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Yet shall poor Tom find pleasant weather,
And while peace and plenty I find at my board, When He, who all commands,
With a heart free from sickness and sorrow, Shall give, to call life's crew together,
With my friends may I share what to-day may afford, The word to pipe all hands.
And let them spread the table to-morrow. Thus Death, who
kings and tars despatches, In vain Tom's life has doffed ;
And when I at last must throw off this frail covering For though his body's under hatches,
Which I've worn for three-score years and ten, His soul is gone aloft.
On the brink of the grave I'll not seek to keep
Nor my thread wish to spin o'er again :
But my face in the glass I'll serenely survey,
And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow; Go, patter to lubbers and swabs, do you see, 'Bout danger, and fear, and the like ;
As this old worn-out stuff which is threadbare to-day, A tight-water boat and good sea-room give me,
May become everlasting to-morrow.
HERBERT KNOWLES, a native of Canterbury Clear the deck, stow the yards, and bouse everything (1798-1817), produced, when a youth of eighteen, tight,
the following fine religious stanzas, which, being And under reefed foresail we ’ll scud :
published in an article by Southey in the Quarterly Avast! nor don't think me a milksop so soft, Review, soon obtained general circulation and To be taken for trifles aback;
celebrity: they have much of the steady faith and For they say there's a Providence sits up aloft, devotional earnestness of Cowper.
To keep watch for the life of poor Jack ! I heard our good chaplain palaver one day
Lines written in the Churchyard of Richmond, Yorkshire. About souls, heaven, mercy, and such ;
Lord, it is good for us to be here : if thou wilt, let us make here And, my timbers ! what lingo he'd coil and belay; three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Why, 'twas just all as one as High Dutch ;
Elias.-Matthew, xvii. 4. For he said how a sparrow can't founder, d’ye see,
Methinks it is good to be here, Without orders that come down below;
If thou wilt, let us build--but for whom? And a many fine things that proved clearly to me
Nor Elias nor Moses appear ; That Providence takes us in tow :
But the shadows of eve that encompass with gloom For, says he, do you mind me, let storms e'er so oft
The abode of the dead and the place of the tomb. Take the top-sails of sailors aback, There's a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft,
Shall we build to Ambition ? Ah no! To keep watch for the life of poor Jack !
Affrighted, he shrinketh away ;
For see, they would pin him below We may add here an English song as truly In a small narrow cave, and, begirt with cold clay, national as any of Dibdin's, though of a totally
To the meanest of reptiles a peer and a prey. different character. It was, written by JOHN To Beauty? Ah no! she forgets COLLINS, of whom we can learn nothing except The charms which she wielded before ; that he was one of the proprietors of the Birming- Nor knows the soul worm that he frets ham Daily Chronicle, and died in 1808. It seems The skin which but yesterday fools could adore, to have been suggested by Dr Walter Pope's song
For the smoothness it held or the tint which it wore. of The Old Man's Wish (see vol. i. p. 311).
Shall we build to the purple of Pride,
The trappings which dizen the proud ?
Alas, they are all laid aside,
And here's neither dress nor adornments allowed, In the downhill of life, when I find I 'm declining, But the long winding-sheet and the fringe of the May my lot no less fortunate be
shroud. Than a snug elbow-chair can afford for reclining, And a cot that o'erlooks the wide sea;
To Riches ? Alas ! 'tis in vain ; With an ambling pad-pony to pace o'er the lawn,
Who hid, in their turns have been hid; While I carol away idle sorrow,
The treasures are squandered again ; And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn,
And here in the grave are all metals forbid
But the tinsel that shines on the dark coffin-lid. Look forward with hope for to-morrow.
To the pleasures which Mirth can afford, With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade
The revel, the laugh, and the jeer? too, As the sunshine or rain may prevail ;
Ah! here is a plentiful board !
But the guests are all mute as their pitiful cheer, And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade
And none but the worm is a reveller here. too, With a barn for the use of the flail :
Shall we build to Affection and Love? A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,
Ah no! they have withered and died, And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;
Or fled with the spirit above. I'll envy no nabob his riches or fame,
Friends, brothers, and sisters are laid side by side, Nor what honours await him to-morrow.
