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worldlings and critics. This meant the complete purification of literature, its return to simpler tastes and simpler language, a new sympathy with nature and a new reverence for religious and earnest thought. Cowper was the first to attempt the task of addressing both the old and the new audience; his satire was meant for the one, his sermons and his praise of the country and nature for the other. He failed; for he came too early in the movement to get the elements to combine: the secular and the religious passages in his poems are only mechanically united. Not till Wordsworth and Coleridge, Browning and Tennyson, was English poetry able to amalgamate the contrastive methods and atmospheres. They rejected both the satire and the sermon, and worked out the reverent study of both man and nature that was the growing element in Cowper's poems. The earlier poet failed because he wrote from the one camp and had to preach at and attack the other. But his failure was a brilliant one and the surest symptom of the passionate poetry that was to follow the Revolution.
21. His Tirocinium or A Review of Schools, a recommendation of home teaching, published along with The Task, was a retrogression with its religious didacticism and satire and its use of the heroic couplet. His attempts at other long poems on The Four. Ages of Man, on The Mediterranean, and on Yardley Oak he soon abandoned. He persevered at his translation of Homer, when he might have been better employed in original work. After the paralysis of Mrs. Unwin it was only into his smaller pieces that he put his real poetic power; his simple dirge over the The Loss of The Royal George, his pathetic lines On The Receipt of my Mother's Picture out of Norfolk, and the two melancholy lyrics that were the outcome of the gathering gloom, To Mary, and The Castaway, show better than any of his poems the direction English poetry was to take and anticipate the directness and the simple emotions of the Lyrical Ballads.
22. They also show the tendency to poems of a few stanzas like the ballads and songs ; Percy's Reliques gave a great impetus to this; but still more the increase of periodicals, to the poets' corner of which it became the ambition of every man and woman of taste and of poetic sentiment to contribute. The number of minor poets in the period is therefore legion; for there was no great poet to overshadow their attempts and make them feel their insignificance, whilst the approach of prose and poetry in the previous age made many feel competent in verse, and the new spirit of roniance spread the sentiment of poetry widely.
I. A few names that have not been buried in the oblivion of the magazines may be given. Edward Moore, the author of the drama The Gamester, is known for his lyric The Happy Marriage, Dodsley the publisher for his song The Parting Kiss, David Mallet the Scotch friend of Gibbon for his ballad William and Margaret, John Byrom for his Elizabethan lyric Careless Content, Smollett the novelist for his Tears of Scotland, Blackstone of the Commentaries for his Lawyer's Farewell to his Muse, John Cunningham the actor for his song Kate of Aberdeen, Michael Bruce the Scotch poet (cut off in his youth) for his Elegy Written in Spring, John Logan the editor of his remains for what is also attributed to Bruce the Ode to the Cuckoo, Mickle the translator of the Lusiad for his ballad Cumnor Hall, Christopher Smart for his most passionate Song to David, Thomas Warton the historian of English poetry for his sonnets, Joseph Warton his brother for his Ode to Fancy, Miss Susanna Blamire for her lyric The Nabob, and Mrs. Barbauld for her Odes. One noticeable revival
the sonnet. As the period went on it took the place of the ode as the artificial expression of a single mood or phase of thought. We find the Wartons by the last quarter of the century trying it, and in the last decade Mrs. Charlotte Smith the novelist and Rev. William Lisle Bowles. The sonnets of the latter made a deep impression on Coleridge and Lamb and prepared the way for those of Wordsworth and Keats. Though the poet lived till 1850 he published his sonnets as early as 1789. They had been inspired chiefly by those of Shakespeare and Milton ; but they expressed the new
nsight into nature and the reaction against the school of Pope. They are on such subjects as Bamborough Castle, Dover Cliffs, The Bells, Ostend, a beautiful landscape, Evening, Influence of time on grief, Music, Bereavement, and are as a free from the frigid abstractions of eighteenth century poetry. They are picturesque, melodious, and sometimes passionate. And the thought of them is elevating and idealising. His later poems, odes, ballads,
, and simple lyrics of nature for children made less stir as they came in the midst of a great poetic age.
