網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

OW

celled, if he had not divided his powers to different pursuits..

As a poet, had he been only a poet, he would probably have stood high among the authors with whom he is now associated. For his judgement was exact, and he noted beauties and faults with very nice discernment; his imagination, as the Dacian Battle proves, was vigorous and active, and the stores of knowledge were large by which his imagination was to be supplied. His ear was well-tuned, and his diction was elegant and copious. But his devotional poetry is, like that of others, unsatisfactory. The paucity of its topicks enforces perpetual repetition, and the fanctity of the matter rejects the orna

en

ments

ments of figurative diction. It is sufficient for Watts to have done better than others what no man has done well.

His poems on other subjects feldom rise higher than might be expected from the amusements of a Man of Letters, and have different degrees of value as they are more or less laboured, or as the occasion was more or less favourable to invention.

His writes too often without regular measures, and too often in blank verse; the rhymes are not always sufficiently correfpondent. He is particularly unhappy in coining names expressive of characters. His lines are coinmonly smooth and easy, and his thoughts always religiously pure; but who is there that, to so much piety

and

and innocence, does not wish for a greater measure of spriteliness and vigour? But he is at least one of the few poets with whom youth and ignorance may be safely pleased; and happy will be that reader whose mind is disposed by his verses, or his prose, to imitate him in all but his non-conformity, to copy his benevolence to man, and his reverence to God.

******

« 上一頁繼續 »