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OTWITHSTANDING the spirit of many
of his lyrics, and the exquisite sweetness and simplicity of others, we cannot but
regret that so much of his time and talents was frittered away in compiling and composing for musical collections.
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
Of him who walked in glory and in joy,
He had a very manly face, and a very melancholy look; but on the coming of those he esteemed, his looks brightened up, and his whole face beamed with affection and genius. I saw him years afterwards as he lay in his coffin: his broad open brow was pale and serene, and around it in masses, touched with grey, lay his sable hair.
Independently of his writings, the character of Burns was one of great massiveness and power. There was a cast of true tragic greatness about it. There was a largeness in his heart, and a force in his passions, that corresponded with the mass of his intellect and the vigour of his genius. We receive just such an impression from reading his life as we do from perusing one of the greater tragedies of Shakespere.
Burns, with pungent passionings
E. B. BROWNING.
INE portion of informing fire was given
Struck out the mute creation at a heat:
UT to be just, 'twill to his praise be found,
Hisexcellence more than hisfaults abound;
He wielded a power over the public mind approaching the absolute, and which he could have turned to virtuous, instead of vicious account, at first, it might have been amidst considerable resistance and obloquy, but ultimately with triumphant success. This he never attempted, and must therefore be classed, in this respect, with such writers as Byron, whose powers gilded their pollutions, less than their pollutions degraded and defiled their powers.
His life was long, and when his head was grey,
He was destined, if not to give laws to the stage of England, at least to defend its liberties, to improve burlesque into satire, and to leave to English literatura a name second only to those of Milton and Shakespere. SIR WALTER SCOTT.
heart is stained with some care.
OOR Chatterton! He sorrows for thy fate,
ere too late.
Poor Chatterton, farewell!of darkest hues, This chaplet cast I on thy unshaped tomb. But dare no longer on the sad theme muse, Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom.
S. T. COLERIDGE.
The marvellous boy,The sleepless soul that perished in his pride.
His genius was universal, he excelled in every species of composition; so remarkable an instance of precocious talent being quite unexampled. His prose was excellent, and his
power of picturesque description and satire great. WORDSWORTH.
It may be affirmed of him that, with the evidences of a rare poetic power, such as is without parallel at his age, his works prove a capacity for further development to which it is impossible to fix a limit,
Chatterton was a prodigy of genius, and would have proved the first of English poets, had he reached a mature age.