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Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freeze,
That scarce his loosed limbs he able was to weld.-SPENSER. Winter sets the poetical observer to his natural descriptions :
It was frosty winter season,
“ Love is folly, when astray.”—GREENE.
* Geason, rare, uncommon.
With chilling cold had pierced the tender green;
The gladsome groves that now lay overthrown,
The tapets torn, and every tree down blown.
The winter's wrath, wherewith each thing defaced,
In woeful wise bewail'd the summer past.
Myself within, for I was gotten out
The modern bard moralizes on Winter in unrhymed lyrics :
Though now no more the musing ear
I love thee, Winter! well.
The many-colour'd grove.
In deep tranquillity.
The forest's ample rounds.
And see the spangled branches shine
As o'er the grey stone spreads.
That clasps its foliage close.
With more than melody.
When faint the sun-beams smile.
Or bids the flowret bloom;
And bid the flower rebloom.-SOUTHEY.
The contrasts of Summer and Winter were never more harmoniously put than by the great master of metrical harmony :
It was a bright and cheerful afternoon,
From the horizon-and the stainless sky
Even the homely song of the Ayrshire ploughman, engrafted upon an old melody, is beautiful and true :
Up in the morning 's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
The drift is driving sairly;
I'm sure it 's winter fairly.
A’ day they fare but sparely;
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
Up in the morning, &c.-BURNS.
CHARLES LAMB. It is the fashion with those who cry up the great Historical School in this country, at the head of which Sir Joshua Reynolds is placed, to exclude Hogarth from that school, as an artist of an inferior and vulgar class. Those persons seem to me to confound the painting of subjects in common or vulgar life with the being a vulgar artist. The quantity of thought which Hogarth crowds into every picture would alone unvulgarize every subject which he might choose. Let us take the lowest of his subjects, the print called Gin Lane. Here is plenty of poverty and low stuff to disgust upon a superficial view, and accordingly a cold spectator feels himself immediately disgusted and repelled. I have seen many turn away from it not being able to bear it. The same persons would, perhaps, have looked with great complacency upon Poussin's celebrated picture of the Plague at Athens. Disease and death and bewildering terror, in Athenian garinents, are endurable, and come, as the delicate critics express it, within the “ limits of pleasurable sensation.” But the scenes of their own St. Giles's, delineated by their own countrymen, are too shocking to think of. Yet if we could abstract our minds from the fascinating colours of the picture, and forget the coarse execution (in some respects) of the print, intended as it was to be a cheap plate, accessible to the poorer sort of people, for whose instruction it was done, I think we could have no hesitation in conferring the palm of superior genius upon Hogarth, comparing this work of his with Poussin's picture. There is more of imagination in it—that power which draws all things to one—which makes things animate and inanimate, beings with their attributes, subjects and their accessories, take one colour, and serve to one effect. Every thing in the print, to use a vulgar expression, tells. Every part is full of “strange images of death.” It is perfectly amazing and astounding to look at. Not only the two prominent figures, the woman and the half-dead man, which are as terrible as any thing which Michael Angelo ever drew, but every thing else in the print contributes to bewilder and stupefy,—the very houses, as I heard a friend of mine express it, tumbling all about in various directions, seem drunk-seem absolutely reeling from the ef