« ForrigeFortsæt »
To Gloriana Waller's harp was strung;
TO SIR GODFREY KNELLER,
PICTURE OF THE KING.
KNELLER, with silence and surprise
The magic of thy art calls forth
Oh may I live to hail the day,
This image on the medal placed,
And stampt on British coins, shall live,
Thou, Kneller, long with noble pride,
Here swarthy Charles appears, and there
Wise Phidias, thus his skill to prove,
Great Pan, who wont to chase the fair,
'Thou, Kneller.] If this little poem had begun here, and ended with “their king defied,” it had been equal, or superior, to anything in any other poet, on the like occasion.
2 There never was anything happier than this whole illustration, nor more exquisitely expressed.
Old Saturn too, with up-cast eyes,
And mighty Mars, for war renowned,
Her short-lived darling son to mourn.
This wonder of the sculptor's hand
THE following Latin poems are, in their kind, excellent. They are the better worth reading, as they show with what care our young author had studied the prince of the Latin poets; and from what source he afterwards derived, what a certain writer calls, a little whimsically indeed, but, I think, not unhappily, his sweet Virgilian prose. This Virgilianism, if I may so speak, consists in opening a subject by degrees; in presenting it, first, in few and simple terms, and then enlarging and brightening it by a more distinct and exquisite expression, till the description becomes as it were full-blown, and is set before us in all its grace and beauty. With this gradual extension of a sentiment, or image, is joined an improvement in the rhythm. The ear is consulted, as well as the imagination; and the harmony of numbers keeps pace with the energy of expression. It is remarkable that Mr. Addison's studious imitation of Virgil's manner hurt his English poetry sometimes, though it always improved his English
prose. The reason was, he had no facility in rhyming; and so was obliged many times to take up with a weaker word or phrase, than its place in his verse required. Hence the frequent redundancies in his In his rhymed poetry, which were intended by him as amplifications. prose, he was under no such restraint; and his exact taste always led him to perfection. That this observation is just, we may see from his Cato, where the freedom of blank verse, as it is called, secured him from this mischance; and from these Latin poems, in which the Virgilian gradation is everywhere observed, and nicely imitated.
CAROLO MONTAGU, ARMIGERO,
SCACCHARII CANCELLARIO, ÆRARII PRÆFECTO, REGI A SECRETIORIBUS CONSILIIS, ETC.
CUM tanta auribus tuis obstrepat vatum nequissimorum turba, nihil est cur queraris aliquid inusitatum tibi contigisse, ubi præclarum hoc argumentum meis etiam numeris. violatum conspexeris. Quantum virtute bellica præstent Britanni, recens ex rebus gestis testatur gloria; quam vero in humanioribus pacis studiis non emineamus, indicio sunt quos nuper in lucem emisimus versiculi. Quod si CONGREVIUS ille tuus divino, quo solet, furore correptus materiam hanc non exornasset, vix tanti esset ipsa pax, ut illa lætaremur tot perditissimis poetis tam misere decantata. At, dum alios insector, mei ipsius oblitus fuisse videor, qui haud minores forsan ex Latinis tibi molestias allaturus sum, quam quas illi ex vernaculis suis carminibus attulerunt nisi quod inter ipsos cruciatus lenimentum aliquod dolori tribuat tormenti varietas. Nec quidem unquam adduci possem, ut poema patrio sermone conscriptum oculis tuis subjicerem, qui ab istis conatibus cæteros omnes scribendo non minus deterres, quam favendo excitaveris.
PAX GULIELMI AUSPICIIS EUROPÆ
POSTQUAM ingens clamorque virum, strepitusque tubarum,
Aspicis ut toto excitus venit advena mundo
Hic, ubi saxa jacent disperso infecta cerebro, Atque interruptis hiscunt divortia muris, Vexillum intrepidus1 fixit, cui tempora dudum Budenses palmæ, peregrinaque laurus obumbrat. Ille ruens aciem in mediam, qua ferrea grando Sparsa furit circum, et plumbi densissimus imber, Sulphuream noctem, tetrasque bitumine nubes Ingreditur, crebroque rubentem fulgure fumum. Ut vario anfractu, et disjectis undique saxis Mænia discedunt, scopulisque immane minantur Desuper horrificis, et formidabile pendent !
1 Honoratissimus D. Dominus CUTTS, Baro de Gowran, &c.