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of winter within the Polar Circle, and of a thaw, and concludes the poem with moral reflections on a future ftate.

His reflections on midnight, and the address to the Su preme Being, are pious and beautiful.

As yet 'tis midnight deep. The weary clouds,
Slow-meeting, mingle into folid gloom.
Now, while the drowfy world lies loft in fleep,
Let me affociate with the serious Night,
And Contemplation her fedate compeer;
Let me shake off th' intrufive cares of day,
And lay the meddling fenfes all afide.

WHERE now, ye lying vanities of life!
Ye ever-tempting ever-cheating train!
Where are you now? and what is your amount ?
Vexation, disappointment, and remorse.
Sad, fickening thought! and yet deluded man,
A scene of crude disjointed vifions past,
And broken flumbers, rifes ftill refolv'd
With new-flush'd hopes, to run the giddy round.

FATHER of light and life! thou GOOD SUPREME!
O teach me what is good! teach me THYSELF!
Save me from folly, vanity, and vice,

From every low purfuit! and feed my foul

With knowledge, confcious peace, and virtue pure;
Sacred, fubftantial, never-fading blifs!

The defcription of a deep fnow, and of a husbandman loft in it, with the reflections on the wants and miferies of mankind, are seasonable and pathetic.

As thus, the fnows arife; and foul, and fierce ;
All winter drives along the darken'd air;
In his own loofe-revolving fields, the fwain
Difafter'd ftands; fees other hills afcend,
Of unknown joyless brow; and other scenes,
Of horrid profpect, fhag the tracklefs plains:
Nor finds the river, nor the forest, hid
Beneath the formless wild; but wanders on
From hill to dale, ftill more and more aftray;

Impatient flouncing thro' the drifted heaps,

Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts of hon

Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth
In many a vain attempt. How finks his foul!
What black despair, what horror fills his heart!
When for the dufky fpot, which fancy feign'd
His tufted cottage rifing thro' the fnow,

He meets the roughness of the middle wafte,
Far from the track, and bleft abode of man;
While round him night refiftless clofes faft,
And every tempeft, howling o'er his head,
Renders the favage wilderness more wild.
Then throng the bufy shapes into his mind,
Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep,
A dire defcent! beyond the power of frost,
Of faithlefs bogs; of precipices huge,

Smooth'd up with fnow; and, what is land, unknown,
What water, of the ftill unfrozen spring,

In the loose marsh or solitary lake,

Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps; and down he finks
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift,
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mix'd with the tender anguish nature shoots
Thro' the wrung bofom of the dying man,
His wife, his children, and his friends unfeen.
In vain for him th' officious wife prepares
The fire fair blazing, and the veftment warm;.
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingling ftorm, demand their fire,
With tears of artlefs innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children, more fhall he behold,
Nor friends, nor facred home. On every nerve
The deadly winter feizes; shuts fense;


And, o'er his inmoft vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the fnows, a ftiffned corfe,
Stretch'd out, and bleaching in the northern blaft.

AH little think the gay licentious proud,
Whom pleasure, power, and affluence furround;
They, who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;

Ah little think they, while they dance along,
How many feel, this very moment death
And all the fad variety of pain.

His conclufion glows with a ftain of piety worthy of a chriftian poet and philofopher, and is too perfpicuous and forcible to require or admit of any remark.

"Tis done! dread WINTER fpreads his latest gloom, And reigns tremendous o'er the conquer'd year. How dead the vegetable kingdom lies!

How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends
His defolate domain. Behold, fond man!
See here thy pictur'd life; pass fome few years,
Thy flowering fpring, thy fummer's ardent ftrength,
Thy fober autumn fading into age,

And pale concluding winter comes at last,

And fhuts the scene. Ah! whither now are fled,
Thofe dreams of greatnefs? Thofe unfolid hopes
Of happiness? Thofe longings after fame ?
Thofe reftlefs cares? Thofe bufy bustling days?
Those gay-fpent, feftive nights? Thofe veering thoughts
Loft between good and ill, that shar'd thy life?
All now are vanish'd! VIRTUE fole-furvives,
Immortal never-failing friend of man,
His guide to happinefs on high. And fee!
'Tis come, the glorious morn! the second birth
Of heaven, and earth! awakening nature hears
The new creating word, and ftarts to life,
In every heighten'd form, from pain and death
For ever free. The great eternal fcheme.
Involving all, and in a perfect whole
Uniting, as the profpect wider fpreads,
To reafon's eye refin'd clears up apace.
Ye vainly wife! ye blind prefumptuous! now,
Confounded in the duft, adore that PowER,
And WISDOM oft arraign'd: fee now the cause,
Why unaffuming worth in fecret liv'd.

