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James Beattie, der Sohn eines Pächters zu Lawrence-Kirk, Kincardineshire in Schottland, ward daselbst 1735 geboren und erhielt seine Bildung im Marishal-College zu Aberdeen. Er wurde darauf Gemeindeschullehrer in der Nähe seines Geburtsortes, dann Unterlehrer zu Aberdeen, und da er sich hier in vielfacher Hinsicht auszeichnete, Professor der Moralphilosophie an dem obengenannten Collegium; ein Amt, das er vierzig Jahre lang ruhmvoll bekleidete, obwohl ihn häusliche Leiden schwer niederdrückten. Er starb 1803.

Beattie ward als Philosoph (er war einer der bedeutendsten Gegner Hume's) wie als Dichter gleich sehr gefeiert. Namentlich erwarb ihm sein grösseres, in Spenser'scher Weise geschriebenes Gedicht: The Minstrel or the Progress of Genius, wohlverdienten Ruf. Es ist trefflich erfunden, meisterhaft in der Form und reich an schönen Bildern, grossartigen Gedanken und edeln Gefühlen. Auch seine Elegieen und ein allegorisches Gedicht: The Judgment of Paris enthalten viel Gelungenes und Gutes.

Select Passages

from Beattie's Minstrel.
When the long-sounding curfew from afar
Loaded with loud lament the lonely gale,
Young Edwin, lighted by the evening star,
Lingering and listening, wander'd down the vale.
There would he dream of graves and corses pale;
And ghosts that to the charnel-dungeon throng,
And drag a length of clanking chain, and wail,
Till silenced by the owl's terrific song,
Or blast that shrieks by fits the shuddering
aisles along.

With merriment, and song, and timbrels clear,
A troop of dames from myrtle bowers advance
The little warriors doff the targe and spear,
And loud enlivening strains provoke the dance.
They meet, they dart away, they wheel askance;
To right, to left, they thrid the flying maze;
Now bound aloft with vigorous spring, then

Rapid along: with many-colour'd rays
Of tapers, gems,


and gold, the echoing forests blaze.

Or, when the setting moon, in crimson dyed,
Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep,
To haunted stream, remote from man, he hied,
Where fays of yore their revels wont to keep;
And there let Fancy rove at large, till sleep
A vision brought to his entranced sight.
And first, a wildly murmuring wind 'gan creep
Shrill to his ringing ear; then tapers bright,
With instantaneous gleam, illum'd the vault of The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love,

But who the melodies of morn can tell?
The wild brook babbling down the mountain's


Anon in view a portal's blazon'd arch

Arose; the trumpet bids the valves unfold;

And forth an host of little warriors march,

The lowing herd; the sheepfold's simple bell;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the lone valley; echoing far and wide
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide;

And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.

The cottage-curs at early pilgrim bark;
Crown'd with her pail the tripping milkmaid

Grasping the diamond lance, and targe of gold. The whistling ploughman stalks a field; and,

Their look was gentle, their demeanor bold,


And green their helms, and green their silk Down the rough slope the ponderous waggon

attire ;

And here and there, right venerably old,
The long-rob'd minstrels wake the warbling



Through rustling corn the hare astonish'd springs;
Slow tolls the village-clock the drowsy hour;
The partridge bursts away on whirring wings;

And some with mellow breath the martial pipe Deep mourns the turtle in sequester'd bower,


And shrill lark carols clear from her aerial tour.

O Nature, how in every charm supreme!
Whose votaries feast on raptures ever new!
O for the voice and fire of seraphim,
To sing thy glories with devotion due!
Blest be the day I 'scaped the wrangling crew,
From Pyrrho's maze, and Epicurus' sty;
And held high converse with the godlike few,
Who to th' enraptur'd heart, and ear,
and eye,
Teach beauty, virtue, truth, and love, and me-

Hence! ye, who snare and stupefy the mind,
Sophists, of beauty, virtue, joy, the bane!
Greedy and fell, though impotent and blind,
Who spread your filthy nets in Truth's fair fane,
And ever ply your venom'd fangs amain!
Hence to dark Error's den, whose rankling slime
First gave you form! Hence! lest the Muse

should deign,

But when to horror his amazement rose,
A gentler strain the beldame would rehearse,
A tale of rural life, a tale of woes,
The orphan-babes, and guardian uncle fierce.
O cruel! will no pang of pity pierce

That heart, by lust of lucre sear'd to stone?
For sure, if aught of virtue last, or verse,
To latest times shall tender souls bemoan
Those hopeless orphan babes by thy fell arts

Responsive to the sprightly pipe, when all
In sprightly dance the village youth were join'd,
Edwin, of melody aye held in thrall,
From the rude gambol far remote reclin'd,
Sooth'd with the soft notes warbling in the wind.

