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The following attempts in Verse are laid before the public with extreme diffidence. The Author is very conscious that the juvenile efforts of a youth, who has not received the polish of Academical discipline, and who has been but sparingly blessed with opportunities for the prosecution of scholastic pursuits, must necessarily be defective in the accuracy and finished elegance which mark the works of the man who has passed his life in the retirement of his study, furnishing his mind with images, and at the same time attaining the power of disposing those images to the best advantage.
The unpremeditated effusions of a boy, from his thirteenth year, employed, not in the acquisition of literary information, but in the more active business of life, must not be expected to exhibit any considerable portion of the correctness of a Virgil
, or the vigorous compression of a Horace. Men are not, I believe, frequently known to bestow much labour on their amusements: and these Poems were, most of them, written merely to beguile a leisure hour, or to fill up the languid intervals of studies of a severer nature.
Πας το οικειος εργον αγαπαω, « Every one loves his own work,” says the Stagyrite; but it was no overweening affection of this kind which induced this publication. Had the author relied on his own judgment only, these Poems would not, in all probability, ever have seen the light.
Perhaps it may be asked of him, what are his motives for this publication ? He answers-simply
these: The facilitation, through its means of those studies which, from his earliest infancy, have been the principal objects of his ambition; and the increase of the capacity to pursue those inclinations which may one day place him in an honourable station in the scale of society.
The principal Poem in this little collection (Clifton Grove) is, he fears, deficient in numbers and harmonious coherency of parts. It is, however, merely to be regarded as a description of a nocturnal ramble in that charming retreat, accompanied with such reflections as the scene naturally suggested. It was written twelve months ago when the author was in his sixteenth year.—The Miscellanies are some of them the productions of a very early age.—Of the Odes that “ To an early Primrose” was written at thirteen—the others are of a later date.-The Sonnets are chiefly irregular; they have, perhaps, no other claim to that SPECIFIC denomination, than that they consist only of fourteen lines.
Such are the Poems towards which I entreat the lenity of the public. The critic will doubtless find in them much to condemn; he may likewise possibly discover something to commend. Let him scan my faults with an indulgent eye, and in the work of that correction which I invite, let him remember he is holding the iron mace of criticism over the flimsy superstructure of a youth of seventeen, and, remembering that, may he forbear from crushing, by too much rigour, the painted butterfly whose transient colours may otherwise be capable of affording a moment's innocent amusement.
H. K. WHITE.
Has served to charm the weary hour,
Its fascinating power.
Will little heed thy simple tones :
Where dark oblivion 'thrones.
Well skill'd, I throw with sweep sublime;
Or build the polish'd rhyme.
Yet thou to Sylvan themes can soar;
Thou know'st to charm the woodland train: The rustic swains believe thy power Can hush the wild winds when they roar, And still the billowy main.
I, still unknown, may live with thee,
Beneath the alder tree.
Than the full requiem's swelling peal;
that from some kindred eye The trickling tear should steal.
Perhaps from me debarr'd:
Adorns the accepted bard. [throne
Where Cam or Isis winds along,
To listen to my song.
I'd change to happier lays,
Should swell the note of praise.
A SKETCH IN VERSE.
Lo! in the west, fast fades the lingering light,
Now, when the rustic wears the social smile,