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same time, with an oath, that he was as like Parson fear,” he said, " of his losing them, and he must Adams as twelve to a dozen. The poet now shew them to his son John.” Another poetical married a young lady of Suffolk, the object of friend, Thomas Campbell, who met him at this an early attachment, and taking the curacy of time in London, remarks of him : ‘His mildness Stathern, adjoining Belvoir Castle, he bade adieu in literary argument struck me with surprise in so to the ducal mansion, and transferred himself to stern a poet of nature, and I could not but contrast the humble parsonage in the village. Four happy the unassumingness of his manners with the originyears were spent in this retirement, when the poet ality of his powers. In what may be called the obtained the exchange of his two small livings in ready-money small-talk of conversation, his facility Dorsetshire for two of superior value in the vale might not perhaps seem equal to the known of Belvoir. Crabbe remained silent as a poet for calibre of his talents; but in the progress of conmany years. 'Out of doors,' says his son, he had versation, I recollect remarking that there was a always some object in view—a flower, or a pebble, vigilant shrewdness that almost eluded you, by or his note-book in his hand; and in the house, keeping its watch so quietly.' This fine remark is if he was not writing, he was reading. He read characteristic of Crabbe's genius, as well as of his aloud very often, even when walking, or seated by manners. It gathered its materials slowly and the side of his wife in the huge old-fashioned one- silently with intent but unobtrusive observation. horse chaise, heavier than a modern chariot, in The Tales of the Hall were received with that which they usually were conveyed in their little pleasure and approbation due to an old and excursions, and the conduct of which he, from established favourite, but with less enthusiasm awkwardness and absence of mind, prudently re- than some of his previous works. In 1822, the now linquished to my mother on all occasions.' In venerable poet paid a visit to Sir Walter Scott in 1807 he published his Parish Register, which had Edinburgh ; and it is worthy of remark, that, as been previously submitted to Mr Fox, and parts to the city itself, he soon got wearied of the New of this poem-especially the story of Phoebe Town, but could amuse himself for ever in the Dawson-were the last compositions of their kind Old. His latter years were spent in the discharge that 'engaged and amused the capacious, the of his clerical duties, and in the enjoyment of candid, the benevolent mind of this great man.' social intercourse. His attachment to botany and The success of this work was not only decided, geology seemed to increase with age ; and at but nearly unprecedented. In 1810 he came for three-score and ten, he was busy, cheerful, and ward with The Borough, a poem of the same class, affectionate. His death took place at Trowbridge and more connected and complete; and two years on the 3d of February 1832, and his parishioners afterwards he produced his Tales in Verse, con- erected a monument to his memory in the church taining perhaps the finest of all his humble but of that place, where he had officiated for nineteen happy delineations of life and character. The years. A complete collection of his works, with public voice,' says his biographer, 'was again highly some new pieces and an admirable memoir, was favourable, and some of these relations were published in 1834 by his son, the Rev. G. Crabbe. spoken of with the utmost warmth of commenda- The Village, Parish Register, and shorter tales tion, as, The Parting Hour, The Patron, Edward of Crabbe, are his most popular productions. The Shore, and The Confidant.' In 1814, the Duke Tales of the Hall are less interesting: They of Rutland appointed him to the living of Trow- relate principally to the higher classes of society, bridge, in Wiltshire, and he went thither to reside. and the poet was not so happy in describing their His income amounted to about £800 per annum, a peculiarities as when supporting his character of large portion of which he spent in charity. He the poet of the poor. Some of the episodes, howstill continued his attachment to literature, and in ever, are in his best style—Sir Owen Dale, Ruth, 1817 and 1818 was engaged on his last great work, Ellen, and other stories, are all marked with the The Tales of the Hall. 