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For Fate, in a strange humour, had decreed In the first seat, in robe of various dyes, That what it wrote, none but itself should read; A noble wildness flashing from his eyes, Much too it chatter'd of dramatic laws,
Sat Shakspeare. In one hand a wand he Misjudging critics, and misplac'd applause;
bore, Then, with a self-complacent jutting air, For mighty wonders fam'd in days of yore; It smild, it smirk’d, it wriggled to the chair; The other held a globe, which to his will And, with an awkward briskness not its own, Obedient turn'd, and own'd the master's skill: Looking around, and perking on the throne, Things of the noblest kind his genius drew, Triumphant seem'd, when that strange savage And looh'd through Nature at a single view:
A Joose he gave to his unbounded soul, Known but to few, or only known by name, And taught new lands to rise, new Plain Common Sense appeared, by Nature there
roll; Appointed, with plain Truth, to guard the chair. Call’d into being scenes unknown before,
And, passing Nature's bounds, was something
William Cowper ward am 15. November 1731 zu Great Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire, wo sein Vater als Geistlicher lebte, geboren, erhielt eine wissenschaftliche Bildung auf der gelehrten Schule zu Westminster und ward dann zum practischen Juristen bestimmt. Die Rechtsgelehrsamkeit sagte ihm aber nicht zu und er beschäfiigte sich lieber mit bellettristischen Arbeiten. Eine unglückliche Liebe und die Unzufriedenheit mit dem erwählten Stande machten ihn bei angeborener Neigung zur Melancholie tiefsinnig, so dass er der Behandlung eines Irrenarztes anvertraut werden musste. Er ward zwar von seinem Uebel wieder hergestellt, aber seine Gesundheit blieb sein ganzes übriges Leben hindurch geschwächt. In guten Stunden beschäftigte er sich mit Poesie; der erste Band seiner gesammelten Gedichte erschien 1783 zu London, ein zweiter 1785. - Gegen das Ende seines Lebens beschäftigte er sich mit einer Uebersetzung des Homer. Von Neuem in Tiefsinn verfallen starb er am 25. April 1800.
Cowper wurde während seines Lebens als Dichter wenig beachtet und ist später ein grosser und bleibender Liebling seiner Landsleute geworden. Er war eine durch und durch poetische Natur und eben das gewinnt ihm Aller Herzen. Warme Menschenliebe, inniges Gefühl für das Wahre und Gute, Milde und Wohlwollen characterisiren seine elegant und correct geschriebenen Poesieen, welche meistens lyrischen und didactischen Inhaltes sind; nur Eins fehlt ihm, Phantasie. Ohne diesen Mangel hätte er vielleicht sich den besten Dichtern seiner Nation beigesellt.
On the Receipt of my Mother's Picture Voice only fails, else how distinct they say, out of Norfolk, the Gift of my cousin “Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!" Ann Bodha m.
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes,
(Blest be the art that can immortalize, O that those lips had language! Life has pass’d The art that baftes Time's tyrannic claim With me but roughly since I heard thee last. To quench it,) here shines on me still the same. Those lips are thine thy own sweet smile I see, Faithful remembrancer of one so dear, The same, that oft in childhood solac'd me; O, welcome guest, though unexpected here!
Who bidd'st me honour with an artless song, | Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall, Affectionate, a mother lost so long.
Ne'er roughen'd by those cataracts and breaks, I will obey, not willingly alone,
That humour interpos'd too often makes;
Such honours to thee as my numbers may;
Could Time, his flight revers'd, restore the Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed?
hours, Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, When, playing with thy vesture's tissu'd flow'rs, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? The violet, the pink, and jessamine, Perhaps thou gav'st me, though unfelt, a kiss; I prick'd them into paper with a pin, Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss (And thou wast happier than myself the while, Ah that maternal smile; it answers - Yes. Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and I heard the bell toll'd on thy burial day,
smile,) I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, Could those few pleasant days again appear, And, turning from my nurs ry window, drew Might one wish bring them, would I wish them A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu!
