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This poet is descended from a respectable family in Wiltshire, and was born in the village of King's-Sutton, Northamptonshire, on the 24th of September, 1762. He was educated at Winchester School, and afterwards at Trinity College, Oxford, where he obtained the Chancellor's prize for a Latin poem on the Siege of Gibraltar. In 1792, he took his degree of Master of Arts; and haring after. wards entered into holy orders, he served a curacy in Wiltshire, from which he was promoted to the living of Dumbledon in Gloucestershire, and finally in 1803 to the prebendary of Salisbury Cathedral.

The long life of this venerable divine has been chiefly spent in the country, amidst the charms of rural life, and the duties of his profession. His chief poems are, The Spirit of Discovery by Sea, which is considered the best of his works; and The Missionary. He was also distinguished by a keen controversy which he waged with Campbell and Byron upon the poetry of Pope, and the “invariable principles" of poetry in general: and it is greatly to his credit to record, that in this his conflict with the Titans, he departed without the shame of defeat.

The poetry of Bowles, with a very few exceptions, is too near mediocrity to be decidedly popular. He never sinks, but it is because he attempts none of those venturous flights that distinguish his great contemporaries. His works, however, will continue to be read with pleasure, on account of the elegance and amiable spirit with which they are every where pervaded.


She left The Severn's side, and fled with him she loved O'er the wide main; for he had told her tales Of happiness in distant lands, where care Comes not, and pointing to the golden clouds That shone above the waves, when evening came, Whisper'd, “Oh! are there not sweet scenes of peace, Far from the murmurs of this cloudy mart, Where gold alone bears sway, scenes of delight, Where Love may lay his head upon the lap Of Innocence, and smile at all the toil Of the low-thoughted throng, that place in wealth Their only bliss? Yes, there are scenes like these. Leave the vain chidings of the world behind, Country, and hollow friends, and fly with me Where love and peace in distant vales invite. What wouldst thou here? O shall thy beauteous look Of maiden innocence, thy smile of youth, thine eyes Of tenderness and soft subdued desire, Thy form, thy limbs-oh, madness!—be the prey Of a decrepit spoiler, and for gold?Perish his treasure with him! Haste with me, We shall find out some sylvan nook, and then

If thou shouldst sometimes think upon these hills,
When they are distant far, and drop a tear,
Yes—I will kiss it from thy cheek, and clasp
Thy angel beauties closer to my breast;
And while the winds blow o'er us, and the sun
Goes beautifully down, and thy soft cheek
Reclines on mine, I will enfold thee thus,
And proudly cry, My friend—my love-my wife !"

So tempted he, and soon her heart approved, Nay wood, the blissful dream; and oft at eve, When the moon shone upon the wandering stream, She paced the castle's battlements, that threw Beneath their solemn shadow, and, resign'd To fancy and to tears, thought it most sweet To wander o'er the world with him she loved. Nor was his birth ignoble, for he shone 'Mid England's gallant youth in Edward's reignWith countenance erect, and honest eye Commanding (yet suffused in tenderness At times), and smiles that like the lightning play'd On his brown cheek,—so nobly stern he stood, Accomplish'd, generous, gentle, brave, sincere, Robert à Machin. But the sullen pride Of haughty D'Arfet scorn'd all other claim To his high heritage, save what the pomp Of amplest wealth and loftier lineage gave. Reckless of human tenderness, that seeks One loved, one honour'd object, wealth alone He worshipp’d; and for this he could consign His only child, his aged hope, to loathed Embraces, and a life of tears! Nor here His hard ambition ended : for he sought By secret whispers of conspiracies His sovereign to abuse, bidding him lift His arm avenging, and upon a youth Of promise close the dark forgotten gates Of living sepulture, and in the gloom Inhume the slowly-wasting victim.

So He purposed, but in vain : the ardent youth Rescued her-her whom more than life he loved, E'en when the horrid day of sacrifice Drew nigh. He pointed to the distant bark, And while he kiss'd a stealing tear that fell On her pale cheek, as trusting she reclined

Her head upon his breast, with ardour cried,
“Be mine, be only mine; the hour invites ;
Be mine, be only mine.” So won, she cast
A look of last affection on the towers
Where she had pass'd her infant days, that now
Shone to the setting sun—“I follow thee,”
Her faint voice said; and lo! where in the air
A sail hangs tremulous, and soon her steps
Ascend the vessel's side: The vessel glides
Down the smooth current, as the twilight fades,
Till soon the woods of Severn, and the spot
Where D'Arfet's solitary turrets rose,
Are lost—a tear starts to her eye-she thinks
Of him whose grey head to the earth shall bend,
When he speaks nothing :-but be all, like death,
Forgotten. Gently blows the placid breeze,
And oh! that now some fairy pinnace light
Might flit along the wave (by no seen power
Directed, save when Love, a blooming boy,
Gather'd or spread with tender hand the sail),
That now some fairy pinnace, o'er the surge
Silent, as in a summer's dream, might waft
The passengers upon the conscious flood
To scenes of undisturbed joy.

