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BORN, 1757.-DIED, 1786.
The common fate of all things rare
May read in thee,
Respecting this ingenious and accomplished young wan, we are sorry that it is not in our power to make any addition to the following short notice, extracted from the Gentleman's Magazine for January, 1787
“ Died at Rome, James Six, M. A. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a young man of great natural abilities, and extensive learning. He understood the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, French, and German languages; and in most, if not all of them, had a well-grounded and accurate knowledge : of his classical and mathematical learning, the several prizes which he obtained during the course of his academical studies, are an eminent and honourable proof. Two beautiful odes, translated from the German, give no mean idea of his poetical powers; and as a draughtsman his designs were executed with wonderful neatness and elegance. To these accomplishments, which adorn society, he added a sweetness of manner, and a benevolence of disposition that endeared him to his family and friends, and gained him, wheresoever he
went, attention and esteem. He was buried at Rome, in a place appropriated to protestants. He was the son of James Six, Esq. of Canterbury, to whose ingenious observations and experiments in natural pbilosophy, &c. the public have been much indebted.”
We have been favoured with authentic copies of a few poems written by Mr. Six, which have appeared before, with the exception of one, but in an incorrect state, ; they are now copied from his own manuscripts, and being very elegantly written, induce us to express our regret for that diffidence which has withheld from the public eye others which we are assured exist. Their publication can reflect nothing but honour upon the lamented writer.
SONNET I. 1778. No mate is brooding now in covert nigb,
Sweet Robin, why from yonder naked spray
Is heard thy tender voice ? declining Day
So cold on Earth disrobed; or thy lay
Is funeral, and mourus the year's decay Haply thy own, as swans before they die. May thy soft notes a milder fate portend,
Nor plead for innocence, and plead in vain. Soft as his downy flakes of snow descend,
Fall Winter on thee; if thou e'er be fain Among mankind to single out a friend,
His roof protect thee, and his crumbs maintain.
* Mr. S. was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the inventor of that ingenious and useful instrument, the Self-regulating Thermometer. For an ample, but modest account of which, see a posthumous work, published at Maidstone, in 8vo 1794.
SONNET II. 1778. Offspring of Love first-born, whom young desire Invited often by a wanton smile
Snatches inflam'd, and trembles all the while, Trembling with awe, with passion all on fire, No common muse thy praises will require.
What bliss from coral lips to bear the spoil !
The bees iu spring with less delightful toil Suck op'ning blossoms e'er their sweets expire, While on the vermeil altar thou art lying,
Like some fair off'ring sprinkled o'er with dew, Amidst the fire of pure affection dying,
Thee oft the votaries of love renew, Rekindle oft the holy flame with sighing,
And swear by thee their mutual passion true.
SONNET III., 1778.
Sweet pledge of Love, and early fruit of joy,
The wounded heart with balmy nectar healing,
The secret mind by gentle touch revealing, Sweet unembitter'd by the wayward boy, His hourly sport, his never-tiring toy,
Cemented souls with mutual rapture sealing,
Soft summoner of ev'ry tender feeling, Though sensual pure, and rich without alloy, Such is thy power, as when her skill displaying,
Or to beguile disquietude of heart, Through mazy notes with fairy finger straying,
Some virgin makes the wakeful iv'ry start, This, to the strings the soft alarm conveying,
Fills with harmonious tremor ev'ry part.
On seeing a Mourning Ring, in memory of the Rev.
William Gostling,* ornamented with a crystal urn, enclosing a plaited lock of his hair, 1778.
When I survey this emblematic urn,
This briefly comprehensive tale peruse, Remembrance wakes
soul to soft concern, To grateful elegy my plaintive muse. O narrow shrine! and is thy crystal stor’d
With all that pious Thriftiness could save ? Yet shall Affection prize this little hoard,
Won from the crowded coffers of the grave.
Lo! here his rep’rend locks may vie with snow,
In silver tissue curiously dispread :
Beneath the velvet cov'ring of his head !
On that fair brow as open as his heart,
Which ev'ry social tie could comprehend, To worth or science equal aid impart,
An hospitable, universal friend.
Where is the glist’ning eye, the pregnant smile,
The comely countenance, the vocal tongue, Whose lively tales could fleeting Time beguile,
Instruct the old, and captivate the young?
Decrepit Age, and racking Gout conspir'd
To break his firm composure, but in vain : Oft have I mark'd his features, and admir'd,
Serenely smiling in the face of Pain.
* Author of the “ Walk in and about Canterbury," and one of the Minor Canons of the Cathedral,
Careless the fetters of Disease he bore,
While mem'ry led his active mind to stray
And rescue sacred ruins from decay.
Still Fancy views him, still I seem to spy
His lamp, his book, his posture, form and dress: Beside him Filial Care, with anxious eye
Watching his undisclosed wants to guess.
Thus his Good Name, and Honour'd Image still
On living tablet shall Affection raise
Or the vain words of monumental praise.
Translated from the German of Count Stolberg. 1782.
Reclin'd I lay on grassy bed,
Spring scatter'd odours o'er my head,
The falling bloom, dew-dropping skies,
And lulling Zephyrs clos'd my eyes,
When lo! a form celestial bright
In vision broke upon my sight: