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Patient of thirst and toil,
With instant death.
Is buried deep. In Cairo's crowded streets,
There are other passages of equal beauty with these; such as that of the hunted stag, followed by "the inhuman rout,"
That from the shady depth
The whole of the description of the frozen zone, in the Winter, is perhaps even finer and more thoroughly felt, as being done from early
associations, than that of the torrid zone in his Summer. Any thing more beautiful than the following account of the Siberian exiles is, I think, hardly to be found in the whole range of poetry.
"There through the prison of unbounded wilds,
The feeling of loneliness, of distance, of lingering, slow-revolving years of pining expectation, of desolation within and without the heart, was never more finely expressed than it is here.
The account which follows of the employments of the Polar night-of the journeys of the natives by moonlight, drawn by rein-deer, and of the return of spring in Lapland
"Where pure Niemi's fairy mountains rise,
is equally picturesque and striking in a different way. The traveller lost in the snow, is a wellknown and admirable dramatic episode. I prefer, however, giving one example of our author's skill in painting common domestic scenery, as it will bear a more immediate comparison with the style of some later writers on such subjects. It is of little consequence what passage we take. The following description of the first setting in of winter is, perhaps, as pleasing as any.
"Through the hush'd air the whitening shower descends, At first thin wav'ring, till at last the flakes
Fall broad and wide, and fast, dimming the day
With a continual flow. The cherish'd fields
Put on their winter-robe of purest white:
'Tis brightness all, save where the new snow melts
Bow their hoar head; and ere the languid Sun,
His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man
And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is:
It is thus that Thomson always gives a moral sense
Thomson's blank verse is not harsh, or utterly untuneable; but it is heavy and monotonous; it seems always labouring up-hill. The selections which have been made from his works in Enfield's Speaker, and other books of extracts, do not convey the most favourable idea of his genius or taste; such as Palemon and Lavinia, Damon and Musidora, Celadon and Amelia. Those parts of any author which are most liable to be stitched in worsted, and framed and glazed, are not by any
means always the best. The moral descriptions. and reflections in the Seasons are in an admirable spirit, and written with great force and fervour.
His poem on Liberty is not equally good: his Muse was too easy and good-natured for the subject, which required as much indignation against unjust and arbitrary power, as complacency in the constitutional monarchy, under which, just after the expulsion of the Stuarts and the establishment of the House of Hanover, in contempt of the claims of hereditary pretenders to the throne, Thomson lived. Thomson was but an indifferent hater; and the most indispensable part of the love of liberty has unfortunately hitherto been the hatred of tyranny. Spleen is the soul of patriotism, and of public good: but you would not expect a man who has been seen eating peaches off a tree with both hands in his waistcoat pockets, to be " overrun with the spleen,” or to heat himself needlessly about an abstract proposition.
His plays are liable to the same objection. They are never acted, and seldom read. The author could not, or would not, put himself out of his way, to enter into the situations and passions of others, particularly of a tragic kind. The subject of Tancred and Sigismunda, which is taken