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Maul-it with meek prefumption dares to own
There each mechanic foars on Learning's wings,
Again, our Author is not only a professed Imitator of Juvenal, but hath condefcended even to imitate a rival and contemporary Satirift. Of this we have an instance in the third Satire before us; where, after a few more fuch feeble strokes as the above, we have the following lines, evidently mifcopied from Mr. Churchill's Prophecy of Famine.
Such ftrut from self conceit the first of earth,
But we must here take leave of this performance; prefuming it needlefs to give our Readers any farther proofs of its mediocrity.
The Alps, a Poem. By George Keate, Esq;
HIS is a fubject proper for the dignity and grandeur of fublime poetry. Scenes of awful magnificence, where nature, fecure in her original majeftic wildness, derides the subjection of art, infpire the mind with a congenial fublimity, and elevate the imagination by a kind of fympathetic power.
This is known, by experience, to those whom nature has honoured with the faculty of genius or the genuine principles of tafte. Poets and painters have frequently caught the true fublime from contemplating rude and uncultivated profpects. Virgil was never greater than when he described those scenes that bore no veftiges of human cultivation,
Non raftris hominum, non ulli obnoxia curæ.
And the fublimeft ftrokes of Pouffin and Saluator were caught from
-the lone majesty of untam❜d nature.
Their pencils alone were capable of doing juftice to fuch a landfkip as is formed by that tremendous range of mountains, which goes under the denomination of the Alps; but what poet would be equal to the defcription of fuch a fcene? It is more difficult to exprefs by language that fublimity of fentiment which is infpired by the contemplation of magnificent objects, than by a happy management of the chiaro ofcuro, and the variety and boldness of relief, to exhibit the natural form and majesty of thofe objects.
Let this apology plead in favour of Mr. Keate, if his mufe be thought inferior to the subject attempted.
The poem opens with an address to Fancy, and a description of that pleafing idol of the mufe, not unnatural; nor improper for the fcene :
Bright Goddess, I obey! with rapture hear
Tir'd with their flowery beauties feeks the heath
The description commences in a natural and agreeable manner with a collective view of these ftupendous mountains;
Rev. May, 1763.
In this wild fcene of nature's true fublime
This short sketch of the magnificent fcenery is followed by the natural hiftory of the Alps:
deep within their bowels lies
The marble various-vein'd; and the rich ore
Winds it's flow growth: nor here unfrequent found
the trickling rill prefents
Here the fleet roebuck darts, as thro' the woods
Thus the Poet, by difcharging the offices of the Hiftorian and the Philofopher, exalts the capacity and the dignity of his art. In his defcription of the famous fall of the Rhine he had a large fcope for imitative harmony, but he feems to have contented himself with precifion of imagery:
A fpecies of wild Goats inhabiting the coldeft parts of the Alps.
Here the double Rhine
Blends it's twin-ftreams yet flender, and from COIRE
After having enumerated fome rivers of inferior note, which have their fource in the Alps, the Poet ftrikes out the following beautiful image :
Thefe as they glide along furvey their banks
appear to bend
Of these mountains one in particular is defcribed with great precifion and a peculiar air:
-the mournful larch
It's drooping foliage hangs: the ftately pines,
But though fome of thefe ftupendous hills are altogether inacceffable, there are others which have fubmitted to human industry :
Tho' painful their afcent, fpread their steep fides
From the fummit of the Saleve, a high mountain about four or five miles diftant from Geneva, rifing perpendicularly above the Arve, and commanding a delightful view of the lake, and the different countries that lie round it, our Author prefents us with a very agreeable prospect :
On thy brow, SALEVE,
(Thy well-known brow that hath so often woo'd
My penfive mind) I catch with greedy eye
A far-ftretch'd mirror fpreads: it's bofom fhews
When we behold Alp piled above Alp in horrible magnificence, we even tremble for the hardy Traveller
who dares attempt
The GLACIER's flippery tract, or climbs the fteeps
Like one wide ocean fhews! it breaks,-it fleets!
Clear and more clear emerging; now distinct
In the fair plain behold the lab'ring ox,
The progreffion of imagery in the above quotation is extremely beautiful. This is the peculiar excellence of poetry, and gives it the fuperiority over painting.
But the poet himself feems not more delighted with the grand fcenery of thefe wild mountains, nor does he entertain his Readers more agreeably with that, than with the liberty and fecurity which the inhabitants of thefe regions enjoyed while the circumjacent countries were involved in war. The defcription here is extremely poetical and animated:
Thrice happy regions! could we mount the winds,