'He fancied that autumn peculiar genius of Crabbe. The redeeming and was, on the whole, the most favourable season for distinguishing feature of that genius was its him in the composition of poetry ; but there was fidelity to nature, even when it was dull and something in the effect of a sudden fall of snow unprepossessing. His power of observation and that appeared to stimulate him in a very extra- description might be limited, but his pictures have ordinary manner.' In 1819, the Tales were pub- all the force of dramatic representation, and may lished by Mr Murray, who, for them and the re- be compared to those actual and existing models maining copyright of all Crabbe's previous poems, which the sculptor or painter works from, instead gave the munificent sum of £3000. In an account of vague and general conceptions. They are of the negotiation for the sale of these copyrights, often too true, and human nature being exhibited written by Moore for the life of his brother-poet, in its naked reality, with all its defects, and we have the following amusing illustration of not through the bright and alluring medium of Crabbe's simplicity of manner: 'When he received romance or imagination, our vanity is shocked the bills for £3000, we—Moore and Rogers, and our pride mortified. The personal circumearnestly advised that he should, without delay, stances and experience of the poet affected the deposit them in some safe hands ; but no-he bent of his genius. He knew how untrue and must “take them with him to Trowbridge, and absurd were the pictures of rural life which figured shew them to his son John. They would hardly in poetry. His own youth was dark and painfulbelieve in his good-luck at home if they did not spent in low society, amidst want and misery, see the bills.” °On his way down to Trowbridge, irascible gloom and passion. Latterly, he had a friend at Salisbury, at whose house he rested- more of the comforts and elegancies of social life Mr Everett, the banker-seeing that he carried at his command than Cowper, his rival as a these bills loosely in his waistcoat pocket, re- domestic painter. He not only could have quested to be allowed to take charge of them for 'wheeled his sofa round,' 'let fall the curtains, him ; but with equal ill success. “ There was no I and, with the bubbling and loud hissing urn'on
the table, ' welcome peaceful evening in,' but the humorous and homely descriptions ; but it is too amenities of refined and intellectual society were much of a manner, and mars the finer passages. constantly present with him, or åt his call. Yet Crabbe has high merit as a painter of English he did not, like Cowper, attempt to describe scenery. He is here as original and forcible as them, or to paint their manifold charms. When in delineating character. His marine landscapes he took up his pen, his mind turned to Aldbor- are peculiarly fresh and striking; and he invests ough and its wild amphibious race-to the parish even the sterile fens and barren sands with workhouse, where the wheel hummed doleful interest. His objects are seldom picturesque ; through the day—to erring damsels and luckless but he noted every weed and plant--the purple swains, the prey of overseers or justices—or to bloom of the heath, the dwarfish flowers among the haunts of desperate poachers and smugglers, the wild gorse, the slender grass of the sheepgipsies and gamblers, where vice and misery walk, and even the pebbles, sea-weed, and shells stalked undisguised in their darkest forms.
amid He stirred up the dregs of human society, and
The glittering waters on the shingles rolled. exhibited their blackness and deformity, yet worked them into poetry. Like his own Sir He was a great lover of the sea, and once, as his Richard Monday, he never forgot the parish. It son relates, after being some time absent from it, is true that village-life in England in its worst mounted his horse and rode alone sixty miles form, with the old poor and game laws and non- from his house, that he might inhale its freshness resident clergy, was composed of various mate- and gaze upon its waters. rials, some bright and some gloomy, and Crabbe drew them all. His Isaac Ashford is as honourable to the lowly English poor as the Jeanie
The Parish Workhouse and Apothecary. Deans or Dandie Dinmont of Scott are to the
From The Village, Scottish character. His story of the real mourner, the faithful maid who watched over her dying
Theirs is yon house that holds the parish poor,
Whose walls of mud scarce bear the broken door; sailor, is a beautiful tribute to the force and purity
There, where the putrid vapours, flagging, play, of humble affection. - In The Parting Hour and
And the dull wheel hums doleful through the day; The Patron are also passages equally honourable
There children dwell who know no parents' care ; to the poor and middle classes, and full of
Parents, who know no children's love, dw there ; pathetic and graceful composition. It must be Heart-broken matrons on their joyless bed, confessed, however, that Crabbe was in general Forsaken wives, and mothers never wed; a gloomy painter of life-that he was fond of Dejected widows with unheeded tears, depicting the unlovely and unamiable—and that, And crippled age with more than childhood-fears; either for poetic effect or from painful experience, The lame, the blind, and, far the happiest they ! he makes the bad of life predominate over the The moping idiot and the madman gay.
