« PreviousContinue »
make it the study of their lives, what must it be to him, who, perhaps, for the first forty years of his life, never entertained a thought that any thing he could write would be deemed worthy of the attention of the public! --wliose only time for rumination was such as a sedentary and sickly employment would allow; on the tailor's board, surrounded with men, perhaps, of depraved and rude habits, and impure conversation!
And yet, that Mr. N. Bloomfield's poems display acuteness of remark, and delicacy of sentiment, combined with much strength, and considerable selection of diction, few will deny. The Pæan to Gunpowder would alone prove both his power of language, and the fertility of his imagination; and the following extract presents him to us in the still higher character of a bold and vivid painter. Describing the field after a battle, he says,
Now here and there, about the horrid field,
With cautious step shaping his devious way,
leaf that rustles in the breeze
P. 12, Essay on War.
If Mr. Bloomtield had written nothing besides the Elegy on the Enclosure of Honington Green, he would have had a right to be considered as a poet of no mean excellence. The heart which can read passages like the following, without a sympathetic emotion, must be dead to every feeling of sensibility.
Who nought but refinement adore,
That Honington Green is no inore;
If you knew what the village has been,
The enclosure of Honington Green.
Dwells the matron whom most I revere,
I e’en now could indulge a fond tear.
Ere her bright mord of life was o'ercast,
When my senses first woke to the scene, Some short happy hours she had past
On the margin of Honington Green.
And num'rous her children, and young,
And melody woke when she sung: A widow so youthful to leave,
(Early clos’d the blest days he had seen) My father was laid in his grave,
In the church-yard on Honington Green.
And dear the brown heath's sober scene; And youth shall find happiness still,
Though he rove not on common or green.
So pliantly docile his mind,
And bliss in each cicumstance find.
The youths of a more polish'd age
Shall not wish these rude commons to see;
It would not be bliss to be free.
There is a sweet and tender melancholy pervades the elegiac ballad efforts of Mr. Bloomfield, wbich has the most indescribable effects on the heart. Were the versification a little more polished, in some instances, they would be read with unmixt delight. It is to be hoped that he will cultivate this engaging species of composition, and, (if I may venture to throw out the hint) if judgment may be formed from the poems he has published, he would excel in saered poetry. Most heartily do I recommend the lyre of David to this engaging bard. Divine topics have seldom been touched upon with success by our modern Muses: they afford a field in which he would have few competitors, and it is a field worthy of his abilities,
IF the situation of man, in the present life, be con: sidered in all its relations and dependencies, a striking inconsistency will be apparent to a very cursory observer. We have sure warrant for believing that our abode here is to form a comparatively insignificant part of our existence, and that on our conduct in this life will depend the happiness of the life to come; yet our actions daily give the lie to this proposition, inasmuch as we commonly act like men who have no thought but for the present scene, and to whom the grave is the boundary of anticipation. But this is not the only paradox which humanity furnishes to the eye of a thinking man. It is very generally the case, that we spend our whole lives in the pursuit of objects, which common experience informs us are not capable of conferring that pleasure and satisfaction which we expect from their enjoyment. Our views are uniformly directed to one point;-happiness, in whatever garb it be clad, and under whatever figure shadowed, is the great aim of the busy multitudes,
My predecessor, the Spectator, considering that the seventh part of our time is set apart for religious purposes, devoted every seventh lucubration to matters connected with Christianity, and the severer part of morals: I trust none of my readers will regret that, in this instance, I follow so good an example.