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into descriptions wbich may entertain, but neither strengthen nor elevate the mind. GRAY, fastidious in taste and jealous of reputation, has left few productions of his Muse, but they are exquisite in their kind. His well-known Elegy, will be read while there is a human mind capable either of feeling or of taste; yet must we lament its entire destitution of those truths, which by bringing “ life and immortality to light” have rubbed death of its sting, and the grave of its terrors. This deficiency has been supplied by an anonymous American poet, whose interesting lines will be found on the 253rd page. COWPER is the most useful and interesting of Christian Poets. Greatly inferior to Milton in creative genius, be excels him in moral effect, by coming home to the business and bosoms of men, If he does not, like our Epic Bard, enable us to range through ideal worlds, he shows us as in a lucid and faithful mirror the scenery and interests of our own. If he does not, like him, invest the facts of Revelation with high imaginings, he inculcates its special verities with unsparing fidelity and poetic charm. Even his satire is kindly severe, wounding to heal ; while in bis humorous pieces, it is the moral which adorns the tale. Contemporary with Cowper, though a Poet of very different order, was the unhappy BURNS. We admire his Hogarth-like humour, his thrilling pathos, his native grace and fire, but we lament his abuse of the extraordinary talents with which “ the Father of lights" had endued bim. His “ Cotter's Saturday-Night” will transmit to distant ages a faithful picture of Scottish piety in humble life. Its length alune prevented its insertion. Of the same nation with Burns, was the meek, tender, and pious Grahame. The several pieces introduced from bis works carry with them their own recommendation.
Having arrived at our own time, BYRON, its brightest poetical ornament, claims our first attention. We are not insensible either to the might or the charm of his by Lordship's genius, but we confess that his productions remind us of poison presented
in a golden chalice, or of the serpent which fascinates to deceive, and lures to destroy. Even his descriptions of Nature are interwoven with sentiments which no believer in the truth of Scripture, or friend to human happiness can approve. We have, though not without difficulty, furnished a few unexceptionable extracts from his works.
We cannot refrain from expressing our admiration of “The Course of Time." It is a Poem which will live when some of its more flashy compeers shall have been b forgotten. It may bave been over-praised; it is occasionally harsh and prosaic; but
withal, it is a work of extraordinary merit and promise ;-promise alas,-never to be * realized in the present world! Its highly-gifted Author can no more be soothed by If flattery, nor grieved by censure. His earthly Harp lies broken and silent in death,
but he has taken up the “ Harp of Eternity” and is singing the “new song” in rapt the and updying strains
“ In the blest kingdom meek of joy and love,
And wipe the tear forever from his eyes."
KIRK WHITE, whose memory Southey and Byron have opited to embalm. His Poetry is now identified with the affecting history of bis life, and
“ Each gives each a double charm.” His early death is among those bidden mysteries of Providence, wbich we wait the Dight of Eternity to reveal.
Our notice of living Poets, must be very brief. WORDS WORTH abounds in musings, which are exceedingly beautiful, though occasionally obscure. CRABBE is the poetic Morland of the day. His graphic sketches of life cannot fail to interest and please, though we wish they were less morbid, and not deformed by occasional caricatures of Evangelical Truth. CAMPBELL, who has written no second work worthy of his superior genius, seems determined to leave us to “Tbe Pleasures of Hope." We find in Sir W. Scott several faithful pictures of Nature and well-told tales of olden time, but it is not by his poetry chiefly that he will be known to posterity ; indeed its reputation seems to be already on the decline. SOUTHEY has exchanged his Aonian flights for the more profitable walks of prose, and as his principles have greatly improved in his maturer years, we wish that he would favour us with more frequent effusions of his Muse; of a different class, however, from bis “ Vision of Judgment." COLERIDGE, if he had written nothing but his “Chamouny," included in this Selection, would deserve to rank with Poets of a superior order. MONTGOMERY, more than any other living Poet, resembles the amiable Cowper, and is entitled to the rare praise of having written
“ No line which dying he need wish to blot." The Poetry of Mrs. HemanS reminds us of her first name, as few excel her in correctness of sentiment, or Felicity of diction. She is worthy of being associated with a BARBAULD, a H. MOR and a J. TAYLOR. BOWBING has not only transfused the beauties of Foreign Poets into his own language, but is himself a Poet of no ordinary merit.
