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| We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed, And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
| Th". foe and the stranger would tread o'er his ead
And we far away on the billow!
| Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone, And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him—
But little he'll reck, if they let him sleep on In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done,
And we heard the distant and random gun
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
We carved not a line, and we raised not a stone—
The passage in the Edinburgh Annual Register (1808) on which Wolfe founded his ode is as follows:– Sir John Moore had often said that if he was killed in battle, he wished to be buried where | he fell. The body was removed at midnight to the citadel of Corunna. A grave was dug for him on the ramparts there by a body of the 9th regiment, the aides-de-camp attending by turns. . No coffin could be procured, and the officers of his staff wrapped the body, dressed as it was, in a military cloak and blankets. The interment was hastened; for about eight in the morning some firing was heard, and the officers feared that if a serious attack were made, they should be ordered away, and not suffered to pay him their last duty. The officers of his family bore him to the grave; the funeral service was read by the chaplain; and the corpse was covered with earth.”
I do not think, where'er thou art,
HERBERT KNowLEs, a native of Canterbury (1798– 1817), produced, when a youth of eighteen, the following fine religious stanzas, which, being published in the Quarterly Review, soon obtained general circulation and celebrity: they have much of the steady faith and devotional earnestness of Cowper.
Lines written in the Churchyard of Richmond, Yorkshire. It is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here
three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.-Matthew, xvii. 4.
Methinks it is good to be here,
Nor Elias nor Moses appear;
Shall we build to Ambition? Ah no Affrighted, he shrinketh away;
For see, they would pin him below In a small narrow cave, and, begirt with cold clay, To the meanest of reptiles a peer and a prey.
To Beauty? Ah no 1 she forgets The charms which she wielded before;
Nor knows the foul worm that he frets The skin which but yesterday fools could adore, For the smoothness it held or the tint which it wore.
Shall we build to the purple of Pride, The trappings which dizen the proud : Alas ! they are all laid aside, And here's neither dress nor adornments allowed, But the long winding-sheet and the fringe of the shroud.
To Riches? Alas! 'tis in vain; Who hid in their turns have been hid;
The treasures are squandered again; And here in the grave are all metals forbid But the tinsel that shines on the dark coffin lid.
To the pleasures which Mirth can afford, The revel, the laugh, and the jeer?
Ah! here is ... board! But the guests are all mute as their pitiful cheer, And none but the worm is a reveller here.
Shall we build to Affection and Love? Ah no! they have withered and died,
Or fled with the spirit above. Friends, brothers, and sisters are laid side by side, Yet none have saluted, and none have replied.
Unto sorrow?—the Dead cannot grieve; Not a sob, not a sigh meets mine ear,
Which Compassion itself could relieve. Ah, sweetly they slumber, nor love, hope, or fear; Peace l peace is the watchword, the .. one here.
Unto Death, to whom monarchs must bow? Ah no 1 for his empire is known,
And here there are trophies enow! Beneath the cold dead, and around the dark stone, Are the signs of a sceptre that none may disown.
The first tabernacle to Hope we will build, And look for the sleepers around us to rise 1 . The second to Faith, which insures it fulfilled; And the third to the Lamb of the t sacrifice, Who bequeathed us them both when He rose to the skies.
