« PreviousContinue »
People the busy mead,
Like fpectres fwarming to the wifard's hall;
And flowly pace, and point with trembling hand
The wounds ill-cover'd by the purple pall.
Before me Pity feems to ftand,
A weeping mourner, fmote with anguish fore,
To fee Misfortune rend in frantick mood
His robe, with regal woes embroider'd o'er.
Pale Terror leads the vifionary band,
And fternly shakes his fceptre, dropping blood.
By the fame.
Far from the fun and fummer gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling laid,
What time, where lucid Avon ftray'd,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face: The dauntless child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and fmil'd.
This pencil take (fhe faid) whofe colours clear
Richly paint the vernal year:
Thine too thefe golden keys, immortal boy!
This can unlock the gates of joy;
Of horror that, and thrilling fears,
Or ope the facred fource of fympathetick tears.3
Gray's Ode on the Progrefs of Poefy.
3 An ingenious perfon, who fent Mr. Gray his remarks anony moufly on this and the following Ode foon after they were published, gives this stanza and the following a very juft and wellexpreffed eulogy: "A poet is perhaps never more conciliating than when he praifes favourite predeceffors in his art. Milton is not more the pride than Shakspeare the love of their country: It is therefore equally judicious to diffuse a tenderness and a grace through the praise of Shakspeare, as to extol in a strain more elevated and fonorous the boundless foarings of Milton's imagination." The critick has here well noted the beauty of contraft which results from the two descriptions; yet it is further to be observed, to the honour of our poet's judgement, that the tenderness and grace in the former, does not prevent it from ftrongly characterifing the three capital perfe&ions of Shakspeare's genius; and
Next Shakspeare fat, irregularly great,
And in his hand a magick rod did hold,
Which vifionary beings did create,
And turn the fouleft drofs to pureft gold:
Whatever fpirits rove in earth or ir,
Or bad, or good, obey his dread command;
To his behefts thefe willingly repair,
Those aw'd by terrors of his magick wand,
The which not all their powers united might withftand.
Lloy'ds Progrefs of Envy, 1751.
Oh, where's the bard, who at one view
Could look the whole creation through,
Who travers'd all the human heart,
Without recourfe to Grecian art?
He fcorn'd the rules of imitation,
Of altering, pilfering and tranflation,
Nor painted horror, grief, or rage,
From models of a former age;
The bright original he took,
And tore the leaf from nature's book.
'Tis Shakspeare. -
Lloyd's Shakespeare, a Poem.
In the first feat, in robe of various dies
A noble wildnefs flashing from his eyes,
Sat Shakspeare. In one hand a wand he bore,
For mighty wonders fam'd in days of yore;
The other held a globe, which to his will.
Obedient turn'd, and own'd a master's fkill:
when he describes his power of exciting terror (a species of the fublime) he ceases to be diffuse, and becomes, as he ought to be, concife and energetical. MASON.
Things of the nobleft kind his genius drew,
And look'd through nature at a fingle view:
A loofe he gave to his unbounded foul,
And taught new lands to rife, new feas to roll;
Call'd into being fcenes unknown before,
And, paffing nature's bounds, was fomething more.