Here too the sick their final doom receive, good. His pathos and tenderness are generally linked to something coarse, startling, or humili
Here brought amid the scenes of grief, to grieve,
Where the loud groans from some sad chamber flow, ating to disappointed hopes or unavailing sorrow
Mixed with the clamours of the crowd below;
Here sorrowing, they each kindred sorrow scan,
And the cold charities of man to man:
Whose laws indeed for ruined age provide, The minuteness with which he dwells on such
And strong compulsion plucks the scrap from pride ; subjects sometimes makes his descriptions tedious, But still that scrap is bought with many a sigh, and apparently unfeeling. He drags forward
And pride embitters what it can't deny. every defect, every vice and failing, not for the Say ye, oppressed by some fantastic woes, purpose of educing something good out of the Some jarring nerve that baffles your repose ; evil, but, as it would seem, merely for the purpose Who press the downy couch, while slaves advance of completing the picture. In his higher flights, With timid eye, to read the distant glance ; where scenes of strong passion, vice, or remorse
Who with sad prayers the weary doctor tease, are depicted, Crabbe is a moral poet, purifying
To name the nameless ever-new disease ; the heart, as the object of tragedy has been de
Who with mock patience dire complaints endure,
Which real pain and that alone can cure ; fined, by terror and pity, and by fearful delinea
How would ye bear in real pain to lie, tions of the misery and desolation caused by
Despised, neglected, left alone to die ? unbridled passion. His story of Sir Eustace Grey
How would ye bear to draw your latest breath is a domestic tragedy of this kind, related with Where all that's wretched paves the way for death? almost terrific power, and with lyrical energy of Such is that room which one rude beam divides, versification. His general style of versification is And naked rafters form the sloping sides ; the couplet of Pope—he has been wittily called Where the vile bands that bind the thatch are seen, * Pope in worsted stockings '—but less flowing And lath and mud are all that lie between ; and melodious, and often ending in points and
Save one dull pane, that, coarsely patched, gives way quibbles. Thus, in describing his cottage furni- To the rude tempest, yet excludes the day : ture, he says,
Here, on a matted flock, with dust o'erspread,
The drooping wretch reclines his languid head ; No wheels are here for either wool or flax,
For him no hand the cordial cup applies, But packs of cards made up of sundry packs.
Or wipes the tear that stagnates in his eyes ;
No friends with soft discourse his pain beguile, His thrifty housewife, Widow Goe, falls down in
Or promise hope till sickness wears a smile. sickness
But soon a loud and hasty summons calls, Heaven in her eye, and in her hand her keys.
Shakes the thin roof, and echoes round the walls
Anon, a figure enters, quaintly neat,
With looks unaltered by these scenes of woe,
Paid by the parish for attendance here,
When, save his honest fame, he kept no more ;
‘Kind are your laws—'tis not to be denied-
Such were his thoughts, and so resigned he grew ; Daily he placed the workhouse in his view! But came not there, for sudden was his fate, He dropt expiring at his cottage-gate.
I feel his absence in the hours of prayer, And view his seat, and sigh for Isaac there ; I see no more those white locks thinly spread Round the bald polish of that honoured head ; No more that awful glance on playful wight Compelled to kneel and tremble at the sight; To fold his fingers all in dread the while, Till Mister Ashford softened to a smile ; No more that meek and suppliant look in prayer, Nor the pure faith-to give it force—are there. But he is blest, and I lament no more, A wise good man contented to be poor.
