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A PASTORAL BALLAD. The ballads of Mr. Shenstone are chiefly commended for the natural simplicity of the thoughts, and the harmony of the versification. However they are not excellent in either.
PHEBE, A PASTORAL. This by Dr. Byron, is a better effort than the preceding
A SONG. “ Despairing beside a clear stream.” This by Mr. Rowe, is better than any thing of the kind in our language.
AN ESSAY ON POETRY. This work by the Duke of Buckingham, is enrolled among our great English productions. The precepts are sensible, the poetry not indifferent, but it has been praised more than it deserves.
CADENUS AND VANESSA. This is thought one of Dr. Swift's correctest pieces; its chief merit, indeed, is the elegant ease with which a story, but ill conceived in itself, is told. ALMA; OR THE PROGRESS OF THE MIND.
Πάντα γέλως, και πάντα κόνις, και πάντα το μηδέν
Πάντα γάρ εξ αλόγων έσι τα γιγνόμενα. What Prior meant by this poem I can't understand: by the Greek motto to it one would think it was either to laugh at the subject or his reader. There are some parts of it very fine; and let them savet he badness of the rest.
DOCTOR FORDYEE's excellent Sermons for Young Women in some measure gave rise to the following compilation. In that work, where he so judiciously points out all the defects of female conduct to remedy them, and all the proper studies which they should pursue, with a view to improvement, Poetry is one to which he particularly would attach them. He only objects to the danger of pursuing this charming study through all the immoralities and false pictures of happiness with which it abounds, and thus becoming the martyr of innocent curiosity.
In the following compilation care has been taken to select, not only such pieces as innocence may read without a blush, but such as will even tend to strengthen that innocence. In this little work a Lady may find the most exquisite pleasure, while she is at the same time learning the duties of life; and, while she courts only entertainment, be deceived into wisdom. Indeed, this would be too great a boast in the preface to any original work; but here it can be made with safety, as every Poem in the following collection would singly have procured an Author great reputation. They are divided into Devotional,
Moral, and Entertaining, thus comprehending the three great duties of life; that which we owe to God, to our neighbour, and to ourselves.
In the first part, it must be confessed, our English Poets have not very much excelled. In that department, namely, the praise of our Maker, by which Poetry began, and from which it deviated by