the word Minstrel is not with much pro-|
THE PROGRESS OF GENIUS.
The design was, to trace the progress of a poetical genius, born in a rude age, from the first dawning of fancy and reason, till that period at which he may be supposed capable of appearing in the world as a Minstrel, that is, as an itinerant poet and musician;-a character which, according to the notions of our forefathers, was not only respectable but sacred.
AH! who can tell how hard it is to climb
The rolls of fame I will not now explore;
While from his bending shoulder, decent hung
Though richest hues the peacock's plumes adorn, Yet horror screams from his discordant throat Rise, sons of harmony, and hail the morn, I have endeavored to imitate Spenser in the measure While warbling larks on russet pinions float: of his verse, and in the harmony, simplicity, and Or seek at noon the woodland scene remote, variety of his composition. Antique expressions I Where the grey linnets carol from the hill. have avoided; admitting, however, some old words, O let them ne'er, with artificial note, where they seemed to suit the subject: but I hope To please a tyrant, strain the little bill, none will be found that are now obsolete, or in any degree not intelligible to a reader of English poetry.
But sing what Heaven inspires, and wander where they will.
To those who may be disposed to ask, what could induce me to write in so difficult a measure, I can only answer, that it pleases my ear, and seems, from its Gothic structure and original, to bear some relation to the subject and spirit of the poem. It admits both simplicity and magnificence of sound and of language, beyond any other stanza that I am acquainted with. It allows the sententiousness of the couplet, as well as the more complex modulation of blank verse. What some critics have remarked, of its uniformity growing at last tiresome to the ear, will be found to hold true, only when the poetry is faulty in other respects.
Fret not thyself, thou glittering child of pride,
Liberal, not lavish, is kind Nature's hand;
Then grieve not, thou, to whom th' indulgent Muse
Canst thou forego the pure ethereal soul
And yet the languor of inglorious days,
Him, who ne'er listen'd to the voice of praise,
O how canst thou renounce the boundless store
Supremely blest, if to their portion fall
Health, competence, and peace. Nor higher aim
The pomp of groves, and garniture of fields;
These charms shall work thy soul's eternal health,