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Thomas WARTON, younger brother of the pre-l lamented the death of George II., in some lines adceding, a distinguished poet, and an historian of dressed to Mr. Pitt, he continued the courtly strain poetry, was born at Basingstoke in 1728. He was in poems on the marriage of George III., and on the educated under his father till 1743, when he was birth of the Prince of Wales, both printed in the admitted a commoner of Trinity College, Oxford. University collection. In 1770 he gave an edition, Here he exercised his poetical talent to so much ad- in two volumes 4to., of the Greek poet Theocritus, vantage, that, on the appearance of Mason's Elegy which gave him celebrity in other countries besides of Isis, which severely reflected on the disloyalty his own. At what time he first employed himself of Oxford at that period, he was encouraged by Dr. with the History of English Poetry, we are not ii lluddesford, President of his College, to vindicate formed; but in 1774 he had so far proceeded in the the cause of his University. This task he performed work as to publish the first volume in 4to. He afler. with great applause, by writing, in his twenty-first wards printed a second in 1778, and a third in 1781; year, “ The Triumph of Isis,” a piece of much but his labor now became tiresome to himself, and spirit and fancy, in which he retaliated upon the the great compass which he had allotted to his plan bard of Cam, by satirizing the courtly venality then was so irksome, that an unfinished fourth volume supposed to distinguish the rival University. His was all that he added to it.
Progress of Discontent," published in 1750, ex- The place of Camden professor of history, vacant hibited to great advantage his powers in the familiar by the resignation of Sir William Scott, was the style, and his talent for humor, with a knowledge close of his professional exertions; but soon after of human life, extraordinary at his early age, espe- another engagement required his attention. By cially if composed, as it is said, for a college exer- His Majesty's express desire, the post of poelcise in 1746. In 1750 he took the degree of M. A., laureate was offered to him, and accepted, and he and in the following year became a fellow of his determined to use his best endeavors for rendering College.
it respectable. Varying the monotony of anniverHis spirited satire, entitled “Newmarket," and sary court compliment by topics better adapted to pointed against the ruinous passion for the turf; his poetical description, he improved the style of the "Ode for Music;" and his “ Verses on the Death laureate odes, though his lyric strains underweni of the Prince of Wales," were written about this some ridicule on that account. time; and, in 1753, he was the editor of a small His concluding publication was an edition of the collection of poems, under the title of “ The juvenile poems of Milton, of which the first volume Union,” which was printed at Edinburgh, and con- made its appearance in 1785, and the second in tained several of his own performances. In 1754 1790, a short time before his death. His constituhe made himself known by Observations on tion now began to give way. In his sixty-second Spenser's Faery Queen, in one volume, afterwards year an attack of the gout shattered his frame, and enlarged to two; a work well received by the pub- was succeeded in May, 1790, by a paralytic seizure, lic, and which made a considerable addition to his which carried him off, at his lodgings in Oxford. literary reputation. So high was his character in His remains were interred, with every academical the University, that in 1757 he was elected to the honor, in the chapel of Trinity College. office of its poetry-professor, which he held for the The pieces of Thomas Warion are very various usual period of ten years, and rendered respectable in subject, and none of them long, whence he must by the erudition and taste displayed in his lectures. only rank among the minor poets; but scarcely one
It does not appear necessary in this place to par- of that tribe has noted with finer observation the ticularize all the prose compositions which, whether minute circumstances in rural nature that afford grave or humorous, fell at this time from his pen; pleasure in description, or has derived from the but it may be mentioned that verse continued occa- regions of fiction more animated and picturesque sionally to occupy his thoughts and that having scenery.
ODE TO THE FIRST OF APRIL.
Witu dalliance rude young Zephyr wooes
Mindful of disaster past,
Scant along the ridgy land
The swallow, for a moment seen,
Fraught with a transient, frozen shower,
Where in venerable rows
Musing through the lawny park,
Towers distinguish'd from the rest,
Within some whispering osier isle,
O'er the broad downs, a novel race,
His free-born vigor yet unbroke
Yet, in these presages rude,
BOUND for holy Palestine,
“Syrian virgins, wail and weep,
* The Glym is a small river in Oxfordshire, flowing through Warton's parish of Kiddington, or Cuddington, and dividing it into upper and lower town. It is de scribed by bimself in his account of Cuddington, as a deep but narrow stream, winding through willowed meadows and abounding in trouts, pikes, and wild-fowl. It gives name to the village of Glymton, which adjoins to Kid. dington.
The radiant range of shield and lance
We bid the spectre-shapes avaunt, Down Damascus' hills advance :
Ashtaroth, and Termagaunt!t From Sion's turrets as afar
With many a demon, pale of hue, Ye ken the march of Europe's war!
Doom'd to drink the bitter dew, Saladin, thou paynim king,
That drops from Macon's sooty tree, From Albion's isle revenge we bring !
'Mid the dread grove of ebony. On Acon's spiry citadel,
Nor magic charms, nor fiends of Hell, Though to the gale thy banners swell,
The Christian's holy courage quell. Pictur'd with the silver Moon ;
Salem, in ancient majesty England shall end thy glory soon!
Arise, and lift thee to the sky! In vain, to break our firra array,
Soon on thy battlements divine Thy brazen drums hoarse discord bray:
Shall wave the badge of Constantine. Those sounds our rising fury fan :
Ye barons, to the Sun unfold English Richard in the van,
Our cross with crimson wove and gold !"
Blondel led the tuneful band,
PROGRESS OF DISCONTENT.
When now mature in classic knowledge,
The joyful youth is sent to College,
His father comes, a vicar plain, Then with ardor fresh endu'd,
At Oxford bred-in Anna's reign, Thus the solemn song renew'd.
