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love of the fanciful and romantic. He examined our poetry at a period when it appeared to him, that versified observations on familiar life and manners, had usurped the honours which were exclusively due to the bold and inventive powers of imagination. He conceived, also, that the charm of description in poetry, was not sufficiently appreciated in his own day: not that the age could be said to be without descriptive writers; but because, as he apprehended; the tyranny of Pope's reputation had placed moral and didactic verse in too pre-eminent a light. He,' therefore, strongly urged the principle, “ that the “ most solid observations on life, expressed with the “ utmost brevity and elegance, are morality, and “ not poetry.” Without examining how far this principle applies exactly to the character of Pope, whom he himself owns not to have been without pathos and imagination, I think his proposition is so worded, as to be liable to lead to a most upsound distinction between morality and poetry: If by “the most solid observations on life" are meant only those which relate to its prudential manage-" ment and plain concerns, it is certainly true, that these cannot be made poetical, by the utmost brevity or elegance of expression. It is also true, that even the nobler tenets of morality are comparatively less interesting, in an insulated and didactic shape, than when they are blended with strong imitations of life, where passion, character, and situation bring them deeply home to our attention. Fiction

is on this account so far the soul of poetry, that, without its aid as a vehicle, poetry can only give us morality in an abstract and (comparatively) uninteresting shape. But why does Fiction please us? surely not because it is false, but because it seems to be true; because it spreads a wider field, and a more brilliant crowd of objects to our moral perceptions, than reality affords. Morality (in a high sense of the term, and not speaking of it as a dry science) is the essence of poetry. We fly from the injustice of this world to the poetical justice of Fiction, where our sense of right and wrong is either satisfied, or where our sympathy, at least, reposes with less disappointment and distraction, than on the characters of life itself. Fiction, we may indeed be told, carries us into " a world of gayer tinct and grace," the laws of .which are not to be judged by solid observations on the real world.

But this is not the case, for moral truth is still the light of poetry, and fiction is only the refracting atmosphere which diffuses it; and the laws of moral truth are as essential to poetry, as those of physical truth (Anatomy and Optics, for instance,) are to painting. Allegory, narration, and the drama make their last appeal to the ethics of the human heart. It is therefore unsafe to draw a marked distinction between morality and poetry; or to speak of solid observations on life" as of things in their nature unpoetical ; for we do meet in poetry with observations on life, which, for the charm of

their solid truth, we should exchange with reluctance, for the most ingenious touches of fancy.

The school of the Wartons, considering them as poets, was rather too studiously prone to description. The doctor, like his brother, certainly so far realized his own ideas of inspiration, as to burthen his verse with few observations on life, which oppress the mind by their solidity. To his brother he is obviously inferior in the graphic and romantic style of composition, at which he aimed; but in which, it must nevertheless be owned, that in some parts of his "Ode to Fancy" he has been pleasingly successful. From the subjoined specimens, the reader will probably be enabled to judge as favourably of his genius, as from the whole of his poems; for most of them are short and occasional, and, (if I may venture to differ from the opinion of his amiable editor, Mr. Wooll,) are by no means marked with originality. The only poem of any length, entitled “ The En. thusiast," was written at too early a period of his life, to be a fair object of criticism.


O PARENT of each lovely Muse,
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse,
O'er all my artless songs preside,
My footsteps to thy temple guide,

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To offer at thy turf-built shrine,
In golden cups no costly wine,
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
But flowers and honey from the rock.
O nymph with loosely-flowing hair,
With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare,
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd,
Waving in thy snowy hand
An all-commanding magic wand,
Of pow'r to bid fresh gardens blow,
'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow,
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey
Through air, and over earth and sea,
While the vast various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes.
O lover of the desert, hail !
Say, in what deep and pathless vale,
Or on what hoary mountain's side,
'Mid fall of waters, you reside,
'Mid broken rocks, a rugged scene,
With green and grassy dales between,
'Mid forests dark of aged oak,
Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke,
Where never human art appear'd,
Nor ev'n one straw-roof'd cot was rear'd,
Where Nature seems to sit alone,
Majestic on a craggy throne;
Tell me the path, sweet wand'rer, tell,
To thy unknown sequester'd cell,

Where woodbines cluster round the door,
Where shells and moss o’erlay the floor,
And on whose top an hawthorn blows,
Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
Some nightingale still builds her nest,
Each evening warbling thee to rest :
Then lay me by the haunted stream,
Rapt in some wild, poetic dream,
In converse while methinks I rove
With Spenser through a fairy grove;
Till, suddenly awak'd, I hear
Strange whisper'd music in my ear,
And my glad soul in bliss is drown'd
By the sweetly-soothing sound !
Me, goddess, by the right hand lead
Sometimes through the yellow mead,
Where Joy and white-rob'd Peace resort,
And Venus keeps her festive court,
Where Mirth and Youth each evening meet,
And lightly trip with nimble feet,
Nodding their lily-crowned heads,
Where Laughter rose-lip'd Hebe leads ;
Where Echo walks steep hills

List’ning to the shepherd's song:
Yet not these flowery fields of joy
Can long my pensive mind employ,
Haste, Fancy, from the scenes of folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy,
Goddess of the tearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms, and sigh ;

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