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and unmanly courses. Besides, they Frange puer calamos, & inanes descre are for the most part mighty lovers of
Non tacitus porta: Quid enim tibi Fistula reddet,
Quo tutere famem? certè, mea carmina
Præter ab his Scopulįs ventosa remur-
Boy, breake thy Pipes, leave, leave thy
Milke through the City: What can keepe backe hunger? None my Learning buy,
Eccho babbling from the Rockes
their Palates; and this is known an Et potiùs glandes, rubicundaque collige impoverisher. Antigonus, in the Tented Field, found Antagoras cooking of Duc ad mulctra greges, & lac cenale per a Congor himselfe. And they all are friends to the Grape and Liquor: though I think, many, more out of a ductible Nature, and their love to pleasant Companie, than their affection to the juice alone. They are all of free Natures; and are the truest Definition of that Philosophers man, which gives him Animal risible. Their grossest fault is, that you may conclude them sensual: yet this does not touch them all. Ingenious for the most part they are. I know there be some Riming fooles; but what have they to doe with Poetry? When Salust would tell us, that Sempronia's wit was not ill; sayes hee,-Potuit Versus facere, & jocum movere: Shee could make a Verse, and breake a Iest. Something there is in But it, more than ordinary: in that it is all in such measured Language, as may Two things are commonly blamed bee marr'd by reading. I laugh hear- in Poetrie: nay, you take away That, tily at Philoxenus his Iest, who passing if Them: and these are Lyes and Flatby, and hearing some Masons mis- tery. But I have told them in the sensing his lines, (with their ignorant worst words: For, 'tis onely to the shal sawing of them) falls to breaking their low insight that they appeare thus. Bricks amaine: They aske the cause, Truth may dwell more cleerely in an and hee replyes, They spoile his worke, Allegory, or a Moral'd Fable, than in and he theirs. Certainely, a worthy a bare Narration. And for Flatterie, Poet is so farre from being a foole, that no man will take Poetrie litterall: there is some wit required in him that since in commendations, it rather shall be able to reade him well: and shewes what men should be, than what without the true accent numbred Poe- they are. If this were not, it would trie does lose of the glossc. It was a appeare uncomely. But we all know, speech becoming an able Poet of our Hyperbole's in Poetrie, doe beare a deowne, when a Lord read his Verses cency, nay, a grace along with them. crookedly, and he beseecht his Lord- The greatest danger that I finde in it, ship, not to murder him in his owne is, that it wantons the Blood and Imalines. He that speaks false Latine, gination; as carrying a man in too breakes Priscians head: but he that high a Delight. To prevent these, let repeats a Verse ill, puts Homer out of the wise Poet strive to bee modest in joynt. One thing commends it be- his Lines. First, that hee dash.not the yond Oratorie: it ever complieth to the Gods: next, that hee injure not Chas sharpest Iudgements. He is the best tity, nor corrupt the Eare with Lasci Orator that pleaseth all, even the viousnesse. When these are declined, Crowd and Clownes. But Poetric I thinke a grave Poem the deepest kinde would be poore, that they should all of Writing. It wings the Soule up approve of. If the Learned and Iudi- higher than the slacked pace of Prose. cious like it, let the Throng bray. These, Flashes that doe follow the Cup, I feare when 'tis best, will like it the least. me, are too spritely to be solid: they So, they contemne what they under- run smartly upon the loose, for a Dis stand not; and the neglected Poet falls tance or two; but then being foule, by want. Calphurnius makes one they give in, and tyre. I confesse, I complaine the misfortune: love the sober Muse: and fasting
From the other, matter cannot come may be comprised within the present" so cleere, but that it will bee misted volume.
