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is almost to be questioned, whether, in many instances, this de spicable triplet may not add a greater beauty to a poetical compoSition, than any other circumftance. To be confined, on any terms, by the links of rhyme, is of great disadvantage to our En. glífa poetry. The finest poem that we can boast, and which we equalize, and perhaps would willingly prefer to the Iliad, is void of those fetfers. But when it is our destiny to wear chains, surely we may be allowed to make them as light and easy as we can.

The fecond poem, Verses on the death of Dr Swift, is a most pointed piece of sarcasm. Not any of the Dean's poems have more wit; nor are any of them more severe. In it he has summoned together his whole powers of fatire and poetry. It is a parting blow; the legacy of anger and difappointment. But as the two last lines are grammatically incorrect, and as they were not inserted in the first edition, published at London, I cannot tell how they have crept into a poem, that is otherwise as exactly polished as any of Swift's nicest compositions. Orrery.

The merits of Dr Swift in the character of a poct are considerably great. His descriptions, wherein there constantly appear the distinguishing marks of his own peculiar talents, are extremely just and lively; many of his groups are not to be excelled by any painter's imagination; his rhymes and his numbers are chaste and delicate; and in places, when, rather by accident than choice, he rises from the earth, and soars into the regions of poetry, he is equal to the finest masters among the Greeks and Romans, bis i. deas are lofry, and his versification musically sonorous. after all he is not to be considered in the light of a professed poet; the multitude of his writings on various subjects, both in verse and prose, being an evident demonftration, that he was superior to any particular course of learning. He was born to be the encourager of virtue, and the terror of the wicked. He never sat musing in bis elbow-chair upon new subjects, for the exercise of his genius, and the advancement of his fame; but writ occasionally to please and to reform the world, as either politics or humour gave the {pur to his faculties. There are but few of his poems that seem to have been the labour of more than one day, how greatly loever they might have been corrected and polished afterwards to his own liking, before he transcribed them fair.

There indisputably runs a vein of fatire throughout all his wri. tings : but, as he declares that no age could have more deserved it, than that particular age wherein he was destined to live; he is intitled to all the praise we can beftow upon him, for exerting his whole abilities ti the defence of honour, virtue, and his country. In his general fatire, where perhaps thousands were equally meant, he hath never once thro' malice inserted the name of any one person; the vice neverthelefs he exposeth to contempt and ridicule. But in particular fatire, when egregious monfters, traitors to the weal-public, and flaves to party, are the objects of his refentment, he lashes without mercy; well-knowing, that infamy, which is perhaps a taste of helt, is the only punilunent which in this


And yet

world can be inflicted upon such rebels to fociety, as, either by craft or corruption, bid defiance to the laws.

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Dr Swift was a bright and clear genius; lo extremely piercing, that every the most ftriking circumstance, arising from any subject whatever, quickly occurred to his imagination, and these he frequently so accumulated one upon another, that perhaps, beyond all other poets, of all ages and countries, he deserves in this particular to be the most universally admired. And this choice of circumstances, if any strefs can be laid on the opinion of Longinus, that great director of our taste and judgment, renders a compofition truly noble and fublime. The most remarkable pieces of this fort, are, The furniture of a woman's mind; Betty the Grizette; The journal of a modern lady ; His poem on reading ; Dr Young's fatires ; Mordanto; The defcription of a city foower ; The description of Quilea; The defcriprion of the morning; and, The place of the danned. This power of the mind gave him also that desperate hand, as Pope terms it, in taking off all sorts of characters. To omit those of a political nature, fee The progress of poetry; The second part of Traulus; The progress of love ; Tbe charaâer of Corinna ; and, The beautiful your.g nymph just going to bed; where you will find that his imagination could even dream in the character of an old battered strum. pet. And, from the fame inexhaustible fund of wit, he acquired the historic arts both of defigning and colouring, either in groups, or in single portraits. How exact, how lively, and spirited, is that group of figures in The journal of a modern lady ? (Here the paf fage is inserted, beginning thus,

But let me now a while furvey, &c. I. 116.

and ending,

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Flew hov'ring o'cr each female head, 1. 135.) And for a single portrait, if we consider the design, the attitude, the drapery, or the colouring, what is it that can excel the representation of Caffious in The tragical elegy? (Here the paflage is inferted, beginning thus,

He seem'd as juji crept out of bed, &c. 1. 11. and ending thus,

On embers plac'd, to drink it het, I. 28.} Throughout all his poetical writings, altho' many of them Be dedicated immediately to the fair sex, there cannot be found, to the best of my recollection, one single distich, addressed in the character of a lover to any one person. If he writ any poems of that fort in his younger days, they must have been destroyed, if they be not concealed. Those verses upon women which are deemed


the most satirical, were written principally with a view to correct their foibles, to improve their taite, and to make them as agree able companions at threescore, as at the age of five and twenty. By what I can hear, the most exceptionable of his poems in that way have produced some very extraordinary effects in the polite world. This was in truth the ultimate design of his writing The lady's dressing-room, and other pieces, which are acknowledged to be somewhat liable to censure on account of their indelicacy.