Yet none have saluted, and none have replied. From the bleak northern blast may my cot be Unto Sorrow ?—the dead cannot grieve; completely
Not a sob, not a sigh meets mine ear, Secured by a neighbouring hill ;
Which Compassion itself could relieve. And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly Ah, sweetly they slumber, nor love, hope, or fear; By the sound of a murmuring rill :
Peace! peace is the watchword, the only one here.
Unto Death, to whom monarchs must bow ? college, he wrote a series of Tales of the CoveAh no ! for his empire is known,
nanters, in prose, which were published anonyAnd here there are trophies enow!
mously. His application to his studies brought on Beneath the cold dead, and around the dark stone,
symptoms of pulmonary disease, and shortly after Are the signs of a sceptre that none may disown. he had received his license to preach, in the spring The first tabernacle to Hope we will build,
of 1827, it was too apparent that his health was in And look for the sleepers around us to rise !
a precarious and dangerous state. This tendency The second to Faith, which insures it fulfilled ; was further confirmed by the composition of his And the third to the Lamb of the great sacrifice, poem. Removal to the south-west of England Who bequeathed us them both when He rose to the was pronounced necessary for the poet's pulmonskies.
ary complaint, and he went to reside at Shirley
Common, near Southampton. The milder air of ROBERT POLLOK.
this place effected no improvement, and after
lingering on a few weeks, Pollok died on the 17th In 1827 appeared a religious poem in blank of September 1827. The same year had witnessed verse, entitled The Course of Time, by ROBERT his advent as a preacher and a poet, and his POLLOK, which speedily rose to great popularity, untimely death. The Course of Time, however, especially among the more serious and dissenting continued to be a popular poem, and has gone classes in Scotland. The author was a young through a vast number of editions, both in this licentiate of the Scottish Secession Church. country and in America, while the interest of the Many who scarcely ever looked into modern public in its author has led to a memoir of his poetry were tempted to peruse a work which life, published in 1843. Pollok was interred in the embodied their favourite theological tenets, set off churchyard at Millbrook, the parish in which with the graces of poetical fancy and description; Shirley Common is situated, and some of his while to the ordinary readers of imaginative admirers have erected an obelisk of granite to literature, the poem had force and originality point out the poet's grave. enough to challenge an attentive perusal. The Course of Time is a long poem, extending to ten books, written in a style that sometimes imitates
Love.- From Book V. the lofty march of Milton, and at other times Hail love, first love, thou word that sums all bliss! resembles that of Blair and Young. The object The sparkling cream of all Time's blessedness, of the poet is to describe the spiritual life and The silken down of happiness complete ! destiny of man; and he varies his religious Discerner of the ripest grapes of joy speculations with episodical pictures and narra- She gathered and selected with her hand, tives, to illustrate the effects of virtue or vice. All sinest relishes, all fairest sights, The sentiments of the author are strongly Calvin
All rarest odours, all divinest sounds, istic, and in this respect, as well as in a certain
All thoughts, all feelings dearest to the soul : crude ardour of imagination and devotional
And brought the holy mixture home, and filled
The heart with all superlatives of bliss. enthusiasm, the poem reminds us of the style of
But who would that expound, which words transcends, the old Scottish theologians. It is often harsh,
Must talk in vain. Behold a meeting scene turgid, and vehement, and deformed by a gloomy Of early love, and thence infer its worth. piety which repels the reader, in spite of many fine passages and images that are scattered through
It was an eve of autumn's holiest mood. out the work. With much of the spirit and the The corn-fields, bathed in Gynthia's silver light, opinions of Cowper, Pollok wanted his taste. Stood ready for the reaper's gathering hand ; Time might have mellowed the fruits of his genius; And all the winds slept soundly. Nature seemed for certainly the design of such an extensive poem, In silent contemplation to adore and the possession of a poetical diction copious
Its Maker. Now and then the aged leaf and energetic, by a young man reared in circum
Fell from its fellows, rustling to the ground; stances by no means favourable for the cultivation
And, as it fell, bade man think on his end.