with the fumes of Wine. Long Poetry The remaining poems being, some, some cannot be friends withall: and fragments, and the rest, short and indeed, it palles upon the reading. upon common topics, it would be a The wittiest Poets have been all short, thriftless labour to myself and my and changing soone their Subject; as readers, were I to consider them inHorace, Martiall, Iuvenall, Seneca, dividually. I shall rather endeavour and the two Comedians. Poetry should to convey a general sense of their agbe rather like a Coranto, short, and gregate merit. nimbly-loftie, than a dull Lesson of a It is in reading these smaller pieces day long. Nor can it but bee deadish, of Henry, that the monotony of his His if distended? For, when 'tis right, it genius most forcibly strikes us. centers Conceit, and takes but the spi- mind seemed to be confined by the rit of things: and therefore foolish sufferings of his body; and it is rarely Poesie is of all writing the most ridicu- that he attempts any thing which lous. When a Goose dances, and a does not point to his own feelings Foule versifics, there is sport alike. and situation. A want of variety is. Hee is twice an Asse, that is a riming hence produced, and a consequent one. He is something the lesse unwise, want of interest in the reader. I that is unwise but in Prose. If the know not, however, whether I shall Subject bee History, or contexted Fable, be justified in the opinion of some, then I hold it better put in Prose, or for censuring this uniformity of subBanks: for ordinary discourse never ject, when I reflect that these pieces shewes so weil in Meeter, as in the have been given to the world, not by straine that it may seeme to be spoken himself but by his editor. in: the commendation is, to doe it to the life: Nor is this any other than Poetry in Prose. Surely, though the World thinke it not so, he is happy to himselfe, that can play the Pot. Hee shall vent his passions by his Pen, and ease his heart of their weight: and hee shall often raise himselfe a joy in his raptures, which no man can perceive but he. Sure, Ovid found a pleasure in't, even when hee writ his Tristria, pauses is unintelligible. These two It gently delivers the mind of distem- lines pers, and workes the thoughts to a sweetnes, in their searching conceit. I would not love it for a profession: and I would not want it for a recreation. I can make my selfe harmelesse, nay, amending mirth with it; while I should perhaps be trying of a worser Pastime. And this I beleeve in it further, Vnlesse conversation corrupts his casinesse, it lifts a man to Noblenesse; and is never in any rightly, but it makes him of a Royall and capacious Soule."
The "Ode to Fuseli" is an unequal performance. It has some lines that would do honour to any pen, and it is disfigured by the unmeaning verbosity of modern poetry. Of the last the following is an example:
While far below the fitful oar
Flings its faint pauses on the steepy shore.
Who shall now sublimest spirit,
I shall now copy what I consider
Oh yes! 'tis his!-Thy other son
Him didst thou cradle on the dizzy steep,
Where round his head the volley'd light
And the loud winds that round his pillow
rung, 3 Q
Wooed the stern infant to the arms of sleep. following passage gave me pleasure
Fifty years hence and who will hear of
The "Ode addressed to the Earl of Carlisle" seems to me to be in nothing superior to newspaper or magazine poetry. Such lines as these, "But human vows, how frail they be! Fame brought Carlisle unto his view." "And not to know, one swallow makes no summer."
Will shoot up in the interim, and none
As sinks a stranger in the crowded streets
A few enquiries, and the crowds close in
The man of future times will careless trad
Nor will the sound, familiar to their ears
The earth without a vestige!
in the outset of its career; they are
are puerile and can claim no lenity on the score of youth. Candour, however, seems to demand that no These are thoughts that are famicensure which is passed upon this liar to every aspiring mind, while yet posthumous poetry should be transferred to Henry. Were the loose the thoughts that stimulate its activity, papers of any literary man, the effu- and propel its energies to erect an emsions of momentary inclination to pire in the memory of its fellow man. write, afterwards thrown aside, un- In the "Ode to Genius," I met read perhaps, and uncorrected, to be with an accumulation of unmeaning given to the world by the officious epithets which would lead me to refer friendship of an editor, we should its production to a very early period. perceive the vast difference there is The maturity of intellect which probetween what an author writes and duced Clifton Grove and the Dance of what he publishes. With this se- the Consumptives, could not pen any curity for the fame of Henry, I shall thing so trivial as the following: animadvert the more freely upon Butah! a few there be whom griefs devour, those productions which Mr. Southey And weeping woe, and disappointment has deemed it prudent to commit to posterity.
Much may be forgiven to a youthful poet when he speaks of his first patron, and therefore I can pardon Henry when he talks of Capel Lofft's "beautiful and interesting preface to N. Bloomfield's poems. If any thing beautiful have yet fallen from the pen of that gentleman, I am ashamed of my ignorance. I have read all that he has written about the
Repining penury, and sorrow sour
And self-consuming spleen.
To realms where fancy's golden orbits roll. And fat stupidity shakes his jolly sides, And while the cup of affluence he quaffs With bee-eyed wisdom, &c.
