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HE variety of subjects, which are allowed the lyric Longinus has preserved a fragment of Sappho, an an- of Lyric Poetry.
Poetry. poet, makes it necessary to consider this species of cient Greek poetess, which is in great reputation amongst poetry under the following heads, viz. the sublime ode, the critics, and bas been so happily translated by Mr the lesser ode, and the song. We shall begin with the Philips as to give the English reader a just idea of the
The Saplowest, and proceed to that which is more eminent. spirit, ease, and elegance of that admired author ; and
I. Songs are little poetical compositions, usually set show how exactly she copied nature. To enter into the
Blest as th’ immortal gods is he,
The youth who fondly sits by thee,
And sees and hears thee all the while
Softly speak, and sweetly smile.
'Twas this depriv'd my soul of rest,
And rais'd such tumults in my breast; The song admits of almost any subject ; but the For while I gaz'd, in transport tost, greatest part of them turn either upon love, contentment,
My breath was gone, my voice was lost. or the pleasures of a country life, and drinking. Be the
My bosom glow'd, the subtle flame subject, however, what it will, the verses should be easy, Ran quick through all my vital frame: natural, and flowing, and contain a certain harmony, so O'er
dim eyes a darkness hung; that poetry and music may be agreeably united. In these
My ears with hollow murmurs rung. compositions, as in all others, obscene and profane ex
In dewy damps my limbs were chill'd, pressions should be carefully avoided, and indeed every My blood with gentle horrors thrillid; thing that tends to take off that respect which is due
My feeble pulse forgot to play; to religion and virtue, and to encourage vice and im. I fainted, sunk, and dy'd away. morality. As the best songs in our language are al
After this instance of the Sapphic ode, it may not The Ana. ready in every band, it would seem superfluous to insert examples. For further precepts, however, as well
be improper to speak of that sort of ode which is called crcontic as select examples, in this species of composition, we
Anacreontic; being written in the manner and taste of ode. may refer the reader to the elegant Essay on Song wit, and the exquisite, yet easy and natural, turn of liis
Anacreon, a Greck poet, famous or the delicacy of his
many modern ones in imitation of him, which are most-
and half. language as well as to the thoughts and numbers.
We shall give the young student one or two examples
of his manner from Mr Fawkes's excellent translation.
The following ode on the power of gold, which had
been often attempted but with little success, this gentle-
man has translated very happily.
Love's a pain that works our wo;
Not to love is painful too :
But, alas ! the greatest pain
What avails ingenuous worth,
Sprightly wit, or noble birth?
Gold alone engages love.
of Lyric Poetry.
May he be completely curst,
• He that's stung by thee sustains.'
Among the most successful of this poet's English imi-
tators may be reckoned Dr Johnson and Mr Prior. The Imitation Gold creates in brethren strife;
following ode on Evening by the former of these writers of AnacreGold destroys the parent's life;
Evening now from purple wings
Sheds the grateful gifts she brings ;
Brilliant drops bedeck the mead ;
Cooling breezes shake the reed;
Near the chequer'd lonely grove
Hears, and keeps thy secrets, Love.
Stella, thither let us stray !
Lightly o'er the dewy way.
Phæbus drives his burning car
Hence, my lovely Stella, far:
In bis stead the queen of night
Round us pours a lambent light;
Light that seems but just to show
Breasts that beat, and cheeks that glow :
Let us now, in whisper'd joy,
Evening's silent hours employ;
Silence best, and conscious shades,
Please the hearts that love invades :
Other pleasures give them pain;
Lovers all but love disdain.
But of all the imitations of the playful bard of Greece
that we have ever met with, the most perfect is the fol-
lowing Anacreontic by the regent duke of Orleans.
1. But two of the most admired, and perhaps the most
Je suis né pour les plaisirs ;
Bien fou que s'en passe :
Je ne veux pas les choisir;
Souvent le choix m'embarrasse :
Aime t'on ? J'aime soudain;
Bois t'on ? J'ai la verre à la main ;
Je tiens par tout ma place.
Dormir est un temps perdu;
Faut il qu'on s'y livre ?
Sommeil, prends ce qui t'est du;
Mais attends que je sois yere :
Saisis moi dans cet instant ;
Fais moi dormir promptement ;
Je suis pressé de vivre.
Mais si quelque objet charmant,
Dans un songe aimable,
Vient d'un plaisir seduisant “ Dear mamma, a serpent small,
M'offrir l'image agréable ; “ Which a bee the ploughman call,
Sommeil, allons doucement; “ Imp'd with wings, and arm'd with dart,
L'erreur est en ce moment
Un bonheur veritable.
Translation of the Regent's Anacrcontic (E).
Frolic and free, for pleasure born, • Causing Cupid thus to weep,
The self-denying fool I scorn.
(E) We give this translation, both because of its excellence, and because it is said to have been the production of no less a man than the late Lord Chatham.
Of Lyric l'oetry. "Tis oft-times troublesome to chuse.
