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"Insatiate archer! could not one suffice?

Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain;
And thrice, ere thrice yor, moon nad filled her horn."

"Narcissa follows e'er his tomb is closed."

|Night Thoughts was written; for Night Seventh is dated, in the original edition, July 1744.

For the literary merits of this work we shall These lines have been universally understood again refer to the criticism of Dr. Johnson, which of the above deaths; but this supposition can no is seldom exceptionable, when he is not warped by way be reconciled with Mr. Croft's dates, who political prejudices. "In his Night Thoughts," says, Mrs. Temple died in 1736, Mr. Temple in says the Doctor, speaking of our author, "he has 1740, and Lady Young in 1741. Which quite in- exhibited a very wide display of original poetry, verts the order of the poet, who makes Narcissa's variegated with deep reflections and striking allu death follow Philander's: sions; a wilderness of thought, in which the fertility of fancy scatters flowers of every hue, and Night III. of every odour. This is one of the few poems in There is no possible way to reconcile these con- which blank verse could not be changed for thyme, tradictions: either we must reject Mr. Croft's but with disadvantage. The wild diffusion of the dates, for which he gives us no authority, or we sentiments and the digressive sallies of imaginamust suppose the characters and incidents, if not tion, would have been compressed and restrained entirely fictitious, as the author assures us that by confinement to rhyme. The excellence of this they are not, were accommodated by poetic licence work is not exactness, but copiousness: particular to his purpose. As to the character of Lorenzo, lines are not to be regarded; the power is in the whether taken from real life, or moulded purely in the author's imagination, Mr. Croft has sufficiently proved that it could not intend his son, who was but eight years old when the greater part of the

Mrs. Mouncher, in the preceding year 1789, which may be considered as curious, and will be interesting and affecting to the admirers of Dr. Young and his Narcissa:

"I know you, as well as myself, are not a little partial to

Dr. Young. Had you been with me in a solitary walk the
her day, you would have shed a tear over the remains of his
dear Narcissa. I was walking in a place called the King's
Garden; and there I saw the spot where she was interred.
Mr. J, Mrs. H, and myself, had some conversation
with the gardener respecting it; who told us, that about 45
years ago, Dr. Young was here with his daughter for her
that he used constantly to be walking backward and
forward in this garden (no doubt as he saw her gradually de-
clining, to find the most solitary spot, where he might show
his last token of affection, by leaving her remains as secure
as possible from those savages, who would have denied her a

whole; and in the whole there is a magnificence like that ascribed to Chinese plantations, the magnificence of vast extent and endless diversity."

So far Dr. Johnson.-Mr. Croft says, "Of these poems the two or three first have been perused more eagerly and more frequently than the rest. When he got as far as the fourth or fifth, his original motive for taking up the pen was answered: his grief was naturally either diminished or exhausted. We still find the same pious poet; but we hear less of Philander and Narcissa, and less of the mourner whom he loved to pity."

Notwithstanding one might be tempted, from some passages in the Night Thoughts, to suppose he had taken his leave of terrestrial things, in the alarming year 1745, he could not refrain from returning again to politics, but wrote Poetical Reflections on the State of the Kingdom, originally appended to the Night Thoughts, but never reprinted with them.

christian burial: for at that time, an Englishman in this country was looked upon as an heretic, infidel, and devil. They begin now to verge from their bigotry, and allow them In 1753, his tragedy of The Brothers, written at least to be men, though not christians, I believe;) and that thirty years before, now first appeared upon the

