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Who, with success, attempting to impart
The worst of Nature to the worst of Art,
Rakes, what had best been buried, into day, 245 And culls the weeds that Taste had thrown away.
Still, Wilson, moonstruck, sing of Moons once more,
For ev'ry sleeping child let there be four;
And render Pope's and Johnson's censure vain *.
* See Martinus Scriblerus, and Johnson's Life of Cowley; where these great men have (without reading the E. R., I suppose) expressed a pretty decided opinion upon the merits of the
school of which Mr. Wilson is a successful imitator.
Mark, scarce emerging from the wordy war, 255
For sixteen years th' Impostor pin'd in shame;
* It is not so extraordinary that this Swan should have attained such a height, when we consider his borrowed plumage, as that so many Veteran sportsmen should be deceived by his appearance in the wide field of Letters. We now see him stripped of his additional feathers, and it is truly a sorry bird without them. To drop the metaphor; after what has been written and said about this ingenuous Youth and his forgeries, the Reader would assuredly not have met with him here, but for a late attempt to draw the attention of the Public to a name, which the privacy of
retirement can alone screen from contempt. D
And now, “Neglected Genius” greets the sight, 265
What glittering paget, with every gay design,
Now lies as incense on the Paphian shrine
* “Neglected Genius,” a Poem by W. H. Ireland, will explain this allusion.
t The prominent features in Mr. Spencer's style are here detailed: “Numeris decorest et unctura addita crudis.” He has published some “Poems,” and likewise a Translation from the “Lenore” of Bürger, with designs by Lady Diana Beauclerk. Of this Ballad I think a great deal more has been said than it deserves. It has already met with four translations in the English Language: but the German, of whose style “simplicity is the characteristic,” as Mr. Spencer rightly observes, “ looks
like Tom Errand drest in Clincher's clothes,” in the fine tawdry
Who lauds the blooming graces of the Town 2
Who “pillows joy on softest, smoothest down”?”
suit of English embroidery which Mr. S. has provided for him. It sits awkwardly on the Bard of Aschersleben, whose own homely dress peeps here and there through the lace that envelopes it. To be serious, Mr. S. has refined away all the beauty of the Original. If Bürger merely says: “It is a fine star-light night,” his Translator instantly transforms it into a conceit—to
bis somnenuntergang, Bis auf am Himmelsbogen
Die golden Sterne zogen :
which is literally thus: “Till the sun went down, and the golden
stars appeared in the vault of Heaven:” now see the translation.
Till westward sunk the car of light,
To gem the matron weeds of night.
* To smooth Reflection's mentor frown,
Lady Diana Beauclerk has been led into a whimsical error by thls desultory mode of translation. Bürger, when describing Leonora mounting behind the Spectre,
makes use of these words:
Schön Liebchen schürzte, sprang und schwang
Sie ihren lilienhände :
which are thus rendered:
Loose was her zone, her breast unveil'd,
Now the meaning of the two last lines in the German is omitted; and, as the three first in English are entirely expletive, the fair Artist, in representing Leonora un peu en deshabillé, has been employing her pencil to illustrate, not Bürger, but