(Though loth on theme so mean to waste a Ah then, all jollity seem'd noise and folly,


With vengeance to pursue your sacrilegious


But hail, ye mighty masters of the lay,
Nature's true sons, the friends of man and truth!
Whose song, sublimely sweet, serenely gay,
Amus'd my childhood, and inform'd my youth.
O let your spirit still my bosom soothe,
Inspire my dreams, and my wild wanderings

Your voice each rugged path of life can smooth,
For well I know wherever ye reside,
There harmony, and innocence abide.

Ah me! neglected on the lonesome plain,
As yet poor Edwin never knew your lore,
Save when against the winter's drenching rain,
And driving snow, the cottage shut the door,
Then, as instructed by tradition hoar,
Her legends when the beldame 'gan impart,
Or chant the old heroic ditty o'er,
Wonder and joy ran thrilling to his heart;
Much he the tale admir'd, but more the tune-
ful art.

Various and strange was the long-winded tale;
And halls, and knights, and feats of arms, dis-


To the pure soul by Fancy's fire refin'd,
Ah, what is mirth but turbulence unholy,
When with the charm compar'd of heavenly me-

Is there a heart that music cannot melt?
Alas! how is that rugged heart forlorn;
Is there, who ne'er those mystic transports felt
He needs not woo the Muse; he is her scorn.
Of solitude and melancholy born?
The sophist's rope of cobweb he shall twine;
Mope o'er the schoolman's peevish page; or


And delve for life in Mammon's dirty mine; Sneak with the scoundrel fox, or grunt with glutton swine.

For Edwin Fate a nobler doom had plann'd;
Song was his favourite and first pursuit.
The wild harp rang to his advent'rous hand,
And languish'd to his breath the plaintive flute.
His infant Muse, though artless, was not mute:
Of elegance as yet he took no care;
For this of time and culture is the fruit;
And Edwin gain'd at last this fruit so rare:
As in some future verse I purpose to declare.

Meanwhile, whate'er of beautiful, or new, Or merry swains, who quaff the nut-brown ale, Sublime, or dreadful, in earth, sea, or sky,

And sing enamour'd of the fairy glade;
Or hags, that suckle an infernal brood,
And ply in caves th' unutterable trade,

By chance, or search, was offer'd to his view,
He scann'd with curious and romantic eye.
Whate'er of lore tradition could supply

'Midst fiends and spectres, quench the moon in From gothic tale, or song, or fable old,


Roused him, still keen to listen and to pry.

And solitude, her soul his graces 'gan unfold.

Yell in the midnight storm, or ride th' infuriate At last, though long by penury controll'd, flood.

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John Langhorne ward 1735 zu Kirkby-Stephen in Westmoreland geboren, studirte in Cambridge und lebte dann eine Zeit lang als Hauslehrer in Lincolnshire. Später erhielt er eine Landpfarre und wurde 1764 Prediger in London. Er starb 1779 zu Blagdon.

Langhorne hat viele Schriften hinterlassen: Romane, Predigten, eine Uebersetzung des Plutarch, Gedichte u. A. m., und sich dadurch zu seiner Zeit einen sehr geachteten Namen erworben. Seine poetischen Werke erschienen zuerst London 1766, zwei Bde in 8.; sie enthalten ein didactisches Gedicht On the Enlargement of Mind, Oden, Elegieen, Lieder, Sonnette, ein descriptives Poem, The Country-Justice, eine poetische Erzählung Owen of Carron u. A. m. Sie sind reich an guten Gedanken und edeln Gesinnungen, aber zu sehr mit poetischem Schmuck überladen und ohne eigentliche Begeisterung, so dass ihr Eindruck auf den Leser kein begeisternder und anhaltender ist.

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Yet, while thy studious eyes explore,
And range these various volumes o'er,
Trust blindly to no fav'rite pen,
Remembering authors are but men.
Has fair Philosophy thy love?
Away! she lives in yonder grove.
If the sweet Muse thy pleasure gives,
With her, in yonder grove she lives:
And if Religion claims thy care,
Religion, fled from books, is there.
For first from nature's works we drew
Our knowledge, and our virtue too.

