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My muse (he cries) a nobler prospect view!
Through fancy's wílds some moral's point pursue !
From dark deception clear drawn truth display,
As from black chaos rose resplendent day!
Awake compassion, and bid terror rise !
Bid humble sorrows strike superior eyes !
So pamper'd power, unconscious of distress,
May see, be mov'd, and, being mov'd, redress.

Ye traitors, tyrants, fear his stinging lay!
Ye powers unlov'd, unpitied in decay!
But know, to you sweet-blossom’d fame he brings,
Ye heroes, patriots, and paternal kings !

O Thou, who form’d, who rais’d the poet's art, (Voice of thy will !) unerring force impart ! If wailing worth can generous warmth excite ! If verse can gild instruction with delight, Inspire his honest muse with orient flame, To rise, to dare, to reach the noblest aim !

But, O my friend ! mysterious is our fate! How mean is fortune, though his mind elate ! Æneas-like he passes through the crowd; Unsought, unseen, beneath misfortune's cloud; Or seen with slight regard : Unprais'd his name : His after-honour, and our after-shame. The doom'd desert, to avarice stands confess'd; Her eyes averted are, and steel'd her breast. Envy asquint the future wonder eyes : Bold insult, pointing, hoots him as he flies; While coward censure, skill'd in darker ways, Hints sure detraction in dissembled praise ! Hunger, thirst, nakedness, their grievous fall! Unjust derision too !—that tongue of gall ! Slow comes relief, with no mild charms endued, Usher'd by pride, and by reproach pursued. Forc'd pity meets him with a cold respect, Unkind as scorn, ungenerous as neglect.

Yet, suffering worth! thy fortitude will shine ; Thy foes are virtue's, and her friends are thine! Patience is thine, and peace thy days shall crown ; Thy treasure prudence, and thy claim renown: Myriads, unborn, shall mourn thy liapless fate, And myriads grow, by thy example, great !

Robert Blair was born in Edinburgh in the year 1699. His father, the Rev. David Blair, was one of the chaplains to the king. His grandfather was also a distinguished clergyman. The Poet's son was Solicitor-General for Scotland, and his cousin was the eminent Professor of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres in the University of Edinburgh.

Having obtained the advantages of a sound and liberal education, and improved those advantages by travel and a residence of "some time" on the continent, he was, in 1731, ordained minister of Athelstanefow, in the county of East Lothian:here the subsequent years of his life were passed, in ease, quiet, and contentment; in the enjoyment of tranquil pleasures, in cultivating literary pursuits, in discharging the duties of his profession, and in the happiness of domestic life.

His tastes were elegant and domestic. Books and flowers seem to have been the only rivals in his thoughts. His rambles were from his fire-side to his garden; and although the only record of his genius is of a gloomy character, it is evident that habit and circumstances combined to render him cheerful and happy. His wife, who is described as of “ uncommon beauty and amiable manners," bore him six children. He died of fever, on the 4th of February, 1746.

« The last end
or the good man was peace !"

The "Grave is the only poem Dr. Blair ever wrote — if we except some lines to the memory of Mr. Law, whose daughter he afterwards married. It is singular that a poet, so capable of producing great things—and with ample leisure and ease of mind to do so-should have written nothing else. Even this must have been commenced at an early age. In a letter to Dr. Doddridge, the Poet says, “the greatest part of it was composed several years before he was clothed with so sacred a character." This letter was written in 1742, and then the poem existed only in manuscript. It appears that his friend, Dr. Watts, had "offered it to two booksellers, who did not care to take the risk of publishing it;" consequently, the author never enjoyed the luxury of seeing it in print. The first edition was printed at Edinburgh in 1747; since then, that which the “two booksellers" rejected, has been reprinted perhaps a hundred times, and will never be long out of print while the English language endures. It is to be lamented that the praise which this poem received was limited to a few friends-who “honoured it with approval”—and that his attempt to extend his name was discouraged by the ignorance of those who did not "care to run the risk of publishing it." Had circumstances been either less or more favourable to the Poet, he might have left a still richer legacy to posterity.

“The Grave,” however, is sufficient to place the name of the writer high in the list of British poets. Its popularity is not alone dependent upon the fine moral tone that pervades it. Not only because it is in the happiest sense of the term "religious" has it been universally read and as universally admired. The language is rich, nervous, and pathetic. It abounds in pictures--original, striking, and always natural. At times he flies from the actual to the imaginative, but he never passes the bounds of probability. What he depicts-even the strong man in his agony, &c.-he might have seen. Above all, the Poet's kindly, generous, and benevolent nature, peers out even in his gloomiest or most harrowing descriptions ;-a: d he at all times bears in mind that the office of a christian clergyman involves a high and imperative duty. He therefore never loses an opportunity of impressing upon the minds of his readers the solemn lessons it is his business to teach and inculcate. Even in those passages which call upon satire to cooperate with truth-and which sometimes verge too closely upon the ludicrous-his one great object is clearly paramount-to "warn and scare" from the path which alone leads to a grave that must be terrible. His more awful descriptions are, however, at times, relieved by those that are gentle as well as beautiful--the Apostrophe to Friendship, "the tie more stubborn far than nature's band," may be quoted as one of the most delicious in the language. The Grave is a volume of "pictures to the ear." The representations of the Poet are as vivid as if they were conveyed to us on canvass.-Indeed the illustrations of the pencil can scarcely be

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INVIDIOUS grave, now aost thou renu in sunder Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one ! A tie more stubborn far than nature's band. Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul; Sweetner of life, and solder of society, I owe thee much. Thou has deserv'd from me, Far, far beyond what I can ever pay. Oft have I prov'd the labours of thy love, And the warm efforts of thy gentle heart, Anxious to please. Oh! when my friend and I In some thiek wood have wander'd heedless on, Hid from the vulgar eye, and sat us down

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ne mea mom me actual to the imaginative, but he never passes the bounds of probability. What he depicts—even the strong man in his agony, &c.—he might have seen. Above all, the Poet's kindly, generous, and benevolent nature, peers out even in his gloomiest or most harrowing descriptions ;-a, d he at all times bears in mind that the office of a christian clergyman involves a high and imperative duty. He therefore never loses an opportunity of impressing upon the minds of his readers the solemn lessons it is his business to teach and inculcate. Even in those passages which call upon satire to cooperate with truth-and which sometimes verge too closely upon the ludicrous—his one great object is clearly paramount-to "warn and scare" from the path which alone leads to a grave that must be terrible. His more awful descriptions are, however, at times, relieved by those that are gentle as well as beautiful—the Apostrophe to Friendship, "the tie more stubborn far than nature's band," may be quoted as one of the most delicious in the language. The Grave is a volume of " pictures to the ear.” The representations of the Poet are as vivid as if they were conveyed to us on canvass.—Indeed the illustrations of the pencil can scarcely be

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Invidious grave! how dost thou rend in sunder Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one ! A tie more stubborn far than nature's band. Friendship ! mysterious cement of the soul ; Sweetner of life, and solder of society, I owe thee much. Thou has deserv'd from me, Far, far beyond what I can ever pay. Oft have I prov'd the labours of thy love, And the warm efforts of thy gentle heart, Anxious to please. Oh! when my friend and I In some thiek wood have wander'd heedless on, Hid from the vulgar eye, and sat us down

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