And dy'd, neglected: why the good man's fhare
In life was gall and bitterness of foul:
Why the lone widow and her orphans pin'd
In ftarving folitude; while luxury,

In palaces, lay ftraining her low thought,
To form unreal wants: why heaven-born truth,
And moderation fair, wore the red marks
Of fuperftition's fcourge: why licens'd pain,
That cruel fpoiler, that embofom'd foe,

Imbitter'd all our blifs. Ye good distreft!
Ye noble few! who here unbending stand
Beneath life's preffure, yet bear up a while,
And what your bounded view, which only faw
A little part, deem'd evil is no more :

The ftorms of WINTRY TIME will quickly pals,
And one unbounded SPRING encircle all.

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Of Didactic or Preceptive POETRY.

HE method of writing Precepts in verfe, and embellishing them with the graces of poetry, had its rife, we may fuppofe, from a due confideration of the frailties and perverfeness of human nature; and was intended to engage the affections, in order to improve the mind and amend the heart.

Were it poffible to infpect into the minds of men, and fee their inmoft thoughts, we fhould find, I am afraid, that most of the human race are fond of appearing wifer than they are, and though they wish for knowledge are unwilling to confefs the want of it, or to feek after science for fear of being thought ignorant. Yet there are others, efpecially amongst our youth, who are under no apprehenfion of this kind, but fly from knowledge only because the roads to it are rugged, and the approaches difficult of accefs. To footh therefore the vanity of the one, and to remove the indolence of the other, poetry was called in to the aid of science, which by its peculiar gracefulness and addrefs could foften the appearance of inftruction, and render rules that were dull and disagreeable, sprightly and entertaining. The inventor of didactic poetry knew not only the defects of mankind, but likewife the force and power of a genteel and winning addrefs: He confider'd that ignorance and inattention were not the only enemies to fcience; but that pride, impatience, and affectation, were likewise to be vanquished; and therefore adorned and enriched his precepts, that pleasure might allure the one, and keep the other in countenance, ..

Men must be taught as if you taught them not,
And things unknown propos'd as things forgot.


Knowledge that is conveyed thus indirectly, and with. out the appearance of a dictator, will be learned with more eafe, fink deeper into the underftanding, and fo fix itself in the mind as not to be easily obliterated. And thefe confiderations, we may fuppofe, induced the priests and bards of old to deliver their laws and religious maxims in verse.

Didactic or Preceptive Poetry, has been ufually employed either to illuftrate and explain our moral duties; our philofophical enquiries; our business and pleasures; or in teaching the art of criticism or poetry itself. It may be adapted, however, to any other fubject, and may, in all cafes, where inftruction is defigned, be employed to good purpose. Some fubjects, indeed, are more proper than others, as they admit of more poetical orna ments, and give a greater latitude to genius; but what ever the subject is, thofe precepts are to be laid down that are the most useful, and they should follow each other in a natural easy method, and be delivered in the moft agreeable engaging manner. What the profe writer tells you ought to be done, the poet often conveys under the form of a narration, or fhews the neceffity of in a description ; and by representing the action as done, or doing, conceals the precept that should enforce it. The poet, likewise, inftead of telling the whole truth, or laying down all the rules that are requifite, felects fuch parts only as are the moft pleafing, and communicates the reft indirectly, without giving us an open view of them; yet takes care that nothing fhall escape the reader's notice with which he ought to be acquainted. He difclofes juft enough to lead the imagination into the parts that are concealed, and the mind, ever gratified with its own difcoveries, is compli mented with exploring and finding them out; which, tho' done with ease, seems so confiderable as not to be obtained but in confequence of its own adroitness and fagacity.

But this is not fufficient to render didactic poetry always pleafing; for where precepts are laid down one after an

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