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28. An epilogue is spoken after a play is ended, on the stage.
29. A tragedy, or tragic poem, is descriptive of some dire and rueful event, some cruel fate, or awful catastrophe.-Capture of Warsaw.
30. A comedy is droll and humourous, exciting laughter and mer. riment.--Cowper's Gilpin.
It is to be noted that these two last described are not confined to the drama: we have other kinds of tragic and comic poems, which are not dramatic.
31. A pastoral poem (commonly called a pastoral) takes its name from the Latin word, pastor (a shepherd) and is rural and delightful, descriptive of rural scenes, familiar discourse of rural friends, &c. These are of various kinds, which are known by different names.
32. A georgic is a poem of the pastoral kind, descriptive of rural scenes, and treating on the common business of rural life, agriculture, &c.-Dryden's Virgil.
33. A bucolic is a poem of the pastoral kind, familiar discourse between rural friends, &c.—Dryden's Virgil.
34. An eclogue is a poem of the pastoral kind, but in strains more elevated than common pastorals, and sometimes adapted to sacred. subjects.—Pope's Messiah.
35. An idyl is a short poem of the pastoral kind. 36. A madrigal is a song of the pastoral kind, but having an air of romance.
Satires are poems censuring vice and folly, and are of various kinds, public or personal, serious or jocose.
37. À public satire is levelled at vice and folly which publicly prevails.-Pope. Young.
38. A personal satire is levelled at one or more persons, who are named, or plainly described, in the poem.—Dryden. Pope.
39. A serious satire is written in a serious style, without mirth or jollity; and is vehement and severe, in manner and matter.-Dryden.
40. A jocose satire is written in a humourous and jocose style, and with an air of ridicule.- Pope.
41. A lampoon, or libel, is a poem censuring and defaming some person, and much resembles a satire, yet differs from it as widely as truth from slander.
42. A burlesque is a poem somewhat resembling a jocose satire, ridiculing its object; and whose characteristics are wit, humour, and ridicule.
43. A panegyric is a poem of a character the reverse to the satire, applauding and eulogising its subject. Eulogy and encomium are but different names for the same thing.
Fictitious. 44. A fiction is a poem containing a feigned story, a tale invented to amuse the fancy, and often to convey moral truth and useful knowledge through the medium of fiction. Poems of this kind are various, and are as follow.
45. An apologue is a kind of fable, a moral tale, a poem in which moral truth is conveyed by fiction.—Parnell's Hermit.
46. A fable.—This term is frequently used to designate various kinds of fictitious tales ; but in its limited import, and most common acceptation, it signifies a plain familiar tale, in which some of the follies and foibles of life are presented to our view, as in a mirror. -Gay.
47. A novel is a fictitious narrative, a newly invented tale, calculated to amuse the fancy.
48. A legend is a traditionary tale, handed down from antiquity, founded partly in truth, but interlarded with fiction.-Scott.
49. A romance is a tale engendered by fantastic imagination, containing descriptions of strange and monstrous things, such as genii, fairies, hobgoblins and hydras, &c.
50. 'An allegory is a poem in which moral instruction is meant to be conveyed in an allegorical or figurative manner: a narration of fictitious events, designed to represent and illustrate important realities and moral truths.
51. An epistolary poem is an epistle or letter, written in verse, and in style familiar, like an epistle or letter in prose.
52. A winter piece is a poem descriptive of wintry scenes, the rigours of the wintry season, and of some distressful event occurring thereby.—Anon.
53. A night piece is a poem containing solemn reflections, shaded with pensive gloom, and analogous to the gloom of night.-Parnell.
54. A night thought is a poem which is solemn and sentimental; the serious meditations in the silent hours of night, or such as are adapted thereto.--Young.
55. A funeral thought is solemn and mournful, containing solemn reflections, and meditating on death and the grave.-Watts.
56. An oratorical poem is one adapted to oratory, or to reading and speaking; and being better adapted to this than to singing, may be called oratorical, in distinction from those which are lyrical and adapted to music. Many of the above described poems are of this class; as, for example: the drama, the satire, the epopee, and several others, whose numbers are similar.
57. A lyric poem is one whose notes or numbers are adapted to music; they are hence called lyric, in distinction from those above described, which are better adapted to oratory. Several of the following are of this class, such as songs, odes, &c..
58. A song is a common name for all poems adapted to music, and intended to be sung, of which there are various kinds, and known by different names.
59. Odes are lyric poems, which are various and irregular in form, and various in their subject matter, amorous, gay, festive, eulogistic, descriptive, solemn, sublime, &c.
Odes are of Grecian original, and are frequently written in imitation of the Grecian bards, and from whom they respectively derive their names, Pindaric, Anachreontic, and Sapphic.
60. A Pindaric ode is written in imitation of Pindar, the Theban bard; and, like Pindar, is sublime, in subject matter and style, and irregular in form.--Pomfret. Dryden.
61. An Anachreontic ode is written in imitation of Anachreon; and, like Anachreon, is gay, festive, amorous, &c.
62. A Sapphic ode is written in imitation of Sappho, the Greek lyric poetess; and, like Sappho, is majestic and solemn, in style, lyre and subject matter; frequently descriptive of some awful and tragic scene, to which this kind of verse is well adapted. This, of all kinds of odes, retains its original form without variation.- Watts.
Those are the three kinds of odes derived from antient Greece, which are imitated by our English bards. We have other odes, of modern invention, which vary from those, and also from each other.
63. A sonnet is a song, generally consisting of fourteen lines; written on various, and frequently unimportant subjects ; and similar in form to a strophe in some of our odes.
