« 上一頁繼續 »
Directress of the brave and just,
And let the tortures of mistrust
For shall thine ardours cease to glow
What raised our virtue here below
London— 1712 — 1735.
Richard Glover wfts a man of liberal education, and considerable talents, who devoted himself to commercial pursuits, without neglecting the refinements of taste and literature. A Poem inscribed by him, to the memory of Sir Isaac Newton, is prefixed to Dr. Pemberton's View of the Newtonian Philosophy, published in 4to. 1728. The Epicfc Poem, Leonidas, appeared in 1737, and drew from Lord Lyttelton such praise, as it is grateful to receive from a patriot, a scholar and a critick. The song, Hosier's Ghost, and London, or the Progress of Commerce, came out in 1739; they were written in order to excite the publick resentment against the misconduct of the Spaniards. In 1751, he was a candidate for the Chamberlainsliip of London, but yielded to the superior interest of his antagonist with dignity, grace, and modesty. He produced the Tragedy of Bdadicea, in 1753, which saw only three nights at Drury Lane, and in 1761, another calledMedea. Leonidas was republished vol. III. tC'
in 1770, and augmented from nine to twelve books. From this period Glover dedicated himself to the more active and ordinary occupations of life, till about the year 1775, when he retired to the enjoyment of literary leisure, in which he died.
The life End soul of poetry were not in Glover ; but he loved liberty with fervour, worthy of a Greek or of an Englishman ; and Leonidas will continue to be read, in spite of its bad language and dis jointed versification, because the whole history of mankind furnishes no other subject so ^animating andso ennobling. His Athenaid wants thi» moral dignity — '1 hemistoclcs is the chief personage; and it is impossible to conceal, that Themistocles was .rather a Statesman than a Hero. Still the poem is a very pleasing one; it deserves to be better known, and should always accompany the Leonidas; Glover thought it the best of the two ; it was the work of his old age, and in the vanity of an honest heart, he would sometimes boast that k was longer than the Iliad.
He was on a visit a* Stowe, when he wrote his ballad of Admiral Hosier's Ghost, the most spirited of all his productions. Ihe thought occurred to him during the night, he rose early, and went into the garden to compose; in the heat of composition he got into the tulip-bed, and, unfortunately having a stick in his hand, hewed, and clashed all round him without mercy. Some of the -company who had seen him from the windows, and wasjpected how his mind was occupied, Sbked him at breakfast, how he could think of destroying Lady Temple's favourite flowers. The Poet, perfectly unconscious of what he had done, pleaded not guilty. There were, however, witnesses enough to convict him; he acknowledged that he had been composing in the garden, and was •asily forgiven, when he recited his ballad.
ADMIRAL HOSIER'S GHOST.
As nenr Porto-Bello lying
On the gently-swelling flood, At midnight with streamers flying
Our triumphant Navy rode, There while Vernon sat all glorious
From the Spaniards late defeat, And his crew with shouts victorious,
Drank success to England's fleet;
Oa a sudden, shrilly sounding,
Hideous yells, and shiieks were heard; Then each heart with fear confounding, 'A sad tronp of Ghosts ap;ear'd
AH in.dreary hammocks shrouded,
And with looks by sorrow clouded
On them gleam'd the moon's wan lustre, *
When the shade of Hosier brave
Rising from their watery grave:
Where the Burford rear'd her sail,
And in groans did Vernon hail.
*' Heed, O heed our fatal story,
"I am Hosier's injured ghost, "You, who now have purchased glory
"At this place, where I was lost, "Though in Porto-Bello's ruin
"You now triumph free from fears, ** When you think on our undoing,
"You will mix your joy with tears.
** See these mournful spectres sweeping ""Ghastly o'er this hated wave, ** Whose wan cheeks are stain'd with weeping^ ** These were English captains brave;