he bribed the under gardener, belonging to his father, to let

him bury his daughter, which he did; pointed out the most stage. It had been in rehearsal when Young took solitary place, and dug the grave. The man, through a pri- orders, and was withdrawn on that occasion. The vate door, admitted the Doctor at midnight, bringing his be- Rector of Welwyn devoted 1000l. to "The Soloved daughter, wrapped up in a sheet, upon his shoulder: he ciety for the propagation of the Gospel," and estilaid her in the hole, sat down, and (as the man expressed it) mating the probable produce of this play at such a 'rained tears!' 'With pious sacrilege a grave I stole.' The sum, he perhaps thought the occasion might sanctiman who was thus bribed is dead, but the master is still living. Before the man died, they were one day going to dig, and set fy the means; and not thinking so unfavourably some flowers, &c. in this spot where she was buried. The of the stage as other good men have done, he comman said to his master, 'Don't dig there; for, so many years mitted the monstrous absurdity of giving a play for ago, I buried an English lady there.' The master was much the propagation of the gospel! The author was, surprised; and as Doctor Young's book had made much noise (as is often the case with authors) deceived in his years ago it was known for a certainty that that was the place, calculation. The Brothers was never a favourite and in this way: There was an English nobleman here, who with the public: but that the society might not was acquainted with the governor of this place; and wishing suffer, the doctor made up the deficiency from his to ascertain the fact, he obtained permission to dig up the own pocket. ground, where he found some bones, which were examined by a surgeon, and pronounced to be the remains of a human bony: this, therefore, puts the authenticity of it beyond a Boubt."-See Evan. Mag. for 1797, p. 444.

in France, it led him to inquire into the matter: and only two

His next was a prose performance, entitled, "The Centaur not fabulous; in Six letters to a Friend on the Life in Vogue." The third of these

letters describes the death-bed of "the gay, young, |April 12, 1765, and was buried, according to his noble, ingenious, accomplished, and most wretched desire, by the side of his lady, under the altar-piece Altamont," whom report supposed to be Lord of that church, which is said to be ornamented in Euston. But whether Altamont or Lorenzo were a singular manner with an elegant piece of needle real or fictitious characters, it is certain the author work by Lady Young, and some appropriate in could be at no loss for models for them among the scriptions, painted by the direction of the doctor. gay nobility, with whom he was acquainted.

His best monument is to be found in his works; In 1759, appeared his lively "Conjectures on but a less durable one in marble was erected by Original Composition;" which, according to Mr. his only son and heir, with a very modest and sen Croft, appear more like the production of untam- sible inscription. This son, Mr. Frederick Young. ed, unbridled youth, than of jaded fourscore." This had the first part of his education at Winchester letter contains the pleasing account of the death school, and becoming a scholar upon the foundaof Addison, and his dying address to Lord War- tion, was sent, in consequence thereof, to New Colwick,-"See how a Christian can die!"

lege, in Oxford; but there being no vacancy (though the society waited for one no less than two years, he was admitted in the mean time in Baliol, where he behaved so imprudently as to be forbidden the

In 1762, but little before his death, Young published his last, and one of his least esteemed poems, 'Resignation," which was written on the following occasion:-Observing that Mrs. Boscawen, in college. This misconduct disobliged his father so the midst of her grief for the loss of the admiral, derived consolation from a perusal of the Night Thoughts, her friend Mrs. Montague, proposed a visit to the author, by whom they were favourably received; and were pleased to confess that his "unbounded genius appeared to greater advantage in the companion than even in the author; that the Christian was in him a character still more inspired, more enraptured, more sublime than the poet, and that in his ordinary conversation,

much, that it is said he would never see him afterwards: however, by his will he bequeathed to him the bulk of his fortune, which was considerable, reserving only a legacy to his friend Stevens, the hatter at Temple-gate, and 1000l. to his house-keeper, with his dying charge to see all his manuscripts destroyed; which may have been some loss to posterity, though none, perhaps, to his own fame.

Dr. Young, as a christian and divine, has been reckoned an example of primeval piety. He was -"Letting down the golden chain from high, an able orator, but it is not known whether he He drew his audience upward to the sky." composed many sermons, and it is certain that he On this occasion, at the request of these ladies, published very few. The following incident does the author produced his Resignation, above-men-honour to his feelings: when preaching in his turn tioned, and which has been so unmercifully treated one Sunday at St. James's, finding he could not by the critics, but it has, in some measure, been gain the attention of his audience, his pity for rescued from their hands by Dr. Johnson, who says, "It was falsely represented as a proof of decayed faculties. There is Young in every stanza, such as he often was in his highest vigour."

their folly got the better of all decorum; he sat back in the pulpit, and burst into a flood of tears.

