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Wisdom reply'd, he tore and burnt my Where she was seen her face was scarcely scheme.
known, Mercy reply'd, I'll draw it out again. So dimly did the light of nature shine. He spit upon my face, and purity. At length the long expected period came. Said Mercy, here is blood to make it clean. Th' eternal jubilee's proclaim'd abroad, Said Truth, he tacitly gave me the lie. The king's confin'd to set the subject free. Said Mercy, all his debt is due by me, But ah ! how few could understand his I'll dive into the lowest depth in hell,
words? But I will bring this jewel up again. The siren's song still ringing in the ear So said, the judge arose from off his seat, Had drown'd the music of the spheres Pleased with the purpose of his only son, above. Whose thirst of glory centred in his love ; | What must he do to storm or charm the Nor less transported was the advocate,
ear ! With this new conquest over justice made, Could human wisdom find a method out, In favours of the fallen fav'rite, man. Which was contrived to manage that Now Heaven is conquer'd, Hell and design? Earth come next.
If innocence hath charms, here is her All words are lost in thought at such a mirror. view.
If truth hath force, here is her magazine. 'Tis time for Freewill to resign his charge, If justice can convict, here is her scale. He hath no spirit for such enterprize. If wisdom can enrich, here is her treaHe only could perform who undertook,
sure. He best could loose the seals who wrote If mercy's beams can melt, here is her sun. the book.
Yet stupid to all these was human kind. Four thousand years Mercy seem'd in If miracles could move, lo, here they. suspence,
were ! Where in suspence nothing but justice By miracle unto the world he came, stood.
By miracle again to heaven he went.
WILLIAM JULIUS MICKLE.
1699-1746. WILLIAM JULIUS MICKLE was the About the year 1747, his father son of the Rev. Alexander Meikle, went to reside in Edinburgh, leaving an parish minister of Langholm, in Dum- assistant to discharge the duties of his friesshire. He was born in 1734, and parish. Young Mickle was sent to the received the rudiments of his education High School to finish his education; at the school of his native village. and continued to attend it till his He is said to have shown a very early fifteenth year. A relative of the family, predilection for poetry, Spenser being who carried on a brewery in the city, his favourite poet.
having died about this time, Mickle's
father resolved to continue the business; to dress up as many of his poems as and after some time it was made over might form a volume, to be issued under to William, who for some time pre- Lord Lyttleton's patronage, he was disviously took part in its management. suaded from making the venture, his dis
Family considerations, rather than appointment was so great, that he resolved the attractions of the profession, deter- to abandon literature and his country mined his choice, and in a short time at the same time, and seek his fortune his affairs became embarrassed. This in the colonies. With this view, he need not excite much surprise, when it waited on Lord Lyttleton once more,
is affirmed that he was often heard to requesting a letter to his brother, then * declare, that before he was eighteen, he governor of Jamaica. His lordship committed two tragedies and half an
dissuaded him from his purpose of epic poem to the flames.
emigrating, and, possibly not aware of His first published pieces appeared the poet's circumstances, dismissed him in the Scots Magazine-one of them with his advice and good wishes. being a description of the scenes of riot Having heard that a reader was and drunkenness witnessed at midnight wanted for the Clarendon Press, Oxin the Parliament Close, Edinburgh. ford, Mickle applied and obtained the In 1762, he issued anonymously, situation; and accordingly he removed through a London publisher, a poem to that celebrated centre of learning in entitled “Providence,” but it did not 1765. This year he published“ Pollio,” take with the reading public. He how- an elegy on the death of one of his ever adopted the expedient of sending a brothers, written in a wood near Roslin copy, under an assumed name, to Lord Castle, and two years after “ The Lyttleton, then one of the chief patrons Concubine,” in imitation of Spenser's of literature, asking his opinion of the manner and language. The success of poem, and requesting permission to “ The Concubine was the first gale of dedicate a new and improved edition to popular favour that blew upon him ; his lordship.
and, being anonymous, its authorship In 1763, the embarrassments of his was ascribed to some of the best poets business compelled him, to avoid arrest, of the day. Mickle's next venture was to seek an asylum in London, where of a different cast—“A Defence of Chrishis younger brother wrought as a tianity against the Arianism of a New printer. On his arrival, he had a letter Translation of the New Testament by from Lord Lyttleton, commending his Dr Harwood.” It ingratiated him with poetic genius, and inviting him to the orthodox party, but is now sunk in the Hagley Park. At their interview the mare magnum of religious controversy, peer gave him such adviceand encourage- | along with many more pretentious ment as made Mickle sanguine over his crafts. Yet these things seldom fail in literary prospects; but in the meantime their object; and Mickle, encouraged by he was mostly dependent on his brother; the reception of his pamphlet, again and when, after about two years' efforts entered the theological lists—this time
selecting a more renowned adversary of which he at first meant to publish under
was rejected for want of “stage effect.”
biographer, has not had the good taste to But to relieve the tedium of his omit from his life of Mickle. This same arduous task, he undertook some other year he accompanied his friend, Comliterary work, and edited Pearch's Col- modore Johnstone, to Portugal, where lection of Fugitive Poetry, in four he was received with every mark of volumes, to which he contributed an respect by the countrymen of Camoens.
