« VorigeDoorgaan »
things as trifles at best) told me with his usual goodDESCRIPTION
humour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakspeare
into a ballad of his own. He then read me his litAUTHOR'S BEDCHAMBER. tle Cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approv
ed it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarcely WHERE the Red Lion staring o'er the way,
worth printing; and, were it not for the busy disInvites each passing stranger
that can pay; Where Calvert's butt, and Parson's black cham- lic should never have known that he owes me the
position of some of your correspondents, the pubpagne, Regale the drabs and bloods of Drury-lane;
hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friend.
ship and learning for communications of a much There, in a lonely room, from bailiffs snug, The Muse found Scroggen stretch'd beneath a rug;
more important nature. A window, patch'd with paper, lent a ray,
I am, Sir,
Yours, etc. That dimly show'd the state in which he lay;
OLIVER GOLDSMITH. The sanded floor that grits beneath the tread; The humid wall with paltry pictures spread; Note. On the subject of the preceding letter, The royal game of goose was there in view, the reader is desired to consult "The Life of Dr. And the twelve rules the royal martyr drew; Goldsmith,” under the year 1765. The seasons, framed with ing, found a place, And brave Prince William show'd his lamp-black
“TURN, gentle Hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way, And fire crack'd tea-cups dress’d the chimneyboard;
To where yon taper cheers the vale
With hospitable ray.
"For here forlorn and lost I tread,
With fainting steps and slow;
Where wilds immeasurably spread,
Seem length’ning as I go."
"Forbear, my son," the Hermit cries,
To tempt the dangerous gloom;
To lure thee to thy doom.
he St. James's Chronicle, appeared in that pa- “Here to the houseless child of want
My duor is open still;
I give it with good will.
“No flocks that range the valley free, bookseller that it was then first published; but in
To slaughter I condemn; that, it seems, I was misinformed, and my reading was not extensive enough to set me right.
Taught by that Power that pities me, Another correspondent of yours accuses me of
I learn to pity them: having taken a ballad I published some time ago, “But from the mountain's grassy side from one* by the ingenious Mr. Percy. I do not A guiltless feast I bring; think there is any great resemblance between the A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied, two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad And water from the spring. is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy some years ago; and be (as we both considered these
“Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
All earth-born cares are wrong; 'The Friar of Orders Gray. "Reliq. of Anc. Poetry,” vol.
Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long."
I book 2. No. 18.
Soft as the dew from heaven descends,
His gentle accents fell:
And follows to the cell.
The lonely mansion lay,
And strangers led astray.
Required a master's care;
Received the harmless pair.
To take their evening rest,
And cheer'd his pensive guest:
And gaily press'd, and smiled; And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The lingering hours beguiled.
Its tricks the kitten tries,
The crackling faggot flies.
To soothe the stranger's woe;
And tears began to flow.
With answering care opprest; "And whence, unhappy youth,” he cried,
“The sorrows of thy breast?
Reluctant dost thou rove?
Or unregarded love?
Are trifling and decay; And those who prize the paltry things,
More trifling still than they.
A charm that lulls to sleep;
But leaves the wretch to weep?
The modern fair one's jest; On earth unseen, or only found
To warm the turtle's nest.
Surprised he sees new beauties rise,
Swift mantling to the view:
As bright, as transient too.
Alternate spread alarms:
maid in all her charms.
A wretch forlorn,” she cried; “Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude
Where Heaven and you reside. “But let a maid thy pity share,
Whom love has taught to stray; Who seeks for rest, but finds despair
Companion of her way. "My father lived beside the Tyne,
A wealthy lord was he; And all his wealth was mark'd as mine,
He had but only me. " To win me from his tender arms,
Unnumber'd suitors came; Who praised me for imparted charms,
And felt, or feign'd a flame. “Each hour a.mercenary crowd
With richest proffers strove; Amongst the rest young Edwin bow'd,
But never talk'd of love. . "In humble, simplest habit clad,
No wealth nor power had he; Wisdom and worth were all he had,
But these were all to me.
He carroll'd lays of love,
And music to the groves
The dews of Heaven refined, Could nought of purity display
To emulate his mind. "The dew, the blossom on the tree,
With charms inconstant shine; Their charms were his, but, woe to me!
Their constancy was mine. "For still I tried each fickle art,
Importunate and vain; And while his passion touch'd my heart,
I triumph'd in his pain: " Till quite dejected with my scorn,
He left me to my pride; And sought a solitude forlorn,
In secret, where he died.
