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Falconer.

William Falconer, der Sohn eines Barbiers in Edinburg ward daselbst 1730 geboren und widmete sich dem Seemannsstande. Er befand sich an Bord eines Kauffahrteischiffes, der Britannia, welches in der Nähe des Vorgebirges Colonna scheiterte; nur drei Leute von der Mannschaft, unter denen er sich befand, kamen mit dem Leben davon. Dies veranlasste ihn sein Gedicht The Shipwreck zu schreiben, in welchem er schilderte, was er selbst erfahren hatte. Es erschien 1762, fand grossen Beifall und verschaffte ihm eine gute Anstellung in der königlichen Flotte. Im September 1769 ging er auf der "Aurora" nach Indien, das Schiff erreichte im December das Vorgebirge der guten Hoffnung; seitdem ward aber nie wieder etwas von ihm gehört. Falconer starb also durch einen Unglücksfall den er selbst so beredt geschildert. Wahrheit, Kraft und Originalität sind seinem Gedichte eigen und haben ihm wohlverdiente, grosse Popularität bei seiner Nation verschafft, wogegen Falconer's andere Poesieen, wie z. B. seine Oden und ein politisches Poem the Demagogue in Vergessenheit gerathen sind.

breaks;

An Extract

The impetuous hail descends in whirling-shower. from Falconer's Shipwreck.

High on the masts, with pale and livid rays,

Amid the gloom portentous meteors blaze.
Now borne impetuous o'er the boiling deeps, Th'ethereal dome, in mournful pomp array'd
Her course to Attic shores the vessel keeps : Now lurks behind impenetrable shade;
The pilots, as the waves behind her swell, Now, flashing round intolerable light,
Still with the wheeling stern their force repel. Redoubles all the terrors of the night.
For this assault should either quarter feel, Such terror Sinai's quaking hill o'er spread,
Again to flank the tempest she might reel. When Heaven's loud trumpet sounded o'er its
The steersmen every bidden turn apply ;

head.
To right and left the spokes alternate fly. It seem'd the wrathful angel of the wind
Thus when some conquer'd host retreats in fear, Had all the horrors of the skies combin'd;
The bravest leaders guard the broken rear; And here, to one ill-fated ship oppos'd,
Indignant they retire, and long oppose

At once the dreadful magazine disclos'd.
Superior armies that around them close; And lo! tremendous o'er the deep he springs,
Still shield the flanks; the routed squadrons join; Th' enflaming sulphur flashing from his wings! -
And guide the flight in one embodied line: Hark! his strong voice the dreadful silence
So they direct the flying bark before
Th’impelling floods that lash her to the shore. Mad chaos from the chains of death awakes!
As some benighted traveller, through the shade, Loud and more loud the rolling peals enlarge,
Explores the devious path with heart dismay'd; And blue on deck their blazing sides discharge:
While prowling savages behind him roar, There all aghast the shivering wretches stood,
And yawning pits and quagmires lurk before While chill suspense and fear congeald their
High o'er the poop th' audacious seas aspire,

blood. Uproll’d in hills of fluctuating fire.

Now in a deluge bursts the living flame, As some fell conqueror, frantic with success, And dread concussion rends th' ethereal frame; Sheds o’er the nations ruin and distress; Sick earth convulsive groans from shore to shore, So, while the wat'ry wilderness he roams, And nature shuddering feels the horrid roar. Incens'd to sevenfold rage the tempest foams; Still the sad prospect rises on my sight, And o'er the trembling pines, above, below, Reveal'd in all its mournful shade and light. Shrill through the cordage howls, with notes Swift through my pulses glides the kindling fire,

As lightning glances on th' electric wire. Now thunders, wafted from the burning zone, But ah! the force of numbers strives in vain, Growl from afar a deaf and hollow groan! The glowing scene unequal to sustain. The ship's high battlements, to either side

But lo! at last from tenfold darkness born, For ever rocking, drink the briny tide:

Forth issues o'er the wave the weeping mor. Her joints unhing'd, in palsied languors play, Hail, sacred vision! who, on orient wing, As ice dissolves beneath the noon-tide ray. The cheering dawn of light propitious bring! The skies, asunder torn, a deluge pour; All nature smiling, hail'd the vivid ray,

of woe.