Elegy on Mary, Queen of Scots,” and in Lisbon, he succeeded to the purser“Hengest and Mey." His best original ship of the Brilliant; and, on the return piece—the ballad of “Cumnor Hall,” of the squadron, he was made joint appeared in Evans' Ballads in the agent for the disposal of a number of orthography of Spenser. It suggested valuable prizes taken during the cruise. to Scott the subject of Kenilworth, His share in these ventures made him
independent ; and he hastened to clear His friend, the Rev. John Sim, who it off his debts in Scotland, and make pro- appears promised him to write his life vision for the members of his family should he survive him, discharged that whom his misfortunes affected. He obligation in 1806, when it formed an then married Mary Tomkins, the introduction to a collected edition of his daughter of Robert Tomkins of Forest original poems. In this edition apHill, in whose family he resided when pears for the first time as a composition he translated The Lusiad.
of his, the national Scottish song of He did not write much after his mar- “ There's nae Luck about the House." riage, having become involved in some His best undisputed poem, “Cumnor litigations which prevented his enjoying Hall,” is not given. that repose which his fortune was ex
CUMNOR HALL. pected to yield. His last poem was “ Eskdale Braes," a song on the scenes of his boyhood. He died at Forest Hill The dews of summer night did fall, in 1788, and was buried in the parish Silvered the walls of Cumnor Hall,
The moon (sweet regent of the sky) churchyard, having completed his fifty
And many an oak that grew thereby.
It must be evident that, as a man,
Now nought was heard beneath the skies Mickle wanted self-reliance and decision
(The sounds of busy life were still), of character ; and to these weaknesses Save an unhappy lady's sighs, are to be attributed his early misfor
That issued from that lonely pile. tunes. His morbid dislike of the philosophical giants of his native country · Leicester," she cried, “is this the love was also due to an intellectual consu
That thou so oft hast sworn to me? sion, which is always the source of To leave me in this lonely grove, moral timidity ; but his promptitude in Immured in shameful privity! remedying the results of his errors is
IV. sufficient proof of the rectitude of his
No more thou com'st, with lover's speed, moral principles.
Thy once beloved bride to see ; The intellectual defects referred to But be she alive, or be she dead, account for his want of force and origi- I fear, stern Earl's, the same to thee. nality as a poet ; for had his taste and fancy been sustained by corresponding Not so the usage I received vigour and grasp of mind, his original
When happy in my father's hall ; compositions would not have constituted No faithless husband then me grieved, his secondary claims to fame.
No chilling fears did me appal. It was his wish to have a collected edition of these published with his own I rose up with the cheerful morn, corrections, and he made considerable No lark more blithe, no flower more gay; progress in revising them for this pur- And, like the bird that haunts the thorn, pose, when he was suddenly cut off. So merrily sung the live-long day.
Then, Leicester, why, again I plead
(The injured surely may repine), Why didst thou rend it from that hall, Why didst thou wed a country maid, Where, scornful Earl, it well was prized? When some fair princess might be
XVI. And when you first to me made suit, Why didst thou praise my humble charms,
How fair I was, you oft would say ! And, oh! then leave them to decay ? And, proud of conquest, plucked the fruit, Why didst thou win me to thy arms, Then left the blossom to decay.
Then leave me to mourn the live-long
Salute me lowly as they go :
Is sure the cause those charms are fled. Nor think a Countess can have woe.
And tender love's repaid with scorn,
What floweret can endure the storm?
How far more happy's their estate ;
To be content, than to be great.
XIX. At court, I'm told, is beauty's throne, How far less blessed am I than them, Where every lady's passing rare,
Daily to pine and waste with care ! That eastern flowers, that shame the sun, Like the poor plant, that from its stem Are not so glowing, nor so fair.
Divided, feels the chilling air.
The humble charms of solitude;
Must sicken when those gauds are by? By sullen frowns, or pratings rude.
XIII. 'Mong rural beauties I was one ;
Among the fields wild flowers are fair ; Some country swain might me have won,
And thought my passing beauty rare.
The village death-bell smote my ear ; They winked aside, and seemed to say, 'Countess, prepare-thy end is near.'
It is not beauty lures thy vows;
Makes thee forget thy humble spouse.
Here I sit lonely and forlorn ;
Save Philonel on yonder thorn.