In 1827 appeared a religious poem in blank verse, entitled The Course of Time, by Robert Pollok, which speedily rose to great popularity, especially among the more serious and dissenting classes in Scotland. The author was a young licentiate of the Scottish Secession church. Many who scarcely ever looked into modern poetry were tempted to peruse a work which embodied their favourite theological tenets, set off with the graces of poetical fancy and description; while to the ordinary readers of imaginative literature, the poem had force and originality enough to challenge an attentive perusal. The ‘Course of Time’ is a long poem, extending to ten books, written in a style that sometimes imitates the lofty march of Milton, and at other times resembles that of Blair and Young. The object of the poet is to describe the spiritual life and destiny of man; and he varies his religious speculations with episodical pictures and narratives, to illustrate the effects of virtue or vice. The sentiments of the author are strongly Calvinistic, and in this respect, as well as in a certain crude ardour of imagination and devotional enthusiasm, the poem reminds us of the style of Milton's early prose treatises. It is often harsh, turgid, and vehement, and deformed by a gloomy piety which repels the reader in spite of the many splendid passages and images that are scattered throughout the work. With much of the spirit and the opinions of Cowper, Pollok wanted his taste and his refinement. Time might have mellowed the | fruits of his genius; for certainly the design of such an extensive poem, and the possession of a poetical diction so copious and energetic, by a young man reared in circumstances by no means favourable for the cultivation of a literary taste, indicate remarkable intellectual power and determination of character. Robert Pollok was destined, like Henry Kirke
through his short life, as he was worthy of the kindest treatment, always to find it.' The same may
be said of his kindred genius, Pollok. and his worth had raised him up a host of fond and steady friends, who would have rejoiced to contribute to his comfort or relief. Having taken his departure for London, accompanied by a sister, Pollok was received into the house of Mr Pirie, then sheriff of London. An immediate removal to the south-west of England was pronounced necessary, and the poet went to reside at Shirley Common, near Southampton. The milder air of this place effected no improvement, and after lingering on a few weeks, Pollok died on the 17th of September 1827. The same year had witnessed his advent as a preacher and a poet, and his untimely death. The ‘Course of Time, however, continued to be a popular poem, and has gone through eighteen editions, while the interest of the public in its author has led to a memoir of his life, published in 1843. Pollok was interred in the churchyard at Muro the 412
| country schools, was sent to the university of Glas
Such was the night, so lovely, still, serene, When, by a hermit thorn that on the hill | * seen a hundred flowery ages pass, damsel kneeled to offer up her prayer— Her prayer nightly offered, nightly heard. | This ancient thorn had been the meeting place Of love, before his country's voice had called The ardent youth to fields of honour far Beyond the wave: and hither now repaired, Nightly, the maid, by God's all-seeing eye Seen only, while she sought this boon alone— “Her lover's safety, and his quick return.” In holy, humble attitude she kneeled, And to her bosom, fair as moonbeam, pressed One hand, the other lifted up to heaven. Her eye, upturned, bright as the star of morn, As violet meek, excessive ardour streamed, Wafting away her earnest heart to God. Her voice, scarce uttered, soft as Zephyr sighs On morning's lily cheek, though soft and low, Yet heard in heaven, heard at the mercy-seat. A tear-drop wandered on her lovely face; It was a tear of faith and holy fear, Pure as the drops that hang at dawning-time On yonder willows by the stream of life. | On her the moon looked steadfastly; the stars That circle nightly round the eternal throne Glanced down, well pleased; and everlasting Love | Gave gracious audience to her prayer sincere. O had her lover seen her thus alone, Thus holy, wrestling thus, and all for him 1 Nor did he not: for ofttimes Providence With unexpected joy the fervent prayer Of faith surprised. Returned from long delay, With glory crowned of righteous actions won, The sacred thorn, to memory dear, first sought The youth, and found it at the happy hour Just when the damsel kneeled herself to pray. Wrapped in devotion, pleading with her God, She saw him not, heard not his foot approach. All holy images seemed too impure
In 'customed glory bright, that morn the sun
| The herds, rejoiced; and, light of heart, the hind
Eyed amorously the milk-maid as she passed, Not heedless, though she look another way.
Sweet always, sweetest heard in loudest storm.
Whose banquets morning dews; whose heroes storms;
Whose warriors mighty winds; whose lovers flowers;
Of man, him thither sent for peace, and thus !
| Burst on the infant soul, when first it looked
And sought—sought neither heaven nor earth–sought Abroad on God's creation fair, and saw
The glorious earth and glorious heaven, and face
Nor meant to think; but ran meantime through vast Of man sublime, and saw all new, and felt
Of visionary things, fairer than aught
Whether in crowds or solitudes, in streets
The Christian faith, which better knew the heart
| All new! when thought awoke, thought never more
To sleep ! when first it saw, heard, reasoned, willed,
And triumphed in the warmth of conscious life!
Which those who never tasted always mourned.
What tongue!—no tongue shall tell what bliss o'er
[Picture of a Miser.]
