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But past is all his fame.
The very spot Where many a time he triumphed, is forgot. Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high, Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye, Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspired, Where grey-beard mirth, and smiling toil retired, Where village statesmen talked with looks profound, And news much older than their ale went round. Imagination fondly stoops to trace The parlour splendours of that festive place ; The white-washed wall, the nicely sanded floor, The varnished clock that clicked behind the door ; The chest contrived a double debt to pay, A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day; The pictures placed for ornament and use, The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose ; The hearth, except when winter chilled the day, With aspen boughs, and flowers and fennel gay ; While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show, Ranged o'er the chimney, glistened in a row.
Vain transitory splendour ! could not all
Here lies David Garrick, describe me who can,
But let us be candid, and speak out our mind,
Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind, He has not left a wiser or better behind ; His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand ; His manners were gentle, complying, and bland ; Still born to improve us in every part, His pencil our faces, his manners our heart : To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering, When they judged without skill, he was still hard of hearing When they talked of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff, He shifted his trumpets, and only took snuff.
STANZAS ON WOMAN.
When lovely Woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What art can wash her guilt away?
To hide her shame from every eye,
And wring his bosom, is—to die.
Hugh Kelly, author of False Delicacy, &c. Died 1777. ? William Woorlfall, printer of the Morning Chronicle. Died 1803
Sir Joshua Reynolds was deaf and used an ear-trumpet.
[Thomas Warton was born in 1728 at Basingstoke, of which town his father (Thomas Warton, Professor of Poetry at Oxford from 1718 to 1728) was vicar. He was educated at first by his father, and in 1743 became a member of Trinity College, Oxford, of which society he became a Fellow
He was Professor of Poetry from 1757 to 1767, and became Poet-Laureate on the death of Whitehead in 1785. He died in 1790. His poems, published separately from time to time, were collected in 1777, and again, in two vols. 8vo., in 1802.]
Thomas Warton is in his poetry chiefly imitative, as was natural in so laborious a student of our early poetical literature. The edition of his poems which was published by his admirer and his brother's devoted pupil, Richard Mant, offers a curious example of a poet 'killed with kindness'; for the apparatus of parallel passages from Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and others, is enough to ruin any little claim to originality which might have been put forward for him. The Pleasures of Melancholy is a cento of Il Penseroso, Comus, and The Faerie Queene ; the Ode on the Approach of Summer is a mere echo of L’Allegro. Again, the influence of Gray makes itself far too strongly felt in Warton's elegiac poems and odes. But there are reasons why his genial figure should not be altogether excluded from a representative English anthology. It has often been said that his History of English Poetry, with Percy's Reliques, turned the course of our letters into a fresh channel ; but what is more noticeable here is that his own poetry—or much of it, for he is not always free from the taint of pseudo-classicalism-instinctively deals with materials like those on which the oder writers had drawn. In reaction against the didactic and critical temper of the earlier halt of his century, he is a student of nature ; he is even an “enthusiast,' in Whitehead's sense. He has two passions, well expressed in the
two sonnets here given-the passion for 'antiquity' and the passion for nature; for the Bodleian Library and for
• The field, the forest, green and gay,
The dappled slope, the tedded hay;' and, we may add, for Oxford, his home for forty-seven years, at whose service he was always ready to place his invention, his humour, and his gift of satire. The real Warton is to be looked for in the writings in which these passions find their vent; in the History, in the Sonnets (a form of composition which he reviver among us), and in the Humorous Pieces ; not in the 'quit-:en: odes' which were wrung from him by the unhappy necessities of his laureateship.