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in triumph, as comparatively excellent; but, in my opinion, they are also instances of our general failure in sacred poetry: they abound in those ambitiosa ornamenta which do well to please women and children, but which disgust the man of taste.
To the imitations already noticed of this passage, permit me to add the following:
“ But various Iris Jove's commands to bear,
Pope's Iliad, B. 2.
“ Miguel cruzando os pelagos do vento.”
Carlos Reduzido, Canto I. by Pedro de Azevedo Tojal, an ancient Portuguese poet of some merit.
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It has, with much justice, boost observou, that and his imitators, have introduell u prea image of time ment into our language, which has fratello and pathos, for which Minum trad townpost Harmonious moduktions, mitrintystill measure, totally pertaling vanmity and fi duced car fashionable pretty to the the iso
Thomas Warton, whose taste was unvitiated by the frivolities of the day, immediately saw the intrinsic worth of what the world then slighted. He saw, that the ancient poets contained a fund of strength, and beauty of imagery, as well as diction, which, in the liands of genius, would shine forth with redoubled lustre. Entirely rejecting, therefore, modern niceties, he extracted the honied sweets from these beautiful, though neglected flowers. Every grace of sentiment, every poetical term, which a false taste had rendered obsolete, was by him revived and made to grace his own ideas; and though many will condemn him, as guilty of plagiarism, yet few will be able to withhold the tribute of their praise.
The peculiar forte of Warton seems to have been in the sombre-descriptive. The wild airy flights of a Spenser; the “ chivalrous feats of barons bold;" or the “ cloister'd solitude,” were the favourites of his mind. Of this his bent he informs us in the following lines:
Through Pope's soft song though all the graces breathe, And happiest art adorns his attic page, Yet does my mind with sweeter transport glow, As at the root of mossy trunk reclin'd, In magic Spenser's wildly warbled song I see deserted Una wander wide Through wasteful solitudes and lurid heaths, Weary, forlorn; than where the fated * fair
* Belinda. Vide Pope's Rape of the Lock.
Upon the bosom bright of silver Thames,
Pleasures of Melancholy.
Warton's mind was formed for the grand and the sublime. Were his imitations less verbal, and less numerous, I should be led to imagine, that the peculiar beauties of his favourite authors had sunk so impressively into his mind, that he had unwittingly appropriated them as his own; but they are in general such as to preclude the idea.
To the metrical, and other intrinsic ornaments of style, he appears to bave paid due attention. If we meet with an uncouth expression, we immediately perceive that it is peculiarly appropriate, and that no other term could have been made use of with so happy an effect. His poems abound with alliterative lines. Indeed, this figure seems to have been his favourite; and he studiously seeks every opportunity to introduce it: however, it must be acknowledged, that his “ daisy-dappled dales,” &c. occur too frequently.
The poem on which Warton's fame (as a poet) principally rests, is the “ Pleasures of Melancholy," and (notwithstanding the perpetual recurrence of ideas which are borrowed from other poets) there are few pieces which I have perused with more exquisite gratification. The gloomy tints with which he overcasts his descriptions; his highly figurative language; and, above all, the antique air which the poem wears, convey the most sublime ideas to the mind.
Of the other pieces of this poet, some are excellent, and they all rise above mediocrity. In his sonnets he has succeeded wonderfully; that written at Winslade, and the one to the river Lodon, are peculiarly beautiful, and that to Mr. Gray is most elegantly turned. The “ Ode on the approach of Summer,” is replete with genius and poetic fire; and even over the Birth-day odes, which he wrote as poet laureat, his genius has cast energy and beauty. His humourous pieces, and satires, abound in wit; and, in short, taking him altogether, he is an ornament to our country and our language, and it is to be regretted, that the profusion with which he has made use of the beauties of other poets, should have given room for censure.
I should have closed my short, and I fear jejune essay on Warton, but that I wished to bint to your truly elegant and acute Stamford correspondent, Octavius Gilchrist, (whose future remarks on Warton's imitations I await with considerable impatience) that the passage in the pleasures of Melancholy
or ghostly shape,