That gave her beauties to returning day: O yet in clouds, thou genial source of light,
All but our ship, that, groaning on the tide, Conceal thy radiant glories from our sight!
No kind relief, no gleam of hope descry'd. Go, with thy smile adorn the happy plain,
For now in front her trembling inmates see And gild the scenes where health and pleasure
The bills of Greece emerging on the lee.

reign : So the lost lover views that fatal morn,

But let not here, in scorn, thy wanton beam, On which, for ever from his bosom torn, Insult the dreadful grandeur of my theme! The nymph ador'd resigns her blooniing charms, While shoreward now the bounding vessel dies, To bless with love some happier rival's arms. Full in her van St. George's cliffs arise: So to Eliza dawn'd that cruel day,

High o'er the rest a pointed crag is seen, That tore Aeneas from her arms away;

That hung projecting o'er a mossy green. That saw him parting, never to return,

Nearer and nearer now the danger grows, Herself in funeral flames decreed to burn. And all their skill relentless fates oppose.

Scott.

John Scott, der Sohn eines Leinewandhändlers in London, der zu der Secte der Quäker gehörte, ward 1730 in Bermondsey geboren, verdankte seine Bildung zum grössten Theil sich selbst und brachte die meiste Zeit seines Lebens in dem Dorfe Amwell das er so oft in seinen Poesieen feierte und weshalb er auch der Dichter von Amwell genannt wurde, zu. Er starb daselbst 1783.

Seine Gedichte erschienen zuerst London 1782; sie enthalten mehrere didactische und descriptive Poesieen, wie z. B. Amwell und Essay on painting, Eklogen, Elegieen, Lieder u. s. w. Ein dichtender Quäker war damals eine Seltenheit, aber, diesem Umstande allein verdankte Scott nicht den Beifall, den er fand; Wahrheit, Natürlichkeit, Wärme und feiner Geschmack, verliehen seinen Leistungen bleibenden Werth. Am Unbedeutendsten sind seine Eklogen; dagegen zeichnete er sich auch als Prosaist, namentlich als Kritiker vortheilhaft aus.

The Tempestuous Evening.
There's grandeur in this sounding storm, The sight sublime enrapts my thought,
That drives the hurrying clouds along

And swift along the past it strays,
That on each other seem to throng,

And much of strange event surveys,
And mix in many a varied form;

What history's faithful tongue has taught,
While, bursting now and then between, Or fancy form’d, whose plastic skill
The moon's dim misty orb is seen,

The page with fabled change can fill
And casts faint glimpses on the green.

Of ill to good, or good to ill.

Beneath the blast the forests bend,
And thick the branchy ruin lies,
And wide the shower of foliage flies;
The lake's black waves tumult blend,
Revolving o'er and o'er and o’er,
And foaming on the rocky shore,
Whose caverns echo to their roar.

But can my soul the scene enjoy,
That rends another's breast with pain?
O hapless he, who, near the main,
Now sees its billowy rage destroy!
Beholds the foundering bark descend,
Nor knows, but what its fate may end
The moments of his dearest friend!

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Charles Churchill ward 1731 zu Vine-Street im Kirchspiel St. John's, Westminster geboren, wo sein Vater als Pfarrer lebte. Er erhielt eine wissenschaftliche Bildung auf der Westminsterschule, wo er glänzende Fähigkeiten entwickelte, trotz dem aber in Oxford wegen Mangels an genügender klassischer Bildung zurückgewiesen wurde. Nach Westminster zurückgekehrt, verheirathete er sich daselbst, siebenzehn Jahre alt. Als er sein drei und zwanzigstes Jahr erreicht