In this brief notice of many of the Poets of our Country, we have omitted several names, dear both to genius and to piety, and from whose works we bave enriched our Selection.
In compiling oor volume, we have endeavoured to confine ourselves to Poetry of a superior order, except in instances in which the pith and unction of the sentiment more than compensate the defects of the Muse. Rigid attention has been paid to the principles of the Work, so that we hope it contains nothing offensive to the purest Morals, or inconsistent with Revealed Truth.
The Arrangement will we hope be found convenient, and supply a deficiency which must have been often remarked in works of a similar kind.
We beg to acknowledge our obligations to various living Authors; particularly to Messrs. MONTGOMERY, BOWRING, EDMESTON, and CONDER ; also to our gifted, bnt too-much-neglected Townsman, CARRINGTON.
We are much indebted to our Subscribers, and beg them to accept the Viguette, as an expression of our gratitnde for their kind Patronage of the volame, which we How commend to their judgment to public inspection-and to the blessing of God.
Devonport, January, 1829.
101 Begin from first where he encradled.. 134
Blame not the monumental stone 255
95 Blind, poor, and helpless Bartimeus sat 144
Bright Summer beams along the sky 37
But art thou thus indeed alone ?
But how shall be the great Supreme.. 206
Bat'tis not local prejudice that prompts 89
Can I bid thee little stranger ........ 118
Cease here longer to detain me ...... 246
264 | Charity, decent, modest, easy, kind 176
Childhood, happiest stage of life...... 119
Child of man, whose seed below...... 170
Come down in thy profou udest gloom 232
Come golden evening. In the west .. 30
Creation's heir, the first, the last...... 188
254 Creator, Spirit, by whose aid
209 Dartmoor rears in the dim distance 102
Hall, and farewell, thou lovely guest 62
Hail, beauteous stranger of the grove
Hail Devon, in thy bosom let me rest
Hail, gentle winds! I love your...... 103
Hail! hail! reviv'd, reviving Spring.. 39
Hard is the heart who never at the tomb 272
He came, the sweet angel my Father .. 247
He is the freeman, whom the truth 18
Her mighty sails the breezes swell.... 221
His eyes uplifted and his hands close.. 144)
How beautiful is morn ..............
How cheerfully the unpartiall Sunne.. 178
44 How fair is the Rose! what a beautiful 61
How many thousands are wakening
How softly now the vernal gales......
How still the morning of the hallow'd 203
34 How withered, perished seems the form
159 I ask'd an aged man, a man of cares 25
. . 232
16 Loud blew the storm of night,
236 MANTLED in storms ;-attended by the 47
Many are the sayings of the wise 177
Meek twilight! baste to shroud 110
I loved thee daughter of my heart .... 245 Methinks it is good to be here
In a valley obscure, on a bank of green 64 Mild offspring of a dark and sullen sire 58
Mindful of disaster past
My conscience is my crown
....... 192 My ear is pained, my soul is sick 230
58 Muse! take the harp of prophecy ;
281 Mysterious visitant! whose beauteous 114
It happen'd on a cloudy morn........ 286 Next to the captain, coward Deilos 126
No sounds of worldly toil ascending .. 97
Not worlds on worlds in phalanx deep 59
OBSCUREST night involved the sky 229
Odours of spring my sense ye charm.. 242
21 O God, whose thunder shakes the sky 178
Oh for that spirit whieh on Moses' lyre 197
176 Oh gracious power, for thy belov'd .. 41
Oh hand of bounty largely spread 34