On vale and lake, on wood and mountain high, of a literary taste, indicate remarkable intellectual power and force of character.
• The Course of
With pensive wing outspread, sat heavenly Thought,
Conversing with itself. Vesper looked forth Time,' said Professor Wilson, though not a
From out her western hermitage, and smiled; poem, overflows with poetry. Hard as was the
And up the east, unclouded, rode the moon lot of the young poet in early life, he reverts to
With all her stars, gazing on earth intense, that period with poetic rapture :
As if she saw some wonder working there.
Such was the night, so lovely, still, serene, Wake, dear remembrances! wake, childhood-days!
When, by a hermit thorn that on the hill Loves, friendships, wake! and wake, thou morn and
Had seen a hundred flowery ages pass, even!
A damsel kneeled to offer up her prayerSun, with thy orient locks, night, moon, and stars !
Her prayer nightly offered, nightly heard. And thou, celestial bow, and all ye woods,
This ancient thorn had been the meeting place And hills and vales, first trode in dawning life,
Of love, before his country's voice had called And hours of holy musing, wake!
The ardent youth to fields of honour far Robert Pollok was destined, like Henry Kirke
Beyond the wave : and hither now repaired,
Nightly, the maid, by God's all-seeing eye White, to an early grave. He was born in the
Seen only, while she sought this boon aloneyear 1799, at Muirhouse, in the parish of Eagles
* Her lover's safety, and his quick return.' ham, Renfrewshire, and after the usual instruction
In holy, humble attitude she kneeled, in country schools, was sent to the university of And to her bosom, fair as moonbeam, pressed Glasgow. He studied five years in the divinity One hand, the other lifted up to heaven. hall under Dr Dick. Some time after leaving Her eye, upturned, bright as the star of morn,
As violet meek, excessive ardour streamed,
Oh, had her lover seen her thus alone,
For all are friends in heaven, all faithful friends ;
Nor is the hour of lonely walk forgot
clouds ; Whose minstrels, brooks; whose lamps, the moon and
stars ; Whose organ-choir, the voice of many waters; Whose banquets, morning dews; whose heroes, storms; Whose warriors, mighty winds; whose lovers, flowers; Whose orators, the thunderbolts of God; Whose palaces, the everlasting hills ; Whose ceiling, heaven's unfathomable blue ; And from whose rocky turrets, battled high, Prospect immense spread out on all sides round, Lost now beneath the welkin and the main, Now walled with hills that slept above the storm. Most fit was such a place for musing men, Happiest sometimes when musing without aim.
Friendship.-From the same. Nor unremembered is the hour when friends Met. Friends, but few on earth, and therefore dear; Sought oft, and sought almost as oft in vain ; Yet always sought, so native to the heart, So much desired and coveted by all. Nor wonder thou-thou wonderest not, nor need'st. Much beautiful, and excellent, and fair Was seen beneath the sun ; but nought was seen More beautiful, or excellent, or fair Than face of faithful friend, fairest when seen In darkest day; and many sounds were sweet, Most ravishing and pleasant to the ear; But sweeter none than voice of faithful friend; Sweet always, sweetest heard in loudest storm. Some I remember, and will ne'er forget ; My early friends, friends of my evil day; Friends in my mirth, friends in my misery too ; Friends given by God in mercy and in love; My counsellors, my comforters, and guides ; My joy in grief, my second bliss in joy; Companions of my young desires ; in doubt, My oracles, my wings in high pursuit. Oh, I remember, and will ne'er forget Our meeting spots, our chosen sacred hours, Our burning words that uttered all the soul, Our faces beaming with unearthly love; Sorrow with sorrow sighing, hope with hope Exulting, heart embracing heart entire ! As birds of social feather helping each His fellow's flight, we soared into the skies, And cast the clouds beneath our feet, and earth, With all her tardy leaden-footed cares, And talked the speech, and ate the food of heaven ! These I remember, these selectest men, And would their names record ; but what avails My mention of their name? Before the throne They stand illustrious 'mong the loudest harps, And will receive thee glad, my friend and theirs
Happiness.- From the same. Whether in crowds or solitudes, in streets Or shady groves, dwelt Happiness, it seems In vain to ask ; her nature makes it vain ; Though poets much, and hermits, talked and sung Of brooks and crystal founts, and weeping dews, And myrtle bowers, and solitary vales, And with the nymph made assignations there, And wooed her with a love-sick oaten reed; And sages too, although less positive, Advised their sons to court her in the shade. Delirious babble all! Was happiness, Was self-approving, God-approving joy, In drops of dew, however pure? in gales, However sweet? in wells, however clear? Or groves, however thick with verdant shade?