Isaac Ashford, a Noble Peasant.
From the Parish Register.
He had no party's rage, no sect'ry's whim ;
In times severe, when many a sturdy swain
At length he found, when seventy years were run, His strength departed and his labour done ;
Phabe Dawson.--From the Parish Register.'
Two summers since, I saw at Lammas fair, The sweetest flower that ever blossomed there; When Phæbe Dawson gaily crossed the green, In haste to see, and happy to be seen ; Her air, her manners, all who saw, admired, Courteous though coy, and gentle though retired; The joy of youth and health her eyes displayed, And ease of heart her every look conveyed; A native skill her simple robes expressed, As with untutored elegance she dressed ; The lads around admired so fair a sight, And Phoebe felt, and felt she gave, delight. Admirers soon of every age she gained, Her beauty won them and her worth retained; Envy itself could no contempt display, They wished her well, whom yet they wished away. Correct in thought, she judged a servant's place Preserved a rustic beauty from disgrace ; But yet on Sunday.eve, in freedom's hour, With secret joy she felt that beauty's power ; When some proud bliss upon the heart would steal, That, poor or rich, a beauty still must feel.
At length, the youth ordained to move her breast, Before the swains with bolder spirit pressed ; With looks less timid made his passion known, And pleased by manners, most unlike her own; Loud though in love, and confident though young ; Fierce in his air, and voluble of tongue ; By trade a tailor, though, in scorn of trade, He served the squire, and brushed the coat he made ; Yet now, would Phæbe her consent afford, Her slave alone, again he'd mount the board ; With her should years of growing love be spent, And growing wealth : she sighed and looked consent. Now, through the lane, up hill, and cross the
greenSeen by but few, and blushing to be seen
Dejected, thoughtful, anxious, and afraid
And told his hope ; her trembling joy appears, Led by the lover, walked the silent maid :
Her forced reserve, and his retreating fears. Slow through the meadows roved they many a mile, All now are present—'tis a moment's gleam Toyed by each bank and trifled at each stile;
Of former sunshine-stay, delightful dream ! Where, as he painted every blissful view,
Let him within his pleasant garden walk, And highly coloured what he strongly drew,
Give him her arm, of blessings let them talk. The pensive damsel, prone to tender fears,
Yes! all are with him now, and all the while Dimmed the false prospect with prophetic tears : Life's early prospects and his Fanny's smile; Thus passed the allotted hours, till, lingering late, Then come his sister and his village friend, The lover loitered at the master's gate ;
And he will now the sweetest moments spend There he pronounced adieu! and yet would stay, Life has to yield : no, never will he find Till chidden-soothed—entreated-forced away! Again on earth such pleasure in his mind : He would of coldness, though indulged, complain, He goes through shrubby walks these friends among, And oft retire and oft return again ;
Love in their looks and honour on the tongue; When, if his teasing vexed her gentle mind,
Nay, there 's a charm beyond what nature shews, The grief assumed compelled her to be kind !