here? But was it such? It was. — Where thou art I would not trust my heart -- the dear delight
Seems so to be desir'd, perhaps I might. Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. But no what here we call our life is such, May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, So little to be lovod, and thou so much, The parting word shall pass my lips no more! That I should ill requite thee to constrain Thy maidens, griev'd themselves at my concern, Thy unbound spirit into bonds again. Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast What ardently I wish'd, I long believ'd, (The storms all weather'd and the ocean cross'd) And, disappointed still, was still deceiv'd. Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle, By expectation ev'ry day beguild,
Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile, Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went, Her beauteous form reflected clear below, Till, all iny stock of infant-sorrow spent, While airs impregnated with incense play I learn'd at last submission to my lot,
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay; But though I less deplor'd thee, ne'er forgot. So thou, with sails how swift! hast reach'd the Where once we dwelt our name is heard no
“Where tempests never beat nor billows roar", Children not thine have trod thy nurs'ry floor; And thy lov'd consort on the dang'rous tide And where the gard'ner Robin, day by day, Of life long since has anchor'd by thy side. Drew me to school along the public way, But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd Always from port withheld, always distress'd In scarlet-mantle warm, and velvet cap, Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-toss'd, T is now become a history little known, Sails ripp'd, seams opening wide, and compass That once we call'd the past'ral house our own.
lost, Short-liv'd possession! but the record fair, And day by day some current's thwarting force That mem'ry keeps of all thy kindness there, Sets me more distant from a prosp’rous course. Still outlives many a storm, that has effac'd Yet O the thought, that thou art safe, and he! A thousand other themes less deeply trac'd. That thought is joy, arrive what may to me. Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, My boast is not, that I deduce my birth That thou mightst know me safe and warmly From loins enthron'd, and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, The son of parents pass'd into the skies. The biscuit, or confectionary plum;
And now farewell Time unrevok'd has run The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done. By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem t'have liv'd my childhood o'er again; All this, and more endearing still than all, To have renew'd the joys that once were mine,
Erasmus Darwin ward 1732 zu Elton in Nottinghamshire geboren, studirte in Cambridge und Edinburg, wo er als Dr. Medicinae promovirte und liess sich dann als practischer Arzt zuerst zu Lichfield, dann zu Derby nieder. Er starb 1802. Sein didactisch descriptives Gedicht The Botanic Garden erschien während der Jahre 1781 bis 1792; ein anderes ähnliches Werk von ihm, The Temple of Nature kam erst nach seinem Tode heraus, steht jedoch Jenem sehr nach.
Darwin's Poesieen sind fast allein das Werk des kalten Verstandes; in einem männlichen Style geschrieben, voll Klarheit und Scharfsinn, entbehren sie durchaus der Begeisterung und lassen daher den Leser kalt, wenn sie auch seinen Geist interessiren.
Eliza's Death; à Passage from Darwin's Botanic
Oh, spare, ye war-hounds, spare their tender
age! On ine, on me,” she cried,
So stood Eliza on the wood-crown'd height, Then with weak arms her weeping babes caO'er Minden's plain, spectatress of the fight,
ress'd, Sought with bold eye amid the bloody strife And, sighing, hid them in her blood-stain'd vest. Her dearer self, the partner of her life;
From tent to tent the impatient warrior flies, From bill to hill the rushing host pursued
Fear in his heart, and frenzy in his eyes; And view'd his banner, or believ'd she view'd. Eliza's name along the camp he calls, Pleas'd with the distant roar, with quicker tread Eliza echoes through the canvass walls; Fast by his hand one lisping boy she led; Quick through the murmuring gloom his footAnd one fair girl amid the loud alarm
steps tread, Slept on her kerchief, cradled by her arm; O'er groaning heaps, the dying and the dead, While round her brows bright beains of honour Vault o'er the plain, and in the tangled wood,
Lo! dead Eliza weltering in her blood! And love's warm eddies circle round her heart. Soon hears his listening son the welcome Near and more near the intrepid beauty
With open arms and sparkling eyes he bounds: Saw through the driving smoke his dancing crest; "Speak low,” he cries, and gives his little hand, Saw on his helm, her virgin-hands inwove, "Eliza sleeps upon the dew-cold sand; Bright stars of gold, and mystic knots of love; Poor weeping babe, with bloody fingers press'd, Heard the exulting shout, “They run! they run!" And tried with pouting lips her milkless breast; "Great God!” she cried, He's safe! the battle's Alas! we both with cold and hunger quake
Why do you weep? -- Mamma will soon awake." - A ball now hisses through the airy tides, “She'll wake no more!" the hopeless mourner (Some Fury wing'd it, and some demon guides!)