True, these were of themselves exceeding fair ; How fair at morn and even ! worthy the walk Of loftiest mind, and gave, when all within Was right, a feast of overflowing bliss ; But were the occasion, not the cause of joy. They waked the native fountains of the soul Which slept before, and stirred the holy tides Of feeling up, giving the heart to drink From its own treasures draughts of perfect sweet.
The Christian faith, which better knew the heart
True Happiness had no localities,
But these apart. In sacred memory lives
A being of eternal date commenced,
run smooth. In January 1794, amidst the exciteA young immortal then was born! And who ment of that agitated period, he was tried on a Shall tell what strange variety of bliss
charge of having printed a ballad, written by a Burst on the infant soul, when first it looked
clergyman of Belfast, on the demolition of the Abroad on God's creation fair, and saw
Bastille in 1789; which was then interpreted into The glorious earth and glorious heaven, and face
a seditious libel. The poor poet, notwithstanding Of man sublime, and saw all new, and felt All new! when thought awoke, thought never more
the innocence of his intentions, was found guilty,
and sentenced to three months' imprisonment in To sleep! when first it saw, heard, reasoned, willed, And triumphed in the warmth of conscious life !
the castle of York, and to pay a fine of £20. In Nor happy only, but the cause of joy,
January 1795 he was tried for a second imputed Which those who never tasted always mourned. political offence—a paragraph in his paper which What tongue !—no tongue shall tell what bliss o'er- reflected on the conduct of a magistrate in quelling flowed
a riot at Sheffield. He was again convicted, and The mother's tender heart, while round her hung sentenced to six months' imprisonment in York The offspring of her love, and lisped her name ; Castle, to pay a fine of £30, and to give security As living jewels dropped unstained from heaven,
to keep the peace for two years. All the persons,' That made her fairer far, and sweeter seem,
says the amiable poet, writing in 1840, 'who were Than every ornament of costliest hue !
actively concerned in the prosecutions against me And who hath not been ravished, as she passed With all her playful band of little ones,
in 1794 and 1795, are dead, and, without exception, Like Luna with her daughters of the sky,
they died in peace with me. I believe I am quite Walking in matron majesty and grace?
correct in saying, that from each of them disAll who had hearts here pleasure found : and oft
tinctly, in the sequel, I received tokens of goodHave I, when tired with heavy task, for tasks will, and from several of them substantial proofs Were heavy in the world below, relaxed
of kindness. I mention not this as a plea in exMy weary thoughts among their guiltless sports, tenuation of offences for which I bore the penalty And led them by their little hands a-field,
of the law ; I rest my justification, in these cases, And watched them run and crop the tempting flower, now on the same grounds, and no other, on which Which oft, unasked, they brought me, and bestowed I rested my justification then. I mention the cirWith smiling face, that waited for a look
cumstance to the honour of the deceased, and as Of praise-and answered curious questions, put
an evidence that, amidst all the violence of that In much simplicity, but ill to solve ; And heard their observations strange and new;
distracted time, a better spirit was not extinct, but And settled whiles their little quarrels, soon
finally prevailed, and by its healing influence did Ending in peace, and soon forgot in love.
indeed comfort those who had been conscientious And still I looked upon their loveliness,
sufferers.' And sought through nature for similitudes
Mr Montgomery's first volume of poetry—he had Of perfect beauty, innocence, and bliss,
previously written occasional pieces in his newsAnd fairest imagery around me thronged ;
paper-appeared in 1806, and was entitled The Dew-drops at day-spring on a seraph's locks,
Wanderer of Switzerland, and other Poems. It Roses that bathe about the well of life,
speedily went through two editions ; and his pubYoung Loves, young Hopes, dancing on Morning's lishers had just issued a third, when the Edincheek,
burgh Review of January 1807 'denounced the Gems leaping in the coronet of Love !