"For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
And spurn the sex,” he said; But while he spoke, a rising blush
His love-lorn guest betray'd.
The wound it seem'd both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;
They swore the man would die.
That show'd the rogues they lied:
The dog it was that died.
* But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
And well my life shall pay; I'll seek the solitude he sought,
And stretch me where he lay. "And there forlorn, despairing, hid,
I'll lay me down and die; 'Twas so for me that Edwin did,
And so for him will I.”
And clasp'd her to his breast :
'Twas Edwin's self that press'd. "Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see
Restored to love and thee.
And every care resign:
My life—my all that's mine?
We'll live and love so true;
Shall break thy Edwin's too."
STANZAS ON WOMAN.
And finds too late that men betray,
What art can wash her guilt away?
To hide her shame from every eye,
And wring his bosom—is to die.
A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY.
TO THE REV. HENRY GOLDSMITH.
I am sensible that the friendship between pis can Give ear unto my song,
acquire no new force from the ceremonies of a dediAnd if you find it wondrous short, It can not hold you long.
cation; and perhaps it demands an excuse thus to
prefix your name to my attempts, which you de. In Islington there was a man,
cline giving with your own. But as a part of this Of whom the world might say,
poem was formerly written to you from SwitzerThat still a godly race he ran,
land, the whole can now, with propriety, be only Whene'er he went to pray.
inscribed to you. It will also throw a light upon A kind and gentle heart he had,
many parts of it, when the reader understands, that To comfort friends and foes;
it is addressed to a man, who, despising fame and The naked every day he clad,
fortune, has retired early to happiness and obscuriWhen he put on his clothes.
ty, with an income of forty pounds a-year. And in that town a dog was found,
I now perceive, my dear brother, the wisdom of As many dogs there be,
your humble choice. You have entered upon a Both mongrel, puppy, whelp and hound,
sacred office, where the harvest is great, and the And curs of low degree.
labourers are but few; while you have left the field
of ambition, where the labourers are many, and the This dog and man at first were friends; harvest not worth carrying away. But of all kinds But when a pique began,
of ambition, what from the refinement of the times, The dog, to gain some private ends, from different systems of criticism, and from the Went mad, and bit the man.
divisions of party, that which pursues poetical fame Around from all the neighb'ring streets is the wildest. The wond'ring neighbours ran,
Poetry makes a principal amusement among unAnd swore the dog had lost his wits, polished nations; but in a country verging to the To bite so good a man.
extremes of refinement, painting and music come This, and the following poem, appeared in “The Vicar or in for a share. As these offer the feeble mind a Wakefeld,” which was published in the year 1765.
less laborious entertainment, they at first rival
poetry, and at length supplant her; they engross all, Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see, that favour once shown to her, and though but My heart untravellid fondly turns to thee; younger sisters, seize upon the elder's birth-right. Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
Yet, however this art may be neglected by the And drags at each remove a lengthening chain. powerful, it is still in great danger from the mistaken efforts of the learned to improve it. What And round his dwelling guardian saints attend;
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend, criticisms have we not heard of late in favour of
Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire blank verse, and Pindaric odes, chorusses, anapests. To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire; and iambics, alliterative care and happy negligence! Blest that abode, where want and pain repair, Every absurdity has now a champion to defend it; And every stranger finds a ready chair; and as he is generally much in the wrong, so he Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crown'd, has always much to say; for error is ever talkative.
Where all the ruddy family around But there is an enemy to this art still more dangerous, -I mean party . Party entirely distorts Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale; the judgment, and destroys the taste. When the mind is once infected with this disease, it can only And learn the luxury of doing good.
the bashful stranger to his food, find pleasure in what contributes to increase the distemper. Like the tiger, that seldom desists from But me, not destined such delights to share, pursuing man, after having once preyed upon hu. My prime of life in wandering spent and care; man flesh, the reader, who has once gratified his Impell’d, with steps unceasing, to pursue appetite with calumny, makes, ever after, the most Some fleeting good, that mocks me with the view; agreeable feast upon murdered reputation. Such That, like the circle bounding earth and skies, readers generally admire some half-witted thing, Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies; who wants to be thought a bold man, having lost My fortune leads to traverse realms alone, the character of a wise one. Him they dignify And find no spot of all the world my own. with the name of poet: his tawdry lampoons are called satires; his turbulence is said to be force, and E'en now, where Alpine solitudes ascend, his phrensy fire.