64. A monologue or monody is a song which is spoken or sung by one person only: -Selkirk's soliloquy, by Cowper.
65. A ballad is a common kind of song, descriptive of various scenes.Chevy Chase.
Ballads are some of the most antient songs in our language. Many of those which come down to us from former ages are written in pathetic and plaintive strains, commemorating some sad and rueful events; and with a degree of simplicity, in style, peculiar to the early ages of English literature, and also evincive of the national genius of our Anglo-Saxon fathers.
66. A ditty is a musical kind of song, on common and various subjects.
67. A pæan is a song of praise or triumph, in strains somewhat elevated, and sometimes adapted to sacred subjects.
68. An amorous or love song is expressive of love, affectionate fondness, love between sexes, &c.—Parnell. Shenstone.
69. An epithalamium is a nuptial song;
70. A festive song is one composed to be sung at a festival, or on some such occasion, and is joyful and gay, and similar, in this respect, to an Anachreontic ode.
71. A carol is a song, expressive of joy and exultation.
72. A mason's song is one composed and sung by free masons, celebrating their order, &c.
73. A Hudibrastic poem is in imitation of Hudibras, an antient poet, and is one of the doggerel kind.
74. A doggerel poem is one whose characteristic traits are wit and humour, pert dogmatic airs, and coarse and vulgar jests.
75. An epigram is a short poem, witty and pointed, participating of the character of the satire or burlesque.
76. A repartee is an invective or jest retorted.
77. A compliment is a short poem, addressed to a person, expressing respect or applause.
78. An acrostic is a poem, whose initial letters compose the name of the person, who is the subject of the poem.
79. An enigma, or riddle, is a short poem, containing an obscure question, a dark problem, to be solved by guessing.
80. A paradox is a short poem, containing a seeming incongruity; but which is capable of being solved and made plain.
81. A conundrum, or pun, is a short poem of the doggerel kind, a quirk, a quibble, a vulgar jest.
82. A simile is a short poem, containing a rhetorical figure, a comparison for illustration.
83. A motto is a short poem, or quotation from some poem, placed on the title-page of a book, or at the head of a discourse, denoting the kind of subject to be treated of in the discourse, or something relating thereto
I now close with a few remarks. Thus, I have given a deseription of several, and of the greater part of our poems; but not of the whole: this would be an arduous task, and more than I am able to perform. On reviewing our English poems, we find such a variety, in point of style and subject matter, as almost to baffle description, and to render abortive all attempts to arrange them into classes, or to give appropriate names to the different kinds of poems which come in review.
I have described one called a romance; but could cite no example of it; and it is apparent that we have no such poem in our language. I could have described one which we may call a miscellaneous poem; some examples of which may be referred to.
We may call one a miscellaneous poem, which is changeable in character and style; which contains a medley; which is grave or animating; descriptive, narrative, or didactic, by turns. As examples of this kind, we may notice some of our English poemas; among which I would cite, Grainger's poem on solitude, and Armstrong's treatise on health. The former of these is apparently miscellaneous. The latter, in its general character, may be called didactic; but it contains many episodes, narratives, and descriptions; some in a pathetic, and some in a lofty style; so that this poem is not purely didactic, but somewhat miscellaneous in its characteru
I do not refer to these two, as the only examples of the kind; but shall proceed in making some critical remarks on some of our other poems, shewing that some others also are somewhat miscellaneous;
and also that some may be considered, in some respects, reprehensible.
It is observable that many of our poems are of a participating nature, and more or less miscellaneous in their style and subject matter: and, so far as a pleasing variety is produced, without marring the poem, it is well
. But it is observable that many of our poems, epics not excepted, are interlarded, more or less, with romance and legendary lore, forming a contrast to the more sentimental parts of their poems: the one part displaying real greatness of mind; the other, great stretch of imagination: the one, dignified knowledge ; the other, exuberance of fancy, and fondness for marvellous tales.
I say that it is well to have a pleasing variety; but I would not say it is well to indulge in romance. Nor is it ever necessary to indulge in this kind of composition: nature alone has furnished scenery enough to amuse the fancy, and to furnish machinery for our poems. But, to the honour of our nation, it may be said, our English bards are more free from this, than the antient bards of Greece and Rome.
I do not object to the miscellaneous character of our poems generally; but that many of them are so is apparent. We have some poems which have been denominated heroi-comic, and some tragi-comic; there are others also which may be denominated tragi-pathetic. Our narrative and descriptive poems are also varied, as various scenes may come in review: being, in some parts, more sublime; in some, more grave; in some, more tragic; in some, more pathetic. At the same time, the general character of the poem may be narrative or descriptive. Many of our other poems likewise present a similar variety; being also of a participating or miscel. laneous character. Also we may observe, on reviewing our p
poems generally, a vast variety, with scarcely two precisely alike in character. Nor may we expect it to be otherwise, while nature presents such a vast variety to furnish themes and subject matter; while tastes and fancies are also various, and the imagination of the poet is on the alert, in seeking something rare and something new. Hence, it is seen that many and most of our poems, both great and small, are various and unlike in character.
On reviewing our larger and classical poems, (although many of them are of a participating and miscellaneous character) we find them generally not very difficult to olassify and describe. But, on reviewing our smaller poems, we find them more various and diverse, and more anomalous and undefinable, These we have in great numbers: some, not without merit; and some without much sense or sentiment: some in various forms; and some on various and trivial circumstances. Some of these we may call fugitive pieces, and some, nondescripts; but they all come under the general denomination of poems.