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Well maiest thou be astounde, but view it well;
And with thy tale the lazing' rych men shame ;
* It is asked with some degree of plausibility, how could Chatterton, who was educated in a charity school, where only writing and arithmetic were taught, produce such fine pieces of poetry, which shew marks of more liberal pursuits, and studies of another nature? In the same general way of putting a question, it may be asked, how could that idle and illiterate fellow Shakspeare, who was driven out of Warwickshire for deer-stealing, write the tragedy of Othello? I give as general an answer, that the powers of unconquerable mind outgo plans of education and conditions of life. The enthusiasm of intellectual energy surmounts every impediment to a career that is pressing forward to futurity.
"Ergo vivida vis animi pervicit, et extra
Processit longe flammantia monia mundi."+-WARTON.
+ Lucretius, 1. 73.
On the Dedication of our Ladie's Church.*
SOONE as bryght sonne alonge the skyne,
And fayryes hyd ynne Oslyppe cuppes,
A troop of holie freeres dyd,
And every door and poste aboute
Wythe godlie thynges besprent.
Then Carpenter yn scarlette dreste,
And mytred holylie :
From Mastre Canynge hys greate howse,
Wyth rosarie dyd hie.
Before hym wente a throng of freeres
Who dyd the masse songe synge,
This poem was given by Chatterton in a note to the Parlyamente of Sprytes. The lines are here divided into the ballad length.
And then a rowe of holie freeres
Who dyd the mass songe sound;
And when unto the chyrche theye came
So lowdlie was theyr swotie voyce,
The chyrche to Godde for aie,
Ypreechen was bie mee :
Thenn alle dyd goe to Canynges house
And drynk hys wyne and ale so goode
• The whole of Chatterton's life presents a fund of useful instruction to young persons of brilliant and lively talents, and affords a strong dissuasive against that impetuosity of expectation, and those delusive hopes of success, founded upon the consciousness of genius and merit, which lead them to neglect the ordinary means of acquiring competence and independence. The early disgust which Chatterton conceived for his profession, may be accounted one of the prime sources of his misfortunes.-DR. GREGORY.
John, second Abbatte of Seyncte Austyns Mynsterre.*
Harte of lyone! shake thie sworde,
Bare thie mortheynge1 steinede honde ;
Feare flies sportine ynne the cleeme,"
* From Barrett's History of Bristol. It was sent by Chatterton to Horace Walpole, as a note to Rowleie's Historie of Peyncters. This John," he says, "was inducted abbot in the year 1186, and sat in the dies 29 years. He was the greatest poet of the age in which he lived; he understood the learned languages. Take a specimen of his poetry on King Richard Ist."-SOUTHEY's Edition.
+ If any one can perceive any difference of hand between this poem, attributed to Abbot John, and those which pass under the name of the supposed Rowley, he must possess much greater powers of discrimination, than fall to the share of common critics.-TYRWHITT.