« 上一頁繼續 »
Those state-obscuring sheds, that like
a chain Seem'd to confine, and fetter him
again : Which the glad faint shakes off at his
Of the two last couplets, the first is extravagant, and the second mean.
His praise of the Queen is too much exaggerated; and the thought, that she “ faves lovers, by cutting off hope, as “ gangrenes are cured by lopping the “ limb,” presents nothing to the mind, but disgust and horror.
Of the Battle of the Summer Islands, it seems not easy to say whether it is intended to raise terror or merriment. The beginning is too splendid for jest, and the conclufion too light for feriousness. The versification is studied, the seenes are diligently displayed, and the images artfully amplified; but as it ends neither in joy nor sorrow, it will scarcely be read a second time.
The Panegyrick upon Cromwell has obtained from the public a very liberal dividend of praise, which however cannot be said to have been unjustly lavished; for such a series of verses had rarely appeared before in the English language. Of the lines fome are grand, fo: e are graceful, and all are musical.
There is now and then a feeble verse, or a trifling thought; but its great fault is the choice of its hero.
The poem of The War with Spain begins with lines more vigorous and striking than Waller is accustomed to produce. The succeeding parts are variegated with better passages and worse. There is something too far-fetched in the comparison of the Spaniards drawing the English on, by faluting St. Lucar with cannon, to lambs awakening the lion by bleating. The fate of the Marquis and his Lady, who were burnt in their ship, would have moved more, had the poet not made him die like the Phoenix, because he had spices about liim, nor exprefled their afication and
their end by a conceit at once false and vulgar: Alive, in equal flames of love they
burn'd, And now together are to ashes turn’d.
The verses to Charles, on his Return, were doubtless intended to counterbalance the panegyric on Cromwel. If it has been thought inferior to that with which it is naturally compared, the cause of its deficience has been already remarked.
The remaining pieces it is not necessary to examine fingly. They must be supposed to have faults and beauties of the same kind with the rest. The Sacred l'oeins, however, deserve particular
regard; they were the work of Waller's declining life, of those hours in which he looked upon the fame and the folly of the time past with the sentiments which his great predecessor Petrarch bequeathed to posterity, upon his review of that love and poetry which have given him immortality.
That natural jealousy which makes 'every man unwilling to allow much excellence in another, always produces a disposition to believe that the mind grows old with the body; and that he, whom we are now forced to confess fupe. rior, is hastening daily to a level with ourselves. By delighting to think this of the living, we learn to think it of the dead; and Fenton, with all his