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At a very early age this writer attained some reputation, by an Epistle from Abelard to Eloisa, and by his " Prospector Poetry." He took orders, but neglected the duties and even the decencies of his profession, till habitual drunkenness produced derangement. His madness took a prophetick turn, and asduring the siege of the Havannah, he guessed what day it would surrender, he was for some time in high odour as a prophet. A little estate of about fourscore pounds a-year, preserved him, with the help of hospitality, from want: towards the latter end of his life he sold this to his brother-in-law for his board and lodging and a certain yearly allowance; restraining himself from staying out after twelve o'clock at night, under the penalty of one shilling; his balance at the end of the year, was in consequence very inconsiderable
TO JAMES THOMSON, ESft.
On his Seasons.
From sunless worlds, where Phebus seldom
But with his evening wheels hangs o'er our isles;
A Western Muse to worth this tribute pays,
From regions bordering on the Hebrides:
For thee the Irish harp, new strung, once more
Greets our rough rocks, and bleak Hibernian
Thou, Thomson, badest my fingers wake the
An 3 with thy praise the wild wood hollow rings;
The shades of reverend Druids hover round,
And bend transported o'er the brazen sound.
So the wing'd bees that idly rove along,
(Renown'd alike for sweets as those for song)
If the shrill brass in\ ite them from the sky,
la dusky clusters round ihe musick fly.
Blest Bard! with what new lustre dost thou rise? £oft as the Season o'er the Summer skies!
Thy works a little world, new-found appear.
And thou the Phebus of a heaven so fair;
Thee their bright sovereign all the signs allow,
And Thomson is the name for Nature now:
Thou first could'st drive the coursers of the day,
Nor through the dazzling glories lost thy way;
Thy steeds red hoofs, still trod the eternal round,
Nor threw the burning chariot to the ground.
So round Julus' temples blazing bright
In locks dishevel'd stream'd a length of light;
The prince unharm'd beheld the sparkles spread,
Nor shook the shining honours from his head.
Beneath thy touch, description paints anew,
And the skies brighten to a purer blue;
Spring owes thy pencil her peculiar green,
And drown'd in redder roses Summer's seen;
While hoary Winter whitens into cold.
And Autumn bends beneath her bearded gold.
In various drapery see the rolling year,
And the wild waste in sable spots appear;
O'er the black heath the bittern stalks alone,
And to the naked marshes makes his moan;
Engulph'd in bogs behold his muddy beak,
And the brown partridge feeding in the brake.
But chief the sweetest passion best you sing,
The grove's soft theme, and symphony of Spring:
How brindled lions roar with fierce desire,
And in the waters Phocae feel the fire;
There large Leviathan unwieldly raves,
And burns though circled round with all his waves.
But higher still, those wonders must give place
To the new transports of a beauteous face!
Its force on man—the touch—the glowing glance,
The tempting bosom, and the tender trance!
On those how strongly dost thou paint our care,
And all the darling weakness of the fair;
'What thanks must Beauty give in yielding hour,
To warn them from us in the rosy bower!
A sudden flash of lightning turns my eye
To thunder rumbling in the Summer sky!
Beneath thy hand the flaming sheet is spread
O'er heaven's wide face, and wraps it round with
With the broad blase the kindling lines grow bright,
And all the glowing page is fill'd with light;
Through the rough verse the thunder hoarsly roan
And on red wings the nimble lightning soars:
Here thy Amelia starts. and, chiU'd with feart,
At every flash her eye-lids swim in tears;
What heart but beats for so divine a form.
Pale as a lily sinking in the storm!
What maid so cold to take a lover's part,
But pities Celadon with all her heart!
How precious gems enrich each sparkling line,
Add sun to sun, and from thy fancy shine!
Here rocks of diamond blaze in broken ray,
And sanguine rubies shed a blushing day;
Blue shining sapphires a gay heaven unfold,
And topaz lightens like transparent gold;
Of evening tint pale amethysts ar« seen,
And emeralds paint their languid beams with green:
While the clear opal courts the rural sight;
And rains a shower of many-colour'd light:
Your sky-dipp'd pencil adds the proper glow,
Stains each bright stone, and lets their lustre flow.
Tempers the colours shifting from each beam,
And bids them flash in one continued stream.
So have I seen the florid rainbow rise,
In braided colours o'er the watery skies,