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This rite, which is altogether foreign to English manners, Hammond has rather injudicioul, transferred into his ninth elegy.
Wilt thou in tears thy lover's corse attend,
With eyes averted light the folemm fire,
Then, lowly finking, by degrees expire? It is unnecessary tv transcribe more parallel passages, to show that Hammond, not satisfied with taking Tibullus for his model, has transfused into his elegies the sentiments and the imagery of the Roman poet. Yet it ought to be observed, that he has very often taken the liberty to transpose, and sometimes paraphrastically to enlarge the thoughts, and to give the imagery a more modere polith. In the passages he has translated, he has generally improved on Tibullus, and given his verLion of the most exac, elegant, and harmonious of the Roman elegiac poets, the easy air of a moden original. As he felt the difiress which gave rise to most of the elegies of Tibullus, he is not inferia to him in amorous tenderness and poetical fancy. His elegies have those fallies and transitions of paflion, that frantic and desponding air, so observeable in the Roman poet ; for these are the natural emanations of a heated fancy, and a distracted heart.
His greatest fault is, an injudicious adoption of the mythology, and too servile an adherence to the manners of the Roman poet ; which detract from his merit as an imitator, more than as a trasi lator of Tibullus. Amorous elegy is less local than many other of the minor kinds of poetry; the paflion of love operating nearly the same upon the human mind in all ages: get as the modes of capreling that passion differ much in different countries, so these modes mul not be confounded; a Roman ought not to make love like a Grecian, nor an Englishman like a Roman,
Although the elegies of Hammond warrant, in some degree, this censure, yet it ought to be cose sidered, that he has both nature and originality in many parts; and the Elegies to Mr. Gresas and "riss Daforwood, ought to have been exempted from the censure of Dr. Johnson, who has fpokeu of him with too great asperity. They are written in the heroic measure, the fentiments are exquisitely delicate, and the numbers flow with an easy correctness
. An " Answer to the Elegy zo Miss Dashwood," was written by Lord Hervey, and is a suitable companion to it.
The measure which he has adopted in his other elegies, is the quatrain, or alternate rhyme, which, like the Latin hexameter and pentameter, is thought to be peculiarly suited to paintive fubje&s; and it must be confefled, that he has happily succeeded. The quatrain has, indeed, a disagreeable famenets in its fructure, every succeeding stanza being a faithful echo to the aft; yet is thus something plaintive in it—some pathetic softness in the descending melody, that sems ftred to e press the tender passions. It is the peculiar language of love and melancholy, when they lootte their sorrows with the penfive muse. It is now appropriated to the complaining tone of the Eng lith elegy, by Gray, Shenstone, Mason, Whitehead, Græme, and other elegiac pocs.
On the character of Hammond it is unnecessary to enlarge, as it is given in the preface to his elegies, by Lord Cheste-field, with a minuteness, elegance, and tenderness, which, making due allowance for the partiality of friendship, and the extravagance of erroneous criticiso , leave Dothing to be supplied by a casual hand.
P R E F A C E.
[B Y LORD CHESTERFIELD.]
Tre following elegies were wrote by a young the model our author judiciously preferred to gentleman lately dead, and justly lamented. Ovid; the former writing directly from the heart,
As he had never declared his intentions con to the heart ; the latter too often yielding and adcerning their publication, a friend of his, into dressing himself to the imagination. whose hands they fell, determined to publish them, The undistipated youth of the author, allowed in the persuasion that they would neither be un him time to apply himself to the best masters, the welcome to the public, nor injurious to the me- ancients, and his parts enabled him to make the mory of their author. The reader must decide, best use of them; for upon those great models of whether this determination was the result of just solid sense and virtue, he formed not only his gejudgment, or partial friendship; for the editor feels, nius, but his heart, both well prepared by nature and avows so much of the latter, that he gives up to adopt, and adorn the resemblance. He admired all pretensions to the former.
that justness, that noble fimplicity of thought and The author composed them ten years ago, be- expreslion, which have distinguished, and preserved fore he was two and twenty years old, an age their writings to this day; but he revered that love when fancy and imagination commonly riot, at the of their country, that contempt of riches, that faexpence of judgment and correctness, neither of credness of friendship, and all those heroic and sowhich seem wanting here. But sincere in his love cial virtues, which marked them out as the objects as in his friendthip, he wrote to his mistresses, as of the vineration, though not the imitation, of fuche spoke to his friends, nothing but the true ge- ceeding ages; and he looked back with a kind of nuine sentiments of his heart; he sate down to write religious awe and delight, upon those glorious, and what he thought, not to think what he should happy times of Greece and Rome, when wisdom, write ; it was nature and sentiment only that virtue, and liberty formed the only triumvirates, didated to a real mistress, not youthful and poetic ere luxury invited corruption to taint, or corrupfancy,to an imaginaryone. Elegy, therefore, speaks tion introduced Navery to dettroy, all public and here her own, proper, native uage, the unaf- private virtues. In these sentiments he lived, and fected plaintive language of the tender passions; would have lived, even in these times ; in these the true elegiac dignity and simplicity are preserv- sentiments he died-- but in these times too-Ut ed, and united; the one without pride, the other non erepla a diis immortalibus vita, fed donata mors elle without meanncss. Tibullus seems to have been videatur.
“ Virginibus puerisque canto.”
FIRST PRINTED IN 1743.
On bis falling in Love with Neera. Farewell that liberty our fathers give, In vain they gave, their sons receiv'd in vain : I saw Neæra, and her instant slave, Though born a Briton, hugg'd the servile chain. Her usage well repays my coward heart, Meanly she triumphs in her lover's shame, No healing joy relieves his constant smart, No smile of love rewards the loss of fame. Oh, that to feel these killing pangs no more, On Scythian hills I lay a senseless stone, Was fix'd a rock amidst the watery roar, And in the valt Atlantic stood alone. Adieu, ye muses, or ny passion aid, Why should I loiter by your idle spring? My humble voice would move one only maid, And the contemus the trifies which I sing. I do not ask the losty Epic strain, Nor strive to paint the wonders of the sphere; I only fing one cruel maid to gain, Adieu, ye mules, if she will not hear. No more in useless innocence I'll pine, Since guilty presents win the greedy fair, l'll tear its honours from the broken shrine, But chiefly thine, O Venus ! will I tear. Deceiv'd by thee, I lov'd a beauteous maid, Who bends on sordid gold her low defires : Nor worth nor paffion can her heart persuade, But love must act what avarice requires. Unwise who first, the charm of nature loft, With Tyrian purple foil'd the snowy sheep; Unwiser ftill who seas and mountains croft, To dig the rock, and search the pearly deep: These costly toys our silly fair surprise, The shining follies cheat their feeble sight, Their hearts secure in trifles, love despite, 'Tis vain to court them, but more vain to write. Why did the gods conceal the little mind, And earthly thoughts beneath a heavenly face; Forget the worth that dignifies mankind, Yet smooth and polil fo cach outward grice?
Adieu, ye walls, that guard my cruel fair,
Perhaps ev'n Genius pours a slighted lay;
Perhaps ev’n Friendship sheds a fruitless tear;
And fondly graces Hammond's mournful bier.
Renew their chaplets, and repeat their sighs;
The loitering fragrance, will it reach the skies?
Delia mighe place the votive wreaths in vain :
SHENSTONE, ELEG. 17.
PRINTED BY MUNDELL AND SON, ROYAL BANK CLOSE,