Among the admirers of Dr Swift, many have compared him to Horace, making proper allowances for the respective ages in which they severally Aourished. The resemblance however between them is not so exceedingly strong, as that a similitude and manner of writing could have excited the least degree of emulation between them, further than to be equally renowned for their peculiar excellencies. Each of them had, independent of what is generally called a fine taste, a thorough knowledge of the world, fuperadded to an abundance of learning. Both the one and the other of these great men held the numerous tribe of poets, as well as that motley generation of men called critics, in the utmost contempt; and at, the same time have manifested themselves to be incomparable judges of all that is truly excellent, whether in books or men. Neither of them had the least regard for the Stoics: and whatever may be said of their being of the Epicurean taste, which, if rightly understood, is far from being inconsistent with the highest virtue ; neither of them was attached to any particular system of philofophy. Homer was the darling author both of Horace and Swift. Horace declares in his epistle to Lollius, that Homer had abundantly more good senfe and wisdom than all the philosophers; and Swift's opinion was, that Homer had more genius than all the rest of the world put together. Yet neither the one nor the other of them have attempted to imitate his manner; but, like heroes of a bold and true fpirit, have industriously followed the bent of nature, and struck out originals of their owny.

But however strong may be supposed the resemblance between Horace and Swift, they were in fact upon the whole quite different men. Their tempers, their complexions, and their fortudes, were totally volike. Each of them had in many respects greatly the advantage of the other.

Poetry was in Horace the business of his life; every defire, every confort, and every passion of his mind, were centered in the muses: he followed the example of the Greek poets, præter laudem nullius avaras. Poetry in Swift was only an appendage to his character: he wore it as an emblem of wit and spirit, which gave him an, air of grandeur in the republic of letters. Horace, by diverting his thoughts from all fublanary affairs, and perpetually ranging about from flower to flower, among the gardens, and groves, and wildernesses of the Greeks, with infinite labour extracted, like an industrious bee, the quintessence of their sweets; and by frequent. ly experimenting all the changes of harmony, is defervedly the joy and admiration of the poctical world, for the mufic of his lines, and the variety of his numbers. His addresses to the Emperor, to Agrippa, to Pollio, and his panegyric on Drusus, are


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prodigiously sublime : but his hymns to the muses, to Mercury, to Pan, to Apollo and Diana, to Venus, to his lyre, and to Bacchus, are absolutely raptures of poetry, even the divine fpirit of that amabilis infania, " that delightful madnels,” which is only to be felt, importable to be described. His verses nevertheless are but few in number; the whole of his works, at a random computation, amounting only to about 7000' lines; whereof not above one half are of that species of poetry on which he desired to fix all his pretensions lo fame. And it was upon these only that he bestowed the greater part of his life. Swift, on the contrary, from the age of one and twenty, was deeply immersed in politics during his whole life; sometimes fighting the battles of church and state against a virulent, opposing faction, which threatened to undermine the constitution; sometimes registing the torrent of ecclefi

aftical, and frequently the torrent of ministerial power, whenever - the rights of the clergy, or the liberties of his country, were oc

casionally invaded; and generally fighting with beasts of one species or other, like a fierce and bold champion, resolutely bent on either death or victory: yet still he could find opportunities, by snatching hours of leisure, to write poetry for his amusement. He had read many of the Greek and Latin poets; relished and admired what was agreeable to his own taste; but never devoted either his thoughts or his time to Apollo and the muses. Throughout his whole works there is no such thing as an ode to Calliope, to Mercury, to Venus, to Apollo and Diana, to his lyre, to Bacchus, or to Pan; nothing which was ever intended as a rapture of poetry. Is it not then something very amazing, if we consider him in this fair and true light, that he should produce, by the mere force of talte and abilities, without any laboured correction at all, such wonders in the poetic strain, as to make any the most partial of his admirers, not only prefer him to all the poets of these later centuries, but compare him to that immortal genius of the Augustan age, whose whole delight, speculation, and amusement, whether in bed or in the fields, was in meditatiog, writing, polishing, or correcting his verses! Swift.

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N. B. Whatever verses are marked with an astea zik * prefixed, are not Dr Swift's.


Written anno 1713.


HE Shepherds and the nymphs were seen:
Pleading before the Cyprian Queen.
The counsel for the fair began,

Accusing the false creature man.
The brief with weighty crimes was charg'd,
On which the pleader much enlarg'd ;


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• The following poems chiefly consist either of humour or satire, and very often of both together. What merit they may have, we confess ourselves to be no judges of in the least, but, out of due regard to a writer, from whose works we hope to receive some be: nefit, we cannot conceal what we have heard from several persons of great judgment, that the author never was known, either in verse or profe, to borrow any thought, frinile, epithet, or particular. manner of style; but whatever he writ, whether good, bad, or indifferent, is an original itself.—Altho' we are very sensible, that, in some of the following poems, the ladies may relent certain sati. rical touches against the mistaken conduct in some of the fair sex ; and that some warm persons on the prevailing lide may cenfure: this author, for not thinking in public matters exactly like them: selves; yet we have been assured, by several judicious and learned gentlemen, that what the author hath here writ, on either of those two subjects, hath no other aim than to reform the errors of both fexes. If the public be right in its conjectures of the author, nothing is better known in London, than that while he had credit at the court of Q. Anne, he employed fo much of it in favour of Whigs in both kingdoms, that the ministry, used to rally him as


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