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But let us be candid, and speak out our mind;
Here Reynolds is laid ; and, to tell you my mind,
DR. THOMAS PERCY (1729–1811), afterwards bishop of Dromore, in 1765 published his “ Reliques of English Poetry, in which several excellent old songs and ballads were revived, and a selection made of the best lyrical pieces scattered through the works of dramatic and other authors. The learning and ability with which Percy executed his task, and the sterling value of his materials, recommended his volumes to public favour. They found their way into the bands of poets and poetical readers, and awakened a love of nature, simplicity, and true passion, in contradistinction to that coldly correct and sentimental style which pervaded part of cur literature. The influence of Percy's collection was general and extensive. It is evident in many contemporary authors. It gave the first impulse to the genius of Sir Walter Scott; and it may be seen in the writings of Coleridge and Wordsworth. A fresh fountain of poetry was opened up-a spring of sweet, tender, and heroic thoughts and imaginations, which could never be again turned back into the artificial channels in which the genius of poesy had been too long and too closely confined. Percy was himself å poet. His ballad, O Nancy, wilt thou go with Me?' the ‘Hermit of Warkworth,' and other detached pieces, evince both taste and talent. We subjoin a cento, the ‘Friar of Orders Gray,' which Percy says he compiled from fragments of ancient ballads, to which be added supplemental stanzas to connect them to. gether. The greater part, however, is his own, and it must be admitted that he was too prone to tamper with the old ballads.
Dr. Percy was born at Bridgnorth, Shropshire, son of a grocer, and have * Sir Joshua was so deaf; as to be under the necessity, of using an ear-trumpet in
Goldsmith was engaged on this portrait when his last illness seized him
ing taken holy orders, became successively chaplain to the king, dean of Carlisle, and bishop of Dromore: the latter dignity he possessed from 1782 till his death at the advanced age of eighty-two. He enjoyed the friendship of Johnson, Goldsmith, and other distinguished men of his day, and lived long enough to hail the genius of Scott.
A complete reprint of Bishop Percy's folio MS. was published in 1868, in three voluines, edited by John W. Hales, M A. anıl F. J. Furnival, M.A. Mr. Furnival describes the Ms. as a scrubby, shabby paper book,' which had lost some pages both at the beginning and end.' Percy found it lying dirty on the floor under a 'bureau in the parlour of his friend Humphrey Pitt of Shifnall, Shropshire, being used by the maids to light the fire. The date, as appears from the handwriting, was about 1650. 'As to the text,' says Mr. Furnival, 'he (Percy) looked on it as a young woman from the country with unkempt locks, whom he had to fit for fashionable society. He puffed out the thirty-nine lines of the “ Child of Elle” to two hundred; he pomatumed the “ Heir of Linne” till it shore again; he stuffed bits of wool into Sir Carline and Sir Aldingar; he pow. dered everything. The 'Reliques' contained one hundred and seventy-six pieces and of these forty-five were from the folio MS.
O Nancy, wilt thou go with Me?* O Nancy, wilt thou go with me,
O Nancy, canst thou love so true, Nor sigh to leave the flaunting town? Through perils keen with me to go? Can silent glens have charıns for thee, Or, when thy swain mishap shall rue, The lowly cot and reset gown ?
To share with him the pang of woe ? No longer dressed in silken sheen, Say, should disease or pain befall,
No longer decked with jewels rare, Wilt thou assume the nurse's care, Say, canst thou quit each courtly scene, Nor, wistful, those gay scenes recall,
Where thou wert fairest of the fair ? Where thou wert fairest of the fair ? O Nancy, when thou 'rt far away, And when at last thy love shall die,
Wilt thou not cast a wish behind ? Wilt thou receive his parting breath? Say, canst thou face the parching ray, Wilt thou repress each struggling sigh,
Nor shrink before the wintry wind ? And cheer with smiles the bed of death? O can that soft and gentle mien
And wilt thou o'er his breathless clay Extremes of hardship learu to bear, Strew flowers, and drop the tender tear, Nor, sad, regret each courtly scene, Nor then regret those scenes so gay, Where thou wert fairest of the fair? Where thou wert fairest of the fair ?
The Friar of Orders Gray It was a friar of orders gray
• And how should I kuow your true love Walked forth to tell his beads,
From many another one ? And he met with a lady fair,
• Oh! by his cockle hat and staff, Clad in a pilgriin's weeds.
And by his sandal shoon : •Now Christ thee save, thou reverend • But chiefly by his face and mien, I pray thee tell to me,
[friar ! That were so fair to view, If ever at yon holy shrine
His flaxen locks that sweetly curled, My true love thou didst see.'
And eyes of lovely blue.'
* From Dodsley's Collection of Poems, 1758. In Johnson's Musical Museum it is printed as a Scottish production. • It is too barefaced.' says Burns. to take Dr Percy's charming song, and, by means of transposing a few English
words into scols, to offer to pass it for a Scots song.
