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Loud fhe laments !-and long the Nymph shall ftray
With wild unequal step round Cook's Morai!'
The Poetess then adverts, with exquisite sensibility and art, to
a connexion of a dearer and more interesting kind.
• But ah!--aloft on Albion's rocky steep,
That frowns incumbent o'er the boiling deep,
Solicitous, and sad, a softer form
Eyes the lone flood, and deprecates the storm.-
Ill. fated matron !-for, alas! in vain
Thy eager glances wander o'er the main !-
'Tis the vex'd billows, that insurgent rave,
Their white foam filvers yonder diilant wave,
'Tis not his fails !-ihy husband comes no more !
His bones now whiten an accurfed shore!
Retire,- for hark! the sea-gull thrieking soars,
The lurid atmosphere portentous low'rs;
Night's fullen spirit groans in ev'ry gale,
And o'er the waters draws the darkling veil,
Sighs in thy hair, and chills thy throbbing breast-
Go, wretched mourner !-weep thy griefs to rest!
Yet, tho' through life is lost each fond delight,
Tho' set thy earthly fun in dreary night,
Oh! raise thy thoughts to yonder starry plain,
And own thy forrow selfish, weak, and vain ;
Since, while Britannia, to his virtues just,
Twines the bright wreath, and rears th’immortal buft ;
While on each wind of heav'n his fame shall rise,
In endless incense to the smiling skies;
THE ATTENDANT Power, that bade his fails expand,
And waft her bleflings to each barren land,
Now raptur'd bears him to th’immortal plains,
Where Mercy hails him with congenial trains;
Where foars, on Joy's white plume, bis spirit freo,
And angels choir him, while he waits for Thee.'
To this poem is subjoined an Ode to the Sun; a prize poem
at Batheaston, which displays an imagination well stored with
ART. X. An Epistle to a friend, on the Death of John Thornton,
Esq. By the Author of “ An Epiltle to an eminent Painter."
I s. Dodney. 1780.
OWEVER homely may be the verse that Jaments over
the grave of departed friend hip, it not only disarms the
severity of criticism, but, if dictated by the genuine and un-
affected feelings of the heart, it will be read with attention in
fome degree equal to the fincerity with which it is supposed to
have been written. How exquisite, then, must be the pleasure
that is afforded by a poem like the present ! a poem as elegant
as the principle which it proceeds from is amiable! How beau-
tiful is the following apostrophe !
• Pure mind! whose meekness, in thy mortal days,
Pursuing virtue, fill retir'd from praise;
Nor wilh'd that friendship should on marble give
That perfect image of thy worth to live,
Which 'twas thy aim alone to leave impreft
On the close tablet of her faithful breast.
If now her verse against thy with rebel,
And strive to blazon what the lov'd so well,
Forgive the tender thought, the moral song,
Which would thy virtues to the world prolong;
That, rescued from the grave's oblivious fhade,
Their useful luftre may be fill survey'd,
Dear to the pepfive eye of fond regret,
As light till beaming from a fun that's set.
Oft to our giddy Muse thy voice bas taught
The juft ambition of poetic thought;
Bid her böld view to latest time extend,
And strive to make futurity her friend.
If any verse, her little art can frame,
May win the partial voice of diftant fame,
Be it the verse, whose fond ambition tries
To paint thy mind in truth's opfading dyes,
Tho'krm, yet tender, ardent, yet refin'd;
With Roman ftrength and Attic grace combin'd.
What tho' undeck'd with titles, power, and wealth,
Great were thy generous deeds, and done by stealth ;
For thy pure bounty from observance ftole,
Nor wish'd applause, but from thy conscious soul.
Tho' thy plain tomb no sculptur'd form may shew,
No boatful witness of suspected woe;
Yet heavenly shapes, that fhua the glare of day,
To that dear spot fall nightly visits pay:
Pale Science there shall o'er her votary Arew
Her flow'rs, yet moift with sorrow's recent dew,
There Charity, compassion's lovely child,
In ruftic notes pathetically wild,
With grateful bleflings bid thy name endure,
And mourn the patron of her village-poor.
E'en from the midnight thew with muc gay,
The foul of Beauty to thy comb shall Atray,
In sweet distraction fteal from present mirth,
To figh unnotic'd o'er the hallow'd earth,
Which hides those lips, that glow'd with tender fire,
And sung her praises co no common lyre :
But Friendship, wrapt in forrow's deepeft gloom,
Shall keep the longeit vigils at thy tomb;
Her wounded brealt, disdainful of relief,
There claims a fond præ-eminence in grief.
Short was thy life, but ah! its thread how fine !
pure the texture of the finish'd line! What tho' thy opening manhood could not gain Those late rewards, maturer toils attain ;
Hope's firmelt promises 'twas thine to raise,
I hat merit's brightest meed would grace thy lengthen'd days;
For thioe were Judgment's patient powers to draw
Entangled justice from the nets of law;
firm Integrity, whose language clear
Ne'er swell’d with arrogance, or hook with fear.
Reason's mild power, unvex'd by mental Itrise,
Sway'd the calm current of thy useful life ;
Whole even courle was in no season loft,
Nor rough with forms, nor ftagnated by froft.
In scenes of public coil, or social ease,
'Twas thine by firm fincerity to please ;
Sweet as the breath of spring thy converse flow'd,
As summer's noon-tide warmth thy friend ihip glow d.
O’er thy mild manners, by no art constrain’d,
A pentive, pleasing melancholy reign'd,
Which won regard, and charm'd th' attentive eye,
Like the soft lufre of an evening sky:
Yet if perchance excited to defend
The injur'd merit of an absent friend,
That geotle spirit, rous'd to virtuous ire,
Indignant fiath'd resentment's noble fire.
