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in contemplation. The affectionate mention of the death of his friend Harrison of New College, at the close of this poem, is an instance of Young's art, which displayed itself so fully thirty years afterwards in the Night Thoughts, of making the publick a party in his private forrow.
Should justice call upon you to censure this poem, it ought at least to be remembered that he did not insert it into his works; and that in the letter to Curll, as we have seen, he advises its omifsion. The booksellers, in the present Body of English Poetry, should have distinguished what was deliberately rejected by the respective authors. This I shall be careful to do with regard to
Young. “I think, says he, the following “ pieces in four volumes to be the most " excuseable of all that I have written; " and I wish less apology was needful for “ these. As there is no recalling what “ is got abroad, the pieces here re“ published I have revised and corrected, “ and rendered them as pardonable as it 6 was in my power to do.”-Shall the gates of repentance be shut only against literary finners ? · When Addison published Cato in
1713, Young had the honour of prefixing to it a recommendatory copy of verses. This is one of the pieces which the author of the Night Thoughts did not republish.
On the appearance of his Poem on tl.c Last Day, Addison did not return Young's compliment; but Toe Engliftman of October 29, 1713, which was probably written by Addison, speaks kandsomely-of this poem. The Last Day was published soon after the peace. The vice-chancellor's imprimatur (for it was first printed at Oxford) is dated May the 1.9th, 1713. From the Exordium Young appears, to have spent some time on the composition of it. While other bards with Britain's bero set their fouls on fire, he draws, he says, a deeper scene. Marlborough had been considered by Britain as her hero; but, when the Last Day was published, female cabal had blasted for a time the laurels of Blenheimn. This poem was probably finished by Young as early as 1710; for part of it is printed in the Tatler. It was inscribed to the Queen, in a dedication, which, for some reason, he did not admit into his works. It tells her, that his only title to the great honour he now does himself is the obligation he formerly received from her royal indulgence. Of this obligation nothing is now known. Young is faid to have been engaged at a settled stipend as a writer for the Court. Yet who shall say this with certainty ? In all modern periods of this country, the writers on one side have been regularly called Hirelings, and on the other Patriots.
Of the dedication, however, the complexion is clearly political. It speaks in the highest terms of the late peace ;—it. gives her Majesty praise indeed for her victories, but says that the author is more pleased to see her rise from this lower world, soaring above the clouds, paffing the first and second heavens, and leaving the fixed stars behind her ;-nor will he lose her there, but keep her still in view through the boundless spaces on the other side of Creation, in her journey towards eternal bliss, till he behold the heaven of heavens open, and angels receiving and conveying her still onward from the stretch of his imagination, which tires in her pursuit, and falls back again to earth. B2