But hark!
The wind is in the shrouds—the cordage sings
With fitful violence-the blast now swells,
Now sinks. Dread gloom invests the farther wave,
Whose foaming toss alone is seen, beneath
The veering bowsprit.

O retire to rest, Maiden, whose tender heart would beat, whose cheek Turn pale to see another thus exposed :Hark! the deep thunder louder peals—0 saveThe high mast crashes; but the faithful arm Of love is o'er thee, and thy anxious eye, Soon as the grey of morning peeps, shall view Green Erin's hills aspiring!

The sad morn Comes forth: but Terror on the sunless wave Still, like a sea-fiend, sits, and darkly smiles Beneath the flash that through the struggling clouds Bursts frequent, half revealing his scathed front, Above the rocking of the waste that rolls Boundless around :

No word through the long day
She spoke:-Another slowly came :—No word
The beauteous drooping mourner spoke. The sun
Twelve times had sunk beneath the sullen surge,
And cheerless rose again :--Ah, where are now
Thy havens, France? But yet-resign not yet -
Ye lost sea-farers-oh, resign not yet
All hope—the storm is pass’d; the drenched sail
Shines in the passing beam! Look up, and say,
Heav'n, thou hast heard our prayers !"

And lo! scarce seen,
A distant dusky spot appears;—they reach
An unknown shore, and green and flowery vales,
And azure hills, and silver-gushing streams,
Shine forth, a Paradise, which Heav'n alone,
Who saw the silent anguish of despair,
Could raise in the waste wilderness of waves.-
They gain the haven - through untrodden scenes,
Perhaps untrodden by the foot of man
Since first the earth arose, they wind: The voice
Of Nature hails them here with music, sweet,
As waving woods retired, or falling streams,
Can make; most soothing to the weary heart,
Doubly to those who, struggling with their fate,
And wearied long with watchings and with grief,
Sought but a place of safety. All things here
Whisper repose and peace; the very birds,
That 'mid the golden fruitage glance their plumes,
The songsters of the lonely valley, sing
“Welcome from scenes of sorrow, live with us.".


The wild wood opens, and a shady glen
Appears, embower'd with mantling laurels high,
That sloping shade the flowery valley's side;
A lucid stream, with gentle murmur, strays
Beneath th' umbrageous multitude of leaves,
Till gaining, with soft lapse, the nether plain,
It glances light along its yellow bed.
The shaggy inmates of the forest lick
The feet of their new guests, and gazing stand. -
A beauteous tree upshoots amid the glade
Its trembling top; and there upon the bank
They rest them, while the heart o'erflows with joy.

Now evening, breathing richer odours sweet, Came down: a softer sound the circling seas,


The ancient woods resounded, while the dove,
Iler murmurs interposing, tenderness
Awaked, yet more endearing, in the hearts
Of those who, sever'd far from human kind,
Woman and man, by vows sincere betrothed,
Heard but the voice of Nature. The still moon
Arose-they saw it not-cheek was to cheek
Inclined, and unawares a stealing tear
Witness'd how blissful was that hour, that seem'd
Not of the hours that time could count. A kiss
Stole on the listening silence; never yet
Here heard: they trembled, e'en as if the Power
That made the world, that planted the first pair
In Paradise, amid the garden walk'd, -
This since the fairest garden that the world
Has witness’d, by the fabling sons of Greece
Hesperian named, who feign'd the watchful guard
Of the scaled Dragon, and the Golden Fruit.
Such was this sylvan Paradise; and here
The loveliest pair, from a hard world remote,
Upon each other's neck reclined; their breath
Alone was heard, when the dove ceased on high
Her plaint; and tenderly their faithful arms
Enfolded each the other.

Thou, dim cloud,
That from the search of men, these beauteous vales
Hast closed, oh doubly veil them! But, alas,
How short the dream of human transport! Here,
In vain they built the leafy bower of love,
Or cull’d the sweetest flowers and fairest fruit.
The hours unheeded stole; but ah! not long-
Again the hollow tempest of the night
Sounds through the leaves; the inmost woods resound;
Slow comes the dawn, but neither ship nor sail
Along the rocking of the windy waste
Is seen: the dash of the dark-heaving wave
Alone is heard. Start from your bed of bliss,
Poor victims! never more shall ye behold
Your native vales again; and thou, sweet child!
Who, listening to the voice of love, hast left
Thy friends, thy country, -oh may the wan hue
Of pining memory, the sunk cheek, the

Where tenderness yet dwells, atone (if love
Atonement need, by cruelty and wrong
Beset), atone e'en now thy rash resolves.
Ah, fruitless hope! Day after day thy bloom

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