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sentiments, and the luxuriant richness of the images. I wish I could repeat the whole, but that, from the change of manners, is impoosible. The description of the bride is (half of it) as follows: the story is supposed to be told by one countryman to another:
Her finger was so small, the ring
It was too wide a peck :
About our young colt's neck.
Her feet beneath her petticoat,
As if they fear'd the light:
Is half so fine a sight.
Her cheeks so rare a white was on,
(Who sees them is undone)
(The side that's next the sun.)
Her lips were red; and one was thin,
(Some bee had stung it newly)
But (Dick) her eyes so guard her face,
Than on the sun in July.
Her mouth so small, when she does speak,
That they might passage get;
And are not spent a whit."
There is to me in the whole of this delightful
turn out to be noblemen and gentlemen in disguise. Suckling was not a Grub-street author ; or it might be said, that this play is like what he might have written after 'dreaming all night of duns and a spunging-house. His tragedies are no better : their titles are the most interesting part of them, Aglaura, Brennoralt, and the Sad One.
Cowley had more brilliancy of fancy and ingenuity of thought than Donne, with less pathos and sentiment. His mode of illustrating his ideas differs also from Donne's in this : that, whereas Donne is contented to analyse an image into its component elements, and resolve it into its most abstracted species ; Cowley first does this, indeed, but does not stop till he has fixed upon some other prominent example of the same general class of ideas, and forced them into a metaphorical union, by the medium of the generic definition. Tbus he says
“ The Phænix Pindar is a vast species alone."
He means to say that he stands by himself: he is then“ a vast species alone:" then by applying to this generality the principium individuationis, he becomes a Phænix, because the Phoenix is the only example of a species contained in an individual. Yet this is only a literal or metaphysical
coincidence: and literally and metaphysically speaking, Pindar was not a species by himself, but only seemed so by pre-eminence or excellence; that is, from qualities of mind appealing to and absorbing the imagination, and which, therefore, ought to be represented in poetical language, by some other obvious and palpable image exhibiting the same kind or degree of excellence in other things, as when Gray compares him to the Thebạn eagle,
Sailing with supreme dominion
Again, be talks in the Motto, or Invocation to his Muse, of “ marching the Muse's Hannibal” into undiscovered regions. That is, he thinks first of being a leader in poetry, and then he immediately, by virtue of this abstraction, becomes a Hannibal ; though no two things can really be more unlike in all the associations belonging to them, than a leader of armies and a leader of the tuneful Nine. In like manner, he compares Bacon to Moses; for in his verses extremes are sure to meet. The Hymn to Light, which forms a perfect contrast to Milton's Invocation to Light, in the commencement of the third book of Paradise Lost, begins in the following manner :
« First-born of Chaos, who so fair didst come
From the old negro's darksome womb!
Which, when it saw the lovely child,
And soon after--
“ 'Tis, I believe, this archery to show
That so much cost in colours thou,
And skill in painting, dost bestow,
Swift as light thoughts their empty career run,
Thy race is finish'd when begun;
Let a post-angel start with thee,
The conceits here are neither wit nor poetry; but a burlesque upon both, made up of a singular metaphorical jargon, verbal generalities, and physical analogies. Thus his calling Chaos, or Darkness, the old negro," would do for abuse or jest, but is too remote and degrading for serious poetry, and yet it is meant for such. The
is at best a nickname, and the smile on its face loses its beauty in such company. The making out the rainbow to be a species of heraldic painting, and converting an angel into a post-boy, shew the same rage for comparison; but such comparisons are as odious as they are unjust. Dr. Johnson has multiplied
6 old negro