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FRANCIS FAWKES.

BORN ABOUT 1721.-DIED 1777.

« Fawkes, to thy classic fame new tropkies rise,

And various tongues applaud thy vent'rous song ;

To thee the strains of gratitude belong,
To thee, the laurels of thy bold emprise!

See Apollonius' venerable shade

To thee commits his argonautic lyre,

To sing how Jason caught th' heroic fire,
And how the threat'ning flood Medea stay'd!

Hail, Apollonius of a later day !

Hail, blithe Anacreov, Bion, Muschus hail!
Each at thy birth, propitious, mark'd thy way,

And smooth'd thy path through Cray's sequester'd tale :
Around thy grave may flowers spontaneous spring,
May Fairies dance, and Philomela sing."

(A. Highmore, jup. Nichol's Collection, vol. 8, 1782.)

A new,

6 That servile path thou nobly dost decline,
Of tracing word by word, and line by line ;

and nobler way thou dost pursue,
To make translations, and translators new,
They but preserve the ashes, thou the nume,
True to thy author's sense, but truer to his fame

(Sir J. Denhain on Fanshaw.)

The Rev. FRANCIS FAWKES, better known as a translator, than as a poet in his own right, was the friend and contemporary of Dr. Hawkesworth and Mr. Duncombe, the latter of whom has given us the following account of him :-" He was a native of Yorkshire, and had his school education at Leeds, under the care of the Rev, Mr, Cookson, Vicar of that Parish, from

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whence he was translated to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he took a degree in arts, Entering early into holy orders, he settled first at Bramham, in Yorkshire, near the elegant seat of that name, (Mr. Lane's, which he celebrated in verse, in 1745. Removing afterwards to the curacy of Croydon, in Surrey, he recommended himself to the notice of Archbishop Herring, then resident there on account of his healih, to whom he i addressed an “Ode on his Recovery,” in 1754, printed with other pieces, in Dodsley's collection. In 1755 he was collated by his Grace to the Vicarage of Orpington, with St. Mary Cray, in Kent; and two years afterwards lamented bis patron's death in a pathetic elegy styled “Aurelius," first printed with that Prelate's seven sermons, in 1763. He married about the same time, Miss Purrier, of Leeds. In April 1774, by the late Dr. Plumptre's favour, he exchanged his vicarage for the neighbouring rectory of Hayes. He was also one of the Chaplains to the Princess Dowager of Wales. His first poetical publication was Gawen Douglas's “ Description of May and Winter" modernized. In 1761 be published a volume of poems in 8vo. by subscription. In 1763 and 1764, the “ Poetical Calendar, and “Poetical Magazine," in conjunction with Mr. William Woty; and “ Partridge Shooting," an Eclogue to the Hon. Charles Yorke, 4to. 1767. He also compiled a 4to Family Bible, with notes. But his great strength lay in translation, in which, since Pope, few have equalled him. Witness his “ Fragments of Me nander," in his poems; his “ Woks of Anacreon, Sappho, Bion, Moschus, and Musæus," 12mo. 1760: his “ Idylliums of Theocritus,” by subscription, 8vo. 1767; and his " Argonautics of Apollonius Rhodius,' s

by subscription also, (a posthumous publication completed by the Rev. Mr. Moon, of Emanuel College, Cambridge,) in 8vo. 1780. He died at Hayes, August 26, 1777."

It has been suggested that Fawkes; from his exchanging his livings rather late in life, and publishing his last works by subscription, seems to have suffered in consequence of a want of due attention to pecuniary matters ; this is not improbable ;-the good-humoured pleasantry of his more familiar original verses, whilst they are irreproachable in moral tendency, characterise their author rather as a " careless gay son of the muse," than a rigid economist :-instances of the latter virtue indeed, among the yotaries of the muses, are of rare occurrence.

The character given above of Mr. Fawkes's principal works, was written forty years ago. Later translations of the Sicilian Poet, and of the Grecian Lyrics, bare as far surpassed him in spirit, and sometimes in elegance, as his barmonious numbers exceeded “the rough music" of Creech: but his works will always be esteemed for their faithfulness, as well as their beauty; a great merit, which recent and still more polished versions cannot always boast.*

Fawkes, in his preface to his Theocritus, says, “However Creech may have approved himself in Lucretius or Manilios, I shall venjare to pronounce his translation of Theocritus'very bald and hard, and more rustic than any of the rustics of the Sicilian bard. He himself modestly entitles his book, “The Idylliums of Theocritus done into English :" and they are done as well as can be expected from Creecb, who had neither an ear for numbers, nor the least delicacy of expression."

history. Sir I. Ne 937

His “ Poetical Calendar," although the work bears little reference to the title, was a periodical collection of many of the best minor poenas of the day, and included some of his own, and of his friend and coadjutor, William Woty. It forms an agreeable sequel to the collections of Dodsley and Pearch.

As specimens of his manner, the following extracts will perhaps suffice. THE LAUNCHING AND SAILING OF THE

SHIP ARGO.

(From Apollonius.) He said, and instant to the task he flew :Example fir'd his emulative crew; They heap'd their vestments on a rock that stood Far from the insults of the roaring flood, But in times past, when wintry storms prevail'd, Th' epcroaching waves its towering top assaild. As Argus counsel'd, with strong ropes they bound, Compacting close, the vessel round and round;t Then with stout nails the sturdy planks they join’d, To brave the fury of the waves and wind; Next dels'd with spades a channel deep and wide, Through which the ship might launch into the tide. Near to the water deeper was the way, Where wooden cylinders transversely lay;

Jason, the son of Æson, King of Thessaly, and the leader of the Argonautic expedition. This celebrated event is generally supposed to have occurred in the first era of true

places it about 43 years after the death of Solonion, years before the birth of Christ.

“* This warlike ship was made By skilful Argus with Minerva's aid."

On these they heav'd the vessel from the plain,
To roll her, smoothly gliding, to the main.
Then to the benches tapering oars they fix'd ;-
A cubit's measure was the space betwixt;
This was the station for the labouring bands
To tug with bending breasts, and out-stretcli'd hands.
First Tiphys mounted on th' aerial prow,
To issue orders to the train below,
That, at his word their strength uniting, all
Might join together, and together haul.
With eager look th' attentive heroes stand,
And wait impatient 'till he gives command;
Then all at once with full exerted sway,
They move ber from the station where she lay,
And pushing instant, as the pilot guides,
On smooth round rollers Pelian Argo glides.
Glibly she glides ;-loud shouts the jovial band;-
They haul, they pull, they push her from the strand.
Beneath the large bulk groan the rollers strong;
Black smoke arises as she moves along;
With swift descent she rushes to the main,-

To watchful Tiphys was the helm assign'd,
To stem the waves, and catch the fav’ring wind.

Soon as the bright-ey'd morning's splendid ray,
On Pelion's summit pour'd the welcome day,
Light skimm'd the breezes o'er the liquid plain,
And gently swell’d the fluctuating main;
Then Tiphys rose, and summon'd by his care,
Embark the heroes, and their bars prepare.

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