His turn of mind was naturally solemn; and he usually when at home in the country, spent many hours walking among the tombs in his own church yard. His conversation, as well as writings, had all a reference to a future life; and this turn of mind mixed itself even with his improvements in gardening; he had, for instance, an alcove, with a bench so well painted in it, that at a distance it seemed to be real; but upon a nearer approach the

We now approach the closing scene of our author's life of which, unhappily, we have few particulars. For three or four years before his death, he appears to have been incapacitated, by the infirmities of age for public duty; yet he perfectly enjoyed his intellects to the last, and even his vivacity; for in his last illness, a friend mentioning the recent decease of a person who had long been in a deception was perceived, and this motto appeared:

decline, and observing "that he was quite worn to a shell before he died;" ". very likely," replied the doctor; "but what is become of the kernel ?"-He is said to have regretted to another friend, that his Night Thoughts, of all his works most calculated to do good, were written so much above the understanding of common readers, as to contract their sphere of usefulness: This, however, ought not, perhaps to be regretted, since there is a great sufficiency of good books for common readers, and the style of that work will always introduce it where ainer compositions would not be read.

He died at the Parsonage House, at Welwyn,


The things unseen do not deceive us.

In another part of his garden was also this in scription:

'Mr. Croft denies this circumstance, and calls the poet's so his friend. He does not, however, pretend to vindicate the conduct of the youth; but he relates his repentance and regret, which is far better. Perhaps it is not possible wholly to vindicate the father. Great genius, even accompanied with piety. is not always most ornamental to domestic life; and "the prose of ordinary occurrences," says Croft, "is eneath the dignity of poets."

They heard the voice of God walking in the garden.

This seriousness occasioned him to be charged with gloominess of temper; yet he was fond of rural sports and innocent amusements. He would

sometimes visit the assembly and the bowling green; and we see in his satires that he knew how to laugh at folly. His wit was poignant, and always levelled at those who showed any contempt for decency or religion; an instance of which we have remarked in his extemporary epigram on Vol


Dr. Young rose betimes, and engaged with his domestics in the duties of Morning Prayer. He is said to have read but little; but he noted what he read, and many of his books were so swelled

with folding down his favourite passages, that they would hardly shut. He was moderate in his meals, and rarely drank wine, except when he was ill; being (as he used to say) unwilling to waste the succours of sickness on the stability of health. After a slight refreshment, he retired to rest early in the evening, even though he might have company who wished to prolong his stay.

eminence to be passed over without notice. In all his works, the marks of strong genius appear. His animated conciseness of style, and lively descripUniversal Passion, possesses the full merit of that tion of character, which I mention as requisite in wit may often be thought too sparkling, and his satirical and didactic compositions. Though his sentences too pointed, yet the vivacity of his fancy Night Thoughts there is much energy of expresis so great, as to entertain every reader. In his sion; in the three first, there are several pathetic passages; and scattered through them all, happy images and allusions, as well as pious reflections, occur. But the sentiments are frequently overstrained, and turgid; and the style is too harsh and obscure to be pleasing."

The same critic has said of our author in ano

ther place, that his "merit in figurative language

ancient or modern, had a stronger imagination is great, and deserves to be remarked. No writer, than Dr. Young, or one more fertile in figures of every kind; his metaphors are often new, and often natural and beautiful. But his imagination was strong and rich, rather than delicate and correct."

These strictures may be thought severe; but it should be remembered, that an author derives far

more honour from such a discriminate character,

from a judicious critic, than from the indiscriminate commendation of an admirer. The following is the conclusion of Dr. Johnson's critique, and shall conclude these memoirs.

He lived at a moderate expense, rather inclined to parsimony than profusion; and seems to have possessed just conceptions of the vanity of the world; yet (such is the inconsistency of man!) he courted honours and preferments at the borders of the grave, even so late as 1758; but none were then conferred. It has, however, been asserted, that he had a pension of 2001. a year from govern-abounds in thought, but without much accuracy "It must be allowed of Young's poetry, that it ment, conferred under the auspices of Walpole. At last, when he was full fourscore, the author of the Night Thoughts,

"Who thought e'en gold itself might come a day too late," was made Clerk of the Closet to the Princess Dowager of Wales. What retarded his promotion so long is not easy to determine. Some attribute it to his attachment to the Prince of Wales and his friends; and others assert, that the King thought him sufficiently provided for. Certain it is, that he knew no straits in pecuniary matters; and that in the method he has recommended of estimating human life, honours are of little value.