The bloom is softer, and more sweetly glows; For he would proof of plighted kindness crave,
Pierced by no crime, and urged by no desire That she resented first, and then forgave,
For more than true and honest hearts require, And to his grief and penance yielded more
They feel the calm delight, and thus proceed Than his presumption had required before :
Through the green lane, then linger in the mead, Ah! Ay temptation, youth ; refrain ! refrain ! Stray o'er the heath in all its purple bloom,
Each yielding maid and each presuming swain ! And pluck the blossom where the wild-bees hum ; Lo! now with red rent cloak and bonnet black, Then through the broomy bound with ease they pass, And torn green gown loose hanging at her back, And press the sandy sheep-walk's slender grass, One who an infant in her arms sustains,
Where dwarfish flowers among the gorse are spread, And seems in patience striving with her pains ;
And the lamb browses by the linnet's bed ; Pinched are her looks, as one who pines for bread, Then 'cross the bounding brook they make their way Whose cares are growing and whose hopes are fled ; O'er its rough bridge, and there behold the bay ; Pale her parched lips, her heavy eyes sunk low, The ocean smiling to the servid sun, And tears unnoticed from their channels flow;
The waves that faintly fall, and slowly run, Serene her manner, till some sudden pain
The ships at distance, and the boats at hand; Frets the meek soul, and then she's calm again. And now they walk upon the sea-side sand,
But who this child of weakness, want, and care ? Counting the number, and what kind they be, 'Tis Phæbe Dawson, pride of Lammas fair ;
Ships softly sinking in the sleepy sea; Who took her lover for his sparkling eyes,
Now arm in arm, now parted, they behold Expressions warm, and love-inspiring lies :
The glittering waters on the shingles rolled : Compassion first assailed her gentle heart
The timid girls, half dreading their design, For all his suffering, all his bosom's smart :
Dip the small foot in the retarded brine, “And then his prayers ! they would a savage move,
And search for crimson weeds, which spreading flow, And win the coldest of the sex to love :'
Or lię like pictures on the sand below; But ah! too soon his looks success declared,
With all those bright red pebbles that the sun Too late her loss the marriage-rite repaired ;
Through the small waves so softly shines upon ; The faithless flatterer then his vows forgot,
And those live lucid jellies which the eye A captious tyrant or a noisy sot :
Delights to trace as they swim glittering by ; If present, railing till he saw her pained ;
Pearl shells and rubied star-fish they admire, If absent, spending what their labours gained ;
And will arrange above the parlour fire. Till that fair form in want and sickness pined,
Tokens of bliss ! 'Oh, horrible ! a wave And hope and comfort fled that gentle mind.
Roars as it rises-save me, Edward, save !' Then fly temptation, youth ; resist ! refrain !
She cries. Alas! the watchman on his way Nor let me preach for ever and in vain !
Calls, and lets in-truth, terror, and the day!
Dream of the Condemned Felon. From · The Borough?
Yes! e'en in sleep the impressions all remain,
Now comes the dream again : it shews each scene,
At this his terrors take a sudden fight;
Story of a Belrothed Pair in Humble Life.
From The Borough.
Happy he sailed, and great the care she took
White was his better linen, and his check
He called his friend, and prefaced with a sigh
death I wore it for her sake.
He had his wish, and more. I will not paint
Still long she nursed him; tender thoughts meantime
One day he lighter seemed, and they forgot The care, the dread, the anguish of their lot ; They spoke with cheerfulness, and seemed to think, Yet said not so— Perhaps he will not sink.' A sudden brightness in his look appeared, A sudden vigour in his voice was heard ; She had been reading in the Book of Prayer, And led him forth, and placed him in his chair; Lively he seemed, and spoke of all he knew, The friendly many, and the favourite few ; Nor one that day did he to mind recall, But she has treasured, and she loves them all. When in her way she meets them, they appear Peculiar people-death has made them dear. He named his friend, but then his hand she pressed, And fondly whispered : ‘Thou must go to rest.' 'I go,' he said, but as he spoke she found His hand more cold, and fluttering was the sound; Then gazed affrightened, but she caught a last, A dying look of love, and all was past.
She placed a decent stone his grave above, Neatly engraved, an offering of her love : For that she wrought, for that forsook her bed, Awake alike to duty and the dead. She would have grieved had they presumed to spare The least assistance—'twas her proper care. Here will she come, and on the grave will sit, Folding her arms, in long abstracted fit; But if observer pass, will take her round, And careless seem, for she would not be found ; Then go again, and thus her hour employ, While visions please her, and while woes destroy.
Far on the right the distant sea is seen,
Again, the country was inclosed, a wide
An English Fen-Gipsies.
On either side