cried, Parts the fine locks, her graceful head that deck, Upturn'd his eyes, and clasp'd his hands, and Wounds her fair ear, and sinks into her neck;
sigh'd: The red stream, issuing from her azure veins, Stretch'd on the ground awhile entranc'd he lay, Dyes her white veil, her ivory bosom stains. And press'd warm kisses on the lifeless clay; - "Ah me!” she cried, and sinking on the And then upsprung with wild convulsive start,
And all the father kindled in his heart; Kiss'd her dear babes, regardless of the wound; “Oh, Heavens!” he cried, “my first rash vow "Oh, cease not yet to beat, thou vital urn!
forgive; Wait, gushing life, oh, wait my love's return! These bind to earth, for these I pray to live!" – Hoarse barks the wolf, the vulture screams from Round his chill babes he wrapp'd his crimson far!
vest, The angel, Pity, shuns the walks of war! And clasp'd them sobbing to his aching breast.
Robert Lloyd, Sohn eines Lehrers an der Schule zu Westminster, ward daselbst 1733 geboren, studirte in Cambridge und ward dann Gehülfe seines Vaters. Dieser Beruf sagte ihm aber wenig zu, er ging nach London, wo er sich seinen Unterhalt durch seine Feder erwarb, das Journal The St. James Magazine redigirte und am 15. December 1765 nach einem ausschweifenden Leben, elend und bereuend im Schuldgefängniss starb.
Seine Werke erschienen gesammelt, London 1774, 2 Bde in 8., sie finden sich auch im 10. Bde der Anderson'schen Sammlung und enthalten mehrere dramatische Gedichte, ein satyrisches Poem, the Actor (seine beste Leistung), vermischte Poesieen u. 8. w. Da sie viele Anspielungen auf Personen und Verhältnisse ihrer Zeit enthalten, so bieten sie jetzt weit weniger Interesse dar, doch zeichnen sie sich durch eine frische Heiterkeit und grosse Gewandtheit in der Darstellung vortheilhaft aus.
From Lloyd's: The Cit's Country Box.
The wealthy cit, grown old in trade,
“What signify the loads of wealth, Without that richest jewel, health ? Excuse the fondness of a wife, Who doats upon your precious life! Such ceaseless toil, such constant care, Is more than human strength can bear. One may observe it in your face Indeed, my dear, you break apace; And nothing can your health repair But exercise and country air. Sir Traffic has a house, you know, About a mile from Chency-row; He's a good man, indeed 't is true, But not so warm, my dear, as you;
And folks are always apt to sneer
Sir Traffic's name so well applied
Some three or four miles out of town, (An hour's ride will bring you dow He fixes on his choice abode, Not half a furlong from the road: And so convenient does it lay, The stages pass it ev'ry day: And then so snug, so mighty pretty, To have a house so near the city! Take but your places at the Boar, You're set down at the very door.
Well then, suppose them fix'd at last, White-washing, painting, scrubbing past, Hugging themselves in ease and clover, With all the fuss of moving over; Lo, a new heap of whims are bred! And wanton in my lady's head. Well to be sure, it must be own'd, It is a charming spot of ground; So sweet a distance for a ride, And all about so countrified! 'T would come but to a trifling price To make it quite a paradise.