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264

COWLEY'S WRITINGS.

admirable work of The Lives of the English Poets, with Cowley, and besides many interesting particulars of his Biography, has given the reader an analysis of his poetry. He was the chief of the race of metaphysical poets. His productions, therefore, are full of conceits and quaintnesses. A specimen will afford amusement:

A LOVER'S HEART.

Wce to her stubborn heart if once mine come

Into the self same room,

'Twill tear and blow up all withio,
Like a grenado shot into a magazine!
Then shall love keep the ashes and torn parts

Of hoth our broken hearts,
Shall out of both one new one make,
From hers th' alloy, from mine the metal take !

But it is unfair to transcribe only what is censurable: take a favourable specimen

Begin the

song

and strike Tue LIVING LYRE, Lo! how the years to come a numerous and well fitted quire,

All hand in hand do decently advance,
And to my song with smooth and equal measure dance ;

While the dance lasts how long sce'er it be,
My music's voice shall bear it company,

Till all gentle notes be drown'd
In the LAST TRUMPET's dreadful sound!

Dr. Aikin's critique on his Works shall close my account of him.- “ If it could be said in Pope's days

Who now reads COWLEY?'-it may be supposed

THOMÀS DAY, ESQ.

265

that he is at present alınost consigned to oblivion. Yet he has a very good title to keep a place amongst the British Classics, since if not a Poet of the first order, he is almost unrivalled as a wit. Few authors afford so many new thoughts, so many absolutely his own. His Works are a Flower Garden run to weeds, but the flowers are numerous and brilliant, and the search after them will repay the pains of a collector who is not too indolent or fastidious.” The late BISHOP HURD, in his entertaining Dialogues, has one which illustrates the character of Cowley, on the Pleasures of Retirement.

In the vicinity of Chertsey lived a singular character, Thomas Day, Esq., distinguished both for his prose and his poetry. He was born 1748, in London, and educated at Oxford, where he became the intimate friend of Sir William Jones, and other characters of celebrity. He entered at the Temple, 1765, but, being a man of fortune, passed most of his time abroad. On his return, he took a warm part against the American War, by speeches at public meetings and various interesting publications. The Slave Trade had his just and most unreserved abhorrence. His Sandford and Merton, for the use of young people, is a work of conspicuous merit, and attained to high reputation. During his abode near Chertsey, he occupied a considerable farm, and did much good by employing the lower classes. Among other amiable traits, he was distinguished for his humanity towards animals of every description. In this respect he resembled the

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266

THE AGED HORSE'S ADDRESS.

late benevolent Mr. Pratt, whose Poem on the Lower Creation, does honour to his temper and disposition. His Address of the Superannuated Horse to his MASTER, who, on account of bis being unable, through extreme old age, to live through the winter, had sentenced him to be shot, betokens the sensibilities of his heart :

And hast thou fix'd my doom, swEET MASTER, say?

And wilt thou kill thy servant, old and poor?
A little longer let me live, I pray,

A little longer hobble round thy door.

For much it gla me to behold this place,

And house within this hospitable shed;
It glads me more to see my master's face,

And linger near the spot where I was bred.

For oh! to think of what we both enjoy’d,

In my life's prime, ere I was old and poor!
When, from the jocund morn to eve employ'd,

My gracious master on this back I bore !

Thrice told ten years have danced on down along,

Since first these way-worn limbs to thee I gave;
Sweet smiling years ! when both of us were yonng,

The kindest master, and the happiest slave.
Ah! years sweet smiling, now for ever flown,

Ten years thrice told, alas! are as a day;
Yet as together we are aged grown,

Let us together wear our age away.
For still the times long past, are dear to thought,

And rapture mark'd each minule as it flew,
To youth and joy, all change of seasons brought

Pains that were soft, or pleasures that were new.

THE AGED HORSE'S ADDRESS.

267

E'en when thy love-sick heart felt fond alarms,

Alternate throbbing with its hopes and fears,
Did I not bear thee to thy fair one's arms,

Assure thy faith, and dry up all thy tears ?

And hast thou fix'd my death, SWEET MASTER, say?

And wilt thou kill thy servant, old and poor?
A little longer let me live, I pray,

A little longer hobble round thy door,

Ah! couldst thou bear to see thy servant bleed,

E'en tho' thy pity has decreed his fate ?
And yet, in vain thy heart for life shall plead,

If nature has deny'd a longer date.

Alas! I feel, 'tis nature dooms my death,

I feel, too süre, 'tis pity deals the blow;
But ere it falls, O Nature ! take my breath !

And my kind master shall no bloodshed know.

Ere the last hour of my allotted life,

A softer fate shall end me old and poor;
Timely shall save me from th' uplifted knife,

And gently stretch me at my master's door.

On September 28, 1789, Mr. Dav was killed by a fall from his horse, in the 42nd year of his age, much regretted by his neighbours and fellow-countrymen. Negligent in his dress, careless about his food, and unexpensive in his habits, he had nothing of the pride of wealth about him, but consecrated his time and talents to the best interests of mankind.

We must here say something of Cowey Stakes, which are not far from Chertsey, near Walton Bridge, and which have proved such a bore of contention

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among the lovers of antiquity. These Stakes are reported to have been placed across the Thames to oppose the passage of Cæsar, when in pursuit of Cassibelaunus ! Camden, Stukely and others, maintain this position, urging that there are so many traces of Roman encampments in the vicinity.

Daines Barrington and Dr. Owen, in the Archæologia, doubt whether Cæsar ever did pass the Thames at all! They allege that stakes intended to oppose the landing of an enemy, would have been so placed as to line the friendly shore with their armed points inclining to the adverse bank ; whereas Cowey Stakes range directly across the river, and therefore could not have obstructed troops attempting to pass the ford. Those who are thus minded, suppose that the Stakes of Cowey were merely intended for a fishing wear! And yet some still say, that the stakes are too massive and armed for a mere fishery. These are the opinions of the learned, and such is the glorious uncertainty of antiquity.

Not far from Chertsey stands St. Ann's Hill, the . seat of the late illustrious CHARLES JAMES Fox. The house, an old one, opens upon seven acres of ground, laid out with taste and judgment; and over this pleasure ground, from before the principal front of the house, is seen a hanging lawn of eleven acres, surrounded by a belt of well-grown trees and various underwood, through which winds a gravel walk, parted from the lawn by an open gate fence. For his extensive collection of botanical plants, exotic and native,

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