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This eminent man is so well known, that little could be said of him here, which is not fresh in the mind of every scholar. He was the son of the Rev. William Lowth, Rector of Buriton, Hants, and gave at Winchester shool early promise of the talents which afterwards distinguished him. At Oxford he filled the chair of the Frofessor of Poetry for nine years, which he quitted in 1751. In 1762, he published his Introduction to English Grammar. In 1765, he entered into a controversy with Bishop Warburton, and, like all controversialists, the two antagonists disgraced themselves, and each other. But this conduct was not natural to Lowth; and when he and Warburton met, the latter, in his surprize at his amiable and gentle manners, bore ample testimony to his virtues. It is to the honor of both, that mutual shame produced a friendship; a rare instance of liberality between men of different opinions.
Bishop Lowth died in consequence of a paralytick stroke, on the 3d of November, 1787.
TO THE PEOPLE OF GREAT BRITAIN. Written in 1746.
B. Iton! the thunder of the wrath divine,
Shall burst with ten-fold rage on thy devoted head;
Suppliant thou fall before the offended God:
Did not high God of old ordain, When to thy grasp he gave the sceptre of the main,
Thaf empire in this favour'd land,
He then confitm'd the strong decree: "Briton, be virtuous and be free; "Be truth, be sanctity thy guide: "Be humble : fear thy God; and fear thou nonebeside"
Oft has the offended Power his rising anger shown:
Led on by his avenging hand
Rebellion triumphs in the land: Twice have her barbarous sons our war-train'd hosts o'erthrown.
They fell a cheap inglorious prey;
While heaven-bred fear, and wild dismay, Unmann'd the warriour's heart, and reign'd in every breast.
Her arms to foreign lands Britainia bore;
The sons ill-fated fell, and bit the hostile ground;
The Gaul stood wondering at his own success; Oft did his hardiest bands their wonted fears confess;
Struck with dismay, and meditating flight, While the brave foe still urged the unequal fight, While William, with his Father's ardour filed. Through all the undaunted host the generous flame inspired!
But heavier far the weight of shame That sunk Britannia's naval fame: In vain she spreads her once victorious sails, Or fear, or rashness, in her chiefs prevails; And wildly these prevent, those basely shun the fight;
Content with humble praise, the foe Avoids the long-impending blow; Improves the kind escape, and triumphs in his flight.
The monstrous age, which still increasing years debase,
Which teems with unknown crimes, and genders
The hallow'd nuptial bed with lawless lust profaned;
Derived from this polluted source The dire corruption held its course Through the whole canker'd race, and tainted all the land.
The ripening maid is versed in every dangerous art,
That ill adorns the form while it corrupts the heart:
Thuslesson'd in intrigue, her early thought improves,
Nor meditates in vain forbidden loves;