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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.


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

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selecting a more renowned adversary of which he at first meant to publish under
the faith. “Voltaire in the Shades; or, a the title of Cumnor Hall.
Dialogue on the Deistical Controversy,” The success of The Lusiad induced
was the title of his polemical attack Mickle's friends, among whom he num-
upon the great Frenchman. Yet these bered Boswell, the Wartons, and Home,
aberrations from his true sphere into a the author of Douglas, to urge him to
field where, if the laurels are easily try a tragedy. He chose as his subject
won, they soon fade, were only transi- the “Siege of Marseilles.” On its com-
tory, and his mind soon became set pletion, he offered it to Garrick, but it
upon the greatest poetical labour of his

was rejected for want of “stage effect.”
life—the translation of the Lusiad of This fault he tried, with the assistance
Camoens. The thought of it seems to of his friend Thomas Warton, to re-
have occupied his mind for a long time, medy; yet neither Warton's nor Bos-
and the labour of fitting himself for its well's influence could prevail upon
accomplishment is the highest testimony Garrick to give the piece a trial.
to his intellectual and poetical gifts. Mickle was so incensed that he threat-
He fully persuaded himself of the tran- ened retaliation ; and it was only on the
scendent merits of his subject, and, like strong remonstrances of his friends that
a true devotee, stuck to his task with a he was dissuaded from so silly a pro-
diligence and faith that elicits our ad- ceeding. His friends now tried to pro-
miration. Having fairly seen his way cure him a pension from the Crown,
to commence his undertaking, he re- but failed; and an offer of promotion in
signed his situation, went to reside at the Church he declined himself.
a farmhouse at Forest Hill, five miles In 1779, he published a pamphlet
from Oxford, and, with his subscriptions opposing Adam Smith's views on the
paid in advance, maintained himself for mo boly of the East India Company's
about three years at his task, till, in 1775, charter; and when Smith's Life of
it appeared in a quarto volume printed Hume appeared, he showed his detesta-
at Oxford. Its success realized his ex- tion of the Scotch philosophers in some
pectations, and brought him a thousand undignified doggrel, which Sim, his
pounds of well-earned money.

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


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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.


fourth year.



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.




If that my beauty is but small,

Then, Leicester, why, again I plead
Among court ladies all despised,

(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

thine? VIII.

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


Yes! now neglected and despised, The village maidens of the plain
The rose is pale, the lily's dead;

Salute me lowly as they go :
But he that once their charnis so prized, Envious they mark my silken train,

Is sure the cause those charms are fled. Nor think a Countess can have woe.

For know, when sickening grief doth prey,

And tender love's repaid with scorn,
The sweetest beauty will decay :

What floweret can endure the storm?

The simple nymphs ! they little know

How far more happy's their estate ;
To smile for joy, than sigh for woe ;

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.


Then, Earl, why didst thou leave the beds Nor, cruel Earl ! can I enjoy
Where roses and where lilies vie,

The humble charms of solitude;
To seek a primrose, whose pale shades Your minions proud my peace destroy,

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.

Last night, as sad I chanced to stray,

The village death-bell smote my ear ; They winked aside, and seemed to say, 'Countess, prepare-thy end is near.'

But, Leicester (or I much am wrong),

It is not beauty lures thy vows;
Rather ambition's gilded crown

Makes thee forget thy humble spouse.

And now, while happy peasants sleep,

Here I sit lonely and forlorn ;
No one to soothe me as I weep,

Save Philonel on yonder thorn.

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