Mr. Hodson received credit for the possession of talents, and appears to have exercised them occasionally in poetry; one of his productions has been communicated by the Rev. John Graham, who received it from one of his daughters, and which is subjoined. * He was no great master

Catherine married to Mr. George Mecham of Athlone. By his second wife the daughters were, Jane married to Mr. Maurice Neligan of Bellmount near Navan; and Anne, still living, widow of Mr. Edward Denniston of Coxheath, formerly Captain in the Donegal Militia.


By the late William Hodson, Esq.,


“ Stern winter's rage the field deforms,

And strips the trees of green,
Its howling winds, its rustling storms,

Now sadden every scene.
Or now its gurgling torrents flow,

And swell th' extended lake,
Or battering hail and driving snow,

Wild devastations make.
6 On

known hill forlorn I stand,
Where oft I've stood before,
And pensive view my native land,

Its lake and winding shore.
Where yonder turrets meet my view,

Now mouldering to decay,
If legendary tales be true,

An ancient city lay. [Here two Stanzas intervened which were forgotten by the reciter.)

“ And there embosom'd in the grove,

Fast by yon watery waste,
Late the retreat of peace and love,

My mouldering mansion 's placed.

in the art, though some of the allusions seeming to come from the heart, possess pathos; that to

The ruin'd church with ivy crown'd,

Marks to my streaming eye,
The hallow'd, venerable ground,

Where my dear kindred lie.

« There lie the relics of a sire,

Compassionate and just,
Whom my sad eyes beheld expire,

And mingle with the dust.
A sister too whose spotless life

Was like the clear noon day,
Bless'd as a daughter, mother, wife,

Untimely snatch'd away.

6 And there beneath the lime-tree shade,

The cold turf on her breast,
Are a loved wife's sad ashes laid,

And there my own shall rest.
Her beauteous form consign'd to earth,

That form which charm'd each eye,
Her innocence and modest worth

Have sought their kindred sky.

6 But buried in a foreign land,

The tuneful Goldsmith lies,
No kinsman grasp'd his stiffening hand,

Or closed his dying eyes.
Consign'd to death that levels all,

My uncle met his doom,
And BURKE and REYNOLDS wept his fall,

And Johnson graved his tomb.

“ As nipping frost in luckless hour,

Oft blights the blooming rose,
While many a weed and baneful flower,

Beneath its influence grows.

his uncle, if not happily introduced or so well expressed as might be wished, is not devoid of interest. The scenery described is that which adjoins the family residence, named St. John's, near Athlone.

When thoughts like these invade my mind,

As winter's rage assails,
Oh what are clouds or howling winds,

To what my bosom feels ! ”

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

In the spring of 1767, his play, to the completion of which some anxious months had been devoted, was finished; but the greater difficulty remained to introduce it to the stage.

There are perhaps few writers of lively imagination and versatile powers who have not at some period of their lives wished to write for the theatre, influenced by the variety of excitements which commonly attend its representations. A successful dramatist if shorn of some former honours in our own days, still occupies a large space in the public eye, his reputation spreads more rapidly than that of any other writer, and his name, which is frequently bandied with a familiarity implying regard, forms a passport to the favour of that large class of society, who in a great metropolis find in the amusements of the theatre relaxation from the cares of life. He identifies himself not merely with the literature but with the enjoyments of the people; with one of the most social, and certainly not least intellectual, of their recreations. Like the orator, he has the gratification of witnessing his own triumphs ; of seeing in the plaudits, tears, or smiles of delighted spectators, the strongest testimony to his own powers. The author of a good book hears of his success, but the writer of a good play may night after night witness it.

On the other hand, the discouragements are of a serious description ; so great as to cause some wonder how such as possess reputation in another department of writing can commit it to the caprice of managers, actors, and audiences; and the risks they must necessarily run, has kept many proud or sensitive minds not otherwise indisposed to dramatic composition, from trusting their labours to the stage. The composition of a good play we know is no ordinary effort of mind; its requisites of plot, incident, character and dialogue, their combinations and developments so as to produce an agreeable whole, require genius of a high and varied order. When the piece is completed, interest is commonly necessary to secure its representation. Friends for this purpose are to be sought, especially by such as are poor and unknown. The private judgment of the manager may be unfavourable, or the actors dissatisfied with their parts ; alterations are suggested in order to satisfy caprice or unreasonable pretension, which sometimes have the effect either of obscuring the author's original design, or impairing his sense. The delay of months or seasons in bringing it forward even when all other obstacles are surmounted; the annoyance of being

« VorigeDoorgaan »