But there was one in folly further gone;
JAMEs Montgomery, a religious poet of deservedly high reputation, was born at Irvine, in Ayrshire, in 1771. His father was a Moravian missionary, who died whilst propagating Christianity in the island of Tobago. The poet was educated at the Moravian school at Fulneck, near Leeds. In 1792 he established himself in Sheffield (where he still resides) as assistant in a newspaper office. In a few years the paper became his own property, and he continued to conduct it up to the year 1825. His course did not always run smooth. In January 1794, amidst the excitement of that agitated period, he was tried on a charge of having printed a ballad, written by a clergyman of Belfast, on the demolition of the Bastile in 1789; which was now interpreted into a seditious libel. The poor poet, notwithstanding the innocence of his intentions, was found guilty, and sentenced to three months' imprisonment in the castle of York, and to pay a fine of £20. In January 1795 he was tried for a second imputed political offence—a paragraph in his paper, the Sheffield Iris, which reflected on the conduct of a magistrate in quelling a riot at
Sheffield. He was again convicted and sentenced to six months' imprisonment in York castle, to pay a fine of £30, and to give security to keep the peace for two years. “All the persons,’ says the amiable poet, writing in 1840, “who were actively concerned in the prosecutions against me in 1794 and 1795, are dead, and, without exception, they died in peace with me. I believe I am quite correct in saying, that from each of them distinctly, in the sequel, I received tokens of good-will, and from several of them substantial proofs of kindness. I mention not this as a plea in extenuation of offences for which I bore the penalty of the law; I rest my justification, in these cases, now on the same grounds, and no other, on which I rested my justification then. I mention the circumstance to the honour of the deceased, and as an evidence that, amidst all the violence of that distracted time, a better spirit was not extinct, but finally prevailed, and by its healing
influence did indeed comfort those who had been conscientious sufferers.” Mr Montgomery's first volume of poetry (he had previously written occasional pieces in his newspaper) appeared in 1806, and was entitled The Wanderer of Switzerland, and other Poems. It speedily went through two editions; and his publishers had just issued a third, when the Edinburgh Review of January 1807 “denounced the unfortunate volume in a style of such authoritative reprobation as no mortal verse could be expected to survive.” The critique, indeed, was insolent and offensive—written in the worst style of the Review, when all the sins of its youth were full-blown and unchecked. Among other things, the reviewer predicted that in less than three years nobody would know the name of the ‘Wanderer of Switzerland,’ or of any other of the poems in the collection. Within eighteen months from the utterance of this oracle, a fourth impression (1500 copies) of the condemned volume was passing through the press whence the Edinburgh Review itself was issued, and it has now reached thirteen editions. The next work of the poet was The West Indies, a poem in four parts, written in honour of the abolition of the African slave trade by the British legislature in 1807. This was undertaken at the request of Mr Bowyer, the publisher, to accompany a series of engravings representing the past sufferings and the anticipated blessings of the longwronged Africans, both in their own land and in the West Indies. The poem is in the heroic couplet, and possesses a vigour and freedom of description, and a power of pathetic painting, much superior to anything in the first volume. . Mr Montgomery afterwards published Prison Amusements, written during his nine months' confinement in York castle in 1794 and 1795. In 1813 he came forward with a more elaborate performance, The World Before the Flood, a poem in the heroic couplet, and extending to ten short cantos. His pictures of the antediluvian patriarchs in their happy valley, the invasion of Eden by the descendants of Cain, the loves of Javan and Zillah, the translation of Enoch, and the final deliverance of the little band of patriarch families from the hand of the giants, are sweet and touching, and elevated by pure and lofty feeling. Connected with some patriotic individuals in his own neighbourhood “in many a plan for lessening the sum of human misery at home and abroad,” our author next published Thoughts on Wheels (1817), directed against state lotteries; and The Climbing Boy's Soliloquies, published about the same time, in a work written by different authors, to aid in effecting the abolition, at length happily accomplished, of the cruel and unnatural practice of employing boys in sweeping chimneys. In 1819 he published Greenland, a poem in five cantos, containing a sketch of the ancient Moravian church, its revival in the eighteenth century, and the origin of the missions
by that people to Greenland in 1733. The poem, as
published, is only a part of the author's original plan, but the beauty of its polar descriptions and episodes recommended it to public favour. The only other long poem by Mr Montgomery is The Pelican Island, suggested by a passage in Captain Flinders's voyage to Terra Australis, describing the existence of the ancient haunts of the pelican in the small islands on the coast of New Holland. The work is in blank verse, in nine short cantos, and the narrative is supposed to be delivered by an imaginary being who witnesses the series of events related after the whole has happened. The poem abounds in minute and delicate description of natural phenomena—has great felicity of diction and expression—and alother 415