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| Poets. ENGLISH LITERATURE. William Shenstone.
And in her hand, for sceptre, she does wield Right well she knew each temper to descry, Tway birchen sprays; with anxious fear entwined, To thwart the proud, and the submiss to raise; With dark distrust, and sad repentance filled; Some with vile copper-prize exalt on high, And steadfast hate, and sharp affliction joined, And some entice with pittance small of praise; And fury uncontrolled, and chastisement unkind. And other some with baleful sprig she 'frays: A russet stole was o'er her shoulders thrown; Even absent, she the reins of power doth hold,
*Twas her own labour did the fleece prepare; Lo! now with state she utters her command;
And, sooth to say, *...]". ranged around, Eftsoons the urchins to their tasks repair, Through pious awe, did term it passing rare; Their books of stature small they take in hand, For they in gaping wonderment abound, , . Which with pellucid horn secured are, And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight on To save from finger wet the letters fair: ground. The work so gay, that on their back is seen, Albeit ne flattery did corrupt her truth, St George's high achievements does declare; | Ne pompous title did debauch her ear: On which thilk wight that has y-gazing been, poinpo - wig y-gazing Goody, good woman, gossip, n'aunt, forsooth, Kens the forthcoming rod—unpleasing sight, I ween
| Or dame, the sole additions she did hear;
Yet these she challenged, these she held right dear; *.*. o o beam - y
As erst the bard by Mulla's silver stream,”
Ne would esteem him act as unought behove, | Who should not honoured eld with these revere; For never title yet so mean could prove,
- :...]. Ali RH1, Sighed as he sung, and did in tears indite; But there was eke a mind which did that title love. . brandishing the rod, she doth begin One ancient hen she took delight to feed, To loose the brogues, the stripling's late delight; The plodding pattern of the busy dame; And down they drop; appears his dainty skin, Which, ever and anon, impelled by need, Fair as the furry coat of whitest ermilin. Into her school, begirt with chickens, came; Such favour did her past deportment claim; Q ruthful scene!, when, from a nook obscure, And, if neglect had lavished on the ground His little sister doth his peril see, Fragment of bread, she would collect the same; All playful as she sat, she grows demure; For well she knew, and quaintly could expound, She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee; what sin it were to waste the smallest crumb she She meditates a prayer to set him free; found. Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny
- (If gentle pardon could with dames agree) Herbs, too, she knew, and well of each could speak, To her sad grief that swells in either eye,
That in her garden sipped the silvery dew; And wrings her so that all for pity she could die.
But herbs for use and physic, not a few, No longer can she now her shrieks command;
But in her garden found a summer-seat: But, ah! what pen his piteous plight may trace? Sweet melody to hear her then repeat Or what device his loud laments explain– How Israel's sons, beneath a foreign king, The form uncouth of his disguised face— While taunting foemen did a song entreat, The pallid hue that dyes his looks amainAll, for the nonce, untuning every string, The plenteous shower that does his cheek distain? Uphung their useless lyres—small heart had they to When he, in abject wise, implores the dame, | sing. Ne hopeth aught of sweet reprieve to gain; - - - Or when from high she levels well her aim, For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore, And, through the thatch, his cries each falling stroke And passed much time in truly virtuous deed; '"proclaim And, in those elfins' ears would oft deplore P | The times, when truth by popish rage did bleed, But now Dan Phoebus gains the middle sky, | And tortuous death was true devotion's meed; And liberty unbars her prison door; And simple faith in iron chains did mourn, And like a rushing torrent out they fly; That nould on wooden image place her creed; And now the grassy cirque han covered o'er And lawny saints in smouldering flames did burn: With boisterous revel rout and wild uproar; Ah! dearest Lord, foreferd thilk days should e'er re- A thousand ways in wanton rings they run. turn. Heaven shield their short-lived pastimes I implore;
For well may freedom erst so dearly won
In elbow-chair (like that of Scottish stem, Appear to British elf more gladsome than the sun.
By the sharp tooth of cankering eld defaced, |
In which, when he receives his diadem, Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade, Our sovereign prince and liefest liege is placed) And chase gay flies, and cull the fairest flowers; The matron sat; and some with rank she graced, For when my bones in grass-green sods are laid, (The source of children's and of courtiers' pride!) Oh never may ye taste more careless hours
Redressed affronts—for vile affronts there passed; In knightly castles or in ladies’ bowers.
| But love each other dear, whatever them betide. * Spenser.