hatte, erhielt er eine kleine Pfarre in Somersetshire und nach dem Tode seines Vaters 1758, dessen Amt. Anfangs bekleidete er dasselbe zu allgemeiner Zufriedenheit, dann aber nahm sein Betragen die ganz entgegengesetzte Wendung und hatte seine Absetzung zur Folge. Churchill ging nun nach London, wo eine Reihe von Satyren, die er herausgab, ausserordentlichen Beifall fand, was ihn jedoch zugleich veranlasste, ein überaus dissolutes Leben zu führen. Ein hitziges Fieber rafite ihn 1764 zu Boulogne, wo er seinen verbannten Freund Wilkes, den bekannten republicanischen Patrioten besuchte, in seinem drei und dreissigsten Jahre hin. Er ward zu Dover begraben; Wilkes setzte ihm die Grabschrift: Life to the last enjoy’d here Churchill lies, der aber Churchill's eigene letzte Worte: What a fool I have been! gerade zu widersprechen.

Churchill's Gedichte erschienen gesammelt zuerst London 1763 in 8., dann öfterer u. A. mit Anmerkungen London 1804, 2 Bde in 8. Sie befinden sich auch im 107-109 Bde der Bell'schen und im 10. Bde der Anderson'schen Sammlung. Er besass Alles, was erforderlich ist, um wirklich ein grosser Satyriker zu werden, Reichthum und Kraft der Gedanken, sarkastischen Witz und seltene Herrschaft über Sprache und Form; aber ihm fehlte innere Wahrheit und Adel der Gesinnung; er griff statt der Sache Personen an und sein Leben widersprach vollständig der moralischen Würde und dem Eifer für Tugend, die er in seinen Versen zur Schau trug.

From an Epistle to William Hogarth. To qualify the block head for a knave,

With that smooth falsehood, whose appearance 'T is a rank falsehood; search the world around

charms, There cannot be so vile a monster found,

And reason of each wholesome doubt disarms, Not one so vile, on whom suspicions fall Which to the lowest depths of guile descends, Of that gross guilt which you impute to all.

By vilest means pursues the vilest ends, Approv'd by those who disobey her laws, Wears Friendship's mask for purposes of spite, Virtue from Vice itself extorts applause;

Fawns in the day, and butchers in the night; Her very foes bear witness to her state; With that malignant envy, which turns pale, They will not love her; but they cannot hate.

And sickens, even if a friend prevail, Hate Virtue for herself! with spite pursue Which merit and success pursues with hate, Merit for merit's sake! Might this be true And damns the worth it cannot imitate; I would renounce my nature with disdain,

With the cold caution of a coward's spleen, And with the beasts that perish graze the plain; Which fears not guilt, but always seeks'a skreen, Might this be true, had we so far fillid up

Which keeps this maxim ever in her view The measure of our crimes, and from the cup

What's basely done, should be done safely too; Of guilt so deeply drank, as not to find,

With that dull, rooted, callous impudence Thirsting for sin, one drop, one dreg, behind,

Which, dead to shame, and ev'ry nicer sense Quick ruin must involve this flaming ball, Ne'er blush'd, unless, in spreading Vice's snares, And Providence in justice crush us all.

She blunder'd on some virtue unawares; None but the damn'd, and amongst them the With all these blessings, which we seldom find

worst,

Lavish'd by Nature on one happy mind, Those who for double guilt are doubly curst,

A motley figure, of the Fribble tribe, Can be so lost; nor can the worst of all Which heart can scarce conceive, or pen describe, At once into such deep damnation fall;

Came simp’ring on; to ascertain whose sex By painful slow degrees they reach this crime,

Twelve sage, impanell’d matrons would perplex.
Which e'en in hell must be a work of time. Nor male, nor female; neither, and yet both;
Cease, then, thy guilty rage, thou wayward son! Of neuter gender, though of Irish growth;
With the foul gall of discontent o'errun. A six-foot suckling, mincing in its gait;

Affected, peevish, prim and delicate;
Fearful it seem'd, though of athletic make,
Lest brutal breezes should too roughly shake

Its tender form, and savage motion spread, Select Passages from the Rosciad. O'er its pale cheeks, the horrid manly red.

Much did it talk, in its own pretty phrase, With that low cunning, which in fools supplies, Of genius and of taste, of play’rs and plays; And amply, too, the place of being wise, Much too of writings, which itself had wrote, Which Nature, kind indulgent parent, gave Of special merit, though of little note;

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