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Ah! 'tis not, believe me, when brilliant- | With its endearing circle of family
'Tis gracefully deck'd with compas- And with the self-same thoughts
And imagination hails it as thy blest Weighed against the City's ceaseless
Might I condition with the bonds of And vast assemblage of unpleasing
Where to rest, when this life's pil- And oh! how softening to the soul
Of yonder spreading yew! there, un- The beauties of this silent scene;
Blest abode of purity and peace!
Save by the chirping of the feather'd May all who slumber 'neath thy gras
Should no rude storms in life your likewise been proposed by me to
And if you should have injured any "If you and I quarrel, my first we
Live, and make some atonement if
And should another strive you to
Still live, the crime will tell him he's
If time by you has uselessly been spent, Still live, and shew the world that you
My second is found in a shell; My whole in a Ball-room we frequent
The pride of the Beau and the Belle."
In return for a brace of Snipes.
If you have real friends do not neglect My thanks I'll no longer delay,
For birds which you've shot with
For though there was nothing to pay : Yet each of them brought in a Bill.
I mean not, my friend, to complain,
I'll always accept them at sight.
If a pair of spectacles could speak, what Latin author would they name?
TO CORRESPONDENTS. Numerous Communications have been
received since our last, which will meet with early attention.
"No part of History is more instructive and delightful than the Lives of great and worthy Men."
LIFE OF JAMES THOMSON. He wants no advocate his cause to plead ;
You will yourselves be patrons of the
No party his benevolence confin'd,
who was minister of that place was but little known beyond the narrow limits of his co-presbyters, and to a few gentlemen in the neighbourhood.
The rising genius of our young poet was noticed by many; and amongst them Sir William Bennet, well known for his gay humour and ready poetical wit; he used to invite young Thomson to pass the summer vacations at his country seat.
After the usual course of school education, under an able master at
Oft has he touch'd your hearts with Jedburgh, Mr. Thomson was sent
tender woe; For his chaste Muse employ'd her Heav'n-taught lyre
None but the noblest passions to
to the University of Edinburgh. In his first pieces, "The Seasons," we see hin at once assume the majestic freedom of an Eastern writer,
Not one immoral, one corrupted seizing the grand images as they.
thought,... One line which, dying, he could wish to blot."
It is commonly said, that the life of a good writer is best read in his works; which can scarce fail to receive a tincture from his temper, manners, and habits. But
rise, cloathing them in his own expressive language, and preserv ing, throughout, the grace, the variety, and dignity, which belong to a just composition, unhurt by the stiffness of formal method; for what can be more easy and at the same time more sublime than his
opening invocation to spring : Come, gentle Spring! ethereal mild
however just this observation may be, and although we might safely rest Mr. Thomson's fame, as a good man, as well as a man of geni. And from the bosom of yon dropping us, on this sole footing; yet the
desire which the present enlight- While music wakes around, veil'd in ened public always shews of being
more particularly acquainted with Of shadowing roses, on our plains the history of an eminent author,
ought not to be disappointed.
Our author's reception, wher
Mr. Thomson was born at Ed-ever he was introduced, emboldennám, in the shire of Roxburgh, ed him to risk the publication of 11th of Sept. 1700. His father, his poem of "Winter," which was
published in March, 1726; it was Thy beauty walks, Thy tenderness and no sooner read than universally
admired, those only excepted who Then comes Thy glory in the Summer
had not been used to feel or to look for any thing in poetry beyond a point of satirical or epigrammatic wit, a smart antithesis richly trimmed with rhyme, or the softness of an elegiac complaint.— His digressions, too, the overflowings of a tender and benevolent heart, charmed the reader no less, leaving him in doubt whether he
should most admire the Poet or love the man.
But let not on thy hook the tortur'd worm
The publication of his "Winter" produced him many friends, and in return for the public favour, our Poet's chief care had been to fi-Gives, as you tear it from the bleed
Of the weak, hapless, uncomplaining
Harsh pain and horror to the tender hand.
The fate of the industrious bee is no less beautifully pictured:
Ah! see where robb'd, and murder'd in that pit
nish the plan which their wishes laid out for him; and the expectations which his "Winter" had raised were fully satisfied by the successive publication of the other "Seasons" which are crowned with that sublime Hymn in which we view the seasons in their natural order; and, in imitation Lies the still heaving hive! at evening of the Hebrew bard, all nature is called forth to do homage to the Creator, and the reader is left enraptured in silent adoration and praise. How beautifully does the following part of it shew that our Poet
"Look'd thro' Nature up to Nature's God."
Beneath the cloud of guilt-concealing night,
fix'd o'er sulphur: while, not dreaming ill, The happy people in their waxen cells, Sat tending public cares, and planning
Of temperance, for Winter poor; re. joiced
These as they change, Almighty Fa-To mark, full flowing round, their copi
Are but the varied God. The rolling Sudden the dark oppressive stream as
Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing And, used to milder scents, the tender
By thousands, tumble from the honied are those of Sophonisba, Tancred
domes, Convolved and agonizing in the dust.
and Sigismundar, The Mask of Alfred Agamemnon.
We cannot help noticing here In 1727, the resentment of our some beautiful pictures of Mr. merchants for the interruption of Kirk, painted from descriptions by their trade by the Spaniards in Thomson, especially a Winter America, running very high, Mr. scene and one in Autumn, viz. Thomson zealously took part in Palemon and Lavinia, both which it, and wrote his poem "Britanwe could recommend to the no-nia" to rouse the nation to revenge. tice of our readers as being a- Whilst our Poet was writing the mongst the many of his beautiful first part of "Liberty," he received descriptions. Winter," line 276 a severe shock by the death of a "Autumn" 177. noble friend and fellow traveller, which was soon followed by another as severe, the death of Lord Talbot; which Mr. Thomson so pathetically and so justly laments in dedicated to his memory. the poem "The Castle of Indolence" was his last piece; his tragedy of Corio
We cannot well pass over the description of Britain in his "Summer," line 1445.
Rich is thy soil, and merciful thy clime;
Thy streams unfailing in the summer's
Unmatch'd thy guardian oaks; thy lanus being only prepared for the
With golden waves; and on thy moun
theatre, when a fatal accident robbed the world of one of the best
Bleat numberless; while, roving round men and best poets that ever lived
Bellow the black'ning herds in lusty
He took a boat when overheated, by which he contracted a vio
Beneath, thy meadows glow, and rise lent cold, which the means of the
Against the mower's scythe. On every hand
Thy villas shine.
Full are thy cities with the sons of art;
most skilful physicians could not frustrate, and his valuable career was ended on the 27th of August, 1748.
"His descriptions," says Dr. Johnson, "of extended scenes and But besides his "Seasons," his general effects, bring before us the Poems and Plays are not less con- whole magnificence of nature, spicuous; his poem to the memory whether pleasing or dreadful. The of Sir I. Newton contains a deserv-gaiety of Spring, the splendor of ed encomium of that incomparable Summer, the tranquillity of Auman, with an account of his chief tumn, and the horror of Winter, discoveries. Amongst his plays take in their turns possession of