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Picturesque Poetry. Confiling of Parmi, Odes, and Elegies, on
various Subje-:s. By the rev. 1. Teasdale. 890. 25. 68. Robinson.
These poems are chiefly descriptive. The images, though seldom new, are delineated in a pleating manner; and the reflections, though fometimes trite, are in general joit, and well applied. A performance entitled DAY, confisting of three parts, MORNING, Voon, and EVENING, pleales us
as well as any in the collection, of which the conciuding section may ferve as a specimen. There is, however, one impropriety in it; the describing flowers as expanding, and erecting themfelves at the approach of night; when the reverse is a wellknown fact.
Now, when ev'ning's sober ray
• As the sun, that smiles invest,
Now again the eddying breeze
• Low its cadence, smooth its tides,
• Now the flow'rs, that sweets exhale,
· All the blossom'd furze is gay, Where the wanton kidlings play; VOL. LX. Aug. 1785.
And in yonder peopled mead,
• Let us join the mirehful throng,
Take their Atacions, at her call.'
• Johnson no more each bard attunes his lays,
As fome for pudding, ochers write for fame." We allow this passage to be a little hyperbolical, but have found to oar forrow coo much truth in it. The panegyrists of Dr. Johnson brave been exceedingly numerous ;---peace to his manes ! we trust their doleful elegies will never wound his ears, nor that of posterity. Whether pudding or fame was held in view, of the generality we speak, the objects have furely been equally unattainable. The present author informs us that,
• All bards GREAT Johnson's wreath (the laurel) claim, and they accordingly repair to Parnassus to affert their respeco tive rights. Surely, considered merely as a poet, Johnson's merit is not of fu super-eminent à nature as to entitle him to this high compliment.
First Pract began, in accents meek and mild, Seft as the whispers of a pukeing child!" As pukeing gives no idea of meekness or mildness, we would substitute puling for it, which, fignifying to whimper in a gentle manner, is more analogous to some of Mr. Pratt's writ. jogs. PUKEING conveys an indelicate idea, ungenial to his Atyle and fentiment..
« Next Whitehead came, his worth - a pinch of snuff,
But, for a laureat, he was well enough.' This is too sévére on a very decent author; for to write birthday odes with success
, is evidently no easy task. We no less disapprove of the following character.
« And Mason now, whose nambers nice by arty
Though some of Mr. Mason's poems are too highly ornament.
a Lady. 4to. 55. Hooper:
8vo... 35. 6d. Jewed. Becket. The encomiums bestowed on the French Telemachus are in general just: towards the conclusion our author observes that,
• Notwithstanding the indisputable merit of Monf. Fenelon's performance in the original fto which the numerous translations in our own tongue are fufäcient vouchers) a poetical version seemis still wanting, to accommodate the taste of an Eng. lith reader with one of its usual gratifications in an Epic Poem, which title juftly belongs to these volumes, though devoid of an ornament not susceptible of dignity in the French language.'
We will allow that French verse is ill-adapted to an epic composition, and that in many effential points, verse excepted, Telemachus is entitled to that appellation ; yet still we cannot see the utility of its being versified in our language. The suc-. cess of numerous profe-translators vouch for the propriety of that method. The original, even when literally rendered, ftrikes naturally into our language in periods easy and harmonious. What more have we to expect? The time of an able writer would surely be mispent, in endeavouring to improve by rhyme what appears to the urmost advantage in flowing profe; and the labours of an inferior one would undoubtedly be excelled by the most literal version. The style of the present author in his advertisement is, though sometimes a litile inclining to the bounbat, easy and spirited; had he attempo. ed the original in that manner, we do not think he would have proved unsuccessful; but his poetry is flat, diffuse, and some times ridiculous. In a form, raised by Neptune to fink Telemachus's veffel, he gives the following account of Mentor's behaviour. Les 2
• He takes an axe, and cuts the breaking malt,
From noitrils, inouth, and ears, it gain'd a vent.' An unsuccessful attempt of the same kind was made by a Mr. Bagnal, in the year 17;6. From the title we were led to expect an entire tranllation of Telemachus: this performance however only confits of the first fix books, and here we suppose the undertaking will end. Poems on several Occasions. By Ann Yearsley, a Milk-woman
of Brifiol. 4to. 6s. Cadell. These poems are ushered into the world by a prefatory letter from Miss Hannah More to Mis. Montague, giving some account of this felf-inftructed votary of the Muses. It resembles the well-drawn relation of Stephen Duck, written by Mr. Spence, and prefixed to his poems. A parallel might indeed be drawn between him and the present writer, but not much to the advantage of the former, Stephen was merely a rhymer: the protection he obtained proceeded from the peculiarity of a thresher's writing verses, not on account of the verses themselves. As Pope fays of straw and grubs in amber,
• We know these things are neither rich nor rare,
But wonder how the devil they came tjere.' The poems before us are entitled to a superior degree of praise; there are evident traces to be found in them of a strong and fervid inagination, as the following paffage will suficiently testify.
L'My soul is out of tune,
Drear, joyless, vacant, as my wasted soul,
Officious Truth! unwelcome guest to most,
Or hate thee, tho' we never meet again.' Correctness and precision cannot be expected from one who does not know a single rule of grammar, and who has never even seen a dictionary,' but we can assure the reader many parfages, in no respect inferior to the preceding, might be selected. We will not anticipate his curiosiy any farther, but recommend to him the book itself. He will receive the double fatisfaction of being amused by its perufal, and contributing to the relief of depressed genius. A large list of subscribers is annexed; which does honour to the author's protectress, by whose means, we apprehend, so many respectable names were procured for promoting her benevolent intention. More Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians. By a difiant Relation
to the Poet of Thebes, and Laureate to the Academy. 4to. Hookham.
This is a very successful imitator of the same humorous, ingenious gentleman, who has twice before had a stroke at - the Royal Academicians. It is as impossible to prevent laughing at his oddity, as being offended at his grofiness: nothing but the brilliancy of his genius could bear him through the abuse he so liberally bestows on the late exhibitions.
• The want of ev'ry lib'ral grace
Disgrace to the art, a vulgar crew-