To a Red-Breast.

Little bird, with bosom red,
Welcome to my humble shed!
Courtly domes of high degree
Have no room for thee and me;
Pride and pleasure's fickle throng
Nothing mind an idle song.

Daily near my table steal,
While I pick my scanty meal.
Doubt not, little though there be,
But I'll cast a crumb to thee;
Well rewarded, if I spy
Pleasure in thy glancing eye:
See thee, when thou'st eat thy fill,
Plume thy breast, and wipe thy bill.

Come, my feather'd friend, again, Well thou know'st the broken pane. Ask of me thy daily store: Go not near Avaro's door; Once within his iron hall,

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William Hayley ward 1745 zu Chichester in Sussex geboren, studirte in Cambridge und lebte dann als Privatmann von den Einkünften seines Vermögens. Er starb 1820 zu Pelpham in Sussex. Seine Poesieen erschienen gesammelt unter dem Titel Poems and Plays London 1785, 6 Bde in 8vo, denen er später noch Einiges folgen liess; sie enthalten mehrere Trauerspiele und eine Reihe poetischer Abhandlungen (Essays) über Malerei, Geschichte, epische Poesie u. A. m. und einige vermischte Gedichte. Ihr Verfasser wurde seiner Zeit ausserordentlich gefeiert als einer der Ersten, überlebte aber seinen Ruhm und Lord Byron fertigte ihn später mit den Worten ab: (S. English Bards and Scotch Reviewers):

In many marble-cover'd volumes view

Hayley, in vain attempting something new.
Whether he spin his comedies in rhyme,

Or scrawl, as Wood and Barclay walk, 'gainst time,
His style in youth or age is still the same

For ever feeble and for ever tame etc.

Streng genommen hat er nicht Unrecht, denn Hayley's Poesie ist, mit wenigen Ausnahmen baare Prosa, aber in eleganter Einkleidung und reich an Bildern. Wir beschränken uns daher auch, auf folgenden Auszug aus seinem Versuche über das Epos.

From an Essay on Epic Poetry. For me, who feel, whene'er I touch the lyre, My talents sink below my proud desire; Who often doubt, and sometimes credit give, When friends assure me that my verse will live; Whom health too tender for the bustling throng Led into pensive shade and soothing song; Whatever fortune my unpolish'd rhymes May meet, in present or in future times Let the blest art my grateful thoughts employ, Which soothes my sorrow and augments my joy; Whence lonely peace and social pleasure springs, And friendship dearer than the smile of kings! While keener poets, querulously proud, Lament the ills of poesy aloud, And magnify, with irritation's zeal, Those common evils we too strongly feel, The envious comment and the subtle style Of specious slander, stabbing with a smile; Frankly I wish to make her blessings known, Nor would my honest pride that praise forego, Which makes malignity yet more my foe.

If heartfelt pain e'er led me to accuse The dangerous gift of the alluring Muse, 'Twas in the moment when my verse imprest Some anxious feelings on a mother's breast. O thou fond Spirit, who with pride hast smil'd, And frown'd with fear on thy poetic child, Pleas'd, yet alarm'd, when in his boyish time He sigh'd in numbers, or he laugh'd in rhyme; While thy kind cautions warn'd him to beware

|Of penury, the bard's perpetual snare;
Marking the early temper of his soul

Careless of wealth, nor fit for base control:
Thou tender saint, to whom he owes much more
Than ever child to parent ow'd before,
In life's first season, when the fever's flame
Shrunk to deformity his shrivell'd frame,
And turn'd each fairer image in his brain
To blank confusion and her crazy train,
'T was thine, with constant love, through ling'ring

To bathe thy idiot orphan in thy tears;
Day after day, and night succeeding night,
To turn incessant to the hideous sight,
And frequent watch, if haply at thy view
Departed reason might not dawn anew.
Though medicinal art, with pitying care
Could lend no aid to save thee from despair
Thy fond maternal heart adher'd to hope and


Nor pray'd in vain; thy child from powers above
Receiv'd the sense to feel and bless thy love;
O might he thence receive the happy skill,
And force proportion'd to his ardent will,
With Truth's unfading radiance to emblaze
Thy virtues, worthy of immortal praise!

Nature, who deck'd thy form with Beauty's
Exhausted on thy soul her finer powers;
Taught it with all her energy to feel
Love's melting softness, Friendship's fervid zeal,

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