Tho'juft obfervance in thy life may trace
A lovely model of each moral grace,
Thy lat of days the noblest leffon taught :
Severe instruction and too dearly bought!
Whose force from memory never can depart,
But while it mends, muit agonise the heart.
Tho'thy thrunk nerves were destin'd 10 fustain
Th' increasing horrors of flow-walling pain;
Those spirit-quenching pangs, whose base controul
Cloud the clear temper, and exhaust the soul;
Yet in that hour, when Death asserts his claim,
And his itrong lummons thakes the conscious frame ;
When weaker minds, by frantic fear o'erthrown,
Shrink in wild horror from the dread Unknown,
Thy former fou!, with Chrillian ftrength renew'd,
Nor loft in languor, nor by pain fubdued,
(While thy cold grasp the hand of Friendhip pref,
And her vain aid in fault'ring accents bleit)
With awe, but not as Superstition's slave,
Survey'd the gathering fhadows of the grave;
And to thy God, in death, devoutly paid
That calm obedience which thy life display'd. The melancholy yet manly enthufiasm with which the Writer suggests the employment of himself and the surviving friend to whom the epistle is addrefied, is truly affecting.
Ori let us loiter on his favourite hill,
Whose thades the fadly-pleasing thought inftill;
Recount his kindnefs, as we fondly rove,
And meer bis Spirit in the lonely grove.
At evening's pensive hour, or opening day,
He yet thall seem the partner of our way.
Blett Spirit! ftill thro' fancy's ear impart
The calm of virtue to the troubled heart !
Correct each fordid view, each vain desire,
And touch che mortal with celestial fire!
So may we still, in this dark scene of earth,
Hold sweet communion with thy living worth ;
And, while our purer thoughts thy merit scan,
Revere the Angel, as we lov'd the Man.
The same nervous elegance of expression, the fame freedom
and fulness in the harmony of his numbers (perhaps the most
certain indication of true poetical genius), with the same ele-
vated manliness of thought, which were admired in a former
production * of this excellent writer, are equally discernible in
Before we dismiss this article we must observe, there is one passage in this poem, on which we have particularly fixed our eye.
Oft to our giddy Muse thy voice has taught
The just ambition of poetic thought;
Bid her bold view to la:eft time extend,
And strive to make FUTURITY HER FRIEND.
It is needless to point out, that he who wishes to make futurity
his friend, must disclaim attention to whatever is in its own na.
ture temporary; he must be jealous of the dignity of verse, not
to debase it (as too many do whose writings will be forgotten),
by prostitution to the purposes of party or personal fatire. But
there can be little to fear in this respect from a Writer like the
present. A mind, formed for and delighting in the contempla-
tion of what is elegant in art or amiable in manners, is not
likely to be seduced by objects that are in no way congenial to
* Epifle to an eminent Painter : See Rev. Ok. 1778. Cott Art. XI. Political Annals of the prefent United Colonies, from their
Settlement to the Peace of 1563. Compiled chiefly from Records, and authorised often by the Insertion of State Papers. By George Chalmers, Erg. Book I. 4to. il. 18. Boards. Printed for the Author, and sold by Bowen, in London. 1779. HUCYDIDES hath always been thought entitled to
the highest praise, for the impartiality with which he hath related the transactions of the period wherein he lived. It is so extremely difficult for an historian to preserve himself entirely free from the bias of party, and to view events and characters with the eye of calm philosophy, when he is treating of facts immediately connected with the country and age to which
he belongs; it requires such a degree of firmness of mind, and independence of spirit, to stand disengaged from all undue influence, on the one hand turning a deaf ear to popular clamour, and, on the other, viewing all the bribes which power can offer, oculo irretorto ; that, in this situation, impartiality ought doubtless to be regarded as the most meritorious quality in an historical writer.
We wish it were in our power to allow this kind of merit to the Author of these Annals. The work is so valuable, on account of the distinctness of its detail, the authenticity of its documents, and the elegant manner in which it is written, that it is with concern we remark, throughout the narrative, the most studied application of every fact, which will admit of it, to the vindication of a principle, as warmly contradicted by one party, as it is ftrenuously asserted by another,—the right of the British Parliament to tax America. Taking for granted prin- , ciples which many will be disposed to contest-that a series of precedents is of itself a sufficient foundation of legality, and that it is conclusive to argue from the manner in which the Colonies were treated in their infancy, to that in which they ought to be treated in their maturity, he takes every occasion which the history affords him of maintaining this right; and thus, in indulging the warmth of political disputation, he loses the dignity of history,
Impatient to express his sentiments on his favourite topic, the Author, in our opinion rather prematurely, afferts the legislative right of taxation on the ground of the second charter granted by James I. to the Virginian colonists, by which a body of merchants and tradesmen were incorporated, and impowered to convey lands, make ordinances for the colony, and rule and direct the colonists; and by which the colonists were permitted to export merchandise, for seven years, custom free.
• Thus, says he, it appears decisively that the colonists were to be governed by the ordinances of a corporation residing in England, in which they were not represented, and over the deliberations of which they had no controul. Thus was affirmed the general right of taxing them without their consent, because they were exempted from duties payable within the colony for a limited time t.'
These are sentiments which the Author takes every opportunity to repeat. Speaking of the exercise of the power of taxing the colonies, by the parliament in 1672, he says:
• The Commons soon turned their views beyond the Atlantic. The commerce of the colonies had been before regulated and re
+ The futility of this conclusion was demonstrated in a former No. of our Review. Rev. June, 1780.