I cannot but think our reverence Bloomfields, and have sometimes for Henry's genius would have been Broiled at his flippancy, but never more entire, had many of these postmet with any thing to raise my ad- humous pieces been committed to the
The lines" written in the prospect No charm of science, no luxury of of Death," are equal to Henry's hap mental enjoyment, has power to abpiest flights. They are tender, deli- stract us long from the consciousness cate, and melancholy. They have of corporeal "suffering. Henry's frethat plaintive morality which the con- quent recurrence to the fatal disease templation of their subject rarely fails that finally removed him from among to produce in sensi le minds. The the sons of men, proves that be
This is a direct plagiarism from the following beautiful lines in Milton's Lycidas:
"He must not float upon his watery bier
Without the meed of some melodious tear."
thought often and painfully upon its progress and who can read his pensive, melancholy strains upon the subject, and not breath a sigh for the youthful martyr that bowed to its canker'd fang? At p. 96 of the second volume there is a fragment upon Consumption, of which I could pass over numerous small pieces wish the last seven lines away, for that cannot offer any room for rethey deteriorate what is good without mark. Many of them have a certain them and at p. 110 there is the fol- degree of appropriate merit; and lowing sonnet on the same subject: Gently, most gently, on thy victim's head, Consumption, lay thine hand! Let me decay,
Like the expiring lamp, unseen, away,
And if 'tis true what holy men have said,
O! let the aerial music round my bed,
Fre 1 depart upon my journey drear;
others are quite without any thing
The autumn leaf is sere and dead
This at the same time furnishes a I have now come to "Time," a favourable specimen of Henry's son- poem, which, though only a fragnet writing, a species of composition ment, is yet of considerable length. under which the genius of Milton Mr. Southey says "this poem was himself sunk. The English language begun either during the publication is essentially incapable of appearing of Clifton Grove or shortly aftereither graceful or dignified in the wards. Henry never laid aside the shackles of a sonnet; and those who intention of completing it, and some have laboured most to assert its fit- of the detached parts were among his ness, have only written themselves latest productions."
In this poem, therefore inequalities
The lines on the death of Nelson of execution may be expected. It are not composed with that vigour and exhibits more power of mind than that reach of fancy and language which Clifton Grove, but less vigour of I should have expected from Henry's fancy; its morality is enforced in advancing years. The introduction language closely imitated from Young. of the word ditty in the second line. It is such a sort of ethical rhapsody is ignoble and unsuitable. - It would as might be discontinued and rebe appropriate in a pastoral elegy sumed through any period of time, which bewails the fate of some Cory- and in any mood, without detriment don or Delia, but is quite unfit to to the subject. As there is no narraconvey an idea of a funeral dirge to tive, there can be no fear of confuthe memory of a departed hero. In sion: paragraphs are distinct from this piece also, I find a line so palpa- each other, and require not to be bly borrowed from Milton, that I harmonized with preceding or subwonder Mr. Southey allowed it to sequent ones. This kind of writing pass without being marked as a quotation:
"he must not, shall not sink Without the meed of some melodious teur.."
is well adapted for the excursions of a young mind: it leaves the thought free, by not distracting the attention; and if there be much power of re
flection, it is not easy to say where merit. Without, however, specifysuch a poem would terminate; for ing them individually, I shall transwho can limit the combinations of cribe one, which is at least equal to intellect? any other.
The proemial lines of this frag- "God of the universe-almighty onement are constrained and inelegant. Thou who dost walk upon the winged There is more difficulty than is com- winds,
monly suspected in detailing with Or with the storm, thy rugged charioteer, simplicity and elegance what are to Swift and impetuous as the northern blast, be the chief topics of a poem: Mil- Ridest from pole to pole:-thou who dost ton himself failed in this.
Viewing this production as a posthumous one, I find in it many things which Henry's judgment and taste would have amended, in a revision: such are the following. "Chaos's sluggish sentry."
Mild as the murmurs of the moonlight
The forked lightnings in thine awful grasp, And reinest in the earthquake, when thy wrath
Goes down towards erring man,-I would
To thee my parting pean; for of thee,
Trembling before the footstool of thy state,
Ere on the cypress wreath, which overshades
Rise, son of Salem, rise, and join the straill,
Yea, compass'd round with countless
poor worms that batten in the
dews Of morn, and perish ere the noonday sun. It cannot be denied that there is Vigour and comprehension in this extract; and, that it is at least such as only a very highly endowed mind could produce, at such an immaturity of age.
His idea of death, as a state of oblivion till the last day, is a poetical, but not a philosophical one. Young The next and last poetical producthought differently: and as Henry tion in this volume is the "Christiad," was much versed in theological of which I know not how to speak writings, it is the more remarkable with tenderness to Henry's memory, that he should adopt such an opinion, and with just regard to truth. Mr. Speaking of the Almighty, whom Southey says "there is great power he would supplicate for mercy towards in the execution of this fragment:" those who have erred, he says,
"Yea, I would bid thee pity them."
This is impiety; and such impiety as seems inconsistent with those religious sentiments which Henry so warmly entertained.
but I sought in vain for it. I could view it in no other light than an unParadise Regain'd into a Spenserian successful attempt to put Milton's stanza: and how such a project
This should be us, the objective of
There are, in this fragment, many accusative case governed by the preposipassages which possess unequivocal tion of.