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"A bower I have, where branching almonds spread, "Where all the seasons all their bounties shed; "The gales of life amidst the branches play, "And mufic burfts from ev'ry vocal spray, "Its verdant foot a stream of amber laves, "And o'er it Love his guardian banner waves: "There fhall our days, our nights in pleasure glide, "Friendship fhall live, when paffion's joys fubfide; "Increafing years improve our mutual truth, "And age give fanction to the choice of youth." His complaint is thus beautifully refumed :
Thus fondly I of fancied raptures fung,
"Defied Love's efforts, baffled med'cine's aid,
"And from these widow'd arms a treasure tore,
There appears to be fomething exceptionable in the termination of this little poem. That an act of fuicide should be produced by fuch a permanent, mellowed grief as the general tenor of the poem points out, is, we think, improbable. We have also a doubt whether the practice is confiftent with Arabian manners. Confidered in a moral light, perhaps even fictitious examples of fuicide, in general, are not favourable to virtue. They may tend to familiarize the human mind to an act which the fevere preffure of misfortune too often induces men to commit.
The Profpect of Life, an ode, paints the dark fide of things ·ftrongly, and juftly. Perhaps it might have been improved by contraction, and a different arrangement. We fhould, alfo, have approved it more, had it been written in regular stanzas. Cowley's mif-titled Pindaric, in which he was followed by every rhimer, is now, in general, properly discarded, and we are forry whenever we see attempts made to revive the use of it, by any who merit the name of poet.
The following picture of fome of the miferies of life, is well drawn, and highly coloured:
Ah! why the catalogue of ills prolong,
When all the paffions, fierce and unconfin'd,
Adds her keen edge-prefents an infant train,
Stern fate, perhaps, determin'd to destroy
All that was precious, all thou wish'd to fave,
Or gives thy bofom friend to an untimely grave.' The tranflation of the Oedipus Tyrannus being profeffedly a FREE one, its fidelity to the original does not come properly before us. We apprehend, however, that it will afford the English reader a pretty competent idea of the work of Sophocles. Confidered merely as a poem, it has much merit, the language not being deficient either in ftrength or melody; as will appear from the following quotations:
As a fpecimen of the Lyric parts of this tragedy, we shall
And her ftreets groan beneath the heaps of flain.
From her wild eye pernicious lightning glares:
The fcreaming infant from the bofom tears,
Imbibes pollution with his earliest breath.
Mad with the flames that revel through their blood.
Of the colloquial parts, with quick returns of dialogue, our
Shepherd. I did, and oh!
Death had that moment been my happiest boon. Qed. This day thou dief, unlefs 1 know the whole Of this dark fscene.
Shep. Ah fpare the dire recital: 'Tis death to tell thee.
Oed. Doft thou trifle with me? Shep. Did I not fay I gave the child?
Ord. Go on;
Whence came he? Was he thine by birth, or who
Shep. He was not mine;
Ord. What other? Speak his name, and where he dwells.
I do conjure thee.
Ord. If I afk again,
Shep. In yonder palace bornOed. Sprung from a flave, or was the king his fire ? Shep. Oh mifery to declare
Oed. Oh! Death to hear!
Shep. He was fuppos'd the king's own fon.
Oed. Didft thou from her
Shep. 'Twere fruitless to deny
Oed. What was her purpose ?
Shep. That I should kill it.
Oed. What, deftroy the child?
Oed. How, oracles?
Shep. That this fon fhould flay
Oed. But if fuch her fears,
Why didst thou give it to this fhepherd's care?
Oed. 'Tis done; the tenfold mystery burfts to light;
I am that moft ill-fated, most accurft.
Thou fun, farewell; why fmile thy beams on me,
⚫ Come near, my daughters; fhudder not to touch Your father, and your-brother: view the hands,
Come night, come horror, fhield me from his rays;
From the longer fpeeches, we shall extract part of the pathetic addrefs of Oedipus to his daughters:
Yet red with gore, whofe fury hath confign'd me
The fight of you and heav'n: a king myself,
The name of father. Ye must never tafte
• Inhabitants of Thebes, behold your prince,
Till death decide, and itamp the name of "happy." This pleafing collection contains feveral other (fmaller) pieces, which have their merit. The Roman critic's maxim, ubi plura nitent, &c. we hope always to have in view, in our decifions; but candidly to point out fmaller faults is fometimes an office of kindness. Mr. Maurice feems to pay confiderable attention to correctnefs; we would wish him to be quite correct. He will, we hope, excufe the hint, that he might derive advantage from avoiding a recurrence of the fame thought in different expreffions. An inftance of this we obferved in his verfes to the Marquis of Blandford, (p. 13.) where, if the two lines,
But lo! attended by her infant train,
That fport around her on the velvet plain,
had been omitted, the circumftance defcribed would have been more beautifully, because more abruptly, introduced by the nineteenth line of the same page :
But who are thefe, that flufh'd with all the glow-&c." There are a few blemishes of other kinds, which ftruck us in the course of perufal. In Hero and Leander,
Defcending torrents, mix'd with ruddy flame,
The later part of the laft line is an impropriety committed for the fake of rhyme. The last line of our first quotation from Hinda, we could with the Author to reconfider
Perhaps the idea of indulging grief is not the most claffically expreffed by
-Sorrow cherish'd an eternal wound.
In the fame poem, p. 28, 1, 10, there is an elipfis of the prepofition to, which does not pleafe,
While unremitting forrow points the tomb.'
Had the epithet, unremitting, been fuppreffed, SORROW would have been perfonified, and might with propriety have been said to point, or direct, the unhappy mourner to his tomb.
We must not take leave of this publication, without doing its Author the juftice to remark, that, in this edition, he has much improved fome of the poems which were formerly publifhed, by the omiffion or alteration of exceptionable paffages. Yet we cannot help wishing that he had paid more attention to Hagley, and Netherby, in this republication. These poems, though they contain many excellent lines, ftill appear, in our opinion, to want fome curtailing, and much polishing.
H ISTOIRE Naturelle, generale, & particuliere; contenant les Epoques de la Nature, &c.—A Natural History, general and particular containing the Epochas of Nature. Supplement. Volume V. of the 4to Edition, and IX. and X. of the 8vo. 1779. Concluded. In the preceding part of our account * of this volume we arrived, in our analyfis of this philofophical romance, at the end of the fourth epocha of nature. As the chief merit of the Author, however extenfive his knowledge may be, lies in invention and painting, fo his picture of the ftate of the earth during this fourth period, when its domain was divided between water and fire, is fublime and terrible, in the higheft degree. The objects that enter into this difmal and tremen
Appendix to the last volume of our Review [the 61ft] p. 543. dous