unfortunate volume in a style of such authoritative So beautiful, so full of life, they seemed As made entire of beams of angel's eyes.
reprobation as no mortal verse could be expected Gay, guileless, sportive, lovely little things !
to survive. The critique, indeed, was insolent and Playing around the den of sorrow, clad
unfeeling-written in the worst style of the Review, In smiles, believing in their fairy hopes,
when all the sins of its youth were full-blown and And thinking man and woman true! all joy,
unchecked. Among other things, the reviewer Happy all day, and happy all the night!
predicted that in less than three years nobody
would know the name of The Wanderer of SwitzerJAMES MONTGOMERY.
land, or of any other of the poems in the collec
tion. Within eighteen months from the utterance JAMES MONTGOMERY, a religious poet of de- of this oracle, a fourth impression-1500 copiesservedly high reputation, was born at Irvine, in of the condemned volume was passing through Ayrshire, November 4, 1771. His father was a the press whence the Edinburgh Review itself Moravian missionary, who died whilst propagating was issued, and it has now reached nearly twenty Christianity in the island of Tobago. The poet editions. The next work of the poet was The was educated at the Moravian school at Fulneck, West Indies, a poem in four parts, written in near Leeds, but declined being a priest, and was honour of the abolition of the African slave-trade put apprentice to a grocer at Mirfield, near Ful- by the British legislature in 1807. The poem is neck. In his sixteenth year, with 3s. 6d. in his in the heroic couplet, and possesses a vigour and pocket, he ran off from Mirfield, and after some freedom of description, and a power of pathetic suffering, became a shop-boy in the village of painting, much superior to anything in the first Wath, in Yorkshire. He next tried London, carry- volume. Mr Montgomery afterwards published ing with him a collection of his poems, but failed Prison Amusements, written during his nine in his efforts to obtain a publisher. In 1791, he months' confinement in York Castle in 1794 and obtained a situation as clerk in a newspaper office 1795. In 1813 he came forward with a more in Sheffield; and his master failing, Montgomery, elaborate performance, The World before the with the aid of friends, established the Sheffield Flood, a poem in the heroic couplet, and extendIris, a weekly journal, which he conducted with ing to ten short cantos. His pictures of the antemarked ability, and in a liberal, conciliatory spirit, diluvian patriarchs in their happy valley, the inup to the year 1825. His course did not always vasion of Eden by the descendants of Cain, the
loves of Javan and Zillah, the translation of Enoch, age of eighty-three. A collected edition of his and the final deliverance of the little band of works, with autobiographical and illustrative patriarch families from the hand of the giants, matter, was issued in 1841 in four volumes, and are sweet and touching, and elevated by pure and Memoirs of his Life and Writings have been lofty feeling. Connected with some patriotic in- published by two of his friends, John Holland and dividuals in his own neighbourhood in many a James Everett. A tone of generous and plan for lessening the sum of human misery at lightened morality pervades all the writings of home and abroad, our author next published this poet. He was the enemy of the slave-trade Thoughts on Wheels (1817), directed against state and of every form of oppression, and the warm lotteries; and The Climbing Boy's Soliloquies, friend of every scheme of philanthropy and impublished about the same time, in a work written provement. The pious and devotional feelings by different authors, to aid in effecting the aboli- displayed in his early effusions colour all his tion, at length happily accomplished, of the cruel poetry. In description, however, he is not less and unnatural practice of employing boys in happy: and in his Greenland and Pelican Island sweeping chimneys. In 1819 he published Green there are passages of great beauty, evincing a land, a poem in five cantos, containing a sketch refined taste and judgment in the selection of his of the ancient Moravian Church, its revival in the materials. His late works had more vigour and eighteenth century, and the origin of the missions variety than those by which he first became disby that people to Greenland in 1733. The poem, tinguished. Indeed, his fame was long confined as published, is only a part of the author's original to what is termed the religious world, till he plan, but the beauty of its polar descriptions and shewed, by his cultivation of different styles of episodes recommended it to public favour. The poetry, that his depth and sincerity of feeling, the only other long poem by Mr Montgomery is The simplicity of his taste, and the picturesque beauty Pelican Island, suggested by a passage in Captain of his language, were not restricted to purely Flinders's voyage to Terra Australis, describing spiritual themes. His smaller poems enjoy a the existence of the ancient haunts of the pelican popularity almost equal to those of Moore, which, in the small islands on the coast of New Holland. though differing widely in subject, they resemble The work is in blank verse, in nine short cantos, in their musical flow, and their compendious and the narrative is supposed to be delivered by happy expression and imagery. an imaginary being who witnesses the series of events related, after the whole has happened. The
Greenland, poem abounds in minute and delicate description of natural phenomena-has great felicity of diction 'Tis sunset ; to the firmament serene and expression-and altogether possesses more
The Atlantic wave reflects a gorgeous scene; of the power and fertility of the master than any Broad in the cloudless west, a belt of gold other of the author's works.
