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tury. Even without awaiting the issue of such trials, he attuned a degree of popularity which is almost without s precedent, while the species of popularity which he has acquired is yet more honourable than the extent of it. No man's works ever appeared with less of artificial preparation : no venal heralds proclaimed the approach of a new poet, nor toll the world what it was to admirc. fic emerged from obscurity, the object of no patron. age, and the adherent of no party. Ilis fame, great and extensive as it is, arose from gradual conviction, and gratitude for pleasure received. The genius, the scholar, the critic, the man of the world, and the man of piety, cach found in Cowper's works something to excite their surprise and their adini. ration--something congenial with their habits and feelings-something which taste readily selected, and judgment decidedly confirmed. Cowper was found to possess that combination of energies which marks the comprehensive mind of a great and in. ventive genius, and to furnish examples of the sub. lime, the pathetic, the descriptive, the moral, and the satirical, so numerous, that nothing seemed be. yond his grasp, and so original, that nothing reminds us of any former poct.
If this praise be admitted, it will be needless to inquire in what peculiar charins Cowper's poems consist, or why hie, above all poets of recent times, has become the universal favourite of his nation. Yet as he appears to have been formed not only to be an ornament but a model to his brethren, it may not be useless to remind them, that in him the virtues of the man and the genius of the poet were inseparable; that in every thing he respected the highest interests of human kind, the promotion of religion, morality, and benevolence; and that while he enchants the imagination by the decorations of genuine poetry, and even condescends to trifle with innocent gaiety, his serious purposes are all of the
fobler kind. He secures the judgment by depth of reflection on morals and manners, and by a vigour of sentiment, and a knowledge of human nature, such as every man's taste and every man's experience must confirm. In description, whether of objects of nature or of artificial society, he has few equals; and whether be passes from description to reasoning, or illustrates the one by the other, he has found the happy art of administering to the pleasures of the senses and of the intellect with equal success. But what adds a peculiar charm to Cowper is, that his language is every where the language of the heart,
Si te forie meu gravis uret sarcina charta,
Hor. lib. i. Epist. 13.
A. You told me, I remember, glory, built On selfish principles, is shame and guilt ; The deeds, that men admire as half divine, Stark naught, because corrupt in their design. Strange doctrine this ! that without scruple tears The laurel, that the very lightning spares ; Brings down the warrior's trophy to the dust, And eats into his bloody sword like rust.
1. I grant that, men continuing what they are, Fierce, avaricious, proud, there must be war. And never meant the rule should be applied To him, that fights with justice on his side.
Let laurels, drench'd in pure Parnassian dews, Reward his mern'ry, dear to ev'ry muse, Who, with a courage of unshaken root, In honour's field advancing his firm foot, Plants it upon the line that justice draws, And will prevail or perish in her cause. Tis to the virtues of such men, man owes His portion in the good, that Heav'n bestows. And when recording History displays Fcats of renown, though wrought in ancient days,
Tells of a few stout hearts, that fought and died,
But let eternal infamy pursue
4. 'l'is your belief the world was made for mani;
B. Seldom, alas! the pow'r of logic reigns