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Songs of chiefs, and heroes old, In unsubmitting virtue bold; Of even valour's temperate heat, And toils to stubborn patience sweet; Of nodding plumes, and burnish'd arms, And glory's bright terrific charms. The potent sounds like lightning dart. Resistless thro' the glowing heart; Of power to lift the fixed soul High o'er fortune's proud controul; Kindling deep, prophetic musing; Love of beauteous death infusing ; Scorn, and unconquerable hate Of tyrant pride's unhallow'd state. The boy abash’d, and half afraid, Beheld each chaste immortal maid : Pallas spread her Egis there ; Mars stood by with threatening air; And stern Diana's icy look With sudden chill his bosom struck.
Daughters of Jove, receive the child,
Conduct him thro' your fav’rite bowers,
Ah, luckless hour! mistaken maids !
But more than all the sister quire,
Thro' rural howers, or yellow meads,
Tis your's to cull with happy art, Each meaning verse that speaks the heart, And fair array’d, in order meet, To iay the wreath at Beauty's feet.
ESS A Y
SONG-WRITING IN GENERAL.
WHILE the two capital species of poetry, the epic and dramatic, have long engaged the nicest attention of taste and criticism, the humbler but not less pleasing productions of the Muse have not obtained that notice from the critic to which the exertions of the poet would seem to entitle them. This will appear the more extraordinary when we reflect that some of the most excellent productions in the former have been the spontaneous growth of a rude and uncultivated
soil, whereas the latter have never flourished without acquired richness in the . soil and the fostering hand of art. This critical neglect has given rise to uncertainty in the distinctions, and irregularity in the composition of most of the minor classes of poetry; and while the long established divisions of ode, elegy, and epigram, are involved in these difficulties, it is not a matter of wonder to meet with them in the modern pieces which range under the general title of Songs.
Although many of our most celebrated poets have exercised their talents in composing these little pieces, and their pleasing effect is universally known and acknowledged, yet have we but one 'professed criticism on their composition ; and this, though elegant and ingenious, is both too short and too superficial to give precision and accuracy to our ideas on this subject. It is contained in a paper of the Guardian, written by Mr. Phillips.
In attempting the task of determining