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And every opening primrose count,
That trimly paints my blooming mount;
And o'er the sculptures quaint and rude,
That grace my gloomy solitude,
I teach in winding wreaths to stray
Fantastic ivy's gadding spray.

At eve, within yon studious nook
I ope my brass-embossed book,
Pourtray'd with many a holy deed
Of martyrs, crown'd with heavenly meed:
Then, as my taper waxes dim,
Chaunt, ere I sleep, my measur'd hymn,
And at the close the gleams behold
Of parting wings bedropt with gold.

While such pure joys my bliss create,
Who but would smile at guilty state ?
Who but would wish his holy lot
In calm Oblivion's humble grot?
Who but would cast his pomp away
To take my staff and amice gray?
And to the world's tumultuous stage
Prefer the blameless hermitagei"

But Warion could write in the familiar style, as well as in that, which Mr. Southey, I think, calls “the Ornate.” The “ Progress of Discontent,” is an exquisite poem; and very truly pronounced by his brother, Dr. Joseph Warton, to be the best imitation of Swift that has appeared. It ends with a touching moral, very happily expressed :

“ Oh! trifling head, and fickle heart!
Chagrin'd at whatsoe'er thou art;

A dupe

A dupe to follies yet untry'd,
And sick of pleasures scarce enjoy'd!
Each prize possess'd, thy transport ceases,
And in pursuit alone it pleases." *

“ The Pleasures of Melancholy," written as it was in 1745, in his seventeenth year, is a very extraordinary performance; and exhibits a command of language, and copiousness of phraseology, which prove both wonderful attainments, and great power of mind. It was at this time that the school of Pope + was giving way: addresses to the head rather than to the heart, or the fancy; moral axioms, and witty observations, expressed in harmonious numbers, and with epigrammatic terseness; the limæ labor, all the artifices of a highly polished style, and the graces of finished composition, which had long usurped the place of the more sterling beauties of imagination and sentiment, began first to be lessened in the public estimation by the appearance of “ Thomson's Seasons," a work which constituted a new era in our poetry. Then arose a constellation of youths of genius, of a more wild and picturesque schoolGray, and Collins, and Joseph Warton, and Akenside. In this school grew up Thomas Warton. He says himself in this very poem,

" Thro' Pope's soft song tho' all the Graces breathe,
And happiest art adorn his Attic page;

* This poem was expanded out of a Latin epigram of ten lines, which he wrote as a college exercise, and which ends with the following;

“O pectus mire varium et mutabile ! cui sors
Quæque petita placct, nulla potita placet."
+ Pope died in 1744.


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Yet does my mind with sweeter transport glow,
As at the root of mossy trunk reclind,
In magic Spenser's wildly-warbled song
I see deserted Una er wide
Thro' wasteful solitudes, and lurid heaths,
Weary, forlorn; than when the fated fair
Upon the bosom bright of silver Thames
Launches in all the lustre of brocade,
Amid the splendours of the laughing sun.
The gay description palls upon the sense,
And coldly strikes the mind with feeble bliss."

Joseph Warton, in the Advertisement to his own Odes, 1746, says, “The public has been so much accustomed of late to didactic poetry alone, and essays on moral subjects, that any work, where the imagination is much indulged, will perhaps not be relished, or regarded. The author therefore of these pieces is in some pain, lest certain austere critics should think them too fanciful and descriptive. But as he is convinced that the fashion of moralizing in verse has been carried too far, and as he looks upon imagination and invention to be the chief faculties of a poet, so he will be happy, if the following Odes may be looked upon, as an attempt to bring back poetry into its right channel.” *

It may be curious to compare the coincidence of opinion on this subject between Thomas Warton, and a celebrated predecessor, and celebrated successor.

In the preface of Edw. Phillips's “ Theatrum Poetarum,” supposed to be written by Milton, is the following passage:

6. Wit, ingenuity, and learning in verse, even cle

* Collins's Odes were published the same year.


gancy itself, though that comes nearest, are one thing! true native poetry is another; in which there is a certain spirit and air, which perhaps the most learned and judicious in other arts do not perfectly comprehend."

In the preface to Milton's Juvenile Poems, 1785, T. Warton says, “Wit and rhyme, sentiment and satire, polished numbers, sparkling couplets, and pointed periods, having kept undisturbed possession of our poetry, till late in the eighteenth century, would not easily give way to fiction and fancy, to picturesque description, and romantic imagery."

Mr. Southey, in the preface to his Specimens of Later English Poets, just published, says, speaking of the time of Dryden, “The writers of this and the succeeding generation, understood their own character better than it has been understood by their successors; they called themselves wits instead of poets, and wits they were; the difference is not in degree, but in kind. They succeeded in what they aimed at; in satire and in panegyric, in ridiculing an enemy, and in flattering a friend; in turning a song, and in complimenting a lady; in pointing an epigram, and in telling a lewd tale: in these branches of literary art, the Birmingham trade of verse, hey have rarely been surpassed. Give them what praise you will, as versifiers, as wits, as reasoners, I wish not to detract a point from it; but versification, and wit, and reason, do not constitute poetry. The time, which is elapsed from the days of Dryden to those of Pope, is the dark age of English poetry.” It now became the fashion to furnish food for the


fancy, and pile images upon images, without perhaps, at all times, sufficiently attending to the construction of the language, or the harmony of the rhythm. An instance of this occurs in the very opening of Warton's poem on " Melancholy," already cited: for the sentences are involved, and the meaning at first obscured by this defect, though the images are striking and highly picturesque. The following descriptive passage, commencing at the 42d verse, deserves high praise :

" When the world
Is clad in Midnight's raven-colour'd robe,
'Mid hollow charnel let me watch the flame
Of taper dim, shedding a livid glare
O'er the wan heaps ; while airy voices talk
Along the glimmering walls; or ghostly shape
At distance seen invites, with beckoning hand,
My lonesome steps thro' the far-winding vaults.
Nor undelightful is the solemn noon
Of night, when haply wakeful from my couch
I start: lol all is motionless around !
Roars not the rushing wind; the sons of inen,
And every beast, in mute oblivion lie;
All nature's hush'd in silence and in sleep.
O then how fearful is it to reflect,
That thro' the still globe's awful solitude
No being wakes but me! till stealing sleep
My drooping temples bathes in opiate dews.
Nor then let dreams, of wanton folly boro,
My senses lead thro' flowery paths of joy;
But let the sacred genius of the night
Such mystic visions send, as Spenser saw,
When thro' bewildring Fancy's magic maze,
To the fell house of Busy rane, he led


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