Low at thy feet to breathe my last,

And die in sight of heaven. The calling his mistress headen I consider as profane.

In “ Go, tell Amynta”, (p. 74.) we have “the Gods ordain'd"!

In “ Yes, fairest proof of beauty's power,” (p. 75.) the lady is called “ dear idol”, and the lover says,

That nothing may disturb thy life,

Content I hasten to the dead.

In the song which begins with “ On every hill, in every grove,” (p. 76.) the lady, who cannot find Damon, says “ All nature does my loss deplore.”

The Lover, in “ Why, Delia, ever while I gaze”, (p. 78.) says,

When drooping on the bed of pain,
I look'd on ev'ry hope as vain;
When pitying friends stood weeping by,
And death's pale shade seem'd hovering nigh,
No terror could my flame remove,
Or steal a thought from her I love.

This does not appear to me to be a proper picture of a death-bed, where the dying man has certainly a more natural and serious occupation for the chief of his thoughts, though the love of one whom he had hoped to make the

chaste partner of his life may be allowed a share in them.

In " While from my looks, fair nymph, you guess”, (p. 79.) the nymph is styled a prophetess.

We have next (p. 80.) the celebrated Song by Lord Lyttelton, “ The heavy hours are almost past That part my love and me". The first four verses of this are certainly very beautiful. In the sixth Venus is introduced as an agent in controuling human affairs, and a prayer is made to her :

All I of Venus ask is this,

No more to let us join :
But grant me here the flatt'ring bliss,

To die and think you mine. The pious author of the “ Observations on the Conversion and Apostleship of St. Paul” appears somewhat inconsistent with himself, when he places a heathen deity in this conspicuous light, and makes the subject of his Song supplicate her as if she had “ the power that belongeth unto God". (Psalm lxii. 11.) The next Song (p. 81.) is by Prior,

If wine and music have the power

To ease the sickness of the soul,
Let Phoebus every string explore,

And Bacchus fill the sprightly bowl.
That music was given us to cheer and delight,

as well as to assist us in praising our Great Creator, is very true: but we are not indebted to Phæbus for it. And that wine was given to

make glad the heart of man", (Psalm civ. 15.) I am also ready to acknowledge; but, neither, are we indebted to Bacchus for that. The Poet concludes with a prayer to Venus :

Kind goddess, to no other powers

Let us to-morrow's blessings own;
The darling Loves shall guide the hours,

And all the day be thine alone. Surely, Sir, he who considers the One true God, as “the giver of all good” and prays to him for his “ daily bread”, that is, as we explain it in the Church Catechism, “ all things that be needful both for our souls and bodies”, could never write or consider this with complacency. And, though the writing, the publishing, and the praising of such compositions, cannot literally constitute a “priest of Bacchus" (see Essay. p. xxx and xlviii. and p. 189. of this Volume.) or of Venus, yet they form (in effect) a pretty strong resemblance to the administering at the altars of those imaginary and disgraceful divinities.

In, “ When Delia on the plain appears”, by Lord Lyttelton, (p. 84.) he says, v. 3.

If she some other swain commend,
Tho' I was once his fondest friend,
His instant enemy I prove-

The holding some other swain as his enemy, because she commends him, I conceive to be un-christian. The same objection I should make to the expression, “ I hate the maid that gives me pain”, in the song beginning, “ Ah! why must words my flame reveal ?” (p. 85.) The description in this song is beautiful, but I see no useful lesson to be learnt from it.

I feel reluctance at being obliged to find any fault with the next, (p. 87.) “Come here, fond youth, whoe'er thou be”! But there appears to me to be a strain of extravagance run through it quite inconsistent with the passages I have quoted in a former part of this letter, and especially that from Mrs. Barbauld's Thoughts on the Devotional Taste, p. 230. The poet says that to love is “To live upon a smile for years, To lie whole ages at a beauty's feet",

-" to kneel,” to adore to hope “ Tho' heaven and earth thy passion crost”. In verse 5 groundless jealousy is made necessary to prove love.

In the last verse of 5 You tell me that you truly love,” (p. 89.) the poet says,

And tell me, at her loss or hate,

Would death your ooly refuge prove ?
Ah! if in anght you hesitate,

Coward ! you dare not say you love.

This is making too light of death, and too much of love; or, if the words point to a death pur


posely inflicted by suicide, they are highly reprehensible.

In « Hard is the fate of him who loves", (p. 90.) by Thomson, there is an address to the “ gentle spirits of the vale” to “ waft a gale”, and to " tell her”; the soul of the beloved object is called spotless ; and the lover says of his love to his mistress, that “ Not her own guardian angel eyes”—“ his care"_" with chaster tenderness": this is surely saying too much.

The Song beginning “ The tears I shed must ever fall”, (p. 92.) I inserted in the second volume of my Collection : but it is, perhaps, the picture of a mind giving way too much to despair.

The Song beginning “ If ever thou didst joy to bind”, (p. 94.) is a prayer to Cupid, the Son of Venus. There is mention made, likewise, of “ the leaves of Fate", and the lover says " I'll absolve the fates". But his last request to Cupid is rather singular, he prays that if his " aid be vain", he will “ grant” that he may “ love on, when every gleam of hope is gone”, and that he will never grant a cure.” There is a passage, Sir,. in your Letters on Poetry (L. vi. p. 67.) to the sentiments of which I so fully agree, and which appears to me to cast so just a censure on Songs like the present, and


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