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on a friend fallen from the pride of prosperity to a more humble and more interesting situation. The withering grass that whistles on the unsheltered bank; the fallen leaves strewed over the woodland path; the silence of the almost naked copse, which not long ago rung with the music of the birds ; the flocking of their little tribes that seem mute with the dread of ills to come; the querulous call of the partridge in the bare brown field, and the soft low song of the redbreast from the household shed; this pensive landscape, with these plaintive accompaniments, dimmed by a gray October sky, which we look on with the thoughts of its shortened and still shortening light; all this presses on my bosom a certain still and gentle melancholy, which I would not part with for all the pleasure that mirth could give, for all the luxury that wealth could buy. You say, truly, in one of your
papers, that poetry is almost extinguished among us : it is one of ту
old-fashioned propensities to be fond of poetry, to be delighted with its descriptions, to be affected by its sentiments. I find genuine poetry a sort of opening to the feelings of my mind, to which my own expression could not give vent; I see in its descriptions a picture more lively and better composed, than my own less distinct and less vivid ideas of the objects around me could furnish. It is with such impressions that I read the following lines of Thomson's Autumn introductive of the solemn and beautiful apostrophe to philosophie melancholy :
“But see the fading many-color'd woods,
Shade deepening over shade, the country round
Meantime, light-shadowing all, a sober calm
About this time three years, sir, I had the misfortune to lose a daughter, the last survivor of my family, whom her mother, dying at her birth, left a legacy to my tenderness, who closed a life of the most exemplary goodness, of the most tender filial duty, of the warmest benevolence, of the most exalted piety, by a very gradual but not unperceived decay.
When I think on the returning season of this calamity, when I see the last fading flowers of autumn, which my Harriet used to gather with a kind of sympathetic sadness, and hear the small chirping note of the flocking linnets, which she used to make me observe as the elegy of the year! when I have drawn her picture in the midst of this rural scenery, and then reflected on her many virtues and accomplishments, on her early and unceasing attention to myself, her gentle and winning manners to every one around her; when I remember her resignation during the progress of her disorder, her unshaken and sublime piety in its latest stages; when these recollections filled my mind, in conjunction with the drooping images of the season, and the sense of my own waning period of life, I feel a mixture of sadness and of composure, of humility and of elevation of spirit, which. I think, sir, a man would ill exchange for any degree of unfeeling prudence, or of worldly wisdom and indifference.
The attachment to rural objects is like that family affection which a warm and uncorrupted mind preserves for its relations and early acquaintance. In a town, the lively partiality and predilections for these relations or friends is weakened or lost in the general intercourse of the multitude around us. In a town, external objects are so common, so unappropriated to ourselves, and are so liable to change and to decay, that we cannot feel any close or permanent connection with them. In the country we remember them unchanged for a long space of time, and for that space known and frequented by scarce'any but ourselves. “ Methinks I should hate,” says a young lady, the child of fiction, yet drawn with many features like that excellent girl I lost, “methinks I should hate to have been born in a town. When I say my native brook, or my native hill, I talk of friends, of whom the remembrance warms my heart.” When the memory of persons we dearly loved is connected with the view of those objects, they have then a double link to the soul. It tender enough for me to view some ancient trees that form my common evening walk, did I only remember what I was when I first sported under their shade, and what I am when I rest under it now; but it is doubly tender when I think of those with whom I have walked there; of her whom but a few summers ago I saw beneath those beeches, smiling in health, and beauty, and happiness, her present days lighted
with innocence and mirth, and her future drawn in the flattering colors of fancy and of hope.
But I know not why I should trouble you with this recital of the situation and feelings of an individual, or indeed why I should have written to you at all, except that I catched
a sort of congenial spirit from your 87th Number, and was led by the letter of Urbanus to compare your description of a personage in former times with those whose sentiments I sometimes hear in the present days. I am not sure that these have gained in point of substance what they have lost in point of imagination Power, and wealth, and luxury, are relative terms; and if address, and prudence, and policy, can only acquire us our share, we shall not account ourselves more powerful, more rich, or more luxurious, than when in the little we possessed we were still equal to those around us. But if we have narrowed the sources of internal comfort and internal enjoyment,-if we have debased the powers of purity of the mind,-if we have blunted the sympathy or contracted the affections of the heart, we have lost some of that treasure which was absolutely our own, and derived not its value from comparative estimation. Above all, if we have allowed the prudence or the interests of this world to shut out from our souls the view or the hopes of a better, we have quenched that light which would have cheered the darkness of affliction and the evening of old age, which at this moment, Mr. Lounger (for like an old man I must come back to myself), I feel restoring me my virtuous friends, my loved relations, my dearest child !—I am, &c.
Two guuurts, and an Inscription on a spring.
BY THOMAS WARTON.
It is curious that Warton, who was by no means a great poet, should have written some of the most favorite sonnets in the language. The reason is, that they were upon subjects he understood, and that the writer was in earnest. Upon most, indeed upon any occasions, Warton's mind was not sufficiently active or excitable to be moved into much eloquence of expression. The Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, was a luxurious Protestant monk, who found something to minister to his satisfaction in everything around him, Gothic architecture, books, country walks, &c., not omitting the club-room and the pipe; but he was content, in general, to admire them through the medium of the thoughts of others, and so let the companions of his mind speak for him. He was susceptible, however, of strong general impressions; and as these, in the instances before us, were made by his favorite subjects, they are given with corresponding truth. Almost all his sonnets (they are only nine), but especially these two, notwithstanding conventional phrases, have elegance, simplicity, and a touching fervor. Nobody had written on the particular topics before him, at least not poetically; so that his modesty was not tempted into imitation. It makes us regret that he did not oftener take up new subjects, especially when we see the original eye for nature which is discernible even in his half centos from the poets he admired. It must be allowed, nevertheless, that the good comfortable collegian was made rather to feel sentiment in others, than to express it in his own sturdy person.