"O lady, he is dead and gone!
But he is dead, and laid in his grave, Lady, he's dead and gone!
• Alas! and woe is me.' At his head a green grass turf, And at his heels a stone.
"Sigh no more, lady, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever; • Within these holy cloisters long
One foot on sea, and one on land,
To one thing constant never.
‘Hadst thou been fond, he had been false,
And left thee sad and heavy; · Here bore him barefaced on his bier For young inen ever were fickle found, Six proper youths and tall;
Since summer trees were leafy.'
Now say not so, thou holy friar,
thee say not so;
O he was ever true!
. And art thou dead, thou much-loved
And didst thou die for me? [youth? Oweep not, lady, weep not so,
Then farewell home ; for evermore
A pilgrim I will be.
- But first npon my true-love's grave
My weary limbs I'llay, • O do not, do not, holy friar,
And thrice I'll kiss the green grass turf My sorrow now reprove;
That wraps his breathless clay.'
Yet stay, fair lady, rest a while,
Beneath this cloister wall; . And now, alas! for thy sad loss
The cold wind throngh the hawthorn I'll everinore weep and sigh;
And drizzly rain doth fall.' [blows, For thee I only wished to live, For thee I wish to die.'
O stay me not, thou holy friar,
O stay me not, I pray;
Can wash my fault away.'
"Yet stay, fair lady, turn again,
And dry those pearly tears;
Thy own true love appears.
'Here, forced by grief and hopeless love,
These holy weeds I sought; .O say not so, thou holy friar !
And here, amid these lonely walls, I pray thee say not so;
To end my days I thought. For since my true love died for me, 'Tis meet my tears should flow.
• But haply, for my year of grace
Is not yet passed away, • And will he never come again
Might I still hope to win thy love,
No longer wonid I stay.'
Now farewell grief, and welcome joy
Once more unto my heart; . His cheek was redder than the rose- For since I've found thee, lovely youth, The comeliest youth was he;
We never more will part.'
As this ballad resembles Goldsmith's Edioin and Angelina, it is but right to mention that Goldsmith had the priority. For the original story, see Gentle Heardsman in Percy's Reliquer.
RICHARD GLOVER (1712–1785), a London merchant, who sat sev. eral years ir parliament as member for Weymouth, was distinguished in private life for his spirit and independence. He published two elaborate poems in blank verse, ' Leonidas' and the 'Athenaid'-the former bearing reference to the memorable defence of Thermoplyæ, and the latter continuing the war betweeen the Greeks and Persians. The length of these poems, their want of sustained interest, and lesser peculiarities not suited to the existing poetical taste, render them next to unknown in the present day. But there is smoothness and even vigour, a calm moral dignity and patriotic eleyation in ‘Leonidas,' which might even yet find admirers. Thomson is said to have exclaimed, when he heard of the work of Glover: 'He write an epic poem, who never saw a mountain ! Yet Thomson himself, familiar as he was in his youth with mountain scenery, was tame and com: mon-place when he ventured on classic or epic subjects. “Leonidas' first appeared in 1737, and was bailed with acclamations by the Opposition or Prince of Wales's party, of which Glover was an active member. He was eloquent, intrepid, and of incorruptible integrity. In 1739, he published London, or the Progress of Commerce,' a poem written to excite the national spirit against the Spaniards; in 1742, he appeared before the bar of the House of Commons, the chosen delegate of the London merchants, who complained of the neglect of their trade and interests. In 1741, he declined, as already mentioned, to join Mallet in writing a Life of the Duke of Marlborough, though his affairs had become somewhat embarrassed. A fortunate speculation in copper enabled him to retrieve his position, and in 1761 he was returned M P. for Weymouth. He distinguished himself by his advocacy of the mercantile interests, and during his leisure enlarged his poem of ‘Leonidas,' from nine to twelve books (1770), and wrote as a sequel to it, the 'Athenaid,' which was published after his death (in 1788.) Two tragedies by Glover, ‘ Boadecia' (1753), and “Medea' (1761), are but indifferent performances. His chief honour is that of
vin been an eloquent and patriotic city mer at the same time that he was eminent as a scholar and man of letters.
Address of Leonidas.
Ye men of Sparta ? Does the name of death
A reverential murmur breathes applause. The nature of the poem affords scope for interesting situations and descriptions of natural objects in a romantic country, wbich Glover occasionally avails himself of with good effect. There is great beauty, and classic elegance in this sketch of the fountain at the dwelling of Oileus :
Beside the public way an oval fount
Rest here; then seek Oileus in his vale.' In the ‘Athenaid' we have a continuation of the same classic story and landscape. The following is an exquisite description of a nightscene :
Silver Phæbe spreads