His merits as an author have already been considered in a review of his works; and nothing seems necessary to be added, but the following general characters of his composition, from Blair and Johnson.

Dr. Blair says, in his celebrated lectures: "Among moral and didactic poets, Dr. Young is of too great

of selection.-When he lays hold on a thought, he pursues it beyond expectation, [and] sometimes happily, as in his parallel of quicksilver and pleawhich is very ingenious, very subtle,


and almost exact...

"His versification is his own; neither his blank nor his rhyming lines have any resemblance to those of former writers; he picks up no hemisticks, he copies no favourite expressions; he seems to have laid up no stores of thought or diction, but to owe all to the fortuitous suggestions of the present moment. Yet I have reason to believe that, when he once formed a new design, he then laboured it with very patient industry, and that he composed with great labour and frequent revisions.

"His verses are formed by no certain model; he is no more like himself in his different productions than he is like others. He seems never to have studied prosody, nor to have any direction, but from his own ear. But with all his defects, he was a man of genius, an 1 a poet.”





The Complaint.


As the occasion of this Poem was real, not fictitious, so the method pursued in it was rather imposed by what sponta neously arose in the Author's mind on that occasion, than meditated or designed; which will appear very probable from the nature of it; for it differs from the common mode of poetry, which is, from long narrations to draw short morals: here, on the contrary, the narrative is short, and the morality arising from it makes the bulk of the Poem. The reason of it is that the facts mentioned did naturally pour these moral reflections on the thoughts of the writer.



To the Right Hon. Arthur Onslow, Esq., Speaker of the
House of Commons.

TIRED Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep!
He, like the world, his ready visit pays,
Where Fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes;
Swift on his downy pinion flies from wo,
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.

From short (as usual) and disturbed repose
I wake: how happy they who wake no more!
Yet that were vain, if dreams infest the grave.
I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams
Tumultuous, where my wrecked desponding

From wave to wave of fancied misery
At random drove, her helm of reason lost.
Though now restored, 'tis only change of pain,
(A bitter change!) severer for severe;
The day too short for my distress; and night,
Ev'n in the zenith of her dark domain,
Is sunshine to the colour of my fate.
Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty now stretches forth
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world.
Silence how dead! and darkness how profound!
Nor eye nor listening ear an object finds;
Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause;
An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
And let her prophecy be soon fulfilled:
Fate drop the curtain; I can lose no more.
Silence and Darkness! solemn sisters! twins
From ancient Night, who nurse the tender thought

To reason, and on reason build resolve,
(That column of true majesty in man)
Assist me: I will thank you in the grave;

The grave your kingdom: there this frame shall


A victim sacred to your dreary shrine.
But what are ye?-

Thou who did'st put to flight
Primeval Silence, when the morning stars,
Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball;

O Thou! whose word from solid darkness struck
That spark, the sun, strike wisdom from my soul;
My soul, which flies to thee, her trust her treasure,
As misers to their gold, while others rest.

Through this opaque of nature and of soul,
This double night, transmit one pitying ray,
To lighten and to cheer. O lead my mind,
(A mind that fain would wander from its wo)
Lead it through various scenes of life and death,
And from each scene the noblest truths inspire,
Nor less inspire my conduct than my song;
Teach my best reason, reason; my best will
Teach rectitude; and fix my firm resolve
Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear:
Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, poured
On this devoted head, he poured in vain.

The bell strikes one. We take no note of time
| But from its loss: to give it then a tongue
Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke

I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright,
It is the knell of my departed hours.
Where are they? With the years beyond the

It is the signal that demands despatch:
How much is to be done? My hopes and fears
Start up alarmed, and o'er life's narrow vergo

Look down on what? A fathomless abyss.
A dread eternity! how surely mine!
And can eternity belong to me,

Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour!