2. The return to the sonnet, an artificial form that had never commended itself to the Queen Anne age, has the same significance as the cultivation of the Pindaric ode. Neither the old heroic couplet nor the new blank verse or the revived Spenserian stanza supplied any natural ending to a poem ; the writer might go on and generally did go on in them till his readers were tired. The didacticism of the eighteenth century always spread itself out in lengthy works that implied unlimited time and patience on the part of the audience. But the bustle of modern industrial life had already begun and the magazine was rapidly coming into vogue with its brief articles to suit the scraps of leisure that the men of the middle class could afford for reading. Towards the middle of the century therefore there arose a great demand for poetic forms that would confine the poet within limits. The ode had already been used and now became most popular amongst the cultured. The collection of old ballads and songs that began with Percy gave two other brief forms. The sonnet was too unvaried a form to take any life from the personified abstractions of the poetry of the time and had to wait for its new life later in the century when the romantic and sentimental movements had become strong.
Section 25. I. Along with this demand for brevity in poetry came the search for forms in older literature, a movement that sprang from a different source, a desire to get away from the sordid features of city life and the new industrial life. The strangest product of the two was Thomas Chatterton. They had already produced in 1765 the sham-antique revisions of the old ballads in the Reliques of English Poetry. The demand for stucco antiquity had brought Macpherson's Ossian into the world in 1760-63 and Horace Walpole's Castle of Otranto in 1764. This singular movement, a symptom of a still deeper change in the spiritual world, awakened the ambition of a boy of eleven or twelve at Colston's charity school, Bristol ; and he began to manufacture ancient manuscripts out of parchments his father had brought from the monument room of the church of St. Mary Redcliffe and deposited in the garret of his house. Every Saturday half-holiday, whenever he returned home, the boy Thomas Chatterton spent locked into this upper room. He was little over ten when he had got inserted in Felix Farley's Bristol Journal (January 8th 1763) sixteen lines on Christ coming to judgment, marked by a fine ear for rhythm and a considerable command of melodious language; not a year later he had written his fine devotional poem that has been adopted in most hymnals beginning "Almighty Framer of the sky”. He had also taken a great fancy to a black-letter Bible, and had access to the documents of a William Canynge a Bristol merchant of the time of Edward the Fourth. Hence began the manufacture of old poems and prose-writings, that deluded or puzzled antiquaries and literary men for a generation or more, but, had there been any genuine Old English scholarship, should never have imposed on anyone, so little knowledge of the idioms and grammar of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is there shown in the productions, so superficial is the acquaintance with the old words and their uses. His first was a pedigree for a pewterer called Burgum and a poem called The Romaunte of the Cnyghte purporting to be by an ancestor John de Bergham. They brought him confidence and five shillings. There is little poetry in the poem; but the “modernised” version in heroic couplet is marked by considerable vigour of language and imaginative observation of nature. He was encouraged in his much loved pursuit. And when he went as apprentice into the office of one Lambert a solicitor at fifteen he found an old copy of Camden's Britannia and plenty of leisure to fulfil his ambition. He also borrowed a copy of Speght's Chaucer
in black letter and wrote out from its glossary an alphabetical list of the modern English equivalents with the old words opposite them. Most of his obsolete language however he got from Kersey's and Bailey's dictionaries. Thus it was easy for him to manufacture old documents for a history of Bristol which a surgeon called Barrett was writing. He got money and the loan of books for these and spent most of his time in writing the Rowley Poems. He professed that they were copied from the manuscript of a monk of the fifteenth century called Rowley and tried to get Dodsley the publisher 'to interest himself in them. Then he wrote to Horace Walpole offering a document on the rise of painting in England “Wroten by T. Rowlie
“ 1469 for Mastre Canynge". Walpole did not discourage him at first and he sent other documents and poems; they were submitted to Gray the poet and his friend Mason and pronounced forgeries; the episode closed with an unctuous letter from the author of The Castle of Otranto.
2. He was still resolved to get into literature by one way or another. He published the poems in The Town and County Magazine. And getting weary of his office work he left for London and tried to push his way into the society of publishers and literary men. He kept writing prose and poetry for various journals, The Town and Country Magazine, The Court and City Magazine, The Gospel Magazine, The London Museum and The Political Register. He published Saxon poems, imitations of Ossian, as, for example, Cutholf, African Eclogues, a burletta called The Revenge, odes, ballads, songs, and satires. But his feverish struggle was in vain and he committed suicide on August 25th, 1770.
3. The Rowley poems were his love-work and are on the whole his best. Stripped of their ridiculous mask of antique spelling and old words they at once appear products of the new romantic school of the eighteenth century as Thomas Warton at the time showed them to be. And yet they are at best only echoes. The Bristowe Tragedy or the Death of Sir Charles Bawdin was evidently inspired by Percy's Reliques; it is in the short ballad stanza, is a simple narrative, and its archaisms are in the ballad style. The