And but dull is thy bloom to ber cheek's blushing tint. Poctry. Lov'st thou, my friend ? I love at sight:
fair flow'r, that bloom will decay,
Tho' pluck'd by her hand, to whose touch we must own,
Harsh and rough is the cygnet's most delicate down :">
Thou too, snowy hand; nay, I mean not to preach ;
But the rose, lovely moralist, suffer to teach.
“ Extol not, fair maiden, thy beauties o'er mine;
They too are short-liv'd, and they too must decline ;
And small, in conclusion, the diff'rence appears,
In the bloom of few days, or the bloom of few years !
But remember a virtue the rose bath to boast,
1 26 But 0! if melting in my arms,
We come now to those odes of the more florid and Odes more figurative kind, of which we bave many in our language
forid and In some soft dream, with all her charms,
that deserve particular commendation. Mr Warton's figurative.
Ode to Fancy has been justly admired by the best judges;
for though it has a distant resemblance of Milton's
l'Allegro and Il Penseroso, yet the work is original; the
thoughts are mostly new and various, and the language
and numbers elegant, expressive, and harmonious.
O parent of each lovely muse, 125 Sappho.
We have mentioned Prior as an imitator of Anacreon; Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse ! but the reader has by this time had a sufficient specimen O’er all my artless songs preside, of Anacreontics. The following Answer to Cloe jealous, My footsteps to thiy temple guide! which was written when Prior was sick, has much of
To offer at thy turf-built shrine the elegant tenderness of Sappho.
In golden cups no costly wine,
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
But flow'rs and honey from the rock.
O nymph, with loosely flowing hair,
With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare ;
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd;
Waving in thy snowy hand
An all-commanding magic wand,
Of pow'r to bid fresh gardens blow
'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow :
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey,
Through air, and over earth and sea ;
While the vast various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes.
O lover of the desert, hail !
Say, in what deep and pathleso vale,
Or on what hoary mountain's side,
Midst falls of water, you reside ;
Midst broken rocks, a rugged scene,
dales between ;
'Midst forests dark of aged oak, was written in compliment to a lady, who, being sick,
Ne’er echoing with the woodman's stroke; had sent the author a moss rose-bud, instead of making
Where never human art appear’d, his family a visit. This piece is particularly to be
Nor ev'n one straw-roof'd cott was rear'd; esteemed for the just and striking moral with which it
Where Nature seems to sit alone,
Majestic on a craggy throne.
Tell me the path, sweet wand'rer! tell,
To tliy unknown sequester'd cell,
Where woodbines cluster round the door,
Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor,
Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
Some nightingale still builds her nest,
Each ev'ning warbling thee to rest.
Wrapt in some wild poetic dream ;
Iu converse while methinks I rove
When young ey'd Spring profusely throws of Lyric With Spenser through a fairy grove ;
From her green lap the pink and rose ;
When the soft turtle of the dale
To Summer tells her tender tale ;
When Autumn cooling caverns seeks,
And stains with wine his jolly cheeks ;
When Winter, like poor pilgrim old,
Shakes his silver beard with cold;
At ev'ry season let my ear
Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear.
O warm enthusiastic maid !
Without thy powerful, vital aid,
That breathes an energy divine,
That gives a soul to ev'ry line,
Ne'er may I strive with lips profane,
To utter an unballow'd strain ;
Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
Save when with smiles thou bid'st me sing.
O hear our pray’r, 0 hither come
From thy lamented Shakespeare's tomb,
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,
Musing o'er thy darling's grave.
queen of numbers, once again
Animate some chosen swain,
Who, fill'd with unexhausted fire,
May boldly smite the sounding lyre ;
Who with some new, unequall'd song,
May rise above the rhyming throng :
O'er all our list’ning passions reign,
O’erwhelm our souls with joy and pain ;
With terror shake, with pity move,
Rouze with revenge, or melt with love.
O deign t'attend his evening walk,
With him in groves and grottoes talk ;
Teach him to scorn, with frigid art,
Feebly to touch th' enraptur'd heart;
Like lightning, let his mighty verse
The bosom's inmost foldings pierce ;
With native beauties win applause,
Beyond cold critics studied laws :
O let each muse's fame increase !
O bid Britannia rival Greece!
spirit, say, To battle burriez me away
The following ode, written by Mr Smart on the 5th ?
of December (being the birth-day of a beautiful young 'Tis Fancy, in her fiery car,
lady), is much to be admired for the variety and harTransports me to the thickest war ;
mony of the numbers, as well as for the beauty of the There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
thoughts, and the elegance and delicacy of the compliWhere tumult and destruction reign ;
ment. It has great fire, and yet great sweetness, and is
the happy issue of genius and judgment united.
. Ilail eldest of the monthly train,
Sire of the winter drear,
December! in whose iron reign
Expires the chequer'd year.
Hush all the blust'ring blasts that blow,
And proudly plum’d in silver snow,
Smile gladly on this blest of days ;
The livery'd clouds shall on thee wait,
And Phoebus shine in all his state
With more than summer rays.
Though jocund June may justly boast
Long days and happy hours;
Though August be Pomona's host,
And May be crown’d with flow'rs :