« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Till, fainting in the public way,
She next the stately Bull implored ;
The Goat remarked her pulse was high,
The Sheep was feeble, and complained
She now the trotting Calf addressed,
Should I presume to bear you hence,
All in the Downs the fleet was moored,
The streamers waving in the wind, When Black-eyed Susan came aboard,
'Oh! where shall I my true love find? Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true, If my sweet William sails among the crew ?'
William, who high upon the yard
Rocked with the billow to and fro, Soon as her well-known voice he heard
He sighed, and cast his eyes below: The cord slides swiftly through his glowing hands, And, quick as lightning, on the deck he stands.
So the sweet lark, high poised in air,
Shuts close his pinions to his breast-
And drops at once into her nest.
O Susan, Susan, lovely dear,
My vows shall ever true remain ; Let me kiss off that falling tear ;
We only part to meet again. Change as ye list, ye winds ! my heart shall be The faithful compass that still points to thee.
'Believe not what the landsmen say,
Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind;
In every port a mistress find;
"If to fair India's coast we sail,
Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright,
Thy skin is ivory so white.
'Though battle call me from thy arms,
Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
William shall to his dear return.
The boatswain gave the dreadful word ;
The sails their swelling bosom spread ; No longer must she stay aboard ;
They kissed-she sighed—he hung his head. Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land, 'Adieu !' she cries, and waved her lily hand.
[THOMAS TICKELL was born at Bridekirk, near Carlisle, in 1686, and died at Bath in 1740. His longest poem, Kensington Gardens, appeared in 1722.]
The powers of Tickell were awakened and solely sustained by an unbounded admiration for the person and genius of Addison. His Muse hovered around her object, celebrating its beauties from every side, and even Pope, when he was most angry, could not help smiling to see the pompous figure of Atticus accompanied by so tender and importunate a satellite. That the great man stooped to make a tool of his friend's fidelity in an unworthy literary quarrel, and by the failure of his intrigue brought ridicule upon them both, is matter of history ; but this did not deter Tickell from directing that his tombstone in the church of Glasneven should state that ‘his highest honour was that of having been the friend of Addison,' or from celebrating the death of the latter in a poem wherein he surpassed not himself only but his master too.
The famous elegy is justly ranked among the greatest master. pieces of its kind. In it a sublime and public sorrow for once moved a thoroughly mediocre poet into utterance that was sincere and original. So much dignity, so much pathos, so direct and passionate a distress, are not to be found in any other poem of the period. But when Tickell was not eulogising the majesty and sweetness of Addison, he was but a languid, feeblê versifier. Kensington Gardens is one of those works that will not let themselves be read ; the once-admired ballad of Colin and Lucy seems very trite and silly to a modern reader ; while the poem On Hunting, in which Tickell posed as the English Gratius Faliscus, progressed so slowly that it was at last anticipated by the Chase of Somerville, another of Addison's ardent disciples. From this general condemnation it is only just to except the thoughtful and melodious lines on the Death of the Earl of Cadogan.
Tickell's first introduction to Addison was through a copy of verses which he addressed to him from Oxford in 1707, in which this couplet occurred :
•No charms are wanted to thy artful song,
Soft as Corelli, and as Virgil strong. For this piece of flattery the young poet was rewarded by Addison's personal friendship. It is worthy of remark that the influence of Addison on English verse was as entirely false and sterile as his influence on prose was fruitful and healthy.
EDMUND W. GOSSE.