And thus, in form of humble suitor, “ Lo, the toilsome voyage past, Heaven's favor'd hills appear at last!
Bowing accosts a reverend tutor :
“Sir, I'm a Glo'stershire divine, Object of our holy vow, We tread the Tyrian valleys now.
And this my eldest son of nine; From Carmel's almond-shaded steep
My wife's ambition and my own We feel the cheering fragrance creep:
Was that this child should wear a gown: O'er Engaddi's shrubs of balm
I'll warrant that his good behavior Waves the date-empurpled palm:
Will justify your future favor; See Lebanon's aspiring head
And, for his parts, to tell the truth, Wide his immortal umbrage spread!
My son 's a very forward youth ; Hail, Calvary, thou mountain hoar,
Has Horace all by heart--you'd wonderWet with our Redeemer's gore!
And mouths out Homer's Greek like thunder Ye trampled tombs, ye fanes forlorn,
If you'd examine--and admit him, Ye stones, by tears of pilgrims worn;
A scholarship would nicely fit him; Your ravish'd honors to restore,
That he succeeds 'tis ten to one; Fearless we climb this hostile shore !
Your vote and interest, sir!"—'Tis done. And thou, the sepulchre of God;
Our pupil's hopes, though twice defeated, By mocking Pagans rudely trod,
Are with a scholarship completed : Bereft of every awful rite,
A scholarship but half maintains, And quench'd thy lamps that beam'd so bright;
And college-rules are heavy chains : For thee, from Britain's distant coast,
In garret dark he smokes and puns, Lo, Richard leads his faithful host!
A prey to discipline and duns; Aloft in his heroic hand,
And now, intent on new designs, Blazing like the beacon's brand,
Sighs for a fellowship-and fines. O'er the far-affrighted fields,
When nine full tedious winters pasti Resistless Kaliburn* he wields.
That utmost wish is crown'd at last : Proud Saracen, pollute no more
But the rich prize no sooner got, The shrines by martyrs built of yore !
Again he quarrels with his lot: From each wild mountain's trackless crown
“ These fellowships are pretty things, In vain thy gloomy castles frown:
We live indeed like 'petty kings : Thy battering engines, huge and high,
But who can bear to waste his whole age In vain our steel-clad steeds defy ;
Amid the dullness of a college, And, rolling in terrific state,
Debarr'd the common joys of life, On giant-wheels harsh thunders grate.
And that prime bliss-a loving wife! When eve has hush'd the buzzing camp,
0! what's a table richly spread, Amid the moonlight vapors damp,
Without a woman at its head?
Ashtaroth is mentioned by Milton as a general name
of the Syrian deities: Par. Lost, i. 422. And Termagaant * Kaliburn is the sword of king Arthur; which, as the is the name given in the old romance to the god of the monkish historians say, came into the possession of Rich- Saracens. See Percy's Relics, vol. i. p. 74. ard I., and was given by that monarch, in the Crusades, 1 The scholars of Trinity are superannuated, if they to Tancred king of Sicily, as a royal present of inestima. do not succeed to fellowships in niue years after their ble value, about the year 1190.
election to scholarships.
• Why did I sell my college life,”
Oh! trilling head, and fickle heart!
INSCRIPTION IN A HERMITAGE,
AT ANSLEY HALL, IN WARWICKSHIRE.
Would some snug benefice but fall,
Too fond of freedom and of ease
Continuing this fantastic farce on,
Thus fixt, content he taps his barrel,
But ah! too soon his thoughtless breast
BENEATH this stony roof reclin'd,
The blackbird pipes in artless trill ;
At eve, within yon studious nook,
ODE SENT TO A FRIEND,
Who but would wish his holy lot
ON HIS LEAVING A FAVORITE VILLAGE IN
WRITTEN IN WHICHWOOD FOREST.
The hinds how blest, who ne'er beguilid To quit their hamlet's hawthorn wild; Nor haunt the crowd, nor tempt the main, For splendid care, and guilty gain!
When morning's twilight-tinctur'd beam Strikes their low thatch with slanting gleam, They rove abroad in ether blue, To dip the scythe in fragrant dew; The sheaf to bind, the beech to fell, That nodding shades a craggy dell.
'Midst gloomy glades, in warbles clear, Wild nature's sweetest notes they hear : On green untrodden banks they view The hyacinth's neglected hue : In their lone haunts, and woodland rounds, They spy the squirrel's airy bounds, And startle from her ashen spray, Across the glen, the screaming jay: Each native charm their steps explore Of Solitude's sequester'd store.
For them the Moon with cloudless ray Mounts, to iliume their homeward way: Their weary spirits to relieve, The meadow's incense breathe at eve. No riot mars the simple fare, That o'er a glimmering hearth they share : But when the curfew's measur'd roar Duly, the darkening valleys o'er, Has echoed from the distant town, They wish no beds of cygnet-down, No trophied canopies, to close Their drooping eyes in quick repose.
Their little sons, who spread the bloom Of health around the clay-built room, Or through the primros'd coppice stray, Or gambol in the new-mown hay ; Or quaintly braid the cowslip twine, Or drive afield the tardy kine; Or hasten from the sultry hill To loiter at the shady rill; Or climb the tall pine's gloomy crest, To rob the raven's ancient nest.
Their humble porch with honied flow'rs The curling woodbine's shade embow'rs : From the small garden's thymy mound Their bees in busy swarms resound : Nor fell Disease, before his time, Hastes to consume life's golden prime : But when their temples long have wore The silver crown of iresses hoar; As studious still calm peace to keep, Beneath a flowery turf they sleep.
Ah mourn, thou lov'd retreat! No more
Who now shall indolently stray
For lo! the Bard who rapture found
Behold, a dread repose resumes,
* Grey clothing, from the Latin verb amicio, to clothe.