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The western pilgrim's staff; Where rain in clasping boughs enclosed, And vines with oranges disposed, Embower the social laugh.
Now labour his reward receives, For Adoration counts his sheaves
To peace, her bounteous prince; The nect'rine his strong tint imbibes, And apples of ten thousand tribes, And quick peculiar quince.
The wealthy crops of whitening rice
And, marshalled in the fenced land,
The laurels with the winter strive; The crocus burnishes alive
Upon the snow-clad earth: For Adoration myrtles stay To keep the garden from dismay,
And bless the sight from dearth.
The pheasant shows his pompous
Where frosts the wave condense.
For Adoration, David's Psalms
For Adoration, beyond match,
The dog, the ram, and rose; The planet's ring, Orion's sword; Nor is his greatness less adored
In the vile worm that glows.
RICHARD GLOVER (1712-1785), a London merchant, who sat several years in parliament as member for Weymouth, was distinguished in private life for his spirit and independence. He published two elaborate poems in blank verse, Leonidas and The Athenais, the former bearing reference to the memorable defence of Thermopyla, and the latter continuing the war between the Greeks and Persians. The length of these poems, their want of sustained interest, and lesser peculiarities not suited to the existing poetical taste, render them next to unknown in the present day. Yet there is smoothness and even vigour, a calm moral
dignity and patriotic elevation in Leonidas,' which might even yet find admirers. Thomson is said to have exclaimed, when he heard of the work of Glover, 'He write an epic poem, who never saw a mountain! Yet Thomson himself, familiar as he was in his youth with mountain scenery, was tame and commonplace when he ventured on classic or epic subjects. The following passage is lofty and energetic:
[Address of Leonidas.]
Remains unshaken. Rising, he displays
The souls of patriots; while his brow supports
The nature of the poem affords scope for interesting situations and descriptions of natural objects in a romantic country, which Glover occasionally avails himself of with good effect. There is great beauty and classic elegance in this sketch of the fountain at the dwelling of Oileus :
Beside the public way an oval fount
In the Athenais' we have a continuation of the
Swells on the surface. Marble structures there
The scene presented by the shores of Salamis on the morning of the battle is thus strikingly depicted. The poet gives no burst of enthusiasm to kindle up his page, and his versification retains most of its usual hardness and want of flow and cadence; yet the assemblage described is so vast and magnificent, and his enumeration is so varied, that the picture carries with it a host of spirit-stirring associations:
[The Armies at Salamis.]
O sun! thou o'er Athenian towers,
Is thronged with millions, male and female race,
With newly-gathered flowerets; chaplets gay
A popular vitality has been awarded to a ballad of Glover's, while his epics have sunk into oblivion:
Admiral Hosier's Ghost.
[Written on the taking of Carthagena from the Spaniards, 1739
[The case of Hosier, which is here so pathetically represented, was briefly this :-In April 1726, that commander was sent with a strong fleet into the Spanish West Indies, to block up the galleons in the ports of that country; or, should they presume to come out, to seize and carry them into England. He accordingly arrived at the Bastimentos near Portobello; but being restricted by his orders from obeying the dictates of his courage, lay inactive on that station until he became the jest of the Spaniards. He afterwards removed to Carthagena, and continued cruising in those seas until the far greater part of his men perished deplorably by the diseases of that unhealthy climate. This brave man, seeing his best officers and men thus daily swept away, his ships exposed to inevitable destruction, and himself made the sport of the enemy, is said to have died of a broken heart.]
As near Portobello lying
On the gentle-swelling flood, At midnight, with streamers flying, Our triumphant navy rode;
There while Vernon sat all glorious From the Spaniards' late defeat, And his crews, with shouts victorious, Drank success to England's fleet :
On a sudden, shrilly sounding,
Hideous yells and shrieks were heard ; Then, each heart with fear confounding,
A sad troop of ghosts appeared;
All in dreary hammocks shrouded,
Which for winding-sheets they wore, And, with looks by sorrow clouded, Frowning on that hostile shore.
On them gleamed the moon's wan lustre,
O'er the glimmering wave he hied him, Where the Burford reared her sail, With three thousand ghosts beside him, And in groans did Vernon hail.
Heed, ob, heed our fatal story!
I am Hosier's injured ghost; You who now have purchased glory At this place where I was lost: Though in Portobello's ruin,
You now triumph free from fears, When you think on my undoing,
You will mix your joys with tears.
See these mournful spectres sweeping
Mark those numbers, pale and horrid,
I, by twenty sail attended,
Did this Spanish town affright; Nothing then its wealth defended But my orders-not to fight!
Oh! that in this rolling ocean
I had cast them with disdain, And obeyed my heart's warm motion, To have quelled the pride of Spain !
For resistance I could fear none;
But with twenty ships had done What thou, brave and happy Vernon, Hast achieved with six alone.
Then the Bastimentos never
Had our foul dishonour seen, Nor the seas the sad receiver
Of this gallant train had been.
Thus, like thee, proud Spain dismaying,
To have fallen, my country crying, 'He has played an English part,' Had been better far than dying
Of a grieved and broken heart.
Unrepining at thy glory,
Thy successful arms we hail; But remember our sad story,
And let Hosier's wrongs prevail. Sent in this foul clime to languish,
Think what thousands fell in vain, Wasted with disease and anguish,
Not in glorious battle slain.
Hence with all my train attending,
We recall our shameful doom,
O'er these waves forever mourning
When your patriot friends you see, Think on vengeance for my ruin,
And for England-shamed in me.
The poets who follow are a secondary class, few of whom are now noted for more than one or two favourite pieces.
ROBERT DODSLEY (1703–1764) was an able and spirited publisher of his day, the friend of literature and of literary men. He projected the Annual Register, in which Burke was engaged, and he was the first to collect and republish the Old English Plays,' which form the foundation of our national drama. Dodsley wrote an excellent little moral treatise, The
[Song-The Parting Kiss.]
One kind wish before we part,
Till we meet, shall pant for you.
Let me kiss that falling tear; Though my body must remove,
All my soul will still be here. All my soul, and all my heart,
And every wish shall pant for you; One kind kiss, then, ere we part, Drop a tear, and bid adieu.
SAMUEL BISHOP (1731-1795) was an English clergyman, Master of Merchant Tailors' School, London, and author of some miscellaneous essays and poems. The best of his poetry was devoted to the praise of his wife; and few can read such lines as the following without believing that Bishop was an amiable and happy man:
To Mrs Bishop, on the Anniversary of her WeddingDay, which was also her Birth-Day, with a Ring.
'Thee, Mary, with this ring I wed'So, fourteen years ago, I said. Behold another ring!- For what?" 'To wed thee o'er again? Why not?
With that first ring I married youth,
If she, by merit since disclosed,
Here, then, to-day (with faith as sure,
And why?-They show me every hour Honour's high thought, Affection's power, Discretion's deed, sound Judgment's sentence, And teach me all things-but repentance.