I sit me down a pensive hour to spend; What reception a poem may find, which has And placed on high above the storm's career, neither abuse, party, nor blank verse to support it, Look downward where an hundred realms appear; I can not tell, nor am I solicitous to know. My Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide, aims are right. Without espousing the cause of The pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride. any party, I have attempted to moderate the rage of all. I have endeavoured to show, that there may Amidst the store should thankless pride repine ?
When thus Creation's charms around combine, be equal happiness in states that are differently Say, should the philosophic mind disdain governed from our own; that every state has a par. That good which makes each humbler bosom vain? ticular principle of happiness, and that this princi- Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can, ple in each may be carried to a mischievous excess. These little things are great to little man; There are few can judge better than yourself how And wiser he, whose sympathetic mind far these positions are illustrated in this poem. I
Exults in all the good of all mankind. am, dear Sir, your most affectionate brother,
Ye glittering towns, with wealth and splendour OLIVER GOLDSMITH.
crown'd; Ye fields, where summer spreads profusion round;
Ye lakes, whose vessels catch the busy gale;
For me your tributary stores combine:
Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine!
As some lone miser, visiting his store, Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow, Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o'er; Or by the lazy Scheld, or wandering Po; Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill, Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor
Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still: Against the houseless stranger shuts the door;
Thus to my breast alternate passions rise, Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies,
Pleased with each good that Heaven to man supA weary waste expanding to the skies;
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall, • In this poem, as passed through different editions, seve To see the hoard of human bliss so small; ral alterations were made, and some additional verses introduced. We have followed the ninth edition, which was the And oft I wish, amidst the scene to find last that appeared in the lifetime of the author.
Some spot to real happiness consign'd,
A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY.
Where my worn soul, each wand'ring hope at rest, Whatever sweets salute the northern sky
These here disporting own the kindred soil,
While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand The shuddering tenant of the frigid zone
To winnow fragrance round the smiling land. Botily proclaims that happiest spot his own; Estols the treasures of his stormy seas,
But small the bliss that sense alone bestows, And his long nights of revelry and ease :
And sensual bliss is all the nation knows. The naked negro, panting at the line,
In florid beauty groves and fields appear, Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine, Man seems the only growth that dwindles here. Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave, Contrasted faults through all his manners reign; And thanks his gods for all the good they gave. Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vain; Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam, Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue; His first, best country, ever is at home.
And e'en in penance planning sins anew. And yet, perhaps, if countrles we compare, All evils here contaminate the mind, And estimate the blessings which they share, That opulence departed leaves behind; Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find For wealth was theirs, not far removed the date, An equal portion dealt to all mankind;
When commerce proudly flourish'd through the As diferent good, by art or nature given,
state; To different nations makes their blessings even. At her command the palace learn'd to rise,
Again the long-fall’n column sought the skies; Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
The canvass glow'd beyond e'en nature warm, Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call;
The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form: With fond as well the peasant is supplied
Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side;
Commerce on other shores display'd her sail; And though the rocky crested summits frown,
While nought remain'd of all that riches gave, These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down.
But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave: From art more various are the blessings sent
And late the nation found with fruitless skill Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content.
Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
Yet, still the loss of wealth is here supplied
Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd Each to the favourite happiness attends, The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade; And spurns the plan that aims at other ends; Processions form'd for piety and love, Till, carried to excess in each domain,
A mistress or a saint in every grove. This favourite good begets peculiar pain. By sports like these are all their cares beguiled, But let us try these truths with closer eyes,
The sports of children satisfy the child; And trace them through the prospect as it lies;
Each nobler aim, repress'd by long control, Here for a while my proper cares resign'd,
Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul; Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind;
While low delights, succeeding fast behind, Like yon neglected shrub at randomn cast,
In happier meanness occupy the mind : That shades the steep, and sighs at every blast.
As in those domes, where Cæsars once bore sway,
Defaced by time and tottering in decay, Far to the right where Appenine ascends, There in the ruin, heedless of the dead, Bright as the summer, Italy extends ;
The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed; Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side, And, wondering man could want the larger pile, Woods over woods in gay theatric pride; Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile. While oft some temple's mouldering tops between With venerable grandeur mark the scene.
My soul, turn from them; turn we to survey
Where rougher climes a nobler race display, Could nature's bounty satisfy the breast, Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion tread, The sons of Italy were surely blest.
And force a churlish soil for scanty bread Whatever fruits in different climes were found, No product here the barren hills afford, That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground; But man and steel, the soldier and his sword. Whaterer blooms in torrid tracts appear, No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array, Whose bright succession decks the varied year; But winter lingering chills the lap of May;