Page images
PDF
EPUB

But, that once past, the laurel proves misplaced,
And He--Reviver of a wretched taste,

610

Here, while the honor of the Latian Bard
Claims deep revenge from Satire’s stern award,
Imagine round the guardian Manes fly,
To watch his offspring with an anxious eye:
They turn from hence to greet a Drummond's *
hand,

615 And mourn th' unfinish'd dress his Genius plann'd;

NOTES.

* Dr. Drummond published, some few years since, a translation of the 1st Book of Lucretius, executed with considerable spirit and

accuracy. Many objections have been raised to an English version of Lucretius upon the ground of the impropriety of the 4th Book. Had the same reason been always considered valid, we never should have had a translation of soine of Ovid's Metamorphoses, Juvenal's Satires, or Virgil's Eclogues. If this objection were really urged with the intention of preserving the morals of the people from contamination, and not by many, who have never seen even the title page, in the vain expectation of being

[ocr errors]

Yet still they hope, in some succeeding day,
In British garb may shine the Roman Lay,
Rescued from shame, from Busby, and the tomb,
May give a lasting wreath to Albion and to Rome!
Then, Drummond, leave to weaker, feebler hands,
To sing of rocky shores, uncertain strands.
Do thou, incited by a nobler view,
The glorious path to future fame pursue;

NOTES.

[ocr errors]

considered learned, I should be the last that would attempt to set it aside; but it has always appeared to me, independent of this, that the translation of the works of this celebrated man, at once a Philosopher and a Poet, was a consummation devoutly to be wished for” in English Literature.

Dr. Drummond has lately written a Poem, entitled “ The Giants' Causeway," very far superior to the generality of those of the present day. The description of the sea-shore, to which I more particularly allude, is, as bas been before observed, applicable either to that particular one, or any other, and, like most sea-shores, consists of waves, billows, sands, rocks, &c. &c.

625

Cull from the Roman every blooming flower,
Nor waste thy strength to live but for an hour.

Hark! thro' the air what mournful strains resound,
While Echo swells the failing tones around !
“ Above the lyre, the lute's soft notes above,"
They tell the sorrows of misguided love : 630
And while, with dulcet Harmony combin'd,
They bring Youth, Beauty, Genius to the mind,
Still, still they moan, the sadden'd ear along,
In all the wildness of Funereal song.
They mourn,- that Youth is but a transient hour,
That Beauty fades like Summer's fairest flower,
That every grace of form, which men adore,
Or charm of mind, is vain-for Tighe's * no more!

NOTES.

1

* The late Mrs. Henry Tighe, Authoress of Psyche and other poems, published since her decease by her friends, fell a victim in 1810 to a malady, that, while it evinced the strength of her

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Chaste as the Lay that chastest Reason forms,
Where Truth invigorates, and Fancy warms;

640

NOTES.

mind, could neither destroy the loveliness of her person nor the brilliancy of her talents.

Like Ossian's Morna, “ she has fallen in darkness as the star in the desert, when the traveller is alone and mourns the transient beam;” but she has left a portion of her brightness bebind her that never can decay.

As a model for purity of style, harmony of verse, and fertility of Imagination chastened by the hand of Reason, I should wish every female writer, who desires to excel, maturely to examine Psyche.

With the words of one of her friends, to whom the literary world is under great obligation for publishing her Poems, I will conclude: “ Had these served only as the feeting record of her destiny, and as a monument of private regret, her friends would not have thought themselves justified in displaying them to the world. But when a Writer intimately acquainted with classical literature, and guided by a taste for real excellence, has delivered in polished language such sentiments as can tend only to encou.

Lamented Tighe! thy Psyche's magic strain
Long past this fleeting moment shall remain :
And, as the eye o'er thy pure page shall bend,
The pensive bosom will delight to blend
The Muse's sorrow with fair Psyche's tale, 645
And yield the sigh that cannot aught avail.
Yet, then to Joy one feeling shall be given,
When Hope shall whisper thou art flown to Heav'n.
Thy name shall live on Fame's immortal roll,
Beyond or Envy's reach, or Time's control. 650

How pure the flame from Glory's orb that plays, When Virtue mingles with the Poet's praise! Then souls, like Tighe's, with milder lustre shine, And Taste and Feeling gild their calm decline.

NOTES.

rage and improve the best sensations of the human heart, then it becomes a sort of duty in surviving friends no longer to withhold from the public such precious relics!"

« PreviousContinue »