WILLIAM Shenston E. |
But her words such a pleasure convey, So much I her accents adore,
Let her speak, and whatever she say, Methinks I should love her the more.
Can a bosom so gentle remain
But where does my Phyllida stray?
Why will you my passion reprove?
0 you that have been of her train,
For when Paridel tries in the dance
'Tis his with mock passion to glow,
To the grove or the garden he strays,
Then the lily no longer is white,
* Captain James Dawson, the amiable and unfortunate subject of these stanzas, was one of the eight officers belonging to the Manchester regiment of volunteers, in the service of the young chevalier, who were hanged, drawn, and quartered, on Kennington-Common in 1746.
And thou, dear Kitty, peerless maid,
For thou canst weep at every wo,
Young Dawson was a gallant youth,
And well he loved one charming maid,
One tender maid she loved him dear, Of gentle blood the damsel came :
And faultless was her beauteous form, And spotless was her virgin fame.
But curse on party's hateful strife,
The day the rebel clans appeared,
Their colours and their sash he wore,
And now he must that death endure,
How pale was then his true love's cheek,
For never yet did Alpine snows
With faltering voice she weeping said, Oh Dawson, monarch of my heart!
Think not thy death shall end our loves, For thou and I will never part.
Yet might sweet mercy find a place, And bring relief to Jemmy's woes,
O George without a prayer for thee My orisons should never close.
The gracious prince that gave him life
And every tender babe I bore
But though, dear youth, thou shouldst be dragged
Thou shalt not want a faithful friend
0 then her mourning-coach was called, The sledge moved slowly on before ;
Though borne in her triumphal car,
She followed him, prepared to view
And the last scene of Jemmy's woes
Distorted was that blooming face, Which she had fondly loved so long ;
And stifled was that tuneful breath, Which in her praise had sweetly sung :
And severed was that beauteous neck,
And mangled was that beauteous breast,
And ravished was that constant heart,
For though it could its king forget,
Amid those unrelenting flames
But when 'twas mouldered into dust,
My death, my death alone can show The pure and lasting love I bore :
Accept, 0 Heaven l of woes like ours, And let us, let us weep no more.
DAvid MALLET, author of some beautiful ballad stanzas, and some florid unimpassioned poems in blank verse, was a successful but unprincipled literary adventurer. He praised and courted Pope while living, and, after experiencing his kindness, traduced his memory when dead. He earned a disgraceful pension by contributing to the death of a brave naval officer, Admiral Byng, who fell a victim to the clamour of faction; and by various other acts of his life, he evinced that self-aggrandisement was his only steady and ruling passion. When Johnson, therefore, states that Mallet was the only Scot whom Scotchmen did not commend, he pays a comg. to the virtue and integrity of the natives of
cotland. The original name of the poet was Malloch, which, after his removal to London, and his intimacy with the great, he changed to Mallet, as more easily pronounced by the English. His father kept a small inn at Crieff, Perthshire, where David was born about the year 1700. He attended Aberdeen college, and was afterwards received, though without salary, as tutor in the family of Mr Home of Dreghorn, near Edinburgh. He next obtained a similar situation, but with a salary of £30 annum, in the family of the Duke of Montrose. In 1723, he went to London with the duke's family, and next year his ballad of William and Margaret
appeared in Hill's periodical, “The Plain Dealer. He soon numbered among his friends Young, Pope, and other eminent persons, to whom his assiduous attentions, his agreeable manners, and literary taste, rendered his society acceptable. In 1733 he published a satire on Bentley, inscribed to Pope, entitled Verbal Criticism, in which he characterises the venerable scholar as
In error obstinate, in wrangling loud,
of Wales, with a salary of £200 per annum; and, in conjunction with Thomson, he produced, in 1740, the Masque of Alfred, in honour of the birth-day of the Princess Augusta. A fortunate second marriage (nothing is known of his first) brought to the poet a fortune of £10,000. The lady was daughter of Lord Carlisle's steward. Both Mallet and his wife professed to be deists, and the lady is said to have surprised some of her friends by commencing her arguments with—'Sir, we deists.” When Gibbon the historian was dismissed from his college at | Oxford for embracing popery, he took refuge in | Mallet's house, and was rather scandalised, he says, than reclaimed, by the philosophy of his host. Wilkes mentions that the vain and fantastic wife of Mallet one day lamented to a lady that her husband suffered in reputation by his name being so often confounded with that of Smollett; the lady wittily answered, “Madam, there is a short remedy ; let your husband keep his own name.’ To gratify Lord Bolingbroke, Mallet, in his preface to the ‘Patriot King,' heaped abuse on the memory of Pope, and Bolingbroke rewarded him by bequeathing to him the whole of his works and manuscripts. When the government became unpopular by the defeat at Minorca, he was employed to defend them, and under the signature of a Plain Man, he published an address imputing cowardice to the admiral of the fleet. He succeeded: Byng was shot, and Mallet was pensioned. On the death of the Duchess of Marlborough, it was found that she had left £1000 to Glover, author of ‘Leonidas,' and Mallet, jointly, on condition that they should draw up from the family papers a life of the great duke. Glover, indignant at a stipulation in the will, that the memoir was to be submitted before publication to the Earl of Chesterfield, and being a high-spirited man, devolved the whole on Mallet, who also received a pension from the second Duke of Marlborough, to stimulate his industry. He pretended to be busy with the work, and in the dedication to a small collection of his poems published in 1762, he stated that he hoped soon to present his grace with something more solid in the life of the first Duke of Marlborough. Mallet had received the solid money, and cared for nothing else. On his death, it was found that not a single line of the memoir had been written. In his latter days the poet held the lucrative situation of Keeper of the Book of Entries for the port of London. He died April 21, 1765. Mallet wrote some theatrical pieces, which, though partially successful on their representation, are now utterly forgotten. Gibbon anticipated, that, if ever his friend should attain poetic fame, it would be acquired by his poem of Amyntor and Theodora. This, the longest of his poetical works, is a tale in blank verse, the scene of which is laid in the solitary island of St Kilda, whither one of his characters, Aurelius, had fled to avoid the religious persecutions under Charles II. Some highly-wrought descriptions of marine scenery, storms, and ship: wreck, with a few touches of natural pathos, and affection, constitute the chief characteristics of the m. The whole, however, even the very names in such a locality, has an air of improbability and extravagance. Another work of the same kind, but inferior in execution, is his poem The Ercursion, written in imitation of the style of Thomson's ‘Seasons.” The defects of Thomson's style are servilely copied; some of his epithets and expres| sions are also borrowed; but there is no approach to his redeeming graces and beauties. Contrary to the dictum of Gibbon, the poetic fame of Mallet rests on his ballads, and chiefly on his “William
Mallet was appointed under secretary to the Prince
and Margaret, which, written at the age of twentythree, afforded high hopes of ultimate excellence. The simplicity, here remarkable, he seems to have thrown aside when he assumed the airs and dress of a man of taste and fashion. All critics, from Dr Percy downwards, have united in considering “William and Margaret' one of the finest compositions of the kind in our language. Sir Walter Scott conceived that Mallet had imitated an old Scottish tale to be found in Allan Ramsay's ‘Tea-Table Miscellany,’ beginning, There came a ghost to Margaret's door.
The resemblance is striking. Mallet confessed only (in a note to his ballad) to the following verse in Fletcher's ‘Knight of the Burning Pestle:'—
When it was grown to dark midnight,
In came Margaret's grimly ghost,
In the first printed copies of Mallet's ballad, the two first lines were nearly the same as the above—
When all was wrapt in dark midnight, And all were fast asleep.
He improved the rhyme by the change; but beautiful as the idea is of night and morning meeting, it may be questioned whether there is not more of Soutlou. awe and affecting simplicity in the old Words.
William and Margaret.
'Twas at the silent solemn hour, When night and morning meet;
In glided Margaret's grimly ghost, And stood at William's feet.
Her face was like an April morn Clad in a wintry cloud;
And clay-cold was her lily hand That held her sable shroud.
So shall the fairest face appear When youth and years are flown :
Such is the robe that kings must wear, When death has reft their crown.
Her bloom was like the springing flower,
The rose was budded in her cheek,
But love had, like the canker-worm,
The rose grew pale, and left her cheek—
Awake! she cried, thy true love calls,
Now let thy pity hear the maid
This is the dark and dreary hour
When yawning graves give up their dead,
Bethink thee, William, of thy fault, Thy pledge and broken oath !
And give me back my maiden-vow, And give me back my troth.
Why did you promise love to me,
Why did you swear my eyes were bright,