Girds the blue hemisphere ; above unrolled Besides the works we have enumerated, Mr
The keen clear air grows palpable to sight, Montgomery threw off a number of small effusions,
Embodied in a flush of crimson light, published in different periodicals, and short trans
Through which the evening-star, with milder gleam, sations from Dante and Petrarch. On his retire
Descends to meet her image in the stream.
Far in the east, what spectacle unknown ment in 1825 from the “invidious station of news
Allures the eye to gaze on it alone ? paper editor, which he had maintained for more
Amidst black rocks, that list on either hand than thirty years, through good report and evil Their countless peaks, and mark receding land ; report, his friends and neighbours of Sheffield, of Amidst a tortuous labyrinth of seas, every shade of political and religious distinction, That shine around the Arctic Cyclades; invited him to a public entertainment, at which Amidst a coast of dreariest continent, the late Earl Fitzwilliam presided. There the In many a shapeless promontory rent ; happy and grateful poet ran through the story of O'er rocks, seas, islands, promontories spread, his life even from his boyish days,' when he came
The ice-blink rears its undulated head, amongst them, friendless and a stranger, from
On which the sun, beyond the horizon shrined, his retirement at Fulneck among the Moravian
Hath left his richest garniture behind ;
Piled on a hundred arches, ridge by ridge, brethren, by whom he was educated in all but
O'er fixed and fuid strides the alpine bridge, knowledge of the world. He spoke with pardon
Whose blocks of sapphire seem to mortal eye able pride of the success which had crowned his
Hewn from cerulean quarries in the sky; labours as an author. 'Not, indeed,' he said, With glacier battlements that crowd the spheres, * with fame and fortune, as these were lavished on The slow creation of six thousand years, my greater contemporaries, in comparison with Amidst immensity it towers sublime, whose magnificent possessions on the British Winter's eternal palace, built by Time : Parnassus my small plot of ground is no more All human structures by his touch are borne than Naboth's vineyard to Ahab's kingdom ; but
Down to the dust ; mountains themselves are worn it is my own ; it is no copyhold ; I borrowed it,
With his light footsteps; here for ever grows, I leased it from none. Every foot of it I enclosed
Amid the region of unmelting snows, from the common myself; and I can say that not
A monument ; where every flake that falls
Gives adamantine firmness to the walls. an inch which I had once gained have I ever lost.'
The sun beholds no mirror in his race, In 1830 and 1831 Mr Montgomery was selected to
That shews a brighter image of his face ; deliver a course of lectures at the Royal Institution on Poetry and General Literature, which he prepared for the press, and published in 1833. A nocturnal illumination in the heavens, which denotes to them the
1 The term ice-blink is generally applied by mariners to the pension of £200 per annum was, at the instance proximity of ice-mountains. In this place a description is attempted of Sir Robert Peel, conferred upon Mr Montgomery, which has been long distinguished by this peculiar name by the
of the most stupendous accumulation of ice in the known world, which he enjoyed till his death in 1854, at the ripe Danish navigators.--MONTGOMERY.