How poor, how rich, how abject, how august, How complicate, how wonderful, is man! How passing wonder He who made him such! Who centered in our make such strange extremes, From different natures marvellously mixed, Connexion exquisite of distant worlds! Distinguished link in being's endless chain! Midway from nothing to the Deity! A beam ethereal, sullied and absorpt! Though sullied and dishonoured, still divine! Dim miniature of greatness absolute! An heir of glory, a frail child of dust! Helpless immortal! insect infinite! A worm! a god!-I tremble at myself, And in myself am lost. At home a stranger, Thought wanders up and down, surprised, aghast, And wondering at her own. How reason reels? O what a miracle to man is man! Triumphantly distressed! what joy! what dread! Alternately transported and alarmed; What can preserve my life! or what destroy! An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave; Legions of angels can't confine me there.

"Tis past conjecture; all things rise in proof. While o'er my limbs Sleep's soft dominion spread, What though my soul fantastic measures trod O'er fairy fields, or mourned along the gloom Of pathless woods, or down the craggy steep Hurled headlong, swam with pain the mantled pool,

Or scaled the cliff, or danced on hollow winds
With antic shapes, wild natives of the brain!
Her ceaseless flight, though devious, speaks her


Of subtler essence than the trodden clod;
Active, aërial, towering, unconfined,
Unfettered with her gross companion's fall.
Even silent night proclaims my soul immortal;
Even silent night proclaims eternal day!
For human weal Heaven husbands all events:
Dull sleep instructs, nor sport vain dreams in vain.
Why then their loss deplore, that are not lost?
Why wanders wretched Thought their tombs

In infidel distress? Are angels there?
Slumbers, raked up in dust, ethereal fire?
They live! they greatly live a life on earth
Unkindled, unconceived, and from an eye
Of tenderness let heavenly pity fall,
Onne, more justly numbered with the dead.
This is the desert, this the solitude:
How populous, how vital is the grave!
This is creation's melancholy vault,
The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom;
The land of apparitions, empty shades!

All, all on earth is shadow, all beyond
Is substance; the reverse is Folly's creed.
How solid all, where change shall be no more
This is the bud of being, the dim dawn,
The twilight of our day, the vestibule.
Life's theatre as yet is shut, and Death,
Strong Death, alone can heave the massy bar,
This gross impediment of clay remove,
And make us, embryos of existence, free.
From real life but little more remote

Is he, not yet a candidate for light,
The future embryo, slumbering in his sire.
Embryos we must be till we burst the shell,
Yon ambient azure shell, and spring to life,
The life of gods, O transport! and of man.

Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts
Inters celestial hopes without one sigh:
Prisoner of earth and pent beneath the moon,
Here pinions all his wishes; wing'd by Heav'n
To fly at infinite, and reach it there,
Where seraphs gather immortality.
On Life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God,
What golden joys ambrosial clustering glow
In his full beam, and ripen for the just,
Where momentary ages are no more!
Where Time, and Pain, and Chance, and Deat

And is it in the flight of threescore years
To push eternity from human thought,
And smother souls immortal in the dust?
A soul immortal, spending all her fires,
Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness,
Thrown into tumult, raptur'd, or alarm'd
At aught this scene can threaten or indulge,
Resembles ocean into tempest wrought,
To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.

Where falls this censure? it o'erwhelms mysell.
How was my heart instructed by the world!
O how self-fetter'd was my groveling soul!
How, like a worm, was I wrapt round and round
In silken thought, which reptile Fancy spun,
Till darken'd Reason lay quite clouded o'er,
With soft conceit of endless comfort here,
Nor yet put forth her wings to reach the skies!

Night-visions may befriend, (as sung above :)
Our waking dreams are fatal. How I dream,
Of things impossible! (could sleep do more ?)
Of joys perpetual in perpetual change!
Of stable pleasures on the tossing wave;
Eternal sunshine in the storms of life!
How richly were my noon-tide trances hung
With gorgeous tapestries of pictur'd joys,
Joy behind joy, in endless perspective;
Till at Death's toll, whose restless iron tongue
Calls daily for his millions at a meal,
Starting I woke, and found myself undone.
Where now my frenzy's pompous furniture?
The cobweb'd cottage, with its ragged wall
Of mouldering mud, is royalty to me!

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